TRIBUTES were today paid to a North-east dad described as an “angel”.
Dr Divine Ikenwilo, a well-known research fellow at the University of Aberdeen who moved to the North-east in 2002, died last month after battling prostate cancer for the last three years.
The dad, of Portlethen, who had two sons Tobe, 6, and Uche, 8, was a member of a variety of organisations including the International Health Economics Association, the Scottish Economics Society and the Africa Health Economics Society.
Originally from Nigeria, Divine, who has also lived in Westhill and the city centre, noticed in 2012 that he was rapidly losing weight.
But it wasn’t until a year later that Divine was told he had prostate cancer after seeking treatment at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
“He wasn’t diagnosed early that’s why he had problems,” said his wife Ogo.
“He was aged 38 or 39 at the time when he kept saying there was something wrong with him and he was losing weight.
“A year down the line he got tests at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary but by the time he was diagnosed the cancer had spread all over his body which was very sad.”
The inspirational researcher, who was previously a senior research and information officer for NHS Education Scotland, continued to battle the disease before passing away towards the end of last month.
And Ogo, who met Divine in Nigeria in 1999, today said she is continuing to battle the sadness of not having him around.
She said: “The children are young enough not to know the implications of not having their father.
“But they know daddy has died and he is in heaven – he is an angel now. My six-year-old asked who his daddy was going to be now and he said to me that he would be the daddy himself.
“Our children say he is an angel and he can follow us around.
“My parents keep saying I need to stay strong for the boys and not to breakdown.”
People from across the world have paid tribute to Divine, who was a key founder and member of a number of Nigerian groups across the city.
Tributes have been paid from countries including Australia and South Africa.
He was a member of the NIDOE UK North Chapter, an organisation which brings together Nigerians and helps them integrate with people in Aberdeen.