Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Eleanor Roosevelt (l), with Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe (c) and Mbonu Ojike (r)
Ojike was a man of high intellect. An iconoclast and rights activist. Mbonu Ojike took his politics from the angle of persecution and fought his battles with elevated elocution. He was the pride of the East, whose burning desire was freedom, from colonial clutches. He spoke with passion and deep from the heart. He was the boycott king, who relished in passive resistance made popular by the late Mahatma Ghandi.
Like America’s Martin Luther King, whose “I have a dream” treatise still resonates round the world four decades after his brutal killing, Ojike is best known for his “boycott the boycottables” theory. But it was not just a mere theory. He personally practicalised it by adopting native names, clothes, food, wife, etc. He lived his dream to the fullest, enjoining others to emulate him in the psychological battle against while rule. He passed on in 1956.