Obasanjo, Elumelu, Oyegun, others headline Prof Mark Nwagwu’s book presentation

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is among eminent Nigerians that will be attending the public presentation of a book written by Nigeria’s pioneer molecular and cellular biologist, Prof Mark Nwagwu, on June 30, 2022.

Obasanjo, who co-authored another book with Prof Nwagwu, My Dear God, presented during the former president’s 85th birthday, will be leading some eminent Nigerians that include, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, former Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and renowned giant of the theatre, Prof Femi Osofisan, to the event.

A statement signed by the author, Prof Nwagwu, the book, Dreams Dance: My Journey Through Life, is a memoir, written in honour of his late wife, Prof Helen Nwagwu, who passed on in 2018 due to complications from cancer.

Prof Nwagwu, who has published a number of books on poetry and short fiction, said he decided to write the book to document his experiences through life, including his journey in the academia, marriage, love for science and family and travels around Nigeria and the world.

Dreams Dance, according to him, “is the story of my life with its mishaps and successes even in the midst of misguided errors. God in his infinite mercy stayed with me and never let me out of his sight or I would have been a dismal failure. In my last year at UCI, 1960/61, it became crystal clear to me I must work like hell to be able to earn a good degree. So, I harnessed my freedom and lived on a strict regimen of work, work, and more work.”

The book presentation, which is being organised as part of the author’s 85th birthday and wedding anniversary, is scheduled to take place at the Grand Ballroom of Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island Lagos.

Professor Mark Nwagwu was born in Obetiti, Nguru in present Imo State, on May 17, 1937. He attended St. Patrick’s College, Calabar (1950-1956) and, beginning in 1957, studied zoology at University College, Ibadan (now University of Ibadan). He was awarded the Bachelor of Science degree from the University of London in 1961 and in 1965, received a PhD from the University of Stockholm. Professor Nwagwu went to the University of Connecticut, USA, in 1966, where he accomplished spectacular research on myosin messenger RNA and muscle-protein synthesis on a post-doctoral fellowship. In 1969, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Brock University, Canada, and rose to Associate Professor in 1973.

He returned to the Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, as a Reader in 1976. There, he undertook ground-breaking research in the area of cell and molecular biology for over two decades, during which he established a unique Cellular Parasitology Programme, which at inception, was the only one of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. He was promoted to a Professor in 1982 and in 1994 was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science, the highest honour in Science in Nigeria.

A devout Catholic, the renowned professor has, since his retirement in 2002 published works of fiction and poetry.

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