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Igwe K.O.N Orizu @95: Ten (10) Things You Need To Know About Him

His Royal Highness Igwe Dr. Kenneth Onyemaeke Nnaji Orizu (Igwe Orizu III) is the 17th Obi of Otolo and Igwe of Nnewi. He is believed to be the “current longest-serving Monarch” in Nigeria and 3rd in Africa. He succeeded his father Igwe Josiah Orizu II, his grandfather Igwe Orizu I, and great-grandfather Igwe Iwuchukwu Ezeifekaibeya.

Here are Ten (10) things you need to know about him.

 

1. For some years now, there have been wrong or inaccurate idea of the actually Date of Birth of Igwe Kenneth Orizu, people have been largely believed that he was born on the 29th of October, 1925, even Wikipedia has had 29th October attached as his birthday, but the recent release of the Official Biography of His Royal Highness, Igwe Kenneth Orizu, written by Azuka Onwuka have dispelled that. Igwe Kenneth Orizu was born on 30th October 1925. That of Wikipedia has been changed too.

2. Unlike most of his age mates, he is lettered, he speaks English fluently. Igwe Kenneth Orizu started his education at Akwudo C.M.S Central School, Otolo, Nnewi. In 1938, he started his Standard One (1) at Sacred Heart (R.C.M) School, Calabar, before he was transferred to Hope Waddell College, Calabar. He completed his education at New Bethel College, Onitsha.

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3. Igwe Kenneth Orizu was born by a woman called, Udeaku. She was married from Ibughubu Village in Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State. As extracted from his biography, Igwe Orizu revealed that the marriage between his mother and father was necessitated because of the action of a woman who was married from the same village by his grandfather, Igwe Orizu I (Eze-Ugbonyamba). The woman was said to have been maltreated in the palace. Before her death, she took a kitchen knife and hit on the ground and swore that no male child will be born in the palace unless someone from her family was married as atonement for the injustice done to her. The palace made a return to Umuchu village to marry Udeaku, a daughter of King Eze Ononuju.

4. The Former “One-Day” President of Nigeria and the first Nigeria Senate President, His Excellency, Dr. Abyssinia Akweke Nwafor Orizu is an uncle to Igwe Kenneth. Dr. Nwafor Orizu is the 5th son of His Royal Highness, Igwe Orizu 1 (Eze Ugbonyamba), as such, he is a brother to Igwe Josiah Orizu II the father of Igwe Kenneth Orizu (III).

5. Igwe Kenneth Orizu was the first Nigerian Monarch to abolish the Osu caste system, thus making everyone in Nnewi free-born.

6. Against all odds, Igwe Kenneth Orizu has kept all the communities in Nnewi united. Nicknamed the “Peace General” he has made alot of sacrifices just to maintain stability in the town. During the 1985-1996 Nnewi crisis which almost tore the town apart, Igwe Kenneth took the step that saved the town from further division. Consistently, he has continued to alot of compromise, as well as, respecting the rights and privileges of other Obi’s in Nnewi, all the interest of justice and peace.

7. Udeaku, the Mother of Igwe Kenneth died one week after she gave birth to him. Igwe Kenneth was taken care of by a foster mother, feeding on breast milk and coconut milk. Kenneth Onyemaeke Nnaji was the only son of his mother.

8. Igwe Kenneth Orizu (III) was 38 years when he ascended to the throne of Nnewi.

9. Former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Dr. Dozie Ikedife, was the person that purchased the first official car of Igwe. This was made possible through the combined effort of one Mr. Igwilo.

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10. Igwe Kenneth Orizu (III) facilitated the establishment of Nkwo Nnewi Market which gave Nnewi prominence as one of the largest commercial cities in Nigeria.

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