I call you Nne Oha, not just because it is your title, but because that is who you are to me and to many of us in Anioma and around the world too. Many will miss you, and many more will cry and mourn your painful exit, and rightly so too. Like a shooting star, you came blazing, illuminating every path across your trajectory, with great transformational energy, fearless in execution, and yet gentle in delivery. Indeed, like a shooting star, you came traveling at an astonishing speed, taking everyone in awe, and also like a shooting star, you vanished just when the celebration was just about to start. Well, why are we surprised? That is the nature of shooting stars, and that is why I have chosen to celebrate your unique purposeful existence and not mourn over your glorious exit. Yes, when death is glorious, it’s envious. Your exit is glorious.

Nne Oha, HRM Obi Dr. Martha Dunkwu, The Omu of Okpanam, Omu of Anioma, Nne Oha, you are a remarkable mother of wisdom, unwavering in your commitment to the promotion and preservation of Anioma and African cultural heritage, leaving an indelible mark in the sand of time, and generation after generation will marvel at your love and commitment to your people and the womenfolk. Your journey has been one of unparalleled dedication to the rich tapestry of African traditions. As the Omu of Okpanam and Anioma, you have not only carried the mantle of leadership with grace and wisdom but also tirelessly worked towards the upliftment and recognition of the cultural heritage of the Ndi Amioma.

Your commitment extends beyond the borders of Anioma. Through your visionary leadership, you have become a beacon of hope and inspiration for the wider African diaspora, earning your well-deserved title of Nne Oha – the mother of Nation. Your influence has transcended regional boundaries, making you a global icon in the promotion of African cultural heritage.

The Global Icon of African Cultural Heritage Award for 2023 is a testament to your exceptional efforts in fostering a deep appreciation for the diverse traditions that make up the mosaic of African identity. Your works, as documented by national and global media houses, from BBC to African Heritage to Al Jazeera News Network, have not only helped to preserve and document the customs of Ndi Amioma but have also served as a bridge, connecting different global cultural communities and fostering a sense of unity in the celebration of shared heritage. In addition to your role as a traditional leader, you have been a tireless advocate for education, healthcare, and community development. Your holistic approach to leadership reflects a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of cultural preservation and social progress.

As you exit to join the great ancestors of Anioma, I have chosen to celebrate your achievements and the profound impact you have made in Anioma, Delta State, Nigeria, and the global stage. May your legacy continue to inspire generations to come, reminding us of the importance of cherishing and safeguarding the rich cultural tapestry that is the essence of our African identity, which you have championed.

HRM Obi Dr. Martha Dunkwu, The Omu of Okpanam, Omu of Anioma, and Nne Oha: How can I forget so soon your prayers and support during my campaign, long hours counsel and history lessons about Omuship and their roles in cultural Heritage preservation, needs for empowerment projects for our youths, good governance in Delta and Anioma, I can go on and on. I have chosen to celebrate you, not mourn you because memories of loved ones never die. Aidoo Nne Oha!

Kenneth Chi onye bu ogwua Gbandi


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