Fayetteville State Dean Becomes African Chief
After a year-long process of comprehensive evaluations and interviews, Dr. Valentine U. James, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Fayetteville State University (N.C.), has become first chief of wisdom for the city of Ikot Ekpene in his native Nigeria.
All of his written work in the testing process was examined by 10 other chiefs, and he was interviewed by each of them for two to four hours each. He also had to do many rituals, such as visiting the gravesite of his great-great-greatgreat- grandfather. James was inaugurated as obong ifiok I (first chief of wisdom) in a six-hour ceremony in front of more than 40,000 spectators in the city’s soccer stadium.
For James, getting involved in his homeland was important because he wanted “to contribute positively to the educational development of the youth of the town and region and to provide ideas on matters related to the general development of the town and region based on my expertise as a trained environmental planner,” he says.
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