My Chairman, the Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Prince Nduka Obaigbena…The story of his life is not as smooth as a bowling ball gliding on a varnished lane. It is the story of a man who flailed and floundered against the maelstrom and headwind of a tempestuous home-grown economy but whose resilience and steadfastness kept on the straight and narrow path to fame and fortune.
Call him one of those rare individuals who strive to always take a high road and position themselves for success regardless of the obstacles before them, and you won’t be wide of the mark.
The Duke has, in the process, created innumerable employments and wealth through his journalistic and entrepreneurial initiatives and excellence, which have significantly impacted the socio-economic and political stability of Nigeria.
Yes, Prince Obaigbena’s path to acclaim didn’t lie out in flat miles; it’s the imagination with which he perceives the world and the gestures by which he honours it that stands him apart.
Unlike many of his peers, his rise to eminence was as much a product of unrelenting will and his astounding ability to pirouette himself from obscurity to entrepreneurial acclaim by the bootstraps.
As far as business ideas and innovations are concerned, he turns nothing down, except the collar of his shirt.
Arguably, only a negligible number of journalists, whether African, Caucasian or Arabian has had the opportunity of crisscrossing the world royalty-style like The Duke! In just a lifetime, he has seen the moon shine and dusk fall on all the continents of the world.
Over the course of three decades, he has built a media empire that is as intimidating as it is inspiring. Feared and courted by rulers and leaders in politics and business and every other imaginable sphere, the Creative Arts graduate of the University of Benin (Edo state) had nurtured to profitability and prominence his own magazine before many of today’s presumptive media moguls understood the difference between by-line and deadline. His first taste of journalism was with the Nigeria Observer in 1978.
Frequently likened to a champ and sometimes, a business genius, Prince Nduka naturally depicts the image of a modern day titan of industry. Having recorded a series of remarkable firsts in the highly competitive world of local and international commerce, there are no more worlds for the Super Publisher to conquer.
For all that you do for humanity and the larger society, which earns you accolades and adoration, from far and near, may you continue to win, achieve more highs and conquer higher grounds, Sir.
Your effortless doggedness, visionary leadership and commitment to excellence are an inspiration to us all. Our prayer is that God would bless you with sound health and long life to conquer more territories and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Accept, please, my heartfelt congratulations and have my best wishes for the many more conquests ahead.
I am more than proud to call you our leader.
As the Africa’s force of nature clocks 60 today, let us all stand up and raise our glasses to The Champion!
Happy birthday, Mr Chairman Sir.