AN EDUCATIONIST and Igbo cultural exponent, Samuel Udezuligbo Uzochukwu has built and donated a new 3-classroom blocks with offices to a mission school, St. Charles Borrowmeo Nursery, Primary and Secondary School, in memory of his beloved wife, the late Lọọlọ Grace Uzochukwu.
Sited at his hometown, Ebenator, the classroom block, which has three classrooms and offices in it, also has other facilities that make it conducive learning and working environment for students and teachers.
Addressing newsmen shortly after dedicating the facility at St. Mathew’s Catholic Church, Ebenator, where the school is located, Prof. Uzochukwu, who was the first person to become a Professor in the entire Mbanese —which is a general name for a conglomerate of five out of 10 communities in the Nnewi South (Ebenator, Ezinifite, Akwaihedi, Osumenyi and Utuh) — said his donation of the facility was both a way to immortalise his late wife, and a way of giving back to the society.
Prof. Uzochukwu, who is also the founder and benefactor of the Sam Uzochukwu Education Foundation, that has been paying the tuition and WAEC fees of all the SS3 students in Community Secondary School, Ebenator, for many years now, recalled how his wife advised and gave him cogent reasons to start the education foundation for secondary school students, rather than starting it for university students as he initially planned.
He testified that his wife, (who died on April 9, 2022, at the age of 72 and was buried on May 11, 2022), also supported in many great ways to the establishment and fruition of the education foundation, as well as contributed immensely in all his philanthropic gestures and selfless service to humanity, most especially in the area of education, which, he said, are some of the things that inspired him to build and donate the classroom block in her honour, to immortalise her.
Recalling that he had earlier donated a portion of his land to St. Matthew Catholic Church sometime in July 2002, for school expansion; Prof. Uzochukwu, who is also a retired academic and Traditional Prime Minister of Ebenator Ozulogu, revealed that the donation of the new classrooms and funding of his education foundation and other academic-related activities are continuation and part of his contributions to educational development.
According to him, part of the things that inspires his huge contributions to education are his desire to give back to the society, as he himself was also beneficiary of some financial assistance and scholarship from his primary school level to his postgraduate levels in his own time; as well as his desire to restore his community to her previous glorious position in education, being the first community to produce a first trained teacher, a first university graduate, a first medical doctor, a and a first professor (himself), etc in the entire Mbanese region.
“This is no longer the case with our community today, because other communities have obviously overtaken us due to the fact that many of our children who have interest to go to school now do not have the resources, neither is anyone showing up to sponsor them.”
“This foundation is therefore a modest attempt to restore the town to the path of her previous glory in education,” he added.
Confessing that one person or government alone cannot do it alone, Prof. Uzochukwu called for the collaborative effort, and urged other well-to-do individuals, clubs, age grade and other associations to key into that laudable vision, as according to him, education is one of the major drivers and fulcrums of community and national development in every society.
Earlier, the Parish Priest of St. Mathew’s Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Johnpaul Onyiloha appreciated the donor for his magnanimity, even as he prayed God to continue to bless, protect and strengthen him for all his good works. He also prayed God to grant the soul of late Mrs. Uzochukwu eternal rest in His bosom.
Present at the event were a son of the benefactor, Mr. Arinze Uzochukwu; the MD/CEO, Urunwa Computers, Chidiebere Ojiego, among other parishioners and dignitaries.