Past IIAS News


In Memoriam of Former Director of Africana Studies, Dr. Onaiwu Wilson Ogbomo

It is indeed with a very heavy heart that I am posting my memory of Dr. Ogbomo. I have always referred to him as Dr. Ogbomo because of the respect that I have for him as my elder. It still feels so surreal for me to refer to him in the past tense. 

I first met Dr. Ogbomo in 2007 when I joined the Africana Studies Program at Western Michigan University. Dr. Ogbomo took me under his wing not only as a junior faculty, but also as a sister. He was a great mentor to me and an absolute joy to have as a colleague. Dr. Ogbomo was a knowledgeable and respected scholar and teacher, a leader, a team player, and a people's person. If you ever were down or in a bad mood, then Dr. Ogbomo would have been the right person to run into. He had a great sense of humor and liked to crack jokes to make others feel good. He was extremely smart and witty. 

Dr. Ogbomo was a very loving and caring person and always willing to offer advice and help to people he cared about. He gave great and useful advice on issues beyond academia. He was a selfless person. He was a great listener and will get out of his way to help anyone in need.

Dr. Ogbomo was a very humble, down to earth, and approachable person. He was personable, and always had a very positive outlook on life. He was the epitome of gratefulness. I remember whenever I would call him to inquire about his health, he would tell me not to worry because he was so grateful to be alive.  

Adieu mon cher frére! I will greatly miss you! May you Rest in Eternal Peace! Amen!

Mariam Konaté, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of African American & African Studies & Gender and Women's Studies

A full obituary and information on funeral services are located here.