Professor Remi Sonaiya taught French Language and Applied Linguistics at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, for nearly 30 years. She obtained her B.A. (French, University of Ife) in 1977, an M.A. (French Literature, Cornell University) in 1980, an M.A. (Linguistics, Ife) in 1984, and her PhD (General & Applied Linguistics, Cornell) in 1988. She has several academic publications to her credit, including the first French language teaching method written by Nigerians.
She was named in 2008 the first Nigerian International Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. Her interest in social issues led her to take an early retirement from her position at the university in order to join politics and participate actively in Nigeria’s public life. She was KOWA Party’s National Public Relations Officer from 2010 to 2015, and was the party’s candidate in the 2015 presidential election. Her book, One Woman’s Race (Gihon Printers, 2018), captures her reflections on that experience. Professor Sonaiya has also published three books on Nigerian and African development, all under the Prestige imprint of Kachifo Limited: A Trust to Earn – Reflections on Life and Leadership in Nigeria (2010); Igniting Consciousness – Nigeria and Other Riddles (2013); Daybreak Nigeria – This Nation Must Rise! (2014). She contributes regularly to Nigerian media discourse, on both the traditional and social media platforms, and was a regular contributor to “234Next” and “The Niche”.
Remi Sonaiya is a 2015 alumna of the Yale University/Women for Africa Foundation Leadership Program, and also of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (November 2016). She is on the international faculty of Haggai Institute where she facilitates on the subject of Stewardship. She is a choir member and bible study teacher in her church; is a member of the Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF); an associate with the Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES); has served on the International Council of Calvary Ministries (Capro); and currently serves on the Nigerian Board of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Remi Sonaiya is married to Professor Babafunso Sonaiya, and they have two grown children and three grandsons.