Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III
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|Kenneth Orizu III|
|Obi of Otolo|
|Reign||6 February 1963 – present|
|Coronation||2 June 1963|
|Predecessor||Igwe Josiah Orizu II|
|Heir apparent||Crown Prince Obianefo Orizu|
|Born||29 October 1925|
|House||House of Nnofo|
|Father||Igwe Josiah Orizu II|
|Religion||Christianity & Animism|
Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III (born 1925) is the 20th Obi of Otolo and Igwe of Nnewi kingdom. He is the traditional supreme ruler and spiritual leader in Nnewi, an Igbo city in Nigeria. He is a member of the Nnofo Royal lineage and the successor to his father Igwe Josiah Orizu II, his grandfather Igwe Orizu I, and great-grandfather Igwe Iwuchukwu Ezeifekaibeya. Unlike most Igbo monarchies, there were kings of Nnewi before the arrival of Europeans. In Anambra State, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III is the vice chairman of the Anambra State House of Chiefs and as of 2015[update] the longest-serving monarch in Nigeria.
Education and career
Igwe Kenneth was educated at Hope Waddell College, Calabar and completed his education at New Bethel College, Onitsha in 1942. Before his enthronement, Kenneth worked as a Representative of the then Eastern Nigerian Outlook Group of newspapers, in the defunct Eastern Region of Nigeria and later moved to Asaba as the Commercial Manager for Mid-Western Region.. He was also a businessman in Kano.
Igwe Orizu II was instrumental in the clearing of the Agbo Edo forest. His Uncle, Prince Nwafor Orizu was Nigeria's first republic senate President and his grandfather, Igwe Orizu I (Eze Ugbonyamba) was the first Igbo man to own and drive a car in the entire Eastern Region. The Ofala Nnewi is a cultural festival held every year to celebrate the coronation of the Igwe of Nnewi.
The King is the first of Nigerian Monarchs to abolish the Osu caste system, thus making everyone in the province of Nnewi free born. Kenneth also discouraged wastage of resources at traditional marriage and funeral ceremonies.
The King dealt with a political crisis in Nnewi by allowing the town in a general assembly to choose a title for him to restore peace in the town. Thereafter, the community named him the GENERAL OF PEACE. His other title is, Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). The King is a one Star Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
The King was instrumental in the establishment of a Teachers Training College in Nnewi; now Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi. He also advocated the siting of the College of Health Sciences of the University by encouraging Nnewi people to make significant financial contributions. He personally donated most of the land for the establishment of the school.
The King facilitated the establishment of New Nnewi market and this market gave Nnewi prominence as one of the largest commercial cities in Nigeria.
- Dr. John Okonkwo Alutu, Nnewi History (from the Earliest times to 1980/82),Fourth Dimension publishers
- Onwutalobi, Anthony-Claret. "Nnewi Monarch – The Official Nnewi City Portal". www.nnewi.info. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- Admin, Nnewi. "List of Nnewi Monarch – The Official Nnewi City Portal". www.nnewi.info. Retrieved 15 September 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Onwutalobi, Anthony-Claret. "Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III – The Official Nnewi City Portal". www.nnewi.info. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "Nnewi agog as Igwe Orizu celebrates 50 years on throne". sunnewsonline.com. Retrieved 16 September 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Nnewi, Kingdom of. "Kingdom of Nnewi in Nigeria Celebrates Golden Jubilee". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Nigeria, Daily Times. "The Skill and Ability of Nnewi People Are in Our Blood – Igwe Orizu – Daily Times Nigeria Newspaper". Retrieved 16 September 2015.