By Uchechukwu Enem
The children of Mrs. Francisca Nwazuluahu Obianisi, surprised their mum with a car on her 80th Birthday Celebration at the family compound on 1st January, 2020.
According to the children, ‘we celebrate our mum on her 80th Birthday in thanksgiving to God and in appreciation of her unprecedented maternal care towards her family and others. We also celebrate her legacies, beliefs, values, dedication, perseverance and generosity’
The story is not the same for the celebrant as 80 years is not 80 days. It is 80 years filled with fulfilment, struggles, challenges and achievements. The celebrant is fondly called, ‘Unoenu’ meaning ‘house in upstairs’ which means a lot to her. According to her, she derives joy whenever she remembers that God is gracious to her and her family. She said that in spite of her challenges, the success of her children makes her feel more fulfilled adding that she is indeed happy at the level God placed them.
Unoenu Obianisi is the 5th child out of six children and was born on 5th August, 1939 in Adazi Nnukwu. She started her primary school at Practicing School, Adazi Nnukwu, formerly known as the Holy Rosary School in 1945. She was withdrawn from school to engage in some vocational training, which was then the most preferred trend for most parents to set up their teenage daughters for marriage. In 1961, she married Late John Obianisi and was blessed with 9 children (8 males and 1 female) but two had returned to heaven (Linus and Matthew)
Earlier in the homily, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka, Most. Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, told Christians that Virgin Mary represents everything good in life and urged them to emulate such virtues. He warned parents to stop giving their children names that are offensive to Christianity; rather names that have godly meaning. He said that Christians should embrace love and peace as their New Year Resolution. On the part of the celebrant, the Bishop said that the 80th birthday was significant in the family and thanked the children for such thoughts, energy and love towards their mother. In the concluding part of his message, he encouraged Christians to embrace befitting living and disregard befitting burial.
Delivering the vote of thanks on behalf of the family, Rev. Fr. Livinus Obianisi, thanked the bishop and priests for sparing out time to celebrate his mother on the new year celebration. He thanked all his friends that came from far and wide, especially those who came from USA to attend the event. In a special way, he thanked his family members for making the event a success. He thanked his mum for her love and motherly care to her children and her family.