In Memory

Ndukwe Ogbogu

Bidding a brother farewell

It was twenty seven years ago, almost to the day, that we first walked through the gates of King’s College. Gathering in our classes, a motley bunch of ten and eleven year olds, in our pristine new white uniforms we came from a variety of backgrounds, from all over the country. Ndukwe was one of us, he was a day boy, in Form 1c and a member of Hyde-Johnson’s House.

In those first few days, as we struggled to cope with the transition to secondary school and the bullying from senior boys, Ndukwe displayed a courage and an aura that belied his size. Although he was not by any measure among the biggest of our class, he exuded a quiet dignity and courage that seemed to urge anyone who thought about bullying him to think again, carefully. Bow-legged, and sturdy, he walked with a confidence and quiet swagger that marked him out. Like most of the other day boys, he bubbled with energy and engaged actively in the games and pranks of those early years.

And he was stubborn, a trait best exemplified by the story that made its rounds in those early days. One day, apparently, at 2 o’clock when lessons ended and the gates opened to let free the day boys, Ndukwe waited in vain for the family car to come and pick him up. having waited an hour, Ndukwe decided to walk home from King’s College in Lagos Island to the family home in Surulere. Ignoring the entreaties from classmates urging him to wait a little, he set out, and as the story went, got home hours later, exhausted to the point that he missed school the next day. We often teased him about it in our later years but never got round to confirming if it ever actually happened. But it says something of Ndukwe’s determination that most of us believed it. 

Like all of us, Ndukwe was schooled in the King’s College traditions of giving service and excelling in all our endeavours. Perhaps it was at King’s College that Ndukwe honed his love for debate and intellectual rigour.Ndukwe was an active participant in the fierce but friendly competition that was the hallmark of academics at King’s actively engaging as we moved through the school in physics, chemistry and additional mathematics, laying the foundation for his future stellar career in IT.

Yet, Ndukwe’s life at KC was not just about academic work. On entering the boarding house in Form 4, he became an active member of his house, a key player in the Hy-Jay Connection, the intense network of our classmates who lived in Hyde-Johnson’s House. He was famous for his teasing, his infectious laughter, the twinkle in his eye. He engaged in the youthful fun and pranks of the time but also displayed a strong sense of responsibility, participating in sports and in nurturing the House spirit, and it was little surprise that he was one of those selected in our year as College Assistant Prefects.

As a prefect, Ndukwe was firm and principled, which someimes led him to clash with his friends, but did not deter him from doing what he saw as his duty. Evn his closest friends knew that Ndukwe would make no excuses or compromises in the course of discharging his prefect’s role. Junior boys respected, rather than feared him, knowing that to risk his displeasure was not a risk worth taking. His fellow prefects remember him as a calm and measured moderating voice during the heated debates of the the prefects’ meetings.

On leaving school in 1988, Ndukwe remained closely connected with us, his classmates and friends, joining the group of King’s College boys in the Engineering Faculty at Nsukka and actively participating in the numerous social activities that we organized.

Over the years, as we moved on in life, Ndukwe was a regular at the various reunions that were organized for our class. Last year, he was at the 20th anniversary celebration of our set, and in January, joined in a lunch to reconnect with classmates visiting from the US.

It is perhaps unsurprising that even on his last day with us, he found time in his very busy schedule to rejoice at the naming ceremony of a child born to one of us.

The sad news of Ndukwe’s passing hit us all very hard and it is with difficulty that we have struggled to accept the inevitable.

And yet, we are exceedingly proud of the legacy that Ndukwe left, we are proud of all that he achieved, we are proud that he lived up to the highest expectations of our founding fathers and of our School Song : we are proud of the service that he gave to the living and we are proud that he answered every call that was made on him with a resounding “Here”

And so as we commit our dear brother, Ndukwe to the Lord today, we remember the many occasions in that wood panelled  College Assembly Hall, when we sang the hymn, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”, loudly and boldly and we say, God be with you, dear brother and friend, till we meet to part no more.

To the family that he has left behind, we pledge to renew our brotherhood, and to do our utmost to enusre that his legacy is nurtured and sustained. May God grant us all the grace to honour our brother and to continue from where he left off.

Floreat, Ndukwe, our beloved brother and may your gentle, generous soul rest in the peace of Christ

Ike Anya

For and on behalf of the King’s College Old Boys Class of 88.

(For pictures on the Burial please seemy profile page):

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11/03/09 06:11 AM #1    

Ike (AkA Load) Eseka

Ndukwe, Do rest in the peace of the Lord. We shall definitely meet again at Jesus feet

04/02/10 07:49 AM #2    

Seyi Ogunmekan


06/05/18 05:27 AM #3    

Awele Chike Okonkwo

Forever in our hearts...i remember my visits to your place in surulere while we were still in KC,those memories remain...Rest in peace bro

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