I have known him since 1979 When boys were proud to be boys Then only the unknown abbreviated aspirations to manhood I liked him for his soft voice that belied the steel in him If you see him walk with a slight bent Respect him.
He played hockey, possibly for East Central State Certainly for Anambra State which became TWO AND HALF
Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu More certainly, for IMT (shame on you if you don’t know) Enugu Hockey was a big thing, under Capito, who was the skipper Hardly anyone knew the real name of the Warri Boy Who tells you,
“I no skirt nonsense” I didn’t know when I first learnt Warri patois Capito wherever you are respect Dada studied Mass Communication with me Three Professors – Jemie Onwuchekwa from Minnesota, among several other places, Edeani, the proudly “student from Biafra” as his publications stated, Ikechukwu Nwosu, renowned PR practitioner, teacher and preacher Dada and I were in different political camps, a long story for another day.
I was for the inclusiveness that NPN permitted He settled for NPP In 1983, our final year IMT, in its inherent wisdom, put almost all final year students in one hall We named ours Mass Comm Lodge.
It was on Abakiliki Road, almost opposite where The Enugu Mall is When we were there, it was the Polo Park
We jogged there, and stopped When some of us accused us of going there as a guise For a daily early breakfast of igbo (yes, fenja, in family man size) Dada became the Lord Mayor of the Mass Comm Lodge
The only Lodge, and the only one with a Mayor I lived under his laws for a session, my final year
His ricocheting sagacity (I loved sagacity before I knew what it meant) Endeared him to me I was stunned when the other month I stormed his Obosi homestead Asking for Dada Owusu They knew him as Nzube IMT knew him as Raymond Nwokeabia.
We knew him as Dada Owusu Happy birthday to my Lord Mayor The man under whose rules I learnt to trust and obey The one who treats me as King, though Mayor, before I became a thing Perhaps, he was carried, woskedly by the Palm Wine Drinkards of our days He fell only on the right spots
May your things be long, elongated As folks elsewhere say If I am long, collect me (if I am wrong, correct me) Happy birthday ma broda, ma Lord, ma friend There is only one Dada Owusu May more celebrations await you.