Friday, 25 December 2015

Christmas: Agulu Awka Celebrates Living and Dead Legends, Honours Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy, John Uzoka, others

Hon Chikodi Nonyelu
By Okechukwu Onuegbu
In the spirit of Christmas and New-Year Festivity, the people of Awka ward 5 comprising 8 villages in the capital city of Anambra State recently rolled out drums to celebrate both their living and dead legends with a view to encouraging younger generation on dignity of handwork.

The illustrious sons and daughters commemorated were John Uzoka, one of the two Awka prominent blacksmiths who attended and won the British Empire Exhibition in London on metal work category (1924 -1925), and also constructed an iron gate “the Awka Gate” at Buckingham Palace; and Chinwe Ifeoma Chukwuogo-Roy, Member British Empire (MBE), (1952 -2012), a London-based visual artist, and the first black artist to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II when commissioned to paint the official Golden Jubilee portrait, and had equally represented the UK at the Council of Europe.

Status of David Nwume and John Uzoka, the two Awka Blacksmiths

Others include Keluo Chukwuogo an award winning Engineer; Chief John Ifeduka, only African that joined in designing the National Stadium Lagos, Late Ojogu, prominent Awka Blacksmith, etc.

Hon Chikodi Nonyelu

The 3-days event tagged, ‘Agulu Awka Youth Carnival’ also featured talent hunt, dancing competitions, carnival road show, comedy shows, music, even as the organiser, Hon. Chikodi Nonyelu, who is a Councilor representing the constituency at Awka South Local Government Area legislative chamber, empowered 2 youths with laptop computers out of 16 she trained on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and distributed bags of rice and others to the senior indigent citizens of the constituency.
Speaking at the occasion, Hon. Nonyelu said the carnival was an annual event she organised to help her constituents to showcasing their cultural heritage and inbuilt talents.

While enjoining 14 other would be beneficiaries of her free computer laptop to wait patiently for their own empowerment having undergone the free ICTs training, the Councilor reiterated the needs for the government to help Awka on reviving their God-giving talents on blacksmithing and art.

In their separate speeches, two prominent youths of the constituency, Dr. Kingsley Ogboji, a lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; and Hon Jude Agumadu, the Chairman of Eke Awka Main Market, advised youths to emulate the legacies left behind by their late icons, as well as that of the councilor, who organised the carnival, been the only female councilor in the council and first in Anambra to empower youth as such despite her meager salaries.



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