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Princess Wilma Ebahi Aguele: A beautiful soul conquers death

By Nzeh Frankwhite

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‘Those that we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch’ Jack Thorne, the renowned British screenwriter captured it succinctly with the above quote, portraying exactly the case of Princess Wilma Ebahi, a beautiful soul that could not be tamed by death, whose recent transition to a ‘better place’ has provided her relatives, friends, colleagues, and well-wisher another opportunity to appreciate the true essence of life and love, she was, to say the least, a lovely soul, an epitome of generosity and kindness. Her footprint of excellence was felt in various sectors of the Nigerian space and beyond, with abundant testimonies to the huge asset she had been to the system. Hence the decision of her friends and family was never to mourn her but to celebrate her because she came, she saw and she conquered, even in death.

Princess Wilma Ebahi Nkemdilim Aguele was born on 24th July 1963 in Uromi, Edo State, to the family of Prince Solomon and Chief (Mrs) Stella Aguele. She was educated at Okaigben Primary School, Ewohimi before gaining admission into the prestigious Baptist Girls High School, Agbor, Delta State in 1976. Upon her writing her West African Examination Council (W.A.E.C) exams and leaving school in 1980, Wilma got admission into Sacramento City College, Sacramento, California, USA where she bagged an Associate in Arts (AA) Certificate in 1982 before proceeding to the very prestigious University of Southern California, USC, Los Angeles, California from where she bagged B.Sc. in International Relations (Economic and Diplomatic Issues on the Middle East and Africa) in 1984. She was undergoing a post-graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning (Planning for Public and Private Enterprises) at the same University before her return to Nigeria in 1987.

She began her working career when she was employed in the United States by the State of Michigan, and later got deployed to Nigeria as their International Trade Specialist between 1987 to 1989. She helped establish the State of Michigan African Office in Nigeria and Ghana. She also worked briefly with other private firms before she initiated and registered her flagship Company Wilbahi Investments Ltd in 1990.

Wilma was a compassionate entrepreneur who went on to start other Wilbahi Companies as special purpose vehicle business concerns to achieve her business goals. These Companies, too many to mention include; Wilbahi Engineering Ltd, Wilbahi Systems Ltd, Wilbahi Farms Ltd, Wilbahi Oil & Gas Ltd, Merit Shipping Ltd, Merit Export Ltd, Amber Gas Ltd, Midland Petroleum Company Ltd, Sedwil International Ltd, etc. She was a director and shareholder in several other Companies. Wilma was a consummate entrepreneur and became a mother with the birth of her first daughter Princess (Mrs.) Yasmin Amunara Dakota Shaneyfelt nee Daukoru in 1997 and her second daughter Princess Samira Inala Daphine Daukoru in 1998. She was the best mother for her daughters.
Wilma loved her Country Nigeria and worked very hard to promote anything Nigeria. She served as a member of the vision 20:20 committee and supported the Agricultural Policy of the Federal Government as an Agro-Allied Investor and farmer.

She is a community leader with great love for her native community and people. She brought Federal Government Road Project to her people and also built an Oil Palm Industry in her community to promote commerce and interest in Agriculture. She was a mentor to many young people and a Philanthropist. Wilma is a member of the following Association; Nigerian-British Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-Danish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), MAN Edo & Delta State, African Cashew Alliance, African Women Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP), Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG). Nigerian-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigerian – Canadian Business Association, Women Chamber of Commerce Mines and Industries. She is well-travelled and attended several International Conferences.

Wilma breathed her last at a German Hospital on 14th January 2022 where she had gone to seek medical help to fight her lung cancer battle that began in 2018. She is survived by her aged parents, elder sister, many younger siblings, two beautiful daughters, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many other relatives.

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