Nwafor Orizu Memorial: Obi Cubana, Nollywood Actors To Storm Nnewi

Remembering Akwaeke Abyssinia Nwafor Orizu.

by thrilliant

Nigerians have the habit of celebrating and recognizing noisemakers, the pilferers, nitwits, chameleons, bandits and the destroyers of our collective dreams while neglecting our best and brightest visionaries, this is a clear indication of how we appreciate loudness and falsehood, and substitute them for substance and the truth.

If there was ever a man that is worthy of celebration in the context of Nigerian history, education and politics that man is Akwaeke Abyssinia Nwafor Orizu. From whichever angle you look at it, the story of Nigeria, education and Africa irredentism, cannot be written without references to the contributions of Nwafor Orizu. He was the propounder of Zikism and founder of the Zikist movement.

July 17th remains memorable for those who share and identify in the ideals and ideologies of Nwafor Orizu as that was the date this apostle of horizontal education and African irredentism was born.

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The narrative of any society cannot be written in isolation of her heroes: remembering or celebrating the birth date of heroes like Nwafor Orizu offers us an opportunity to critically think, discuss and consolidate on their ideologies.


Akwaeke Abyssinia Nwafor Orizu

Despite being from my town Nnewi and even with his Status erected in the town, I never knew about his exploits until sometime last year when my Mentor Mazi Tobe Osigwe gave me his autobiography “Liberty or Chains: Africa Must be” to read. Mazi Tobe Osigwe went further to take me to God’s village which is his country home.

Also the same year, I had the opportunity of meeting one his sons Nnamsom Nwafor-Orizu who exposed to me some of the notable life experiences of his Father.

Nwafor Orizu was a man whose story of humble beginning will inspire any living being. He had a very turbulent life in his early years in life especially after the death of his father, Eze Ugboayamba, Igwe Orizu 1, but later emerged victorious through his deep rooted belief, implicit confidence and unshakable faith in God as the supreme father of the universe.

Akwaeke Abyssinia Nwafor Orizu

Nwafor Orizu was one of the few Nigerians in his days, who genuinely believed in the unity of Nigeria. He was a dogged freedom fighter, social crusader, philosopher, nationalist, Pan-Africanist and a man of vision. He was a selfless man who sacrificed personal comfort for the common good of Nigeria and Africa.

He did not acquire education for knowledge but as a tool to liberate the black man who is deeply rooted in his message of horizontal education and Africa irredentism.


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As a student, while studying public law and government in Ohio State University, Nwafor Orizu wrote a book seen as the African Bible titled “Without Bitterness”,
During his days as a student in the United States of America, Nwafor Orizu organized the African Students Association and founded a magazine known as the African Interpreter. He was also the brain that initiated the American Council on African Education, under which umbrella he secured more than 500 scholarships for many African students to study in different places in America.

He was a pen soldier and eloquent speaker who used his pen and oratorial power to fight colonialists, along with other nationalists until the British Government had no option than to give Nigeria independence in 1960.


Nwafor-Orizu was not just a leader but he is also a seer and a visionary. He was a gifted man who saw deep and far into the future. His books, speeches projections and words over the years appear to have been prophetic because those issues and problems which he pointed out in most of his books are now affecting us.

It is very unfortunate that Nwafor Orizu appears underappreciated and few Nigerians know him in for his exploits in Nigeria and Africa.

However, I am confident that history will never forget his timeless contributions to the development of Nigeria and Africa at Africa.


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