Sunday 13 September 2020

Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle and Decolonising the Sandhurst Curriculum

The then Colonel Benjamin Adekunle photographed on October 12th 1970 during an interview at the Nigerian High Commission in London. (Credit: Popperfoto).

The debate about “decolonising” curricula in the academic world over the last few years has intensified with the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.

But how many people are aware that the late Benjamin Adekunle, the Nigerian Army officer who earned the moniker “The Black Scorpion” during the Nigerian Civil War, attempted to decolonise the curriculum at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst while undergoing officer training there as a cadet?

It cost him.

“At Sandhurst where he admitted to making only one close friendship among the three hundred cadets during his two year stay, his debates with the officer-instructor of the Political Science module; based on Adekunle’s objections at what he felt was the over glorification of Western culture and the denigration of Africa, were considered acts of insubordination.

They led to him receiving sixty-four days of restrictions with hard labour, a punishment record he continued to believe for second year cadets.”

- Excerpt from “About Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle.”

© Adeyinka Makinde (2020).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

No comments:

Post a Comment