By Kunle Bakare
Our paths crossed at FAME – the soar-away weekly, which redefined celebrity and entertainment journalism, where some of us spent the most robustly exciting period of our youth from July 1991 – May 1997.
He’s always been the likeable lad who smiled constantly and offered to do more than was required. Azuh Arinze—whose 50th birthday we are celebrating today Thursday, March 24, 2022, came to FAME fresh-faced.
He appeared to pick his cash prize in a bonanza, returned as an intern, became a staff in record time, matured into a dependable reporter, and joined ‘the good people of Encomium’ on May 14, 1997. He served meritoriously as the Editor of Encomium from 2003 to 2011.
Arinze left to start his journal, Yes International. And he’s never been too far away.
This gentleman I have known for more than half his life deserves a trophy: he puts in long hours of hard and smart work, and he’s living his dream. He walks the extra mile without the smile on his face disappearing.
The ‘recklessly handsome’ gentleman (a phrase stolen from GQ magazine’s interview of Seal in our early days at Encomium when Azuh favoured tight-fitting trousers like the famous musician) stands a head above most I have had the good fortune of working with. He’s easily amongst those on top of the league of my favourite persons.
Nkolika’s husband, the father of Mimi and Neke, is in Serie A for many reasons. His humility is endearing, so are his reliability and loyalty.
I pray that Azuh amplifies the ezigbo mmadu [a decent and good person] ethos and sharpens the omoluwabi [a dignified person] spirit from this momentous day.
I pray that he multiplies his efforts to advance the progressive causes of humankind, embraces simplicity and the principles that promote goodwill and happiness more.
I ask that he lives Lao Tse’s maxim (‘when your knowledge increases, your ego diminishes’). And never fail to consider the fundamental axiom of utilitarians (‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong’, espoused by Jeremy Bentham, 1748–1832). That he imbibes the crux of Simon Sinek’s ‘start with why’ (which encourages us to question and examine our rationale).
Like the Rotary 4-way tests (framed and hung at Fame Weekly by the epitome of style and good form, Mr Tex Egbedi in the early ’90s) teaches, become more circumspect and farsighted.
Azuh, the Rotarian, should continue to apply what his club preaches before doing or saying anything: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
As he settles well in the Golden Club, I wish him many more enriching and enjoyable years full of zing and zest.
Happy birthday, Seal!
Igba odun, odun kan!
The cultural and philosophical concepts of ezigbo mmadu (Igbo) and omoluwabi (Yoruba) promote courage, decorum, dignity, diligence, empathy, honesty, integrity, loyalty, tolerance, understanding and wisdom, among other virtues.