His Royal Highness Igwe Dr. Kenneth Onyeneke ORIZU III, 1925 (age 94 years)

Name
His Royal Highness Igwe Dr. Kenneth Onyeneke /ORIZU/ III
Name prefix
His Royal Highness Igwe Dr.
Given names
Kenneth Onyeneke
Nickname
Igwe Kenneth Orizu III
Surname
ORIZU
Name suffix
III
Shared note: Obi of Nnewi

Obi of Nnewi

Note: The Twentieth Chief of Nnewi
Birth October 29, 1925 22
Residence
Address: Igwe Nnewi Palace, P.O.Box 2, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
Phone: +2348033138291
Email address: igwennewipalace@gmail.com
31st President of the United States
Herbert Hoover
March 4, 1929 (aged 3 years)

Death of a paternal grandmotherMadam Sarah Ejeagwunobi Orizu
1931 (aged 5 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Ramsey MacDonald
from January 22, 1924 to June 7, 1935 (aged 9 years)

32nd President of the United States
Franklin D Roosevelt
March 4, 1933 (aged 7 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Stanley Baldwin
from June 7, 1935 to May 28, 1937 (aged 11 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Neville Chamberlain
from May 28, 1937 to May 10, 1940 (aged 14 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Winston Churchill
from May 10, 1940 to July 26, 1945 (aged 19 years)

World War 2 from September 1, 1939 to September 2, 1945 (aged 19 years)

33rd President of the United States
Harry S Truman
April 12, 1945 (aged 19 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Clement Atlee
from July 26, 1945 to October 26, 1951 (aged 25 years)

National Health Service
Free healthcare for all
from July 5, 1948 (aged 22 years)

Olympic Games
Games of the XIV Olympiad
from July 29, 1948 to August 14, 1948 (aged 22 years)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Winston Churchill
from October 26, 1951 to April 6, 1955 (aged 29 years)

34th President of the United States
Dwight D Eisenhower
January 20, 1953 (aged 27 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Anthony Eden
from April 6, 1955 to January 10, 1957 (aged 31 years)

35th President of the United States
John F Kennedy
January 20, 1961 (aged 35 years)

Death of a fatherJosiah Nnaji Orizu
1962 (aged 36 years)

Occupation
Twentieth Chief of Nnewi (Nnewi king)
February 6, 1963 (aged 37 years)

Employer: Nnewi Kingdom
Enthronement
enthroned as the Obi of Otolo and of Nnewi
February 6, 1963 (aged 37 years)
Coronation
Coronation of Igwe Kenneth Orizu
June 2, 1963 (aged 37 years)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Harold Macmillan
from January 10, 1957 to October 19, 1963 (aged 37 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Alex Douglas-Home
from October 19, 1963 to October 16, 1964 (aged 38 years)

36th President of the United States
Lyndon B Johnson
November 22, 1963 (aged 38 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Harold Wilson
from October 16, 1964 to June 19, 1970 (aged 44 years)

37th President of the United States
Richard Nixon
January 20, 1969 (aged 43 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Edward Heath
from June 19, 1970 to March 4, 1974 (aged 48 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Harold Wilson
from March 4, 1974 to April 5, 1976 (aged 50 years)

38th President of the United States
Gerald Ford
August 9, 1974 (aged 48 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
James Callaghan
from April 5, 1976 to May 4, 1979 (aged 53 years)

39th President of the United States
Jimmy Carter
January 20, 1977 (aged 51 years)

Winter of Discontent
Mass industrial action, power cuts and a three-day working week.
from October 1978 to February 1979 (aged 53 years)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Margaret Thatcher
from May 4, 1979 to November 28, 1990 (aged 65 years)

40th President of the United States
Ronald Reagan
January 20, 1981 (aged 55 years)

41st President of the United States
George H W Bush
January 20, 1989 (aged 63 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
John Major
from November 28, 1990 to May 2, 1997 (aged 71 years)

42nd President of the United States
Bill Clinton
January 20, 1993 (aged 67 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Tony Blair
from May 2, 1997 to June 27, 2007 (aged 81 years)

43rd President of the United States
George W Bush
January 20, 2001 (aged 75 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Gordon Brown
from June 27, 2007 to May 11, 2010 (aged 84 years)

44th President of the United States
Barack Obama
January 20, 2009 (aged 83 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
David Cameron
from May 11, 2010 to July 13, 2016 (aged 90 years)

Olympic Games
Games of the XXX Olympiad
from July 27, 2012 to August 12, 2012 (aged 86 years)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Theresa May
from July 13, 2016 to July 24, 2019 (aged 93 years)

45th President of the United States
Donald Trump
January 20, 2017 (aged 91 years)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Boris Johnson
from July 24, 2019 (aged 93 years)

Nationality
Nigeria

Religion
Christianity & Animism

Family with parents
father
Josiah Nnaji Orizu II -social reformer
19031962
Birth: 1903 22 17Otolo, Nnewi, Nnewi North L.G.A, Anambra State, Nigeria
Education: Primary School Education1920Arondizuogu, Abia State, Nigeria
Death: 1962
mother
Birth: Ibuhubu, Umuchu, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra State, Nigeria
Nationality: NigerianIbuhubu, Umuchu, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra State, Nigeria
Marriage
Marriage:
himself
Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III _potrait
1925
Birth: October 29, 1925 22Otolo, Nnewi, Nnewi North L.G.A, Anambra State, Nigeria
Nationality: Nigeria
Occupation: Twentieth Chief of Nnewi (Nnewi king)February 6, 1963
Family with Queen
himself
Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III _potrait
1925
Birth: October 29, 1925 22Otolo, Nnewi, Nnewi North L.G.A, Anambra State, Nigeria
Nationality: Nigeria
Occupation: Twentieth Chief of Nnewi (Nnewi king)February 6, 1963
wife
Queen
son
Obianefo ORIZU
son
Engr. Prince Chukwudi ORIZU
son
Chibuzor ORIZU
son
Eziafa ORIZU
daughter
Joy Chika ORIZU
NameView

Obi of Nnewi

Name

The Twentieth Chief of Nnewi

Note

Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III (born 1925) is the 20th Obi of Otolo and Igwe of Nnewi kingdom. He is the traditional supreme ruler and spiritual leader in Nnewi, an Igbo city in Nigeria. He is a member of the Nnofo Royal lineage and the success or to his father Igwe Josiah Orizu II, his grandfather Igwe Orizu I, and great-grandfather Igwe Iwuchukwu Ezeifekaibeya. Unlike most Igbo monarchies, there were kings of Nnewi before the arrival of Europeans. In Anambra State, Igwe Kenneth Oriz u III is the vice chairman of the Anambra State House of Chiefs and as of 2015 the longest-serving monarch in Nigeria.

Note

THE SPIRIT OF THE MAN CALLED NNEWI LIVES IN DR. K.O.N. ORIZU, THE IGWE NNEWI

By Anayo Matthew Nwosu (Ikenga Ezenwegbu)

To an utter amazement of the youth and to the envy of the other aged citizens, the 92 year old Igwe Kenneth Orizu filed out with his fellow christians at St Thomas Anglican Church, Otolo Nnewi, on the Palm Sunday procession from an assembly point on Oba-Okigwe expressway to the church compound. His communion with his brethren was not the issue but how a 92 year old could walk unaided with a walking stick nor wearing any sight enhancing eyeglasses. He had repeated the same feat sometime ago while on a pilgrimage to Israel. As an old man, Igwe climbed up to the zenith of the Mount Sinai the way Mbanagu people stroll up the Ụbụ hill to fetch water from the stream; a feat much younger pilgrims see as daunting.

An interaction with Igwe Kenneth Orizu would confound many. His age has not dampened his sharp wit or sagacity. He still keeps his normal routine of adjudication of cultural matters, mediation and moderation of issues only the Igwe can handle.

Igwe Nnewi’s continued state of wellbeing would later become an interesting research item for historians in years to come. This is because the monarch had weathered more storms, carried more responsibilities and rested less than most men; yet is still stronger than his age mates. It is noteworthy that Igwe also married two wives and inherited two statutory concubines. This is in addition to his large and extended families which by extension, include all the families in Nnewi; but he is standing tall.

It is possible that Igwe Kenneth Orizu’s non-combative approach to issues, his infinite capacity to persevere and his perfected skills in waiting on his antagonists to repent or to die have made him live longer and healthier.

There is a saying that a town flourishes when the righteous is in power. This Igwe has seen Nnewi transform from a fractious community to an industrial and commercial nerve centre in Nigeria. Under his reign, citizens of Nnewi have excelled and flown as high as their wings could carry them even with mountainous challenges.

Igwe Kenneth Orizu has only followed the footsteps of his predecessors in his town-transforming leadership skills. He has steadied the ship of Nnewi town which had never been as united as it is now.

The man called Nnewi must have been either a good man or a lucky fellow because, it is not by sheer will or hardwork that a man's posterity or his legacies do last for many centuries after he has died. Not only did the fortunes of Mazi Nnewi grow, his successors were able to forge a co-habitational arrangements with their siblings, cousins and distant relations from far and near to found a town that keeps breaking new boundaries. Nnewi citizens have made themselves relevant in all areas of life. The feats they have achieved could not have been possible if the town was not blessed with exceptional leaders.

Mazi Nnewi was surely luckier than Mmaku his grandfather and Ikenga his father. It was he who became a town whereas his siblings, other relations and their descendants from Oba, Ojoto and Oraeri became citizens of a town that bears Nnewi, his name.

When Mazi Nnewi died, Digbo his second son succeeded him as the head of the family or the Obi.

Just like in all Igbo settlements, the first son of a man inherits the headship of his father's estate. This leadership right could be assumed by any of the sons who foots the bills of the funeral rites of the father. Also, a father while alive, may demote his first son and appoint his second or a preferred son as the heir to his Obi but he must make this stance known before his male kinsmen for the declaration to stand.

Okpala, the first son of Nnewi, was displaced by Digbo, the second son. Digbo had two sons namely Otolo and Ezeikwuabọ. Upon death, Digbo was succeeded by Otolo.

It is worthy of note that Ezeikwuabọ descendants actually live with their brothers in Otolo just like other relations of Mazi Nnewi were subsumed into Nnewi that has become a town. This explains some of those agitations and claims by some citizens of Nnewi who are not direct descendants of Mazi Nnewi and who have become members of a convenient geographic entity now known as Nnewi. Some had ignorantly argued that a man called Nnewi never lived. But he did.

When Otolo died, he was succeeded by Enem his first son who willingly bequeathed the obiship to Nnọfọ, his younger brother who was a great warrior. He was convinced that his brother was stronger and more naturally endowed to play the leadership roles. And he was right.

The reign of Nnọfọ ended in another twist as he by-passed Ñlụọnụ, his first son under some unprintable circumstances and handed over the reins of the leadership of Nnewi community to his second son named Udude who later took an ọzọ title of Ezeọnụlụ.

According to Igbo culture and as practised in the Vatican City the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, once a man takes an ọzọ title or becomes a Pope, he drops his given or baptismal name and is addressed by his ọzọ or papal name. That was how Udude's name changed to Ezeọnụlụ.

When Ezeọnụlụ died, his first son, Ezeagha, who waged many expansionist wars against Nnewi neighbours, succeeded his father.

Ezeagha was a fearsome warrior and the first Ọnụọra of the fledgling town. An Ọnụọra was a war title in the rank of a field marshal. It was only an ọnụọra who could wear a chasuble on which were sewn eight bells or ikpo nasatọ which disconcordant rings signified the arrival of the warrior in any gathering or meeting.

Ezeagha had many sons but in a rare patriotic act done for the advancement of his beloved community, he summoned the elders of Nnewi and appointed his younger brother’s son, named Ifeluonye as his successor. His children and their mothers protested but he stood his ground. His wish was fulfilled upon his death even though Uduji who hailed from Eziabụbọ in Nnewichi, married to Ezenwa, who was the mother of the newly crowned prince had to quickly send her son on exile to save him from the predictable wrath of his cousins. That was how Ifeluonye, the son of Ezenwa and not Ezeagha took the mantle of Nnewi leadership.

Ifeluonye, who later took an ọzọ name of Ezeọgụiñe, was to justify the confidence his uncle reposed in him. He became the greatest pre-colonial ruler of Nnewi. He waged the most extensive and expansionist wars with neighbouring towns. He was the second warrior or ruler in Nnewi to be crowned an ọnụọra or a field marshal.

It was Ezeoguine who moved the homestead of his ancestors to Obiuno, the current Igwe's palace from the original residence of Nnewi in Ọkpụnọ Otolo. Mazi Nnewi and his successors lived in and around Okwu Ọyọ located exactly within that swathe of land covering Izuchukwu Park up to Convaj Events Centre down to Ikedife Specialist Hospital on Igwe Orizu Road, Otolo Nnewi. That area is called Ọkpụnọ.

In Igbo land, an ọkpụnọ describes the earliest settlement of a people or a community.

When the great Ezeọgụiñe died at a very old age, he was succeeded by Ezechukwu, his eldest surviving son who was living in Ọkpụnọ. Ezechukwu elected to move in to Obiuno where his father lived. Upon death, he was succeeded by Ezeukwu who in turn was succeeded by Okafọ. And when Okafọ died, he was succeeded by Iwuchukwu who upon his death was succeeded by his first son, Ezeụgbọanyịmba also known as Orizu I.

It was during the reign of Ezeụgbọanyịmba that the British colonial expeditionary forces led by one Major Moorehouse made Nnewi town to surrender without a shot of a bullet.

The coming of the whiteman heralded a chequered era in Nnewi history. All the inter and intra communal wars were outlawed by the colonial government and Nnewi couldn't expand beyond its current borders.

Ezeụgbọanyịmba and elders of Nnewi had engaged the British in a battle of wits. They did a self audit and realised that they didn't have the fire power or capacity to fight the whiteman. They saw the need to learn the source of the powers of the whiteman who cowed all the Nnewi deities when the deities were set up to spiritually make the invading foreigners leave the town.

The Nnewi deities did nothing when their revered evil forests were given to the whiteman to build his residence or places of worship. Instead of dying off, the whiteman kept getting stronger and enticing the natives to follow his ways.

With his eyes on the future, Ezeụgbọanyịmba ensured that his first son, Josiah or Orizu II, went to school thereby becoming the first Obi of Nnewi to convert to Christianity.

Josiah who succeeded his father married an Umuuchu woman named Udeaku from Ikebudu family in Ibuhubu village. Their first son Kenneth, the current Igwe, also known as Orizu III, was enthroned as the Obi of Otolo and of Nnewi on the 6th of February, 1963 and was coronated on the 2nd of June, the same year.

With a divinely inspired wisdom, Igwe Kenneth Orizu stunned his Ezeoguine family when he decided to drop the title of Obi Nnewi to assuage a divisive wind blowing in the town. He was ready to sacrifice anything to ensure that the lighted candle handed over to him by his predecessors didn't quench in his hand. He did it for peace's sake. He must have reasoned that the descendants from Mazi Nnewi know who their obi is.

At 93 years of age, Igwe Kenneth Orizu has become the longest serving monarch in Nigeria and Africa having clocked 55 years on the throne. He is also the oldest monarch in the whole wide world.

When next you want to know how the man called Nnewi looked like, you do not need to look too far. Just look at or interract with Igwe Kenneth Orizu. He descended from Nnewi, the man whose name our town bears. Igwe is the embodiment of who Nnewi was and is.

Today is our Igwe's Ọfala festival and all that make Nnewi thick, including our ancestors, are all in attendance.

Longer shall our Igwe live!

Anayo Matthew Nwosu is a Corporate & Investment Banker in Lagos.

Biography of Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III

Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III (born 1925) is the 20th Obi of Otolo and Igwe of Nnewi kingdom. He is the traditional supreme ruler and spiritual leader in Nnewi, an Igbo city in Nigeria. He is a member of the Nnofo Royal lineage and the successor to his father Igwe Josiah Orizu II, his grandfather Igwe Orizu I, and great-grandfather Igwe Iwuchukwu Ezeifekaibeya.

Unlike most Igbo monarchies, there were kings of Nnewi before the arrival of Europeans. In Anambra State, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III is the vice-chairman of the Anambra State House of Chiefs and as of 2015 the longest-serving monarch in Nigeria.