Sir Emmanuel Azuka Chuks Obanye was born in Asaba, Delta State in Nigeria. He attended the University of Ife where he graduated in 1968 in Economics & Political Science. He worked at West Africa Distillery, Lagos, as Marketing Manager until 1977, then ran his own company until 1999 when he relocated to the UK with his family.
His wife Deborah writes:
Our relationship started in 1968 when Emmanuel was still at University and I was in my final year of nursing school. Our relationship commenced as a result of a nice cup of tea I used to make for his late uncle when he was admitted into Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesha. Married for 52 years, filled with happiness and joy through the Blessings of the Almighty Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Our marriage was blessed with loving children (three sons and a daughter) and grandchildren. My darling husband played a role model of a God-fearing man – always very grateful for every little service given to him. He remained humble all through his life despite all his academic achievements.
Rest in perfect peace, darling husband, until the day we shall meet to part no more. May perpetual light continue to shine upon your soul. Amen
His second son, Kanayo, writes:
My Dad brought us all up in the way of the Lord. He was a Knight of St Columba which also encouraged me to become a Knight and now leader of my council in Milton Keynes and Bletchley. Being a Knight has made me draw closer to my God as we serve Him by helping others, particularly the less fortunate in society and widows.
Dad, you died on Ash Wednesday. Your lifestyle was exemplary and one to emulate so I am confident you will make Heaven, which is the most important aspiration for every human being.
From the St Stephen’s Nigerian Community, Welling:
Sir, you were an elder brother, uncle and father to most of us. One that we could look up to for words of wisdom, assurance and encouragement for very occasion. You were a beacon of light in our Nigerian community here in Welling and beyond, and your departure has left a void in our midst.
The booklet given out at Emmanuel’s funeral, held at St Stephen’s on 4 April, was full of tributes from family and friends who saw Emmanuel as an amazing father figure, who always had time for others – quiet, peaceful and God-fearing.