The Legacy of Chief Nathan Udogwu

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TRIBUTE 

BY Vanessa Obioha

If there was one word used to describe the late Chief Nathan Udogwu, it was kind-hearted. He was an embodiment of that word even till his untimely death in September. Anyone who encountered him during his lifetime spoke highly of his generosity. From his immediate family to his community Awo-Omamma where he was once chairman of his Local Government, Oru in Imo state, Chief Udogwu touched many lives.

His sudden death on September 3 was a great shock to many. Not many believed the sad news when it first broke. The widows in his community Awo-Omamma in Imo state refused to accept the news. His sister Ify Felix felt her world stopped moving. Chief Executive of J.Green Mbadiwe and Sons Ltd, Chief Victor Mbadiwe, who shared a special bond with the deceased was thoroughly heartbroken.

Unfortunately, they had to accept the bitter truth that indeed the man who many described as a man with the golden heart has departed the earthly plane.

Nath as his loved ones called him was born on July 21, 1948. He was the second son of his parents who were great philanthropists. When his father passed on in 1979, Nathan, together with his six siblings created a familial bond that stood the test of time. Nath and his two brothers paired themselves with their younger sisters. Each played a fatherly role to the sisters while the oldest sister played the motherly role to all of them. The youngest Ify and Nath were very close. She described him as a very compassionate man who was always there for her.

“He was so compassionate. If I haven’t heard from him in a while because he was busy, I will just send a message to him that I’m not doing well and the next minute he is calling me. He was my 911 call. Always there for me. I don’t know what to do to fill the gap. We talk all the time. He was the loveliest person on earth,” she said in a plaintive tone.

She has lovely memories of him. From those happy moments when he would playfully dance in front of his siblings or children, or when he would jokingly tell her to crack the knuckles of his toes. So close were they that the only way she could effectively convey her emotions was to write several poems about him.

The late Nath met Victor during his secondary school years. The two immediately got on each other like a house on fire. Their relationship rubbed off on their parents and soon the two families became very close. In fact, in his tribute to the deceased, Victor revealed that they were called ‘Siamese Twins’ because of their close relationship.

They both went to United States of America to study, although to different locations, they however kept in touch. On returning to Nigeria after graduation, Nath stayed in Owerri while Victor stayed in Kaduna. Yet, the distance never affected their relationship for they visited each other. At one time, they had a close brush with death.

“We were both on the same flight travelling to Kaduna and there was turbulence. The turbulence got so bad that Nath at a point asked me ‘So this is how we are going to end up’, but God miraculously saved us and we landed safely.”

The last time Victor would see his friend was during the yuletide season in 2016 when the departed dedicated the Anglican church in Awo-Omamma- which he renovated for his community- in a thanksgiving service.

Before his untimely passing, he sent a voicemail to Victor to tell him he was on his way to America and would probably stopped by in New York where Victor is based to see him.

Nath’s philanthropy knew no bounds that his sister, Ify wondered how the orphans and widows who have been beneficiaries of his kindness through his Nathan’s Foundation would cope with his death. He gave each and every one of them including the poor and the needy a monthly salary. Just last Christmas, she revealed he empowered many of his community members through cash, skill acquisition programme, as well as machinery such as motorcycles and sewing machines to start a trade.

It was not the first time he did such monumental work for his community. During his tenure as the local government chairman in the late 90s, he ensured that every indigene of his hometown was empowered either through employment or education.

“There was this time I came home and one of my uncle who was a palm wine tapper had his suit on, and I asked him where he was going, he said he was a government worker. That everyone is now a government worker. Truly, that was what Nathan did when he was the local government chairman. He gave employment to everyone in his community, and the ones he could not give jobs, he gave them cash. Nathan was very loved by all.”

Indeed he was very instrumental to the development of his community through his philanthropy and patriotic service.

His source of wealth was not questionable for Victor described the graduate of Business Administration as a very shrewd and successful businessman with businesses in importation, real estate and other trades. He was also a staunch Christian who loved and obeyed God with all his heart, according to Ify.

Nath died of a heart surgery in Denver, Colorado, USA. He is survived by his wife, siblings and six children.

Blade Runner 2049 storms cinemas

After a grand premiere, a new Hollywood sci-fi movie, Blade Runner 2049, has hit the cinemas across the country, and since then it has been attracting film aficionados to the box office.

The premiere, which held amidst soft music, drinks and canapés at the prestigious Silverbird Cinema, Victoria Island, Lagos, attracted celebrities including Mr Jonathan Murray-Bruce‎, executive director, Silverbird Group; Ugochi Ihezue, Most Beautiful Girl Nigeria (MBGN) 2017; Emmanuella Yaboh, MBGN Miss ECOWAS, and Stephanie Agbasi, MBGN Miss Universe, who all dazzled on the red carpet, posing for the paparazzi and fielding questions from the press.

Murray Bruce was all smiles having thoroughly enjoyed watching the film, describing it as “quite fantastic”. And for MBGN Miss ECOWAS, Emmanuella Yaboh, the “sci-fi movie is thrilling. The flying cars particularly got my attention,” she enthused.

Visually stunning and narratively satisfying Blade Runner 2049 will strike a chord in the hearts of movie lovers, as they throng the cinemas when the film officially opened across the country.

Distributed by Silverbird Film Distribution, Blade Runner 2049 deepens and expands its predecessor’s story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right. 30 years after the events of the first film, Blade Runner unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. Officer K’s (Ryan Gosling) discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for three decades.

K’s job is to track down bio-engineered human beings also known as replicants. But he’s beleaguered by erroneous childhood memories that he imagines to be real. K’s hologram, Joi, who goes with him everywhere through the help of a mobile projector, dies when the projector is destroyed. Does K survive in the search for his identity? Why is Niander Wallace so engrossed with the idea of creating replicants? What are replicants? The movie aptly answers these questions.

Set in California in a futuristic year 2049, Blade Runner is a remake of Riddly Scott’s 1982 movie, Blade Runner, which in itself is based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Aside Harrison Ford and Rhyan Gosling, the film parades other season actors like Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Carla Juri, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, and Sylvia Hoeks.