Award-winning gospel artiste, author and teacher, Buchi Atuonwu who has impacted the Nigerian music scene greatly with memorable hits in the reggae genre has lost his mother, Mrs Alice Okechinyere Atuonwu.
Going by Buchi’s penchant to write hit songs informed by the circumstance around him, it is not unlikely that his next album would contain a dedication, not only to his mother, but a song that can be personalised by everyone who has a strong sentimental attachment to his/her mother. Buchi and his four siblings were trained to graduate level by this primary school teacher and her modest civil-servant-husband through their sacrificial commitment to the welfare and education of their children and wards made this possible.
Born Alice OkechinyereOnuegbe in Calabar, Nigeria to Mr and Mrs Peter Aruocha Onuegbe of Ogbuebule, Oboro in Ikwuano, Abia state, Alice’s childhood and early education were mainly in her place of birth. This explains her proficiency in Efik, Ibibio and Anang languages and her enduring attachment to the people thereof.
From 1942 to 1947 she attended the famous Hope Waddell Institute where she obtained her First School Leaving Certificate. In 1954, she obtained a Teachers’ Grade III Certificate after a further one-year training at The Methodist E.T.C. Oron. It was with these basic credentials and an uncommon dedication to the teaching profession that she traversed the country between 1951 and 1983, teaching in cities like Maiduguri, Jos, Bauchi, Kaduna, Minna, Obeagu Enugu, and Owerri. She was the quintessential Nigerian.
Mrs. Atuonwu was also active in the activities of the Methodist and her Oboro community, rising to various leadership positions of these bodies.
Her leisure activities include reading and singing. Buchi and his four siblings were raised to university education level by this primary school teacher and her modest civil servant husband through their commitment and sacrifice.