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Roseline Nwayingbo Ojiyi (1928 – 2015): An Epitome Of Faith




MOTHER of Good Faith Roseline Nwanyinbo Ojiyi, aka Chinyelugo, Odiukonamba, Nwanyigbuefi, Nnemuluora, was born into the family of the late Chief Okocha Igwe (Eselu Enuego) of Agbani Umuazu Nise in Njikoka South Local Council of Anambra State and Lolo Chinwe Okocha (nee Okeke Nwoye) of Akankpisi Nri in 1928.

Ngbo, as Mama was popularly called by her parents and kinsfolk, was the fourth child of the family and the third by her mother. For reasons we could not determine, Mama was the darling of her parents in that her two immediate senior brothers and her immediate younger sister were sent to school, while she was not. The notion in those days was that going to school meant suffering and punishment especially for the girl child. Mama stayed at home to help her mother and to “acquire” the best training that prepared her for a better family life.

In the journey for their Colonel Service in the early 1940s, Mr. S. N. Ojiyi, Mama’s husband’s senior brother and guardian, crossed part with Chief Okocha Igwe and instant friendship was struck. The relationship blossomed into Mr. S.N. Ojiyi betrothing Nwanyinbo to his younger brother, Fredrick Adilimchukwu who was in the army then fighting the imperialist and the Nazi’s in far away Burma in India during the Second World War. As soon as this arrangement was done, Ngbo was sent to Mrs. G. Ono, aka Mishishi (an acronym for highly-respected women in the society) for training in womanhood. Ngbo was barely about 16 or 17 years. On graduation after about 18 months, she was transferred to Mrs. Precillia Ojiyi, another Mishishi and wife of her husband’s elder brother at Umuabi Udi for postgraduate training in womanhood. This helped her to grow and mature and await the return of her fiancé from Burma.

On his return, Fred, as he was called wedded his beloved wife at St. John’s Church, Nise in 1974. This union produced seven children comprising five males and two females. Life for Mr. & Mrs. Fred Ojiyi was difficult at that early stage. Mama resorted to hawking cooked food from carpentry workshops to mechanic workshops at Enugu where they resided. Just before the Civil War, Mama struck her first luck when she was engaged by USAID as their lunch time caterer. This lasted for a few years before the Civil War.

At the end of the civil war, Mama changed her trade from cooking food to preparing “Akamu”. In all these difficult period for her family, Mama put her trust in God. This helped her to engineer the upbringing of all her children in wisdom. Although she did not go to school, she made sure all her children were in school and serious with their studies. She was the architect of the success of all her children.

Mama fell sick in early 1980 and lost full energy to continue her regular business. She travelled to many places in and outside the country to be with her children, sometimes to seek medical care.

The engine house of Mama’s life was God, despite the fact that her parents were heathens. As soon as she left her father’s house, the Spirit of God met her and she never looked back. As a young woman, she got involved in various church activities and compelled her children to follow. She knew that the only way was the word of God and learnt how to read the Bible. She memorised a lot of the chapters of the Bible in her head. She was a member of the Women’s Guild and Mother Union as a young woman. She was honoured by the Church with the two titles — MOTHER OF GOOD FAITH and CHINYELUGO.

Her seven children survive her. They are Godwin Ojiyi, a businessman based in Enugu; Pharmacist Christian Ojiyi, based in Abuja; Mrs. Ngozi Igwebuike, an Assistant Director with the Lagos State Ministry of Education; Engr. Samson Ojiyi; Engr. Uche Eric Ojiyi; Hon. Fred Ojiyi; and Mrs. Felicia Nwoke, a nurse, all based in the United States of America.

A commendation service will hold in her honour at St. Barth’s Anglican church, Asata, Enugu on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, while her remains will be laid to rest on Thursday, May 21 after a burial service at St. John’s Anglican Church, Nise.

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