By Izunna Okafor
IT was indeed a moment of reflection, reminiscence, encumium, and funfair on Monday as people gathered to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Anambra Newspaper Printing Corporation, publisher of National Light, Ka Ọ Dị Taa and National Light Sports Extra, Sir Chuka Nnabụife, as he turned half a hundred.
The event, which took place at the National Light Auditorium and Event Hall, located inside the National Light Complex, Awka Anambra State attracted friends, relatives, well wishers, clergy men, classmates, journalists, musicians, artists, writers/poets, stakeholders and other top government functionaries from every nook and cranny of the state.
Speaking at the event which started with a Holy Mass, held inside the National Light premises, the Parish Priest of St. Thomas Aquinas, Agu Awka, Rev. Fr. Anthony Akabụọgụ described birthday celebration as acknowledgement of gift of life, which aims primarily at reflection on the past years, giving thanks to God for gift of life, and making decisions and merry for the new age.
He rained eulogy on the celebrant, most especially for deeming it worthy to start the celebration with God, congratulated him and wished him well in his new age, even as he charged everybody to reflect on his or her past years to see how good or bad they used it to serve God who is the only giver of life.
The dismissal of the Holy Mass amidst thanksgiving and cutting of the birthday cake was followed suit by the celebration proper, ushered in by some mind-flaring jazz tunes, showing the official migration to the other page of event.
This phase featured public speeches on the life and personality of the celebrant, Sir Chuka Nnabụife, poetry presentation and performances by the National Light Art House, music performances, funfair and other festal activities that garnished up the event.
Speaking on the personality of Sir Chuka Nnabụife, some of the testifiers who included: the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obiano on Secondary Education, Dr. Paul Ifeanyi; the Brand Consultant to Anambra State Government, Mr. Mike Obiajulu Meze; the MD and CEO of Anambra Broadcasting Service, Nze Uche Nworah; the Chairman, Society of Nigerian Artists Anambra Chapter, Sir Tony Otikpa; the chairman Nigerian Union of Journalist Anambra State Chapter, Mr. Emma Ifesinachi; and Mrs. Ukamaka Anueyiagu described him as God’s gift to Anambra State, even as they married their descriptions with narrative flashbacks of how they individually encountered him in different regions of the country making waves with his creative abilities, until he was finally brought home by His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano to serve his mother state, Anambra with his enormous God-given talents.
They presented him as an intelligent man of honour and integrity, a multi-talented fellow who has a portion in every page of creativity, a renowned sculpturist and a connoisseurial artist, an award-winning prolific writer, a crackerjack in the field of journalism, an actor with repute, a quintessential orator, a music lover and many more, yet humble and accessible, arguing that he is indeed a role model to many.
In her own part, the wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Beatrice Nnabụife, simply described her husband as caring, loving, cheerful, serious minded, jovial, considerate and as possessing all such virtues which simply make him the best husband that has ever existed.
Others who spoke at the dawn-to-dusk event included Hon. Sam Uzoka (retired and fomer head of Advert Department ANPC); Hon. Afunugo Amaechi; Mr. Joseph Obi Onugha, and other friends and well-wishers, as well as some staff of National Light, who all showered panegyrics on the celebrant and testified how diversely he has impacted on their individual lives, even as they prayed God to bless him with many more years and good health.
In his vote of thanks, Sir Chuka Nnabụife, whose joy knew no bound, rained praises on Governor Willie Obiano, the guests and everybody who came to felicitate with him, even as he acknowledged them as part of the people who made him reach the echelon occupies today, and prayed to God to grant them journey mercies as the tripped back to their various destinations.
The high points of the event included cutting of the birthday cake, poetry presentation and performances by some young writers and members of the National Light Art House who included Comrade O’star Eze, Anigbogu Ugochukwu, Ojima Juliet, Chisom Nweke, Onuzulike Jordan, Glory Williams and Izunna Okafor (an Igbo poet).
Other climax of the event was the funfair proper and wooing of the guest with jazzy and melodious tunes by some talented musicians in the house, who included Mr. Ernest Igwilo (Free World); Mr. Ezeh Onwuji (who is also a journalist and TV presenter at the Anambra Broadcasting Service Awka) and Miss. Chinwendu Uzoatu (who is also a journalist at the National Light Igbo Newspaper, Ka Ọ Dị Taa) as well as other components of Conviviality which made the event answer its name.
By Izunna Okafor