Tribute to A Dear Friend: Emeritus Professor Soga Sofola, FAS, FNAMed


By: Prof. Tolu OdugbemiProf. Tolu Odugbemi


Professor Olusoga Sofola

Professor Olusoga Sofola, FAS, FNAMed. (Jan 24, 1947 - June 10, 2024)


 “Szent-Györgyi!!!” - that's how I fondly called my dear friend, Emeritus Professor Soga Sofola, FAS, FNAMed., in our growing up days and up till our last communication recently.  And his response will be “Omo akogun”. As we got older, that became “Kogs”.


Soga was a great scholar, academic administrator and a very dear friend of mine. I nicknamed him after a famous Hungarian scientist Albert Szent-Györgyi who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937.


Professor Soga Sofola BSc, MSc, MB; BS (Lagos), PhD (Leeds), FAS, FNAMed was an Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of Lagos. He had his doctorate research works at the Department of Cardiovascular Studies, University of Leeds, UK. He was also the President of the African Association of Physiological Sciences as well as Member of Council of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS).


He had significant appointments in his remarkable lifetime including the Provost of the College of Medicine of the University Lagos (CMUL) (1993 -1996), Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), University of Lagos. Lagos, Nigeria (2003 - 2007). In 2009, he was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. He was also the Vice Chancellor, Eko University of Medical Sciences, Lagos.


Studentship at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos brought us firmly together in the 1960s when we became close friends and partners in assorted academic, cultural and social activities. Soga was a great cook! Anytime we were not satisfied with the University meals provided, we moved to the local markets to buy ingredients to cook our own dinners. Our close comradeship extended to our regular visits together to sit with “Iya Alakara” at Ishaga to buy freshly fried akara. We were popularly recognized by students on campus as those two jolly friends strolling into the hostel in the evening with the typical smell of “akara”.


Soga was a reliable confidant and was my best man when I got married at the UI chapel in July 1973. It was a memorable and remarkable event that brought out the eminence of Soga as a diplomat in that he was able to talk me out of using my favourite Volkswagen Beetle car for the wedding ceremony that day.


When Soga was at the University of Leeds and I was at the University of Sheffield 1976/78 for our PhD programmes, we exchanged regular visits but shifted our interests from adventures in “akara” to driving around Leeds and Manchester, UK shopping for electronic gadgets including one small electronic gadget that supposedly could make strange sounds to drive away mosquitoes.


We were in regular contact throughout his lifetime in spite of our busy academic and administrative duties. There was no topic or joke out of bounds once we were together. Our personal encounters with serious illnesses and academic-political adventures were also shared as friends in confidence.


Our exchanges of greetings for our birthdays, both in January, were sustained for several decades and even up until January 2024:-


24 Jan, 2024: ‘Szent Giorgio’. Happy birthday! May the blessings of God be on you and your entire family. Wish you many happy returns in excellent health and greater prosperity. Amen. Regards to Yemi.

Akogun & family.

“Thanks, Kogs and how are you all. The good Lord has been faithful and will continue to be. How's Princess T and the members of the clan. God bless you all.” (Soga)

2 Feb, 2024: “Our dear Kogs, this wising you a very happy, but belated birthday to you and pray that the Almighty continues to bless, prosper and to shower His good health and prosperity in you, now and always, IJN, Amen

Soga & Yemi Sofola & family.”

‘Szent Gygiorgi’ Highly distinguished Prof.

Amen. Thanks so much for your congratulatory message on my 79th birthday (Jan 30). God bless you more bountifully. Amen. With best wishes always. (Tolu)


To all our colleagues accept my sincere condolences on the painful exit of an Eminent colleague, Emeritus Professor Olusoga Adekunle Sofola, FAS, FNAMed, a highly distinguished scholar, great administrator and amiable gentleman. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.


May God comfort his wife Yemi, family, friends, and colleagues in academic communities.



Professor Tolu Odugbemi



Published: July 3, 2024

© 2024. Datelinehealth Africa Inc. All rights reserved.

Permission is given to copy, use and share content without alteration or modification and subject to attribution as to source.





DATELINEHEALTH AFRICA INC., is a digital publisher for informational and educational purposes and does not offer personal medical care and advice. If you have a medical problem needing routine or emergency attention, call your doctor or local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or the nearest hospital. You should consult your professional healthcare provider before starting any nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical or wellness program mentioned or referenced in the DatelinehealthAfrica website. Click here for more disclaimer notice.

Untitled Document