LATE CAPT. WINFRED ONDO ITIMA: A Brief on the Life of a Rare Gem

updated 07 Apr, 2024

Did you know that the late Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima, founder of the Wintima Foundation, traveled over 35 countries across the continents of Africa, America, Asia, and Europe, and that he lived in the United States of America for more than 30 years?

Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima was born January 15, 1955, to the families of Late Pa. Itima Okoroware from Ogeh Quarters in Kunukunuama Town and Fafa Quarters in Pepe-ama Town from his paternal and Late Madam Muhama Itima (Nee Aruwei) from Iva Quarters in Kunukunuama Town, all in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.

Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima got his western education at an early age. He attended the local administrative (LA) School, Ubefan, from 1966 to 1971 and bagged his first school leaving certificate in 1972.

In 1972, Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima went to meet his stepfather, Mr. Demebi, at Ogidigben for a marine pilot stage as an apprentice for a couple of months; thereafter, the wheels of nature took him from Ogidigben to the city of Warri in Delta State where he gained admission into the institute of shorthand and typewriting studies from 1973 to 1976.

In 1976, he gained employment into the Nigerian Agriculture industry, working with his then boss, Chief Wellington Okrika, as a senior secretary in their department. After two (2) years of service in the Agric sector, he resigned and later got another job with a company as a cadet for a couple of years, after which he proceeded to Oron nautical College Oron, for nautical science in 1980. In the vain, he also obtained a marine certificate of competency and quartermaster in 1983.

In 1984, because of his quest to be the best at whatever he is involved in, he went ahead to sit for an external examination for his mate offshore certificate of competency, then from 1984 to 1987 he worked at different marine companies as an offshore captain amongst these companies are Eagle Cement Company Port Harcourt, Ship and Shore in Lagos Nigeria, to mention a few, and was commended by his colleagues for his dedication towards his work and professionalism.

On October 2nd 1981, Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima duly got married to his first wife, Mrs. Coast Itima, who hails from Gbajoh Quarters in Benikrukru town, Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South-West LGA of Delta State, according to our custom and tradition before bringing her under his roof. The union is blessed with children namely, Barr. Iyoroebi Kenge Itima, (Daughter), Engr. Birifiniyerin M. Itima (Son), Master Karinade Clinton Itima (Son). He was also married to Mrs. Ebiere Itima (deceased) according to the custom and tradition of the Kaiama people of Bayelsa State; the union is also blessed with children namely; Nurse Iyenkenimi Itima (Daughter), Master Emmanuel Itima (Son), and also his last born child, Miss Eniye Itima (Daughter).

In the bid to be the best at what he does and to further better the life of his family members, immediate and extended, he proceeded to the United States of America in pursuit of greener pastures in the year 1988. After working for some time in United States of America, upon his desire to always outdo his past, he wrote several entrance examinations and gained admission into the following institutes in the United States of America and graduated: Cleveland Institute of Electronics, Inc, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A (1997 to 1998), Northeast Maritime Institute for Certificate of Competency, masters unlimited (2000 to 2001), New Bedford, Massachusetts U.S.A (2002). He also attended a bridging course at Navigation School, Annapolis, Maryland U.S.A in 2004.

After spending seven (7) years in the U.S.A, in 1995, he came back to Nigeria, Warri to be precise and a burden rose in his heart to see that a Gbaramatu man has an office in Warri at the time. He went ahead and established Wintima Company Nigeria Limited, a company that put a spring in his feet of those who want to make a meaning out of their lives. As a result, the office became the starting point for a lot of Gbaramatu indigenes, and also Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima started teaching computer lessons in the same office to better equip those who wants to be computer literate at that time. Also, Wintima Company Nigeria Limited are contractors to Shell, a multinational company operating in Nigeria.

He also created a foundation called Wintima Foundation, a foundation that gave scholarships to many indigents children in Gbaramatu Kingdom and beyond from secondary school up to the university level.

Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima has traveled far and wide, and over 35 countries ranging the continents of Europe, America, Asia and Africa. He is a talented man and of vast knowledge. He lived and worked in the U.S.A for more than 30 years and was duly retired from the company which he gained so much accolades for his discipline and dedication to his work and received several awards for his excellence from the company.

Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima is a devoted family man who is selfless and seen as one of the pillars in the Itima dynasty. He holds the family together, solves and resolves issues within the family no matter how daring the case may be. He is also benevolent and charitable, this led him to pay certain widows monthly and gift 

scholarships up to the university to different children within and outside his community and family, for his quest to see the young generation around him educated. He never relented on his campaign for the young ones to be educated and be independent, and proffer solutions to situations around them.

Capt. Winfred Ondo is a humble, truthful, hardworking, intellectual, honest, fearless and decent; he is also accommodating, caring and shoulder for family responsibilities and issues; he had great love for his brothers, sisters, relatives and friends alike. He was a committed leader, not just in the communities he hailed from (Kunukunuama and Pepe-ama towns) but a leader to all whom he comes in contact with.

He finally left the U.S.A upon his retirement from the SIU, a company he worked in for many years and came to Nigeria, his country, on an invitation by the clarion call made by his younger brother, Capt. Romeo Itima (deceased), who sought him to work side by side with him at his company, Global West Vessel Specialist, where Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima later became the Managing Director in August 2012, upon the sudden demise of his younger brother, a position he held until his death on the 10th of October 2023 in Lagos, following a brief illness.

Capt. Winfred Ondo Itima is one in a billion whose type is of rare gem, he will be missed by all who crossed paths him. May his gentle soul be at Peace. We love you but God loves you the most.

#penglobalpersonality #biography

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