As family, friends and associates of Mr. Anthony Chukwudi Osuoha gather on April 9 to bid him final farewell, the accomplishments of this fine gentleman will be remembered. He lived a good life, made great impact and will be missed by those he left behind.
Born on January 19, 1966, in Fegge, Onitsha, in present-day Anambra State of Nigeria to the late Chief Kevin Osuoha and the late Lolo Bridget Osuoha, both of Umuiredim, Umuokoro, Umunanchi, Osuama, in Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo State, Tony was an only son in a family of nine. He was brilliant, caring and loving. It is, therefore, tragic that the life of this compassionate and likeable young man was cut short by death.
Growing up, Tony was surrounded by relations, especially his parents and siblings who cared for him and showed him love. He was called “Big Daddy,” “Bros Tee,” “Onye eji eje mba.”
He was enrolled in school by his parents at the age of six to start primary school at Jinadu Anglican Primary School, Southwest Ikoyi, Lagos. He had his primary education from 1973 to 1978. He proceeded to Trinity Secondary Technical School, Apapa, Lagos, for his secondary school, between 1978 and 1983.
In furtherance of his educational pursuits, he was admitted to the prestigious Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Enugu, where he obtained an OND as well as an Advanced Level Certificate in 1986. He proceeded to the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, where he obtained a bachelor of science degree in zoology. He did the complusory National Youth Service Corps programme in Ogun State. Thereafter, he returned to the University of Ibadan to undertake a postgraduate study and graduated with a master’s degree in business administration.
In the course of his life, Tony was involved in a lot of researches, seminars, symposia and had to his credit awards, certificates and recognitions.
Coming from a background of business people, with parents who did excently well, Tony, on completion of his education, joined the family business but later went in pursuit of other interests, such as real estate, consultancy and contract execution. These pursuits took him to Abuja and Kaduna State.
Tony later settled in Owerri, Imo State, and became involved in a lot of civil society organisation (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and charity work.
He got married to Marjorie Ngozi and that union of about 24 years was blessed with six wonderful and adorable children: Chimankpam, Kainebenu, Ozichukwu, Ogochukwu, Elochukwu and Chiemezu.
He had different pet names for his children, siblings and friends, such as Nene, Ozii, Adanne, Oyibo, Neye, Tankancel, Tenkulu, Watergirl and Juu. He called his friends fondly Pops, Oporin, Fattest Grobis, Goody, etc.
Tony also had adorable sisters and a stepbrother who doted on him. The sisters and brother looked up to him for guidance and direction, which he provided. He was a good cook and all his siblings, especially Assumpta, always looked forward to his delicacies. He loved table tennis, reading, cooking, research and the good things of life.
Tony, being the first university graduate from his village, did his best to encourage his people, who were predominantly business people, to send their children to school. He held so many positions in the village/town unions, in Lagos and Umunachi, at various times. He was the secretary-general of Umunanchi until his death.
A man of the people, Tony helped with the construction of the pipe-borne water project sponsored by the European Union in Umuiredim. His willingness to sacrifice his time and resources to help others made him an endearing person. He developed love and care for the less privileged early in life and truly helped to lift the downtrodden.
Tony loved his family profoundly and could endure anything so as to keep his family intact. He was a source of comfort to his late parents, sisters, wife and children. He took all the roles in his life to heart and made good efforts to honour, support, guide and especially protect his family at all costs. He was a good and dependable friend to many.
We grieve over Tony’s exit, but we take solace that he has gone to be with the Lord, his maker. He bore so much pain, both emotionally and physically, and God thought it wise to take him to a place where there will be no more sorrow, deceit, lies, heartbreak and pain.
We know that Tony would not want us to be sad or mourn like those who do not have hope in the resurrection morning. He always had a smile on his face. He was a positive person and would want us to remember all the fun times we spent together.