By Alex Obiogbolu
Dibugwu Elizabeth Eziamaka Obiogbolu passed on to glory on February 15 2017. She was born in 1937 to the prestigious family of Late Akunnia William Chukwuma Iweanya of Iyiawu village of Obankpa clan of Onitsha and Susana Mgbeke Mejuobi of Aluoha village, Uli in Ihiala Local Government Area.
Lizzy, as she was fondly called, commenced her primary education at Immaculata Primary School, Onitsha, a school run by Holy Rosary Sisters of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha. While in school, teaching held a secret fascination for her and she consequently longed to become a teacher, to have an opportunity of moulding the young ones along the paths of rectitude. Not relenting in her desire, her parents sent her to Maria Regina Teachers Training College, Nnewi for her teacher’s grade III certificate.
Lizzy was mettlesome enough at Holy Rosary Convent School, Nnewe, OkigweArchdiocese, which was the first school she had her teaching experience. She was generally loved for her brilliance and attention to details, both in the pupils’ academic pursuits and her realisation that the goals of academics goes beyond teaching and learning to include training the young ones in manners and morals. She did this happily for half a century, thus contributing in laying the foundation of many successful men and women.
Her teaching career which started at the present Enugu state took her across Aba, Port Harcourt and Lagos, where she devoted most of her teaching years with the Ministry of Education, Lagos state, and retired as Headmistress. Because of her belief in continued development, she took every available opportunity to improve herself and would always encourage those about her to do the same. Whilst she was abroad in London undergoing a diploma in Education, the Nigerian/BiafranCivil War broke out in 1967. For the love she had for her family she longed to go home as no assurances of their safety could assuage her queasy spirit. Despite many failed efforts, she did not relent. At last, she abandoned her educational pursuit, travelled to Lisbon and joined a flight carrying relief materials to Biafra via Gabon and through intricate net-working became re-united with her family in Port Harcourt.
She was a community person and believed that responsible communal live was one of the cherished values we had as Africans. She always participated in women groups and associations, especially Ikporo Onitsha, an association she contributed so much to its development. She was Secretary, Onitsha Progressive Women Association and a member of the committee that saw to the conception and development of the Community Hospital at Onitsha which is still ongoing. She was admitted into the prestigious “Odu” society of Onitsha in August 1993 taking on the title, “Dibugwu” just when her husband was initiated into the prestigious “Ozo” society.
She and her husband imbued in their children strong independence of thought and speech and the constant urge to contribute to the progress of the society through positive acts. Together they encouraged their children towards the paths of academic pursuits and excellence. Today, as always, her children owe her so much for their successes in life. Mama will be buried on April 28.
*Obiogbolu is an aspirant of the PDP ahead of the Anambra State governorship election.