Sir Engineer Godwin Okechukwu Okafor was born on September 9, 1941 to the family of Okafor Onanwa (Uruabata) in Enugwu Village, Umuawulu. He was the first of the then four surviving children.
At the age of 12, Godwin was, in 1953, sent to be an apprentice and houseboy, possibly to be assisted by his masters to gain basic education. He served at Nibo and later in Kogi State in two different families.
His quest to get formal education brought him back to Umuawulu where he started and completed his standard six. In 1962, he went to Nsukka where he learnt House wiring and worked as House Electrician and Apprentice to then National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) Staff.
One of the NEPA officers took interest in him and gave him opportunity to take part in Basic Technical and Electrical Courses. His foreknowledge in house wiring gave him an edge over others and he was outstanding in every evaluations and examinations. At the end of the courses, Godwin Okafor got employment into NEPA as a junior staff and site worker.
At the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War, Godwin returned to the village. Okechukwu married and wedded in 1969 to his beloved wife, Lady Victoria Oby from Ndiagu – Nnamkpu village Mbaukwu. The marriage was blessed with 10 children, who are all privileged to have attended different Universities in Nigeria and some Overseas. They are Nkiru Oraezue, Cosmas Okafor, Ogochukwu Ezenweinyinya, Nkemdilim Okoli, Chukwukelue Okafor, Rev. Father Kingsley Okafor, Ifeyinwa Chukwuma, Chukwuka Okafor, Chioma Megwuonye and Chisom Umeh.
After the war, Sir Godwin went back to Nsukka. On the request of his wife who is a born and gifted trader, Godwin setup a small provision shop for her in Umuawulu. Through God’s blessing and industrious disposition of his wife, the business grew and gave birth to the famous Betola Guest and Events Centre in Umuawulu.
Sir Godwin Okafor was transferred from Nsukka to Enugu and he relocated his young family from Umuawulu to Enugu. From Enugu he was transferred to Awka, where he established another provision shop for the wife. As a born and gifted trader, his wife turned the provision shop into “Electrical and Provision Shop” so as to meet up the demands of her customers who were asking more for “Bulbs and Sockets” than for “Bread and Biscuits”.
Based on his experience as a NEPA staff, Sir Godwin Okafor equipped the shop with assorted electrical accessories and materials. By the grace of God, this was how Sir Godwin and his beloved wife, Victoria, started what is popularly known today as Okafor and Sons Electrical Wares, near Eke Awka.
Because of his outstanding performances, Sir Godwin Okafor attained Professional electrical cum engineering Courses in different parts of the Country, including: Kainji and Jebba Dams, both in Niger State as well as Afam power Station in Rivers State. Having recorded success and satisfied the requirements, he was registered and licensed as an Electrical Contractor and his Childhood Dream fulfilled to the Glory of God.
He was promoted to Regional Site Supervisor to oversee Asaba, Iseluukwu and Onicha-Ugbo, extending to Umunede and Agbor. Having accomplished this assignment satisfactorily, Engineer Godwin Okafor was transferred to Benin with another promotion. However, he opted for voluntary retirement. At retirement, Sir Godwin devoted his time to his family, the family business and the Church.
Sir Godwin Okafor served his home Parish as Vice Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council for 12 Years. Though, not keen at chieftaincy titles, he was honoured and inducted into the Knighthood of Saint Mulumba (KSM). Later, he was honoured with his wife by Awka Diocese as Ideal Couple.
Sir Godwin peacefully passed onto eternal Glory on October 16, 2021. Vigil Mass holds today at his compound, Enugwu village, Umuawulu, while burial mass will take place tomorrow at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Umuawulu, thereafter interment and condolence visits till Sunday, January 16, 2022, when there will be thanksgiving mass at the same St Joseph, Umuawulu.
Adieu Papa and Grandpa, Rest in Peace Ezeobuneme 1 na Umuawulu, fare thee well Director, Okafor and Sons Electricals.
WRITTEN BY COSMAS OKAFOR