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THE FUNERAL CEREMONY OF LATE EZINNE JOSEPHINE CHINWE OKONKWO NEE IKEGWUONU
By Oliver Udeogu
It was a celebration of life well spent in Akwu-Ukpor Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, as late Ezinne Josephine Chinwe Okonkwo, Matriarch of the Okonkwo’s, was laid to rest at the age of eighty years.
The late Ezinne Josephine Okonkwo was a devout Anglican, who had interest in the things of the Lord, during her meritorious life time on earth.
Ezinne Josephine Okonkwo was a kind hearted woman and an epitome of motherhood, as was attested by scores of guests that were interviewed at the funeral ceremony, regarding her life and times while on earth.
Guests from all walks of life had gathered at the Okonkwo family home Umuhu Akwu Ukpor , to bid their Matriarch a beffiting funeral farewell, on that fateful day, the 25th of August 2021.
These include business associates of her highly illustrious children, made up of various Captains of Industry, the academic as well as Artisans.
The Clergy were not left out during the epoch making funeral at Ukpor, which began with the funeral mass, which was conducted by the Church of the Anglican Communion, Nnewi Diocese.
The body of late Ezinne Josephine Okonkwo, had a brief stop at her maiden home the late Chief Jeremiah Ikegwuonu’s compound in Amiliba, Okofia Otollo Nnewi. This was done in line with the Igbo customs and traditions, regarding the funeral ceremony of a married woman.
Thereafter, Ezinne’s remains was brought to her husband’s compound late Eugene Okonkwo, in an impressive motorcade comprising of Chariot and horses, by the APAMS funeral home limited.
The pomp that was displayed by the foremost funeral undertakers the APAMS limited, during the funeral procession of the deceased, was one that caught the attention of all, as people struggled to catch a glimpse of the funeral artistry being displayed by the APAMS group.
It was such that could have brought the dead back to life, with its memory being one that would linger on minds of many people that graced the funeral, for a long time to come.
Of course Mama deserved much of that, having raised her children in a Godly way, with God blessings upon them as such, both materially, spiritually and otherwise.
First Son of the deceased Mr James Okonkwo, described his mother as a woman of good virtue and of uncommon understanding.
According to him, she was one that assisted people in need any time such occasion demands.
” We her children will miss her motherly advise. She imbibed in us the spirit of togetherness which everyone can see for themselves, as we are one united family”. He prayed God to grant her soul eternal rest.
Second Son of the late Ezinne Josephine Okonkwo, Mr Patrick Chukwuka Okonkwo ( Akuamia Ukpor), described his mother as his source of inspiration in life. ” When things seem to get tough, she was always there for me, by telling me to trust in the Lord. She was filled with compassion and was one that maintained peace with others at all times. However, since death is necessary to mankind, I take absolute solace in God for a life well spent, having died at a ripe age. Am grateful to God Almighty for blessing her with the grace of longevity. We cannot question God over this development.
May God bless her beautiful soul” Chukwuka had spoken in an emotional laden tone.
On her part, first daughter of the deceased Mrs Sophia Nwadiliora, described her mother as a companion, who always gave her healthy advises both in her marital life and otherwise.
According to her, the entire household had missed a worthy Matriarch.
She prayed God to grant her soul eternal rest in His bosom.
The colourful funeral ceremony of the late Ezinne Josephine Chinwe Okonkwo, left no one in doubt, that the late Matriarch of the Okonkwo’s, had worthy children and inlaws afterall.
It was one funeral the elderly would wish to have at their death.
That was evident going by the meticulous arrangement of the funeral, which began with the ‘night of songs’ held on the 24th August, before the burial on Wednesday the 25th.
There were Traditional dance groups as well as Band groups at the funeral, while Comedians were not left out, as they entertained guest, in what could be rightly termed a funeral carnival by all standards.
Friends of the late Ezinne Josephine Okonkwo’s children and Inlaws, came in their large numbers, from home and abroad, to commiserate with the family over the heavy loss.
They include the President of APAMS funeral Home limited, Sir Kevin Chukwumobi ( Ike Ukpor), Chief Collins Enem, Chief Isreal Anaekwe, Ekene Amughere, Prince Boniface Okafor, Ozo Americana Gburu Gburu and many other guests too numerous to mention.
The late Ezinne Josephine Chinwe Okonkwo is survived by five children, numerous grand children, great grand children, Inlaws, Nephews and Nieces.