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Olumbe Bassir


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Nigeria

Olumbe Bassir

 

Olumbe Bassir (1919 - 2001) was a Sierra Leonean scientist and academic who settled in Nigeria.

Earliy life and education

Born in Senegal to Sierra Leonean parents in 1919, Abdul Rahman Bassir was raised in the older part of the municipality of Freetown, Fourah Bay, by his parents Abdul and Isatu Bassir. He attended the Prince of Wales Secondary School where he passed the Senior Cambridge examination with exemption from London matriculation. In 1946 after a short teaching spell at the prestigious Bo Government Secondary School he went to Yaba College where he obtained the Higher National Diploma. He went to the United Kingdom, where he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in 1949 and PhD one year later from Liverpool University.

He was convinced by some friends to go to Nigeria where he ultimately spent his entire professional life, to the disappointment of some close relatives and friends back home in Sierra Leone.

Career

At the University of Ibadan, he founded the Biochemistry and Microbiology departments. He laid the foundation of what became the first medical school in West Africa. By 1958, he was already a full professor. His academic specialty was nutrition and biochemical toxicology. He was at various times head of those two departments and even became dean of faculty.

He had written at least 250 professional papers by 1972 when London University conferred the coveted doctor of science degree (D.Sc.) on him. He had performed very successful lecture tours in the then Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America among others.

While in UK, he was a student of Richard Tecwyn Williams. In 1968, he formed a partnership with Tecwyn Williams through the British Inter-University Council for Higher Education Overseas. The programme's research division helped developed the Drug Metabolism and Biochemical Toxicology research program at Ibadan and contributed in fostering interest and making interesting findings in animal nutritional habits.

Personal life

He married Constance, a British citizen, at the Refuge, as his home was known. He had 12 children, two of whom were born in Sierra Leone before he went to the United Kingdom for further education. He died of high blood pressure on May 23, 2001 at Ibadan.

 

 

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Updated 12 Months ago
 

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