It is the burial, or if you like, the party to beat in 2021. In fact, we may be right to say that Obi Cubana’s mother’s burial might be unrivaled in a few years to come.
Many have dubbed it the burial of the year and rightly so.
Before July 2021, little or nothing was known about the 46-year-old nightlife entrepreneur, Obi Iyiegbu, popularly called Obi Cubana.
In fact, before the burial, his protege and former employee, Pascal Chibuike Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, was in the limelight.
But in the aftermath of the burial, Obi Cubana embraced the spotlight while Cubana Chief Priest’s popularity began to wane.
More than five months after Obi Cubana staged a talk-of-the-town burial for his septuagenarian mum, no ceremony staged by a Nigerian in Nigeria has come close since then.
Not even actress Iyabo Ojo, who held a one-day memorial party for her late mum on November 21, comes close.
Obi Cubana’s mother, Uche Iyiegbu, died in November 2020.
She was 75. She was buried on July 16, 2021.
Her son said it took him more than seven months to plan the burial.
According to him, when he decided it was time to bury her, his obvious intention was to organise the mother of all burials, such that even the living would envy the dead and wish to die.
As of press time, Google trends revealed that Nigerians were searching for information about the burial which was held in July.
Searches like ‘Obi Cubana mother’s burial’, ‘Obi Cubana mother’s coffin’
‘Obi Cubana mother’s name’, ‘Obi Cubana’s phone number, among other related searches top Google Nigeria’s search trend.
So, what made this burial so thick that in the 2021 Google Nigeria search, the query, ‘Who is Obi Cubana?’ appeared twice on the list?
And why has this burial, which was held in Oba, a once sleepy town in Anambra State, remained a reference point in Nigerian social circles, five months after?
Oba was the destination for anyone that mattered in the Nigerian social scene or the entertainment industry. Politicians, socialites, police chiefs including the embattled deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari, graced the occasion.
But the hallmark of the burial jamboree were the cow gifts.
Did we mention that there were several pre-burial activities? Oh, yes, there were a flurry of festivities and numerous side attractions before the actual burial, which was nothing short of a fanfare and a carnival.
It was one burial where every guest came bearing gifts of cows.
Cubana’s friends, colleagues, business associates and celebrities alike all outdid themselves to put up a show. Cubana Chief Priest, alone donated 46 cows.
Trends at the burial birthed the slang ‘Doings’ .
Also, oil and gas billionaire mogul Joseph Okafor, popular as Jowi Zaza, was not left out in the “Cow Gift” business as he gave 10 cows. Oba residents and social media (attendees) could not get enough of the trailers of cows trooping into Oba every single day for an entire week.
In a bid to immortalise his mother, Obi Cubana had celebrity custom luxury jeweler, Obisgallery craft a $100,000 Diamond necklace in the image of his mother.
The N40m Diamond Necklace is no small feat, because the jewelry was one of the highlights. He said he had to replicate his late mother’s face with gemstones.
The casket reportedly cost N30m.
Some Nigerians said if the coffin one is buried in is the yardstick to make heaven, then Obi Cubana’s mother would hold an executive position in heaven.
Aside from the expensive and luxurious wines, whisky and other assorted drinks that were littered on the menu to entertain guests at the burial, the burial also witnessed a ‘money rain’.
Obi Cubana, a self-acclaimed show-killer, arrived at the venue in grand style, donning a 24-karat gold sunglasses by the House of Lunette.
One of the persons present at the event, simply identified as DJ BigN, disclosed that the businessman received 400 cows, 72 goats and 20 rams for his mother’s burial.
He had jocularly advised the billionaire to open a ranch with the livestock or give them away after the event.
Different individuals showed off their financial worth by splashing both foreign and local currency notes. It was a “money battle” where two individuals repeatedly threw money at each other.
The event had made waves with popular names already contributing huge amounts of money to ensure it was the talk of the town..
It was believed that lots of Nigerian girls left their businesses just to pick money that was sprayed at Oba.
Obi Cubana’s friends, well-wishers, staff, business partners, colleagues and family members all outdid themselves in one way or the other at the ceremony.
A long list of celebrities and socialites were present at the event to give the late mother-of-five a befitting farewell.
The popular Quillox proprietor and House of Representative member, Shina Peller, was present. Pop stars like Davido, D’banj, Kcee, E-Money, Poco Lee and Ubi Franklin were also in attendance. The guest list also had Nollywood stars and early callers like Kanayo O. Kanayo, Alex Ekubo and Williams Uchemba.
A former Super Eagles striker, Emmanuel Emenike, with co-billionaire friends like Cubana Chief Priest, Ned Nwoko, were also present.
Just about any and every Nigerian entertainer and socialite who ‘matter’ was present at the occasion.
Prior to attending the event proper, the guests put up a show on Instagram. They displayed wads of Naira notes and hard currency they planned to ‘spray’ their host at his mum’s burial.
Those who followed the proceedings on Instagram were amazed at the brazen display of wealth.
The veteran actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo, also advised his followers in an Instagram post that any female friend going on a break for the weekend (the date of the burial)should be held suspiciously.
The event had made waves with popular names already contributing huge amounts of money to ensure it was the talk of the town.
Also, a video circulated on Instagram shows a drink worth N3.5m being passed around guests. The drink was in large supply at the event.
The likes of Ifeanyi Ubah, E-money and others donated over N300m and cows for the burial.
Some guests, like the Winhomes Estate CEO, Stella Okengwu, arrived at the venue with a media team.
Ms Okengwu sure made a statement by hiring a video production crew to document her trip to Oba. Aside from their moveable cameras, they also had several drones.
There was even more display of wealth at the burial thanksgiving , which was held at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Oba.
Who is Obi Cubana?
Obi Cubana hails from Anambra State.
A graduate of political science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He made his mark in the Nigerian hospitality industry when he opened Ibiza Club in Abuja in 2006.
Years later, he established the Cubana Group, a hospitality club that provides all-around entertainment satisfaction.
Cubana Group was first established in Owerri, Imo State capital Nigeria. Today, the 46-year-old business mogul owns some of the most expensive hotels across the country.
The father-of-three is reportedly worth $500m while his investments and conglomerates scattered across the world are estimated at $2b.
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