Indeed Prophets are not respected in their home town. This saying is typical of Sierra Leone were recognizing and acknowledging those who have projected the country’s image by leaving an indelible footprint in the lives of humanity often go unnoticed.
“The Professor and I” authored by Ghanaian-Gambian filmmaker Nana Oguntola is the unofficial biography of Professor Dr. Christopher Balogun Lynch a remarkable Sierra Leonean, the Queen of England gynecologist.
Excerpt from ‘The Professor And I’:
The autobiography of Professor Dr. Christopher B Lynch is the remarkable story of a man’s ability to rise above his circumstances to become the best he is capable of being.
Born in Sierra Leone to a Reverend Minister and a seamstress, Christopher arrived in the UK as a teenager on a boat from Sierra Leone with £52 in his pocket. Greeted at Liverpool docks by the unexpected cold weather, this was even more bearable than the disappointment of realizing that his girlfriend who had come to England earlier and for whom he had made the ten-day sea journey also greeted him at the docks with her new beau.
Disappointed and unsure of his footing in a new country far from home, Christopher started work as a porter in a paint factory whilst taking a correspondence to achieve his GCSE A’Levels.
Christopher passed his GCSE A-Levels and won a scholarship to Oxford University where he received his law degree.
Unable to find work in England or return to Sierra Leone to practice law he became a porter at St Bartholomew’s Hospital making plaster of Paris molds for dental students.
Through his friends at Oxford who were studying at Barts and his rugby playing skills, he got an opportunity to study medicine at Barts.
Trained by six Knight Bachelors of the realm, Christopher rose to become a leading gynecologist and obstetrician, serving as a registrar at Barts Hospital where he had been a porter and becoming Assistant Registrar to the Queens’ gynecologist.
He treated royalty and heads of state like Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone, debated politics with the late Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and President Fidel Castro, socialized with the late Princess Diana and the President of Pakistan and was entertained by Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.
He became one of the founding fathers of the gynaecological ward at Milton Keynes Hospital and created the current charity which places cancer research and prevention at its centre, the Myrtle Peach Trust.
He was given an honorary doctorate by the Open University for his work.
His invention, the B-lynch procedure has saved the lives of over 2 million women according to the World Health Organisation.
This remarkable story of success is the first story that features a person of black heritage at this level of success in the UK. It is a story that cannot be ignored and must be told in order to motivate and inspire people that it is never where you start that determines your fate.
This book chronicles his life but goes beyond that to look at his humanity. It also questions the value of a black man’s contribution to the UK and asks what happens after you set out to do all you wanted to do. The book also looks at the relationship between the gynecologist and the writer.