By Chigbo Ofong, PhD.
Special & Exclusive tribute for USAfricaonline.com
Mazi James Madison McGee, born on December 22, 1940, in Nashville, attended Fisk University, Mason’s School of Business, served in the U.S Marine Corps, 1961-65 and in 1989, he was elected as national president of the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees (NAPFE).
He was talented in many areas of the human existential experience. He was a gentle, kind, fearless and trusted leader who endeared himself to all those who knew him well.
His death, a few weeks ago, is a big loss to all of us, family and community, NAPFE, numerous friends in Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Canada.
We first met in 1980 when he was the president of District 5 of the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees (NAPFE) and I was the consultant in international relations at the national office. But we got to know each other better in 1981 when we both represented NAPFE at the Congress of the World Confederation of Labor (WCL) in Manila, Philippines. Two years later, we were both elected into the Confederal Board of the WCL and served for five years, traveling extensively together.
Ever since the WCL Congress in Manila, we maintained a very close friendship. Over the course of our friendship, I became convinced that your roots must be of the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria, and deserving to be be respectfully addressed as ‘Mazi’, as Aro gentleman are addressed. Unfortunately our plan to visit Nigeria on his retirement to reconnect with his roots never materialized. Bad health had caused him to retire prematurely as national president of NAPFE.
Mazi, rest assured that we love you very much and that you will forever be in our hearts. •Prof. Ofong, a specialist in business and management studies, has been serving as the Vice President of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston — since 1993.