THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
LATE MR MAURICE ANIPANYITE UKWU
Anipanyite, as he was first named (translated into English “Person, Lifted from Ground- providence of God’s Grace”), and his baptism name is “Maurice”. He was born to the family of Late Ukwuani Etta-na-Achu-Ugo and late Lolo Nwaene Etta (nee Nwaozo-NWA-ogori) both of Umuokweshi Kindred of Dinnobe Village Abor. He was the second child out of four Children. His siblings are Phillip Etta. His parents were not educated, and he grew up in a poor family. His parents made a living farming in the village.
Maurice believed that “A tree cannot make a forest”. His belief is that the more the merrier; love for one another, and the more we all pull together the better the community.
Maurice became a houseboy to a Railway worker then – Mr. Alexander Ohabuogwu of Ukana in Udi Local Government. He attended the defunct “Construction Primary School Asata” in Enugu, Enugu state. At the end of his Primary Six School, he could not further his education because of money.
However, he followed his maternal uncle Late Peter Obodoeze, another Railway worker working and living in Zaria. It was when he was in Zaria that he became trained as a teacher and was certified to teach in school. He gained teaching employment in Zaria and worked in Zaria before returning to Abor to continue teaching.
Marriage and Life in Zaria
He got married to Christiana Nwaka-ego Ukwu, daughter of Late Albert and Late Maria Offia-Onodingene in 1944 in Zaria. Maurice and Christiana (his wife) were blessed with 9 children namely: Charles, a Retired Engineer and a practicing Attorney in California, USA; Clement, an Accountant, of the Enugu State Government; Late Leo, who was former Higher Personnel Manager of many LGAs; Pius an Education Officer; Ann Madukwe (Teacher), Jude Nonyelu Ukwu, Account with Starcare Inc., Nashville USA, Maureen a staff with University of Nigeria Nsuka (UNN). Two of their children Reginald and Felix both died as toddlers.
In 1954, Maurice was hired as a teacher and posted to St Peters School Abor. He later became the Headmaster of Saint Peters School. He thought and worked as a headmaster at theses various schools/locations: St Peters School Abor and St Theresa’s School Abor (between 1954- 1973), Ububa Umuaga, St Joseph’s School in Amandim Olo, Central School Iwollo and Oghe Okube. He retired in 1983.
Community Development Profile
He was among the team that worked in the construction of Abor Maternity Clinic built-in 1957. Given his impeccable integrity, he (trusted) the treasurer of the Abor Maternity Building Project Committee. He knew how vital maternity is in the community where up to date the mortality rate of death of women dying during pregnancy is still high.
When he was the Headmaster of St Peters School and St Theresa’s School Umuavulu Abor, he saw an opportunity to enlarge the operation of his philosophy of “no child left behind”. This he did by operating a nonconventional method of never allowing any child to be sent away or home from school on account of non-payment of school fees. He devised a method of collecting fees from parents’ bit-by-bits all through the year until the hapless peasants’ parents’ completed the fees. The pupils who benefitted from this incredible facility are living testimonies and they abound in all nooks and crannies (corners) of Abor and beyond.
Compassionate and Love to See Others Excel:
Maurice has a passion for education, and to see that no child is left behind from obtaining an education. Marcie stood throughout his life as a beacon of hope, light, and goodness in the Umuzonodu community and Abor (Abor & Umuavulu Abor) in general.
Maurice was called to glory on the Easter Monday of 1998. On behalf of Ukwu Family and Umuozonodu Community, we pray loving and gracious God, with faith in the Resurrection, we the Ukwu Family and Umuozonodu Community pray for Maurice Ukwu and all the faithful departed, especially those in our Abor Community we have known and loved in life. May the Soul of Maurice Ukwu and the souls of the departed in Abor town-
REST IN PEACE– Amen