GOODNESS attracts good things and no value is as good as honesty. Pa Micheal Chwukwuka Onyema placed high price on honesty and straightforward stance. No wonder, life rewarded him with a good old age.
Tomorrow, people across the globe will converge on Mbosi Town in Ihiala Local Government Area, Anambra State for the burial of the late Chief Onyema, father of Allen Onyema, the Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace Limited.
The Late Nze Onyema’s departure from mother earth is like a razor cut through the heart of people that know him, with shock and disbelief many have not come to accept the fact that the man they fondly refer to as ‘Nze Onyebuchi of Mbosi’ is no more. The reality is that, though Nze is gone, but he lives on in our memory and the first phase of perpetuating his memory is what his children described as according him a grand burial ceremony.
The measure of a man’s life is not in its duration,neither in its length, but in its essence. Death is a natural part of life, for it is, but a part of transition of man’s soul. As they say, until we forget the dead, they are not dead. For the Onyema’s family, their patriarch lives. Allen, the billionaire businessman, not given to half measures, described his father in glowing terms as a man of “impeccable integrity; a highly dedicated Nigerian and above all, God-fearing.”
Chief Onyema was a member of the Mbosi Traditional Council and an Ichie in the king’s cabinet. He was famous for his tireless sacrificial community service as he motivated several corporate social responsibility projects undertaken by Air Peace in different parts of Nigeria. Good men, they say, must die, but death cannot kill their names. Like a force that he was, he inculcated into his children the discipline, diligence, thoughtfulness and honesty they exude.
He was an amiable and hospitable leader, and firm believer in Nigeria’s unity. He was also credited with imbibing the sense of oneness in his children. He encouraged and supported his children to see every Nigerian as one leading to Air Peace boss mass employment of Nigerians without discrimination on ethnic or religious basis. Chief Onyema was a man that loathed dishonesty and a very opened-minded and passionately detribalised Nigerian. Chief Onyema supported his first child, the CEO of Air Peace, to marry a Northerner against the counsel of some of his friends. He also happily gave out one of his younger daughters in marriage to a Yoruba.
After losing his wife, Mrs. Helen Ekwusi Onyema at a young age, Chief Onyema shouldered the huge responsibility of catering for the upbringing of his young children alone. He was a loving and hardworking parent who wanted the best for his children, not minding the little resources available to him. He ensured his children got the best education possible and began early to instill discipline in them. Seeing the effort he exerted in pursuit of his children’s success, determination became his watchword for them to make a headway in life and they excelled to be a success story.
Air Peace boss, invites to the three-day event, family and friends of Onyema to the funeral ceremonies organised in honour of his late father at Mbosi Town, Ihiala LGA, Anambra State, adding he would cherish the privilege of the presence of all the invitees.
A devout Catholic and community leader, Chief Onyema passed on at the age of 87, According to Ernest Hemingway, “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” Chief Onyema lived and died distinguished. The measure of a man is the legacy he bequeaths to his generation and posterity. He will be missed especially at a time like this when his wisdom will help resolve issues. Allen Onyema and his siblings would greatly miss their father who they described as “their best friend.”
The burial ceremonies will kick-off with a requiem mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mbosi, tomorrow with interment following immediately before the reception, where in-laws, friends, and well-wishers will pay their homage to the deceased.