The multi-talented Dr. Segun Fayemi, medical doctor, photographer and AIDS activist received the 2005 University of Texas Distinguished Africanist Award. Here is a short statement that introduced him before a citation was read.
Dr. Fayemi is an amazing example of what a person with determination, intelligence, and drive can accomplish. Born in Nigeria, he graduated from medical school at Hebrew University and completed a residency and fellowship in pathology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He has been practicing pathology in various institutions for the last 35 years and is the current director of pathology at St. Mary hospital in New Jersey. His interest in medicine is underscored by his passion for photography. He studied this art privately with Alex Harsely and Richard Sternschuss of New York at the New School for Social Research and the Internal Center for Photography in New York. His focus is on social documentary photography of continental Africans and Africans in the diaspora, which has led him on extensive journeys to 16 countries in Africa as well various other locales including Haiti, Jamaica, and Dominica. His photographs have been published in many books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, and he is world renowned for his skills. He is the author of two successful and critically acclaimed books: Balancing Acts: photographs from West Africa and Voices from Within: photographs of African children. After looking at several of his books, I can personally testify to his amazing skill of grasping emotion and truth in all of his photos. Without further ado, I would like to introduce Dr. Fayemi.