By Henry Akubuiro
It has been a difficult season for the award-winning Nigerian dramatist, Chetachi Igbokwe, who has lost both parents in a space of three months. Igbokwe, who hails from Umulede Umuonyeali-Ugo Mbieri in Mbaitolu L.G. A. of Imo State, is the son of the Late Joseph Ifeanyichukwu Igbokwe (1945-2021) and the Late Eunice Adaku Igbokwe (1960-2022), who were laid to rest on December 22, 2021 and April 29, 2022, respectively.
The author told Daily Sun just days after his father’s death in October, 2021, Chetachi Igbokwe was announced the winner of the ANA Prize for Drama 2021 for his unpublished play, Homecoming.
He is an alumnus of the Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop and editor of the University of Nigeria’s students’ journal, The Muse No. 48, which was founded by Chinua Achebe in 1963.
His mother passed on a month after his father’s funeral and three months after his father’s death. He made the announcement on his Facebook on February 19:
“My beloved mother and jewel, DEE EUNICE IGBOKWE, whom I thoroughly love, has unbelievably gone to be with the Lord. A near-recovery at the hospital became a sudden death.
“Barely one month after my father was laid to rest, my mother has now passed on. Within three months, I have lost both parents and my life has completely changed by their passage.”
As the last child who shared a special bond with his parents, it surely has been an emotional time for him, as his other social media posts have published other pieces on death and living and two new poems written by him: “We Have a Sign for You” and “To the Good Mortician Doing His Good Work.”
His mother was laid to rest on Friday, April 29, 2022, at his hometown. The funeral mass at St. Benignus Catholic Church, Ihitte-Isi-Mbieri, was presided by over ten Catholic priests, alongside seminarians and a community of the lay faithful who gathered to prayerfully ask God to receive her soul.
Reading the oration in his mother’s honour in the church, Chetachi Igbokwe highlighted the mother’s role in the family, the community, the secretariat and the church. She is survived by a brother, six children, a son-in-law, four daughter-in-laws, and thirteen grand-children.