The Essential Tony Onyima



It is not his birthday. But I feel I should call him out for celebration because of his tenacity, focus and resilience, particularly at this period of warped values.

 First, a caveat – he is a brother,friend, compatriot and mentor. His recent successful defense of his doctoral thesis before the erudite Professor Nnanyelugo  Okoro  of the Mass Communication Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has brought his other sides to the fore.

Until recently, he cut no image outside the media. But the essential Tony Onyima is way too versatile to be compartmentalized. He has many strings to his bow.With three Master’s degree in public administration, marketing and media enterprise under his belt,   Onyima   is   a  thorough-paced   professional  with   a   hang   of   skill   on   virtually  everything management and administration. It is perhaps his expertise in the three fields that successfully propelled his  glorious  rise  in the  media industry where he  reported, edited  and successfully managed a number of Nigeria’s flagships.

Since retiring from  The  Sun Publishing, which he joined as Executive Director (Operations) in 2002, and rose to  become its Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, in 2013, Onyima has been involved in  a lot of  scholarly and administrative engagements. He has written and edited  a number of books,  chief among which  is  ‘An Honour to  Serve: Enugu  State  in the Sullivan Years’.  He was a Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism in Anambra State where he designed and drove the public communication component of the state government within the period he held sway. His stint in the public sector left a proud testament to Cross-over Professionals(CoP). He was also a member of the Governing Council of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.Onyima is a man unique unto himself, effective in his time and place. A dedicated worker and confidante, he commits to every assignment with passion and delivers with the promptness of an administrator and a manager. He abides no sloppy handling of any project he undertakes, however,unimportant. Urbane, simple, nimble and with little or no sense of entitlement as evident among his peers, he has handled a number of assignments without drawing attention to himself. For example,   he   supervised,   as  the   Anambra   State   Commissioner   for   Information,   Culture   andTourism, the creative effort that brought into being the popular Anambra State anthem and other brand collaterals like the crest. More than that, the historic Ozoemezina  event held, as a final coda to assuage the spirit of the dead in Biafra during the three year internecine war with Nigeria, was under his watch.

Yet, he is quick to attribute the wins to team success. It is not likely that everybody will be enthralled by the Onyima persona, but it bears repeating here that the self-effacing administrator, manager and media professional has more to offer the society than just media management. No doubt, Onyima has capped his academic pursuit with a consequential doctorate degree in mass communication. And as far as his accomplishments went, I   know   nothing   of   him   as   yet   except   that   he   has   positioned   himself   for   greater   service   to humanity. As  someone noted  recently: “his  slender  built, by  the way,  thoroughly belies  his incredible energy and gigantic ideas, which are the core attributes of nation builders. He brims with ideas like every man who’s widely read and widely travelled”. 

This piece may strike its reader as an attempt to indulge him, but truth is that no one who flatters another for his virtue or humors him in his vices is that person’s worst enemy. And I do not intend either. If I should claim any knowledge of Onyima, it is about his work ethics which I got close enough to appreciate. He is a hard worker, a team player (with no interest in being a cock of the walk) and a rewarder of positive effort. I know as others do that his new status is a personal call to hard work. I have no reason to doubt his dedication. I wish him greater successes ahead.

Ejike Anyaduba




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