Christie Essien Igbokwe, Still Showing Love, Four Years After Death | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Christie Essien Igbokwe, Still Showing Love, Four Years After Death

Posted: Jul 2, 2015 at 5:14 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sam Anokam –  Lagos


Four years ago, precisely, June 30, 2011, the entertainment industry in Nigeria, woke up to hear the death of the Lady of Songs, Chief Christy Essien Igbokwe. It came as a rude shock to Nigerians but more profound was it to her immediate family because they testified to the fact that Igbokwe had told them years before then that she would die in the middle of the year and she did. She was 50.

Four years later, at the Living Waters Unlimited Church, Isolo, last Sunday, See Joy Foundation, a non-governmental organisation with focus on the less-privileged but more on widows because of how it started, brought smiles to some widows. Under the auspices of astute politician, businessman, Dr. Austin Izagbo, they were empowered with cash and items such as sewing, machines, hair dryers, grinding machines,  beverages, toiletries, bags of rice among others.  Aside all these items, the gifts of the founding chairman of the foundation was conspicuous. It was learnt that the founding chairman was Chief Christy Igbokwe. Making the presentation on her behalf, her husband, Chief Edwin Igbokwe presented over 500 items of his late wife’s designers’ bags, shoes, clothes and jewelries which was estimated to the tune of N5m.

Xty Essien Igbokwe

Xty Essien Igbokwe

According to Izagbo, the event was actually a thanksgiving service but since the fourth year of the death of the Lady of Songs would be on Tuesday, the family thought it wise to key into the project which Christy was its founding chairman.

Explaining the reasons for the gesture, Chief Igbokwe who is now a director in the foundation has this to say: “This gesture is in keeping with the ideals and legacy of my late wife. In other parts of the world, what obtains is sell her property but in this case, we had no option because she has See Joy in mind and besides, she instructed that few things should be taken and the rest given to charity. It is her legacy and how she lived.”

Igbokwe added that they would do something when she completes five years. While appealing to goods spirited Nigerians and corporate bodies to partner with the foundation to meet other needs of the less privileged,  Izagbo hinted that after Christy Igbokwe’s death, the family gave out 1,000 wrappers to widows.

A donor, Dr. Adedoyin Salami beside donating a grinding and sewing machines also gave a cash gift as scholarship to 12 students.

Founded by Pastor Prosper Kanayo, Izagbo narrated what inspired the establishment of the humanitarian project which was established in 2004.

He said: “It all began on a fateful day in May 2003 at Ikotun Egbe in Lagos, when one Mrs. Samuel from Ebonyi State lost her husband. The sudden death came to all her neighbours as a surprise considering the fact that the diseased was hale and hearty few days before the voice of death called on him. The sudden death was no longer the surprise but the fact that no person amongst the relatives of the dead or the pregnant Mrs. Samuel could assist in evacuating her late husband’s remains in the mortuary. The consequences of the above made the pregnant woman who at that time was already a mother of four children to sleep in the same room, with her children and the almost decomposing body of her husband. Yet, by the morning of the following day there was not any hope to fund the evacuation of the dead to any mortuary. Moved with compassion on the situation on ground, Pastor Prosper Kanayo rose to that occasion and provided all needed funds to evacuate the lifeless body of Mr. Samuel to a nearby mortuary. The gratitude, the relief that followed, the smiles on the faces of people around and the expressions of joy on the face of the widow in question was what led to the birth of, See-Joy Foundation”.

The mission of the foundation is to grow a global network of well spirited people and partners that will help put smiles on the faces of less priviledged in the society through scholarship grant, free medicals and structured programmes on economic empowerment.

Also, the Vision is to contribute positively towards achieving a society where mass illiteracy and abject poverty is reduced to its barest minimum.