Among the many prestigious Nigerian families, the Anyiam-Osigwe family carry the torch for being one of the most private and mysterious. This article talks about some of the Anyiam-Osigwe family members and their stellar achievements.
Who Are The Anyiam-Osigwes?
The Anyiam-Osigwe are a popular Nigerian family from Nkwerre, in Imo state. They are major players in the corridors of Nigeria’s business halls, and are known for their ability to start innovative ventures which achieve global social impact.
Notable Members of The Anyiam-Osigwe Family
Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe
Late Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe (1921 -1998), was the patriarch of the clan. He was a man of repute in both the business and academic fields. He is fondly remembered for postulating a holistic approach to human existence and development. His life and works became the driving principle of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation (November 1999) and the lecture series, which focuses on examining several issues that disrupt the world order. Prominent personalities are usually invited to share their perspectives, knowledge and experiences based on the theme of the lecture series.
Temidayo David Oladipo in his paper, ‘Group Mind in Anyiam-Osigwe’s Development Philosophy,’ described Osigwe as a sage philosopher, who was quite broad in his philosophical reflections, covering metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical dimensions, as well as certain socio-political issues. Temidayo’s paper focused on the ideas of Osigwe and their relevance to the Group Mind as an ideal solution to Nigeria’s inherent problem, “This is the idea of the group mind, a concept which is an embodiment of his reflections on how a group of people can develop institutions that can foster cooperative living….To achieve this, the individual, is to, through introspection, self-searching, self-analysis, self-awareness, and self-knowledge, gain access to their innate endowments and bring these to bear on group cohesion.”
Temidayo and many others believe that Anyiam-Osigwe’s interpretation of the group mind, addresses the problems afflicting Nigeria if applied correctly.
In a publication released on the 23rd anniversary of his death, Anyiam-Osigwe’s family reminisced about his passion for nation-building, and urged all Nigerian citizens to remember and adhere to his teachings: “As we mark the twenty-third anniversary of Anyiam-Osigwe’s transition to higher glory at a time when the country of his birth is being challenged, let us reorient ourselves towards his commitment to nationhood; his resolute belief that a positive and contemporary identity for Nigerians would negate any feeling of significant similarities amongst her ethnically diverse people. For him, only then can we not simply exist as a Nigerian population, but as Nigerians with a Group Mind in which we intuit with the same mission, vision, and objective for the nation. It is not too late to set the process on motion. And a lasting legacy can be the profit of whoever recognises the need for this and works towards its attainment.”
Dorothy Chinyere Anyiam-Osigwe (OON)
The matriarch of the Anyiam-Osigwe family is the dignified Chief (Mrs.) Dorothy Chinyere Anyiam-Osigwe (OON). The nonagenarian is widely regarded as a spectacular woman, a loving mother of eight children (two of them are late), and an excellent businesswoman. Her leadership has helped to keep the Anyiam-Osigwe family in the race and earned her the respect of her family, peers, and world leaders.
She holds the national honor of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) from the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo for her philanthropic activities in Nigeria. She’s also recognised as the Yeye Aladewura of Lagos.
As the President of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation, she has made notable contributions to the nation and has continuously strived to live up to her position as a leader and educator. She has kept the Anyiam-Osigwe clan together and guided the affairs of her late husband and children religiously.
Tragedy struck on the 29th of November, 2014, when armed robbers shot and killed Michael Anyiam-Osigwe, on his way to his hometown in Nkwerre, Imo state.
He worked as the Coordinator General of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation and other affiliated organizations such as the Shimon Peres Centre, Tel Aviv, African Institute for Leadership, Research and Development, South Africa, University of Ibadan, and the Nigeria Philosophical Association. He is remembered as an introspective and intellectual man who was friends with both the common man and world leaders, earning their respect and loyalty.
One year after his passing, Tope Ajayi’s recount of his friendship with Michael Anyiam-Osigwe, was published in The Cable. According to him, he only realized how powerful and connected the Anyiam-Osigwe family was when he paid Michael a visit at their home.
When he asked Micheal Anyiam Osigwe (late), why the family was not popular, he smiled and replied, ‘’I know what you mean by saying nobody knows us. I will just say our friends in Nigeria know us and our capacity, but I guess what you mean is being in the news and rolling with high society people. We don’t do that. We are a very private family. We don’t go out seeking media attention and publicity. I will say it is Peace, my sister through her AMAA that brought us out in a way to the media.’’
Peace Maria Ogechi Anyiam-Osigwe
On the 10th of January, 2023, the Anyiam-Osigwe family announced the heartbreaking loss of their beloved daughter and sister, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, may her soul find eternal rest.
The only daughter, Peace Maria Ogechi Anyiam-Osigwe would be remembered as an icon and role model, who used her knowledge and influence to promote the Nigerian Film industry. In an interview, she described her mother as a perfect lady.
“When I lost my father, she was like ‘now, you are my friend.’ She actually made me study law, just to please her. I was actually doing film and she came to London and asked me to study Law.”
She attended Oxford Brookes University in England where she had a degree in Law and Political Science.
She would go on to pursue her passion for filmmaking and would become known as “The Queen of Nollywood,” as she built her legacy in the film industry.
She founded the Africa Film Academy (2005), which later became the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). She was also a poet and a published author.
At the 10th edition of the AMAA, she stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer, and in 2015, she began the AfricaOne initiative to celebrate Africans in the entertainment industry.
In 2012, Peace Anyiam was bestowed with the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, for her contribution to the entertainment industry.
Chief (Nze) Charles O. Anyiam-Osigwe is a graduate of Industrial Chemistry from the City University of London. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Film/Television production, and has various experiences in mining, banking and finance.
Charles Anyiam-Osigwe is also a writer and publisher. He’s the publisher of Pride Magazine Nigeria (print and online) and the co-convener of the Pride Women Conference, a body that focuses on the emotional well-being of women; publisher/editor-in-chief of Divine Mercy Reporter Magazine and of the Kumbe Funtime Book Series; author of the highly acclaimed HIV/AIDS education quiz book; producer of Funtime Children Series and the comedy series Mama Onome’s Buka.
He has also made immense contributions to the development of Nigeria and Africa as a member of various trade and professional associations.
The Anyiam-Osigwes are a family of doers, preferring to work in silence, as they continue to make significant impact in championing sustainable development, education and nation-building.