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27 Year-Old Nigerian, Bahijja Raimi-Abraham Emerges First PhD Pharmacy Graduate from University of East Anglia, UK

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A 27-year-old Nigerian, Dr. Bahijja Raimi-Abraham, made history recently by becoming the first graduate to be awarded a PhD in Pharmacy from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.

She had earlier obtained her first degree in Pharmacy from the same University.

In an interview she granted to Punch, Bahijja recounted her journey to obtaining the prestigous degree.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria in April 1985, Bahijja left Nigeria at the age of six when her family returned to the UK.

She completed her primary school education in London, and attended secondary school in North Wales, Penrhos College. Following her GCSEs, she returned to London for sixth form when she studied and passed the Advanced Level examinations (A – levels) in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Drama.

She was among the first cohort of Pharmacy undergraduates to be admitted to the university in 2003 when the 49 year-old University opened its School of Pharmacy. Approximately 90 people were accepted for Pharmacy, and approximately 50 graduated with the award of MPharm (Masters Degree in Pharmacy) in 2007.  She is however, the first graduate of The School of Pharmacy at UEA to be awarded a PhD.

“I consider this an achievement for myself no doubt, as well as for my family, the School of Pharmacy at UEA, as well as an achievement for Nigeria – the land of my birth,” she said.

In her PhD group, she was the only black student in a group of seven white people of mixed nationality.

For her, studying Pharmacy and then pursuing a PhD has not been easy, both with their own challenges and different learning outcomes.  “I have always tried to study areas that I have had a natural interest in.  For example, during my A-Level studies I thoroughly enjoyed Chemistry and on advice from my mother, I decided to study Pharmacy at university level.”

Bahijja plans to pursue a career in academia and to explore and avail herself of all the opportunities that are put before her. “Included in this plan is my wish to make a contribution towards the development of pharmaceutical research and practice in Nigeria,” she said.

Well done Bahijja Raimi-Abraham!

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

54 Comments

  1. hadassah

    August 7, 2012 at 8:16 am

    well done brainy!!!!

  2. Adedoyin

    August 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Congrats girl!

  3. florence

    August 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

    congrats . wishin u nothin but the best.

  4. Serg

    August 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    27 years? PHP Holder? I can’t believe this!!!

  5. Anuri

    August 7, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Congrats Dear, We are proud of you.

  6. Peppa

    August 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I’m so proud of you, Bajjy B!!!! We’ve come a long way since 1st year of uni!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Anna

    August 7, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Congrats Dr Bahijja!!! Inspiring interview also. Indeed we are proud of you.

  8. Maureen Opara

    August 7, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Congrats , wish u the best

  9. LPS

    August 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Wow!!! Congrats dear. Ire a ka ri oooo
    http://personalstuvs.blogpot.com

  10. kem

    August 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

    its possible, 27 years to be PHD, its not naija naa, that you will spend 10 years in school for 4 years course…lol

  11. kem

    August 7, 2012 at 9:39 am

    congrat dear, proud of u much….

  12. brandigest

    August 7, 2012 at 9:46 am

    That’s great news. Congrats dearie
    http://brandigest.wordpress.com

  13. isarh

    August 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

    indeed u are a worthy woman,u are a one in a million

  14. will

    August 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Happy for you gal…as i happy for you,i pray for my own testimony, goodness too oo cos we are agemate and na only Bsc i still carry dey luk for job since 2yrs…Mo ba e yo oo!

  15. Chika

    August 7, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Well done dear, I’m so proud of you. Please keep repping Naija pls! Now to our dear government, would you please provide a project that won’t let this one become another brain-drain and capital flight, thank you.

  16. afolakemi

    August 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

    This is a great achievement gurl! I love u cos u made us proud. Wishing u all d best in ur career.Lol

  17. temmy

    August 7, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Congrats girl,thanks for having nigerias pharm industry in mind!God will c u tru.

  18. Eugenia

    August 7, 2012 at 10:42 am

    am proud of u girl…..wishing u d best dearie.

  19. jerry

    August 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

    i wana post dis article to my blog

  20. neon

    August 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

    pls do something ‘worhtwhile’ with your Phd, not like someone i know who has a Phd in finance and is doing event planning. i know she reads bella naija and will see this. TL

    • mnc_critic

      August 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      so events planning is not a ‘worthwhile something’ ? how much r u worth sef?

    • LadyT

      August 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      What an ignorant comment. So what if this person is doing event planning? Did you pay for her degree? LMAO. Coward.

  21. Peppa

    August 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Well done Baj! so proud of you! beauty + brains!

  22. purplepearl

    August 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Congrats girl. Proud of you

  23. Dr ADI

    August 7, 2012 at 11:26 am

    This headline is confusing. I am a faculty @ UEA (previously in Cambridge) and even from your write up, you state that “In her PhD group, she was the only black student in a group of seven white people of mixed nationality” – I’m a little confused. Does that mean that her group of PhD students were all from different departments and thus she was the only one graduating from the school of Pharmacy with a Doctorate? (because it has been known that a PhD group can have members with different affiliation – which is generally not the case in most). Or is she among a group of people who have become the first graduates with a PhD from the School of Pharmacy (since it’s a relatively new school – which is possible since Pharmacy is a 4yrs course in England, a Masters will make it 5yrs, plus a 3-4yrs PhD without a break brings the tally up to 9yrs). And she happens to be the first on that list – Due to her name location when put in alphabetical order?

    I guess the point of this exercise is that when you report an achievement, try to make it clearer (instead of going for the sensational title), which takes away the true message of the report. We have had some outstanding graduates this session, and she has done exceptionally well to graduate with a PhD and can now take her place among the 1-2% of the World population with this prestigious degree.

    Congratulations again.

    • Bahijja

      August 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Firstly, I would like to say thank you to everyone for their comments (good or bad), good wishes and prayers. It has all been very touching. Just for clarification…I am the first graduate of Pharmacy from UEA to be awarded a PhD. Not because of the alphabetical order of my name but because so far I am the first graduate of Pharmacy from UEA to be awarded a PhD. No doubt as I said in the punch interview, UEA has produced PhD graduates over the years but once again, I am the first person to have studied Pharmacy (at undergraduate level) at UEA and to have been awarded a PhD as of July 2012. I hope that makes it a bit clearer. Thanks again! God Bless you all!! Bahijja

    • Dr ADI

      August 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Congratulations again! Thank you for clearing that up. I was a little confused, knowing fully well that there were other PhD graduates from the same School. But as you rightly “cleared up” you are the first among the graduates of Pharmacy from UEA, who went on to do a PhD from the same School, and be awarded it!. I just thought the article was “sensationalised”! My apologies!

      The School has produced some wonderful and well deserved graduates, with bright and glaring futures ahead of them. I believe yours will be among them. Well done again!

    • Arinze

      August 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Im thrilled, amazed and challenged by your achievement. Im a big fan Dr Bahijja

    • Peppa

      August 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Your I-too-Know is too much jare! she is the first Phd graduate from the school of Pharmacy at UEA. Simples. Well done Baj, super proud of you! xxx

    • LadyT

      August 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Wow. Your comment is a bit much. You mean that you could not decipher what they wrote in the report? It is clearly written. As soon as I read the title I knew what they meant. Honestly, I’m shocked at your analysis of something that is very easy to comprehend. Na wa o!

  24. ricky

    August 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

    congrats sis! dove my hat for ya!

  25. Teebaby

    August 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Go girl,a big thumb up to u.

  26. Drpeperempe

    August 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Well done gal! I dunno how you guys study pharmacy talkless of a PhD. I struggled my way through pharmacology in med school! Well done once again

    • Lola

      August 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      You attended medical school. Really, where? Your village? What kind of market woman english is talkless. My dear, it is not to talk of.

    • spicy

      August 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Shut up jare, madam oversabi!!!I can’t stand people like you with your useless analysis of other people’s grammar on a blog/website!!!!Is this an English exam?

    • Drpeperempe

      August 8, 2012 at 7:03 am

      Internet/casual lingo differs from proper english. Gotta problem with that?

  27. TobechiDaniel

    August 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    A wonderful news worth celebrating. I am totally thrilled for her.
    http://tobechidaniel.blogspot.com/

  28. http://naijasportsgists.wordpress.com/

    August 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

  29. lahips

    August 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    IMPRESSIVE is all i can say. the rest of the thoughts i swallow back.

  30. Mssexy

    August 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    congrats girl, y’all keep repping naija well, stupid govt wake up so we dont lose this one to another foreign entity

  31. PK- SA

    August 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    i am motivated, i should say………..

  32. Anna

    August 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    @Dr Adi, on behalf all “normal and right thinking” individuals with no points to score or no axes to grind, we accept your apology for your over zealously off-point comment. With direct links to UEA, I doubt that you are indeed a member of the faculty at UEA! If you were you would have understood the nature of the claim. You would have also known that Dr Bahijja was also the first recipient of the Alumni Award of the Dept of Pharmacy; this is an award that is given by the lecturers to the graduating student who, in the opinion of the lecturers, best depicts/encapsulates the Dept of Pharmacy at UEA. Furthermore, if you were a member of the Faculty and for whatever reason unaware of this student, you could have sought clarification directly from the department. So in my humble (3rd party/observer) opinion, you are not who you claim to be.

    • Dr ADI

      August 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      I don’t think this deserves a rebuttal, or dignify an exchange, HOWEVER what I would like to get across was that my comment was not directed at Dr. Bahijja Raimi-Abraham, but the way the story was portrayed, especially since it made out that there was only one graduate from the School of Pharmacy with a PhD, and I wanted that message to be corrected. Of course you don’t have to work at the School of pharmacy to be a faculty staff at UEA that is a ludicrous misconception. Especially since the University is made up of different departments. I hope I have been able to diffuse the wrong idea that she was the only graduate from the School of Pharmacy with a PhD (but that she is what she says she is), especially as you have pointed out, if you were not part of the system, you may not be privy to all the details, and may have been left a little confused by the article.

      I am going to accept that there was nothing derogatory in the way you spoke to me, and it is well meaning, but as I repeated in my comments, I felt the message was sensationalised and the true message was lost.

      I don’t have an axe to grind, and I’m sure Dr. Bahijja Raimi-Abraham, would have seen the point of the comment! And she has cleared up any confusion that may have risen.

      If you have any further problems with my query, do take it up with the proper Authorities at UEA, I’m sure they should be able to locate me.

      MTx.

    • Dr ADI

      August 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Actually reading through the article now, all the misconceptions have now all been corrected. So the point of the comments no longer exists.

      “She is however, the first graduate of The School of Pharmacy at UEA to be awarded a PhD”. This line was what was needed.

      End!

  33. Smileyyy

    August 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Well done you!!!! This is a real achievement x

  34. I'm confused

    August 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Does that mean she was the only student in the PhD program in Pharmacy?

    • Don't be confused!

      August 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      nd the article clearly says “In her PhD group, she was the only black student in a group of seven white people of mixed nationality. “… or does this indicate a need in boosting some people’s comprehension skills?

  35. Anna

    August 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    @Dr Adi, firstly I didn’t say that you worked in the School of Pharmacy per se. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. All comment should be made responsibly – all public comment MUST be made responsibly. The article has NOT been corrected – the article is as it was at the time you made your initial comment! You say that should one have any issues we should take it up with the “proper authorities at UEA”. You haven’t declared or disclosed who you are. I am not aware of a Dr Adi at UEA…but then again I do not profess to know everyone who works at the university. In any case, I’m on campus tomorrow; I will be at Cafe Direct between 4pm and 5pm. Naturally you don’t have to meet me there but it would be interesting to make your acquaintance if indeed you do exist. Having said that, I rest my case and have no further comment to make on this issue. Have a good evening to all and thanks to Bella Naija for reproducing this most inspiring story.

    • Dr Dr

      August 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Wow, how smart of you to inform strangers on the internet where you’ll be and what time you’ll be there….Take it easy,it’s not that serious dear:)

    • Dr ADI

      August 8, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Hello Anna, It would be good to meet up with you. Can we arrange for another meeting? This evening I will be attending an Antenatal class at the N and N, so today is a little inconvenient for me. Maybe next week Wednesday same time. Let me know what you think.

      Cheers!

  36. Na wah for Dr ADI aka Dr Dr '

    August 8, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Dr Dr/ Dr ADI?
    how fake can a time waster be? you lack comprehension skills as you have exposed yourself! This article was exactly the same from the time of publishing. What could your motive of casting aspersions have been? What jealousy? Achieve your own feat and we will celebrate with you. Get rid of that crab mentality…”i can only shine if I drag other stars down!”
    Na wah oh!!!!May God forgive you and grant you salvation.
    BTW Dr. Raimi -Abraham, ride on sistert! May your star cntinue to shine. May you go from strength to strength and remain a shining beacon, showing others the way to a glorious achievement. Amen.
    Well done, Bella Naija for covering this. More of this kind of story, please.

  37. Princess of Zion

    August 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Wonderful! Congratulations dear! You are a huge inspiration to students, to Nigerians and to women! May the Lord continue to crown all your efforts with success and joy! Thank you for chasing your dreams and for being a source of inspiration! God bless, prosper, uphold, strengthen and favour you in all your endeavours!

    http://www.princessofzion.wordpress.com

  38. amachree

    August 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    congrats girl, 4mayking ur sife proud an ur contre 9ija. (PROUD) thank’s cheers

  39. Comfort

    March 21, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Congratulations pls i need enquiry from

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