As I contemplated writing this this piece, I could feel the aura of laziness around me like a mighty gong on the neck of a town crier. But it was more of an internal than external factor. I had this conflict in my head; as someone who is known for his anti-tribal stand, if I should be writing a seemingly sectarian article, but then it dawned on me that an article celebrating success should not added to the tribal bucket after all, like the cliché goes, charity begins at home.
Idoma land is becoming renowned as a talent pool in all spheres of human endeavours, from academics, politics, sports to entertainment. Look closely and you would find an Idoma son or daughter holding it down. Today I am going to focus on families of Idoma descent who have chosen same career path.
The Academicals: The Amali professors
The Amali family of Upu-Otukpo has nine professors; prominent among them is the patriarch of the Amali family, Prof. Shamsudeen Amali, the first Nigerian to have a PhD in Modern Drama and first Theatre Arts professor to become a Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria. Others include Professors Idris Amali (the current Deputy Vice-chancellor of Nasarawa State University), Okwoli Amali and Emeli Amali.
The Entertainers: The Ikwues
Legendary musician and cock crow at dawn crooner, Bongos Ikwue blazed the trail for the Ikwue family, from his younger brother, Eje Mark to his children, Jessica and Omei. While Eje Mark has stopped singing, Bongos and his daughters are still very active and do collaborate too as evident in Bongos, Jessica and Omei performing on the soundtrack of the epic Nollywood movie, Inale, which was produced by another of Bongos’ daughter, Keke.
The Power House: The Mark Dynasty
When Ada Mark-Ogbole became a member of the House of Representative in 1992, the first female national assembly member from Idoma land, little did she know that was the start of the Mark political dynasty. Her elder brother, Senator David Mark, GCON, would later become a senator for 20 years rising to the pinnacle as Senator President and being credited to restoring the prestige of the office of the Senate president.
While other members of the extended Mark family have made forays into local Otukpo politics, the baton of the family has now been passed on to the retired Senator’s daughter Mrs Blessing Onuh (nee Mark), who now sits as a member of the House of Representative.
God’s Family: The Enenches
God's general and founder of Dunamis International Gospel Center (DIGC) worldwide; Dr Paul Enenche is the most popular member of the Enenche evangelical family of Orocity (Orokam). His late brother, Pastor SamMoses Enenche was also an evangelical pastor, just like his sister Evangelist Mrs. Vera Aluma (nee Enenche) who is powerful woman of God. His other brother, former Army spokesman, Major General John Enenche is also an evangelist.
Dr Paul Enenche’s wife, Dr Mrs. Becky Enenche is also a formidable preacher in her own right and with their children, they have a thriving a gospel music band.
The Artistes: The Idibias
The legend that is 2Baba, arguably the most influential Nigerian musician of the 21st century, definitely needs no introduction and it should come as no surprise that there are other Idibias who are stepping up and look set to keep the flag flying.
2Baba’s younger brother, HI Idibia is back on the music after a hiatus and 2Baba’s son, Nino, is showing signs that he has inherited the music genes from his dad. 2Baba’s wife, Annie, is an established and award winning Nollywood A-list actress. The Idibias are from Amufu-Edumoga in Okpokwu local government area.
Amokachi & Sons
Former Super Eagles star, Daniel Amokachi who holds the record of being the first goal scorer in UEFA Champions' league is from the Amokachi family of Orido-Otukpa. The “Bull”, whose exploit in the English premiership in the 1990s is fondly remembered by Everton fans, has definitely passed on the footballing genes to his twin sons, Nazim and Kalim, who are both promising young footballers and were recently plying their trade in Finland.