By Kingsley Dike
No time is death welcome in the family. But the death of Brother Nwachukwu has been personally very devastating to me. I have enjoyed very close relations with him that I can conveniently say I am one of his many disciples and protégé in the family and beyond. He was a good man who was genuinely interested in bringing out the best in other people. From a very early stage I was a beneficiary of his very many wise counsels.
He was a very constant feature in our growing up at home in Kwale. He greatly admired and honored his uncle, my father Chief Joseph Dike and the relationship was mutual. He was my father’s favorite amongst his many nephews. Thus, he has a major influence in our choices of what to do and how to go about it. He was instrumental in line with my father’s mentorship in encouraging all of us to seek admissions in Federal Universities in Nigeria, himself a graduate of Economics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.He later had a brilliant career as a Banker with Hallmark Bank and Unity Bank. He was a leader in the community and gave back to society.
First he led brilliantly as a student leader in UNN serving in the Student Union Government. He was active member of the Rotary Club and a member of Apapa Club and was very active in organizing their community outreach programs particularly support of indigent families with holiday cheers during the Christmas and yuletide season and scholarship scheme of University of Nsukka Alumni Association. He was a loving father to his four children and dedicated husband to his wife Nzolu.
Thus, you see the pride and glow when I went to theUniversity of Ife, and Jonathan and Harrison to University of Ibadan. As the teenage years came with its natural propensity for us to disagree and fall-out with our disciplinarian father Chief Dike, Brother Nwachukwu was the mediating influence that ensured we stayed the course without deviating from his Uncle’s vision for our development. As he used to say, you may disagree with Chief Dike in other issues but he is never wrong with his instincts on what career path and choice to follow and how to go about it.
Brother Nwachukwu would be greatly missed. I will forever miss the boisterous echoes of his laughter. Always a happy person who will see the good in every situation and every human being. He was the center of the Dike family universe, reaching out to everyone and abreast with all our individual problems and triumphs.
I remember the many long conversations with him from the different locations my service in the United States Army took me. In Iraq he would patiently listen to my war stories and pray for my safe return, in Germany we would delve into world history and the impact of WW2 on Decolonization in Africa and in South Korea, he was so concerned for my safety when I told him my unit was stationed about 100 miles from the DMZ, the most fortified border in the world. Every time he sees any news about the U.S Army or Soldier on CNN, Brother Nwachukwu would call my family to know how I am doing if I cannot be reached directly. Thank you for your care and concern and may your sweet gentle soul rest in peace. Adieu Brother Nwachukwu
Dike writes from Atlanta, Georgia, USA