About Ezinne

LIFE & TIMES OF EZINNE MARIA IFEOMA UZUEGBUNAM
(A Woman of Great Fortitude) 1945-2021

Ezinne Maria Ifeoma Uzuegbunam (nee Okafor) was born a twin at the early hours of 1st January 1945 at Onitsha, Anambra State to Late Mr. Simon Nwufo Okafor the Late Federal Agricultural Produce Examiner of the Colonial days and Late Mrs. Lucy Odugo Okafor (nee Abraham Ezeanata). Both parents died when Maria was young.

Young Maria briefly commenced her early Primary school education at Afikpo in Ebonyi State but soon returned to St. Peter’s Primary School, Abagana where she continued and completed her Primary School Education.  She later gained admission into St. Monica Teacher’s Training College, Ogbunike where she obtained TC III and TC II Certificates.

Ezinne Maria Uzuegbunam was married to Late Mr. Raphael Chukwuma Uzuegbunam (School Headmaster) of Akpu village, Abagana. The marriage was blessed with two children namely Late Dr. Mrs. Chinenye Harrison (nee Uzuegbunam) and Mr. Frank Chukwunedu Uzuegbunam of prodigious talents. She also brought up five wonderfully gifted step-children (children of her late brother, Sir Peter Chukwuka Okafor (Ezeamalu) – namely Mrs. Ijeoma Okeke, Engr. Arinze Okafor, Mrs. Ukamaka Okonkwo, Mr. Chukwudi Okafor, Mrs. Ebere Mbaneme, and Ms. Chinazam Okafor are all very soundly educated in various fields.

Her sons and daughters-in-law include Engr. Harrison Elekwa, Mrs. Uchenna Uzuegbunam, Mr. Forster Okeke, Mrs. Ijeoma Okafor, Dr. Ifedi Okonkwo, Mrs Adaobi Okafor and Mr. Ikenna Mbaneme.

She was also blessed by a host of grandchildren; Nneoma Elekwa, Chinenye Uzuegbunam, Chukwudalu Uzuegbunam, Jachukwuike Uzuegbunam, Chinyere Okeke, Chidera Okeke, Chukwuemeka Okeke, Chiagoziem Okeke, Munachimso Peter-Okafor, Osinachi Peter-Okafor, Chukwunwike Okonkwo, Olaedo Okonkwo, Chibudom Okonkwo, Chiedozie Okonkwo, Kamsiyochukwu Mbaneme, Chiziterem Mbaneme and Chibuikem Mbaneme.

We pray God of mercy will grant them divine love and care to bear the loss.

Despite the challenges posed by the early death of her husband and set-backs due to the civil war, Ezinne Maria remained an undaunted Woman of Great Fortitude in her quest for higher education. Through home studies, she obtained her GCE Cambridge O/L and A/L and proceeded to Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri where she obtained N.C.E.  Subsequently, she gained direct admission at UNN and graduated with B.A (Education) Second Class Honors, Upper Division.

She taught in a few primary and secondary schools in Anambra State and soon after graduation at UNN she was employed as Vice Principal Administration and later as Principal at the renowned Private Institution of LORAL INTERNATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS in Lagos. Shortly after, she was promoted to Senior Principal of the LORAL SCHOOLS, purely on merit.

Wherever Ezinne Maria worked, she left imprints of humility, intelligence, discipline, fear of God, hard-work and excellence. Her students’ excellent performance in Local, Foreign examinations and competitions, earned her various Award from students, staffs, P.T.A.  Fondly called “MARIA” she also received Distinctive Humanity Awards. Some of the awards are;

  1. Best Female Principal of the Millennium – 2002
  2. Most Dedicated Principal – 2003
  3. Adorable Mother/Senior Principal of the Year – 2004
  4. Most Dedicated Senior Principal – 2005
  5. Most Meticulous Senior Principal – 2006
  6. Distinctive Humanity Award – 2006 – (Pillar of Support for Disabled & Needy) in recognition and appreciation for outstanding great service to humanity and mankind
  7. Most Eminent Mother of the Year – 2007
  8. Most Consistent Achiever – 2008
  9. Supreme Achiever of the Year – 2010
  10. T.A of Loral International School gave her awards for 4 consecutive years for students’ behaviour and excellent academic performance

On the home front and before relocating to Lagos, Ezinne Maria was the General Secretary of Anglican Women Organization, Home and Abroad, Abagana Chapter, from 1983-2001; Member of Awka Diocesan Anglican Women Executive Meeting; Member of Archdeaconry of Women’s Guild and Mother Union of Awka Diocese. In August 2005, Maria was bestowed with the Honour of “Ezinne” at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Abagana. In August 2019, St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Abagana also honoured her for distinguished service to the Church, Community and Humanity. Before her death, became one of the founding members of St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Amagu, Abagana, Anambra State.

Ezinne Maria was born into a devout Christian family and throughout her sojourn on earth, stood up in Praises, Honour, Gratitude and Glory to God, and Service to Humanity. She loved children and was instrumental to the up-bringing of many less privileged children particularly in the field of education and learning.

She was a caring mother, good wife, sister, grand- mother and a devoted Christian. Ezinne Maria will be greatly missed for her zeal for things of God, compassion, fore-sightedness, and drive for excellence in all endeavour. But our joy is that she is living the world better than she met it. She came, she saw and she performed, leaving behind land mark projects at Amagu, Abagana and in Lagos where she last worked before retirement; as well as at Orofia village Abagana.

We were very fond of each other; a relationship that started in the womb as twins. You called me “Darling Brother” and I called you “Ezinne No. 1”.

Ezinne No. 1 passed on, on Sunday 14th November, 2021, after a brief illness arising from bathroom accident.

We dearly love and need you, but your Creator loves you more and bids you to come home and Rest. May the Almighty God, Father of Everlasting Grace, elevate you to His Bosom on High. There, you will not cease to sing your usual Praises to His Holy Name and Forever More, You will REJOICE.

Adieu, Maria and Good night

Engr. Simon C. Okafor

Your Darling Twin-Brother

4th February, 2022.