Black History Month 2014: African Alumni

To celebrate Black History Month 2014, that has been running throughout October, we thought we would highlight some of our African connections, discovered through our International Story project.

The International Story project aimed to capture the University’s international heritage and saw many student volunteers researching their counterparts of the past. Students from around the world investigated the student lives, and subsequent careers, of international students that studied at Glasgow and provided biographies for our International Story and University of Glasgow Story websites.

Here are the stories of some of our African alumni from the 1940s-50s:

Alexander Baba Gwan-Nulla  is our first Cameroon-born graduate of the University. We was born in Bali, west of Bamenda, in 1920 and was educated in Nigeria at Hope Waddell Training Institute. He enrolled to study at the University of Glasgow in 1946 and studied Medicine, graduating MBChB in 1952.

Alex Baba Gwan Nulla, Final Year Medical dinner book (DC225/1/49)

Alex Baba Gwan Nulla, Final Year Medical Dinner book (DC225/1/49)

He later gained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from Liverpool and then a Diploma in Public Health from London. Alexander eventually became the Chief Medical Officer in the Medical Division of the Cameroon Development Corporation in Bota, Victoria.

Ada Priscilla Nzimiro was born in Nigeria and came to Glasgow in 1945 to study Medicine. She graduated from her studies MBChB in 1950 and upon returning to Nigeria, was the first woman doctor to work in the Igbo region of Nigeria. Tragically she died a year after her return to Nigeria.

Ada Priscilla Nzimiro, Final Year Medical Dinner book (DC225/1/47)

Ada Priscilla Nzimiro, Final Year Medical Dinner book (DC225/1/47)

Alhaji Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara was born in Ballajally, The Gambia, in 1924. He came to Glasgow in 1948 and qualified as a veterinarian in 1953. During his studies, he became President of the African Student’s Union in Glasgow.

Upon returning to The Gambia, Jawara became a pioneering veterinarian and was appointed Government Veterinary Officer in 1954. He also became leader of the People’s Progressive Party, Minister of Education and then Prime Minister of The Gambia. Under his leadership, The Gambia became independent and Alhaji Dawda Kairaba Jawara became President in 1970, a position he held through several elections until 1994.
He was knighted by the Queen in 1966, made a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1988 and given an honorary Doctor of Laws by Glasgow in 1990.

Dawda Kairaba Jawara, Final Year Medical Dinner book (DC225/1/51)

Dawda Kairaba Jawara, Final Year Medical Dinner book (DC225/1/51)

If you would like to find out more about our African alumni then visit our International Story page or, if you have an enquiry, e-mail the Duty Archivist on:

Categories: Archive Services

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2 replies

  1. I am interested in becoming a volunteer researcher. Could you please forward any information how to apply. Toiny Monaghan


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