Daily Times, Nigeria’s oldest newspaper, has paid tribute to the late journalist Sam Nda-Isaiah, the founder and publisher of Leadership Newspapers.
On Facebook, Daily Times shared a post describing Nda-Isaiah as “an icon to many and one who spared nothing in lifting up others through his philanthropy and goodness of heart,” appreciating his patriotism, media leadership, and support for Daily Times itself.
The post also contained a video in which Nda-Isaiah is seen talking about Nigeria and his media colleagues are seen extoling the publisher’s character and sense of purpose.
Nda-Isaiah died on 11 December, aged 58, after a brief illness. Born on 1 May 1962, he started professional practice as a pharmacist, before entering media as a columnist and board member at Daily Trust. He would go on to initiate the National Affordable Medicines Initiative (NAMI), meant to make quality and affordable drugs available to all Nigerians. He published a collection of reflections in 2004, titled Nigeria: Full Disclosure: Selected Writings on Governance, Democracy and Statecraft, May 1999 – March 2004.
In 2015, Nda-Isaiah ran for presidency but lost in the APC primaries to President Muhammadu Buhari. He had, in 2003, led publicity for Buhari’s first presidential campaign.
Here is the full Facebook tribute by Daily Times.
As the Nigerian Media industry today bids farewell to one of its leading lights, the late Sam Nda-Isaiah, we at the Daily Times though still shocked at his demise, take solace in the fact that he lived a productive and remarkable life, and left legacies worthy of celebration and emulation. The late Publisher of Leadership Newspaper was indeed an icon to many and one who spared nothing in lifting up others through his philanthropy and goodness of heart.
Though he trained as a pharmacist, the late Sam Nda-Isaiah rode the nation’s media industry like an indomitable colossus and represented the very best in the journalism profession. He had a Midas touch and whatever he laid his hands on took turn for the better.
We at Daily Times truly miss the late serial entrepreneur, visioner, passionate politician, deep thinker, inimitable writer, humanitarian, philanthropist, dogged patriot, profound family man and above all, a man of ideas.
The late Sam Nda-Isaiah was always there to lend helping hands to the Daily Times. He motivated us to keep pushing forward even when the weather was inclement and today we can boldly declare that his ideas have borne fruits. He was our Beacon of Hope, Strength and Support.
We surely miss the late publisher of Leadership Newspapers and so will many including his immediate family, friends and colleagues. But we are determined to keep the flag flying and uphold his ideals.
Adieu, celebrated professional, distinguished public servant, the Kakakin (Mouthpiece) of the Nupe Kingdom!
Here is the video:
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a Nigerian writer, editor, journalist, and curator. As Editor of Folio Nigeria, he profiles innovators and facilitators in culture: business, art, photography, music, activism, health, food. He has extensive experience working in the African literary scene. He is currently the chair of judges for The Gerald Kraak Prize, for African storytellers exploring social justice, sexuality, and gender, and he was a judge for The Morland Scholarship. He was an editor at 14, Nigeria's first queer art collective, and Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. From late 2016 to early 2020, he led the transformation of the literary blog Brittle Paper to a standard platform, creating and administering The Brittle Paper Awards, the first by an African publication. His work in queer visibility advocacy has been profiled in Literary Hub. In 2019, he won the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among "The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians" by Avance Media. He completed a collection of short stories in 2016 and his novel in 2020. He has an MA in African studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. From 2017 to 2018, he taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him on otosirieze.com or on Twitter & Insta: @otosirieze.