It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Octavius Jones. Octavius while carrying out his doctoral studies at Victoria University of Wellington was an active member of the African community. He regularly took part in the Kiswahili workshops run by Africa Connection Aotearoa (ACA) and passionately shared about his time in Africa and his connection to the continent. His family have put together a Go Fund for his funeral, follow the link to donate. The funeral will be livestreamed from Ecclesia Christian Fellowship, 1314 E Date St, San Bernardino, Ca. 92404 on Tuesday 21 November 2023 by 11am till (PST) (This would be Wednesday 22 by 8am NZT). Join through the YouTube link below:
Octavius is a Colorado State University former graduate student, instructor, and esteemed member of the Department of Ethnic Studies. Octavius was a former Peace Corps volunteer who completed his M.A. in Ethnic Studies (with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies) in 2017. After teaching at CSU, he won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to conduct research in New Zealand, where he was working on a Ph.D. in Māori Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Visit Colorado State University to view the family notice.
Octavius was an exceptional scholar, who delved in the intersections between ethnic and gender studies and the natural sciences. To those of us fortunate enough to know him, he was a kind, compassionate soul with a bright smile who sought to make the world a better place. Octavius traveled the world extensively in his short life, making friends and building relationships wherever he went. He was the embodiment of beauty and understood well what it means to create community across differences. Visit his Facebook page to view some of the memories shared by friends.
Octavius was a member of the Blackhouse crew delivering afrocentric contents for listeners across the globe (see sample of his contributions in the YouTube video). He also contributed to the Black Creative Aotearoa platform with some exceptional write-ups in this link. The New Zealand Consulate in Los Angeles has a great video on his work on cultural relationship to marine ecosystem in this video.
His incredible aura and exceptional brilliance was trail blazing and his passing has left a void in the community. His legacy will continue to inspire others and his memories will live on in our hearts. Our prayers and condolence goes out to his family.