The mortality of every being in truth was as a result of the original sin which could be traced from the disloyalty of the two human progenitors – Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Since then onwards every man both the righteous and the unrighteous has been burdened with the yoke of sin which is death. But sometime one can still wonder, givne the mystery surrounding the mortality of man, why the all-knowing and all-doing God in His infinite mercy should not reappraise this capital punishment He imposed on mankind as a result of the Adamic sin. This thinking is of course informed by the logic that inspite of the wickedness on earth, there still are individuals who are too good to die, because of their intense spiritual, moral and humanitarian promptings. A classic example of one f such people of goodwill was Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim who died at the age of 85.
The sad news of his earthly departure indeed, ought to provide a massive outpouring of national grief; particularly at this crucial point we are in dire need of men of virtue and integrity whose sense of reasoning would help pull the nation out of the present anarchic situations created by our socio-economic and political crises.
This review is no doubt a dedication to the memory of a great man, a man of outstanding personality and impeccable integrity; a patriarch in the world of learning, a patron of the arts a pathfinder and a true leader of men. It may not be too much to say that Raymond Nseyen-Etim did not only content himself with giving fish to his fellow men, but also taught them how to fish and feign for themselves in case of need.
Truthfully, Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim alias “Yankee” as he was fondly called ranked high to some extent, with fallen personages with undiminished passion for human good like Mahtama Gandhi of India (the great exponent of non-violence); Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. (the fore most American Civil Rights activist); Willy Brandt (the West German Chancellor who strongly believed in humanitarian aid to developing nations); Andrew Carnegie (the famous American Philanthropist) and Theodore Roosevelt (the American leader with profound feeling for world peace).
Sir Raymond Nseyen-Etim, an educationist cum nationalist, became a source of pride and inspiration to many a youth including this humble writer that now trumpets forth this token tribute to a remarkable individual and a shining symbol worthy of emulation. It is in all actuality a manifestation of his inner most conviction vis-à-vis the historical significance of an extra ordinary achiever, a rare bird, in effect who, for several years before his demise was by an large a living legend. Without fear of being pedantic or academic, we may call on William Shakespeare to contribute to the debate, as he speaks through Mark Antony in his Julius Caesar (vis a vis Brutus); “His life was gentle and the element so mix’d in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world. This was a man. Naturally, the earlier a man discovers himself and works sagaciously to realize the discovery the better. It is infact quite appropriate to make hay while the sun is radiant. This is where Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim scored higher than his peers. He was swift and blessed to discover his destiny and destination early.
Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim was born into the Great Etim family 85 years ago in Uruk Uso, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. He completed his Primary School in the early 40s at Methodist Central School, Ikot Ekpene where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate. He later proceeded to Government Teacher Training College Uyo in the early 50s where he spent four years to obtain the Teacher Grad III and Teacher Grade II Certificates respectively which later qualified him to teach at various Primary Schools in the area including Ikot Ekpene, Ikot Ukpong in Obot Akara Local Government Area, among others. His subsequent success in the G.C.E. Advanced level further gave him the impetus to proceed to the prestigious University of Paris in France on a government scholarship where he graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor Degree in International Relations/Journalism and French. On coming back to Nigeria, Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim did his post Graduate Diploma in Journalism at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism- Lagos. He served in many media establishments such as Daily Time Nigeria Plc; News Watch; National Concord, Nigeria Chronicle and others. He was a Theatre Artiste and a Broadcaster. The insatiable passion in Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim took him to SIERRA Leone while pursuing programme at Fourah Bay College – Freen Town where he taught French at Albert Academy. He was a member of the National Committee on the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977, and also the orgnaizaing Secretary of the Sierra Leone Association for the promotion of African culture as well as a Broadcaster in Free Town. Like the gold fish, Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim had no hiding place even in a foreign land. As a prolific writer par excellence one of his special Articles on Affi Usua during the “FESTAC 77” endeared him to the late Anthony Enahoro- Minister of Information and Culture, who recommended him to the United Nations Organization (UNO) as Secretary in the United Nations Information Service – New York, Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim did not only serve at the global level, but also at the National level as a Senior Special Assistant to President Shehu Shagari on Media, Information and Culture in the Second Republic. He fought for Democracy even throwing aside his personal comfort and welfare and gave everything to see the country moving forward. Any wonder then that he contributed immensely to the emergence of the then National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the country. Some heroes appear when there is no role for them to play, and at time a role may burst forth, but there is no hero to press home the advantageous position. With Raymond Nseyen-Etim everything dovetailed accordingly. He hour found the man. He was a veritable harbinger of novelty and extraordinary humour, and, architect of social transformation. He was without doubt a worthy educationist and contributed in no small measure to the implementation of the National Adult Mass Literacy Programme in the country. He was the Founder/Director – International Cultural Institute, Uruk Uso, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, a man of his words who had no patience for mediocrity. Elder Raymond life was a commitment to make the society a better place for the masses, free from the pains of injustices and oppression. His achievements as a Veteran Journalist were monumental. Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim had written more t han 20 books/ literary works not yet published. His prominent patriarch of Akwa Ibom State extraction had indeed made his marks in his chosen area of vocation and has therefore left his footprints in the sands of time.
Until his demise Late Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim was the substantive head of the Great Etim Family, to him, all that seemed to matter was what to do to unify all sections of the family. He was the immediate past Presiding Elder of Mount Zion Light House Full Gospel Church Uruk Uso Diocese, a member of the League of Veteran Journalists, Akwa Ibom State, Ambassador of peace, Patron, National Association of Ikot Ekpene Students (NAIS worldwide) and a news commentator of repute. He won many Awards internationally and Nationally. Now that the Shakespeare of our time, a repository of knowledge and wisdom- Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim is gone, when comes another?
Adieu Elder Raymond Nseyen-Etim