DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM: The Humble Beginning (PT 6)

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During my post-graduate studies, I remembered the advice from Professor Koshiba, who was my Head of Department in building technology. He emphasized that while countless individuals will use the infrastructure we construct without ever knowing who built it, any structure that fails will be what we are ultimately remembered for, regardless of the many successful projects we’ve completed.

Six weeks ago, I decided to share in this column some difficult questions that I have asked myself a number of times “Don’t you know who I am?” and that took me back to today’s column, part 6 of the ongoing series.

My assistant Oluebube who had innovated this particular column decided to approach a

unique family friend of mine for more than 3 decades, husband and wife both professors of medicine and their son a medical doctor to contribute to this conversation. The trio decided to perfect their contribution as poetry. My assistant also contacted a young and talented poet, Melvis Ugo, whose words captivated me during a spoken word event. Melvis, now an undergraduate student and a beneficiary of my scholarship scheme brought a fresh and vibrant energy to our collaborative endeavour. So with the two professors, their son and the young lady, I am taking them on a journey to a different destination, so welcome to the world of poetry that I love so much.


In the land of Nigeria, there lives a man,

Chief Dr. Newton Chuka Jibunoh is his name.

Born in Delta’s Akwukwu, on January’s first day,

In 1938, the year that proclaimed his way.

A life filled with hardship from an early age,

Parents and sister departed, leaving him encaged.

Yet from the ashes, a phoenix did arise,

In honour of his sister, Didi, he built a grand prize.

A museum in Lagos, a tribute so true,

To the memory of his sister, forever in view.

A warrior of deserts, the first of his land,

Conquered Sahara sands, twice he did stand.

Married and blessed with five children so dear,

In his dedicated quest, they were always near.

From Costain he retired, a chapter complete, To Mandela Gardens, a vision so sweet.

The green thumb he bore, an environmentalist great,

Fighting desert’s spread, for nature, his fate.

Many cities in Nigeria, he did adorn,

With trees and with life, from dusk until morn.

Simple and brilliant, a civil engineer’s grace, His favorite, the colour green, time cannot erase.

Mandela Gardens, his oasis, his realm,

A resort of first class, where dreams overwhelm.

Chief Dr. Newton Chuka Jibunoh, a man of great deed, An asset to Nigeria, in word and in creed.

A poem for a legend, whose story’s been told,

A beautiful life I can say he is living, in green and in gold.



This is a poem

Of a destination arrived through the pathway of struggles,

Heartbreaks and disappointments life throw like an early morning lemon Juice

Wrapped with pain and trauma.


Of a dream that almost died in a homestead as quiet as the desert, Void of a Mother’s warmth and a Father’s protection.

Akwukwu was the first to mould this dream

The prayers from the cracked lips and silent words of a servant boy Questioning earth,

If anything good would


come out from this emptiness, void of a Sister’s Smile.

Orphaned at 2

Adulted before 18

Ladened with the responsibility of preserving humanity

A poem that took off an ode and ended an elegy, This is epic!

A narrative of Grass to Grace

Rags to riches


Lack to Abundance

Peasant to Leader

Nothing to Plenty


Hunger to Satisfaction

Birthing the book “Hunger for Power”

When education appeared like a closed door, housing the privileged behind it A hard nut to crack

Cracked by the


shivering hands of a young lad Who couldn’t make it to the moon

But made a moon expedition out of his desert,

The very reason he bears ”Newton”; a father’s belief that what goes up will be down soon.


This is The Jibunoh

Who erected a house of worship for Chukwu, Right in the heart of Akwukwu

A house of worship for Allah

And the followers of The Prophet Mohammed.

He is a Poem

Emerged from Art and Nature Coloring earth with Seeds and Trees

He is a story of The Taming of Wild Tooth in Agadez

His name is the synonym of Hope and Restoration of life in Makoda

The existence of the safest space in Eko.

Preserving Culture and Heritage,

Little Wonders, little Edith smile down at Victoria Island

Named like a little boy called his sister “Didi”.

He is a keeper giving back to Nature

What climate change takes from Her

He is Mother Earth’s favorite Son who watches the garden

Placed Delta on the map with Monument of Madiba

This is an Epic!

Emerged from the life of Chukwukadibia.

And Ode to Elegy Grass to Grace

Rags to Riches

Peasant to Leader

Lack to Abundance

Hunger to Satisfaction

Nothing to Plenty!

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