How Mike Awoyinfa invited Dimgba Igwe to Lagos Book Launch | Says “Even though he is dead, we still write together”

The GDA, Mike Awoyinfa & Late Dimgba Igwe with two of their best selling books’

Tabloid Legend Mike Awoyinfa has described his late Friend and literary partner of
over two decades, Dimgba Igwe as an
inseparable entity that will continue to be a part and parcel of his life even
in death. In series of lines deducted from a moving tribute the 63 years old
King of Tabloid journalism paid to the late Dimgba Igwe who was
killed at age 58 by a hit and run car driver while observing his jogging
exercise in the early hour of Saturday September 6, 2014 in his Okota, Lagos
neighborhood. Awoyinfa expressed his
sincere loyalty to a great friend who he described as the best man he ever knew.


“Weather Dimgba is here or not, I will not allow his name to be forgotten.
Death will not separate or break our friendship”. In another line, Awoyinfa went philosophical “We used to
play doubles in the tennis game of life. But now, I must play singles. It is
not easy playing alone, all, all, alone. I feel so lonely, but life must go
on”.

The moving tribute which was
delivered at the first year remembrance of Dimgba Igwe and launching of the book “50
World Editors: Conversations with Journalism
Masters on Trends and Best Practices” which took place on
Tuesday September 15 at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA)
had the presence of eminent Nigerians like President
Muhammad Buhari
who was ably represented by Mrs. Oluseyi Abegunle, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of
Information. Veteran journalist and politician, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Secretary to State Government,  Lagos State, Mr Tunji Bello and Professor
Adebayo
Williams who represented
the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu among 
many other top Nigerians. The tribute titled “A Letter to My Friend” was obtained by your Africa’s number 1
celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika
and represented here for your reading delight. Please, don’t read this tribute
if you are highly, highly emotional. Enjoy!  

‘Even in grave, death will never separate us’ Mike Awoyinfa says of Dimgba Igwe
My friend, my brother, my Ogbeni Dimgba Igwe, one year after your Painful exit, the wound is
yet to heal. And I don’t know weather or not it will ever heal, even though
they say time heals every wound.
I was far
away from you when the news of your death broke. Your death hit me like a
thunderbolt, like the arrow of the unknown enemy lurking in the dark, like the
bullet of an assassin. Your death was like my own death. Yes, I died the day
you died. Except that the Good Lord took pity of my soul, revived me and
brought me back to life, because He knows there is so much to do and the
business you started with me must not be left unfinished.


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“We used to play doubles in the
tennis game of life. But now, I must play singles. It is not easy playing
alone, all, all, alone. I feel so lonely, but life must go on. I must do all
the things you did in your lifetime”
Late Dimgba Igwe shows Asabeafrika’s GDA one of their best books ’50 Nigerian Corporate Strategists’
Your death
brought me a harvest of pity. Everybody was pitying me. Everybody felt sorry
for me. Everybody was wondering; “How will Mike
cope? How will Mike live without
you, my bosom friend and my rock of ages?” I was down and out, screaming; “My
pillar is gone, my pillar is gone. Who will be my friend now?” In my agony, I
heard my wife consoling and rebuking me, saying; “Jesus is your pillar. Jesus
is your pillar”
I was angry
with the same Jesus. Why did Jesus allow this to happen? Why must a
man who served God with everything that he had be allowed to die such a
shameful and painful death? Why didn’t God intervene? These are normal
questions or abnormal questions people ask when tragedy strikes. We all
question God. In certain situations, we question God. I am sure God will not
blame me for questioning Him.
The
Tabloid Legend showing a finished edition of the book ’50 World
Editors; Conversation with Journalism masters on trends and best
practices’ to the GDA couples of weeks back
My friend,
my brother Ogbeni Dimgba Igwe; our
story is straight from the Bible. Our friendship is like the friendship of David and Jonathan. You were like Jonathan.
And I was like David. Yes, David. The same David. The King who saw
a beautiful woman bathing from the balcony of his palace and went haywire.  The King whose story would have hit the front
page of the tabloids amidst screaming headlines; oh, how I would have loved to
write that headline!
I remember
our days in the Weekend Concord. Oh,
those glory days. We were the Kings of Tabloids. We were the masters of the art
of casting headlines. The more sensational, the better for us. From Weekend Concord, we went to create The
Sun,
using our same winning formula. The Weekend
Concord
was the father of The Sun.
We did our best. And the rest is history.
The Tabloid Legend Mike Awoyinfa to Asabeafrika ‘My Life is incomplete without this Dimgba’
We gave our
lives and our best to journalism. We loved journalism with passion. From Weekend Concord to The Sun, we proved that
thunder could strike twice. We were not journalists, managers but teachers of
journalism. Together we wrote our first book, The Art of Features Writing,
which is being used in all journalism schools as a training textbook.
Today, our
new book is being presented to the world. You are supposed to be here but you
are not here, my friend. Your seat is empty. You were the one expected to stand
on this podium, talking, explaining why we wrote this book. Now, I must do
everything that you used to do.
“We were the masters of the art of
casting headlines. The more sensational, the better for us. From Weekend Concord, we went to create The Sun, using our same winning formula. The Weekend Concord was the father of The Sun”.
The Newly Published Bible of Journalism Produced by the Living Tabloid Legend Mike Awoyinfa & His Late Friend, Dimgba Igwe
We used to
play doubles in the tennis game of life. But now, I must play singles. It is
not easy playing alone, all, all, alone. I feel so lonely, but life must go on.
I must do all the things you did in your lifetime. I must play to win. And I
must win for you and me, my departed friend.
So, the big
question: Why did we write the book, 50 World Editors, the book we are
launching today? It all boils down to passion, love and commitment to
journalism, the only profession we know and are ready to live and die for. It
all boils down to curiosity, hunger and thirst for knowledge. For ten years, we
travelled around the world, researching this book which we consider our magnum opus. We were like that
philosopher who claimed to know nothing. And so, he decided to travel around
the world in search of knowledge. In our case, journalism knowledge. We wanted
to meet editors of the great newspapers in the world, to hear their story and
to share their journalistic wisdom. The idea is to come up with a book that the
younger generation of journalists will read and be educated. We wanted a book
strong on practical experience of celebrated editors who had led a good life in
journalism. We interviewed great editors like Sir Harold Evans, the editor of editors, the most famous editor of
the Western world. We interviewed Jill
Abraham
the woman who broke the glass ceiling to become the editor of The New York Times and the first woman
to occupy that position. We interviewed another powerful woman, Charllote Hall, the editor of Orlando
Sentinel.
We interviewed Hamid Mir, the brave
Pakistani Journalist who interviewed Osama
Bin Laden
a couple of times, at a time when no one knew where to reach him.
In Nigeria we interviewed Alhaji
Babatunde Jose
, the grand old father of modern Nigerian journalism and his
protégé Segun Osoba, the reporter’s
reporter. We interviewed Dele Olojede,
the Pulitzer-winning Nigerian Journalist. The list goes on and on.
The Lived their lives for journalism and books were their best friend
“The Dimgba Igwe Memorial Book Launch
would be an annual affair. For me, nothing has changed. Weather Dimgba is here
or not, I will not allow his name to be forgotten. Death will not separate or
break our friendship. Even in the grave, he will still be my co-author”.
A list of 50
solid editors
around the globe with each editor taking a chapter of the
book to talk about journalism, our beloved profession
Most of
these interviews were conducted when we attended journalism conferences around
the world mainly IPIInternational Press
Institute
and WANWorld Association of
Newspapers
. While the conferences were going on, we had our own plans, to
look for celebrated journalists and interview them; the result is the book we
are launching today.

Late Dimgba Igwe in a heart to heart with the GDA in his life time
I thank you
all for coming to share with me this great occasion. I promise to keep alive
the Dimgba Igwe dream. I promise not
to disappoint or betray my friend. As long as Mike Awoyinfa is alive, Dimgba
Igwe
is alive. In his memory, I hope, by the grace of God to launch a book
every September. The Dimgba Igwe
Memorial
Book Launch would be an
annual affair. For me, nothing has changed. Weather Dimgba is here or not, I will not allow his name to be forgotten.
Death will not separate or break our friendship. Even in the grave, he will
still be my co-author. Every book I write will bear his name and my name. That
is how we started. And that is how we are going to end. Dimgba Igwe will live forever. Thank you for coming. Thank you for
all your prayers, particularly my friend, Pastor
Sam
Aiyedogbon of Realm of
Glory, a prophet sent by God to pray and minister to me in my hour of pain and
sorrow. Thank you all and see you next September at Dimgba Igwe Memorial Book Launch.
May God keep
us alive till we meet again
(Get a copy
of the new book at a discounted price through MCDee Books, 26 Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos or call 080-33-44-5125 for delivery)

The Late Dimgba Igwe, Mike Awoyinfa’s twin brother
The Late Dimgba Igwe with best friend, Mike Awoyinfa & his twins Taiwo & Kehinde Awoyinfa

The Late Dimgba Igwe shares a joke with the GDA during an encounter in his life time
The Late Dimgba Igwe & his brother Mike Awoyinfa inside thier literary factory
The GDA with the two legends when Dimgba Igwe was still alive
Mike Igwe & Dimgba Awoyinfa in their library

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