Special to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica multimedia networks (Houston). @USAfricaLive
Emeka C Oparah (ECO) bestrides his environment in the manner of the colossus that he has become. We shall keep the C still coded.
This brilliant mass communication professional, top of his graduating class, combines passion with hard work, commitment with loyalty, and compassion with competence.
ECO, his Cadbury Nigeria initials, dares where angels fear to walk. He treads carefully and with innate wisdom. No wonder he has served no fewer than six CEOs in the barber chair of the executive suite at Airtel Nigeria. He can tell the story of that brand, and the many behind the scenes stories of the building of brand upon brand upon brand since Econet. His book should be a guide to doing public relations in Africa.
Emeka has shown entrepreneurial skills, parlaying his passion for the GQ looks into a personal style, then a brand. Ethelberts has benefited from all those years of lean purses and the call on this strategist to support the corporate and product brands with public relations mainly. He has built a recognisable brand with personal modeling, the gift of the garb and consummate skill in public relations, creating events and telling stories.
The Oparah of the Oparah family, Emeka did as responsible first-borns do in our tradition. He shouldered the responsibility for nine siblings. Good causes animate Emeka. He loves touching lives.
Family life often tells a lot about persons. The loss of Pa Ethelbert Ihentuge, his father, hit Emeka hard. He wept more buckets when Peski, a younger sibling, left. He has kept his pledge of taking care of the brother’s three children and wife, ensuring the children get a good education and welfare.
This gentleman is also a traditionalist and one who follows simple rules for living. He has loved his Angie since teenage years. First love, forever love. Together they waited on the Lord for 15 years. HE showed up, as only HE does, in a masterstroke, yielding double. Emeka loves them with more than his usual fervour, passion, and enthusiasm. They are the reason for the added spring to his steps.
I have known this man since 1994. This is my friend in whom I am so pleased. Proud of his many achievements. Our paths have crossed in several ways since. He went to the Jackson College, Department of Mass Communication, after me. He drank from the wisdom of Pat Utomi at Patike Communications after me. Moreover, he replaced me as Media Relations Manager at Cadbury Nigeria.
Whatever the cause, once Emeka buys in, he pursues with passion and doggedness. When he switches off, consider it closed.
The rise and rise of Emeka Oparah is a story unfolding before our very eyes. This Golden Age becomes a man with a heart of gold and a Midas touch. Happy birthday, my brother.