ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Professor Monsur Kenku, 78 years old, born on December 14, 1942, and passed away on June 24, 2021. He will remain "Forever in our Hearts".
Posted by Frederick Aleoke-Malachi on October 30, 2021
Thank you for the inspirational life you lived. May your gentle soul continue to rest in peace.
Posted by Dotun Eliezer on July 31, 2021
I re-echo was has been shared as tributes to Prof. - very kind, gentle and generous. A man of excellence and he just stood out on campus amongst his peers as a Professor. In fact, he came across more like a professional in the private sector more than an academia. He surely has left his mark in the sands of time.

My life’s story will certainly not be complete without Prof! When my Dad retired in 1987 and decided to leave Lagos for the village, Prof was my life saver and guardian as he graciously accepted me into his boys quarters at Ozolua on the University of Lagos campus. This was in September 1986 when I was in my second year in till around July 1991 when I graduated.

Prof also played a critical role in me being able to overcome some self-inflicted challenges while on campus.

May his soul Rest In Peace and May the Lord bless the entire family!
Posted by Uju Ayoku on July 16, 2021
Prof was a brilliant and considerate mentor to many who benefitted from his wealth of knowledge and generosity. Our thoughts and prayers are with mummy, Bro Tokunbo, Bro Gbenga, Amina, and the rest of the family. He will be missed. However, we take solace in knowing that he is in a better place. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

Juwon and Uju Ayoku
Posted by Ladi Jadesimi on July 6, 2021
Professor Monsur Akangbe Kenku was an extraordinary human being, the operating word being human. He was as profound as he was self effacing, generous and selfless to a fault and the very definition of loyal as much to family and friends as to whomsoever he crossed paths with.
I only very recently learnt at the 8th day prayers, that he and I very nearly because classmates in high school. He had passed the entrance examinations to Kings College, Lagos in the same year as I did but received his invitation to attend the interview days after the interviews had been concluded.
In any event we met at the appointed time at Oxford where he attended for his D. Phil - Doctor of Philosophy as PHD degrees are termed in the characteristically quaint Oxford way, in mathematics..
It was an instant and uncommonly deep and fond bond of friendship which lasted and waxed ever stronger till the very end, an experience I never felt either before or indeed since.
We had the best times of our lives at Oxford. A D.Phil in mathematics from Oxford University has to be one of the most rigorous intellectual accomplishments imaginable, and one that is by no means successfully navigated through by many very bright and intelligent people who attempt it, Monsur as he was fondly called by all, breezed through the program with seeming effortless ease and elegance. The full narration of his thesis is by itself. a complicated mouthful. He summed it up for me as 'the theory of numbers'. He clearly was extraordinarily brilliant and enormously intellectually gifted because all I can recall is the both of us having full time fun, and I mean full time partying day in day out, and enjoying all the non academic delights that Oxford had to offer. How he found the time for the taxing academic program he completed in a timely manner, is well and truly beyond me! What a giant of an intellectual. And yet he was very down to earth, humble and simply a thoroughly wonderful human being. A completely unsung hero- just the way he wanted it.
That to me are the attributes of a superlatively self confident man that doesn't wear his incredible gifts of intellect on his sleeves.
As the Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Transport, the two largest portfolios, he reminded all of what Nigeria needs to fulfill it's promise by the scrupulous diligence and intelligence he brought to the task completely selflessly and totally in the interest of the State. The major contractors were staggered in disbelief that their huge cheques were processed and delivered without any fuss in a routine manner with absolutely no need to know or see the Commissioner!
As Professor of mathematics in the University of Lagos, he left his indelible mark. A veritable full and accomplished life indeed.
It's going on two weeks now and I still cannot even begin to come to terms with his departure. How much more keenly must this be true for his family.
It really is the case that to have lived a memorable life and leave a truly good name behind as ones legacy is the supreme hallmark of the most enviable life possible than which nothing else comes even close to. There's never been a truer Yoruba saying than the one that roughly translates as ' a good name is of far greater value and worth than all the material wealth in the whole universe"
Monsur had more than enough houses, properties and earthly goods for a comfortable life and to discharge his responsibilities to his immediate as well as the wider family and relations. But far, far more importantly, he was a good man.
His family should take comfort, even as they grieve, that his legacy of a good name will sustain them for the rest of their own respective lives and for generations to come.
Good night my closest buddy, friend and most worthy brother. It was a privilege to have known you.
May Almighty Allah Grant u eternal peaceful repose.
Requiesce in pace.
Ladi Jadesimi

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Frederick Aleoke-Malachi on October 30, 2021
Thank you for the inspirational life you lived. May your gentle soul continue to rest in peace.
Posted by Dotun Eliezer on July 31, 2021
I re-echo was has been shared as tributes to Prof. - very kind, gentle and generous. A man of excellence and he just stood out on campus amongst his peers as a Professor. In fact, he came across more like a professional in the private sector more than an academia. He surely has left his mark in the sands of time.

My life’s story will certainly not be complete without Prof! When my Dad retired in 1987 and decided to leave Lagos for the village, Prof was my life saver and guardian as he graciously accepted me into his boys quarters at Ozolua on the University of Lagos campus. This was in September 1986 when I was in my second year in till around July 1991 when I graduated.

Prof also played a critical role in me being able to overcome some self-inflicted challenges while on campus.

May his soul Rest In Peace and May the Lord bless the entire family!
Posted by Uju Ayoku on July 16, 2021
Prof was a brilliant and considerate mentor to many who benefitted from his wealth of knowledge and generosity. Our thoughts and prayers are with mummy, Bro Tokunbo, Bro Gbenga, Amina, and the rest of the family. He will be missed. However, we take solace in knowing that he is in a better place. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

Juwon and Uju Ayoku
his Life

Bio

Professor Monsur Akangbe Kenku was born on December 14, 1942 to Alhaji Nojiu Buraimoh Kenku and Alhaja Nimota Aduke Kenku, in Lagos Island, Lagos State.

He passed away on June 24th, 2021 and is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Professor Kenku briefly attended Ireti Primary School, then went on to Lagos Government School in 1953. In 1956, he was admitted into Ahmadiyyah College, Agege before taking his school certificate examination in 1960.

He gained admission to the University of Ibadan in 1961, where four years later, he graduated with a first class degree in mathematics.

That same year, Kenku got admitted into Balliol College, Oxford for his doctorate degree which he completed three years later and then joined the University of Ibadan. He rose through the hierarchies to become an associate professor in 1981 and was appointed a full professor of mathematics in 1983 at the University of Lagos.

Besides these, Professor Kenku had some stints in Berkeley, California and the Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, where he made contributions to the field of number theory. His novel proof of the Stark-Heegner theorem is widely referenced worldwide.

In 1983, Professor Kenku was appointed commissioner of works and transport in Lagos State, serving for three and half years before returning to lecturing at the university of Lagos where he served as Head of Department of Mathematics.

He became chairman of Crusaders Insurance, a position he held from 1993 till 2012 whilst simultaneously lecturing at the University of Lagos until he retired in 2012.

Professor Kenku was a Fellow of the Nigerian Mathematical Society, a member of the Nigerian Actuarial Society, London Mathematical Society, American Mathematical Society and the Vice President, Oxford and Cambridge Society of Nigeria from 1997 to 1999.

He was an active member of Ikoyi Club, Lagos where he loved to play and watch lawn tennis.

Recent stories

Children's Tribute Given on the 8th Day Fidau Prayer

Shared by Saheed Gbenga Kenku on July 5, 2021
Thank you to all who have come today for the 8th day Fidau for my father, Professor Monsur Akangbe Kenku.

There is so much I can say about daddy and it still would not cover it all.

However, I must say on behalf of my siblings and I that he was the absolute best father we could have ever hoped for and an amazing husband to my mum.

A humble, kind, decent, generous man who treated everyone with respect and dignity. An intelligent man whose legacy and achievements will inspire us for generations. 

A very good friend to his friends and always engaged positively with the entire family.

Daddy leaves a huge vacuum in our lives and will always be missed.

I also feel it is important to pay a tribute to my mother who has been steadfast by his side for 5 decades and through challenging recent years. I want her to know that she is loved and supported and always in our prayers.

We are grateful to almighty Allah for his life and and pray that his shortcomings are forgiven and he is granted Al Janna Firdaus.

Ameen