Agents of Change - National Review congratulates

Gone But Alive Featured

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 00:00 Written by  Published in Tribute Read 3628 times
Malam Ahmad: late managing director of National Review Malam Ahmad: late managing director of National Review

Faruk Ahmed Umar reminisces on the life of the late Managing Director of National Review magazine who died Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

There is a time to be born, a time to live and a time to die. Some come and go without leaving a trace. Others come, create trailblazers and live on forever.

On October 7, 2014, the inevitable happened when the Most High called upon the Managing Director of National Review Magazine, Malam Ahmad Haliru Umar, to join the ranks of our ancestors. On that day, one of the shining icons of our time departed us. May the Almighty bless his soul and give us the fortitude to bear the loss. May his new abode be better than where he was before, amin!

It is in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that the character Malvalio enthused that “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em”. Our late MD falls within the realm of the first two attributes.

Late Ahmed's parent

Born On February 22, 1961, in Etsako West local government area of Edo state to late Alhaji Haliru Umar, a renowned businessman of the early 20th century, one could easily say he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But his father, being a disciplinarian, gave him and his siblings, strict and good training, thereby nurturing them into worthy individuals. They were given both Islamic and western education.

Even though they excelled in their academics, the popular trend during their time discouraged western education. As such, their father removed them from schools. They were attached to various vocations to learn skills. He was assigned to painting. He later quit painting to serve as a manager in his elder brother's company, A & Z Nig. Ltd in Jattu, Edo State. At that time, they were the toast of the society. In their early twenties, they lived splendidly.

Late Malam Ahmed and friends

Realizing that he would not want to live all his life at A & Z and having the desire to create legacies, he and a late brother, Malam AbdulSalam, established Hamsala Company (Nig) Ltd in Lagos. Later on, he moved to Kano where he struggled from one hardship to another until he found his footing and was able to establish another office there. Hamsala later transformed into Hamsa Publications, which specialised in printing and other computer-related activities in 1998. In between these activities, he delved into journalism where he published two magazines, one of which was the comic Matambayi.

In 2002, his desire to create an institution of change drove him to create National Review, a news magazine that analyses topical and national issues. The maiden edition had an interview with the vociferous former minister of special duties to Late Head of State General Sani Abacha, Late Alhaji Wada Nas. He rained fire and brimstone on Obasanjo's regime. At the initial state, the magazine was run from the premises of Hamsa Publications, but was later published under the wider company, Media Review Global Services Ltd.

Before the coming on board of National Review magazine, there had been a myth that no magazine that berth in Kano could stand the test of time. But come rain, come shine, the late Managing Director piloted the project till it started yielding fruits. What a courageous man!

It was in 2012, when the management of National Review wanted to celebrate the magazine's 10th anniversary that a board, chaired by renown international journalist Yusuf Bala Ibrahim, was inaugurated to steer the magazine to greater heights. With the coming of the board, the magazine, which was hitherto published in Kano, is now being published in London and has since been transformed into a shining northern star.

Malam Ahmad didn't just stop at journalism. He also pioneered a joint training with the Kano State Secondary Schools Management Board (KSSSMB) to help create computer awareness amongst students and teacher of secondary schools in the state.

Late Malam Ahmed and children

One good thing about our late father, brother, friend, colleague and boss, was that he maintained good relationship with his community. After his demise, different groups of people who came to condole the family, rendered glowing testimonies about him.

Towards the end of his life, the late Managing Director, who was diagnosed with hepatitis B became critically ill with the disease. In the evening of that fateful Tuesday, his time was up and had to travel to the land of no return. Every mortal awaits his or her time for that call.

It is our wish and prayers that his good deeds will be multiplied and the bad ones cleansed, amin.

The late Managing Director was born great, achieved greatness and bequeathed greatness. It is our hope and prayers that he who the cap fits will take up the gauntlet and hit the ground running. May the souls of our departed rest in peace!

The late MD is survived by a wife, four children, four grandchildren and many relatives.

Adieu baba!

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:44
Faruk Ahmed

Faruk  Ahmed is a writer who doubles as an ICT professional. He handles ICT issues of

He runs, Your No. 1 Online Market for Nigerian Products and Services!