Let the memory of {yeah yeah aka Dr Dre } be with us forever.
  • 50 years old
  • Born on February 7, 1969 in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Passed away on June 23, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, David Nwabunor 50 years old , born on February 7, 1969 and passed away on June 23, 2019. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Daniel Okungbowa on July 11, 2019
My personal person: Dr. David “Dre” Goziem Nwabunor (1969 - 2019) Baba Dre! Normal Dre!! My guy, my guy!!! Yeah-Yeah-Yeah!!!! How you dey now? I’m sure you’re enjoying heaven while we’re still here “spinning like a top”. Please permit me to tell our story. Late July 1995: I arrived Trinidad and Tobago (T & T) in mid July 1995, courtesy of our indefatigable Dr. Anuma Kalu Ulu (a.k.a. Miller). My host, Miller, graciously accommodated me in his one-room temporary residence room at the doctors’ quarters, San Fernando General Hospital. We left Nigeria for obvious reasons: in search for greener pastures. I was eager to start work as I needed money badly. At that time, there were minimal bureaucratic bottlenecks in T & T. Things were done a bit differently then as the country needed foreign doctors. Registration with the Medical Board of T & T was pretty fast and I quickly scaled through that hurdle. T & T Ministry of Health (MOH) in Port of Spain liaised with the country’s Immigration to process work permits and then MOH will post candidates to different health facilities. July 26, 1995: I rushed to the MOH as news filtered in that our documents were ready. Upon arrival, I met this light-skin dude with a relatively bulky frame, in sun glasses, coming out of a taxi in front of the MOH building. I watched as he sauntered behind me into the building. We sat in the waiting area. We shook hands and greeted each other. Back in medical school, I used to be a simple and fine dresser—but not any more now (lol)—so I could tell that this dude looked sharp. He introduced himself and I did too: he is David and I’m Robert. Coincidentally, he is from Nigeria and he was there for the same purpose. We started gisting. He had arrived T & T just a day before me and he went to University of Benin for med school; he was staying with his school mate and friend in Port of Spain. MOH staff quickly attended to both of us. We were posted to General Hospital San Fernando. I was happy because that meant I’d just stay close to Miller for guidance. The next move was for us to report to San Fernando Hospital the same day. On our way, we kept gisting and ‘scoping’ each other. Dude’s full name is David Goziem Nwabunor but he is popularly known by his friends as Dre. He loves music and he truly resembled Dr. Dre, the rapper. We got to the Hospital. The medical chief of staff then was Dr. Austin Trinidade. He warmly received us. Our papers were quickly processed. He posted me to Accident & Emergency (A & E) Dept; David was posted to Ob/Gyn. We had the green light to start work immediately. I told Dre that I was going to report to Dr. Premanand in A& E to start work right away. Dre, on the other hand, was in no mood to start work that day. He told me how he worked his butt off doing three different Locums in Nigeria just to sustain himself and maintain his little car and yet it was difficult. He was not going to “punish himself again....” My guy, there’s only one life to live”, he said. He wished me luck, went back to Port of Spain and later resumed work on August 1st, 1995. We were assigned temporary accommodation at the doctors’ quarters within the hospital. His room was just about two or three rooms away from mine on the same side of the hallway. We quickly but cautiously became friends. We would gist till late into the night on our off days. We missed home and longed for “swallow” (Éba). We were sick and tired of eating bread with pumpkin/fish and juice. Miller was the first to inform us that he “didn’t need any disciple” to start cooking. We celebrated our first swallow with okro soup, courtesy of Miller. Dre then bought his own hot plate and utensils and joined suit. Poor me, cooking has never been my thing so I depended on my buddies for ‘proper’ feeding. My friendship with Dre blossomed. I noticed a lot of things about him. He never joked with his early morning catholic mass and he held tenaciously to his chaplet and catholic faith. Whenever we felt being deliberately and unjustifiably hurt by others, Dre would always remind me that “vengeance is for God”. He loved to cook and would generously share his foods. He derived exceeding joy when one complimented his cooking and he would gladly ask if one wanted more “nourishment”. He was a very generous person. For him, money is what money can buy and money is only made to be spent. He loved social life outside the walls of his residence. He loved to “groove”! In fact, it was on one of those social events close to the nurses’ quarters that he bought me my first Stag Beer. He partied hard into the night whenever such opportunities arose. He loved night-clubbing. As far as social life goes, I could not keep up with him at all and he clearly understood that. We accepted each other the way we are. Though relatively heavy in build, he was a bundle of energy with tons of adrenaline. He was surprisingly way too energetic for his physique! He loved different genres of music and he loved to dance. He had this infectious laughter. Dre loved to dress neatly—he loved to wear good (and oftentimes expensive), designer clothes; he loved his perfumes/colognes and sunglasses. He talked with unique slangs/phrases: “my guy, my guy”; “yeah-yeah-yeah”; “gredge”; “normal”; “nourish/nourishment”, etc. He enjoyed quality drinks. Dre always tried to treat his friends nicely. Of course we were young and we tried our hands on those beautiful T & T babes. He was a gentleman in his relationship with women. He cherished and dotted any lady that he dated. He loved kids. He was always very playful most times. Over time, we became close buddies. He was a meticulous person. He mingled readily with everybody and you are definitely bound to make him out in any gathering. For Dre, there can never be a dull moment. His presence was electrifying. As we stabilized in T & T, we had lots of fun together. We had already moved out from the doctors’ quarters. He bought his white, Nissan Car and it meant more communal grooving and “liming”. He always liked life and medical practice in a fast-pacing. He didn’t like Ob/Gyn and he was able to work his way to A & E Dept. Dre later graduated to become “Baba Dre”; Miller added more color to his nickname and he became “Normal Dre”. The usual grooving and bubbling continued.... Dre and I got along quite well. He was very friendly but generally a sensitive person, sometime to a demonstrable level of paranoia. He trusted me enough to share information with me. We talked in-depth about our families. He loved his family/siblings to bits and would do anything for them. He talked glowingly about his parents. He always talked about his elder brother, Dr. Martin, with pride. He talked eloquently about his sister in Nigeria and his twin brothers. I learnt that he lost his eldest sister in London to Lupus. He showed me her picture. He talked about the loss with pain and I could feel his loss. His very first overseas trip from T & T was to U.K. and he felt relieved that he had the opportunity to pay graveside respect to his late sister. When he was coming back, he made sure that he bought me a nice, green-colored traveling suitcase that I repaid for at a later date. When I traveled to Nigeria in January 1997, he made sure that I met with his brother, Martin, in Akoka, Lagos. I remember how I had argued with Dre that I would not take US$50 to Martin on the ground that it was too small. At the end, I recall him saying: “Okoro, Okoro, Martin is a really, really good brother”. He finally gave me $100 for Martin. Martin was excited when he saw me; he took me to a nearby joint at Olarenwaju Street and splashed me (and my friend who accompanied me) with drinks and pepper soup. After hanging out with Martin for few hours, I began to appreciate the similarity between both siblings and it was obvious that “grooving” runs in their genes. Dre loved his friends and his friends are predominantly his school mates at one time or the other. Through him, I met most of his buddies who later joined us in T & T. I must confess that these individuals are wonderful people that I’ve been blessed to meet. Baba Dre knows how to sustain friendship because he is dependable. By 1997, Dre and I were no longer happy with ongoing internal politics related to our jobs in San Fernando. And then there were other widespread shenanigans. By then, Mayor (Dr. Benjamin Anyanwu) had joined us. We wanted some “peace and tranquillity” and we voluntarily decided to resign our jobs. Mayor and I moved on to Tobago. Shortly afterwards, Baba Dre moved to Grenada General Hospital. He took a fairly big pay-cut in doing so but he was not bothered. He wasn’t “lucky” to secure the relatively high-paying clinical tutoring job at St. George’s Grenada but he was happy regardless. Very happy, indeed. Mother luck later shone on him as he later landed a better job in British Virgin Islands (BVI). I later moved to the States in November 1999. I kept in touch with Baba Dre. As a new immigrant in the States, it was tough. Dre was quick to send me US$100 via Western Union when I complained to him about financial difficulty. That’s Dre for you! When he became exhausted from what he called “small island syndrome”, he told me of his desire to move to the States from BVI. Before he relocated, he took a trip to Nigeria. As if he knew, not long after that trip to Nigeria, his beloved mother passed away. It was yet another difficult loss for him but he bore it with courage and felt much more determined to do his late parents proud. When Dre moved to the States, he came straight from BVI and stayed with me in Minnesota. I was in residency training then. I enjoyed Dre’s company. He would cook delicious pepper soups, stew and my favorite soups at ease. He made sure that I not only ate well but was also happy. Life in Minnesota was not all that rosy for him but he trudged on and preserved. Our bosom friend and colleague, Dr. Mojeed Akintayo, was equally around in Minnesota and that made things much easier. Hardwork, Trust and Collaboration/Networking were the key elements. Baba Dre never relented. He had his eyes set on the target: Success at God’s own time. He worked hard. The journey later took him to Houston, courtesy of well-meaning friends, including Drs. Akintayo, Martin Umeh and Emeka Oji. He later completed his residency training in New York. He continued to work hard and press on despite the vicissitudes of life. He worked in different locations including stints in ER in Minnesota. He finally settled down in Atlanta and he loved it! In the past couple of years, I was not close to Baba Dre as we used to be due to personal losses in my family that literally weighed me down. I withdrew from circulation. I was unable to make it to Baba Dre’s wedding (to his queen, Lelia); I could not go and celebrate with Dre when his son was born and I also could not attend Dre’s 50th birthday bash in February 2019, even though he diligently sent me invitations. And I never made it up for Baba Dre. And now it’s too late. The guilt will live with me forever. But I am sure that Baba Dre knew instinctively that I loved and cherished his friendship. I had hoped that this friendship will endure till old age, and we’d sit down one day with our grandkids to reflect on our lives. I know that in African tradition, it’s typical not to speak ill of the dead but I am not here to eulogize Baba Dre. He was not without imperfections. However, in a nutshell, Dre was definitely a great person. First and foremost, he feared and loved God. He loved mankind. He lived a purposeful and fulfilled life. Within limits of reason, he enjoyed his life to the fullest. There are only very few of his contemporaries who can confidently compete with Baba Dre when it comes to quality “grooving”. Baba Dre understood and practiced the most important tenet of friendship: loyalty. He never betrayed his friends and he never dwelt on talking ill or gossiping about others. He was quite sensitive and he resented being judged by his skin color. Because of his free-spirited lifestyle, some people tend to perceive him as unserious person but we all truly know that he was a very serious-minded, goal-oriented individual. Baba Dre never harbored anger for long when offended. He readily shared his successes with others and would be more than willing to walk-through his friends and acquaintances to attain the same—if not higher—heights. He never hid anything from his trusted friends. He empowered and impacted so many people through his deeds and actions. I have always known that people who are born to run finish life’s race very fast and they exit like a candle in the wind. They come only once in a generation. I am convinced that Baba Dre was born to run. No wonder he lived his life and died the way he did. I am particularly pained because his death robbed his beloved wife and his (infant) son the opportunity to enjoy Dre more and more. But I also know that God ordained and destined all the events in Baba Dre’s life and I am quite certain that the good Lord will comfort and provide for Baba Dre’s family. Baba Dre, we love you and you’ll be dearly missed. Thanks for all you did for all of us. You definitely inspired me in some ways. I doubt whether you’ll want us to be crying and mourning hopelessly because of your departure. But we must grieve, Baba Dre, because you left us too soon. As you know, “Grief never ends...but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith.... It is the price of love”. Baba Dre, may your soul find peace and rest in the Lord’s bosom, my guy, and let the eternal grooving continue!! Robert Okoro

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