Adieu, Ofunne Vivian Okonji (1960-2015)
MRS. Vivian Ofunne Okonji was born on August 15, 1960, to the family of Senator and Mrs. Paul Nosike Ikpo. Her father, a Christian by faith hails from Umuodafe, Ibusa in Delta State. Her mother, who hailed from Asaba, also in Delta State, was equally a dedicated Christian.
Ofunne attended Owa Girl’s Grammar School, Agbor, Delta State from 1972 to 1978. Thereafter, she proceeded to the College of Education, Abraka, where she obtained her Nigeria Certificate in Educaiton (NCE) in February 1983. She gave her service to her fatherland through the NYSC scheme from August 20, 1982 to August 19, 1983. On March 17, 1984, she got her first appointment at the Ministry of Education, Lagos, to teach Home Economics at Estate High School, Mile 2 Lagos.
On November 29, 1986, she got married to Chukwudi Joseph Okonji and remained so until her demise. Ofunne’s hard work and dedication to work got her promoted to the post of Master Grade 11/Inspector of Education Grade 11 on June 1, 1988. She was further promoted to the post of Master Grade 1 on January 1, 1991. On February 26, 1998, she was promoted to the post of Principal Grade III and on November 23, 1998, she obtained her Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Benin, Ugbowo.
Ofunne’s promotions in her career knew no bounds. She was promoted to the post of Assistant Chief Education Officer in no time. On January 6, 2003, she was transferred to Opebi Junior School. She obtained her Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling at the University of Lagos, Akoka, on June 27, 2003.
Ofunne’s passion for counseling led to her participation in many workshops on effective counseling techniques. On August 28, 2008, she obtained a certificate in Career Development and Training Services (CADETS).
Ofunne was transferred to Omole Senior Grammar School on September 21, 2010. While there, she was further promoted to the post of Deputy Director of Education on December 1, 2010.
Her passion for the development of the Nigerian youth led to the birth of her NGO, Centre for Building the Youth for Positive Life (CEBYPOL) in 2011 which has carried out series of events and impacted the lives of thousands of Nigerian youths till date.
Ofunne’s commitment and dedication to the service of humanity was also evident in the roles she played at St. John Bosco Catholic Church, Alagbole, where she was appointed a marriage counselor in 2012 by the late Father Alex Aworojolu. In 2013, she was appointed the Chief Marriage Instructor by the Rev. Father Yemi Sobiye.
Among other things which Ofunne loved more than anything else was her husband and children; she never joked with them. She also loved reading, teaching and doing business. Ofunne truly was a rare kind and would forever be missed.
She is survived by her father, Obi Senator Nosike Ikpo; husband Chukwudi Okonji; and children, Ikechukwu, Valentine, June and Louisa. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.