By Isaac Asabor
“East or West, Home Is The Best” is an idiomatic expression that is based on a narration of people’s character, especially when they leave their homelands, and migrate abroad in the quest for greener pasture or in pursuit of qualitative education. Generally, the idiom finds expression when people leave their homelands and travel to a new place temporarily for different reasons. However, for the sake of clarity, this piece is basically looking at the interpretation of the idiomatic expression from the perspective of people travelling to countries located in overseas. Without any iota of exaggeration, it was unarguably the quest for a better life that spurred Chief Uche Nworah as a youth years back to temporarily migrate to Germany, and later to the United Kingdom where he studiously prepared himself both academically and professionally. Today, by dint of hard work and serendipity, Nworah holds sway as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Awka. His tenure as the MD/CEO of ABS is dispassionately reputed to have witnessed the transformation of the state-owned broadcasting company (ABS Radio and ABS TV) into a fully digitized media organization, with state-of the art facilities and trained professionals.
The odyssey of his struggle that meritoriously earned him the position he occupies today can clearly be understood from the perspective of Hakeem Babalola’s article titled, “The Other Side of a Critic” and published on Pointblank News in 2009. Babalola in the article opined that Nworah started as a young man who loathes the inefficient manner in which his country’s policy makers handle the people’s affairs. He added that he was sad and he expressed sorrow. He explained that like his contemporaries, he almost gave up on his country, and wrote that against the backdrop checked out of the country to Germany, where as was the fashion then, he sought for asylum. Babalola reasoned in the inspiration piece that Nworah might as well be among those that the dreaded Sani Abacha was tormenting in those dark days.
He continued in his article on how Nworah persevered by dint of hard work to become a brand with positive equity that he is today. He wrote, “This young man eventually found himself in the United Kingdom where he established himself as a social critic, especially on the Internet. Uche Nworah was easy to notice. Apart from wearing a purple shirt, he knew what the readers were yearning for and he dished it with a touch of passion. He was everywhere and he carried them along. They loved him as much as they enjoyed him – at least on the Nigeria Village Square website where comments are allowed.
“Like a genuine social critic, Nworah meant business. He wanted to write and he was writing, even reporting. In the process he won the Chicken bones journalist of the year award. This title accelerated his recognition as a force to be reckoned with in the field of citizen journalism. He spared no one – politicians and writers alike. For example, he took on Reuben Abati in a rejoinder to the latter’s take on teachers. Nworah later found his way to become the Guardian editorial chairman’s padi padi as Abati was the presenter and reviewer of Uche’s The Long Harmattan Season. Nworah now appears occasionally on the editorial page of the Guardian.”
At this juncture, it is germane to say that there is no denying the fact that those who were opportune or rather privileged to have left the shore of Nigeria to overseas at one time or the other, for the purpose of acquiring qualitative higher education, at different time came back to the country after obtaining the qualification(s) they aspired to, and in some cases, having worked in the country wherein their education was acquired, expectedly to contribute their quotas to its developmental process. Nworah, like the proverbial little boy that is well nurtured to know when to return for house chores after playing, returned to his homeland.
Since he returned to the country, he has served the country through his position as the group head, Internal Communications/Group Head, Human Capital Development at the now defunct Oceanic Bank International Plc, General Manager, Out-of-Home (OOH) Media at Globacom and presently serving as the Managing Director/CEO of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS).
To my view, Uche Nworah besides being a corporate connoisseur, is unarguably a curator of African culture, and a pillar that always stand for his people to lean on. Without any iota of exaggeration, his philanthropic strides and love for his people are well documented on public domain with plethora of graphic pictures that buttress his story.
In fact, if there is any Igboman whose mindset is deeply rooted in what can in this context be called Igbo ‘Aku Luo Uno’ Philosophy, he is unarguably Nworah,
While millions of Ndigbo has literarily forgotten the import of the saying, “Home Sweet Home”, and has by each passing year been taking time off, particularly during the yuletide, to join their age – grade, “Ezeudo” as his admirers are wont to call him has always been abreast with the age – grade system. For the sake of clarity, the age-grade system “Is an association of people of equal or about the same age, operating within a given territory or area with the aim of individual, collective and societal transformation/development”. However, the organization, structure and activities of age grade practices in most Igbo communities differ.
Without doubt, Nworah deserves to be given thumb up at every moment in his life, particularly for remembering that his service is much needed by his people, “Ndi Anambra”, in particular, and Nigerians in general that he came home with the wealth of knowledge he acquired from overseas. It would be recalled that he obtained a certificate German from Volks Hock Schule, Dusseldorf, Post Graduate Certificate (PGCE) in Post-Compulsory Education & Training (PCET) from the University of Greenwich, and Masters of Arts (M.A) in Educational Research also from University of Greenwich. And back home, like icing on the cake, he topped his academic feats with a Master of Science degree (MSc) in the field of Mass Communication from the National Open University of Nigeria, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in the field of Marketing from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (Formerly Anambra State University).
Like the now late Sound Sultan sang in one of his album, Mother Land (Area) where he moralized about the detriment of getting stuck in overseas, Nworah, despite being a youth, unarguably with impressionable mind, in the quest of quality education in foreign lands, was neither vulnerable to be caught in the web of modernity nor morally depraved to adopt the bohemian lifestyle that youths in the western world were characterized with. He patriotically came home to serve his country and his people. Without any iota of exaggeration, he went to the western world, he saw, and he came back to his motherland to serve. To this end, his odyssey aptly illustrates that of the man that literarily tasted home, and endorsed its sweetness. Aptly put, his story explanatorily finds expression in the idiom, “East or West, Home Is The Best” or better still, “Home Sweet Home”. To my view, he remain an inspiration to many Nigerian youths that are undeniably stuck in the Diaspora.