Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah was born in 1962, in multicultural Ilorin in northern Nigeria. He received Quranic education, and later attended elementary schools in Ilorin and in Sokoto. He was a Boy Scout in elementary school, and became Troop Leader of the 1st Birnin Yauri Troop in the 1979/80 session. Later, he trained as a Grade II teacher at the Government Teachers College in Birnin Yauri, where in graduated in 1981. He received a BA in 1988 from University of Ilorin, with a thesis “Dadakuada: the trends in the development of Ilorin traditional oral poetry”, subsequently published in African Notes., and in 1992 received a M.A. Literature in English from the same university. In 1999, he received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and was subsequently professor and chair of African Studies at Western Illinois University.
He is the author and co-author of numerous books, but some books of his that are most recent are Globalization, Oral Performance, and African Traditional Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, March 2018), African Discourse in Islam, Oral Traditions, and Performance (Routledge, 2010) and Africanity, Islamicity, and Performativity: Identity in the House of Ilorin (Bayreuth African Studies, 2009), and edited a poetry book, Obama-Mentum: An Anthology of Transformational Poetry. Prof. Na’Allah has been nominated for and received numerous awards, including the Gold Key Recognition Award, University of Alberta Student Union, 1998; the Graduate Student Service Award, GSA, University of Alberta; The Alberta Heritage Charles S. Noble Award for Student Leadership, 1998, the Province of Alberta, Canada; and the Black Achievements Award, Post-Secondary—Scholastic, 1998, the Black Achievement Awards Society of Alberta.
Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah is the author and co-author of numerous books, including: coauthor with Ladan Sulaiman and Ahmad Sambo, Functional Literacy Primer in Hausa, sponsored by the European Economic Commission and Federal Government of Nigeria, 1992; coauthor, Instructors’ Guide to Functional Literacy Primer in Hausa, 1992; coauthor with Bayo Ogunjimi, Introduction to African Oral Literature (Oral Prose), University of Ilorin Press, 1991; author, Introduction to African Oral Literature (1994); and Editor, Ogoni’s Agonies: Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Crisis in Nigeria (Africa World Press, 1998) He wrote the article on Kwame Anthony Appiah for The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought He was the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Kwara State University (2015-2019) and is now the Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja (July 2019-)