Dr. Falola gives a speech on a stage

History Professor Receives Highest Nigerian National Honor

  • Jan 19, 2023

[Editor's Note: This story is the first in a Texas Global series celebrating UT Austin faculty members whose work has received international honors or awards.]  

In October 2022, the Federal Republic of Nigeria named history professor Toyin Falola a Member of the Order of Niger (MON), one of the highest national honors given by the country. 

The MON is given to Nigerian citizens and friends of Nigeria recognized for rendering distinguished service for the benefit of the nation. Falola was recognized for his unique contribution to African history and scholarship. Other recipients of the award include internationally celebrated writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. 

“My research and publications have been aimed at enabling the nation, Nigeria, Africa, and the world to adopt a perspective encrypted by the fogs of the past and to try to demystify the present and future challenges,” Falola said. “This honor connotes the idea that all my endeavors have been worth the try. As the Bobapitan of Ibadanland (the King’s Historian, a Royal Chief of Ibadanland) and now, a Member of the Order of the Niger, I feel a stronger connection between my works, myself and my roots. … I believe it is an inspiration to increase my contributions to expanding knowledge in and developing Nigeria and Africa.” 

Falola received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Ife in 1981 and a Doctor of Letters from the University of Ibadan in 2021. He has been a distinguished faculty member at The University of Texas at Austin since 1991. He is also a Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria and the Nigerian Academy of Letters, and the recipient of 16 honorary doctorate degrees and numerous teaching awards for his work with UT Austin students. 

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