The aim of this article is to briefly examine the evolution and progenitor of Graphology in Africa and highlight some of the major applications of Graphology in the present time, particularly in Nigerian situation, and draw the attention and encourage Nigerian Government to fully utilize Graphology in her diverse sectors thereby bringing about sanity and much-needed developments to the Nigerian economy, among others.
Graphology (Graphoanalysis) is quite relatively new in Africa. It has been tending towards four decades old in Africa through Nigeria(as forerunner country of origination of Graphology in Africa). Graphology is the study and analysis of psychographic frozen movements in form of specimens, such as handwritings (scripts), signatures (autographs), doodles, drawings, paintings, and so on and so forth, as means for ascertaining human personality traits and behavioural patterns, among others (Ezeohagwu,1999).
Handwritten specimens (documents) such as scripts, signatures and drawings, among others, convey significant information about the personality of the author, which extend beyond the content meaning of those words inscribed on paper. The author’s volition and personality traits engrained as the psychographic features of those handwritten specimens confront us, provide clues and insights into the manner of man… the author is (Ezeohagwu,2018) as expressed in his book entitled: “As A Man Writes”.
Graphology appeared in Nigeria in the year 1983 through the introduction and contributions of Jide-Oni Charles, who then was Assistant lecturer, Departments of French and English studies, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Osun State (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria).
Graphology has been useful in Education and Career guidance; Recruitment of personnel and psychometric testing; Crime investigation, detection, control, and security purposes; Business relationships and understanding client personality; knowing oneself and others intimately; Counseling; managing stress; mental health rehabilitation; etc.
Keywords: Graphology, evolution, economy, handwritten specimens, psychographic features.
L-R: Professor Ben Ezeohagwu; Professor Jide-Oni Charles.
Picture culled from: “Historical Foundation of Graphology (Graphognomy) In Africa”, By Ben Ezeohagwu. (Archived, April 2014).
Graphognomy (as often called by Jide-Oni Charles), as also called Graphology in Europe or Graphoanalysis in America was introduced to Africa by Jide-Oni Charles, a former don at the Departments of French and English studies, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Oyo State (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State).
In the year 1982, he traveled to France for an Intensive Six-Month-French-Course exchange program at the Universite De Grenoble. He (Jide-Oni Charles) happened to be the first graduate of the University of Ife, Ile-Ife to make first-class single honours in French Language (B.A degree) in 1983. It was in the course of the compulsory and Intensive Six-Month-French-Course exchange Programme meant for Nigerian undergraduate about completing their studying foreign languages such as French, that he came across a minor course in the curriculum of the Intensive Six-Month-French-Course exchange program called Graphologie (Graphology).
He especially took it (graphology) seriously, and decided to enroll for a Diploma course in Graphology, simultaneously along with the Intensive Six-Month-French-Course exchange programme at the Universite De Grenoble, France, and at the end of the programs… he performed excellently. He returned to the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Oyo State (then) towards late 1982. Without delay, he (Jide-Oni Charles)introduced Graphology to undergraduates, lecturers of the University of Ife, Ile-Ife by obtaining and analyzing a number of handwritten specimens to prove the authenticity of this new empirically proven science of handwriting analysis called Graphology in the year 1983. These efforts quickly generated resounding applause and interests from the audiences, gaining official popularity at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife.
In 1987, Africa’s first Graphoanalysis training institute was established in Mayfair, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Southwestern, Nigeria, which was called: Jide-Oni Charles Graphoanalysis Centre; while in 1988, the first set of students got admitted to study Graphology at Diploma level, among who were a handful of Secondary School teachers, lecturers, undergraduate and graduate students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. This Graphoanalysis institute later on relocated to Lagere, Ile-Ife, Osun state in 1990 with a change of name to Ilemia Graphoanalysis Centre, as a result of increased students population and better facility space for students, lecturers, and administrative purposes. This trend led to the resignation of Jide-Oni Charles from the services of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State in 1991.
In 1994, this Graphoanalysis Institute moved to Lagos, was readily and eagerly embraced by Prof C.S Momoh of the blessed memory, who in turn facilitated the formal take-off of the teaching and dissemination of Graphology information at 17, Oladosu Street, off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos. Graphology was later introduced to the Police College, Ikeja by mid-1990s through the then Deputy Commandant in the person of JOHN ATAWODI who took Jide-Oni Charles to the commandant for formal introduction in person and of the course (Graphology) at the Basic training building. He later extended the training in graphology to the general public by establishing centers, namely:
S-TEE for Girls Academy, Festac, Lagos; BEST Academy, Festac, Lagos; MERIT INSTRUCTORS, Volkswagen, Iyana-Iba, Lagos; EXAM SUCCESS, Palm groove, Lagos; SPEED WRITING International, Opebi, Lagos, courtesy of Dr (Mrs) Oyemade Susan of Forever Living Products, a sole representative in Nigeria at the time. This outfit served as the first Exam Centre for Nigeria at the time. This outfit served as the first exam centre for OAU (UNIFECS) annexes moderation office in the year 1999; Merus Schools, Aina Ajayist., off Ayoade B/stop, Alakuko, Lagos; Today’s Clinic, 162, Ipaja Road, Agbotikuyo, Agege, Lagos; De-Top Grade Schools, New Era Road, Alaguntan, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos; Progressive Education Centre, off 321 Rd., Festac, Lagos; Alakuko Divisional Police Headquarters, Alakuko, Lagos; Focus Academy, Falode St, Araromi Estate, Phase II, Iroko Town, Ogun State; Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Klm 28/29 Lagos- Abeokuta Exp. Way, Lagos; 505 Ikorodu Rd., Opp. Coop Bank, Ketu Lagos; No.5 Alalaye Banire St, Alalaye’s Compound. Akinola Junction, Aboru, Lagos; Sofine Free Library, Railway Line, Ikeja along Bus Stop, Lagos; And all other divisional Police Stations in Lagos are made centres.
From this time (1996) onwards, Graphology has become an uphill task in the large scale dissemination of Graphology knowledge through the length and breadth of Lagos metropolis. With the eventual affiliation of the course (Graphology) to Obafemi Awolowo University Consultancy Services Center, OAU (UNIFECS), Ile-Ife in 1998, a number of lecture centres spread over strategic locations in Lagos, such as Ojo, Orile, Festac, Opebi, Palm-Grove, Okota, Police College (Ikeja), etc.
From the year 2000 up till 2009 efforts and genuine contributions by some notable Nigerian pioneer graphologists -Ben Ezeohagwu, Young Harrison Daniels, Yahya Zubair, Owolade Friday, etc, culminating in the professional graphology body called: Institute of Graphoanalysts, Nigeria (IGAN), incorporated in Nigeria to coordinate the practice of Graphology in Nigeria. Nigeria Police Force Personnel then became the major focus of attention, such that all the Lagos Area commands, the state C.I.D Panti, Force Headquarters Annexe, Obalende and Force C.I.D Alagbon were virtually made satellite lecture Centres.
On the eventual Federal Government recognition of the institute of Graphoanalysts, (IGAN) as a full-fledged registered professional body, the former numerous study centres have now been pruned down to a centralized location, with its Lagos liaison office, currently at 3, Owode Street, Abule-egba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Bringer and father of Graphology (Graphoanalysis) in Africa.
Jide-Oni Charles is the bringer and father of Graphology (Graphoanalysis) in Africa (1983). He holds a First-Class degree (B.A) single Honoursin French Language (1983), he became the first First-Class graduate of French Language (1983) of the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Oyo State (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State; Diploma in Graphology (Graphoanalysis) from Universite De Grenoble in 1983, then he had M.A degree in Linguistics (1987) from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State; Postgraduate Diploma in Graphology (Graphoanalysis) in 1997 from the Universite De Grenoble, France, and was appointed a Professor of English Studies, by both the University of Business Technology, Wilmington, Delaware, the USA in 2015) and Edexcel University, Ifangni, Plateau, Republic of Benin.
Professor Jide-Oni Charles.
Picture culled from: “Historical Foundation of Graphology (Graphognomy) In Africa”, By Ben Ezeohagwu. (Archived, April 2014).
First Nigerian Professor of Graphology (Graphoanalysis) and first black
African Professor of Graphology (Graphoanalysis).
Ben Ezeohagwu is the first Nigerian Professor of Graphology (Graphoanalysis) – IGAN, 2014; UBUT, EU, 2015.
Ben Ezeohagwu is also the first black African Professor of Graphology (Graphoanalysis) – UBUT, EU, 2015.
Ben Ezeohagwu holds a Higher Diploma in Graphology (Grapholoanalysis) – OAU/UNIFECS, 1999;
BSc (First-Class) Graphology (Graphoanalysis) – BAU, 2005;
MSc in Graphopsychology (Graphoanalysis) – BAU, 2007;
PhD in Graphopsychology (Graphoanalysis) –BAU, 2010.
B.A. Ed in Fine and Applied Arts (EKSU,2011).
M.A in Comparative and Visual Arts (BAU, 2013).
Ben Ezeohagwu was appointed Professor of Graphology (Graphoanalysis) by both the University of Business Technology, Wilmington, Delaware, USA (2015), and Edexcel University, Ifangni, Plateau (2015).
PhD in Comparative and Visual Arts (BAU, 2016).
Ben Ezeohagwu was appointed Professor of Comparative and Visual Arts (BAU, 2018).
Applications of Graphology
In Nigeria at present, the resurgent insurgency of Boko Haram terrorists is being pathetic. It has become gravely overwhelming in rates and volumes of insensitive kidnappings for ransoms, enslavements and gruesome killings of Nigerians. Graphology is a peculiar tool for ascertaining in individuals traits of crimes, such as insurgency in forms of violence, killings, cruelty, greed, excessiveness, and so on and so forth. Wherever those exhibiting insurgent traits could be… graphology simply reveals them… even those Boko Haram terrorist sponsors, would of course definitely share terroristic tendencies in them, be Nigerian politicians, Military, Navy, or Police Personnel. Expert Graphologists would sort them out by Graphoanalysing their handwritten specimens (scripts, signature, etc) and divulge them to the public for effective prosecution and hereby promoting effective governance by getting rid of terrorists in the land.
Dwindling quality of education in Nigeria can be improved upon to raise the standard of quality education again for better access and acquisition of knowledge, skills and values that reduce the rate of unemployment, unemployability, and promote wealth creation through application of genuine knowledge, skills and values… improving the Nigerian economy. Graphology can improve learning and intelligence through graphotherapy, psycholinguistic clinical remediation (rehabilitation) that involves awakening and building up appropriate learning-related virtuous traits, namely: calmness, diligence, Productivity, observation, intuitive, and so on and so forth.
Recruitment of personnel is made better through graphology. Expert Graphologists collate handwritten applications of candidate applicants seeking employments in one organization or the other. Such handwritten applications are graphoanalysed by expect graphologists to ascertain personality profiles which reveal strengths and weaknesses of candidate applicants prior to the day of formal interviews.
This Graphological process enables the organisations to select appropriate applicants for different job positions and subsequent employment of those who are successful at the end of the interview. In other words, Graphoanalysis process helps organisations select most qualified applicants in line with their innate potentials needed by such organisations as they (successful applicants) will be able to enhance the optimal productivity of the organizations.
Graphology provides clues to understanding others in business relationships, the knowledge of one’s fellowmen through graphology… provide important insights, avoid pitfalls and explore treasures and opportunities in others. Graphology has been quite useful in marriage compatibility.
Is he/she right person for me?
Will I be happy with that person?
Does she have a violent temper?
Graphology is also relevant in career guidance of adolescents and adults alike. Graphology reveals inner strengths and weaknesses, potentials, skills, values, dislikes, etc, of an individual.
Unravelling Crimes are effective through graphology. Crimes such as exam malpractices (impersonation etc), forgeries, armed robberies, money laundering, human trafficking, drug abuse, drug trafficking, and so on and forth.
Graphology relieves mental and emotional stresses through some graphotherapeutic clinical continuous handwriting exercises, which in this case promote a sound mental and emotionally healthy lifestyle.
Conclusion and Recommendations
It’s really time to consider utilization of graphology by the Nigerian government in all her sectors. It’s a human change catalyst, in that values of graphology cannot be overemphasized in the Nigerian economy. Graphology nurtures and turns human capital into holistically developed human treasures, so invaluable in turning around positively Nigerian economy in circumstances where merit is required to drive upward almost recessionary economy of ours.
However, I recommend that the Federal government (Nigeria) should introduce GRAPHETICS into the Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary School curricula as a means to awakening and developing further effective handwriting skills and values, to impact positively in the students, improving their potentials to obtain virtues… and approving GRAPHETICS as an examination subject at BECE/JSCE, and SSCE/WAEC levels in such a manner that the vulgar, weaknesses and strengths of students would have been positively impacted for better studentship and citizenship towards their future endeavours and participation in diverse civic roles as responsible and productive Nigerians.
Ezeohagwu, B., As A Man Writes. GlowFlowers Associates. First Published (2017), revised Edition(2018), Lagos. ISBN: 978-978-966-151-0.
Ezeohagwu, B., Historical Foundation of Graphology (Graphognomy) In Africa. GlowFlowers Associates. First Published (2014), revised Edition (2020), Lagos. ISBN: 978-978-966-150-3.
Ben Ezeohagwu won the Onigraffiks Prize for literature (2017). He is Professor of Graphonomy and Chancellor, African American University, Porto-Novo, Republic of Benin and can be reached at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.africanamericanuniversity.