Former Special Adviser on Arts and
Culture to the President of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, Professor Acholonu was a writer, researcher and former
lecturer on African Cultural and Gender Studies.
She was the author of over 15 books, most of which are used in secondary schools and universities in Nigeria, and in African Studies Departments in USA and Europe, the most notable of which are The Gram Code of African Adam: Stone Books and Cave Libraries, Reconstructing 450,000 Years of Africa's Lost Civilizations. The Earth Unchained - A Quantum Leap in Consciousness, A Reply to Al Gore Motherism - The Afrocentric Alternative to Feminism and The Igbo Roots of Olaudah Equiano.
Prof. Acholonu's works and projects have enjoyed the collaboration and the support of United States Information Service (USIA), the British Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft World and the World Monument Fund.
In 1986 she was the only Nigerian, and one of only 2 Africans to participate in the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Women, Population and Sustainable Development: the Road to Rio, Cairo and Beijing, which took place in Dominican Republic, focusing on the mainstreaming of gender into the Plans of Action of the UN world conferences of Rio, Beijing and Cairo. In 1989, as an upcoming scholar, Acholonu had toured universities in USA and United Kingdom, lecturing on her research findings and discovery of the Nigerian origin of 17th Century slave author Olaudah Equiano under the United States International Visitor's Program and the British Council sponsorship Program. In 1990 she was honoured with the Fulbright Scholar-Writer-in Residency award by the US government, during which she lectured as Visiting Professor at 4 colleges of the Westchester Consortium for International Studies, NY, USA.
Prof Acholonu held several international awards and honours. She was the founder of Afa Publications, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Corporate Administration, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Administrators and a Fellow of the Whelan Research Institute, Owerri to name a few. She was the founder of the Let's Help Humanity Project, a charity-based NGO and the Head of the Catherine Acholonu Research Center for African Cultural Sciences based in Abuja, Nigeria. She is listed in the International Who is Who of world Leadership, USA; the African Women Writers, Who's Who of the Top 500 Women in Nigeria; Who s Who in Nigeria; and the International Authors and Writers Who's Who, published in Cambridge, UK. She was also appointed African Renaissance Ambassador along side her co-founder of CARC, Ajay Prabhakar, by the African Renaissance Conference with head quarters in Benin Republic.
Prof Catherine Acholonu was Nigeria's Country Ambassador for the UN Forum of Arts and Culture (UNFAC) instituted by the global Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification based at the UN Building, Bonn, Germany. Before this assignment, she was the Special Adviser on Arts and Culture to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, from 1999-2002. Under the leadership of Prof. Acholonu, UNFAC undertook a number of ambitious programs aimed at creating an interface between cultural development in local communities of Nigeria and sustainable environmental development.
The UNFAC team of culture researchers- linguists, anthropologists, historians, IT specialists, folklorists - led by Prof. Acholonu, are conducting research aimed at unearthing the hidden meanings of ancient Nigerian rock art/inscriptions known as Ikom Monoliths of Cross River State, which thanks to Acholonu's research findings and nomination application, have now been listed by the World Monument Fund in its 2008 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites as "a ancient form of writing and visual communication ... dating before 2000 B.C.
The CARC is seeking international support and funding for its monoliths research by which it has proved that Sub-Saharan African Blacks possessed an organized system of writing before 2000 B.C. (more than 4000 years ago) and a Pre-History recorded on 350 stones which she and her co-founder, with her team of researchers are now transcribing and translating. (See The Gram Code of African Adam, the first in a series on the monoliths research.) She believes that the contents of these stone records will prove that Black Africans were the midwives of human civilization, and will change human history as we know it.
Acholonu was an incurable idealist and a frontline political activist. She contested for the post of President of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1992. Acholonu was one of the founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, a member of its National Women Mobilization Committee and the Imo State Woman Leader of PDP in the formative years of the party.
She was the National Spokesperson of the Movement for Gender Parity, a gender-advocacy group that was in the frontline for the demand for and attainment of the post of the First Woman Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives.
As a leading Nigerian political activist Prof. Catherine Acholonu was an advocate for human rights and women's rights and often expresses burning opinions in the national media on the need for government to put the people first.