Morenikeji Asaaju



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Research interests

My research focuses on gender, marriage and social change in Africa. My doctoral research illustrates the central role of marriage in maintaining political stability in colonial Abeokuta and by extension Yorubaland. This year I am working on my book project which explores the social and cultural processes of heterosexuality relationship as African societies confront changes imposed by the colonial order. Focusing on Abeokuta, a major urban community in southwestern Nigeria, it explores how marriage practices shifted with changing political regimes and conventions of masculinity and femininity.

As well as this, I am also developing a new research project on Gender, Islam and Marriage in South-western Nigeria. It seeks to understand how Islam influenced African marriage practices and transformed gender relations. The central question will be: at what point in time was Islam colliding with indigenous marriage practices? Basically, this research seeks to put religion and marriage in conversation with one another. 


I joined the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University in 2012, where I taught undergraduate history courses. In 2014, I moved to Bayreuth in Germany, to earn my doctorate under the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Graduate School Scholarship Programme at the University of Bayreuth. Before joining the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, as a Research fellow in 2022, I was a Leventis Scholar at SOAS, University of London in 2020, and an A.G Leventis Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cambridge 2021-2022.


  • PhD, African History (University of Bayreuth)
  • MPhil, History (Obafemi Awolowo University)
  • BA, History and International Relations (Obafemi Awolowo University)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Gender and Marriage: An Exploration of Changes in Marital Relations in Southwestern Nigeria, 1914-1960, University of Bayreuth

Award Date: 26 Jun 2018

Master of Philosophy, Women Participation in the Politics of Abeokuta, 1914-1965, Obafemi Awolowo University

Award Date: 10 May 2013

Bachelor of Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University

Award Date: 19 Dec 2007


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