Ak­patas Mark 50 Years of Mar­riage, Launch Me­moire


Pro­fes­sor Enosakhare Ak­pata and his dar­ling wife, Vic­to­ria hosted fam­ily and friends to a sump­tu­ous din­ner and launch of me­moire to mark their 50 years of mar­riage, re­cently. Prof Enosakhare Ak­pata, who is a re­tired pro­fes­sor of den­tistry got mar­ried to his heart­throb, Vic­to­ria in De­cem­ber 1968. She is a re­tired pro­fes­sor of Mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy of the Uni­ver­sity of La­gos.

The cli­max of the din­ner event, at­tended by the crème de la crème of the academia, busi­ness and cor­po­rate world was the un­veil­ing of the lat­est book writ­ten by Pro­fes­sor Sa­muel Ak­pata ti­tled ‘Sand, Sun and Sur­prises’, a mem­oir which fo­cuses on his ex­pe­ri­ences while liv­ing and work­ing in the Mid­dle East (Saudi Ara­bia and Kuwait) for 23 years.

Some of the dig­ni­taries at the oc­ca­sion in­clude Chief Arthur Mbanefo, for­mer Nige­rian Rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the United Na­tions who chaired the oc­ca­sion, Pro­fes­sor (Chief) Osato Giwa-Osagie, Re­tired Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor, Uni­ver­sity of La­gos, Pro­fes­sor T.A. Ju­naid, friend and col­league of Pro­fes­sor Ak­pata at Kuwait Uni­ver­sity, Right Rev­erend Ge­orge Bako, Re­tired Bishop of Lokoja (Angli­can Church of Nige­ria), Engr. Solomon Uwaifo, chief launcher of the book, Air Vice Mar­shall Joe Ehigie (Rtd), Pro­fes­sor Gabriel Osuide, pi­o­neer Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of NAFDAC, Dr. Edugie Abebe, and many oth­ers.

Prof Sam Ak­pata worked at the Uni­ver­sity of La­gos for 21 years be­fore he moved over to King Saud Uni­ver­sity in Saudi Ara­bia where he taught for 13 years and then to Kuwait Uni­ver­sity for 10 years, all as pro­fes­sor of restora­tive den­tistry. When he re­turned to Nige­ria, he also worked at the La­gos State Uni­ver­sity for about three years.

Speak­ing on what mo­ti­vated him to write the book, he said, “After work­ing in the Mid­dle East for 23 years, I re­turned to my coun­try, Nige­ria in 2011. In con­ver­sa­tions with friends at home and abroad, a topic that in­vari­ably came up was about my ex­pe­ri­ences in the Mid­dle East. Some of them have found it as­ton­ish­ing that I was able to sur­vive in Arab coun­tries for that length of time, con­sid­er­ing the quaint sto­ries that they had heard about the re­gion. Oth­ers have been cu­ri­ous and wanted tips on life in the Mid­dle East, in case they em­i­grate, or needed to ad­vise oth­ers who had sim­i­lar plans. Hence, I de­cided to write this mem­oir.”

The book, ac­cord­ing to the eru­dite pro­fes­sor, will ap­peal to peo­ple who in­tend to go and work in the Mid­dle East, those who want to visit the re­gion on hol­i­days and peo­ple in the Mid­dle East who wish to know what ex­pa­tri­ates think of them.

Com­ment­ing on the fac­tors that con­trib­uted to the suc­cess of his mar­riage, Prof Ak­pata said, “The key thing in our own case is open­ness. We dis­cuss is­sues even with the chil­dren. When the chil­dren were with us, we had our meals to­gether at least twice a day.

We sat at ta­ble to­gether dur­ing break­fast and din­ner. If there is any issue be­tween us as a cou­ple, we al­low each per­son to talk about it. We have never gone to a third party to set­tle any mat­ter. We feel that there is no issue we can­not iron out be­tween us”.


L-R: Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor Osato Giwa-Osagie in hand­shake with Engr. Solomon Uwaifo, the Chief launcher of the book, with them is Chief Arthur Mbanefo, the Chair­man of the oc­ca­sion and Nige­ria’s for­mer rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United Na­tions

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