Ezinne Amadi: Tribute to a Courageous Mother

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Martins Uba Nwamadi

“Fading away like brief candle, life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets upon the stage and is seen no more. It is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” In the Holy Bible, the book of Ecclesiastes, reminds us that: “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens; “A time to be born and a time to die; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance”.

We mourn the passing to eternity of a rare woman of courage and industry, late Ezinne Matilda Chidinma Amadi who left this mortal world some weeks ago at the age of 86 years. Late Matilda was born in 1930 to the late William Njoku, an astute politician and councilor who represented Mbutu Okohia at the County Council. At a time when most girls were consigned to full time domestic chores and tending of farm crops in the village, young Matilda took to education. After completing primary school education, rather than opt for nursing or the teaching profession that was the vogue at the time, she elected to acquire vocational skill as a seamstress, which today is known as fashion design.

She not only mastered the art over time, but also became very proficient in her chosen career. As providence would have it, in 1950, the late Matilda was betrothed to our late father, Ezinna Adolphus Adindu Amadi, then a teacher at St Patrick’s School Mbutu Okohia. In 1951, that union was solemnized in holy matrimony. An entrepreneur and woman of repute, our late mother in 1960 ventured into soap making, an art, which at the time was the exclusive preserve of such industry giants like Lever Brothers, PZ and Equitable Industries all in Aba. She later established a sewing institute, soap making enterprise, even as she was also involved in large-scale production of oil bean cakes.

It was therefore not surprising that our family residence at Obehie in present Rivers State and Orisheze in Ngor-Okpala Local Government of Imo State became beehive of activities daily. In all this, Mama was cognizant of the fact that for women to be successful, they must be empowered with relevant skills to enable them become successful mothers. Hence, she devoted her time in training many young ladies and women and equipping them with the skills to venture into the world.

It is of interest to note that despite her crowded schedules, mama never neglected the home front. Ever strong willed and protective of the family, she ensured that her children were trained as good Christians who walked in the ways of the Lord. Her enterprise and industry were brought to bear in the aftermath of the Nigeria civil war, when alongside her husband put their 10 children through secondary school.

No matter the trials and tribulations, mama never wavered, as evidenced in the past 20 years after the death of her beloved husband. For her untiring commitment in church and community development, the Bishop of Ahiara Diocese decorated mama in 2004, with the ‘Ezinne Medal’. That rare honour was testament to her undeniable service to humanity.

Mama, to live in the hearts of those you love is not to die. You were everything to us and we will forever remember and cherish your personal sacrifices to see us through life’s tortuous journeys. You were a mother and friend who could be relied upon at all times. You were devoted to anything you set your focus on and this rare attribute you inculcated in us.

We are grateful you lived without hate or cant towards anyone and you admonished us to always be at peace with others no matter the provocation. You taught us humility, respect and courage in the face of adversity and above all to look up to God for guidance in all we do. Mama, today, you lie in this small measure. We are not sorrowing because death has not conquered you.

Rather, we take solace in the fact that you lived and walked in the ways of the Creator until the very end. We shall always miss your admonition and encouragement. However, we know you have gone the way of all mortals. Fare thee well great mother and rest in the Lord’s bosom until we meet to part no more. Ezinne, Ga nke oma. -Nwamadi is a Lagos-based media consultant