Thursday 21 October 2021


There is indeed no telling what propels the human equation. Some people come blazing into this world with a larger than life personality that makes you stop and wonder.  What is it that makes one person  live a full life and achieve that moment of self actualization, where there is that sense of completeness almost, where one  in the words of Dr. Apgar developing potential becoming and being what one is capable of being”  and another not get past the basic level of Marslow’s hierarchy of need. There are always those larger than life personalities amongst us, that define the lives  of their people, and one of those just died. 

Colin Powell, one of the towering figures in American public life and politics for that matter, dies at 84. The first black secretary of state and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff  was not just a decorated soldier but has been involved in making decisions that have shaped the destiny of peoples in his home world and the world over. 

Powell was the son of immigrants, who rose above all odds to become one of the most powerful and influential in the world. He is said by friends, family members and respected colleagues to be a humane man interested in the welfare of all. As a black man he made his community proud by his achievement which is extraordinary considering the odds. Colin Powell is what in my traditional African parlance will be known as Nnoku Unmau; loosely translates “a great powerful masquerade.”

The masquerades in most African communities represented some of the iconic beliefs of the people. They were held in the highest esteem, for  they not only represented  the various facets of  the community they  were also its  highest authority. The funny thing though  is the masquerades were by graduation. There were the elite ones that made things happen at an incredible rate and for the wellbeing of the people and community. They were rare and special. They were referred to as Unoku Uman. To be called an Nnoku Unmah is the highest accolade you can bestow on a person. You did not need to wonder,  You just surmised: yeah that is a human that has affected and made changes in his time. Was the general perfect? not by a long short, however,  he was a minority that made an important impact in his time. As he goes home to a well deserved rest at 84, here is wishing the family a heartfelt sympathy and hoping they take deserved pride in their larger than life patriarch, Sun re (sleep well ) son of Africa  and thank you for being one of our extraordinary ones.


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