Dr. Mukaila Akano Akinbami, known to friends and colleagues as Mike, was born on August 25, 1953 in Joga Owode, Otta District Council (now Otta Local Government Area) in Ogun State to Mr. Badaru Akinbami and Mrs. Wulemotu Akinbami (nee Popoola). He was the third child of the family. He lost his father early in life at the age of 8.
Mike started his primary (elementary) school education at the Otta District Council Primary School, Joga Owode but after his father passed in 1961, he and his mother moved to Aiyetoro where he continued his education at the African Church Primary School, Aiyetoro. He was studious, brilliant with asterisk and his class notes were impeccably neat in presentation. In every class, he was always the class captain. He later became the school prefect in the last year of primary school since he was always the best student in each class throughout his elementary education. As a result of his outstanding performance and track record of excellence, he was awarded the Divisional Government Scholarship for secondary (High) school education and while attending Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro, Egbado, he received the Western State Government Scholarship concurrent with the Divisional Government scholarship. He obviously chose the more prestigious and better State scholarship for the rest of high school education.
After secondary school, Mike moved to Gongola State in northern Nigeria to live with an uncle who was a military officer while he worked as a civilian staff in the military camp. Later, he returned to Abeokuta, Ogun State in southwestern Nigeria and was employed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR). While at the MANR, he gained admission to the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), School of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State. It was in 1978, during his first year, that he came to Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri through a program of the Federal Government of Nigeria which gave him full scholarship for a 2-year training in agriculture. Mike made sure that the 2 years resulted in an Associate Degree. At the completion of the program, Mike returned to Nigeria and served his contractual agreement with Government during which he operated the Imala Livestock Farm, near Aiyetoro/Abeokuta. Despite his success at the livestock farm, he set his sight on completing his education and returned to Lincoln University to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. He proceeded to graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he received his Master of Science in Animal Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology. Having attended a historically-black college, and despite the fact that he had several offers elsewhere, Dr. Akinbami chose Morehouse School of Medicine for his post-doctoral fellowship because, as he put it, it was time to give back. That was just like Mike. He was always giving and going beyond the call of duty. He gave all he had to MSM until his retirement from the school in 2016.
Although, born into a Muslim family, Mike became a born-again Christian in 1994 and devoted himself to live by the Word of God. He was a member of the First Baptist Church, Atlanta for many years. Of late, he attended Mountain of Fire and Miracle, Atlanta. For many who know him, Mike had a tender and caring heart; always willing to help and put others before himself.
For a period of time, Mike was married to Omolola Akinbami (nee Martins). The union was blessed with two children, Daniel Olufemi and Elizabeth Olubukola. He is survived by his son, daughter, sister, Mrs. Wosila Kasali (nee Akinbami), nieces and extended family in Nigeria.