James Kamalu Nzerem was a member of the Nigerian first republic senate. Prior to becoming a senator, he served on the Privy Council of Eastern Nigeria and was a member of the Eastern Region Board of Education.
During World War 2, Nzerem edited a bulletin which served the over 18,000 soldiers of Owerri division serving in the Middle East, India and Burma. He was born in Owerri and received his education from Our Lady's school, Emekuku and the Rural Education Centre, Umuahia. From 1924-1948, he was a school administrator and headmaster.
He was also member of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Nigerian War Memorial Committee, the Central Public Service Board and was a vice president of the Ibo State Union.