Joe C Anatune
My friend Chike Nwafor regretfully remarked that Nanka has become the erosion capital of Anambra. Chike supported fiercely his stand with some loose statistics that I can not take to the bank. Truth is that Nanka is seriously threatened by erosion. Thankfully, Nanka has produced and continues to produce men and women of national and international standings. So it can’t in any way carry the toga of the poverty capital of Anambra State. Its major challenge is the erosion menace. The Nanka men and women of substance certainly have their Social investment initiatives well spelled out for them: erosion control and prevention. Nanka is very dear to me for reasons I will explain in another day
I blew into Enugwu Nanka, a village in Nanka on January 7, 2020 after some meetings and courtesy calls in the neighbouring towns of Ekwulobia, Isuofia, Oko and Igboukwu to check on my young nephews who were in top gear preparation for the funeral ceremonies of their late father, Jonathan Ezenduka the next day.
Jonathan Ezenduka acquitted himself well for the 70 years he sojourned here on earth. He fought gallantly for Ndigbo during the civil war. His meteoric rise and exploits in business is a source of encouragement to the youths. Because Jonathan lost his father at the age of 5, but with the support of a dotting mother, rose to be a torch bearer for his family.
In life and death, Jonathan Ezenduka attracted love, affection and attention of people he came across. It was therefore not surprising that the two days burial ceremonies of the once celebrated Ejikwanya Dancer and business tycoon was well attended by the low, the high and the mighty in Anambra and beyond. Former DG of Nigeria Standards Organizations (SON), Dr Ikem Odumodu, former Speaker Anambra House of Assembly, Dom Obiekie, Mazi Chike Nwegbe, Andy Ezeani, Chido Obidiegwu, Jude Emecheta, Austin Okoli, Deacon Samuel Anatune etc found time to join us to celebrate the departed who was a good brother In- law and loving husband to my elder sister Victoria. And of course, countless traditional dance troupes were in attendance to entertain the milling crowd.
Professor Chukwuma Soludo who many groups in Anambra are plodding to join the race for Anambra 2021 gubernatorial election was one major sympathiser the crowd cheered in great admiration when he came to pay his last respect to the fallen iroko. He urged the family to take heart and move on from where the departed meritoriously stopped.
Soludo’ s condolence speech was greeted with cheers by the crowd who were taken in by his ability to converse with some interjections of good humour in their local dialect. When he revealed to them that his grand mother was from Nanka and that he is their ‘Nwadiana’, the pure joy in the women and women was palpable and uncontrollable..
Soludo at some point showed the emotional side of him when he asked the jubilant and visibly excited crowd to also show some sympathy on him as he has been motherless since the age of 8. The lesson here is that if he could overcome his early motherless status, the Ezeduka children should borrow a leaf from him and carry on, having had the luxury of a father up to the ripe age of 70.
One thing is certain, Soludo has won the hearts of the Nanka folks who have joined the crowd of those urging him to come home and deploy his world acclaimed development talent for the good of Anambra. Emenike Ezeduka and this writer who Soludo accompanied to the funeral ceremony in solidarity and friendship gratefully say to the brand new Odenjiji of Aguleri “Thank You for Yesterday.” I have been later informed that Nanka like the rest of Anambra is waiting to “retaliate” come 2021.