Celebrating the Ogunji twins at 50
Professor Dr. Johnny Onyema Ogunji and Professor James Ahamefule Ogunji on their 50th Birthday Anniversary
The birth of a child is the ultimate delight and pride of every married couple; how much more that of the birth of twin boys.
Having Twin boys was how Pastor Samuel Ogunji Nwabor and Mrs Sarah Nwabo capped their child-bearing experience. Words are inadequate to explain the joy of the family at that event in Uhu-Nwabor Ohambele, Ndoki in Ukwa East LGA of Abia State. Those twin boys are 50 today,March 1, 2017. They are Professor James Ahamefule Ogunji and Professor Dr. Johnny Onyema Ogunji.
Because of the itinerant nature of the pastoral family into which they were born, this twin attended several secondary schools eventually finishing at Alaukwu Comprehensive Secondary School, Umuobiakwa.
Johnny proceeded to study Zoology at the University of Port Harcourt finishing with a BSc in 1990. He obtained an MSc in 1996 from the University of Calabar. He capped it with a PhD in Aquaculture gaining the maximum distinction of Magna Cum Laude in 2000 from the Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.
On his part, James completed a BA and MA both in Religion at the Andrews University, Michigan, USA in 1989 and 1993 respectively before proceeding to the Central Luzon State University Philippines where he earned a PhD in Development Education in 1996.
Having each attained the highest academic qualification, both brothers settled to distinguish themselves not only as highly accomplished and decorated scholars, but also persons of high impact, touching humanity in their respective places of service.
Johnny worked as an assistant lecturer at Humboldt University Berlin Germany from 1999 – 2001 and a Guest Scientist at the Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Berlin Germany in 2001. By 2002 he returned to Nigeria and started work at Ebonyi State University. He has been a Professor of Fish Nutrition/Aquaculture since 2008; a rank the University advanced from Senior Lecturer because of his distinctive academic landmarks.
Prof. Dr. Johnny Ogunji is a Post Doctoral Fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Germany. His groundbreaking research in housefly maggot meal has taken him to the Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Germany and other top-notch research institutions in Germany and elsewhere around the world.
Because of the success of this research on magmeal, he received from Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Raw Materials Research and Development Council a National Research Award in 2011. Johnny Ogunji is listed in United States of America (USA) by Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering in the World (2005/2006) thus earning him a place among the most accomplished men and women in the fields of science and engineering in the world.
Among numerous appointments, Prof. Dr. Ogunji served as the Dean of Postgraduate Studies at the Ebonyi State University between August 2012 and August 2014. His tenure recorded significant milestones in the annals of postgraduate education in that university. From 2010 till 2016, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology. He was appointed the Pioneer Dean of the new Faculty of Agriculture at the Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI) Ebonyi State from July 2016. He is currently a member of the Governing Board of Babcock University.
On his part, Professor James Ahamefule Ogunji, was ordained as a Minister of the Most High God in January 2000. He was soon appointed Executive Secretary and Education Director of the then East Nigeria Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist in Nigeria where he served till 2002 when he was called to teach at Babcock University, Faculty of Education and Humanities.
James, through his dogged dedication, hard work and scholarship is currently a Professor of Development Education in Babcock University with a research interest in moral and values education development. This is an area of study in which Professor James Ogunji has written and published widely. The evidence of his scholarship is seen in the Excellence in Research Award 2016 from the Clute Institute Colorado, USA.
Prof. James Ogunji, has served in various capacities at Babcock University some of which include, Director of Academic Planning from 2002 – 2008 and 2011 – 2013; Chairman, Babcock University Schools Management Board, 2004-2006; Vice-Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies Babcock University, 2009-2011; Chief of Staff to the President/Vice Chancellor 2013-2015 and acting Vice Chancellor in July 1 – 30, 2015. He was also the 8th Inaugural Lecturer of Babcock University on February 4, 2016.
As these servants of God and to humanity mark 50 years on planet earth, the highly accomplished sons of Abia State stand out as examples in hard-work, focus, humility, selfless service and godliness. A Birthday Celebration and Lecture in their honour will have the Vice-Chancellors of Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo Ebonyi State, and Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo and Ebonyi State University in attendance. Senator Enyi Abaribe will be the Guest of Honour and His Excellency Dr Okezie Ikpeazu will be the Special Guest of Honour.
The event slated for today Wednesday March 1, 2017 will hold at the Seventh Day Adventist Church – East Nigeria Union Conference Headquarters Abayi Aba. It will be used to launch the Pastor Samuel and Sarah Ogunji Nwabor Foundation. Honourable Engr. Solomon Adaelu, Member Federal House of Representatives will lead out in the launching of the foundation set up for Humanitarian activities and to support Education in Abia State. To God be the glory!
In this Exclusive interview with Heroesreallife, the Ogunji twins talked about life at 50, their Parents and their Foundation.
How does it feel to be 50 yrs?
50 is the golden age. Some one says when you are fifty you have broken a century which is not an easy feat. So at 50 you feel a sense of victory having gone through life challenges, ups and downs in half a century.
In your fifty years how do you describe your parents?
Our father died when we were 23 years. That is 27 years ago. My mum is still living by hindsight and current experience with my mum we can say they are parents who gave their all for the sake of raising their children while they prayed and trusted God to lift their children up.
What was your childhood life like as a twin?
Being twins made us not to have close friends during the primary and secondary school age. We did not have need for someone to play with us. We played together, read together, went to the same primary and secondary school. It was interesting we were two. As united twins the big boys were cautious and most times afraid before attempting to undermine us. We were happy growing up as twin.
Do you have any regret?
Not at all! If you check the theme of our birthday celebration it is christened “In Thanks to God”. As such no regrets. We believe that God is in charge of the affairs of men. We are not afraid of the future because of the way God has led us in the past.
What is your happiest moment?
Can’t really single out any, but there have been many critical points in our lives that call for happiness.
What prompted you to open a foundation in honor of your parents?
We are establishing a charitable foundation in honor of our parents with the principal purpose of impacting our generation. We think it is time to give back to the society having come up to this stage in life with our exposure and blessings of God. Using the name of our parents reminds us that it is what they expect us to do. From the time we were young the trained us well and remind us always to find a way to impact lives.
What are your vision and mission for the foundation?
Vision statement : Impacting our World Positively
Mission: To alleviate human suffering
What advise do you have for those looking forward to be 50yrs?
Life and years come from God. We do our part by taking care of ourselves and praying God to preserve our life. It is our wish to remind all interested to live good life that “if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed”.