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Review: Toyin Falola and African Epistemologies

By Professor Mario D. Fenyo- Bowie State University

Introduction,  An emerging biography, Appendices, List of works, Notes, Bibliography, Index, xi, 298 pp. 

This work is a great meeting of minds: the mind of Abdul Karim Bangura with the mind of Toyin Falola.

As Bangura explains at the beginning, Falola has been the subject of five Festschriften already; he might have added,  here comes another. Technically a Festschrift is a collection of writings by a group of scholars on a variety of subjects in honor of a single distinguished scholar.   This particular volume does not fit the definition to the letter.  Yet, I see it as a Festschrift nevertheless, honoring the same scholar,  but written by a single scholar.   Bangura approaches the subject from a variety of angles and various insights, without overlooking  any major aspect of Falola’s  vast production.  

The book is organized into three sections, along with an introductory segment and a series  of appendices after the conclusion. Part I is “Africa in the configuration of knowledge." Part II, the “Yoruba in  the configuration of knowledge.” Part III is entitled “The value of knowledge: policies and politics.” Naturally, the book is permeated by knowledge, hence the “epistemologies” of the overall  title. The last segments include a list of works by Falola, and a bibliography. The list includes 121  titles by Falola, which  do not cover articles, but it does include some works edited by him and some other works that have more than one author, in addition to Falola himself. By and large the works are mostly his and his alone. The bibliography extends over 15 pages, single-spaced, using a small  font that appears to be font “8”.    

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