Ogbueshi Ifechukwude Thomas Nwabueze Okonta, Diokpa Ochelle Village, Umuezei Quarters, Asaba (1922-2019) is the father of Chibuzor Okonta, Executive Editor, Trendy Africa Magazine. His tribute is contained below;
Thomas Nwabueze Okonta’s pursuit of happiness was embedded in family values and integrity. Nwa-bu- eze (Child is king). His parents must have had their reasons for naming him Nwabueze. God nurtured him in all his endeavours for 97 years! God’s amazing grace and favour gave my humble father longevity, and as such; we should acknowledge and celebrate the life of this wonderful man.
My father made his way through every small success to the sublime as an accountant. He worked for U.A.C. for 35 years. In his mid-carrier, He worked as an auditor, travelling to every branch of the company where he audited the company finances and was sometimes at loggerheads with those in charge of running the branch offices for refusing to compromise his business (auditing) acumen when solicited with lots of money in exchange for his silence. It gave him gravitas and excellence to do his job according to his work ethics.
Corruption was one-word Thomas Nwabueze Okonta disliked, and he made life unbearable (charms) on his chair upon his arrival at work. He would pray over it and use holy water to sprinkle on his chair. In the face of adversity, he remained resolute to his core values/beliefs.
This is a testimony that no one can take a life before his/her time on earth. God is the giver and taker of life. (Genesis 2:7) and (Job 1:21). Papa did not become a rich man. He could have if he wanted to, given his profession. He was not interested in ill-gotten gains. He made his choice — He chose honour over wealth (Proverbs 22:1). My father was a honourable man. He was the real deal! He received a gold/bronze wall clock which has since faded, for his admirable service of 35 years.
He was immediately hired by an advertising firm – Afromedia. He worked for another eight years, before finally retiring for good. Papa checked and audited the financial accounts for Asagba in council until his passing away. Papa had a brilliant and focussed mind.
Dad was a devoted Catholic who also believed in his native laws and customs. He enjoyedthe culture and the tradition of Asaba. Papa became the Diokpa of Ochelle village months after the former Diokpa’s (his eldest brother) call to glory. What God has destined cannot be overturned by mere ortals or any other gods.
Ogbueshi Thomas Nwabueze had unconditional love for his siblings through “thick & thin.” The Okonta family will continue the legacy of the last generation of Okontas. I salute you Okpala kalu eze. My father, I honour you in death. Ogbueshi Ifechukwude Thomas Nwabueze Okonta, Diokpa Ochelle Village, Umuezei Quarters, Asaba.
By Chibuzor Henry Okonta
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