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Ezinne Obi’s glorious home call

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WHEN the news filtered in that morning of May 18, 2021, it sounded abstract; its echo reverberated beyond imagination. Could it be mistaken identity or misinformation?

  But then, disconsolate news of such magnitude and the emphasised name substantiated the sad news of Ezinne Obi’s departure from our world.

  Ezinne Benedeth Ukaeju Obi (Nee Ekechukwu) (Ogbannu Egwu), sojourned the earth remarkably and made her exit as the curtain drew on this stage called earth to be with her creator in good old age but when least expected. Her flight from our space will not make a return. What a vacuum her death has created.  No human can take her glorious place.  

  In the words of Chuck Palahniuk, ”we all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” Though   Ezinne Obi has bid us goodbye her life speaks volumes of the good life she lived.

  Ezinne Obi, patriarch of Obi’s family wasn’t just a woman, but a mother, more than that, a Deborah of her time and a gallant ambassador of Christ; a woman who fought not only for children’s well-being but as well as for others.

  Her fighting spirit was steeped in her determination to have a purposeful life when she lost her parents while growing up. The harsh reality of life at such a young age became her driving force.

  Ogbannu Egwu as Ezinne Obi was fondly called, was a woman of inestimable value. She was born on May 16, 1930, to the family of the late Chief Ekechukwu and Lolo Nwangborie Ekechukwu of Umuezeriaku, Akaboedoji, Uruagu Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The vicissitudes of life that accosted her started with her having to live with her maternal aunts at Nnewichi, Nnewi, when the cold hands of death snatched her parents.

  She was later taken to her elder sister’s house, the late Mrs Anozie at Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi. Due to some circumstances, she could not continue with Mrs Anozie and had to move in with Mrs Oforkile who was also her sister at Nnewichi, Nnewi.

  Despite the challenges confronting her as a young girl, her beauty stood out. She aligned her beauty with hard work and good behaviour. These virtues attracted her to a handsome and industrious young man, the late Mr Stephen Obi from Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi, who wedded her at St. John’s Catholic Church, Egbo, Uruagu, Nnewi.

  In search of greener pastures and being a hard-working woman, who was determined to support her family. She left Nnewi with her husband to Onitsha. She established different businesses and flourished until the advent of the Nigerian civil war in 1967. On her ‘ suggestion, the family moved back to Nnewi  Where  she started the  palm oil businesses.

The demand of the business wasn’t easy as she conveyed the oil to Ado-Ekiti, capital of the present-day Ekiti State in a 911 lorry for sale.

  The death of her beloved husband in 1979 left her with the onerous task of shouldering the family responsibility alone. A quite daunting task but God gave her the grace to achieve success.

  The risks involved in the oil business combined with setting in of old age  made her drop the business and engage in cooking Moi Moi.

  She sold her special Moi Moi at Mburi, now Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi. Ezinne Obi’s cooking skills earned her the nickname ‘ Okongwu Moi Moi’. As a woman who abhorred idleness, she continued her Moi Moi business until her children forced her to discontinue because of her age.

  Ezinne Obi had no opportunity to attend school at a young age but her love for education made her strive to ensure her children went to school. She later enrolled in an adult education class.

  She was a devoted Christian, endowed with divine strength and wisdom. A staunch member of the Catholic Church as she never  failed to attend church activities. She was the pioneer member of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Edoji, an annexe of St. John’s   Catholic Church, Egbo. She belonged to many groups including the St. Monica’s group.

  Ezinne Obi was a woman with an intense taste for music and equally a good dancer. Her love for music motivated her to join the    St. Augustine’s Choir, Edoji. She was also a strong member of St. John’s Choir, Egbo, as well as the Nnewi General Choir. Her passion for church activities was rewarded by St. Augustine’s Church when they crowned her with the title of Ezinne in 2017.

  Ogbannu Egwu left a good legacy to follow and lived a life that pleased God. She will greatly be missed by all.

Her marriage was blessed with 10 children with four surviving – three females and one male.

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