Adieu, Alice Ugboaku Anako (1931 – 2014)
AGUMMA, Mrs. Alice Ugboaku Anako was born on May 15, 1931, to the late Mazi Akabuike Nwadioke (Alias Omelieagu) and late Mrs. Akabuike Mgboye (nee Okeifufe) of Umuoti Village, Urunnebo Village, Enugwu–Ukwu in the present Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State. She was the first of four children of her parents. Her parents were disciplined, peaceful and influential and she acquired these attributes from them.
Given her beauty and charm, it was not surprising that she got married at a young age to the late Chief Wilson Anako of Urukpaleke Village Enugwu-Ukwu, who was a young man then that was bristling with energy and ideas. This holy wedlock was in November 1946, and was blessed with five children, namely Ify, Sam, Eric, Kate and Nebeolisa.
Agumma attended St. Peter’s Anglican School, Ogbete, Enugu, Enugu State. She was baptised during that period by Reverend Agori Iwe at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ogbete Enugu. Through the late Mrs. Jessy Okoye of Abagana, Agumma attended the Anglican Young Women Training Centre at Nnewi where she did extensive and advanced studies on the Christian faith in home management and ethics.
Her husband, Chief Wilson Anako, cared for her, supported her and lavished adoring love on her beyond measures. During the Second World War, the late Wilson was in the Army, and served with the British in Ethiopia and other war torn areas in East Africa. The war, however, aggravated his asthmatic health condition, resulting in an honourable discharge from the military before the end of the war. He subsequently became a military contractor/supplier in Eastern Nigeria. As his business grew, he became philanthropic and also diversified into transportation. His vehicles were then popular as Wilson Transport Company. He also went into Estate Business, and had properties in Kano with his brothers. When he completed his residence at Boardman Street, Uwani, Enugu, he relocated his family to the new abode.
Mama was thus blessed with a successful, happy, and wealthy union in a family led by a husband who was a committed, passionate lover and Christian advocate. Soon, however, Chief Wilson sadly and unexpectedly departed to glory in a peaceful transition. It was like a shattered dream, and shocking for Mama, who was suddenly bereft. Mama Agumma at the time had no alternative but to take solace and appreciate God for the legacies he left behind, which further encouraged her to remain strong in her faith with the understanding that she would meet him after this life, to part no more. She, therefore, rededicated herself with renewed strength to family life, and adjusted to a new position where she was saddled with the responsibility of training and providing for not just her biological children, but also for people from far and wide. A lot of people found succour in her matriarchal care without discrimination. Agumma trained a lot of people and touched lives. She was indeed the light of the family and stayed away from disputations and controversies. She was immensely supported by the late Chief Daniel Nweke Anako and the late Chief Joel Anako who viewed their brother’s untimely exit as a challenge.
During the Biafran – Nigerian Civil War, a section of the Anako family took refuge at Oraukwu in the present Anambra State. It was a trying period, but God stood by Agumma through the instrumentality of different persons, including Mrs. Emily Anako (nee Onyekwelu), the wife of late Chief Goddy Anako (younger brother to Chief Wilson Anako). Emily catered for not only her nuclear family, but also for a large chunk of the larger Anako family through supplies of relief materials during the war, almost on a monthly basis. Agumma and her family did not lack during the civil war.
After the war, Mama moved her family to Boardman Street, Enugu and started a trading outfit, and restaurant business. She was an active member and leader of Udoka Women Group at Christ Church Anglican Church, Uwani Enugu. She was also a leading member of Mother’s Guild, and actively participated in various activities of the Diocese. Her Christian and peaceful life touched all who came in contact with her.
Her strength waned, however, as she advanced in age. She, thus, intermittently holidayed with her children in Lagos and Abuja. About three years ago, she started staying at New Haven, Enugu, where her first son resides.
Anako slept in the Lord about 1.00pm on October26, 2014, a few days after being discharged from ESUT Teaching Hospital, Enugu.
Mama, your light still continues to shine, and we shall meet with you after this life. In the meantime, we hold your memory blessed and sacred. Adieu! May your good soul rest in peace, Amen.
Her remains will be laid to rest at her hometown, Urukpaleke village Enugwu Ukwu on Friday, February 6, 2015 after funeral Service at St. Monica’s Anglican Church, Enugwu-Ukwu.
She is survived by Samuel Anako, MD Podolak Nig. Ltd; Ms Ify Anako, a restaurateur; Mrs. Kate Onuselogu, Deputy Director Ministry of Education, Lagos; and Nebeolisa Anako, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Works.