The family of the late Nowamagbe Omoigui who died in April on Friday launched a centre for the advancement of art, history and medicine in memory of the renowned scholar.
The Nowa Centre for Advancement of Art, History and Medicine is to be operated by DAGOMO Foundation, led by an independent board, with support from the Omoigui family, well-wishers and donors.
A family-driven initiative, the centre was set up to serve as a tribute to the legacy of Mr Omoigui, and to preserve his intellectual property and body of work in the three fields.
The late Mr Omogui is brother to Ifueko Omogui Okauru, a former chairperson of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The Chief Programme Officer of DAGOMO foundation, Titilola Park, who unveiled the centre Friday, said it was established to promote the study and works of art and the impressive works of Nowa Omoigui.
“His immense achievements are recognised internationally and locally,” Ms Park said. “The Nowa Centre will archive the chronological military history and Edo people. Seminar and lectures will form key tools in the dissemination of the message.
“The Centre would curate rare historical materials and publications inclusive of historical artefacts and archaeological findings of significance.”
“The centre will also encourage and solicit the donation of books, articles, artefacts, art, mementoes and other items of ancient and contemporary significance by individuals and families with due recognition accorded.”
Ms Park’s explanation was buttressed by her colleague, Dan Uhimwen, who said because “Dr Nowa made history available to all, this will be a catalyst to encourage people to follow in his part.”
Billed to be sited in Benin City, Edo State, the hometown of Mr Omoigui, the centre will also run a virtual space where Mr Omoigui’s works in arts, history and medicine will be curated.
Organizers said the centre will run a physical and virtual medium where artworks can be contributed by members of the public, families and organisations of similar interest.
In addition to this, the centre will run a museum that members of the public can visit for the purposes of cultural research and civic education.
The centre will also oversee an annual memorial lecture which will be held on the 18th of April every year to commemorate the day of his passage.
Also, an annual art and history exhibition will be held on 28th March every year to mark the day of his birth.
The organizers further sought financial donation to promote the centre.
Mr Omoigui, described as a precocious talent who set records everywhere he went, was born on March 28, 1959. He died on April 18.
“Nowa Omoigui shattered the glass ceiling in Cardiology by being the first Nigerian immigrant to serve as Chief of Cardiology of a major University Medical School in the United States – The University of South Carolina, Columbia,” Abraham Ariyo, a cardiologist, said in a tribute.
“His achievements ushered in a new era of possibilities. He inspired new generations of young Africans and African Americans in Cardiology worldwide. He chartered a new course, allowing us to redefine our future. By his example, we know that there are no limits in pursuing our dreams in the field of Cardiology.”
“Hegraduated from high school at age 15, from Federal Government College, Warri in Nigeria. He graduated with distinction and set a record as the first in the history of the school (and one of the first in West African History) to obtain a Grade A1 in Fine Arts.
“In 1975, after a year of pre-Med at King’s College in Lagos, he gained admission to study Medicine at the Nigeria’s premier Medical School, The College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. In 1981, he graduated at the top of his Medical School Class with distinction and delivered the valedictory speech. After Internship, he spent a mandatory year of service at the Brigade of Guards where he set new records by coordinating an air, sea and land Military disaster drill, and received a National Award from the Nigerian President Shehu Shagari in 1983.
“In the U.S., he did Medicine Residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, NY and served as Chief Resident at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.
“He obtained a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois. He trained in Cardiology at Stanford University and in Interventional Cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic (America’s best heart centre).”
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