THE SUNSHINE LADY THAT BROUGHT LAUREL TO HER FAMILY AND COMMUNITY THROUGH FOLK DANCING, ‘IMANVE VICTORIA OKOH’ WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU IN OUR PRAYERS
Goodbye Mom you came a shining star and will always remain in our heart. Rest in peace in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ until we meet to part no more.
Emunukhua, the fast-growing town under the formal administrative headquarters of Esan, Ubiaja, was agog with the spectacular chain of events which heralded the interment and final burial cerebration ceremony of Mrs Imanve Victoria Okoh.
The Okoh residence turned into an unusual spectacle as a large congregation of people were present to celebrate her life and pay their last respect to an influential and respected woman. At the venue of the burial of the late Mrs Imanve Victorai Okoh, it was a gathering of eminent Nigerians and the commoners, including friends and professional colleagues, who seized the opportunity to pay the last respect for the late Folk dancer, community role model.
Apart from the various vigils and functions which took place at the Okoh residence in Emunukhua, the remains of Mrs Imanve Victoria Okoh were laid at the center of the St Andrew’s Church where commendation service was held in her honour. Here in the church, sermon was given by the Provost, St Andrew Catholic Church Emu. He stated that funeral service such as the one held for Mrs Imanve Victoria Okoh, helps to remind us of our responsibility on earth. He said further; “the late Mrs Imanve Victoria Okoh, was given talent and gifts, which she used for progress of mankind. All what God deposited in us is not meant for us alone but for mankind”.
Before the remains of Mrs Imanve Okoh was finally laid to rest in her home village few kilometers from the late husband’s residence, a very close friend of the family lamented; saying the community had lost a great woman of honour and courage.
Speaking to SOCIETY CELEBRATION, Arc. Clem Okoh, eldest son of the late Mrs Imanve Victoria Okoh, was effusive in explaining why the passing away of his dear mother actually called for celebration, instead of mourning.
He said “When a woman has reached old age as my mother and has done so much for her children and grandchildren, she is not to be mourned but celebrated when she passes on” This is a core belief of the Esan people, which is echoed in many traditional African societies. He surmised that he loved and will always miss his mother.
Birth and growing up
Late Mrs Imanve Victoria Okoh was born into the family of Mr and Mrs Omonkiere of Eke, Emunukhua, Emu, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State in July 1925. She attended Emunukhua primary school and thereafter-developed interests in trading where she did exploit, becoming a trailblazer amongst her peers. In her youthful age, apart from trading, she was interested in folk dancing (Ekpe-gbae-gbae in Esan). She was indeed very good in it, hence, brought laurel to her family and immediate community.
She was married to her heartthrob late Chief Aigberenbor P. Okoh. Late Mrs Imhanve and her husband relocated after marriage to Obazogbe in Edo state where they had their first daughter. From there they moved further afield to Sapele Delta state, where the late husband worked and retired with the African Timber and Plywood (AT&P) and in the sojourn, had other four children.
Late Mrs Imanve V. Okoh was a religious woman and philanthropies, she imbibe Christianity and its attendant values. She was a member of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO), a woman leader of St Andrew Catholic Church Emu. She was a dedicated Christian woman with a firm believes in everything and anything MARY, Mother of our LORD Jesus Christ. She was a prayer warrior per-excellent and admonished, advice and prays for all around her equally. She died after a brief illness at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) surrounded by her children and grand children. Until her death, five children, many grand children and many great-grand children survived her. Goodbye Mom you came a shinning star and will always remain in our heart. Rest in peace in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ until we meet to part no more