New African journal regrets to announce the passing of its former editor, Peter Enahoro (1935-2023). Our ideas are together with his household. Our founder, Afif Ben Yedder, and former journalist Ben Asante share fond reminiscences of Peter’s time on the journal and commemorate a few of his many achievements.
Peter Enahoro was a residing legend in pan-African journalism. We have been fairly lucky to have him as Editor of New African journal within the early days of the journal circa 1978. His writing expertise was universally admired.
Peter was a part of a splendidly gifted, extremely formidable, very educated group completely dedicated to the idea of pan-Africanism and telling it prefer it was. The group included the likes of the late Raph Uwechue who was to go on to discovered the African Analysis Basis, which printed a sequence of seminal books underneath the Know Africa banner and the world-class African Journal and different titles.
One other member of the group was Nana Akufo-Addo, who readers will recognise as the present President of Ghana.
Peter travelled extensively in Africa and defended with out concern the pursuits of the continent. Below his management, the journal gained the fame of being the ‘Voice of Africa’. We have been printing virtually 100,000 copies a month and promoting 20,000 copies in Nigeria alone.
Earlier than coming to us, Peter had already established himself as a fearless heavyweight journalist in Nigeria. He moved up the ranks to change into the Editor of Nigeria’s Sunday Occasions in 1958 on the age of 23, then the Editor-in-Chief of The Each day Occasions within the Nineteen Sixties.
His ‘Peter Pan’ column was hard-hitting and earned him the enmity of many highly effective individuals but additionally established him as a champion of the unusual Nigerian. He went right into a self-imposed exile for 13 years. He was Contributing Editor of Radio Deutsche Welle in Germany earlier than becoming a member of us as Editorial Director. His e-book The right way to be a Nigerian was extensively learn in Africa and overseas.
He married a phenomenal younger German girl, Susanne Haupt, whose brother was working for my household in Tunisia. His son Alex was an intern at IC Publications.
In 1981, he launched what was to change into a vastly widespread pan-African title, Africa Now, thus consolidating the very important function that pan-African media independently based mostly overseas have been taking part in in Africa’s political and financial growth.
Peter later returned to Nigeria to serve his nation in a number of capacities. He in the end retired to the suburbs of London to put in writing a large autobiography, Then Spoke the Thunder.
Peter had a beautiful full life. He couldn’t resist extravagance. That sums up his nice persona. He had many mates however was all the time making his emotions identified. He was irreplaceable at New African.
We are going to miss our pricey pal and brother. God bless him.
Afif Ben Yedder is the founding father of IC Publications.
The Peter Pan I knew
There was by no means a uninteresting second with Peter Enahoro. I began working with Peter in 1978, when he requested me to hitch him in London to function political editor of New African.
On a go to to Nairobi the place I used to be then based mostly, Peter and his spouse Susanne got here to see my new-born daughter, Janet. Peter shocked me with the job supply, which required my relocating to London. However first he needed me to pack my baggage and be part of him to cowl the OAU Summit, which was happening at the moment in Khartoum.
My earlier attendance of OAU Summits had been as an observer however Peter modified all of that. Interviewing and speaking with African leaders was a brand new expertise for me however this was one thing Peter was used to. Assembly the leaders and officers of liberation actions with Peter as facilitator was a thrill, and gave me a few of my most cherished skilled moments.
We have been working in an fascinating interval for Africa – the heady days of army coups and counter-coups. My own residence nation, Ghana, was not spared. Peter requested us to be on standby and go to any nation if occasions erupted unexpectedly.
He instructed all writers and journalists at New African to make sure balanced reporting of their protection. I thus started my protection of Nigerian politics at New African within the years of Obasanjo’s army authorities, persevering with by way of to Shagari’s administration.
However there was way more to working underneath the doyen of journalism then. Peter opened doorways. With the mere point out of Peter’s title, even on the time of army governments I gained entry to main political and enterprise circles.
I can’t say with easy phrases how a lot I learnt and took away from working with Peter at New African. Other than being hard-working, well mannered and having an infectious sense of humour, Peter was additionally cussed in his beliefs and ideas. However he was additionally humble.
His years as Editor at New African have been outstanding and so was our wonderful working relationship, which was additional enhanced by the affable spirit of Afif Ben Yedder, the veteran founder and writer of New African.
Ben Asante labored with IC Publications for a few years.