‘’MAMA GHANA’’ OF ALISHIMIE IN AGBOR IS DEAD

The death has been announced of Mrs. Regina
OKWUIDEGBE, nee NPUE of Aliogo, Alishimie, Agbor, in the Ika South Local
Government Area of Delta State.

Nicknamed “Mama Ghana’’ as a result of her
long sojourn in that Gold and Cocoa producing 
West African State, she was born, Regina Wezukue NPUE, at Aliogo,
Alishimie, Agbor in the Ika south Local Government Area of Delta State, on May
10, 1929.

In a Service of Songs held in her honour at
Christ’s Chosen Church of God International in South East London, Apostle John
ESKA, younger brother of Mrs Vicky Akwara of Agbor, presided.

Readings were taken from the Book of
Ecclesiates 3 Verses 1-8,the Book of Revelation 14, Verses 1-3 and 1
Thessalonians 4, Verses 13-18.

The Hymns during the praise and Worship
Session rendered by the Church’s Victorious Choir included ‘’Amazing Grace’’,
‘’Rock of Ages’’ and ‘’ What a Friend We Have in Jesus’’.

In a Short Sermon, Apostle John ESEKA,JP,
AFP, described Mrs. Regina Okwuidegbe as a good Christian who took a
meticulous  care of her husband, her
children and the children of her husband’s siblings in a household full of joy
and love.

He enjoined members of the congregation who
came to commiserate with one of the deceased’s daughter, Dorothy who lives in
London, that they should shun jealousy, envy and evil hatred of their fellow
human beings.

He drew their attention to the fact that
the wages of sin is death and went on to say that those who lived wicked lives
on this earth would pay early for their sins if they died without repentance or
a change of heart.

After the Service, members of the Ika Union
of Great Britain and Ireland in conjunction with members of the Agbor Daughters’
Association of the United Kingdom of which Dorothy is a member, danced and sang
Ika Funeral Dirges to bid farewell  to
the departed mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and wife.

The President of the Association, Mrs.
Juliet Isede, nee Nosieri, the distinguished Ika Educationist, presented
Dorothy with an envelope, on behalf of the Association.

It would be recalled that the late Mrs.
Okwuidegbe attended the Aliogo Primary School in Alishimie, at a time when
parents were unwilling to send the female children to School as the perception
was that whatever benefit that would accrue from such a venture, would be
enjoyed by the husband whenever the girls got married.

At the age of 18, she was espied by a
certain gentleman from EWURU VILLAGE, also in Agbor, by the name of Francis
OKWUIDEGBE who wooed and married her.

Two years later, just at the beginning of
WORLD WAR ll, Pa Francis left the shores of Nigeria with his young bride, for
the Gold Coast, now known as the Republic of Ghana, on a journey of adventure,
a broadening of the mind and more knowledge of the World around him.

They settled in the Gold Mining Region of
Ghana known as Kumasi, which was also famous for its Cocoa production. Here,
they began to raise their family which soon blossomed!

They had 11 Children – six boys and five
girls! Pa Francis had a job in the Ashanti Gold Mines and later worked at the
Kumasi University while Mother Regina became a Sewing Mistress and also engaged
in Business by opening a point-of-sale Shop at the famous Kumasi Central
Market. There, she displayed and sold the Clothes which she had sewn.

As the children grew up, Mama Regina and
her husband were able to send them to the Local Schools and even up to the
University.

The children saw themselves pursuing
various Business Ventures as the eldest daughter of the family, Mrs. Gladys
Okanigben who is also deceased, joined her mother in her business venture. The
second daughter, who is also sadly deceased, became a Matron in one of the
Hospitals in Kumasi while another, Grace Okwuidegbe, is a Successful Fashion
Designer who, lives in Warri, Delta State of Nigeria. Yet another daughter, Mrs
Asare, still lives in Ghana where she is an Administrator in a Hospital.

The sons in the family would not be left
out as they also made their mark! In fact, one of them, Mr. Francis Okwuidegbe,
is the Principal of the Abavo Technical College, Abavo, in the Ika South Local
Government Area of Delta State.

After a brief illness in 1972, Madam
Okwuidegbe decided to return to Nigeria, the country of her birth! She lived
briefly in Boji Boji in Ikaland, before relocating to her roots in Aliogo,
Alishimie, where she took up a job in the catering Department of Aliogo Primary
School, her Alma Mater, which by now, had metamorphosed into a huge educational
institution. Even as she had advanced in years, she hung on to her work and
only reluctantly retired at the ripe age of 80 years!

Here in London, Dorothy remembered her
mother with warmth and filial affection. On November 8, 1961, she remembered
that when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll of Great Britain visited Ghana, her
mother decked her out with another sister, in the Girls’ Guide Uniform and they
stood along the route which the Royal Convoy would pass through, with her and
other girls waving their little Ghanaian and British flags as the convoy drove
past them!

Still more, she remembered that her mother
was very hardworking, honest and very prayerful as she was a Committed
Christian! She had evinced a special diligence in the upbringing of her own
children and the children of her husband are other four siblings who had joined
him At the Gold Mining District of Ashanti in Ghana. She had taught the girls
in the family to cook and darn and had taken delight in dressing them up in the
beautiful clothes she had sewn while they posed as her models.

According to Dorothy, their home in Kumasi
was a haven of peace and tranquility. As a Foreigner or an ‘’ex-pat’’ (short
for an expatriate), their father, Francis was always working away from home
especially on weekdays but would return home at weekends and contrary to the
custom or tradition of his peers, would ask the wife not to enter the Kitchen.
He would then take over the cooking of the family meals while the wife had some
rest and sat down to stretched her feet!

Mama Ghana passed on to Eternal Glory at
Benin City in Edo State after a brief illness, on Monday, February ll. 2013
where she was being looked after by one of her sons.

She is survived by 9 Children, 27
Grandchildren and 14 Great grand children.

Other Funeral Obsequies and Final Burial would
take place at Aliogo, Alishimie, Agbor, on 12th April 2013.

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