Life is a gift freely given to man that he may better express himself and achieve purpose in a meaninful way. As the man grows in size, he lives life in stages and the truth is that irrespective of our sizes, we can do exploits. Barineme Beke Fakae is one of such men who has grown in size and lived life in stages, doing exploits. His life is one that simply exemplifies the scripture: “seest thou a man who is diligent in all his ways, he will stand before kings and not mean men”.

This life began on Monday the 26th March, 1956 in the General Hospital, Bori when Mrs Beke Fakae popularly known and called Oloni was delivered of a baby boy after the midwife screamed “push” three times, at the top of her voice. And then a baby’s voice was heard; the sound of the cry brought joy to all around. “It is a boy!” The midwife had announced.

With excitement the father called that baby boy BARINEME meaning “a gift from God or God gave me this gift”. There is a saying about the name of a man affecting his life and all that concerns him. This boy has grown to be a man and he is a gift indeed.

He began his primary school education in Kabangha Methodist School, 1962, at the age of six, after stretching his right hand over his head to touch his left ear; a prerequisite for admission into primary school in those days.

He also attended Khana County Council School and State School Kabangha respectively and successfully finished his primary education in 1970. He thus proceeded to Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Port Harcourt for his secondary school education, from 1971 to 1975.

He was a very brilliant student who sought for knowledge with every breath in him. The unseen future he believed can be made and that what is desired when in line with God’s will, can be achieved.

With a good secondary school background and ready to face the future, Barineme Fakae gained admission and left the comfort zone of his state and moved to the Eastern part of Nigeria, precisely Enugu in pursuits of the brighter side of life. He started his professional journey in veterinary medicine in the oldest University in the Eastern region; the University of Nigeria, Nsukka popularly called UNN. Here, he obtained both his first and post graduate degrees in Veterinary Medicine from the year 1976 and 1987 respectively; but he wanted more. The desire for more took him far away from home to the United Kingdom where he became a scholar of the University of Edinburgh and gained the enviable doctorate degree with the award of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

As a good son of his father who understood the reason for seeking more Western Education, he came back home to impart the acquired knowledge to all and sundry. Thus, he became a foundation member of the College of Veterinary Surgeons in Nigeria (MCVSN) in the year 2003.

His quest was vast and was not tied down to veterinary medicine as he also attended short courses in and for Assistant Petroleum Inspectors, Radioactive Protection, Introduction to Minitab Computer Statistics; Veterinary Biometrics, Emergency First Aid; Information Services on Computer Essentials in Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resource, in Nigeria, and the United Kingdom respectively.

Back home, his zeal to impact lives pushed him into relevance and he became the bedrock of successes.  He has worked in different capacities as:

  • Assistant Petroleum Inspector Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Port Harcourt.

  • Veterinary Officer, Abattoir and Clinical duties, National   Youth Service Corps, Calabar.

  • Graduate Assistant, Lecturer II, Lecturer I, Consultant Parasitologist, a Senior Lecturer, and a Reader (Associate Professor) in Veterinary Parasitological University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.

  • A three time Head of the Veterinary Parasitological & Entomology Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.

  • Rector of the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori.

Getting to the top of the league in the academia, he became a diamond medalist in his chosen field Veterinary Parasitological which attracted the professorial crown in 2004.

 Good works do not hide, lights are not meant for bushel but for the top so everyone can benefit. His works announced him to his world and in 2007, as a Professor of Veterinary Parasitological he was appointed the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. The need for him to stay put became evident in this university and he obediently responded. He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the premiere Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt in 2008.

 While climbing the academia ladder, other major activities also took place as he was not alone in the middle part of his life pursuit. He got married to his dear wife; Mrs. Dorathy Barineme Fakae.  The union is blessed with four boys and a girl among whom is a set of twin; an Electronic Engineer, A Veterinary Doctor, two post graduate scholars, and the last is waiting to be in the league of post graduate students.

He also is a proud grandfather to a beautiful little damsel and two wonderful lads.

Everything around Professor Barineme Beke Fakae is a success. His life is an enviable one. He can be described as the man with the “Midas touch”.

At 58 years, he has achieved so much yet, I have heard him say “this is just the beginning” and I am wondering, what beginning?! Are you wondering too?

Come out of your wonderland as we celebrate this man at 58 for there are more grounds to be conquered.

Congratulations Sir!!!