It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid
Life is a mystery and death a bigger puzzle. Few men can stand the gaze of time and come out on top. And none will match the place of my boss and mentor, Sir Conrad Ikemefuna Bosah. As much as I grief your translation from the temporary reality – called life – to the permanency of immortality, yet I owe a debt of gratitude.
As the Managing Director of Anambra Newspapers, publishers of National Light and Spokesman, you gave me my first job as a cub-reporter. While the immediate purpose was to keep a young lad busy and out of harm’s way, the eternal repercussion was to navigate me to where I truly belong – the world of words. As the prophet you were, you saw through the latent talents I had and knew that my proper home was not in the laboratory but to be soaked in ink.
I would not call you a ‘veteran’ journalist – asides being a cliché that has been over-used – it cannot capture the essence of the style journalism you practiced and taught us to follow. You went through the ranks – rising from a reporter of Daily Star to its managing director. Your journey in the old Anambra State Government House as Chief Press Secretary was an assignment that you carried out with diligence. When the late Zik was mistakenly announced dead by the NTA, you stood your grounds and countered that fallacy with facts. Though the announcement was made on the 9.00pm NTA Network News, you drove down to Nsukka and back that very night.
What then is the essence of mortality, if not to crave for immortality? You pioneered the establishment of Spokesman and National Light Newspapers for the new Anambra State. And from their replicated your Midas touch in Vanguard newspapers.
I’ll speak no more; it’s difficult to let go, but yet more painful to accept this loss. Goodnight Sir Conrad Ikemefuna Bosah – my boss and mentor.