My house is like a zoo – Prof Osato Giwa-Osagie, Gynaecologist

By Christy Anyanwu

prof. Osato Ona Frank Giwa-Osagie is a big name in medicine in Nigeria. He has been a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology since 1987 at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. He has been a distinguished professor since 2011 and a Consultant since 1980. He went to elementary school in the three regions of Nigeria before Nigeria’s independence. He passed the entrance examination to Kings College, Lagos from where he passed the entrance examination to Cambridge University. He trained at Clare College, Cambridge University, 1966-1969 and  Kings College Hospital Medical School, 1969-1972. He specialized in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Kings College Hospital, London and obtained further training in Endocrinology and Infertility at Leeds University, Leeds, Harvard University, Boston, USA and Monarch University, Melbourne, Australia. At his Onikan office , he spoke about his favourites.

Favourite music

My father told me “If you want to remain young, you have to keep up with the young”. So, whatever they are dancing I watch them. With time, I start imitating them. When they were dancing Dorobucci, I too I know how to dance Dorobucci.

Favourite food

Pounded yam with groundnut soup, with chicken and bush meat.

Favourite holiday spot

West Indies. My wife is from Jamaica. In West Indies, you see beaches that have white sand and  the seas are actually blue. Also, there are lots of seafood around. West Indies is fantastic for vacation.

Favourite weather

When you travel out, you find out that the weather in West Africa is quite offensive. You sweat a lot and so on. When you go to the Middle East the weather is very dry. In America at summer time, the whether is very dry, you feel the heat. My best season is a bit of England in May/June or September/October. It’s not very hot or cold. I don’t like winter either. I try to avoid Europe between December and February.

Favourite colour

Light blue.

Favourite pet

I like dogs. If you come to my house, it’s like a zoo. I have about 15 chickens, nine goats, five guinea fowls, three dogs and  eight catfish.  People bring their children to my house to learn the names of animals. I live in Ikoyi. I love animals. I have a green parrot. It makes a lot of noise in the morning. My father used to have a parrot that used to fly from where it was kept and  it wasn’t a cage. Whenever there was a visitor, he would fly to the room and fly to his chest. Meaning a visitor has entered the house. 

Favourite leader

It depends on what you want. If you want somebody who believes in hardwork  in  terms of what he is doing, in Nigeria it has to be Obafemi Awolowo. Somebody who is able to think about free education. When he started it, people were laughing at Western Nigeria . Look at the number of PhDs the Yoruba have produced. They are all over the place. They were laughing at Awolowo that time. I’m not a politician. But Awolowo is it. In other countries, Kwame Nkrumah. He was a man before his time and  many years after they had toppled him , people started seeing the logic of what he was saying. Examples of probity and honesty, you have to talk of Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and of course more recently, Nelson Mandela. These are examples our politicians can follow but most of them are just interested in making money. You find somebody you know quite well, immediately he becomes a governor or senator, you can’t talk to him anymore, he will not take your calls, and he will not want to see you because he’s afraid you can ask him of something he cannot give you. It’s pathetic. Even people that are nice people before they become senators or governors they don’t want to see you once they are in position and they expect you to receive them when they have left the position.