As the Sun Sets In Vanquished Biafra- Eastern Nigeria;
by Stanley Chinedu Acholonu
This week’s IMMORTAL LINES was dedicated to the noble and fearless persona of IKEMBA OJUKWU– some of the lines are re-edited to fit; we are starting with William Shakespeare. “All that threatens me never look but at my back- for when they shall see my popped eyes, they are vanquished. Danger knows full well that we are two lions littered in one day, I Ojukwu Ikemba the elder and more terrible shall go forth”
By William Shakespeare-adopted for Ojukwu.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”
Martin Luther King Jr. “Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred up by spiritless men “James Baldwin “The highest honor that my friends can do me is to enforce in their lives the program that I stand for or to resist me to their utmost, if they do not believe in it”
Mahatma Gandhi “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity; there are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long –range risks and costs of comfortable inaction” John F. Kennedy “No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little”Edmund Burke “A nation that forgets its defenders will be itself be forgotten
“Calvin Coolidge “The most important quality of a leader is that of being acknowledged as such, and the very essence of him is to have a vision. To succeed motivation is everything and his first responsibility as a leader is to define the thin line between reality of a purpose, the sublime & the ridiculous. Leadership is intangible and therefore no weapon ever designed can replace it. To most leaders like Ikemba, example is not the main thing in influencing people, example is just the ONLY thing- leadership by example has more followers than REASON. United we stand; divided we fall- “Igwe- buike “Stanley Chinedu
IKEMBA OJUKWU- AS CASTED ON MARBLE- WEEK 9
The Macabre Dance of Ikemba & the Ndigbo”
“In Ojukwu, the Ndigbo-got a face, got a voice with a resilient attitude, he was the proud ultimate mascot of the Igbo-race. His great aristocratic persona was woven intricately forever around everything that represented the very spirit of the Igbo-race in time & in space.
To understand the troubled life of this proud African warrior king’s dilemma, you must also understand the dilemma of the Ndigbo- people. Like Achilles from the Greek- Trojan war, Ojukwu’s privileged upbringing, sacrifices and times was foretold for one purpose- to serve the Igbo-race. He was born to serve, a proud fearless warrior king; the only king the Igbos will ever have. A strategic War General, a semantic orator- Cicero-pre-eminence. A romantic family man- he was a round character.
He pushed the psyche of Ndigbo to an immense vitality- a vitality that stretched spirally through mist and dust, generating excitement, angers, intellectualism and unprecedented spirit of self preservation. This has necessitated a surge of incipient boldness in their carriage and actions as they sulked, carrying about scars and ambience of defeat. A war that gave Ojukwu more mythical feats than any man in history- To the rest of NIGERIA he could be anything he wanted to be- lol.
Through speeches and political alliances he tried so much to give back his people their very essence of the Iost Igbo spirit and dignity. He never gave up even though that the Ndigbo proved to be an index of complexities; they are a classic study of unity in dis-unity& dis-unity in unity. Relatively propelled by organized government neglect and fear of the Igbo-factor. The Ndigbo youths propped by Ojukwu’s oratory’s skill backed by the Ohaneze, embarked on an aggressive self development projects- which has taken a great toll on the mental and financial abilities of the younger generations-
From the zero-point ashes of defeat- the legendary or infamous resilient Igbo-spirit of aggressive self enterprises was re-born- and numerous community schools, state universities, industries, bridges, roads, even airports and whole new villages were built in record times. From Ojukwu’s sunrise to sunset, he had stuck to the very essence or soul of the Igbo- race like a postage stamp. He never failed them like Santa Claus to kids- instead some of them failed him. The youths worshipped him like a demi-god – he was actually larger than life and surely his name will last for ages maybe in time he would become a mythical Igbo-iconic figure. He was cool, suave, intelligent, the best of Sanhurst, he was an officer and a gentleman, he was silver/golden spoon, he had the gift of Cicero-eloquence. He was born great; he lived great, and also died great.
This article of CASTED ON MARBLE is dedicated to the memory of OJUKWU
Stanley Chinedu is a writer/ Poet/Film Director @