#BluesandHills: Tribute to a Treasure (Lady Florence Egbosima)


Women made us lose paradise, but how frequently we find it again in their arms.

 J. De Finod

There are many journeys and obstacles we each take in life and losing someone is never one of the easy ones.

It doesn’t mean you are weak when seeking help. It means you are strong for seeking it. Don’t give up and say, ‘I can’t deal with my problems anymore’ or ‘I am just unlucky in life.’ Not true. The mind is a very powerful tool. Sometimes we just need someone to show us where the key is.

Knowing that the neighbour’s corpse is like firewood, being carried past, there is a connection to the heart that I have created this lens to pay tribute to this great educationist.

All of the worlds that know Lady Florence Egbosima were saddened by the news of her death. For many, she was their mother. For many more, she was their pillar. Even though we celebrate the life she lived now, we still miss her so much. She was a woman with a heart of gold.

I grew up in the countryside, as the son of a teacher. I was very close to my mother; she was that teacher every pupil loved. The pupils could sacrifice anything for my mother. It marvelled me. They could do anything to make her happy. It seemed like they took her like an angel. Firewood, they fetched for her, water, same thing. Her happiness was centred on the happiness of those children who revered, respected and loved her.

Lady Florence walked the same way too and there are thousands of people who admire her courage. As we stand here today, thinking of her transition onto glory, we weep for the loss of a woman who changed the way we reasoned, who influenced each and every one of us. Some of us may not be able to come out and say what and how we feel about her, but we all know what we have within.

All over the world, we are surrounded by strong women who tread where the angels fear to tread, if I could be allowed to say it that way. The moment people like Lady Egbosima physically walked out of the education sector, because of retirement; the sham began to surface mildly. Those who were under her tutelage will agree with me that she remained to them, an epitome of pride. Even right now. There are certain people you can’t do without – this amazingly talented mathematician is one of them. Truth be told, few women are like her. This is a woman whose life has evolved around great children, as her daughter, Mrs Cathy Echeozo is the Deputy Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank. This is not far from the truth on how she raised children, how she championed the cause of greatness.

For the most part, I stand here to salute a woman who changed many worlds, a woman whose heart has beaten for a lot of great men, a woman who has transformed a lot of lives and whose death will cause a lot of lamentation amidst men with souls and hearts.

We love you, Lady Florence. We will miss you, Onye Nkuzi! Kachifo!

Onyeka Nwelue writes from Lagos and is editor of FilmAfrique, published by Africa Film Academy, curators of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).


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