His Life


Ogbuagu Dr. Hilary Hypolite Ikechukwu Okam was born to the Late Hyacinth Hewson Irona Okam Okonya Nsoro of Umundanike Orisha kindred, Umundanike Royal Village Oguta and Late Josephine Ogonim Okwuosha Onisa of Uzu Ozeke Ozor kindred of Umuayata Village Oguta.

He was born on the 15th of January 1938. Ogbuagu Ike Okam lived with his cousin, the late Paul Uzokwe in Port Harcourt as a young boy until he completed his secondary education. He attended elementary education at Onitsha and secondary education at Stella Maris College Port Harcourt, graduating in 1956. He proceeded to Shanahan Teacher Training College Orlu and completed his course in 1958. He taught briefly at Stella Maris College Port Harcourt in 1959. By September 1960 he began at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, U.N.N, as one of the pioneer undergraduates. In 1963, he graduated with honors in English language. While teaching briefly at Aquinas Secondary School, Osu Mbano, he earned the prestigious U.N.E.S.C.O. fellowship and proceeded to the University of Bordeaux in France, for a Doctorate Degree in Linguistics and Comparative Literature. On his return to Nigeria, he was recruited by his alma mater, U.N.N, as the Head of Department of Languages.  Not long after that, the Nigerian Biafran War ensued. For Biafra, he was Chairman of the News Talk Committee (the Biafran Propaganda network) that enlightened Biafrans on the true position of the war with the popular voice of Okoko Ndem. He held this position until his final assignment as the Biafran Representative to Gabon. In May 1968, he was part of the Biafran delegation that attended the Kampala Peace Talk, "One of the world's failed attempts to forge peace between Nigeria and Biafra".

At the end of the Civil War, stationed in Gabon, he was offered positions at Harvard and Yale Universities in the USA. He accepted the offer from Yale. He left Gabon to assume a position teaching at Yale University as a Professor of Linguistics and Comparative Literature. He got married to his heartthrob Barrister Arret Ifeoma Okam at St. Mary Church, New Haven, Connecticut, USA on December 26th, 1970. They were blessed with four children, Mimi, Obinna, Nnamdi and Adaeze, who are all successful in their fields of endeavor. In 1979, he returned to Nigeria and settled in Port Harcourt where he lectured at the University of Education for many years.

Ogbuagu Ike Okam was a devout Christian, a Roman Catholic. He was a member of St. Michael's group of the Catholic Men's Organization of Sacred Heart Parish Oguta.

He was a celebrated member of the prestigious and highest title in Oguta - The Igbu Society Title of "Ogbu Agu". He became 'Ogbuagu Ngakudi' in 1987.

He was also an Oririnzere, member of the Royal Cabinet of Oguta.

He lived an exemplary Christian life of honesty, justice and love. He lived a lively social life as a member of the prestigious Port-Harcourt Club.

We ask God to Grant Him Eternal Rest In His Bosom.

May his gentle soul rest in Peace. Amen.

Dr. Uche C. Okam