By Joachim Ibeziako Ezeji
One striking feature I have always admired in my bosom friend Mark is his ability to get along well with all kinds of people. It is this unique streak that has underpinned my relationship with him since 1998 when we first met and instantly became great friends. He is very unassuming, very kind and very understanding. I first came in contact with this young man at a Rotaract Club meeting/fellowship hosted by the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt in 1998.
Over these years I have come to realize that both of us share similar ideologies, philosophies and world views on contemporary issues. This is more pronounced in our uncompromising attachment to moral, entrepreneurial and professional excellence. For him, this is most manifest in the fact that in less than three years of graduation he defied all odds to get enmeshed in the risky world of self employment through the setting up of a group of firms, and providing employment for over 27 young graduate Nigerians.
Amongst his companies are: NUEL MARK & PARTNERS, an indigenous firm of Estate Surveyors and Valuers registered in Nigeria as a business concern with Registration No. PH/079872 and recognized by the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) to practice the profession of Estate Surveying and Valuation throughout Nigeria.
Another is; Nuel Mark Environmental Services Limited, a professional services firm focusing on the environmental needs of our clients and providing them sustainable environmental strategies and solutions. Nuel Mark Property Consulting Limited is a unique multi-disciplinary consultancy that provides a comprehensive set of professional services to organizations and businesses involved in property development and asset management.
Yet, another is; Nuel Mark Property Consulting Limited, which provides its institutional, government and private client base significant expertise with recent experience of a wide range of property development projects.
Mr Emmanuel O. Mark is well known and highly respected for his knowledge and success in the Nigerian real estate market, selling and marketing some of the most successful residential and commercial developments throughout Nigeria over the past 15 years.
In addition to all the foregoing, Obum (an Igbo name meaning ‘’I am’’ as I usually call him) is a well-bred and cultured community man. He takes great pleasure at community service as encapsulated in his membership of the Rotary family since the past ten years now. Starting at Rotaract club, a youth wing of Rotary he rose to become the District Rotaract Representative (DRR) with the onerous responsibility of leading an international organization in a district with well over 1500 Rotaractors. His commitment to Rotary was further underscored when members of his Rotary club elected him to the position of President of the Rotary club of Port Harcourt Central in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He had a most successful tenure and was soon rewarded with a district appointment as the District 9140 Rotaract Committee Chairman.
Mark takes great pleasure in attending local and national professional conferences and symposia. He reads voraciously and can work independently to a very large extent. The gain he derives from these is bounteous and stands him shoulders above many of his peers in terms of the social and intellectual benefits that have continued to build and mould his person. I say so because I have seen him make and listen to presentations and also make contributions of meaningful worth to learning at these events.
Obum is very humble and ever willing to learn irrespective of his personal views and opinion. He never throws his weight or status around and can comfortably mix-up and socialize with anybody. This is one quality I admire greatly in him.
He takes great interest in creativity and innovative thinking as well as in socio-economic researches that can improve the living environment. His recent partnership with RAWDP, a Nigerian NGO to effectively optimize her clean water project using cheap and affordable natural resources is a vivid example. To boost this activity, Mark is already privately shoring up relevant contacts for the wider adoption of the technology.
Further to all the foregoing, I wish to underscore that my getting to know Mark has not been without its low points too. He can easily loose steam and can at times vacillate a little, requiring and testing the persuasive skill of an adroit expert friend to roar him to action once more. Most often he exhibits traits of shrewdness, a streak common with the average Igbo business man; though his’ never compromises honesty and fairness to all. He never cheats and can rarely be cheated.
To some extent he could be seen as also being hedonistic but this can easily be excused for man who works so hard to earn every of his penny. In Nigeria, Port Harcourt can appropriately be classiofied as a city of jolly good fellows. And Obum is exactly one. We never miss our ‘’ishi ewu’’ , ‘’ugba’’, aso rock’’ and even ‘’national assembly’’ often prepared by ‘’Werulem’’ his beautiful and charming wife, whenever I am in town.
Ode to Mark Obumneme Emmanuel; an accomplished professional, friend and family man. To God Be the Glory!