The work of dr. Bennet Omalu was brought to light in the 2016 film Concussion, in which film star Will Smith portrayed the doctor’s life as he discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in NFL players. The film also showed the relationship between Dr. Bennet Omalu and his wife Prema Mutiso.
When the film came out, it was criticized for keeping women on the sidelines. Played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Prema Mutiso was accused of being a shallow character who only referred to personal trauma to add to the drama and advance the film’s plot.
Despite this, many people were fascinated by the story of Prema Mutiso. In Concussion, she is shown as a recent immigrant who works as a roommate with Dr. Bennet Omalu begins. Her pastor has asked Omalu to help her get up and she is becoming a listening ear for him to discuss the revelations he has about CTE.
A romantic relationship soon develops between the two, which becomes another plot in the film. When the two get serious, the intimidation from the NFL increases and it strains their relationship. Prema Mutiso eventually suffers a miscarriage after being chased by a blurry car.
The task now is to separate fact from fiction. Who is the real Prema Mutiso and what can we really tell you about her?
Here are four things you really should know about Prema Mutiso
Prema Mutiso was a nurse from Nairobi, Kenya who immigrated to the United States to further her studies. As shown in the film, she went to the same church as Omalu, but unlike the film, the two first met at a party, and nothing happened after a while. dr Bennet Omalu had to introduce himself to her again one day after church and their friendship grew when he started doing her a favor, driving her around and leaving surprises at her door. She didn’t start living with Omalu right away, as the film showed, although at one point the good doctor offered to pay her rent.
Your contribution to Dr. Omalu’s research:
Prema Mutiso was with Dr. Omalu together when he made his first discoveries regarding CTE, and according to Jeanne Marie Laska’s GQ article on which the film is based, she helped Dr. Omalu on his research.
She is said to have documented his work when he began examining former NFL players’ brain samples sent to him by their loved ones. She apparently took pictures while he was working, and Laskas noted on her website that; “Bennet believes that capturing these images as Prema has done on many occasions has been a very valuable strategic consideration for Prema.”
Marriage and family:
As mentioned, Prema Mutiso and BennetOmalu were only dating when he made his first discoveries and the two were soon married while he continued his research. The two are still married and have since relocated to California where they are raising their two young children, daughter Ashly and son Mark.
The beautiful family is a common feature on Omalus’ Facebook page, and they appeared together at a few red carpet events as the film premiered and made its Hollywood rounds.
Has there ever been a miscarriage:
The concussion miscarriage led to some questions as to whether Prema had suffered a miscarriage in real life. The GQ article the film is based on makes no mention of this. The miscarriage also doesn’t appear in the concussion book that expands on the article. It is therefore safe to conclude that it probably never happened, but was only used as a tool in the film to further elaborate on the drama.
dr Bennet Omalu, currently the chief investigator from San Joaquin County, California, is a professor in the Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, Davis. However, not much is known about what Prema Mutiso is currently doing. She has been described as strictly private, but her efforts to support her husband will always be remembered.