I have to report that one of our newly arrived fellows, Dr. Ezenwa Ohaeto,
died this evening in Adddenbrookes hospital.
Ezenwa arrived in Cambridge two weeks ago, and checked into hospital on the
weekend before last. It emerged that he was suffering from a terminal cancer
so advanced as to be impervious to medical intervention. When Dorian and I
visited him on Monday last week, he was in good spirits, eager to talk, and
very firm about his desire to return to Nigeria. We did everything possible
to find an airline willing to take him. But by this morning, when Air France
finally consented, his condition had so worsened as to make travel
impossible. Our efforts to bring a relative from Nigeria to be with him
proved fruitless, as a visa was not forthcoming.
Ezenwa was visited often by Isidore, Omar and Remi, the rump of our current
group of fellows. He spent much of the past two days with Teju Olaniyan, a
Nigerian colleague fortunately in Cambridge for our ASC lecture series. I
visited him on several occasions, most recently yesterday morning. He had
pastoral counsel from a Nigerian churchman and from Wolfson College's
chaplain. While he died without relatives at his side, he was by no means
alone in his last days.
I called his wife, Ngozi, and brother, Ikechukwu, this evening to
communicate our profound sadness at this terrible event, and to assure them
that we'll be as helpful as we can be in the days ahead. He is also survived
by four children, the oldest fifteen, the youngest five.
Dr. Derek R. Peterson
University Lecturer in African History
Director of the African Studies Centre and Fellow of Selwyn College