- By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper. He should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted , or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all hosts of heaven and earth pause to say;
Here lives a great sweeper who did his job well”. – Martin Luther King Jr.
On Friday, the 13th of August, 2021, the town of Amaise Umuokereke, Obingwa Local Government Area, Abia State( not a sleepy town) would be awoken by the presence of the low and the mighty who have gathered to grace the burial ceremony of Elder Edward Nwakwue Amaraizu.
The deceased was born on January 15,1945, and departed the earth on February 9, 2021.Late Elder Amaraizu was a brilliant but could not make it beyond his Standard six. His handwriting and signature were not only unique but attracted the envy his contemporaries.
His patriotism for his Igbo nation compelled him to be on the war fronts for the secessionist Biafra during the civil war. As a gallant Biafran soldier, he fought in one of the deadliest war th eatres, Ore, Ondo State.
Pa Amaraizu’s laundry, Express Laundry, called the shot during its period and offered the best services to huge customer base. He later retired to farming in the late 90s.
He was a devout Christian of the Church of Christ faith, and was ordained and an elder of the denomination in 1998.
His community service and mobilisation and development enthusiasm was of an equalled record. He served his village as chairman and village head, and also served as the school committee chairman for good number of years.
As Pa Amaraizu journeys home to eternity,let us celebrate him with these lines by John O’Donohue:
“When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.
Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.
There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.
It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.
Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time”.
Pa Amaraizu is survived by:
1. Mrs Rose Amaraizu-Wife
2. Mr Iheanyichukwu Amaraizu- Son
3. Mr Emmanuel Amaraizu- Son
4. His Worship Ugochukwu Amaraizu- Son.
5. Dr Comesee Chukwudi Dike- Daughter.
6. Mrs Ezinne Emma Eriugo- Daughter.
7. Mr Amarachukwu Amaraizu- Son.
8. Mrs Elizabeth C. Girouard- Daughter.
9. Mr Adiele Nwakwue Amaraizu- Brother
10. High Chief Ezekiel Nwakwue Amaraizu- Brother.
11. Mr Friday Amaraizu- Brother.
12. Mr Stanley Amaraizu- Brother, and host of other relations.