I lost my grandfather on 18th August 2015, his funeral took place today 27th November 2015 and would continue today. We would round up on Sunday 29th November with a Thanksgiving service . Below is my tribute to him.
TRIBUTE TO MPA
My earliest memories of my grandfather whom I fondly called “Mpa” was as a little child, I would go into his room to sweep and mop, his room then was at our bungalow house which we call “Uno ani”. His friends then were the late Ononenyi Osakwe and late Joseph Nnadi; they are the ones I can really remember.
As I write this I can vividly remember the Late Ononenyi Osakwe standing in front of Uno-ani with Mpa gisting. The late Ononenyi Osakwe was a fat and jolly man; I used to enjoy standing there and watching them gist.
During my primary School days at Good Shepherd Infant & Nursery School, I would sometimes see him passing by through the barbed wire fence at break time and be really happy that I saw him pass. On his way home he would buy a delicious snack which he said the name was “Come again” for I and my siblings.
His cousins were still alive then, the Late Ekemezie Anyadibalu and late Bernard Anyadibalu. My earliest memories of him too were filled with him playing draft with Late Joseph Nnadi at “Ozo Obi Ezetigbuo Adimachukwu”, his cousins the Late Ekemezie Anyadibalu and Late Bernard Anyadibalu with his younger brother Boniface Adimachukwu would watch them play the draft and everyone of them generally gisting.
Mpa was a very active man, he just didn’t like staying at a place and I can remember his stories of how he used to trek from Nnewi to Onitsha in his hay days. When he eventually lost his eye sight in 1999, he wasn’t deterred or pulled back, nothing could stop him from living his life to the fullest, nothing short of chaining him could prevent him from going out to visit his friends and old acquaintances.
Mpa was quite opinionated, you can’t take him away from his beliefs, he loved his father Ezetigbuo Adimachukwu and he would gist me of the love Ezetigbuo also had for him. Ezetigbuo had tall dreams for Mpa, he wanted him to go to school to be very educated and I think one day become a lawyer, but Mpa would hear nothing of that, Mpa believed even till his death that business is the ultimate and business will take any hard working man all over the world. I used to have a lot of disagreement with him on that, I would blame him for not going to school and not also sending my dad to school, I would tell him that if he had gone to school, I have no doubt that he would have been an authority and I still believe it till now.
You see, Mpa was highly intelligent even till his death, very highly articulate and calculative, he would remember things that happened in the 30’s,40’s, 50’s and 60’s and be able to engage anybody no matter how learned you are in high powered conversations. You can imagine my shock the day he told me the date his father Ezetigbuo died, he died in 1953 and the date my father was born.
He used to regal us with stories of the civil war; he was caught three times to be recruited into Biafra army but was released because they felt he was too old to join. Only if they knew that he still had more than 45 years to live, I thank God almighty he wasn’t recruited for perhaps I would have been deprived of knowing him. One of the times he was caught, they were made to stand under the sun and checked one after the other.
He also told of General Ibrahim Babangida’s visit to Nnewi in the 90’s, how Prince A.A Nwafor Orizu’s speech was fused with “ism”. Everything he said seemed to have “ism” and according to him he had to ask a university undergraduate standing beside him if he could understand what the man was saying and he said he couldn’t understand anything.
Till his death he was a very strong man and always there, God blessed him with long life that I almost believed he was immortal and I never worried about him dying. He was my superman grandfather. Even when I travel, I always knew I would find him at home whenever I came back. I would pester him for recent happenings in the village, Anambra state and Nigeria.
Mpa was always current and he was my information minister, we would on a daily basis discuss the politics of this country and where the country was headed. We would analyze things left, right and center. The issue of Boko Haram disturbed him a lot, he wanted a better Nigeria. When some Boko Haram members were brought to Ekwulobia prison, he wasn’t happy about that because he felt that they would infiltrate the eastern region and start killing people, he hoped that the terrorists would be wiped out and stopped from killing people in Nigeria.
During the last general election, he really wanted to vote and I took him to vote, he voted for Goodluck Jonathan, he said a southerner should be given a chance to do a second term because the northerners have ruled this country for 38 years. They shouldn’t act like the country belongs to them alone to rule.
In the space of one week before he died, we were discussing the fallen oil price and how the country can divert our economy into another resource God has blessed us with, he told me of how palm oil from South East Nigeria was the main stay of the economy in those days and I told him I know, that Malaysia even took some palm fruit from Nigeria and they were able to develop their country with that, and I mistakenly told him that even cocoa from the north was exported and he specifically corrected me that cocoa was cultivated from South West and cotton from the North, that these three products from the different part of the country were exported and the economy was sustained.
I miss my grandfather terribly, words can’t even describe. God giveth and God taketh. As Shakespeare said that the world is a stage and we all exit after our roles. Mpa has performed his role and has exited; he accomplished everything a human being could wish for. Foremost is family, long life to see his family grow and ability to live with and being taken care of by family.
I have no doubt that you are in a good place because you were a very good man who put others first before yourself.
When you died I thought of one thing, as you never knew your mother, she died when you were born, you would now have an opportunity to meet her.
Mpa “Jee Nke Oma”, my memories of you is already imprinted in the deepest part of my heart. I shall never forget “Uzoma bia kpachie gate kam puo na Ozo Obi”, “Uzoma kuputerem mmiri kam wuo ahu mua”.
That hilarious story you told me about Obienu will never be forgotten, I shall continue to tell that story for it brightens people’s day.
Your grand daughter
Adimachukwu MaryQueeneth Akuabata.
P. s :I would upload pictures from the funeral later. Please feel free to share, like or reblog . Thank you