Special Tribute: Sam Amuka Pemu @ 88: Tex Egbedi ... One of his loyal ' Boys ' Speaks on the Quintessential Pen Man
By Mike Cerutti Osagie
" A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he gives to others".
This thought provoking but truthful quote by Sir Robert Green Ingersoll best describes the Quintessential Pen Man called Sam Amuka Pemu who just clocked the historical landmark of 88 years of age.
A lot has no doubt been said of this Africa's great journalist, columnist turned publisher, who founded the Vanguard, one of Nigeria's leading newspaper, and was co-founder of The Punch, the most widely read newspaper in Nigeria- alongside his friend, the late Olu Aboderin, in 1971.
He was born in Sapele, a city in Delta State, southern Nigeria, into the family of the late Pa Amuka-Pemu and Madam Teshoma Amuka-Pemu.
Sam Amuka Pemu has no doubt seen it all in life, especially in the pen pushing business.
And as Boney Kapoor puts it ... " There are heroes and then there are legends, heroes get remembered but legends never die."
Sam Amuka Pemu best fits both tags. A man who has been on the wings from the word go in his journalism career; he was a Daily Times of Nigeria Editor and the first Editor of the Sunday Punch before he established The Punch with his friend, the late Olu Aboderin, in 1971.
He later established Vanguard Newspaper in 1983 with three other Nigerian columnists. Little wonder Amuka was once described as a "Gentleman of the Press" by former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
In quest to seek for the few qualities that set Sam Amuka Pemu apart, this writer had sort an exclusive audience with a self confessed " boy " of his in person of the top Gentlemen's clothier called Tex Egbedi.
Speaking excitedly of Uncle Sam as he is fondly called Tex Egbedi admitted that Uncle Sam Amuka Pemu is blessed with a personality that is difficult to comprehend or describe in words
In his Frank view about Amuka, Egbedi posited; "In all my life of dealings with people, I have never seen a gentleman as fluid as Uncle Sam Amuka".
" He's my Master and father figure and I am never ashamed to describe myself as his boy" he declared.
" Our paths first crossed in the late 70's when my then boss Chief Chris Okolie appointed me as the Group Advertisement Manager of New Breed magazine".
" One of the first men he took me for media business tutorials was Uncle Sam who was then in charge at Punch,it was purely a business meeting as I have just arrived into the Country then and I was giving a special reception
" I am proud and I give God the glory that I am still in steady touch with him and I enjoy a father son relationship with him, aside both of us being Sapele indigenes, Amuka is a good teacher, good listener and good soul who stick to anyone he calls friend till the end of the road".
"And I think the greatest lesson I learnt from him is to learn to talk less and take action more. "Amuka has a deep knack for Action".
"There are some leaders who talk a great deal but never do anything other than talk. Good leaders are those who talk about what needs to happen and then do something about it or have a bias for action and that is Amuka for you"
According to Egbedi, Amuka is a leader with a bias for action and do not freeze in times of uncertainty or when a decision needs to be made. He courageously decide and act and hold himsel accountable for his decisions and actions. Someone has to take the first step, he once told me as the true leader is the one taking it."
As Sam Amuka Pemu enjoys life at 88, here's wishing the Quintessential Pen Man long life and more peace of the river.
• Osagie, a professional writer & Humanitarian sent this piece from his Lagos base.
He can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org or sms +234 9067511130