He was born in June 1981 to the family of Ozonkpu Chief Felix Ajekwu, Ochendo Enugwu Ukwuna Umunri, an estate surveyor, and his wife, Mrs. Pat Ajekwu
One puzzle about life is why good things and good people do not last long. Most of the time, very successful careers and potentially great men and women are suddenly cut down in the prime of their youth by death. Although death is an inevitable end to all mortals, our daily wish and prayer is that the Almighty will grant us more days on earth to fulfill our destinies.
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A meteor, Felix Chuka Ajekwu III, passed through us and the very bright light dimmed suddenly. He was born in June 1981 to the family of Ozonkpu Chief Felix Ajekwu, Ochendo Enugwu Ukwuna Umunri, an estate surveyor, and his wife, Mrs. Pat Ajekwu, nee Egwuonwu, a geologist and scion of the “Odiche Group” family of Amichi, both in Anambra State. The first of five children, he was educated at Pampas Primary School, Lagos, Federal Government College, Odogbolu, and the University of Lagos, from where he, like his father, graduated in Estate Management. He thereafter proceeded to the United Kingdom for further studies and bagged a master’s degree in Facilities Management from South Bank University, London. Very recently, he completed an MBA programme in Warwick Business School and obtained many certificates in property management.
Chuka’s first job after university was at BenHen International, London, before he returned to Nigeria in 2007. He was contracted by the Chisco Group of Companies, where he worked for a while, and moved to Chois Property Development Limited, both in Lagos, Nigeria. A young man with a knack for challenges and enterprise, he later moved to Ghana after he was employed by Devtraco, a real estate development company based there. While in Ghana, he travelled to various countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States of America in development of his career in project and estate management. Some of the cities and countries he visited included Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Paris, Texas, California, the United Kingdom, The Gambia, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe.
It was, therefore, a great shock and surprise that such a bright star with a great future ahead of him has died. Here is a vibrant young man who passed through both primary and secondary schools and graduated from the university in record time, secured promising jobs and made impressive success in his profession within a short period, got married at a time his colleagues and mates were still finding their feet and indeed set to conquer the world as one of Nigeria’s most brilliant and potential entrepreneurs.
A vibrant, amiable, hardworking young man, full of life and energy, seen with us today and tomorrow he is gone. Only very recently, he concluded arrangements with the leadership of Enugwu-Ukwu Youth Council to secure employment for some of their members in Ghana. Now this sudden development, and all hope is dashed.
I recall that evening in 2010, at the country home of his father, when Ochendo informed us that his first son, Chuka, would be going to Arochukwu in Abia State in a fortnight and requested us to accompany them on the trip. We gladly accepted the invitation and went all the way from Enugwu Ukwu in Anambra State to Arochukwu, a very far distance, to take Chuka’s wife in marriage, and we did not mind the inconvenience of sleeping over at an Umuahia hotel on our way back to Enugwu Ukwu due to the long distance. Incidentally, the family of the bride had been known to me while in our secondary school days at Methodist College, Uzuakoli.
Soon after their wedding, the couple relocated to Ghana in pursuit of higher career prospects. Good home, great jobs and prospects of getting to the top in Chuka’s employment within a short time and we were happy and satisfied that our son was becoming a very bright star.
And now the news that hit us all like a thunderbolt. Chuka Ajekwu is dead, stone dead at a South African hospital. Sorrow. Shock. Despair. Distress. Confusion.
Now the sun has set at dawn and again the Enugwu Ukwu community has been thrown into deep mourning. What can we mortals do about death, except to pray to Almighty God to grant the soul of the departed perfect peace and rest and give Ochendo and Ngalakwesili, Chuka’s parents, his wife, Ezinne, their two young ones and his siblings the courage and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss?
It was Sir John Kenneth Dwight, the British rock musician, that sang:
“And it seems to me you have lived your life, like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to when the rain sets in
Your candle burned out long before your legend set in.”
So it was with Felix Chuka Ajekwu.