Dr Joseph Kunnuji
Senior Lecturer
Odeion School of Music
Odeion School of Music
IB 36
Odeion School Of Music 218

Short CV

Joseph Kunnuji is a senior lecturer in Ethnomusicology and African Musics at the Odeion School of Music, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. His research interests include reimagining marginal and historical musical practices. He combines teaching, performing and academic activism in unearthing his musical heritage and making it more widely known within the academe and broader society. With a background in a few West African musical practices, an orthodox church Western hymn-singing tradition, and prolonged participation on the Cape Town music scene, Kunnuji embodies the intersection of many musical worlds, and as such, he is well positioned for studies and performances foregrounding interculturality.


Bruinders, Sylvia and Kunnuji, Joseph. (2022). Banding together in Cape Town and Lagos: Engaging Reciprocity as Applied Ethnomusicology. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 54(1), 27-47.

Coates, Adrian and Kunnuji, Joseph. (2022). Towards a contextual Theology of Conviviality: Tutu, Bonhoeffer and Living Musical Metaphors. Acta Theologica, 42(2), 68-85.

Kunnuji, Joseph. (2022). The National Troupe of Nigeria Post-Ogunde: A Cultural Diplomacy Fad or Farce? In Re-centering Cultural Performance and Orange Economy in Post-colonial Africa: Policy, Soft Power and Sustainability, edited by Taiwo Afolabi, Olusola Ogunnubi and Shadrack Ukuma, 209-227. Singapore: Springer Nature.

Kunnuji, Joseph. (2022). Gospel Music Cosmopolitanism in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Soft Power Potential of its Iconic Practitioners. In Religion and Global Politics: Soft Power in Nigeria and Beyond, edited by Olusola Ogunnubi and Sheriff Folarin, 257-274. Lanham, Boulder, New York and London: Lexington Books.

Kunnuji, Joseph. (2022). Reinterpretation and Re-contextualisation of Badagry`s Ogu Music in Avale: Ethnomusicological and Artistic Convergence in a Trans-local and Trans-genre Collaborative Music Production. A peer-reviewed proceeding of the Performing, Engaging, Knowing Conference of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology, from 26-29 August 2020.

Kunnuji, Joseph. (2020). Musical Responses from Lockdown: Adaptations in Foregrounding Remote Performances in Lagos, Nigeria. Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa, 17(1), 141-144.

Kunnuji, Joseph. (2017). Guided Syncretism: Repackaging Badagry Ogu Music in the Context of Lagos` Post-colonial Modernity. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, 10(3), 79-94.

Kunnuji, Joseph. (2014). Review of Tony Allen: An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat by Michael Veal and Tony Allen Published in 2013 by Duke University Press. Journal of the Musical Art in Africa, 11(1), 113-115.


Convivial Scholarship project - Unearthing the values and virtures of Yoruba Alo (chantefables): A Sequel to Gerhard Kubik`s 1960 and 1963 Fieldwork in Oshogbo, Southwest Nigeria.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) project - An Evaluation Project on the Design and Best Implementation Practice for Ethnomusicology Specialisation Modules at the Odeion School of Music, University of the Free State.

Area(s) of Interest

Music and identity in Africa

Ethnic minorities in African and their marginal musical practices

Current relevance of indigenous African music, knowledge and skills 

Current trends in the development of popular and digitally assisted African musical genres\

The decolonial discourse

Ethnomusicology and African musics in the 4th industrial revolution (4IR)




Courses Presented

MUMB4808 - Selected Topics in Ethnomusicology and Popular African Musics

MUMB3704 - Introduction to Ethnomusicology and indigenous African musical practices

MUSM3722 - The World Music Phenomenon

Community Service

Co-Director at the Bloemfontein Life Change Centre (BLCC) Music School, Heidedal, Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa: A community outreach programme of the Odeion School of Music, University of the Free State.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

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