“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31: 10-12 (KJV)
I doubt, and very strongly too, if Prince Emeka Obasi, the great man of ideas and publisher of Business Hallmark, would have survived his strange illness for years without the unflinching support of his wife, Dr. (Mrs) Betty Obasi.
A virtuous and prayerful woman, she stood solidly behind her man all through his medical challenge.
Always wearing a smile, despite the toll and toil her husband’s illness had taken on the entire family, all the time I visited their Ikeja GRA, Lagos home, she was always within reach, attending to his needs and unusually ensuring that you had something to eat and drink. The Obasis were among those families you never visited without being “forced” to eat or drink something.
The Prince, like we fondly called him may be no more, but I will eternally remember him for a number of things. Or lessons learnt, if you like.
Top on the list was that the Lord blessed him with an angel as wife, and in his time of trouble, she stood solidly by him. Unwavering and unshaken.
No. 2 is that we must never, never give up, no matter the challenge confronting us. The Prince knew that death was inevitable, but he neither wavered nor faltered. He faced it like a man – and with a smile permanently etched on his face – till the very end. He bore his heavy cross with equanimity and rarely lamented like the Biblical Jeremiah. In fact, he lived each day as his last.
No. 3 is never to allow anything slow you down or annihilate your dreams. Amid the battle for life, most times depending on his ever present oxygen box, he still kept trudging on. Relocating his office to his home at some point, he worked his phones non stop, pursuing this project, manufacturing new ideas and seeing to the sustenance of the already existing ones like Business Hallmark and The Zik Prize for Leadership Awards.
No. 4 – he loved intellectual engagements a great deal. And to repeatedly bask in it, even in his condition, he usually invited friends and colleagues to his house to savour that.
No. 5 – no one knows when it will happen. So, whatever you want to do, do it immediately and expeditiously too. As if he knew he wouldn’t be here for too long, The Prince packed so much into the 58 years he spent on earth. Little wonder the world has been talking about him and will also continue to do so.
No. 6 – enjoy life while it lasts. Oh, The Prince sure enjoyed life until the debilitating illness came knocking. Even at that, he continued to do so till the curtains were finally drawn on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.
No. 7 – hobnob with/and circulate in the right circles. When the chips were down, The Prince had some of the quality relationships he had built over the years to fall back on. I remember once at his home how he regaled my friend, Michael Effiong and I about how he had a terrible relapse some day and an appointment was needed urgently with Pastor Enoch Adeboye of RCCG. And a good friend of his and former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko came to the rescue.
No. 8 – let no sickness take control of your soul and spirit. Your flesh, yes, but your soul, no. In fact, you must guard that jealously. Even as emaciated and physically and financially drained as he was in those eight agonizing and horrible years, The Prince never allowed his soul to be tampered with.
No. 9 – forgive and forget. Unfortunately, I doubt if he eventually forgave those he alleged betrayed him, and specifically were behind his health challenges – including family members. Documenting same in his last book, Saved for His Praise, was one area I didn’t quite agree with him.
No. 10, and lastly, get closer to God, give your life to Him. Because whether healthy or not, no one really knows when the bell tolls. For The Prince, it tolled on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, but for you and I, who are still here, no one knows when it will be. The reason we must make God our friend and perpetually be close to Him.
Adieu The Prince…
Adieu Ezenwata of Ibeku…
Adieu ezigbo madu…
Till we meet again to part no more…
- Azuh Arinze is the Publisher Editor-in-Chief of YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine and author of the bestsellers, The CEO’s Bible and Success Is Not Served A La Carte