Left: The University of Lagos Main Library. Right: The Main Auditorium (J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium). © Bola Oguntade, 2022.
What is Shared about African Modernism? What is African about Modern Heritage?






The Shared Heritage Africa (SHA) project focused on the rediscovery of modern university campuses and seminal buildings in West and East Africa from the 1950s to the 1970s. The project involved nine research fellows from Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda, who conducted heritage research, local writing and photography workshops, exhibitions, and published content to document Africa’s built cultural heritage, eight of them are presented here. This initiative aimed to promote sustainable urban and social development, drawing on African and international efforts and targeting students and young professionals to foster social, cultural and political awareness.

How to Cite

Abba, I., Otitooluwa, T., Agbeh, J. K., Matua, C., Latim, T., Kiconco, J., Oguntade, B., & Codjoe, E. (2023). What is Shared about African Modernism? What is African about Modern Heritage?. Docomomo Journal, (69), 86–98. https://doi.org/10.52200/docomomo.69.10





Workshops and Exhibitions


Author Biographies

Immaculata Abba, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Is a researcher, writer, and photographer exploring how we can improve our social and economic living standards in both public and domestic spheres. She has written for publications like Le Temps (Switzerland), The Republic (NG), and African Arguments. Her visual work has been published widely, and her long-term photography project ‘Dusty Hill Drive’ documents the built environment in southeast Nigeria. She has an academic background in history, literature, and cultural theory and degrees from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Oxford. She was a 2022 writer-in-residence at the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Tubi Otitooluwa, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Is an Associate Director at James Cubitt Architect, where he leads Digital Innovation in Design and Construction. He implements and manages BIM strategy across all projects, coordinates professional development training of technical team members, and is also responsible for the design of some of the firm’s buildings. He holds a Diploma in Architectural Technology, a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Design. He has a keen interest in understanding our evolving interaction with the built environment and the impact of technology on those human experiences. He is a volunteer with AOTF on the Osun Osogbo UNESCO site restoration and a restoration committee member at Legacy 1995.

Jonathan Kplorla Agbeh, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Works as a research and teaching assistant with the School of Architecture and Design (SADe), Central University, Ghana. He is also a managing partner at Inspo7 Studios, an architecture firm in Accra. His budding career in architecture and research is committed to the history of architecture and the development of sustainable and energy-efficient architecture. Jonathan focuses on historical innovations in the architectural space, attempting to thread it through the present and into the future. His current research under SHA looks at the multiple eras of physical development of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.

Christine Matua, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Is an assistant lecturer at the Faculty of the Built Environment, Uganda Martyrs University. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons.) from Makerere University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Architecture from the same. Currently serves on the board of the Uganda Society of Architects as Graduate Representative; a role that involves advocacy for emerging architects as well as organizing continuous professional development talks for the group. She is passionate about documenting architecture and is proud of having been head of the pioneer media team and editor of the journal Architecture Uganda for the society of architects.

Timothy Latim, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Is an independent photographer and architect at Flexi Home, based in Kampala. His work explores the interplay of architecture, people, and the environment in which they sit. Looking at the contemporary Ugandan context, Timothy is also fascinated by the mountains and the outdoor life and has served on the committees of Mountain Slayers Uganda and Mountain Club of Uganda.

Justicia Caesaria Tegyeka Kiconco, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Is an architectural researcher at MASS Design Group in Kigali, where she is involved in design, strategy, and research. She is keen on research in architecture and the bridge between architecture practice and academia on the topics of architectural history, health, and education. Particularly, her research role focuses on issues of design method, visual representation, textual analysis, and strategies for action. Prior to joining MASS, Justicia was a graduate architect at FBW Architects and Engineers in Uganda and a lecturer at History of Architecture at Uganda Martyrs University. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design and a Master of Architecture (Professional) from Uganda Martyrs University.

Bola Oguntade, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Is an urban planner with over a decade of experience in photography, communication design, and print management. Documenting the physical changes in Lagos has opened his mind to the need to curate and understand the urban processes, devise ways to maintain the environment in a pristine condition through research, and explore how urban photography can be enhanced. He is the co-founder of Top Rank Images Limited, a media outfit that works with organizations to develop top-notch content and images for academic, industrial, and social consumption. He is also a winner of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Bilateral SDG Graduate Scholarship (2021-2023)

Emmanuella Ama Codjoe, Shared Heritage Africa Fellow

Is a graduate of the School of Architecture and Design at Central University, Ghana, where she currently works as a research assistant. She has a keen interest in history, public space, and urban design. Her previous research explored the issue of social infrastructure in the context of the industrial city of Tema. Specifically, she investigated the current state of public spaces and their historical relevance in enhancing social interaction. Her current work with SHA builds on this previous research and explores the history, current position, and future possibilities for modernist standardized schools built in the 1960s.