It was fun all the way for the visiting American Scholar and Entrepreneurship crusader, Professor (Mrs.) Bessie House-Soremekun as she took time out for a live chat as guest on a current affairs programme on FUNAAB FM Radio, where she displayed her inclination for the Yoruba language by trying frantically to pronounce: “E se pupo pupo”, meaning thank you so much.
Professor Soremekun, with her husband, Dr. Maurice Soremekun, a U.S-based Physician in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, were thrilled beyond imagination at the state-of-the-art Production Studio of FUNAAB FM Radio, where the duo of Mr. Ayo Arowojolu and Rufai Oseni fired questions bothering on all aspects of life including their personal matrimonial experience.
The 45-minute interview, which started off on the home front x-rayed the challenges faced by the couple as people of black colour in far away America.
Dr. Soremekun said: “My first experience in black discrimination was actually at the college level. I remember very well that my Professor in Biology did not think that a black man in Nigeria can get honours in any of his courses and then we were given both essay and objective questions. In Nigeria, we are not attuned to objective questions but essays. And so, when he gave essay questions and he saw how brilliantly I did, he never gave us anymore essay questions.
“I remember in my final exams in Biochemistry, I got 100 per cent. Then, the other Professor, who believed a black man can’t get an ‘A’, came to me with his hands in his pocket because I also got the highest scores in Microbiology and said: “would you mind being the Laboratory Demonstrator? And, I said why not? One thing I had to learn is to grow thick skin to discrimination. One thing that is obvious is that we, Africans that go to America are the minority of the minorities. So we have nobody to fight for us and therefore we had no choice than to work hard and study hard.”
How is it like at home front?, the couple was asked, in response to which the wife said: “We have a wonderful marriage. My husband is a very quiet man, a very humble man and he likes people, helping with humanity. He is a great man”.
For his part, Dr. Soremekun said: “She is superb in all aspects of life that you think about. I am always impressed by her demeanour all the time, work ethics and her interest in helping people in terms of business. At home, it’s a pleasant home. We don’t get back home to talk about academics. For example, we can talk about tennis and all that.”
Prof. Soremekun also spoke extensively on the upcoming partnership between FUNAAB and Indiana University, highlighting the benefits which would include exchange programmes and other linkages opportunities.
Meanwhile, Mr. Arowojolu enjoined those interested in having a copy of the Compact Disc of the interview with the Soremekuns to contact the Production Studio of FUNAAB Radio FM, at the Senate Building.