A Group Photograph Featuring Five Prominent Conference Participants: (from left) Deacon Gamaliel Onosode; Chief D. A. Obiomah; Senator D. O. Dafinone; The Very Reverend Prof. Samuel Erivwo; and Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya. (Photograph by Patrick Okene. It was taken at Goldsmiths College of London University, November 1, 2003.)
These five Conference participants represent the highest in personal achievements by individual Urhobos as well as satisfying evidence of patriotism on the part of those who have achieved so much.
David Dafinone has worked his way from small beginnings in Edo College in the 1940s, through studies of economics and accountancy also during colonial times, to achieve fame, wealth, and eminence in modern Nigeria. The Guinness World Records accorded Dafinone the honour of being the first person in our human race to raise a family with the highest number of chartered accountants -- his own good self and five children. He bears the prestigious chieftaincy honour of Oghwere of Okpe. Dafinone gave the keynote address at the First UHS Annual Conference in 2000. He was honoured during the 2003 Conference by UHS with a plaque acknowledging his patronage.
Daniel Obiomah worked his way from elementary circumstances of pioneering colonial times in Warri City, through the prestigious Government College, Ughelli, and University College, Ibadan, to become one of the first Urhobos to hold the prestigious position of District Officer (D.O.) in British colonial public service. He returned to Warri by, according to him, call of fate to lead his Agbarha-Warri people in a patriotic fight against oppression and against an orchestrated attempt to seize their lands. His books on Warri have enlightened many. Obiomah was the Special Guest of Honour at the Third UHS Annual Conference in 2003. He received a UHS plaque honouring his contribution to the Society.
Bruce Onobrakpeya is a world class print maker. An Agbarha-Otor native, his academic vocation of painting and print-making have been faithful to the themes of Urhobo culture. Arising from inherent brilliance of Urhobo native art forms, Onobrakpeya made his mark early in his pioneering work in his student days at Nigerian College, Zaria. He became a famous Arts Teacher at St. Gregory's College, Lagos, Nigeria, from where he inspired a generation of Nigerian artists. He has made his hometown of Agbarha famous by turning it into a venue for training young artists. Onobrakpeya has received numerous awards, including a Vatican award for his painting of St. Paul. Bruce Onobrakpeya was invited to give the keynote address at the Second UHS Annual Conference in New Jersey, USA, in 2001. The tragedy of the Twin Towers and September 11 prevented his travel. But he was the delight of the 4th UHS Annual Conference.
Gamaliel Onosode has characterized his life and survival in the face of adversities as "A Marvel Of God's Grace." A pastor's son, he is certainly a brilliant and determined man. An alumnus of Government College, Ughelli, Onosode achieved national fame quite early, when he took a prestigious Upper Class honours degree in Classics at the University College, Ibadan -- becoming the first Nigerian to be so recognized. He went into the world of business, chairing and growing more prestigious companies than any other Nigerian. Onosode is proud to say that he was the first Ughelli graduate. A recipient of numerous awards, he has happily cited his recognition by Ughelli Descendants Union as one that he treasures greatly. Onosode was the Special Guest of Honour at the Fourth UHS Annual Conference.
Samuel Erivwo is a pioneer in Urhobo religious traditions -- both in their Christian rendition and in their customary forms. His authoritative biography of Bishop Agori Iwe, Urhobo's first Bishop, is a major achievement in Urhobo studies. His many studies of religious history in the western Niger Delta make Erivwo a remarkable scholar. Samuel Erivwo has taught in many universities, becoming Dean of Arts at Bendel State University, Ekpoma. He is a also a priest of great service. He is the Provost of St. Andrews (Anglican Communion) Cathedral, Warri. He has come to make these achievements from a background of his native Ughelli and Urhobo roots. Erivwo delivered the keynote address, on "Our Religious Leaders and the Urhobo Nation," at the 4th UHS Annual Conference.
Some other participants join the sitting five major participants
Urhobo Women in United Kingdom and Europe at the Conference
(Left to right): Mrs. F. Emesiri-Akusu, Mrs. O. Otuedor, Mrs. J. Eruvbetere, (Name to be supplied), Mrs. Q. Ikekeregor, Mrs. M. Omohwo, Mrs. K. Akerele, Mrs. V. Obruche, Ms Temukare, Ms M. Uwejeyah, Mrs. Edith Shittu.