Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.’ John 11:25
Penning this dirge for Dr. (Mrs) Flora Ojukwu, hurts sorely and deeply.
She left at the prime of her life, hence the deluge of weeping and wailing, over her tragic exit.
Indeed, nothing is as painful and fearful as the demise of a loved one.
Tears have not ceased to flow over the sudden departure of this dear friend, sister, colleague, wife and mother. Ojukwu’s sudden exit few weeks back, is incomprehensible. For many, her unexpected departure is still a shock.
Personally, the fond memories of the times, shared with her praying, laughing and encouraging one another with bible verses and sermons are still fresh.
Sister Flora, as was called by many, quietly passed away, on May 3rd, 2021, at the hospital, while undergoing treatment for cancer.
She left a huge impact in the noble media profession, academia as a lecturer, entrepreneurship, the church and the entire family.
Flora is fondly missed, not just because she was the sister-in-law of this writer and a fellow journalist, but because the duo developed a divine connection in 2019 at the Inyom Di, Umuebube Women’s meeting, at Nnobi, Idemili South LGA in Anambra State.
Undoubtedly, this unique and God-ordained relationship, cherished by Dr Ojukwu and this writer was triggered by a mutual search for God’s sovereignty in both families.
She was an ace broadcaster and journalist with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria(FRCN), a reputable public speaker and notable compere at events and conferences in Nigeria, the United States of America(USA) and other countries, she visited.
The ever smiling lady was a trained coach with the inspiration mandate speakers club and a mentor of individuals.
Dr Ojukwu was also a prolific writer and chief editor of several editions of The Quintessential Magazine and other famous publications.
A Jerusalem Pilgrim(JP) Ojukwu had a Ph.D in broadcast journalism. She was a product of University of America, California, as well as University of Nigeria Nsukka(UNN), Institute of Management and Technology(IMT), Enugu State College of Education Technical(ESCET), Nigeria Broadcast Academy Lagos, Nigeria.
She attended St Bath’s Primary School, Asata, before proceeding to City Girls Secondary School, Enugu.
Until her transition, Ojukwu was the head of Presentation, Federal Radio Corporation Nigeria(FRCN), Enugu.
Dr. Ojukwu was also an associate lecturer, at the School of Communication Arts, Mass Communication Department, Faculty of Social Sciences, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu and was a teacher at Queens Comprehensive Schools Enugu in her early days.
As a preteen in the late ’70s and teenager in the ’80s, she was deft, in speaking eloquently in English language on the popular Tortoise Club series on Nigerian Television Authority(NTA).
This early exposure to television laid the background for her spectacular media career.
She was so endowed with natural aptitude and proficiency to excel in whatever she does that her close friends, husband, and listeners on the radio, called her Made In Heaven.
Her soft and sonorous voice made listening to FRCN a delight, whether it was a late-at-night package, personality interview, the audience participatory Media Link, Nigerian pride, commercial announcements or as in stage performances and public engagements.
On one occasion, her mentors stormed out of her office to find out what pivoted her unparalleled passion and professional dexterity, as she did not have to study Mass Communication nor English Language, as a single honours!
The Radio Nigeria Training School and academy identified Ojukwu, as a distinguished candidate in the entire professional between 2006 to 2012 as she gave her very best in practice and intellectual beyond expectations.
She loved God and displayed her godly reverence, through her guitar, piano and her heavenly tunes at several events. She produced two albums entitled Everything andOlisa Daalu.
The mother of five was the only female amongst six males, born to her late parents Chief (Barr.) Lawrence and late Lolo Mrs. Grace Ezuma (JP) of Umudimekwulu Clan (Aro-Agulu) Ozalla Village, Aguluezechukwu town Aguata LGA of Anambra State.
She was married to Rev. Francis Ojukwu and they had five children namely, Chiamaka, Favour, David, Hagin, Osborn and Cherry.
Gratuitously, Chiamaka popularly called Honey, is a radio presenter at Port Harcourt.
For her laudable achievements, Dr Ojukwu won several awards included the 2010 Woman of Young Stars for Jesus by the Enugu Diocese Anglican Communion, FRCN 2005 Recognition Awards for the Sterling Performance and Exemplary Attitude, 2008 Best Female Voice on Radio by CEPAN, Fellow, Emeralds Professional Women (EPWF) Mentor and Lecturer of Mass Communication Students at Godfrey Okoye University, Media Professional at West African Broadcast Academy (WABMA) Special Honorary Mention.
She also received recognitions from the African Diaspora Council of Switzerland, Jerusalem Pilgrim (JP), Merit Award by NAOTMS IMT Enugu for contribution to the society, Member of NUJ, Member, Enugu Branch of National Association of women journalists, member, Women’s Guild and Mothers Union Of Nigeria in the Anglican Church.
Dr Ojukwu was a great entrepreneur, with interests in bakery, decoration, event planning, proper hat making, and a lot of other enterprising ventures, called Lora Fran Ventures.
Indeed her innumerable legacies remain indelible and fondly remembered by as a woman of great strength, godliness, and honour.
Despite the anguish and grief of her sudden exit, her christian associates and loved ones, believe she is at rest and peace, basking in the presence of God Almighty and Jesus Christ, who she served diligently.
Her wonderful accomplishments provide great comfort. No doubt, only God will truly heal the void, she left in the hearts of many who crossed her path.
As promised in the Holy writ, God will wipe every tear and console every grieving kith and kin, particularly Honey, David, Cherry, Hagin and Osborne.
The scriptures below, offer tremendous hope amidst this irreparable loss.
1 Corinthians 15:55 ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’
Revelation 21:4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
.Ojukwu, is a Fellow of Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship and journalist. She wrote this tribute in honour of Dr Mrs Flora Ojukwu, to support the campaign against cancer mortalities and morbidities in Nigeria and other countries.