Whenever Nigerians feel the need to expose the widespread belief that they are good for nothing overseas except to cheat people out of their money and property, they invoke people like Dr. Bennet Omalu to make one or two arguments that they are not the scumbags of the earth, as is often claimed from various quarters.
There is no doubt about it, Omalu is one of the most popular Nigerians living in the United States of America, and definitely the most famous among those working in his chosen profession. If you have seen the sports drama film 2015 (Concussion) starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, you already know that the Nigerian attracted attention with his groundbreaking findings on CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the context of American football, which earned him the National Football League (NFL) defiance.
The NFL rejected Dr. Omalus’s strong desire to learn more about CTE in American football players and to inform the world about it, as this was seen as an unpleasant development that could destroy the sport’s reputation. As a result, Omalu’s findings were largely inconclusive until Jeanne Marie Laskas, a journalist, had the CTE, the Nigerian doctor, and the NFL story published in the monthly New York men’s magazine GQ. Laskas later made a book of the story; the book entitled “Concussion” was eventually incorporated into the above-mentioned film.
Dr. Bennet Omalu: Biography
Dr. Omalu, a man from the Igbo ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria, was born on 30 September 1968. His birthplace was in Nnokwa in Idemili South, Anambra State. As the sixth of seven children of his parent, Omalu was born at a difficult time, as Nigeria was in a state of civil war, and fate spread him to the most troubling part of the country during the war. His family had to flee with little Omalu from their Enugu-Ukwu house to stay alive.
While we are still trying to learn more about Omalu’s six siblings, we know that his mother earned her living by sewing and that his father, who was popular with his people and a leader, was a civil engineer in mining.
In order to receive a formal education, his parents made sure that he started school at an early age. Records show that he was a student at the Federal Government College in Enugu, from secondary school he moved to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. This was in 1990 when Omalu first wanted to actively participate in the medical activities of Nigeria; he even served as a doctor in the northern part of the country. But then the political instability in the country gave him the motivation to leave the country, and he did so and settled in Seattle, Washington. That was in 1994.
In the United States, he deepened his knowledge in his chosen profession. So he moved from Washington to New York and other cities, learned and worked with various medical institutions, culminating in his becoming Dr. Bennet Omalu, the renowned Nigerian-American doctor, a neuropsychologist, and a forensic pathologist.
His Wife and Family
Omalu was the husband of Prema Mutiso, who came to the United States from Kenya. Apart from being the mother of Omalu’s two children – Ashly and Mark – what else do you know about her? Well, that is what we know, and it is very different, if only slightly different, from what was depicted in the 2015 biographical film.
The two met for the first time at a party and not in church when the Dr. began to see her in church, he approached her and their friendship blossomed from there. As a nurse from Nairobi, Kenya, Mutiso came to the United States to continue her studies. Things were quite difficult for her, and Omalu offered her a helping hand from time to time. Later she moved in with the doctor, their friendship became romantic and the rest is history.
Quick Facts About Dr. Bennet Omalu
1. He is often seen as a man who defines himself by his name His family name Omalu is an abbreviation of Onyemalukwube, which means “Who knows, should speak”. The NFL worked hard to silence him, but the man did not stop trying to warn the world about the health risks of playing American football.
2. In 2017 he resigned from his position as Chief Medical Examiner of San Joaquin County, California. According to the doctor, the county sheriff would not stop interfering in the investigation of deaths. Omalu said the Sheriff is always anxious to protect cops who have killed people.
3. Dr. Bennet Omalu is one of the professors in the Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California at Davis.
4. He is an author, his books include Play Hard Die Young: Football Dementia, Depression and Death, published in 2008, and Truth Doesn’t Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports, published in 2017.
5. At some point in 2016, Omalu caused controversy when he asked Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign team to perform a toxicological analysis of Hillary’s blood, suggesting that she may have been poisoned.
6. The man became a citizen of the United States of America sometime in February 2015.