By Dorothy Ufot and Udeme Ufot

The typical response one would get from Herbert on commending his achievement of yet another business feat would be “Small thing Bros, let’s go and do bigger things”. He was always about the next move, the next big conquest. Ever bold, ever so farsighted, always about the next audacious conquest.

We cannot help but struggle with the reality of the tragic, sudden and very painful passage of Herbert, Chizoba and Chizi.  Dorothy still remembers the engaging time she had with Chizoba last September at a special dinner to celebrate Aigboje’s birthday in Ikoyi. I also recall Chizi and Tochi having a good time with their other “siblings”, the Aig-Imoukhuede children. It was such a warm and relaxing evening for all.

I once asked Herbert how he kept up with family, considering his very busy schedule, which was likely to get worse with Access Bank spreading across territories. He told me one needed to be intentional about everything by planning family into the schedule. It was not unusual therefore to see Herbert at many social functions accompanied by Chizoba, sometimes Chizi, and at other times by both. On one occasion I almost mistook Chizi to be one of Herberts PAs. 

Herbert was a loyal and dependable friend, sometimes with a wicked sense of humour. He was a generous and considerate brother to all he chose to call “brother”. He was a bold and visionary business leader who seemed to abhor anything small. A bold warrior who believed in leading his troops from the front. All his dreams, all the plans needed to be big and bold. Any time spent with him meant onboarding loads of inspiration. His bold plans often left you wondering at his audacity. Sometimes you could not help doubting his capacity to achieve a particularly audacious plan, until he did. For him, nothing, absolutely nothing was impossible. It appears he was not only fearless, but restless. One success was always the elixir for the next audacious move.

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We remain appreciative of his kindness and generosity during our daughter’s wedding in Miami. We can never forget his support for SO&U over the years. Especially when we had barely 24hours to pay for a property in Oniru. When I called for his intervention with barely 2hours left of the work day on a Friday, his response was short, reassuring and effective. “Don’t worry Udeme, you will pay for the land”. And we did.

I will miss that occasional text from him in response to compliments on the success of a bold move, “Thank you Big Bros”. 

May God Almighty heal all of us as we nurse this wound. May the Lord especially strengthen the Wigwe, the Nwuba, the Aig-Imoukhuede and the TENGEN families at this time. Let us all be consoled by the understanding that Herbert is off to do bigger things, in a better place. That is what he would probably have told me if I had the opportunity to ask.

May the Lord grant peaceful repose to the souls of Herbert, Chizoba and Chizi.

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