When the name, the Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka comes to mind, the first thought is usually about a fiery Catholic preacher who dabbles into politics.
What most people fail to realize is that Father Mbaka’s mainstay as a preacher of the word of God is actually charity and philanthropy.
The following interviews were taken from beneficiaries who said Fr Mbaka took up their educational training, usually from primary school all the way till their graduation in the university.
What is quite remarkable here is that once the preacher takes up the responsibility of one person in a family, he also takes up the training of every other member of the family.
Hear their stories.
Irunuka Frances Lolo Chisom
I met father Mbaka when I was 13 years old. My mum used to take us to Adoration Grounds at GTC. Father Mbaka started paying my school fees from JS 1 to university level, and for one day, he never stopped till I graduated.
I am not the only one he is paying school fees for in my family. All my siblings, a boy and four girls- Onyekachi Irunuka, Ozioma Irunuka, Uchechukwu Irunuka, Chukwuemeka Irunuka and I, Lolo Chisom Irunuka are all graduates courtesy of Fr Mbaka.
We don’t know who Mbaka was, we are not related to him any way. I came to Adoration like others came and I had the grace to be located. He located me and began to help me.
At about 15 years, I started looking for a job. Then I met Mbaka’s sister Ebere. I was looking for place to work as a phone call agent, because my family was poor. My dad had said he had no money to train me in school. So someone took me to Adoration and luckily for me, I met Fr Mbaka. Fr asked me why I am not in school. I told him that my people didn’t have the funds to train me. He told me to go and call my parents. I did that and they told him there is no money to train me in school. He then asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted to attend secondary school.
He wrote a cheque and gave my dad to purchase WAEC forms. I then began to work in the vineyard, because it was what I brought home that my family would eat with. I then got admission and I started running around looking for who to help, because I don’t like disturbing people. I didn’t want to disturb him after he gave my dad money for my WAEC.
I went for screening at UNN and emerged 2nd position out of about 500 persons, but there was no money for my training. So they sold my admission. When I got to Fr Mbaka, I told him and he gave me a cheque immediately. I rushed back to the university but they already sold my admission. That was the first time I found out that admission can be sold. They sold my admission then, and I didn’t know what to do. I wrote another JAMB and got admission into IMT, where I got admitted to study Agricultural Engineering. When I was doing the course, I was doing much better than my classmates. I would sometimes answer questions that were difficult for the lecturer. My spirit was not happy with the course. I wanted to study Medicine.
I was doing that course because I didn’t have a choice, but I later finished at ESUT. Fr Mbaka would give us school fees, feeding money, and also give money to my mum and tell her to buy things for the kids.
He also invited my sisters and they came. He started paying their school fees too. He sustained that tempo from secondary school till now and we all have become graduates.
Chiamaka Eze from Ezeagu
As a matter of fact, my sister’s friend Chiamaka whose parents were poor, he also took her up. I brought her to him, and with ease, he took up here school fees at HSC. She had already given up, but when I brought her to Fr Mbaka, he gave her a cheque with ease. At the moment, she is in Lagos.
Mbaka as a second father in my family
In 2014, my dad died on November 3rd. When he was dying, he held me, called my other siblings and said we should never leave Adoration. That we should never leave Mbaka, that Mbaka gave him new life, that he would have died a long time ago. But Mbaka gave him a reason to live that long.
My father developed cancer, but he was taken to so many hospitals and no one knew what was the problem. Mbaka told us to bring him to Adoration. When he was brought, he raised the Blessed Sacrament, then told us to take him back. That what is wrong with him will be revealed. When we went back to the hospital, he was diagnosed of cancer. It was at an advanced stage and he was not going to survive it. He asked us what we needed for the burial, we gave him the estimate of up to 800,000 naira. He have us a cheque of N1million.
He told us to go and have our dad buried and even gave us a free musical band to play for us. That was in December 2014. We were living in a place in Abakpa that’s terrible to behold. Our rent was N12,000 in Abakpa and the landlord would threaten to throw us out if we don’t pay, because it was very difficult to pay. But you need to see the wonderful flat Fr Mbaka is paying N500,000 for us. He furnished it for us, and he still provides for us whatever we need.
I am married to an Nsude man. He has a little problem, and Fr Mbaka took over my children and pays their school fees. He provides food and cash for us. This holy man of God is not related to us in any way, but we have been benefiting from him since.
I had one of the best results in my school during graduation, so imagine what it would have been like if I ended up uneducated.
“Mummy ndị ntọ na achum ọsọ! ” (‘Mum, kidnappers are after me!’) – The story of Ogbu Nnenna Chikodirim
I met Fr Mbaka when I was 10 years old. At Ugwu Jim, 121 Park Avenue was our house then. We lived in the house of Alison Madueke. One morning, I was going out in the morning to throw away refuse. Mbaka was driving up Ugwu Jim, and when he saw me, he stopped and waited for me. When I finished, I turned and saw a car coming towards me. In those days, kidnapping was rampant, so without a second thought, I ran off to our house. He came after me with his car.
In fear, I shouted from the gate “Mummy ndị ntọ na achum ọsọ” (‘mum, kidnappers are after me!’) Mbaka responded immediate,y and said, ‘it’s not kidnappers. It’s Father’. He then asked me why I was not in school at that hour. I replied that my dad had three wives, and we are 15 children. I am the 12th child. My dad said he does not have the money to train us all at the same time, so we must wait for the older ones to finish before we will be trained. That will not happen, Mbaka said, that every child is a gift.
My mum who had come out, told him that I am a twin. My twin brother came out. Right there and then, he gave my mum N150,000. He gave her cash, not cheque. I returned to Army Day Children’s School and completed my primary education. The day I was to write my Common Entrance examination, I implored him to pray for me. He said it’s not just about prayers, but the works of our hands. He prayed for me and my twin brother, and we went for the exams.
I got admission into Urban Girls Secondary School and Queens School. I said to my mum, I have two fathers. One is my biological father, late Mr Peter Ogbu, while the second is Father Mbaka. When I told my father, he said that I should go and ask Reverend Father Mbaka, that he is also my father. I went to him on a day of Cathecism. When I told him, he said I should go to the school I like and I told him it’s Urban Girls. He gave me N50,000 cash, and I went home. From there, he continued to take care of me. He was also training Tochukwu, he was also training my sister, Mrs Titus Oluchukwu who is now married, and Ikechukwu Ogbu. He trained my twin brother, Onyedikachi, and also Ogechukwu, who is in ESUT now.
On 2nd November, 2019, after Adoration Mass, I told him that I am going for a wedding in Ebonyi and he bid me farewell. I told my father I was off to Ebonyi and he told me good bye. On the way, I was called on the phone and told that my father was dead. He had been ill with stroke for seven years.
It was Reverend Father that ensured that we were eating, and was providing for us. When we were forced out of our house at GRA, Reverend Father told us to get a house and he paid for it.
During the Christmas of 2019, Father Mbaka wrote thousands of cheque which he was giving out to the crowd of people who, were there, waiting for him. Then he asked my mother how he can assist us in the burial of my father, we told him we are confused. He wrote two cheques of N500 each and handed to my mother. We started crying there. None of our relatives have been able to do this for us, but Mbaka did it for us.
I had a growth on my hand, and I went for operation. Father Mbaka took care of the bills. The first growth was removed at Parklane Hospital, Enugu. The second growth came out. I went to Father and told him. It was like something was moving around inside my hand. He told me to go for X-ray. They said it’s 50-50, and Parklane said I should go to Orthopedic Hospital.
When I got there, the doctor said my right hand would be cut. I started crying because I didn’t want my hand to be cut. I was also crying because even if I must cut it, where will we see the funds to carry out the surgery?
The growth was really disturbing me. When I called my brothers and told them, they said they have no money to help me. Whenever I go to church and dance, my hand will be hot like it was on a furnace. One day, Father noticed and when he touched the hand, he shouted and asked why I was still carrying the growth. He said that the surgery will be carried out, and my hand won’t be cut. I quickly said I agree with him, that my hand will not be cut.
He gave me N30,000 to book for an operation. Dr Madubuike who, I went to see said that I have a chance that my hand will not die, but that I will have to carry a piece of metal inside for 25 years. I agreed. My surgery was supposed to be on Wednesday that week, but father Mbaka said I should come for Adoration and praise God that I can have victory. So that Wednesday, I danced and danced, I sang and sang. The next day, I went for surgery and it was successful. Before the surgery, he called and prayed for me.
I watched as they inserted an iron into my hand because during the operation, the muscles were greatly damaged. I continued to go for injections to kill the growth for several weeks.
During Covid 19, he called our house and said he was coming. He arrived at our house with 2 bags of rice, cartons of noodles, tomatoes, and so many things. He pays the rent for my family and pays the rent for me. He paid for my training where I learnt my trade. He said that he will only stop assisting me when I get married. My mother had five children. Father Mbaka trained all the five of us, and took care of my mother.
She had stroke, and she was brought in to Adoration in a wheel chair. He took care of her medical bills, and today, my mother is walking. During my dad’s burial, he sent Adoration band to sing for free. They played from the night vigil till the Sunday service.