By O’star Eze
A child prodigy has been reported at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Awada in Anambra State. He was discovered by Mr Godwin Chukwunaenye Ezeemo during his routine worship service with the church last sunday.
Orient Daily reporter was on ground to capture the moment. The boy, Philip Uchechukwu Ozoukeje, 6 years old, was seen playing the wooden gong (ekwe) like a professional with the church choir as they led the various high points of the mass.
Ezeemo, while addressing the church, said that watching the boy perform with the band gave him nostalgic feelings and charged churches, regardless of denomination, to return to teaching values and enforcing positive actions from a child’s early age just as it is being done for Philip.
Mr Ezeemo, the Progressive People’s Alliance, PPA, gubernatorial candidate in Anambra State said;
“I always tell people that it was the values I learnt from my mum (never met my dad who died when I was a baby) and the church, as I grew up, that made me who I am today.
“The church and parents should take seriously the bible passage which says that when you ‘train up a child the way he should go…when he grows, he will never depart from it.’
While appreciating the parents of the boy for the part they played in the phenomenon, Ezeemo said;
“We need to start making young people to do. They learn better by doing. As governor, I will make holiday jobs compulsory for students and teachers will be made to work and made comfortable working.”
He said that the government he is offering Anambra is such that would reintroduce the teaching of morals and values and music and patriotism, both by example and theoretically.
To give Philip’s behaviour positive enforcement, Ezeemo gave him a bulky envelope containing undisclosed amount of money and took pictures with him. He promised to keep in touch with the boy’s parents to discuss other ways of ensuring his talents are fully employed towards his development and that of his society.
Philip’s mother told the press that nobody taught the son but that he had been playing the wooden gong since he was two years old.
Narrating the genesis of his being part of the choir, she said; “He just started playing it on one of the days the teens in our church said they were not in the mood to play the instruments. We playfully said to Philip that day, “Nnaa, come and play for us, he walked to the wooden gong and started playing and he was getting it right to the amazement of everybody. Others joined in and the band went fiery again. And so has it continued.”
Philip’s siblings (between the ages of 1 and 4) were also seen among the choir paying the various instruments alongside, but not with such mastery as Philip displayed.
Orient daily reports that the boy’s parents, natives of Eziagu-Mgbobowa in Enugu State who live in Awada, met in the choir and Mrs Ozoukeje was attending choir while she was pregnant for the boy.