Fortune recently smiled on Mrs. Philomena Ubaka, a widow living with her children in a dilapidated thatch house, as a philanthropist who was touched by her family’s deplorable condition of living constructed a two bedroom bungalow for her. At the handing over ceremony, David-Chyddy Eleke reports that her joy knew no bounds
Though Ebenebe, a rusty agrarian community is situated in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, just a little distance away from Awka town, which is the capital of Anambra State, the community is still far away from development. The roads around the community are bad, just as finding potable water is also a task which residents of the community have to grapple with on a daily basis.
For Mrs. Philomena Ubaka, a widow in the community and mother of five children, her worries are not about the roads as even though she is a farmer, she does subsistent farming, such that her harvest are just for herself and her children. She does not have to worry about hiring vehicles to ply the horrible roads to evacuate her farm produce to the market. As far as she is healthy enough, she walks all the way to the farm or to the market, without a worry about the state of the roads.
She may have less worries too about the unavailability of potable water, as she and her children have been used to fetching water in the village stream for their use, or paying a token to get from water sellers who sell from a borehole; but that is usually rare because she prefers the stream, which is free of charge.
The greatest worry for the poor widow is the dilapidated state of her hut, whose roof have also been patched up by simply placing a sheet of zinc on leaking areas, and making it remain stable by placing heavy objects on it to avoid being blown away by the wind. Mrs Ubaka’s home is the type where some people will say that when it rains, it pours even more inside the house than it does outside. But last week, the fortunes of Mrs Ubaka as it concerns shelter changed. A good spirited individual, Mr. Arnold Chukwuebuka Ekweoba, the CEO of Arnold and Associates, a real estate firm, constructed and handed to jery, the keys of a well furnished two bedroom apartment, elevating her from living in squalor to a normal living.
Ubaka found time to tell THISDAY the story of how her favour located her. It was four years ago; 2017, when an NGO with the name; Restore a Radiant Smile Foundation, met her in one of their outreaches. She said they inspected her former house and were appalled with its condition, but they did not make any categorical promise as to what they would do. She was hoping that some day they would get back to her, but it never happened, until this year, when some people came and told her they were instructed to construct a house for her.
On his part, CEO Arnold and Associates, Mr Ekweoba who spoke during the handing over of the keys of the house to Ubaka said, “I don’t know her (Ubaka), and have never met her before, until today. A foundation approached me with the woman’s story sometime last year. I was moved to tears about her condition of living and was instantly ministered to by the Holy Spirit to become an instrument of joy to this unknown woman.
“Immediately, I accepted the request and approved the construction of a befitting two-bedroom bungalow for the woman and her children. What we are doing here today is a divine call. I derive motivation in impacting lives positively. I have never met this family in my life and I’m grateful to God for using me to elevate their standard of living. Like I said earlier, this is a divine mandate and as the spirit directs, we would continue replicating these humanitarian efforts.”
Truly, God uses people to work out the blessing of others. This was the belief of the facilitator of the project and leader of the NGO; Restore a Radiant Smile Foundation, Mr. Victor Ugwoegbu. He described the day’s event as fulfilling, as since 2017 when he encountered the widow and was moved by her condition, he decided to seek out people who are capable of helping her.
He said, “My partner, Mr. Victor Chinyeaka, and I were moved to tears seeing the deplorable state of the woman’s shelter during one of our outreaches in the state in 2017. We couldn’t believe that a human being will be sheltered in such a place. We didn’t have the wherewithal but we prayed God to grant us the opportunity to bring succor to this woman and her family. It became a burden and in mid-2020, I approached Mr. Arnold with the request and he instantly assured me that he would take up the project. Barely six months down the line, here we are. I cannot thank the benefactor enough. He is a young man whose love for humanity is unparalleled. I remain grateful and loyal to him”.
For the beneficiary, Mrs Ubaka, words alone were not enough to describe how she felt during the short ceremony held to hand the keys over to her. Her whole body could not contain the size of joy in it, as she pranced around, happily, greeting everyone who came to the event, offering to help even those who obviously didn’t need any help she could offer. The highpoint of the event was when she took possession of the keys of the house. Tears rolled down her cheeks and when she was beckoned on to make remarks, it was obvious that tears had welled up in her heart as she poured them out, weeping.
Speaking to the journalists, the widow who was dumbfounded showered praises and blessings on Mr. Ekweoba. “Today, I strongly re-affirm my belief in God. No time is late for God to bless anybody. Today, I am a living witness of God’s miracle. I am short of words and all I can say is that God who remembers the widow will never forsake Mr. Arnold, his friends, and family.”
It was indeed a moment of happiness for many in the community who know Mrs Ubaka and her previous conditions as they converged to celebrate her. The traditional ruler of Ebenebe Community, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Chris Emeka Nnaegbuna who was earlier visited in his palace described the Ekweoba’s gesture as uncommon. He appreciated him for the gestured and prayed to God to bless and elevate him to enviable heights.
The Chairman of Umudiaba Kindred, Umuajana Village, Ebenebe, Mr. Maxwell Nnamso, and the widow’s son, Arinze Ubaka both thanked Ekweoba, expressing gratitude to him for allowing himself to become an instrument of God’s blessing to the family. Arinze stated that it would be an honour to live in a good house like other people, noting that his family’s suffering began many years ago after their father passed on.