Obiozo Ukpabi was originally educated as historian (with expertise in oral history) in Amsterdam and New York and went to Cape Town to further her studies in the interdisciplinary programme of Justice & Transformation (specialising in conflict resolution). During her studies, including internships with the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and the Alternatives to Violence Project which facilitates non-violent communication workshops in schools and correctional facilities, Obiozo continued to live and work in South Africa for six years. Based at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) of the University of The Western Cape as policy dialogue officer, she sharpened her skills as a facilitator of effective multi-stakeholder dialogue on issues related to land reform and structural inequality. Her earlier work as a journalist (2003-2004) in the complex reality of the Niger Delta in Nigeria grounded her understanding of how experiences and narratives of injustice, violence and humiliation can fuel cycles of conflict and multi-layered harm.
After Obiozo returned to the Netherlands from South Africa in 2013, she worked in the field of peace building and democracy, with a special focus on the role of gender. With Pax (Utrecht), she provided support and training for peace activists in various conflict-affected settings, including South Sudan and Syria.
Since 2019, she has supported Building Conversation in developing a more inclusive, interactive knowledge policy and practice, as well as facilitating a range of dialogues (Building Conversation – The way we speak influences the future we create). Recently, Obiozo collaborated in the project A Curse Poem with N.E.S.H.A.A. (Not Every Ship Has An Author) which straddles the borders of performance, poetry and participation (acursepoem.com).