Orao Foundation keeps memories of departed talented son alive



The gathering of family members, friends and well-wishers of the Onyemas and the Orakwusis in Lagos on Sunday for the establishment of a Foundation, marked the beginning of a journey to fulfilling a legacy in honour of a beloved son, Oradilim Orakwusi(Orao), a passionate young leader who loved arts in its various forms.
Oradilim , who played the saxophone, wrote poems and earned the place of a brilliant story-teller, was son of  Barrister Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, Chairperson of the Shipowners Forum in Nigeria’s maritime industry.

L-R: Mrs Margaret Onyema -Orakwusi, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Mrs Cecilia Ibru at the Federal Palace Hotel venue of the event establishing the Orao Foundation in memory of  Oradilim Orakwusi

Excited at establishing the Foundation, which was the highpoint of the event marking a second anniversary of Orao’s departure, Mrs Onyema-Orakwusi extolled her beloved son, saying “ Orao was precious. I count my blessings and thank God that He blessed me with a saint, and that He decided to take him when He did. I need his memories to be kept alive so that we can touch the lives of young people and let them know that this is the live to live.”

The Foundation, which is dedicated to the promotion of budding saxophonists, is headed by the Obi of Onitsha, Nnameka Alfred Achebe. Other members of the foundation include the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, Mr. Chuchu Onyema, the senator representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency in Anambra State, the ‘Elegant Stallion’ Onyeka Onwenu, and Mrs. Iju Ifejika.

Unveiling the saxophones representing the prize categories, Mrs. Onyema-Orakwusi disclosed that the competition for winning the prizes would only be opened to young saxophonists under 20 years old.

Some works of arts on display in honour of Orao

She said that the star-prize winner would have an opportunity to perform at an event hosted by popular comedian, Alibaba, in addition to cash prize to be won. The star-prize winner would also enjoy a tour performing locally and internationally.

Appreciating the support of all present, she particularly thanked the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, for his encouragement to her right from when Orao passed on Dec. 2019, 2017 at the age of 24..

Though grateful that she weathered the storm, Mrs Onyema-Orakwusi prayed that no one faced such an experience in their life, just at the Honourable Minister also shared, while talking about the loss Orao’s mother must have faced, that “two things that shouldn’t happen to are to lose his wife or his children.”

Some dignitaries at the occasion include Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, former President of the Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin, former President of Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) Chief Isaac Jolapamo, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru and representatives of the Women’s International Shipping  and Trading Association(WISTA) led by the President, Mrs. Mary Hamman.