“I am no longer young and I have learned much along the way. The fortress of my manhood is not yet completed but, what I have built so far is strong. Yet the purpose of a fortress is to protect and hold safely those things that are precious. If during the building a man loses and expends those things which he wishes to protect, then the finished fortress is a mockery. ”
– Wilbur Smith, South African novelist.
Helena’s famed beauty was not the type that awaited the beholder’s interpretation. So overwhelming was her poise that the greatest powers of her era, Greece and Troy, had to sacrifice thousands of their young men for her claim. Beauty is a great advantage in the world. Strangers are more likely to do favours for physically attractive people. Ugly people get high sentences in criminal cases and lower damage awards on civil law suits.
Bianca Odinakachukwu Odumegwu-Ojukwu, a mother of some teenage children, is like Helena of Troy, the type of beauty that causes civil war among nations and at her peak was recorded as Nigerian most beautiful girl, went to the world beauty pageant. With that Cleopatra gait, Venus overflowing hair, eyes like Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca stepping before the camera could cause international conflagration amongst nation powers. Yet Bianca was not the star daughter of his Excellency, C.C. Onoh. It was her elder sister, who was returning from the United States on a December Christmas when her plane crashed at the Enugu airport and turned into a fireball. Amongst the passengers roasted in the air, include the whole family of four of Senator Offia Nwali. The late Senator lost his vivacious wife, Uche, and all the Nwali children in that burning plane. The then Governor of Anambra State was destabilised for he had lost his most accomplished daughter, a PhD intellectual superstar of the family. His misery was not abated for very soon the Buhari military putsch dismissed the Shagari NPN democracy.
We did not hear much about this buffeted family until the gods in their fortune guess extended it and favoured the up and coming Bianca Odinakachukwu. This Helena of our time emerged and was ordained Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 1988. Bianca Odinakachukwu before then read Law at UNN and proceeded to London, Yorkshire University. In between those times, this extra ordinary beauty would involuntarily act the goddess. On one occasion, Bianca decided to take a walk from the Coal city on her high heels to her Ngwo residence up there in the hills. Approaching dusk and causing commotion on the road, as drivers and passengers were thunderstruck by a sudden appearance of a “spirit goddess,” flaunting along the high way her long hair, glittering alamanda colours, Bianca held spell bound, drivers, passengers, who couldn’t imagine their eyes. Behold, there was a simmering goddess like silhouette, cutting into the approaching dusk. Just as some of the travelers and the conductors were arming themselves with sticks and machetes to cut down the walking goddess spirit, amidst shouting and declaration of obu mammywater, Bianca Odinakachukwu was surrounded by his bewildered assailants. As the blows were about to descend on this goddess, her own cousin, who was among the charging, excited killing squad, recognised Bianca and was the first to grab her. ‘She is not Mammywater….owu Bianca, please, don’t!!’ And so, the story would continue to the day when armed robbers hijacked her car and locked her up in the boot. Pursued by the Police, the Police opened the boot, only to declare the victim a spirit and as usual people were clustering in excitement to see and experience the extraordinarily transformed mammywater goddess. When as usual the people were lost over the excitement, the admiration, the armed robbers evaporated into thin air.….adi mu ndu?” Am I alive? …was Bianca’s exclamation, bringing the Police to believe that the uncommon beauty was human. As the Police was unraveling the mystery of this walking beautiful goddess, they found out that the robbers had disappeared.
These and many more are the fairytale stories of Bianca Odinakachukwu, who was Nigeria’s beauty Queen married to the General of the Peoples’ Army and into the billionaire Odumegwu-Ojukwu Empire. Bianca was the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain and in one of her most memorable assignments she preferred the King of Spain to present her Ambassadorial staff when she was announced as the Nigerian representative in Madrid. Having lost her mother who was her supporting pillar since her trials and conquests in life, it is assumed that Bianca Odinakachukwu is now at the thresholds. This is the time to take stock.
Bianca at this stage, would have to make some decisions. Would she ever get remarried like Jacqueline Kennedy? Will she like her late husband impact on the youths, her community and her people? What were her legacies as the Ambassador to Spain, a great Catholic Christian congregation? What about her fledging political party, the APGA? Many a time she would abandon most undiplomatically her brief in Madrid to join issues and participate in partisan politics at home. Now that the party has no intellectual compass, and she is available, why would she not act Peron to salvage the boat that is fast shrinking the party into a one state organisation? Who will advise the beautiful Amazon that having been brought up in a family of politics and turmoil and having married into an empire, what she is going through now is expected.
There is usually no harmonious accord in sharing the inheritance after the demise of an emperor! Check the families of Okotie Eboh, the Abiolas, etc. the courts take long in giving their verdicts. On the way, at the same time, whatever is the verdict, that family as a unit never recovers from the bitterness and the deadly rancour that precede the final court orders. Would Bianca save the Ojukwu family from prevalent family feud, disgraceful mudslinging? Donning her diplomatic garb can sue for peace?
The Ojukwu wealth and empire is so suffocating and would be enough for every member to partake in. Having ensured peace at home, Bianca Odinakachukwu would match into on new corridors of power, badgered in the Ojukwu iconic colours and attempt leading from the doldrums the APGA from Aba the spirit heartland of the Igbo. She is the only one who would be able to re-invite the great Governor Peter Obi back to the party that made him and to the same party he con tributed more than enough.
Peter Obi has no business in the byzantine politics that is the PDP. Peronistic Bianca Odinakachukwu, as the leader will now exploit her diplomatic legacies while she was in Madrid. Bianca Odinakachukwu, “you are no longer young, you have been gifted by the gods and the fortress of your life like Wilbur Smith said, can no longer be subjected to any further mockery. Like Mrs. Peron prayed Argentina, do not cry for me!”
Before the buggling NFF went to Spain, we had prepared a paper to our former Ambassador, urging her to bring the Spanish Liga to the Biafran giddy youths. We were concerned that these utopian youths were bent to go all the way and we thought the mistake of Bianca’s husband of confronting headlong a more equipped adversary would lead to unnecessary spilling of blood. What is wrong, I asked Ijele Uwazuluike in moving the boys to Abakilki Afikpo rice plantations and introducing football thereby making the rice farming more youth friendly?
Bianca Odinakachukwu, “you are no longer young, you have been gifted by the gods and the fortress of your life like Wilbur Smith said, can no longer be subjected to any further mockery. Like Mrs. Peron prayed Argentina, do not cry for me!”