Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor

My Mother and Me

A Photo Essay



Emeagwali





agatha-and-dale-emeagwali-1915-east-west-highway-apt-303-silver-spring-maryland-september-1984
agatha-and-dale-emeagwali-1915-east-west-highway-apt-303-silver-spring-maryland-september-1984




agatha-dale-and--hilip-emeagwali-baltimore-maryland-august-1984
Agatha Emeagwali arrives in the United States (24 hours earlier) as a new immigrant. Photo taken at welcome cook-out party in Baltimore, Maryland. (L-R: Agatha, Dale and Philip Emeagwali. August 19, 1984)




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-and-daughter-florence-onyeari-emeagwali-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1981
With daughter Mrs. Onyari Edekobi during the wedding ceremony of Mr. Felix Balonwu at Oka Road in 1981.

agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-and-daughter-florence-onyeari-emeagwali-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1981




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-social-gathering-inland-town-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1983
Taken during IBUTE EGWU (music group) ceremony of her son Mr. Ndaguba Emeagwali at Ogbotu village in 1983.

agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-social-gathering-inland-town-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1983




onitsha-nigeria-may-1982
onitsha-nigeria-may-1982




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-p-o-balonwu-residence-opposite-QRC-queen-of-rosary-college-onitsha-nigeria-may-16-1982
agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-p-o-balonwu-residence-opposite-QRC-queen-of-rosary-college-onitsha-nigeria-may-16-1982




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-p-o-balonwu-residence-opposite-QRC-queen-of-rosary-college-onitsha-nigeria-may-16-1982-2
agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-p-o-balonwu-residence-opposite-QRC-queen-of-rosary-college-onitsha-nigeria-may-16-1982-2




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1981
Taken during the wedding ceremony of Mr. Felix Balonwu at Oka Road in 1981

agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1981




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1981-2
Taken at home, in front of her father's house at Umuasele village in 1982.

agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1981-2




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1981
agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1981




carolyn-azuokwu-cousin-of-philip-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1980
My cousin, Carolyn Azuokwu who lives in Onitsha, Nigeria. (Circa 1980)




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-57-okosi-and-new-cemetry-road-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-12-may-1980
Taken during the funeral ceremony of Mr. Peter Emeagwali, brother of our grandfather at Mba Road Umuasele village in 1979. agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-57-okosi-and-new-cemetry-road-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-12-may-1980




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-1-mission-road-opposite-holy-trinity-cathedral-onitsha-nigeria-6-november-1979
Agatha Emeagwali returning home from an "Ogbo" Ejemmili Age Grade Society of Onitsha. Age grade societies of ndi igbo are named and organized group of persons born within a 24-month period. It is an age-qualified sorority and fraternity.

Age grade societies of native Americans play a similar role as those in Africa. "If a woman was sick, or for some reason was unable to attend to her planting, she sometimes cooked a feast, to which she invited the members of her age society and asked them to plant her field for her. The members of her society would come upon an appointed day and plant her field in a short time; sometimes a half day was enough" (Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden, Gilbert L. Wilson, 1987, page 24)

(Onitsha, 1978)




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1977
Photo taken during Dad's (Akunwata James Nnaemeka Emeagwali) ichi ozo initiation into the Ozo Agbalanze of Onitsha Ado n'idu. Ichi ozo is a celebration of achievement and wealth that also elevates the initiates social status. (Taken at Emeagwali ancestral home, Mba Road, Umudei village, Onitsha, 1977)




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1975
Taken during OZO ceremony of her husband Akunwata Emeagwali at Umudei village in 1977.

agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1975




agatha-iyanma-emeagwali-father-ugboko-residence-near-saint-patricks-college-asaba-nigeria-1974
agatha-iyanma-emeagwali-father-ugboko-residence-near-saint-patricks-college-asaba-nigeria-1974




agatha-inyanma-and-uju-emeagwali-father-ugboko-residence-near-saint-patricks-college-asaba-nigeria-1974
agatha-inyanma-and-uju-emeagwali-father-ugboko-residence-near-saint-patricks-college-asaba-nigeria-1974 Uju 5 months,




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-81-new-market-road-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1976
Taken in 1974, during the OZO ceremony of her brother Akunnia Nnaife Chieka at Umuasele village.




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-4c-ugwunobankpa-road-onitsha-nigeria-circa-1976
Taken in 1973, during OZO ceremony of her brother Mr. P.O Balonwu, in front of his residence at Wilkinson Road.




agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-and-grace-nkemdilim-azuokwu-maternal-aunt-of-philip-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1976
With her sister Mrs Grace Azokwu during the OZO ceremony of their brother Mr P.O Balonwu at Umuasele village in 1973.

agatha-inyanma-emeagwali-and-grace-nkemdilim-azuokwu-maternal-aunt-of-philip-emeagwali-onitsha-inland-town-nigeria-circa-1976




agatha emeagwali forcados nigeria 1958
Mrs. Ifejika (nee Oranye of Umuasele village of Onitsha), Ms. Orakwue (of Umudei village, Onitsha), Ms. Nwaosisi (Umuasi village, Onitsha). Photo taken in Forcados, Nigeria in about May 1958.

Forcados was first colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The word "Forcados" means "bull wrestler" in Portuguese. Oil was discovered in this area in 1958 (the year this photo was taken) and today the primary industry in Forcados petroleum exploration.




obam-okudo-balonwu-born-ogidi-nigeria-maternal-grandmother-philip-emeagwali-dated-1954-died-december-24-1966
My maternal grand mother Mrs. Obam Balonwu (nee Okudo). She was born in Nkwelle Ogidi in about 1900 and passed away on December 24, 1966.

Elephant tusks on her hands were worn during the ceremony of her initiation into the Otu Odu (Ivory Society), the most prominent women organization in Onitsha.

Born in the same village as the renowned author Chinua Achebe she passed down folk lores that are reminiscent of those written in Things Fall Apart. As a young girl, she recalled wearing only jigida and decorating her body with uli and ufie. This custom was described in Things Fall Apart: "Okonkwo's wives ... set about painting themselves with cam wood and drawing beautiful black patterns on their stomachs and on their backs." (6C Wilkinson Road, Onitsha, 1954)




orofo-balonwu-ancestral-masquerade-umuasele-village-onitsha-1950s
My uncle Orofo Balonwu (far left) escorting an ancestral masquerade at Umuasele village, Onitsha, Nigeria (circa early 1950s)







Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor

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Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor