My Tribute To Chika - The Lessons From The Life Of A 'Sleeping' Gem

"Though (I) was unable to believe (this) because it was not imagined, I spoke with her sister few minutes past and she confirmed it. Sister Chika Okoro is dead!", read the text message I received from Bro. Samuel, the President of the Scripture Union Campus Fellowship located in Evan Enwerem University(EEU), former Imo State University(IMSU) at 04:25:29p.m. on Sunday, the 28th day of November, 2010 as I was fraternising with a good friend of mine.

Though the news of the sudden and untimely demise of Chika may long have been deleted from the minds of many, even those very close to her, the ugly incident continually reminds me of our ephemeral lives. 'Shocking!' is evidently an understatement as I lack words to describe the irreplaceable loss.

As I cogitatively reminisce on her great exploits and the impact on the teachable remnant privileged to be living, I only pause to ponder and ask- why so soon? I actually don't expect any response from anyone because I know that God remains the epitome and sole source of wisdom, and is still in the business of making all things( including the good, the bad and the ugly)to work together for the good of those that love Him, to them who are (the) called according to His purpose. He alone knows the end from the beginning! I am consoled by the fact that a day of resurrection and reunion is bound to be, when all saints(dead or alive) will meet to part no more.

The incidents surrounding her demise clearly points to the fact that God's righteous will only came to be, as against the expectations and beliefs of many. Her death came within a period when educational activities were paralysed by the seemingly non-stop protracted industrial action, embarked by the embittered ASUU members employed to work at the ivory towers situated in the south-eastern region of the country. She was undergoing her Industrial Training at Aba, where she left for Owerri when the road mishap that claimed her life occured.

Again, she carefully took into cognizance the dangers of using the services of the ubiquitous unregistered transport companies, that provide commercialised conveyance of people and goods from place to place nationwide. On that fateful day, her decision to patronize ITC, a popular motoring company in the southeastern area of Nigeria became her undoing. It was with such assurance in a vehicle owned by a well recognized government company that she breathed her last.

According to reports, one of the tyres of the ill-fated bus bursted around Okpala on her way from Aba to Owerri, for the wedding of a close relative, forcing her to an early 'sleep'.

I have seen people and I have met people. Infact, I've come across miscellaneous individuals. In her, I saw an enthusiastic crusader of not just good deeds but godly virtues. She epitomized a core youthful godly woman, who never wavered in matters concerning godliness. She never succumbed to the luring civilization that have crept into our churches, which seems to have eaten deep into the marrows of our so-called funky christian brothers and sisters. Unarguably, she lived out her words and was a window through which many clearly saw the light.

Her unimpeachable boldness and outspoken nature went a long way to highlight her resolve to shun mediocrity, hypocrisy and malpractices. Irrespective of the culprit's status, she was ever ready to fearlessly and lovingly offer correction by vehemently condemning the evil deed, even if it meant using vernacular to explain.

We last met at a Prayer Conference organised by the Scripture Union Campus Fellowship(EEU Group), where she actively participated and will fondly be remembered by as many that were in attendance, especially in her raw startling contribution on personal hygiene during the 'family forum' session. We really lost a gem in Chika!

During the last Sendforth/Handover ceremony of the aforementioned fellowship, where she was an active member and I was to step aside as the then President, she was told to head the subcommittee entrusted with the duty of buying and packaging the gifts meant for our then outgoing graduates. She did this work with all cheerfulness and diligence, ignoring the numerous excuses that would have arisen by virtue of her involvement in other reasonable activities, including her academic work.

As I attended her funeral, I missed the opportunity to see her face for the last time(on earth) before her interment. It dawned on me that Chika has been temporarily seperated from us, who partook in her short but meritorious life. It also reminded me of the vanity of our vapourizing lives and the impending judgement that awaits everyone of us; including the eternity that will either be enjoyed in heaven or regretted in the lake of fire(aka hell fire).

Yes, the virtuous Chika has gone but her giant strides and legacies keep calling for our purportedly divided attentions.Death is no more after her but you and I that are still living. As we patiently wait for our inevitable turns, lets endeavour to leave behind, the marks of our legacies, just as we closely walk with and work for our God.

Lets not forget that a successful life is not a function of how long it was lived but how well we lived it, especially when positive impartation of lives was the central focus.

Permit me to tell you that any life lived in mansions or any good place one can think of, with all the good things life can offer was wasted if it wasn't anchored on Christ, the Saviour of the world.

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