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BN Contributor Nkem DenChukwu Writes a Touching Tribute to her Dear Aunty Ugo Who Passed Away



The first time I saw her, it was like deja Vu; she reminded me of Franca; gorgeous, elegant, graceful, and with that refreshing, intoxicating smile. I admired her from a long distance. Mrs. Ugo Nweke, that is.

One evening about six years ago, I attended a high school graduation house party. When I walked in, I saw beautiful family portraits hanging on the walls of this house. It was obviously her home, and son’s graduation party. I asked to meet the lady of the house. She stood tall, ever-gorgeous, elegantly dressed, right there in the middle of her family room…and with that, ever-refreshing smile on her face! I walked up to her, and introduced myself. “Hello Darling!” She said. We talked for a bit. From that moment, it was like she knew me the day my mother bore me, and loved me like I was truly; her baby sister. She introduced me to everyone as so, and became my Aunty Ugo. She became my family, and I became hers.

Twenty-three years ago, when Franca, my oldest sister, died, something in me died too. When I met my Aunty Ugo six years ago, there was a rebirth… I was thankful.

My Aunty Ugo fell sick, I questioned God for the second time. I did what I have always done, rather than holding on to fear; I prayed, I fasted, and I hoped. I believed the grace of God will see her through, and that we will come together; to sing praises to God’s name, and testify her healing. She had no fear, and held on to God till the very end.

On July 16, 2017, at exactly 9:05PM, my Aunty Ugo took her last breath. At 9:27PM, the news came to me, and my world stood still. My breaking heart left my body, and I could not catch my breath. I wept for hours, but no one heard me. I called out for my Aunty Ugo, but she did not answer me! I cried out to God until I had no more strength in me to cry. He remained silent, and watched. I wallowed in pity…in my own tears. And then, I suddenly became numb.

Morning came; it became a reality that she truly was no more!

Looking at her photos gave me mixed feelings; Her smile made me smile, but tears were not far from my eyes. And then, it hit me; I will not see my Aunty Ugo for awhile.

It is important to always give thanks in all things. I am certain of these, therefore, thankful:

~ My Aunty Ugo Nweke was loved and surrounded by her family & true friends.
~ Her faith in God was unquestionably, her most prized possession that she left with.
~ She’s my Guardian Angel too.
~ She was full of life and laughter.
~ She was an epitome of beauty, inside out. ~ Her smile made the sun jealous.
~ Her sense of humor was refreshing.
~ Her elegance and kindness echoed.
~ She was imperfect; just like you, just like me. However, she was a rare gift widely treasured.
~ She ran her race with integrity, grace, kindness, humility, and love.
~ And finally, God was gracious to have been with her till the end.

We shared many memories. I am thankful for the grace to have loved her, and been loved by her. I will miss her terribly.

Life is indeed a journey, therefore, we experience pain and joy. It’s meant to be that way. However, in this journey, no matter our experiences, possessions, accomplishments, and expectations, the one thing we will take with us when death comes knocking, is our relationship with our Marker; our Father in Heaven.

Like an eagle (Ugo), she fought a good fight, and did not surrender to death, but to life after death. Let’s cry no more. My Aunty Ugo is not dead, she simply returned to the One who gave her life.

I will not say, “Adieu my Aunty Ugo, “Ngalakwesili. I’ll say, see you.”


~ Nkem DenChukwu
Sugar Land, Texas

Nkem DenChukwu is a bonafide creative writer and filmmaker. In 2019, she became Houston Literary Awards - Reader’s Choice Winner. She delved into the arts of filmmaking and creative writing in 2012, and has since then, written 7 inspirational books for children, teens, and young adults. Nkem has produced 14 indie films in Texas. In 2018, she was featured in Forbes (Digital Edition) while five of her creative verses have been featured in Oprah Winfrey Magazine. Nkem was a Huffington Post Contributor. For more details on Nkem DenChukwu’s work, visit  


  1. Uzoamaka

    July 21, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Ugo Sabi Nweke is truely an epitom of beauty inside out. She will always leave a positive lasting impression when you come in contact with her. Ugo we love you; but our most High God Loves you more. You have accomplished and it is time to come back home. We miss you. We will meet again and never to part NO MORE. Adieu. Rest In Perfect Peace. Ngalakwesilu gi Nwanyi Oma. Mbu sooo mma. ???❤❤.

  2. Deleke

    July 21, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Death does really sting. To think the person you saw, felt and spoke to now only exists in your memories is hard to phantom. I thought I was strong when I lost my cousin but on that faithful night on my way back from work I just suddenly parked on the sidewalk and let it all out. Aaliyah’s “one in a million” was playing and the lyrics reminded me of him. That was the first and only time I cried my eyes out and mourned him. Take heart dear

  3. I knew her too

    July 21, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    She was a beautiful soul inside and out.
    She’ll be missed.

  4. Nnamdi Nwokike

    July 21, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Truly lovely and lively in life and will ever be so as she meets her maker. She fought a good fight. A crown of glory reserved is all hers to relish.
    Adieu NwaUgo Sabi Nweke.

  5. Chineze Ekwulugo Ajoku

    July 21, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I’ve known Nwugo practically all my life. Her mum and mine were close. They lived next door at Onitsha in Nigeria. I’ve always admired her cos she was soooo beautiful, tall, elegant and always smiling. Have not seen her for years, but was in contact with her younger sister, Nneka. I heard about her illness not too long ago, then she’s gone!!! Very painful. But we are assured she is with the Lord, where there is no pain. Adieu Nwugo.

  6. TeddyAnagbogu

    July 21, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Nkem, what an excellent tribute to Ugo. As a family member, I concur that she was loved all around, and reached out warmly to all. I never came across any one that had any meaningful negative feelings about her. She will be surely missed, not just by Sabi, but the entire Nweke extended clan. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Queenkay

    July 22, 2017 at 12:14 am

    What a beautiful tribute. Take heart sis. May God comfort you all who loved her dearly. Until you see her again. Adieu Aunty Ugo.

  8. Winifred Obanye

    July 22, 2017 at 11:34 am

    No. No.No. Nwugo CAN NOT be dead. When l received this link a few minutes ago from my cousin Nnamdi l almost didn’t open it until later, but he never sends frivolous posts so l looked at the heading and decided to read this touching tribute. I wasn’t prepared for this. Did l even hear Nwugo was ill? No. Her Cancer started 6 years ago? I called her from Paris in July 2014 to get her senior sister Ego’s number. She was her bubbly self.. Ego never picks her calls and had told me she will be the one to be calling me because we always need a day on the phone to catch up and we have not spoken since then so l was not prepared for this. The last time l saw her was when their mum died and we all spent about 3 weeks together from Lagos to the village. We had so much fun and it’s still one of the best times in my life. Anytime l cook seafood okro soup l remember Nwugo, because as soon as I placed it on the dinning table she screamed “Aunty Winnie you are bad and this seafood Gumbo is bad.” Why did l wait until their last night in Lagos to cook this wicked dish because she would have frozen some to take back to the USA. Worst still the driver was waiting to take us to the airport. We told her she should keep it like a goat in her second stomach and bring it out each time she wanted to eat it!! How can she die just like that?
    I told my daughter and she too is in shock. She never remembers people but she was 14 when she met her on that trip for the first and last time but Aunty Nwugo is still indelible in her mind. That was Nwugo. She was infectious, she was beautiful and elegant as she was intelligent. I am still in a daze, my hands are trembling as l write. I need time to process this. We have lost another beautiful soul to cancer. She was my cousin and was married to my cousin. I take solace from this post that her spiritual life was on point. Each time we lose a loved one it is another soul searching opportunity to examine ourselves. When the trumpet blows where will I be and where will you be?

  9. janice jaiyeola (nee nwokike okwuanasoanya)

    July 22, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Ugo. Sabi rest in peace, it hurts that I never got to meet you but I have heard so many excellent things about you from people and I believe everyone of them. You will be missed but God knows best. We all love you..

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