Today, 23rd August 2020 is the 70th birthday of 'the wind beneath my wings', my better half, husband for 37 years and still counting, John Olufemi Kusa, popularly known as 'Femi Kusa'. I woke up this morning to the realisation that the news was all over the place (radio, television, newspapers and social media) that my humble, self-effacing, hardworking, loyalty personified, terrific professional, complete gentleman and husband of my youth, Femi, had been recognised by President Muhammadu Buhari for his commendable exploits in his two professions: Journalism & Alternative Medicine! See the relevant links where the President wrote glowingly about my own Femi below! I am sooo... proud of you, dear hubby and hands-on dad of our three adult sons - Dr. Tope Kusa, Seun Kusa and Ayo Kusa.
*Buhari extols Femi Kusa's contributions as he turns 70 thenationonlineng.net/buhari-extols-femi-kusas-contributions-as-he-turns-70
*Buhari extols Femi Kusa's contributions as he turns 70 thestreetjournal.org/2020/08/buhari-extols-femi-kusas-contributions-as-he-turns-70
*Buhari felicitates with veteran journalist, Femi Kusa as he turns 70 https://www.herald.ng/buhari-felicitates-with-veteran-journalist-femi-kusa-as-he-turns-70
*Buhari greets veteran journalist, Femi Kusa @ 70 encomium.ng/president-buhari-greets-veteran-journalist-femi-kusa-at-70
*Buhari rejoices with veteran journalist, Femi Kusa @ 70 https://sudiatapost.com/buhari-rejoices-with-veteran-journalist-femi-kusa-at-70
I met Femi, who I affectionately call FK in the Guardian Newspaper newsroom at inception in 1983. We were both pioneer staffers. He was 33 and I was 25 years old. He was the News Editor and I was the first National Assembly Correspondent of the Guardian Newspaper. I 'reported' from the Senate and House of Representatives, then in Lagos. I also wrote a weekly column - 'The Legislature'. Ours was the very first 'Guardian Wedding'! The rest, they say, is history. The same qualities I saw in him that swept me off my feet in 1983 endear him to me even today. FK, though principled, is liberal enough to encourage me to pursue my interests without hindrance. He understands that marriage is a union and not a fusion of the spouses. Each of the two individuals should still own his/her own characteristics while not hurting the desired union in any way. His loving and considerate attitude towards me and the children has sustained us. I celebrate you, my dear!
Some of the other professionals who worked at the Guardian at that initial stage (1983) were: Dr. Stanley Macebuh - Managing Director (deceased). Dr. Macebuh recruited me fresh from my M.Sc Political Science degree (University of Lagos). Lade Bonuola (Ladbone) - Editor; Adigun Agbaje - Politics Desk (now Professor & former DVC, University of Ibadan); Ted Iwere - Features Editor; Eddie Iroh (author of 'Without a Silver Spoon') - Editorial Board Member; Chinweizu (author of 'The Anatomy of Female Power', etc.) - Editorial Board Member...From this line up, it is obvious that this was a team of egg heads assembled in one establishment: The Guardian Newspaper at inception. FK and I were part of this formidable team!
FK has sterling credentials. He is a 1977 graduate of Mass Communication (2nd Class Upper Division) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was on leave of absence from his duty post at The Daily Times Newspaper to pursue his dream of becoming a University graduate, during an era when his colleagues were content with remaining on the job, and acquiring experience while earning promotion. By the way, FK paid his fees throughout his course. When he was on holiday, he worked at the Daily Times. He was to return to Daily Times as a graduate Sub-Editor. Besides, FK has under his belt certificates from numerous courses in Nigeria and abroad which constituted on-the-job training. At various times at the Guardian, FK was News Editor, Editor and Director of Publications/Editor-In-Chief. At the Comet Newspaper, he was Director of Publications/Editor-In-Chief. In spite of his busy schedule, he always found time to mentor rookie journalists.
FK is Fellow, Nigeria Guild of Editors (FNGE); Fellow, Nigeria Association of Physicians of Natural Medicine (FACP) and Fellow, Nigeria Academy of Natural Medicine (FNANM). His seamless transition from mainstream journalism to his niche, Alternative Medicine, for about thirty years, still baffles many people. In Alternative Medicine, he has made a mark as an authority consulted by other Alternative Medicine practitioners and indeed orthodox Medical Doctors! He has maintained a weekly column for about thirty years on Alternative Medicine, first in the Guardian, then the Comet and now the Nation! It is tasking to maintain a weekly column for so long in a serious and ever evolving field like Alternative Medicine. Each time FK became weary, I urged him on by suggesting topics, and sometimes content to him. Up till today, I painstakingly take it upon myself to edit FK's column weekly before it goes to press!
On Femi's professional prowess, the President said:
'I congratulate you for choosing a career that best expresses your talent. The awareness that you bring to Nigerians through your years of working in newsrooms and writing will continue to be appreciated. Your wise counsel on health issues has influenced review of strategies and policies which focus on homegrown options for treatment of infirmities and ailments. Your effort contributed to Alternative Medicine gaining recognition by the Federal Government of Nigeria for inclusion in the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN)'.
On FK's training of the most prominent Journalists & those who have metamorphosed into other professions, the President said:
'You are an accomplished media trainer, whose willingness to share knowledge has resulted in your mentees becoming Legislators, Chief Executives, Media Entrepreneurs and indeed Advisers...'
As FK's wife I attest to the fact that what you see is what you get with him. He is a down-to-earth man who detests any form of pretense. My principled and upright FK, I felicitate with you for attaining the Biblical and significant age of three scores and ten. You shall live to see more of your children's children. Happy birthday, my dear!...