Good bye Mrs Ezinne Rose Edoga (Nnedioranma)
At the time Mrs Rose Omade Edoga was born, there was no official record. Her father Nwani died when she was about five years old and her mother, Ogbu, got the assistance of the Catholic mission in training her.
After a short exposure to western education, she was betrothed to Bernard Oyigbo Edoga, who relocated her to his older brother, Fabian Edoga’s house at Enugu.
Further training, under the tutelage of meticulous and austere, Mrs. Helen Ngwaka covered home management, sewing and petty trading. Mama Rose had a pleasant smile, soft voice and reassuring attitude. She was industrious.
By all indications, her marriage in 1941 to the High Elementary teacher- Bernard Edoga was a resounding success, though filled with the vicissitudes of life.
She won the trust and confidence of her husband who remained a good shepherd throughout their short life together and a significant reference point till her death.
Mama Rose Edoga believed that within a woman’s limited sphere of influence, she controls the state of her home and bears most responsibility for a peaceful home.
She secured the support of her husband to practice what she had learnt. She started on the verandah of their home at Enugu-Ezike and the business grew and in no time, people were queuing to enroll their betrothed daughters/ wives for training in sewing, knitting, home management, and food processing.
She identified a need which her creativity had helped to solve in her society, thereby carving a niche for herself. She trained those who trained others from Enugu, Anambra, Benue, Kogi and Plateau states. She was their teacher, mentor and counselor.
She maintained that girl-child education should be in the context of her womanhood and culture. It should lead to financial solvency and should not distract from her real purpose in life – being a good wife who puts God and family above everything else.
Within thirteen years, she had eight children, including two sets of twins, the latter having arrived shortly after the death of her husband Hon. Bernard O. M. Edoga. And she wondered, ‘what am I going to do with the children?’ After the period of mourning, she relocated from Aku to Nsukka, prepared and sold akara (bean balls), made dresses, sold fabrics and trained young women.
She became the first woman in Nsukka division to build and own a house–a feat at the time. She had viable businesses. She was a philanthropist. She initiated plans to immortalise her late husband who was a foremost educationist, hence the commencement of Bernard Edoga International Schools.
Mama Edoga was entrusted with leadership role. She presided over numerous women groups: Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) Nsukka and Aku, Charity Women. She was a skilled mediator, counselor in marriage and family conflicts.
Mama had to made political endorsement at opportune times. To wit: 1979 and 1983 House of Representative elections in Igbo Etiti LGA of Enugu state.
Mama was very religious. Her day began with morning Mass and ended with saying the Rosary after intermittent prayers.
Mama lost her first child, she was widowed a young woman, the gruesome murder of her last son Ogboo Bernard Edoga in 2012 did not deter her. She believed God would not abandon her in her despair and would provide a path forward.
This quintessential woman of faith, trail blazer, visionary, philanthropic and soft spoken icon will be laid to rest on Friday 25, May 2018 at Aku in Igbo Etiti LGA of Enugu state.