Kenechukwu Agbanu and his bride, Ngozi Okwuonu
It was pomp and ceremony last weekend as multi-talented blind footballer, Kenechukwu Agbanu, found his missing rib, former Miss Ngozi Okwuonu, a nurse by profession; as the couple was joined in holy matrimony in a wedding ceremony in Enugu. Kenechukwu, a member of Lions Blind Football Club of Enugu, is also a musician, teacher of bead making, sprinter and dancer. The blind footballer, discovered and groomed by an Enugu based non-governmental organization (NGO), Bina Foundation for people with special needs, has remained a veritable example and model to other physically challenged persons, by demonstrating so many abilities in disability.
Little wonder he was attracted to a nurse, Ngozi, who saw beyond the physical challenge and embraced a marriage that many other young and able-bodied girls in her shoes would be reluctant to embrace.
But the clergyman, Rev Canon David Chukwubuihem, who officiated during the solemnization ceremony, captured the whole essence of the marriage when he advised intending couples to look beyond physical appearance while choosing their spouses.
The nuptial knot was tied at the Church of Transfiguration (Anglican Communion), Independence layout, Enugu, last weekend.
The officiating priest extolled the love and passion the couple have for each other, describing it as “true love”. He commended the bride for seeing beyond the physical realm to have noted that there was ability in disability.
Rev Chukwubuihem gave kudos to Bina Foundation for sponsoring the couple’s wedding.
The multi-talented Kenechukwu said the character, humility and simplicity of his bride was the reason he develop passion for her. He recalled that on one particular day during a prayer session that he was moved by anointing and developed true love for her.
“I thereafter approached her and proposed to her of which she accepted,” he recalled.
On her part, the bride said that the secret behind their marriage was that she listened to the voice of God in addition to the love they have for each other.
According to the bride: “the secret behind our marriage is that I listened to the voice of God in addition to the love we have for each other. My prayer is for God Almighty to take care of our marriage.”
Both the bride and groom are members of staff of Bina Foundation. The Foundation has been the official sponsor of the recent male and female blind football tournament in Enugu.
The NGO is also offering free training to Nigerian blind footballers in the upcoming 2020 international soccer competition for the blind which Nigeria is now set to feature both male and female football teams.
The NGO which has the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development to train the blind footballers has groomed the ‘Star Eagles’ blind football club for men and the ‘Star Falcons’ blind football for women.
Only recently, a four-day training camp/games session which involved some other blind teams from Cameroon, Ghana and Cote Ivoire was concluded at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu and supervised by France-based blind football coach, Toussaint Akpweh, the IBSA Africa Representative and Special adviser (Development) for blind football.
The President/Founder of Bina Foundation, Pharmacist Lady Ifeoma Atuegwu, who sponsored the couple’s wedding disclosed that it has become an established culture in Bina Foundation to assist their dedicated workers in achieving their social and societal obligations.
“My Foundation, Bina Foundation for people with special needs, was formed to be able to take care of people with disabilities, any form of disability: blind, visually impaired, deaf and mute, physically challenged, any form of disability. We try to rehabilitate them and empower them and help them to become self reliant.
“Then those wedding, social integration is also what we preach, endorse and what we campaign for. The couple wedding here today, the lady is our staff, she is a nurse in the medical team and her husband Kenechukwu Agbanu, has been part of the Foundation for up to five years. He trained in the Foundation, now he teaches beads, making in the Foundation; he is a blind footballer, a blind sprinter, a musician and a fantastic dancer, he is an all rounder and always cheerful.
“He has grown beyond his disability and is able to cope with life. This is something we have to do to encourage them; we have had a lot of marriages among both people who are physically challenged and then the blind and visually impaired. Each year we have 10 or more couples getting married and we give them support because some of these people with challenges do not have money, part of the problem is poverty. So we try to encourage them, support them, give them the necessary support so that they will be able to marry, have children, just anything we can do for them to be able to function in life,” she said.
Pharmacist Atuegwu, whose husband, Pharm. Sir Chris Atuegwu is the CEO of Michelle Laboratories Pharmaceutical Limited, a drug manufacturing company in Enugu, stated that Bina Foundation is a non-profit organization and that everything the Foundation spend is for free.
“We don’t ask for money for anything and by the grace of God, God has been our provider; we don’t have grants from anybody but the family’s funds sustain the Foundation but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want people to help, anybody that the Lord touches to help is welcome,” Sir Atuegbu said.