Oliver Udemmadu Ogbonna Mobisson (April 23, 1943 – February 18, 2010) was a Nigerian scientist, professor, activist, and entrepreneur.[1] He was also a founding Professor of the Anambra State University of Technology (now the Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Ebonyi State University).[2]

Early life edit

Mobisson was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He grew up with his family in Umuezike, Edenta in Awo Idemili, Orsu L.G.A, Imo State, the son of a palm wine tapper. As a young boy, he attended St. Martins Primary School, Edenta Awo-Idemili (now known as Pioneer Primary School (P.P.S) Edenta Awo-Idemili) in Imo State and went on to the Christ the King College (CKC) in Onitsha. His excellence in academics caught the attention of local US Peace Corps volunteers who recommended that he pursue university studies in the United States or UK. He reluctantly agreed, having reservations about the role of the US and UK in colonial Africa.[citation needed] Ultimately, the Nigerian Ministry of Education granted him a fellowship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[3]

College life and activism edit

Mobisson enrolled at MIT in 1965 just before the start of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970).[citation needed] Being of Igbo descent, the homeland of the Biafran movement, he had to choose between finishing his graduate school program or devoting himself to the Biafran movement.[4] His studies gave way to organizing in the Boston Area a group of Biafran secessionists. Together, they funneled funds and resources to Biafran-based rebels and publicly protested in the US and other Western countries to recognize Biafra sovereignty. With his wife, Tama, he founded a humanitarian organization, Lifeline For Biafra. When the war ended in 1970, Mobisson remained in the US so he could learn the technical knowledge to rebuild Nigeria.[5]

Return to Nigeria & introduction of the ASUTECH computers edit

He decided to leave the US in 1981 when he was called upon by the late Professor Kenneth Dike to return to Nigeria and help found Africa's first computer technology university, Anambra State University of Science & Technology, ASUTECH. At ASUTECH, he served as head of the Industrial Development Centre (IDC). It was at IDC in 1983 that Mobisson introduced the first Black African commercially produced line of personal computers and servers, an effort described by then Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari as "blazing the trail for Nigeria’s quest for technological development".[citation needed] Commissioned by Governor Jim Nwobodo, Mobisson involved undergraduates at ASUTECH especially as employees in the development of the ASUTECH 800 and 8000 series of PCs.[6]

Later career edit

While teaching at ASUTECH, Mobisson went on to work in Nigerian telecommunications industry with NITEL. With the assistance of ASUTECH graduates, NITEL engineers, and former President Ibrahim Babangida's financial support, he constructed a communications system that was capable of connecting every Nigerian via telephones.[citation needed]

Mobisson was appointed a chief in Awo Idemili in 2005.[citation needed]

Medical issues and death edit

Mobisson continued his work with NITEL until 1995, when he suffered a massive stroke which forced him into retirement.[citation needed] He lived in Norwood, Massachusetts until he died due to a heart attack on February 18, 2010.[7]

Personal life edit

He is the father of Jidenna, an American hip hop recording artist,[8] and Nneka Mobisson a medical doctor and entrepreneur, named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.[9]

References edit

  1. ^ Dr. ENEH, Joseph .O. "History and Philosophy of Science: An Outline", University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 2000. Retrieved on 2010-05-20.
  2. ^ Editorial (2019-12-11). "Meet Jidenna's Parents: Father, Mother, State of Origin & Facts". Daily Media NG. Retrieved 2022-09-06.
  3. ^ "MIT: Progressions (1969)". MIT Black History. MIT. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. ^ THISDAYonline. "Rise of the Biafran Spirit" Archived 2005-11-29 at the Wayback Machine, THISDAYonline, Lagos, January 25, 2004. Retrieved on 2010-05-20.
  5. ^ Adinuba, C. Don (23 November 2010). "Farewell to Fidel Odum and Oliver Mobisson". Vanguard News. Vanguard News Media Nigeria, Ltd. Vanguard News. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Worldwide Report - Telecommunications Policy Research and Development No. 281" (PDF). Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Defense Technical Information Center. 281 (281): 33. 2 August 1983. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 25, 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  7. ^ Oliver Mobisson Memorial "Oliver Mobisson Memorial", Oliver Mobisson Memorial, Boston, April 3, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-05-20. Archived March 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere SoonJidenna "Classic Man"". Complex. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  9. ^ "Nneka Mobisson". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2018-12-14.