JOE OKIGBO: The death of a Goodman, a Good Brother and my Friend of a Lifetime!

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.comand NigeriaCentral.com

There are deaths every day, across every community all over theworld. Yet, there are deaths which strike very close to home, andvery close to your heart and friendships. We take such deaths verypersonal, even where they have wider community impact or did notoccur in our own biological family. Such deaths affect us because thedead have lived some truths worthy of reflection for us.

In this light, William Hazlitt (1778-1830) the British essayistand author of 'The Spirit of the Age' in 1825 rightly asserted that:"Death cancels everything but truth; and strips a man of everythingbut genius and virtue...." Even with his death, I know that one suchtruth is that Joe IsiomaOkigbo lived a life of virtue and always spoke the truth; especiallyhe spoke his truth with love. The other truth is that Joe lived asone of my best friends and a shining, exemplary role model for thosewho were younger and older than him. There a thousand and numerousother truths about Joe's genius as a financial specialist and hisvirtues as a human being which still make his sudden death a verypainful and traumatic loss for all of us, the Africancommunity and the City of Houston. Joe Okigbo, ezigbo nwa, aptlynamed Isioma, God knew your heart and life of dignity, peace,progress, worthiness, accomplishments and goodness.

Joe, one of our very best abroad and home, a handsome and trulyreliable human being, died on April 15, 2002. He was born on July 2,1960. He resided in Houston, Texas where he worked as an AssistantCity Controller (Audit), as one of the highest ranking Africans inthe 4th largest city in the U.S.

Joe Okigbo was principled, and never cut any corners. He wastrusted and trusting. Joe's death is the passage of a Good man, thetransition of a first-class human being and the finest in what anyrational person would pray and wish for in a friend or brother.

For the 10 years that I've known him, I never saw Joe speak anyword of anger or malice. He never sought to put anyone down.

Joe and former Dr. Nwogo Agbasi were married in September2001.

I'm certain and glad Joe that you saw your wife, the daughter ofthe late F.C.N Agbasi of Nnewi, at her best, as she personified atower of strength and iron-clad commitment amidst your rapid, painfuland utterly unexpected mortal turn to eternity.

Joe served as a contributing editor of USAfrica The Newspaper andThe BlackBusiness Journal (where his financial advisory columnsappeared). A special report, 'He was no Ordinary Joe' and othertributes will appear in next week's print edition of USAfrica TheNewspaper and USAfricaonline.com.

Joe Okigbo, we miss you even more when we see those of our folkswho call us, or call each 'brothers' and 'sisters' betray themselvesas nothing more than hollow chambers of perfidy and merchants ofmalice. Where you always saw the good in most of us; some of thosesame charlatans are still on their psychotic demolition derby,championing character assassinations against persons they may neverbe, and struggling foolishly at 'destroying' institutions they cannever build. It's sad you wonder whether we make progress or aremarching in place! But did you have to leave so soon, my Brother andFriend!

Even at that, your life is a source of sincere encouragement. Ican, again, almost see that your ebony handsome and almost cherubicpermanent smile, saying: "don't worry God will see us through. You'renot alone." And, you never fail to say in your proud Igbo language:... O ga di cha nma, inu go... Jisie ike (it will all bealright... stay strong, do your best and hang in there!)

Lest I forget, he always dressed well.

Joe, your September 8, 2001 wedding card announcing the specialevent of your Holy Matrimony - at the Temple Hills Baptist Church inMaryland- with your beautiful and faithful wife, then Dr. Miss NwogoAgbasi is still here.

Why do I recall Nwogo?

I gather she lives and endures only as much as one who truly loveda good man, a very good man would. Yes, she's heart broken.Understandably, so. She remains an almost perfect reminder that truelove does not fold in the face of sudden illness and countdown todeath in the morning of the ululations of your young and faithfulhearts.

As we honor you, we'll remember that among our womenfolk and ourmen, true love still endures! That's despite all the pain and twistsand crises in many of our families. Yes, God is not through with us;not yet!

Your older brother Ben and his wife are running a thousand errandsa day to honor you. Like them, I still wonder why you? Why now? WhyJoe? If ever I had any doubts about the good dying young.... Joe, whyyou?

Let me return to a more personal stuff, Joe. I don't know why butever since you gave me your 2001 wedding card, and even after yourwedding came and was celebrated, I kept that card- the one you alltied with a beautiful burgundy-color ribbon. It still sits in frontof me; the same place it was before your transition, on top of myglass computer stand; above my treasured Apple Mac G4.

Joe Okigbo, ezigbo nwa; Okigbo, in name and deed, I'll alwaysremember, we'll always remember never to forget you: Good Son, GoodBrother and my Friend of a Lifetime. Adieu, ezigbo nwa. Okigbo!
Nwangwu,recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), is Founder andPublisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned U.S.-basedprofessional newspaper to be published on the internet), USAfrica TheNewspaper, NigeriaCentral.comand TheBlack Business Journal. He also serves as anadviser to the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa)and appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABCnews affiliates.


Contact: Ben Okigbo 713-779-6615. Felix Obidi President,Aniocha-Oshimili Houston 832-215-0943

INSIGHT
The Middle East and the Isle Of Polyphemus. By Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The irrationalities of the Israeli government and the United States have been mind-boggling - they would be ludicrous if they were not fraught with such predictable tragic consequences. Their insistence for instance, at the early stages of the recent intifada, that the Palestinians observe at least a week of violence-free moratorium before peace talks could begin, was surely apparent to all beings with a claim to reasoning - except those two world leaders - as a demand of unbelievable infantilism, long before Sharon recognised and acknowledged its futility. What my brief stay among ordinary Palestinians did was simply to compel me to revisit that, and allied policy statements by the Israeli government, promoted with such galling insensitivity by the United States government.... Numerous were the accounts of women who gave birth at checkpoints because of the inflexible control that was exercised over the movements of ordinary people, of deaths that occurred right within ambulances that were trapped in convoys or at checkpoints.... Was I sufficiently detached during this visit? Of course. And then again, of course not. It is not possible to take a purely clinical, objective view of the situation in Palestine. When human beings are being blown up in restaurants, in hotels, and especially with a singularly grotesque sense of timing - while sitting down to a holy feast, such as the Passover - one experiences both rage and horror at the perpetrators.


Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa. By Chido Nwangwu 
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

Why Bush should focus on
dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide
TRIBUTE
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st 21st century.




DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria (USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu with Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)

The Economics of Elections in Nigeria
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon

DEMOCRACY'S WARRIOR
Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.

Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (above) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.


22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting

In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination,
USAfricaonline.com Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'

Powell named Secretary State by G.W. Bush; bipartisan commendations follow.

AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
CONTINENTAL AGENDA
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."

These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president.
By Al Johnson


It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are Keys to prosperity in Africa

Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu
Apple announces Titanium, "killer apps" and other ground-breaking products for 2001. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.

Steve Jobs extends digital magic

Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam

Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game