For Nnamdi Okonkwo, the quiet reformer and Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc., tears and joy rolled together on December 31, 2018, when the entire town of Orumba and adjoining communities in Anambra state converged to commit Madam Comfort Madubom Okonkwo to mother earth.
On this day men, women and youths from the town, all put on sad faces as they filed in orderliness to pay this great woman the last respect.
Her passing was a great loss to the family, indeed, the entire Orumba who had looked up to the matriarch for direction in matters pertaining to the development of the town and its people.
But the pain of her transition is dwarfed in the joy that she lived a worthy life of emulation.
Like one thespian said, great men live on many years after their death. Great women too.
That’s very so in the case of Madam Okonkwo who has left fond memories in the heart of his son.
She trained him to be an outstanding entrepreneur and a humanist.
The milk of kindness in Nnamdi flows directly from his mother.
She had taught him to be calm in the midst of tribulation.
Recently, when the pains and pressure of office almost weighed him down, he refused to be bowed, trudging on like the sphinx rising from the dusts, all because he gained strength from his mother’s strong advice that“ hard times don’t last, hard people do.”
The Orumba town and its people have relied on such motherly advice to blossom for years.
That’s why Madam Okonkwo will be sorely missed by the young and old in Orumba.
By his son, Nnamdi, his siblings, friends and well-wishers who had the privilege of crossing her path.
“Our great mother has left us” one sympathizer, not related to the Okonkwos, told the magazine at the pomp ceremony.
“The mother of the community has departed” said another, adding that Madam Okonwko is like the comet that appears once in a lifetime.
The only way to know a true mother is the kind of burial she gets after her passing, another Nigerian adage says.
Therefore, it’s an understatement to say Madam Okonkwo was a mother indeed, considering the array of crème of Nigeria’s society that graced her burial.
Top businessmen, entrepreneurs, politicians all left their busy schedules to bid Comfort farewell to the great beyond.
In life Madam Comfort Okonkwo was honored, in death she was blessed.