So death has snatched my admirable auntie? Time and season surely belong to God Almighty. The news was sudden and stunning. The Okoro Akumafamily without auntie Udeaku; surely the glamour is gone. My auntie occupied a significant portion of my adolescent memories, interactions with her were always sign-posted with broad and trade-mark smiles. As a youngster, I had the rare privilege of being influenced by several “significant others” and Mrs.UdeakuOkoroji(nee Uja) was a major player amongst the group. Indeed, the interactions we had formed a great part of my early childhood socialization process.
Apart from my teenage period at Aro-Achi and Aro-Mbala, Isuochi, coupled with the impact of immediate parents; few excellent big aunties like her dominated the events of my early and late adolescent life. It has been my style to regard them as pillars, and pillars indeed they are. The news about her demise immediately brought back the vivid impressions about events of those good old days, especially her occasional visits to Aro-Achi with her husband, Dede Edward Okoroji (NwokeEzuike), and my holiday seasons at 43 Bonny St. Umuahia. Your death made me to recall with nostalgia the beautiful relationship that existed amongst our kith and kin and how we looked up to the elderly ones as beckons of light.
You evidently imbibed the entrepreneurial skills of our forebears with a single-minded zeal and purpose which manifested in the expansive trading empire you developed and managed effectively to the admiration of many. Your death made me to recall the well-built, pretty, lanky and ebony-complexioned lady that was your mum, and how we waited to run towards her to help carry some items as she comes back from Ekegbo market every four days. Of course, she would readily hand-over items bought for the children which we gladly shared amongst ourselves. Her steely principles and strength of character were surely traits you built on to make progress quickly in life. Certainly, we have become poorer with this irreparable loss. After our last telephone conversation, I resolved to visit you personally, as my long absence was obviously a part of your concern, but painfully it never materialized as I was planning for a perfect timing. Daa, you were known to have stood up and upheld justice when the occasion demanded but your greatest and best attribute was your simplicity. You treated every one as if they were your equals, always open to consultation. A great entrepreneur who efficiently built and ran a very lucrative business empire for years, a community person whose residence became a hob for many relations, you actually paid your dues creditably. I cannot even at this material time fail to remember your doggedness and positive activism by greatly conscientizing and motivating our diaspora relations, especially those at Aro-Achi, that time was up for movement back to our ancestral abode. However, hard as you tried, it did not quite fully materialize in your time.
Now that you are gone, there cannot be a better tribute and compliment to your good deeds and endeavor than for my relations to acknowledge and actualize your desire. As we mourn your painful loss, we shall take solace in the fact that you gave your best to humanity and has gone back to your creator. You were always caring and willing to assist people in various endeavors and remained proud of their achievements. May the Almighty God grant your gentle soul a space in paradise. Adieu.