Prominent billionaire industrialist, Alhaji Chief Abdulazeez Chibuzọ Ude alias ‘Old money’ is dead.
Alhaji Ude was eulogized in a popular track of the late Chief Oliver De Coque, “Biri Ka Mbiri”.
A renowned philanthropist, he was called ‘Ebube Ndi Muslim of Igbo Land’, Boroji of Lagos, Bobashuwa of Ikorodu.
Alhaji Ude hailed from Abor, Udi LGA, Enugu State, and became rich at a time that there were not many millionaires around.
A colourful man, he hosted lavish end-of-year parties in his Mekuwen home, off Queens Drive, Ikoyi and in his Abor, Udi residence in Enugu.
His office on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi was always thronged by people who needed financial assistance of all sorts.
He bankrolled the classy Chic Magazine published by Eddie Iroh out of London, England and was a director of Newswatch magazine and many other publications.
Born on 30 September, 1940, Chief Abdulazeez Ude is a distinguished alumnus of the esteemed College of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu. He was educated at Oxford in England and Columbia in the United States.
He was a top editor with the renowned American book publishing company Doubleday, publishers of Anchor Books. He rubbed shoulders with Toni Morrison as book editor before she branched out to write novels such as Song of Solomon, Beloved etc and winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Abdulazeez Ude founded Nok Publishers in the United States and Nigeria, undertaking to see radical books from Africa and the Global South in print. The West and the Rest of Us by Chinweizu is a landmark title.
Married with children, Abdulazeez Ude in his lifetime enjoyed tennis, meditation, reading and walking.
His support for popular culture is remarkable, and the celebrated highlife musician Oliver de Coque waxed lyrical in song in praise of the many achievements of Abdulazeez Ude, translated from Igbo thus: “When the big masquerade appears in the square, the non-initiates run away as the praise-singer lauds the radiance of the king. Alhaji Abdulazeez Chibuzo Ude is a mighty masquerade.”
Newsonspot blog gathered he was buried on Friday, 17 September, 2021, at his home town Abor, Udi LGA, Enugu State. He would have clocked 81 in less than two weeks from now.