Dekunbi Kuye had a chance encounter with the late Charles Bruce Chukuma, a.k.a. Chaz B, recently at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos. She writes on her impression of the late On-Air-Personality and Motivational Speaker
t was during one of my numerous visits to Silverbird office at Silverbird Galleria in Lagos. At the reception of Silverbird office was this man, huge in stature and of average height. He was surrounded by many people mostly his fans just as he stepped out of the Rhythm FM Studio around 5 pm I think on a warm Thursday evening. I was curious, I wanted to know who the man they all surrounded as he came out was. So I moved closer to see this personality dressed in a long Hausa caftan. Perhaps seizing the moment, he too was greeting everyone like a president of a country would do. Then I asked a lady who seemed to know him well who he was. “Pls Madam, is this man a movie actor,”I said to her. She laughed and replied courteously saying, “That’s the Soul Provider Chaz B”. Ooh!! I said and moved closer. Having heard of that name many times before, I squeezed myself in between the small gathering to get a proper view of this warm and friendly man. Luckily I got a handshake.
As I glanced at him, I could sense this alluring sense of comfort in his presence and voice. He told me he was Chaz B and I gave my name as well. The exchange of pleasantries was very brief and we both went our different ways. Deep down I felt delighted that I was opportuned to meet this kind hearted man. I took a liking to him, I mean to his programme on Rhythm FM, Sharing Life Issues with Chaz B, the very moment my boss Tunde Rahman introduced the programme to me. I was later to find out and equally got used to listening to his ever-green programe on 92.3 FM. His style was infectious. His programme was soul stirring. He was a man of the soul with his baritone voice. His voice was like music and soothing like a balm, helping to solve many social and matrimonial issues.
Listening to Chaz B
Listening to Chaz B, real name- Charles Bruce Chukuma, during his inspiring conversation on radio was like listening to a clergyman, a man of strong moral conviction and religious beliefs. I often thought that Chaz B was super human, pardon my language, that he was above nature, that he could never succumb to the cold hands of death because he was just too good. You could then imagine my shock and disbelief when I heard he was dead. That he died of kidney related problem. Chaz B studied Travel and Tourism Management, Hotel/Restaurant Management. After spending 26 years in America, he came back to make a living in tourism but fate soon found him in broadcast journalism through persuasions, as I learnt, by a lady who herself had made a name in television broadcasting. The woman is Senator Chris Anyanwu. Chaz B once said: “While I was in Abuja, I ran into Chris Anyanwu, who is now a Senator, and she said to me: ‘You have the flair, you should be in broadcasting.’ I said, ‘Shoo, this woman, flair? She said, ‘Yes, you belong in television.’ I laughed and I said, ‘No.” During his lifetime, Chaz B was the Assistant Head of Programmes and one of the top On-Air-Personalities at 92.3 Inspiration FM. Charles Bruce Chukuma had a history of kidney health problems. He underwent a successful kidney transplant in 2012 after receiving a kidney donation from his wife. Though the official cause of his death has not been confirmed, but I guess it may have to do with kidney malfunctioning. Chaz B is alreadly been sorely missed. Many had cried their hearts out on hearing the news of his death. Many were unconsolable. I cried too. He had a profound influence on me the very moment I encountered him on air. After he died, I said to no one in particular. “Why Chaz B, why now?” May his soul rest in peace.