Nigeria's Seed of Togetherness
Professor Ernest Madu (second left), and his wife Dr Dainia Baugh (second right) welcome Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and Nigerian Ambassador to Jamaica Dr Maureen P Tamuno to their home. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

A cocktail reception, hosted Monday evening by consummate hosts Professor Ernest Madu and his wife Dr Dainia Baugh in honour of visiting Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, was for those in attendance the perfect end to Emancipation Day.

The Madus, founders of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean and known throughout the region as well as the United States for their pioneer work in cardiology, curated an impressive list of enterprising Nigerian residents and Jamaican friends to engage Onyeama in a comfy-chic setting where barely-audible Afrobeats music ensured an easy flow of conversation, glasses of Champagne and premium Scotch brands were refilled in between sips and passed gourmet bites courtesy of caterer Petra Edwards tantalised the palates.

On form with witty repartee were president of the Senate of Jamaica Tom Tavares Finson; Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica Ambassador Dr Maureen Tamuno, PhD; and Chris Okonmah, CEO, Total Energies Jamaica.

Indeed, the official welcome and introduction by Professor Madu of Onyeama complete with Icho Oji aka the Kola Nut (the sacred fruit is presented to visitors as a sign of hospitality); known locally as bissi was the perfect opportunity for the Foreign Affairs Minister to thank his gracious hosts, laud their work in cardiology in Jamaica and underscore his wish for closer relationship between Jamaica and Nigeria in trade, travel and collaboration.

Tavares-Finson, who responded on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, spoke of his first visit to Lagos, Nigeria, as a student of the law in the United Kingdom, of the effervescent personality of Ambassador Maureen Tamuno and the wish of the Andrew Holness-led Government to deepen ties between both countries. An invitation for Tavares-Finson to revisit was proferred by Minister Onyeama.

The cosy fireside chat continued with the guest of honour comfortably sharing and receiving, leaving little doubt that the seeds now firmly planted will be fertilised and reaped for generations.

The affable Chris Okonmah (right), CEO Total Energies Jamaica, engages chairman of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, Professor Madu (left) and business exec Timothy Spencer. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Attorney-at-law Mairo Okonmah and her husband Chris Okonmah, CEO Total Energies Jamaica, are among those in attendance. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Consummate hosts Professor Ernest Madu and his wife Dr Dainia Baugh. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Raising Champagne toasts to a formidable evening are Gary Lang, COO, Heart Institute of the Caribbean, and his sales executive wife Tatyana Rashenko Lang. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Smiles all around as Professor Ernest Madu (left) welcomes Tom Tavares-Finson, attorney-at-law and president of the Jamaican Senate. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Chris Okonmah (left), CEO, Total Energies Jamaica, is delighted to see his friend Tom Tavares-Finson, president of the Jamaican Senate. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Absolutely delighted to welcome Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama (right) to her home is Dr Dainia Baugh (left). Sharing in the honour is her husband Professor Ernest Madu and Novia McDonald-Whyte, senior associate editor, lifestyle & social content, Jamaica Observer. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Adding intellectual rigour to the affair are (from left) engagement & development specialist Nadiya Figueroa, PhD; attorney-at-law Mairo Okonmah; Nigeria Ambassador to Jamaica Maureen Tamuno, PhD; and the evening's host Dr Dainia Baugh. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
The evening's host Professor Ernest Madu is introduced to Ambassador Dr Amina Smaila (right), consul general of The Republic of Nigeria, Atlanta Georgia, by Nigeria Ambassador to Jamaica Maureen Tamuno, PhD. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
The evening's host Professor Ernest Madu (second left) leads a toast to his guest of honour Geoffrey Onyeama (left), Nigerian minister of foreign affairs. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Whatever is being shared certainly is tickling the funny bone of (from left) attorney-at-law Mairo Okonmah; Karla Henry, managing director, Lead Mortgage Brokers and interior decorator Angelie Martin-Spencer. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
In animated discourse with attorney-at-law and president of the Senate of Jamaica Tom Tavares-Finson (left) and CEO Total Energies Jamaica, Chris Okonmah is business executive Ivana Thomas, PhD. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

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