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Africa: Late Charity Iriobe, a lifetime of service and supportiveness

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Late Charity Iriobe: a lifetime of service and supportiveness

“Looking at the crowd that is gathered here today, it’ll be hard for anyone who never met Charity in her lifetime to comprehend all of this. Her presence electrifies her surroundings and anywhere she steps into”. Those where the words that Elder Enema Anokwuru, a travel writer and friend of the family used to describe Dame Charity Iriobe’s winsome attributes.

‘Everyone who knew Charity remembers her for one thing: she was a very hardworking woman. Very, very hardworking. She worked hard to support her family. Everyone who knows her family will attest to the fact that Captain Iriobe wouldn’t have been what he is today without her’, presiding clergy.

Encomium after encomium poured in extolling Dame Charity Iriobe’s virtues as a woman who loved and worked hard to support her family and others, a committed and hardworking Christian worker in Church and a great giver to people and to the Church.

“Our sister has lived and worked, and her night has come. If you want to give, serve God, etc now is the time to do all that”, says Bishop Jide Adebayo of Igbomina Ilorin who presided over the funeral mass.

charity1“Whatever you desire to do, it is now and not tomorrow because tomorrow may be to late. Stop delaying. Procastination is the thief of time.

“Two brothers contested for a the king ex hip of their village. The elder git it. Happy and started eating. The younger came refused to eat took the garment and left. The elder protested but the old man insisted that he came eating. But the young was focused on his getting the garment. Procrastination is dangerous”.

He encouraged people to imbibe a habit of praises. “Praises is what you can give to God only while your alive. Praises cannot be done in the grave. Give praises to your maker.

Finally, he challenged all present to repent as that is the only prerequisite that would ensure that we continue in heaven in praises to God, and substantiating that assertion by quoting Matthew 4:17, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…”

Captain Victor Iriobe, speaking passionately about his wife, reminisced that, “For the past 31 years of marriage, I have received everything I asked from God. He gave me a beautiful and intelligent wife with focused children. Charity has been very supportive as a wife and friend. She is a multi-degree holder, a dedicated teacher, an accomplished tourism consultant”

He went on to recount how they met in 1981 on a British Caledonian fight in 1981 and got married few years later.

As a lover of education and multiple degree holder, Charity started out as a graduate from Umuahia’s Teachers Grade 2 Certificate, to Federal College of Education Katsina, then to the University of Calabar for B.Ed in 1990. Two years later she obtained an Masters of Education from University of Lagos. Others are Diploma in Criminal Justice Administration in 1995, Professional Masters in International Law and Diplomacy, MILD, 1997; Masters Degree in Educational Psychology in 2000, and capped it with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology all from the University of Lagos. She was, until her call to glory, a Lecturer in the Department of Educational Foundation at the University of Lagos.

A woman of many roles and entrepreneurial acumen, she established Odafane Travel and Tours in 1998 as the Managing Director, a company which for 8 years remained a Consultant to the United States of America Commercial Service on Commercial events (Trade Fairs). And for six years, Mrs. Charity Chikodi Iriobe was the Publicity of Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), and edited and published their in-house Newsletter called ‘NANTA news’. She resigned after two terms.

Other achievements included being the 3rd National Vice President, University of Lagos Alumni Association 2005-2015, three terms; Academic Course Adviser, Department of Educational Foundation, 2025 till date; Ex-Officio Member, University of Lagos Alumni 2012-2016; Member UNILAG Senate Ceremonies Committee 2008 till date; Member, Faculty LOC for International Conference by Conference of Faculties of Education in West Africa (CEFWA) 2013; Member, Higher Education Research and Policy Network (HERPNET) among so many others.

Charity was also a member of the Nigerian Delegation to World Travel Market, London, 2004-2009 and a member representing NANTA to World Tourism Conference in Abuja in 2003.

Charity’s vivacious personality would greatly be missed as another amazon of Nigeria and African travel, academic and professional entity bows out.

Her remains was interred at the Ebony Vaults Ikoyi.

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