“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents." Andrew Carnegie

In 2005, I was admitted to study Mass Communication at the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe Univeristy, Awka, Anambra State Nigeria [I ended up with a Political Science degree though.  That year, I met a fine young man whose oratorical prowess I still respect. 

Every Sunday at Mass, when he comes to address us, his sweet tongue and his clear command of English always held us spell bound. He always ends with You are great His Charisma was simply electrifying!

This young dud then was President Nigerian Federation of Catholic Students, NFCS, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Chaplaincy, Unizik. He would later go on to become National President of the Body in 2006. Hei! enyim nwoko ma a su bekee cha!

The best way to describe him is in the words of Prof. Emeka Ezeonu when sometimes in 2007 described the then Vice Chancellor of Unizik Prof. Ilochi Okafor SAN, this man can sell you sand in the desert and water on the high sea he is truly gifted. Our first encounter was at my induction ceremony as an NFCSer. He called me Ocha and that is what he still calls me till today.

Sometimes in May 2017, nearly 10 years since we lasyt saw each other,  I got a call, it was a foreign number. A voice cooed into my ears Hello Ocha this Ngozi Odumuko I was shocked! That sparked a resuscitation of our friendship and we have done some things together. 

L-R Prof. Solomon Chkwudebelu Dr Ifeanyi Uba, Prince Ezeakonobi Madumere, Deputy Governor Imo State
I have always believed that my background has no right to put my back to the ground hence we have seen many that came out from the streets, defied the strongholds of the Projects and refused to be pressed down by the limitations of the Ghettos. Today they are Champions! It was Joe Thomas in the track Ghetto Child who once said "There's a world out there that I wanna see There's a man that I'm destined to be I won't be stopped by the ghetto streets I believe inside that I can't be beat"

Yesterday, at the Base Lounge Event Centre in Enugu Nigeria, history was made when this young man brought together leaders of the South West and the South East in a historic Handshake Across The Niger event an initiative of Nuzko Ummuna a pan Igbo socio-cultural think tank group he heads as Coordinator. The event was organized by Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere.

Listening to Ngozi speak again, I drifted back nearly 13 years ago to the Podium at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Chaplaincy where, flashing his trademark gap tooth, he would energize us with his fine oratory, urging us and telling us "you are good". As The Vanguard called him on it s front page today, Ngozi is truly a “Chief” for he did command the respect of all who attended the function. 

No doubt, this is the first of many Handshakes to come and to think that a young person is playing a leading role in galvanizing thought leaders towards a new National Discourse is indeed heartwarming.

In Joe's words,"One day I'm gonna change the world Make a better place for every boy and girl everyone in need, homeless families have a place to sleep and food to eat"

With long time friend and Associate Gregory Muonyililo
Through discipline, self-reliance and excellence these dreams will be made into realities. Ngozi had these dreams long ago and despite the many challenges, he remained focused on God and his goal. Today we celebrate him as a hope for Nigeria.

The World Igbo Youth Assembly played a great role in fostering unity among Igbo youths, when it was on and Ngozi was part of the team. If anything can be said of this fine young man it is his ability to carry others along towards a shared goal.

Socrates wrote "Let him who would move the world first move himself." 

The song comes with a lot of push for those who feel the weight of living in the slums. You may not have a hand in where and how you were born, but you definitely have a choice with regards to how you would live when you get to the age of reasoning. 

Mazi Odumuko, the Abia born Nigerian has done us all well, particularly those of us who are  and were once associated with Our Great Unizik!

There would be social constructs, societal bias and stereotypic stratifications but again draw Strength from Joe.

Incidentally, Ngozi’s middle name is Joseph!

Ya gaize nu!

Ideas | Strategies | Solutions

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


  1. Ngozi the Great, blessed with a voice that sweetens the ears. Am happy for his achievements and trust me if he comes out for a political position i would vote him in.
    I wish him many more applauds in his field while i take learning points and motivations from his achievements.

  2. Proudly a product of Unizik

    Ngozi the great

  3. Ngozi is a great man with fear of God. He is a man after God's heart.

  4. The Ngozi the great orator right from pre science Mbaukwu to Unizik Awka. God continue to direct your path. Cheers