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

A Father's Legacy

A Photo Essay


My father's oldest sister, a.k.a. "Nne C Boy" and her husband. The mud house with a thatched roof (in the background) and their clothings indicate that this photo was taken in the late 1920s. (Circa, Odoge Village of Onitsha, Nigeria)

My father (second row, fifth from left) attended an all-boys catholic high school called Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsh from 1942 to 47. Academically, CKC was ranked in the top five in Nigeria. I believe mathematician Chike Obi and economist Pius Okigbo attended CKC in the early 1940s and could possibly be in this picture.

My father (first row, first from left) at Christ the King College, Onitsha (circa 1946). Robert Okagbue (first row, third from left) offered my admission to CKC in 1970. I attended for a year but was forced to drop out.

Mrs. Okwuosa, a.k.a. "Nne Magdalene," was my father's older sister. She was married with three children when my paternal grandmother passed away in 1937. Her teenage son, Paul, was drowned in the 1950s. Her last surviving son (John) and grandchild (Patrick) were murdered by the Nigerian soldiers on the night they captured Onitsha. Circa 1950s and at residence at Egerton Road, adjacent Zik's commercial institute, Onitsha)

My cousin Franca Okwuosa who emigrated to England in about 1962. (Venn Road, Onitsha)

A family portrait. (L-R) Francis Ndaguba Emeagwali, Edith Chinwe Emeagwali, James Nnaemeka Emeagwali, Martin Ikemefuna Emeagwali, Agatha Iyanma Emeagwali, Charles Emeagwali, Florence Onyeari Emeagwali, Philip Chukwurah Emeagwali. Photo taken at our residence on Agbor Street, Uromi, Nigeria, on December 24, 1962.

From 1950 to 1975, my father worked as a nurse in general hospitals at Akure (1950-54), Sapele ('56-62), Forcados, Burutu, Uromi (''62-63). This photo was taken with the staff of General Hospital, Agbor, a job he fled as the Nigerian soldiers were about to capture the city in mid-1967. During the 30-month brutal civil war, he worked (and lived) in refugee camps at Awka, Oba and Awka-Etiti and operated a one-man hospital at the riverine villages of Ndoni and Aboh. His war time experiences will make a great movie!

When we were living on Gbenoba Road (mid-1963 to late 1966), my father made me do 100 maths problems an hour. We play soccer along pathways off this street. I learned to ride the bike on this street. I walked along this street to Saint John's Primary School and church.

James Nnaemeka Emeagwali (circa 1970, Onitsha, Nigeria)

James Emeagwali at a funeral ceremony at Mba Road, Umudei Village, Onitsha, Nigeria.

My father and me at his residence. (District Heights, Maryland, December 26, 1996)

My father and my son Ijeoma.

My father, my wife and my son. (District Heights, Maryland)

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