Olajobi Olugbenga Joseph pays tribute to Margaret Obaigbena, Princess of Owa Kingdom

The news of the passage of Princess Margaret Obaigbena Princess of Owa Kingdom in Delta State seems like an unexpected one because nobody really wants to lose a loved one no matter how old.  Princess Margaret Obaigbena was the mother of the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the THISDAY / ARISE Media Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena.

The THISDAY titles are undoubtedly among the leading publications in the country and across the globe, courtesy of the committed effort by The Duke of Owa Kingdom, Prince Nduka Obaigbena whose eyes are trained on talents and assembles them to build an attractive newspaper with rich contents to the satisfaction of readers everywhere.

According to one of my former publishers, Moffat Ekoriko “the outlook of a newspaper is a description of the Editor,” but I will say it is by extension a description of the Publisher.

The Duke of Owa Kingdom, no doubt brought innovation and revolution to the business of newspaper publishing and media profession in Africa just like what Otunba Apesin of Ijebuland, Otunba Micheal Adenuga Junior did with Glo in the telecom industry in Nigeria and some parts of Africa. The Duke worked very hard to ensure that the THISDAY titles survive the test of times as we were told stories of the humble beginning, about how he single -handedly distributed newspapers to vendors on many occasions in some parts of Lagos, when the cabals within the vendor unions were not forthcoming or at times when the copies came late. This is outright determination. He had successfully positioned the newspaper as a publication to reckon with having assembled intelligent minds and writers of note with precision and creativity. Despite the tortuous economy that continuously stares us in the face especially in this part of the world, The Duke never gets discouraged.

The THISDAY family is a house of star writers and a place of mentorship for future generation of journalists. Today, the newspapertitles shape our opinions and its commentaries guide our intellect. The publisher is still working very hard to sustain the hard-earned THISDAY brand. No wonder he moved on to establish the Arise TV, what a perfect complement! Today anyone can read THISDAY newspaper and watch Arise TV on the go. He once recalled how as a young college student together with his peers in Ughelli worked together to form a group called the Black Cultural movement and campaigned for South Africa’s independence, a significant start towards greater heights. The logic of projection from THISWEEK to THISDAY is quite futuristic!

The Duke couldn’t have gone this far but for the tutelage of his good parents. His dad was a senior civil servant on the executive cadre and his mum a nurse who rose through the ranks to become a chief nursing officer in the then Mid-west State. They ensured he and his siblings went to good schools and paid for their wellbeing. No wonder The Duke and the other children are successful in their various endeavour.  I enjoin every parent to learn from this, give your best to your children; train them with good morals, care for them and help them to grow their God given talents to better our world like The Duke is doing with THISDAYArise TV, and other platforms.

It is said that “Charity begins at home”. All the strides by the Publisher may not have come to play and there may not be a party today if he was not given that good motherly training and learnt the skills of hard work. Of course, the good home background and how he was weaned and trained by his late mother is evidence of what he has achieved in life. Truly, mothers are like expensive gold that money can’t buy and it is always difficult to let go of our loved ones. I celebrate with all the children and members of the Obaigbena Dynasty for a life well spent by their amiable Matriarch and the indelible marks she had made by serving as the route through which they access the world. As Mama helped humanity as nurse, all of you are doing same in your chosen careers – helping our world and impacting lives. This moment is not for you to mourn but to thank God and rejoice for the longevity Mama enjoyed. Despite Nigeria’s lifespan ratings, she had a good life and God helped her to stay for quite a while. As she passes on to glory I urge you all to be strong and take heart.

For us in the school of journalism, The Duke is an encyclopedia that we read always. Thank you Mama for serving as a route for him to connect the world.

Joseph is a postgraduate student of Mass Communication in Babcock University

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