Jerry Ejem: The doyen at 66

By Editor on 16/08/2018

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You could easily pass him for just any other person. Not because of anything amiss, but for the simple reason that there is no air around him. Not really for his personal features, but more because of the manner he conducts himself.

In his mannerism, dressing and personal outlook generally, you needed to be told and fervently, if not laboriously too, for you to begin to have a peep and inkling into the so many superlative stories about him.

For starters, you needed to be told that he is not just bidding his 40s goodbye, for the  point to be underscored as to how much he must have worked on himself to maintain his prim or even prime features. What could you say of a man who at 66, neither presents the ubiquitous protruding belly or flabby muscles people of his age try unsuccessfully to fight?

With him, you needed no further demonstrable evidence of the rewards of healthy living. Professionals running lessons on fitness, might as well go to sleep or go bankrupt because he already imbibes their oft-advertised mantra – eat right, drink wisely, exercise regularly.

But there are a lot more. Who would know that this is a man who sits atop one of the most successful business outfits in the media industry – the Lagos-based multi-million Access Advertising Limited, which clientele spans through the movers and shakers of Nigerian politics, and other top-notch individuals to well-oiled blue-chip companies and businesses across Nigeria and beyond?

But, in spite of huge successes in his individual life and private business, this graduate of Mass Communications, of the prestigious University of Lagos, appears to wear humility as his second skin.

Ostensibly, he appears always at his happiest moments, whenever he is imparting his wealth of knowledge on social affair and while debating about politics and unlike many of his ilk, never seems to take offence at alternative views, no matter how lacerating.

So, on this August 10, 2018, Chief Jerry Ejem, was the toast of friends and well-wishers, who converged to celebrate yet another milestone in his journey on earth, which started some 66 years ago.

Venue, was the Tennis Section of the Lagos Country Club (LCC), Ikeja, Lagos. The actual date was actually on Tuesday, August 7, but he decided to defer the celebration to that Friday to coincide with the usual weekend groove in the section, Thank God Its Friday (TGIF). And what a blast it was.

And as always with him, not only did everybody operate on the same frequency, but there was practically no dull moments, while no expense was spared in terms of the foods and drinks.

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Ejem with Adewunmi

With the music blasting away, it was just eat, drink and dance, while the encomiums, showered from all quarters like a fountain.

Chief Oliver Ogbonna, a patron of the section, while saying the prayer to usher in the event, full of praises, was no less emphatic that Ejem, had demonstrated what the essence of the club entailed, as a place to feed the body and soul through exercise and interactions.

“Jerry, you will live up to 70, you will see 90. When you get to 100, you’re on your own. You have to discuss the rest with your God and decide whether you want to continue,” Ogbonna, himself, a septuagenarian, said.

Seyi Adewunmi, Chairman of the Tennis Section, who was no less witty, echoed the same sentiments, while acknowledging that the journalist and doyen of the advertising industry, had left many an exemplary trails in the section, was particularly happy at his immense financial and moral contributions to ensure to its growth and development.

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His words: “Jerry, in many ways, have demonstrated what this section and club life ought to be. He is not only a good player, but has contributed in many ways to the development of the game and the facilities in this section. Whenever, we have financial needs in this section, Jerry has always been the first to make his contributions. This is an example, which we do not take for granted. This place is a leveller, where everybody makes one another happy, where there should be no dull moment. Everybody can attest to the fact that with Jerry, there is no dull moment. What has happened here this night, has demonstrated that. Jerry we thank you and wish you many years of demonstration.

Former Super Eagles captain and governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Chief Segun Odegbami, while presenting a birthday card, also joined in the prayers and words of the former speakers.

For Ejem, who holds the title of Nnabuenyi of Ukpo, Dunukofia Local Government of Anambra State, it was simply a day to live up to that name as a man of the people, and a colossus, whose giant presence, is comparable to that of an elephant.   

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Posted on August, 16 2018

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