• Strange encounter with Physics teacher and ardent reader of The Sun and Sporting Sun
By Chika Abanobi
The drama started right from the moment he got to know that you work with The Sun, that you are in charge of The Sun Education, a pullout he said he reads religiously every Tuesday.
“Ah, The Sun,” he said, waving in the air copies of the day’s Daily Sun and Sporting Sun that you saw with him on the day of the strange encounter. “The Sun and Sporting Sun are the only papers I read everyday,” he announced. “I spend my hard-earned money to buy them.”
His name is Mr. Emmanuel Nnaemeka Nwachukwu. A physics teacher with Ahiara Technical College in Ahiazu-Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, he said he is very much in love with The Sun, with the human-interest stories it carries, with the way the stories are written and displayed. He loves the one-word screaming headlines such as the one of Thursday, November 10, 2016, on Donald Trump, (now the President) of United States: “Trumped” and the one on the late Stephen Keshi: headlined: ‘Game Over’.
He also loves The Sun Education because of the kind of stories it carries on education issues. He enjoyed reading the edition of May 26, 2015, in which school-kids talked about what they want from Buhari’s government: popcorn, ice cream, lunch pack, pencil, water colour, ‘Ben 10’, ‘Rio’, ‘Power Ranger’…. And while it lasted, his children, he said, were regular readers and followers of tidbits like “Memo” which dealt with grammatical errors and their corrections, “Word History” which dwelt on the origin of English words and expressions.
He loves reading, as well, columnists like Eric Osagie, the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Sun, who writes on Mondays, Steve Nwosu, the Deputy Managing Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief, who writes every Wednesday, Amanze Obi who writes on Thursdays, and Onuoha Ukeh, editor of Daily Sun, who writes on Fridays. He likes the kind of insights they provide with their comments and unique perceptive interpretation of political and economic issues.
On Sporting Sun, which he buys regularly, he said it is truly, “sports at its best,” as its motto proclaims. “I enjoy reading the sporting stories it carries,” he says. “I enjoy the way the stories are written.” In all, he spends N250, everyday, on our papers, he said: N200 on Daily Sun and N50 on Sporting Sun.
In his school, his students and fellow teachers have come to associate him with The Sun so much that they depend on him to get copies to read in order to find out happenings in the political, education, economic, entertainment, sporting, etc worlds. “Every time I bought copies, they would gather around me or borrow to read.” In fact, reading the paper has become so much part of him that he has been able to win a convert: his principal. “I have won him over to start buying and reading The Sun,” he enthused. “Now, he buys the paper regularly.”
What impresses you the most is the way he calls The Sun ‘my’ paper, thus claiming co-ownership of it. In fact, running into him was like meeting the laws of electromagnetics and universal gravitation rolled together into a human form. He loves everything that has to do with The Sun.
Talk of the human side of the law of relativity! Hate or love him, from the kind of enthusiasm he showed on the day you met him, Nwachukwu is not the kind of person that is likely to be weaned from reading the paper any moment soon.
But as you made to go, he placed before you one request that is dear to his heart. “I want to see my story and photograph in ‘my’ paper (that word again),” he said. “I have been reading about other people. Now, let me read something written about me, not negative story o. Promise that you will put my story and photograph in ‘my’ paper.”
You thought over his request and promised to write about him. Since you did not have a camera with you to take his photograph, could he send you a good photograph of himself. He knows your email already because it is always published every Tuesday in The Sun, he said. He would send his photograph into it for your use, he promised. The incurable optimist that he is, he later did.
‘Promise that you will put my story and photograph in ‘my’ paper!’ As you can see, I have fulfilled my promise. I have put his story and photograph in ‘his’ paper.