Biography of Deaconess C. C. Okpabi
1950 -2021, 71 years of glorious service
Deaconess Cylinah Chua Okpabi (Nee Olaka) known as Chua-Kwe was born into the Adventist family of Elder Walter Dee Olaka and Deaconess Rhoda Osila-Gomba Dee Olaka (Nee Gomba Chu), both of blessed memory, in Ogale, Nchia in Eleme LGA, Rivers State, Nigeria on 22nd November 1950.
Childhood and Education
Chua-Kwe was born into a warm and loving Adventist Home as the third daughter to her parents. Our mother along with her siblings enjoyed the benefit of early formal education. This rare privilege was only enjoyed by children whose parents value and celebrate education.
She attended the Seventh-day Adventist School, Nchia – Eleme, and obtained First School Leaving Certificate in 1964. Immediately after the civil war, she proceeded to Teachers Training College, Okordia Zarama, Joinkrama, where she obtained the Teachers Grade II Certificate in 1977.
She obtained Nigeria Certificate of Education (NCE – Primary) at Ondo State College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, in 1993. She later obtained B.Sc. in Adult and Community Education from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt in 2005.
She was a registered Teacher as certified by the Teachers Regulation Council of Nigeria on 18th November 2009.
Working and Teaching Experience
Deaconess Cylinah Chua Okpabi was employed by the Rivers State Primary Education Board as a teacher and posted to State School, Ebubu on 1st July 1977. Having satisfied stimulated conditions, her appointment was later confirmed on 1st July 1979. Subsequently, she served as a teacher and Headmistress of the following schools in Eleme Local Government Area between 1985 and 2002.
- State School, Ogale
- State School, Alode
- State School, Aleto
- State School II, Ogale.
She was later posted from State School II, Ogale to the School Services Monitoring and Evaluation Department of the Rivers State Primary Education Board, Port Harcourt on 5th February 2002. She rose to the peak of her career as a Director of Supervision (on Grade Level 16).
Training Attended at the Rivers State Primary Education Board
- Communication and Reading Skills – September 2005
- Effective Written Communication – 22nd – 23rd March 2005
After retirement, she engaged herself in farming
Deaconess Cylinah Chua Okpabi was an outspoken and social person. She was highly magnetic hence she easily pulled people of different ages and gender to herself. She stood by people and cared about their welfare. She was supportive to less privileged, widows, aged and needy. She was a pillar of education and served as a mentor to several people including the young and women. She co-sponsored members in her church and community in their educational pursuits. Deaconess Cylinah Chua Okpabi was a member of Royal Sisters, Fine-Fine and Friends which was restricted to selected ladies born and nurtured by Adventist Parents and Guardians.
Cylinah Chua got married to late Elder Hezekiah Nna Okpabi on 3rd July 1966. The marriage was blessed with seven children (four girls and three boys). She was a disciplinarian who ensured that all her children went to school, came out as graduates, and were all nurtured according to Christian beliefs.
Deaconess Cylinah Chua Okpabi was born into an Adventist home and was baptized on 4th December 1966. She held the various offices at the Seventh-day Adventist Church during her lifetime.
At the Local Church
- Sabbath School Teacher
- Prayer Band Member
- Youth Sponsor
- Chairperson, Adventist Nursery and Primary School Committee
- Choir Sponsor
- Leader, Stewardship and Trust Services
At the District Church
- Member, Seventh-day Adventist Church Ogale Dedication Committee – 2017
- Leader, Seventh-day Adventist Church Ogale Stewardship and Trust Services – 2016 and 2017
- Member, Eleme District Budge, Planning and Strategic Committee – 2007
Deaconess Cylinah Chua Okpabi was an active member of the women wing of the church which was referred to as Dorcas Welfare Society and currently known as the Adventist Women Ministries and served as:
- Eleme District Secretary, 1985
- Rivers Mission Assistant Secretary, 1988
- Rivers Mission Secretary, 1990 – 1991
- Rivers Conference Director, 1993 – 1996
- Eleme Zone Chaplain, 2015 -2019
As the Director of the Adventist Women Ministries, she positively impacted the lives of women and families. The retreat she organized between 17th and 21st August 1994 was hinged on the roles of women as makers of home and winners of souls.
Through her goodly example and visionary leadership, women participated actively in the Church, the Action Unit Evangelism in which 28 souls were reclaimed while 194 persons publicly accepted Jesus Christ in Baptism, January through June 1995.
She led women to visit hospitals, prisons, orphanage homes, handicapped women, widow and widowers home and provided relief materials to their bodies and the Living Word to their souls. She was a counselor and mentor to old and young women and self-reliant training skills were carried out.
She participated actively during the evangelism and inauguration of Seventh-day Adventist Churches at Igbogene and Wiyakara.
She was a member of the Rivers Mission Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for three tenures, 1987 – 1992.
- First Director, Adventist Women Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Rivers Conference.
- First female indigene from Ogale community to rise to the rank of Director (Grade Level 16) in the civil service.
- She facilitated the movement of the Seventh-day Adventist School from the church premises to her permanent site, Eken Ete-Nju, Ogale during her leadership as the Chairperson, Adventist Nursery and Primary School Committee.
- Sponsor, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ambassadors Club, Ogale – 29th October 2010
- An award of honour for dedicated leadership and unflinching support towards the Women Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Kaiama, 2008
- An award of honour during the 25th anniversary of the Women Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1995 – 2020.
- An award of honour during the Eleme Zone’s Women Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Onne, November 2018.
“The sudden demise of our beloved mother Deaconess Cylinah Chua Okpabi, occurred in the late hours of Friday, 25th July 2021 after a brief illness.
“We take solace in the Lord who understands everything
“Sleep on beloved mother till we meet when Jesus comes again,” Mr. John Nna-Okpabi