Prof. P. N Okeke Biography - Facts About The Father of Astronomy in Nigeria

September 08, 2022

Prof. P. N Okeke

If you had your secondary education in a Nigerian school, the name Professor P. N Okeke should sound very familiar to you, especially the science students.

He is one of the most popular university lecturers among secondary students because of the great effort he put into making Physics interesting at the foundation stage. While growing up, virtually every Physics textbook I read had the name P.N Okeke on it.

Just like the likes of Harold Lasswell and David Easton who are revered in the political science field, Prof. P. N Okeke is referred to in the Physical Science field, not just for the books, but also for his efforts in tackling many problems in Astronomy.

We'd be seeing Prof. P. N Okeke's biography, date of birth, age, early life, family, wife, children, education, businesses, church, net worth, houses, cars, phone number, social media handles and more.

Prof. P. N Okeke Profile

Before we proceed, let's take a look at Prof. P. N Okeke's profile and a few facts you'd love to know about him:
Full names: Professor Pius N. Okeke
Date of birth: 30th October 1941
Age: 81 years (2022)
Nationality: Nigerian
Parents: Daniel Ndubisi Okeke, Beatrice Ugogbe Okeke
Spouse(s): Prof. Francisca Nneka Okeke
Children: Six
Education: University of Lagos (UniLag), University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Occupation: Physicist, Academic, Educational Administrator
Popular for: His books
Net worth

Professor Pius N. Okeke's Biography and Educational Background

Prof. P. N Okeke was born on the 30th October 1941 Daniel Ndubisi Okeke and Beatrice Ugogbe Okeke. His parents are from Oraukwu in Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra State. Growing up wasn't so rosy for Okeke as he didn't come from a financial buoyant home. While his father worked as a bricklayer, his mother was a petty trader in the market.

P.  N Okeke had his primary education in Oraukwu where he developed a great interest in Mathematics. Upon obtaining his First School Leaving Certificate, he enrolled at a private secondary school Washington memorial Grammar school where he had no opportunity and facilities to offer physics and chemistry. He sat for his school certificate examination and unfortunately, failed. 

Not giving up, he went to Lagos State where he attended Emergency science school Lagos and this time, crediting all the science subjects at O level GCE. He thereafter proceeded to A level GCE and got distinctions in Pure and Applied Mathematics and Physics.

In 1965, P. N Okeke got offered direct admission to study Physics at the prestigious University of Lagos (UniLag). At UniLag, he was the best student in the faculty of science and won the faculty scholarship to enable him to complete his BSc and proceed to a PhD any part of the world.

Due to the Nigerian Civil War that disrupted Okeke’s ambition for three years, he was forced to transfer to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where he completed his bachelor's degree in 1971, finishing as one of the best graduating students.

In 1975, he became the first person to obtain PhD from UNN, after MSc was waived for him. His PhD thesis is titled “Gauge Theories of Weak and Electromagnetic Interactions”.

In 1979, Okeke obtained a Postdoctoral award from the University of Cambridge United Kingdom.

He worked on high energy Astrophysics under the supervision of very distinguished Astronomer Professor M.J. Rees.  At the same time, he also learnt some observational Astronomy from Prof. M. Hewish, subsequently proceeding to India to obtain experience in Radio Astronomy.


In 1972, P. N Okeke was appointed a Junior Research Fellow of the University of Nigeria.

Upon his return to Nigeria, P.N Okeke worked hard to rise to the rank of a professor and leader of Space Research Centre University of Nigeria in 1989.

Prof. Pius N. Okeke is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, London; Fellow of Planetary and Radio Science, Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Fellow African Academy of Science, Fellow of  IAA and United Nations Consultant in Space Science in Africa.

In 2007, Prof. P.N. Okeke received the African recipient of the UN/NASA award for his contributions to the development of Astronomy in Africa.

Professor Okeke has written over 30 textbooks in Physics and Astronomy at both secondary and tertiary levels. These books are today the most popular in Nigeria and some African countries.

Prof. P. N Okeke is happily married to physicist Francisca Nneka Okeke and the union is blessed with six children.

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