TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THEIR MOTHER TONGUE, IT MAY SAVE LIFE SOMEDAY.



How speaking Enuani language at a train station in Yorkshire, England, saved the life of Late Sir. P.C EGBUNEH.

The symbolic birth of Sir P.C Egbuneh on the 1st day of January, 1932 was greeted with great joy, not just by the Egbunehs or Umu-Ojukobi's of Agbonta Idumuede Qtrs. but by the entire people of Ubulu-Uku kingdom. The exceptionally handsome, tall and light skinned Ubuluman was a great teacher whose passion for excellence remains unmatched.
 Despite holding an MS.c in English and Literature from one of the finest Universities in the world, he was a strong advocate for the preservation of our indigenous languages.
He never ended an exciting English class without sharing the story of how speaking his native Ubulu language saved his life in far away England.

Sir Egbuneh began his primary education at Effurun Primary school Warri and later, St. Thomas Ibuzo between 1943-1953.
~1956, he was at St Joseph's TTC Ozoro, Delta State.

~ In 1975 the Federal government of Nigeria granted him bursary to study English and Literature at the University of Sheffield Yorkshire, England.

~1977, Upon his return, he was posted to the Ministry of Education Ogwashi-uku, where he worked as Inspector at Primary and Post Primary education.
~ In 1980 he enrolled for his MS.c in Education Management at the Sheffield University Yorkshire, England. This time, he was on self sponsorship.

However, an unfortunate incident occurred in 1982 that saw him briefly return to Nigeria. His wife was involved in a ghastly auto crash that claimed her life. He returned home for her funeral in April 1982 before resiliently traveling back to complete his course.
Nevertheless, his ambition of progressing to do a Ph.D programme was truncated as he returned home to be with his children.

According to Sir, Egbuneh, his days at the University of Sheffield was a blissful one until the government instability that rocked Nigeria in the late 70's affected the scholarship scheme that brought him to the Queens Land.
The government could not pay his tuition for his last academic year.
He wrote letters to the Nigerian embassy and to many notable Nigerians living in the UK for financial support but nothing was forth coming.
Also, the duration of his rented accommodation had expired and he was due for eviction.

He sought for money to return home and forfeit his studies but the Nigerian Embassy failed to show succour.
It was on his way back home to Sheffield that reality dawned on him that he was lost in a foreign land.
In utmost despair he repeatedly uttered these words in deep Ubulu tongue; "Uyagami! Efu'm n'ani m'madu." (What a shame! I'm lost in a foreign land).
In the midst of his lamentation a gentle hand tapped his shoulder and asked "Oya! Kidor?" (Friend, what is it?).
He looked up with tearful eyes and saw a cheerful young man who introduced himself as Ralf. Uwechue.
For the person who will bath you, it is difficult to conceal one's nudity.
Sir Egbuneh calmly explained his ordeal to his brother.
"You are my brother. My mother is from Ubulu-Uku. Let's go to my house." Prof. Uwechue offered.
At his house, Ralf offered him hospitality and wrote a cheque that covered his accommodation, tuition fees and other expenses.
"My friendship with Ralf began in Sheffield and his magnanimity remains unforgettable. I often tell this story to encourage people to speak their native language. " P.C Egbuneh.

Sir Egbuneh died on the 27th of April 2007.
Later, Prof. Uwechue died on the 14th of March 2014.
They lived a life worthy of emulating and may their souls continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord.

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