KNE, my Oga forever.

In 1994, Kevin Ejiofor (aka KNE in Cadbury parlance) recruited me as Media Relations Manager and taught me Practical Public Relations by bringing all the theories to life. Now, don't ever address him as Kelvin because he won't acknowledge it. He is Kevin, he insists. Hahahahaha!

 I credit him for most, if not all, I know and do in PR and Corporate Communications. He was also a life coach, who continued from where my father stopped (so to say) in bringing me up in the University of Life.

Like Dr. Christopher Kolade, his mentor, his professional career has been signposted by many retirements. A consummate broadcaster and writer, he retired from the then Radio Nigeria when he joined the then Anambra State Ministry of Information, as Chief Information Officer. Then, he went on to become Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Emeka Omerua. He retired again and moved to Cadbury Nigeria as Corporate Affairs Manager for many years.

He retired in 1998, but was tapped again to return to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria as the Zonal Director for South East. He retired finally in 2007 having acted as Director General of the Corporation following the retirement of another maestro, Mr. Eddie Iroh.

KNE is nearer 80 than 70 but he runs the stairs like a 40-something-year-old and still can do a glass and half or two of civilized red wine. He's a health and fitness freak. I'm yet to see a man as old with such a mischievous sense of humour and knowledge in every subject, including eschatology and Escape Velocity.

A man of incredible vigor and rigor, he spends considerable time now curating works of art, managing stage plays, writing his memoir and, wait for it, building a brand new radio station!!! What doesn't Kevin love? He loves people, music, dancing, acting, tea, work, work, work, writing, coaching, mentoring, giving, name it. He used to love food a lot, but age seems to have tempered his palate. He does more vegetables and fruits because, according to him, the tock in his body clock now comes long after the tick-a euphemism for saying he's no longer a young man.

An incredibly deep man with unbelievable passion for integrity and excellence, he's predictably very impatient with dull people. He almost sacked me after hiring me, because he thought I was then like a Rolls Royce with the capacity of a Volkswagen Beetle. He went ahead to rescue me with Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and his sobering fatherly pep talks-"Mondayly". His industry, writing and speaking skills are unmistakable and rather infectious, for those who dare. I dare say I dared. Thank you.

Kevin came into Lagos and stopped by yesterday to see one of his boys. Yes, I'm proud and privileged to call myself one of his boys, because he's the man who, with my late father, molded me into what I am today, by the strict and special grace of almighty God.

Thank you, KNE.
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