WILL SMITH PLAYS A NIGERIAN DOCTOR IN “CONCUSSION”
The upcoming biopic , ‘Concussion’ ; is about a forensic neuropathologist - Bennet Omalu- who discovered a severe football related brain aliment known as CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and his efforts to make it public. This will be Will Smith's third biopic; his previous ones being Ali in 2001 where he played boxing legend Muhammad Ali and later on played entrepreneur Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness, the 2006 movie also starred his son, Jaden. The movie will be released this Christmas.
While I’m really interested in seeing the movie, I wanted to know more about the man Smith is portraying; especially since the last name of the same doctor sounds African. Imagine my delighted surprise to find out Bennet Omalu is not only an African but a Nigerian. Doing some research (partly from Wikipedia), I found out more about this Dr. Bennet Omalu.
Dr. Bennet Omalu; M.D., MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-AP, CP, MBA was born (not in America like I initially thought) in Enugu, Anambara state during a very rough period in the country’s history- The Biafran War- in 1968. He attended the Federal Government College, Enugu and at age sixteen studied medicine at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; earning a Bachelor Degree in Medicine and Surgery. He left Nigeria for the States in 1994; first going to Seattle to complete an epidemiology fellowship at the University of Washington. In 1995, he moved to New York City, where he joined Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital Center for a residency training program in anatomic and clinical pathology.
He has earned eight degrees and is currently Chief Medical Adviser at San Joaquin County, California and is a professor in the UC Davis Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Omalu discovered CTE in 2002 after doing an autopsy on a football player and thus began his crusade to make the dangerous brain disease public- the main plot of CONCUSSION.
Dr. Omalu is one of the Nigerians who has made a positive mark in America and I applaud him for what he’s achieved and still achieving today. Keep up the good work sir, you've made Nigeria very proud!