Posted by Olaniyi Abodedele on Thursday, January 23, 2014 Under: Personality Profiles & Interviews
Prof Akin Bamigboye is a Nigerian obstetrician, gynaecologist and reproductive biologists based at Sandton/Nelspruit MediClinic South Africa. He is married to Mrs Adesola Bamigboye (nee Oke), who is one of the very first black person to be registered in the South African institute of Valuers in the early 1992. They are blessed with four children.

Prof Bamigboye stands out with a unique personality and wealth of exceptional experience of well over 25 years in the medical field, a researcher at University of The Witwatersrand, a visiting consultant in Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital Nigeria and a commentator/scientist with the Reproductive Health Unit of World Health Organisation, Geneva. He is listed in the top 100 doctors in the world by the International Biographic Centre and bagged the Iconic Achiever Hippocratic award for medical achievement in 2010. A citation by the Director General of IBC, Cambridge London, Mr NS Law, summarized Prof Bamigboye’s achievement – ‘the raison d’etre of the Biographic Center is to discover, acknowledge, publicize and reward individuals of potential and proficiency and I’m happy to say, that in Dr Bamigboye’s case, none of it has been necessary; and thus we’re simply paying homage to one of the brightest stars in our firmament”.

Professor Akin Bamigboye studied at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Nigeria (OAU-UNIFE) in the 1980s. He further studied at University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg and Imperial College London, UK (Hammersmith Hospital) in the 90s. He did his PhD to tackle issues surrounding techniques of alleviating painful operations in women worldwide.

Professor Akin Bamigboye who hails from a famous Ekitiparapo warrior family (Yoruba tribal wars of late 19th century) is from Ire Town Ekiti State in the South West region of Nigeria. He is presently the Diaspora Leader of the Yoruba race in the entire Southern region of Africa, an association that was steered by its first president in 2008 Prince Adedapo Adesanmi with a good vision to cherish, uphold and project the honour and dignity of Yoruba culture, language and tradition within all southern African countries. The National Association of Yoruba Descendants Southern Africa (NAYDSA) serves as an umbrella body to every other Pan-Yoruba Association in Southern Africa. As part of its aims and objectives, the association supports democracy, foster individual and collective freedom, promote economic empowerment of the Yoruba people and Nigerians as a whole in Southern Africa. It was also set up to bridge the artificial tribal divisions amongst Nigerians of different tribes- the Ohanazes (Igbo’s), Arewa’s (Hausa), Ijaw’s (Niger Delta) etc in southern Africa. NAYDSA is a non-partisan, secular and non profit making organisation open to all Yoruba communities irrespective of social or economic class. He is also a co-patron of the National Association of Nigerian Student in South Africa.

Prof Bamigboye arrived in Southern Africa during the days of apartheid in 1989 when he turned down an admission to study gynaecology at the University of Kentucky, Louiseville in United States. He used the neighboring countries as a decoy to enter South Africa because of UN sanctions on South Africa. Those were the days when Immigration was not allowed to give visas on Nigerian passports; rather a piece of paper was given at the point of entry. His two main reasons for choosing South Africa over the United States were because of the promise he made nine (9) years earlier before his arrival in South Africa to two of his young anti apartheid South African fighters and medical student classmates back in 1980. He had sympathy for these classmates who had to leave their country to study in Nigeria. The Nigerian government, during Muritala/Obasanjo regime had a strong anti-apartheid policy; they supported the African liberation struggles, trained Southern African students and thereby created awareness of their plights amongst Nigerians. Later on, the Technical Assistant Program to Southern Africa and other nations was introduced. Some of his friends were sent to participate in this programme in 1986, which further geared his interest to come to South Africa; at that point he knew it was just a matter of time before he would make his way to South Africa.

Prof Akin Bamigboye is not without challenges; he says, they make up experiences of life that built his never give up resilient character. Some of his major challenges are stereotyping and name tagging. He shared one of his most daring memorable experiences as been; when a patient who had a knife in his chest was successfully operated upon by him in 1992. On discharge the patient said ‘thank you doctor; I hear you are from Nigeria. Can you link me up with some drug dealers? Very ironic isn’t it? “For a Nigerian to succeed in his chosen endeavour, he has to double his effort in South Africa-Whatever Nigerians do, they do it well” he affirms.

His achievement as a Nigerian clinical and research doctor was hailed and appreciated especially in reducing the numbers of women who die during childbirth in the world- maternal mortality; he believes this must have nullified some stereotyping against Nigerians in South Africa, but most importantly a positive contribution to medicine world over. Prof Akin Bamigboye reviews researches prior to publication for medical journals in Europe, North America and Africa. To his credit, he has on his shelf awards ranging from community service award by the Onire of Ire Ekiti in 2007, John Schiarra research prize for the best research that came out of more than 170 countries by the Federation of Gynecologist in 2009, faculty award for research that changed the medical literature in 2009 and Mediclinic hospital ‘Big 6 award” as one of their best doctors.

In his words; “Nigerians are noted for their hard work but stigmatized against because of some few with criminal tendencies”. He urges Nigerians who have acquired various skills to remember to transfer back home what they have acquired in their various endeavours. He is passionate about his country of birth and will always encourage Nigerians in Diaspora that are willing to invest back at home. That is what he stands for and will always remember his place of birth, Nigeria.

He further went on to advice Nigerians wanting to emigrate to South Africa that, they  should be told that not all that glitters are gold, and should be prepared to roughen it out through legitimate means and abide by the rules of the country. South African unemployment rate is over 25% amongst its citizens. It will therefore not be an easy task for a new emigrant to settle but for hard work and perseverance. A driver in Lagos may earn 40,000 naira per month and will probably earn the same in South Africa even though with a university  degree.  Prof Bamigboye, a Knight of the Catholic Order of Vasco da Gama, has his inspiration from God and his ever supportive wife and family, his research colleagues and not the least his patients that spanned the continents of Europe and Africa. This he will forever be grateful. He is thankful to the executives, the Chairman Board of Trustee, Dr Adegboye and the ex officio members of the National Association of Yoruba descendants, who literally run the daily activities of this association on his behalf.

The Nigerian Voice Newspaper appreciates Prof Akin Bamigboye and salutes this great Nigerian son for his excellent contributions to the health of South Africa, and in making Nigeria and Nigerians proud in South Africa.

In : Personality Profiles & Interviews 

comments powered by Disqus