Ezinne Josephine Akaenu Igweze was born in 1933 at Abba, to the family of Mazi Egbeocha Mbuba-Atoh and Ugoye Bridget Egbeocha. Josephine was pampered at childhood and yet not spoilt. She helped so much in taking care of the younger ones in the family, thereby relieving much stress from their hardworking mother.
Ezinne Josephine wedded her husband, Chief Bennett Igweze of Ukpomachi village, Awkuzu in 1950. The marriage was blessed with nine children. Before then, Josephine was enrolled into Saint James’ Primary School, Awkuzu by her husband, who did not want her to miss formal education as he did. Her schooling was brief due to pressure from relatives that her beauty could attract other men.
Thus, Mama was relocated to Enugu, where she stayed with a young couple then, late Honourable L. N Ezeani and Noble Lady Iyom Cecilia Ezeani, who trained her in modern housekeeping. They saw to her Baptism in an Anglican Church.
On the eve of her wedding day, Lady Ezeani personally took her to Jos where her husband resided. At Jos, Josephine was also trained as a seamstress. She was very creative. Although she did not sow on commercial basis, but with dint of hardworking, she was very supportive to her husband as the family seamstress.
Equally, Mama did hand knitting of any cardigan (sweater) with spoke clutches in amazing styles. She was unbeatable in meal preparations and hospitality. In her heydays in the early 1960s, she made a lot of money by selling fried meat and fish of assorted types at her husband’s bar, Jubilee Dawn at Jos. The business, which was booming at that time, was terminated by the Nigerian crisis of 1966.
Ezinne Josephine Akaenu Igweze proved her worth the more during the war, as she was very resourceful in making ends meet. She was sowing “peteli” or women underwear, akara and ran mini restaurant or mama put.
By God’s grace, the family survived the war and the aftermaths of the war, as Mama never relented in her efforts until his husband regained his footing in his business that was devastated by the war. Being supportive of her husband, they made great achievements in life, worked together and established their children and dependants into adult life.
Ezinne Josephine Igweze was a devout Christian. She was a member, Women’s Guild and Mothers Union in the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Due to Mama’s outstanding qualities, she was invested with three Honours: Ezinne in 2006; Oyi Central Archdeaconry Women Maiden Conference Mother in 2017 and Woman of Excellence in March 2020, all at Saint James Church, Awkuzu.
Missisi, as she was fondly called by her late husband, was a peace lover. She was on the quiet side, always cheerful and full of compassion. She was called to eternal rest to be with her creator on September 28, 2020.
She is survived by her nine children, numerous grand children, great grand children, in-laws, nephews, nieces, cousins, sister, other relatives and friends, including Joseph Egbeocha of the ABS.
Service of songs holds today by 4pm at Late Chief B.N. Igweze’s compound, Ukpomachi, Awkuzu. There will be Funeral service tomorrow, Friday, November 27, 2020 by 10am at Late Chief B.N. Igweze’s compound, Ukpomachi, Awkuzu, thereafter interment. Sunday, November 29, 2020 is Thanksgiving Service by 10am at St. James Anglican Church, Awkuzu.
Ezinne; Woman of Excellence; First Oyi Central Archdeaconry Women Conference Mother; Misisi; Mai Inyanga; Odibeze; Nne-Egwu Ogalu-Oyibo Dance; Fashion Designer; CEO Okafor-otu rentals; Okaa Madam; Egbeocha n’ Abba; Mama America; Mama Anyi, adieu!