First, I believe that education is the fuel for powering purposeful nations and families to rewarding heights of scholastic excellence, leadership and corporate dominance. I know the keys to the kingdom of professional success are found in the dynamic, far-flung, fertile fields of education.
Second, books/e-books are the foundational building blocks for education. Therefore, as one of many he mentored through the keen observation of the publishing business and civic engagements, it is — for lack of better three words — a painful priviledge, to write in past tense a tribute regarding the death of an outstanding man who laid many of such building blocks, the man who loved books: Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo, the man of courage who held a chieftaincy title only fit for a warrior, Dike Ikeogu.
Third, I remember Dr. Nwankwo with a realistic sense of dignity and pride for his living from August 19, 1939 to February 1, 2020 — reflective and representative of what I classify as a Life of Consequence! It was relatively brief but the man, a man of letters, left indelible footprints in the media landscape and political history of not only the Igbo and Nigeria but impacted thousands of scholars of African descent, globally.
Fourth, may I recall that It was the late, great statesman and icon, Nelson Mandela, who said that “education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.” So true, in this digital age of algorithms and IoTs (internet of things), heritage and history.
Fifth, he understood the power and influence of the media hence he established Fourth Dimension Publishers in December 1977. It was commissioned by then Minister of Education, Ahmadu Ali, at Arthur’s home town, our home town of Ajalli; accurately and historically known as Ujari. Among the heavyweight scholars enlisted to the founding editorial board included late Prof. Emma Obiechina, late poet/soldier Mamman Vatsa, and the man I regard as the greatest writer of African descent, the late Prof. Chinua Achebe. Permit me to note, that my book on Achebe, Mandela and MLK: Power, Leadership & Identity, is scheduled for release this summer of 2020.
Ejike Nwankwo, Arthur’s younger brother and founding managing director of FDP told me that “in response to the growth of our demographics, we changed our slogan from African books by Africans to the African viewpoints.”
Arthur was the progressives co-leader (of the PRP and NADECO), Chancellor and presidential candidate of the Eastern Mandate Union. He was a rock-ribbed activist and critic as can be seen in several of his commentaries on USAfricaonline.com
He attended the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia; and got in 1964 BA degree in history and political science.
He has a masters degree in the same fields from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1966.
He returned to embattled Nigeria in December 1966, as the pogrom/killings of Igbo and other Christians from the East was on a rapid escalation — especially in Nigeria’s middle belt and in the largely Islamic north. This was only a few months to the start of the 1967- 1970 Nigeria versus Biafra war. He authored with Samuel Ifejika an important book, The making of a nation: Biafra.
He was the Anambra State governorship candidate of the PRP in 1982-1983.
Sixth, Dr. Nwankwo was truly a man of the people with a cardinal commitment to the exponential development of the human capacity.
He was a man with the milk of human kindness and philanthropic zeal; a towering example of a public intellectual and fountain of books, education….
Long live, the name, the heritage and the legacy of Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo!
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu who appears as an analyst on the CNN and SkyNews, serves as the Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, USAfricaonline.com and author of the 2020 book on Power, Leadership & Identity [MLK, Mandela & Achebe]. He served as an adviser to Houston’s Mayor on Africa business, and has been recognized by the U.S Congress for championing the interests of Africans and Americans. +1-832-45-CHIDO (24436)