I journeyed to Ndimbara Amaegbu in Nkwerre, Imo State to pay my last respect to my dear friend, Dr. Jimanze Ego-Alowes who passed unto glory on December 25, 2020. Our paths crossed many years ago through Chuddy Oduenyi, our mutual friend. A profound mind, brilliant polemicist, original thinker and committed patriot, Jimanze believed so much in the power of ideas and he canvassed that robustly. Ever humble, he preferred to describe himself as “a journalist, poet and writer with a passion for new knowledge and human development”.
He published seven groundbreaking books, some of which I had the privilege of editing the initial manuscripts. During my tour of duty as Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, I invited him to write a column which he quickly obliged.
For few weeks, the column was published without a name. Following the critical acclaim the column received, I insisted that it should be given a name. He explained that his purpose was to turn the page into a turf for contestation of ideas for development. I instantly suggested that the column be called ‘The Turf Game’. He quickly and gladly accepted.
As he was being lowered to his final resting place, it hit me that a knowledge factory has just been closed. Jimanze worked so hard to impact the world but life was so unfair to him. He succumbed to a battle with liver cancer. Aged 62, he played the turf game of life selflessly, studiously and stoically.
To paraphrase John Donne, Jimanze’s death has “diminished me because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls…”
As Jimanze would say Ahiazuwa.
Onyima is a former Managing Director of the Sun