It is another special day for a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu as he circles 54 on April 21, 2014. It is always a day of fun and happiness for the dude and millions of his followership across the world. It is a day that many people are happy that a man like Kalu was born.
He has been brightening the faces of many by making sure they achieve their nature-given purposes in life. His birthday is a day that is as special as Kalu is.
This year’s birthday celebration of Kalu reminds the human-race of the day the Igbere-born politician and reputable international business mogul was sent to be a blessing to the world 54 years ago. Since then, his luck and stars have not ceased to shine. No matter all the daunting challenges that follow mankind, Kalu continues to unveil the good things that his fate had for him.
He is becoming experienced day by day, weathering all the storms that are associated with politicians and businessmen of his ilk. Today, it is the prayer of his followership, saying that the happiness and joy he makes them to pick-out, shall not be in dearth where he is.
Kalu is a special man and, majority of the people are attesting to this. He has had awesome birthdays’ celebrations. But this year’s own sends a message of hope, love and unity across all divides of human endeavours and environments.
Being a man with the miraculous wand to everything, his birthday is outstanding. Although, a very humble personality, Kalu sets magical standards anywhere he went. He loves his new age and is grooming the younger ones who would take over from him, whenever he retires hale and hearty to his Igbere-Bende country home.
He had a day like that at heart and he has been preparing for it, with the hope to give accommodation to more thousands of people. And this could be the reason he has built in his Neya’s Camp 400 rooms and is still building. He has hope beyond business and politics. He wants people around him and to live and be with him.
As a man who builds bridge across all divides of humanity, his birthday has always been as important as he is. His birthday is not like that of 18 year old that wakes up as early as 4.30 in preparation for the event. Rather, the atmosphere has woken up by 12am to start the birthday celebration of Kalu.
Over a week today, Kalu has been traveling on courtesy visits to all the parts of the country to cheer the civilization in those areas up. Melodies and classics are being played in many quarters for him, from Zamfara to Zambia, from Abia to Abuja, from Lagos to Lokoja. It is Kalu everywhere! But in all this, he is bent on the observance of the Lent Season, being an untiring Christian.
Like Kalu would say, people are his best friends and he likes inviting people home. But this time around, the reverse is the case: People are inviting Kalu to come and celebrate his birthday with them. The call is deafening! It is the same in Africa as it is in Europe, USA and Asia.
Everywhere, the song is Kalu. But the dude prefers to be in prayers in a tiny environment where he plays and jokes with kids and shares experience with the young at heart on this occasion. He has not printed cards or went to radio or TV to announce his birthday, but people he does and doesn’t know are taking care of that, because he means a lot of positivity to many people.
Everyone dreams of having a brother, father, uncle, nephew, friend like Kalu. He reminds people of the special moments that human beings must share and enjoy. At every point in time, Kalu is happy, humble and humane and asking people to eschew worry from their lives. He has always admonished people that he was once a very poor man, but had to surmount that dreadful position through a dint of hard work, through courage, resilience and assiduousness.
What Kalu has been achieving within the last one year is what some states in African countries cannot achieve in three years. His many weeks trip to Europe has seen to the formation of business ventures and merges with leading business firms across the world. He has also been delivering one lecture in one institutions or the other across the world.
Such trips have seen to the establishment of and, amalgamation with Bende Export Ltd, Gsc France, Belcarbon Belgium, Florasen Bruxelles and Matro Anterwarp in Belgium, amongst others. He has attracted over 50 business opportunities in and outside the country within the last one year, hence providing employment opportunities for job seekers and professionals and sundry.
One of his tours ended with the visit of Ben Bronfman (Grammy & Oscar nominee 2013/2014), the son of the Billionaire Edger Bronfman Jr. to Dr. Kalu in North London; with Kalu Ugwuomo (Analyst and Business Development Global Thermostat New York); Robert Miguel Lavia, (Chief Investment Officer Veremonte) and; Ben Kalu, (CEO Bende EXIM LTD).
One of such institutions he had delivered lectures at in the past one year is the Georgetown University, with the paper titled: "Nigeria's Opportunity to be Africa's Capital by 2020." The lecture, without doubt, attracted de crème de la crème across the world and they attested to the fact that Kalu is not only rich in pocket but also in head.
Students, graduate students, experts, journalists, etc. have not stopped researching on Kalu. He is an institution and the world after him would continue to learn about him. But upon all these, Kalu has said that he wants to go back to Aba, the land where he grew up, apart from his Igbere country home.
It is natural to do so, while all and sundry should wish him a healthy future to fulfill all that he has planned to bequeath to the world.
Happy Birthday, Emetu Mba Ahu Dike Ndigbo!
Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.