Celebrating Africa’s Longest Serving Monarch – Igwe Kenneth Orizu III
Celebrating Africa’s Longest Serving Monarch – Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III
Born on 29th October 1925, Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III is the 20th Obi of Otolo and Igwe of Nnewi. He is the traditional supreme ruler and spiritual leader in Nnewi. He is a member of the Nnofo Royal lineage and the successor to his father Igwe Josiah Orizu II.
He was enthroned as the Obi of Otolo and Igwe of Nnewi on 6th February 1963 and was coronated on 2nd June 1963.
Igwe Kenneth Orizu 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.
Currently, In Anambra State, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III is the grand patron of Anambra State Traditional rulers and he is the longest-serving monarch in Nigeria and Africa (56 years on the throne)
The story of the development of Nnewi will not be written without acknowledging the contributions of his His Royal Highness Igwe Dr. Kenneth Onyemaeke Nnaji Orizu III. CON. JP.
The Nkwo Nnewi market which have given Nnewi prominence as one of the largest commercial cities in Nigeria became a reality because of Igwe Kenneth Orizu.
Igwe Kenneth Orizu was the first of Nigerian Monarch to abolish the Osu caste system, thus making everyone in Nnewi free born. He also discouraged wastage of resources at traditional marriage and funeral ceremonies with bylaws.
Igwe Ozuru III was also very instrumental in the development of medical and health delivery services. Nnewi have one of the best University Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria.
He has kept all the communities in Nnewi united and peaceful. Indeed, he has done alot.
May the Almighty God Continue to bless him with good health as he continues to make history.