Chief (Mrs.) Grace Obayi
Chief (Mrs.) Grace Obayi had a secondary education at the renowned Queens Rosary College Onitsha, where she was both House Captain and Senior Prefect, including president of religious bodies in the college. A gifted Netball player, she was to move later to playing lawn tennis. Admitted to Nigeria College of Arts and Science Lagos and after obtaining her A Levels, she gained admission to University of Ibadan, but had to leave for the University of Nigeria Nsukka UNN, on the prompting of her late Father, who preferred UNN, considering that her father was one of the prominent leaders that worked assiduously to the founding of the university.
A careerist, she had held top most appointments in government agencies, parastatals as Director Generals and was one-time Commissioner for Education in old Anambra State, with Military Group Captain (later Air Commodore) Samson Emeka Omeruah as the military Governor. As the only lone woman in the cabinet, her presence was fully felt and contribution, a watershed.
She beats her chest in satisfaction that a few pioneer projects and initiatives she had rolled out, have now
blossomed to an orchard of permanent institutions and structures. The challenges as daunting as they were, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education, it is to her eternal credit that she floated and established SPEC, and UBEC and ensured that teachers improved their standard by acquiring more knowledge. Which paid off with increased emoluments. Some of the teachers when she came on board, were stagnated for fifteen years, but she caused them to be promoted and in return they gave valuable service to the state. She successfully also pioneered and launched Technical Education in Secondary Schools and created an enabling atmosphere where an Asset Funds were established calling for donations from public spirited individuals, corporate organisations. This helped to equip libraries and establishing of technical workshops throughout Anambra State.
It invariably helped in the infrastructural developments of the entire state with the establishment of Skill Development Centres, Ebonyi Fishery Ponds and Ezeagu Steel and Capentry Centres amongst others.In most of the universities that had no laboratories for research, she liaised with overseas organisations and universities to assist lecturers from Anambra State to avail themselves with new discoveries in those nations.
On retirement, she founded with a friend a school Seat of Wisdom Secondary School that is over twenty years old. Her joy knows no bounds as products of the College are today successful lawyers, doctors, engineers, lecturers and professors alike.
Mrs. Colette Chigbo
Mrs. Colette Chigbo is retired Director of Exams in the Ministry of Education, Anambra State. She is currently a co-proprietor of Seat of Wisdom Group of Schools in Trans Ekulu, Enugu, established in 1997
Chief (Mrs.) Grace Obayi
Chief (Mrs.) Grace Obayi Celebrates Her 80th Birthday
THE ageless capital city of Enugu State, was agog yesterday when a galaxy of distinguished personalities from all walks of life honored the eldest sister of one of Nigeria’s popular political families-the Nwodos, who turned 80 years.
Chief Mrs Grace Obayi, as resplendent as ever looked very much younger, glamorous cum enthralling and gorgeous as she stepped out of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Independence layout Enugu and later at a star-studded reception at one of the famous Hotels in the capital city.
Indeed surrounded by her children, grand children alike including her political gladiator brothers Big Joe legal luminary Dr Joe Nwodo, Dr Okwezilieze Nwodo, medical doctor and former Governor of Enugu State, Chief Nnia Nwodo, two-time Minister, lawyer and present President General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo including sisters Medical Doctor Kate and Dr Val Azinge SAN, amongst a host of innumerable relations, no one expected less from the high octane celebrations lined up for this great occasion.
Her army of ‘children’ and friends who she had mentored in the past as an educationist par excellence, thronged both venues to rekindle an amity for a woman who can safely be described as a Lady of substance, an iconoclast of humanity, who had patented a camaraderie that cuts through almost all the states of the federation and beyond.
It was indeed a birthday of birthdays as she walked smartly unaided, exchanging pleasantries typical of her warmth and and friendly disposition. Born into the famed heritage of the Nwodos from Ukehe, Nsukka, east of the Niger , she seems to have the oratorical skill which resonates and runs in the family of this outstanding daughter of the blessed memory of the ebullient and influential Chief J.U Nwodo, notable Minister in the former Eastern Region under the pragmatic leader and Premier Dr M I Okpara.
Proprietresses of Seat of Wisdom Schools