To Ben Egbuna at 70 – The Platinum fits you, my brother!

Dear Ben, 
On this your Platinum Jubilee anniversary, it’s good to celebrate a great man like you who would usually not give much thought to any ostentatious celebration. 
Left to you, today should also go just like other jubilees you clocked years back:
Your SILVER JUBILEE, when you turned 25 in 1974.
Your RUBBY JUBILEE when you turned 40 in 1989.
Your GOLDEN JUBILEE at 50 in 1999.
Your DIAMOND JUBILEE on your 60th in 2009.
Your SAPPHIRE JUBILEE when you made the 65th birthday anniversary in 2014.
And I’m sure that has also been your plan for this PLATINUM JUBILEE as you hit your 70th birthday anniversary today – to just thank God quietly, meditate on His goodness to you and count your blessings in your life, your wife, children and grandchildren.
But I should make this noise about you because like platinum, you are a rare breed.
First, let’s talk PLATINUM, which anniversary you mark today and which you are like in more ways than one.
The white silvery metal known as platinum is the heaviest of the precious metals, weighing almost twice as much as karat gold. It is dense, ductile and impervious to corrosion. Its color, which mixes well with gold, and is resistant to tarnish and wear, makes it an excellent choice in the crafting of fine jewelry.
Platinum is much rarer than both Gold and Silver – so rare in fact, that “all of the platinum ever mined could fit into your living room,” according to finance group Outsider Club. The supply for platinum products, such as coins, is tight. This is due to the metal being extremely rare.
Platinum is the most expensive of the precious metals and so platinum jewellery is likely more expensive than gold jewellery. The main reason for this is that platinum is denser than gold, as platinum jewellery is made up of 95% pure metal, while gold is usually 75% pure metal.
So this PLATINUM anniversary you celebrate today, Ben, suits you so well; you and platinum are very much alike.
I celebrate you and our friendship of 41 years from when I joined Radio Nigeria in 1978.
Many of us called you different fond names in Broadcasting House (BH) then:
Oga Ben.
Big Ben.
Great Ben.
Long Ben (because of your height)
Mr. Ben.
But the title ‘Oga Ben’ was fully fulfilled when you went on to become the Director-General of Radio Nigeria and Oga to all those BH people who didn’t know what else to call you and whom you tutored and mentored in journalism, broadcasting and life.
So dear Ben, happy Platinum Jubilee celebration. We wish you many more reasons to celebrate God and His goodness to you in good health.

Epa Ogie Eboigbe, veteran journalist, broadcaster and public affairs specialist writes and analyses current and historical issues with a ‘wise pen’.


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