I HAVE known Obi Nwude for 13 years and worked for him for seven years. He was one of the reasons I work in National Light.
Generally, people think that bosses are cold and unapproachable and conveniently equate them to an emotionless robot.
It is easy to make judgment of all bosses. However, if we take time to stand in their shoes, we might probably understand why. His fatherly demeanour immediately springs out whenever he talked about his family. He is also a boss who says, “if you need my help in any way, let me know,” and he means it. He is willing to listen and never short of wise advice.
He never cuts short a conversation. He listens, even when he disagrees. He has his share of mood swings and was also never afraid to admit his mistakes. Those were definitely not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength, courage and responsibility.
Obi was one of the great writers I knew. I had always looked forward to reading his column ‘Echoes’ at the back page of this newspaper, ‘National Light.’
He gave people opportunity and then got out of the way. He would also cover your back if needed. This boss was beloved by many and everyone has his or her favourite stories and quotes he used over time. His gift was giving you liberty to function in your job. I wish everyone to be so lucky. His retirement was end of an era.
On November 2, 2016, when he attended one of the meetings of retirees, I saw him on his way home. We exchanged pleasantries, after which he asked after my mother and I told him that she was sick, only for me to call him in the evening of same day to tell him of her demise.
During preparation of her burial, he told me to keep him informed of every arrangement. He was more of a father and uncle during that period.
Life has thought me to look beyond the mere human mistakes and see people for who they really are. The good book told us stories of great men who despite their shortcomings still find favour in God’s presence.
Are you a boss? A supervisor? Have you considered this possibility that you may die suddenly. When those people working for you come to know, will they out of formality or courtesy come to your family members and say something like, “ I am sorry for your loss or will they, themselves feel the loss?
What sort of a boss would you be to the people calling you boss?
His remains will be interred at his compound Nri in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State tomorrow.
Adieu Obi, may you find your way to the light.