By Fred Chukwuelobe
I joined Champion Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Champion titles, in 1992 as a staff reporter. I rose to senior reporter, assistant news editor/rewrite specialist. I moved up to deputy news editor, acting news editor and finally news editor.
These were the different posts in the newsroom and I occupied all of them meritoriously. The experience I gathered on each post made me one of the, if not the, best news editors the Daily Champion ever had.
Without sounding immodest or braggadocious, I was and it propelled me to higher heights upon which I still thrive today.
It was from here that, in 2003, I got appointed as media adviser to Gov. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, OON, of Anambra State. My strides in that government remain a testament to what I learnt in Champion Newspapers Limited with the opportunity provided by the High Chief.
But this is not my story; it is the story of the man who provided the platform on which I and many others earned our marks and moved on: Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR.
He is 80 years today and still remains one of the shinning lights of Igbo land – Ahaejiagamba of Igbo land. A towering personality. A businessman whose entrepreneurial ingenuity is well-known and documented.
He made forays into politics and many businesses: aviation (Oriental Airlines); Construction (Hardel and Enic); Sports (Iwuanyanwu Nationale); Publication(Champion Newspapers Limited), among many other business concerns.
Many journalists, footballers, engineers and allied workers earned decent living in the various industries and business concerns set up and nurtured by the BIG masquerade.
Although Champion Newspapers Limited is no longer as evident on news stands as it was when we were there, those of us who leaped to higher heights, using that platform, will never forget the man who provided that opportunity.
Therefore, as he marks this milestone, I join his family and friends, especially members of the Champion family, in rejoicing with him and wishing him more years in good health.
Chief Iwuanyanwu is an octogenarian. He is a man of many parts. He has played his role in making men. May God protect him and shower His mercies on him.
Happy birthday, sir.