Dr. (Mrs.) Nneka Reason Onya is one of the most stylish women in Port Harcourt. She is a Medical Doctor and the owner of Nneka’s Togg, a designing outfit in the Garden City. This highly cerebral lady is stylish and very confident. She is blessed with a lovely figure that makes a lot of younger girls envious. Enugu born Nneka is married to PH successful businessman, Reason Onya who is from Rivers State. They are blessed with 4 lovely children.
Nneka was born in Moscow, Russia in the 70s to Dr. Herbert and Dr. (Mrs.) Deborah Ozokwo, who both hail from Enugu State. “Right from age 8, my parents had recognised that apart from my well above average scholastic ability, I had a flare for Fine Arts, playing the piano, ballet, dancing and gymnastics and they encouraged me by enrolling me in Art competitions. And they bought me a piano. However, my interest in the latter waned especially as we left Russia for Zambia when I was 9 years old. When I was 10, I won a Silver Medal in the prestigious Sharkars’ International Art Competition and was honoured by the Nigerian High Commission to Zambia. I was offered a scholarship to read Fine Arts in London, an offer my parents declined. Most of my drawings and paintings were actually fashion design and the major concept had always been about the apparels that would befit a queen (I had always imagine myself as one). I won yet another International Art Competition while in Zambia and this time, it was a gold medal. In addition I had won 1st prize in 4 Succession National (Zambian) Art Competition organised annually by the Zambia India Friendship Association (ZIFA). I was involved in other extracurricular activities like debating, sports and fashion editing. When we came back to Nigeria. I was aged 16 and won yet another art competition but all those exploits came to an end when I had to go to medical school on the instance of my parents and teachers at Federal Government College, Enugu following my exceptional performance in the SSCE. I had the 2nd best result in my school over all.
“I obtained my first degree in Medicine and Surgery from University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and my wonderful husband, Reason Onya encouraged me to specialise And I specialised in Family Medicine at University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). I broke a record in my department as I was the first resident doctor to pass all my postgraduate exams at first attempt. I was employed as a Consultant Family Physician at UPTH early last year and three months ago, I was appointed Unit Head of the National Health Insurance Scheme Clinic in UPTH. My responsibilities include administering the clinic, seeing patients and training resident doctors”.
“I am married to my heartthrob, Reason Onya. He is an Entrepreneur and Politician. He is loving, understanding and is undeniably my source of strength and support. Basically, he gives me the liberty to do my own thing and enjoys doing so. We are blessed with four lovely children”.
“My 3 decade long passion for fashion led me to opening my own fashion outfit Nneka’s Togg a few years ago, despite my busy schedule as a resident doctor at the time.”
How does she combine fashion designing with medicine?
“Designing and modelling my own outfits kind of helps me to relax after a busy day at the hospital. Likewise, practicing medicine gives to me a welcome relief from the world of fashion. Besides, clinical medicine is a science as well as an art. My inclination to the arts has therefore been advantageous to me in the practice of medicine. As an artists, a fashion designer and a fashionista, the tendency is for me to socialize more than the average doctor and actually get to understand the problem people undergo in society. As a family physician, I marry this information with the patients’ individual circumstances in a holistic approach with due consideration to their socio-cultural, occupational and spiritual background, with a view to healing the ‘total’ person and not just the ‘medial’ problem the patient may have presented with. You see, patients would divulge information to a doctor that they feel will understand what they have to say.
She is one of the best dressed women in South-South. How does that make her feel?
“Oh I feel highly honoured, considering that fashion is one of my passions.
“My inspiration comes from seeing myself as a queen and therefore, looking regal influences my style. I also love looking sexy but no in a vulgar sort of way. I feel honored to be considered one of the best dressed especially since I don’t really make an effort at doing so.
Fashion has always been my passion I find myself trying out new things, experimenting with colour combinations and visualizing how I could eventually turn out even before I get dressed”.
Does she still do fashion designing?
“I design fashion now and for as long as I am alive I will. Its what makes me happy that necessary park that douses the flames of life’s stresses. I won’t be complete without designing and wearing outfits created by me. I create regal, exotic, sexy and classy pieces. I pay a great deal of attention to detail and I am a bit of perfectionist. The colours must match perfectly and the clothes must fit like a glove-absolutely no compromise.”