In Memory of Ifeanyi Anyoku


In loving memory of Ifeanyi Anyoku, 24 July 2005 - 05 August 2023. Images of Ife.

Ifeanyi Chidubem Prince Anyoku, of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria passed away on Saturday, August 5, 2023. A sophomore in the Blount Scholars Program, Ife was majoring in Biology and served as a Resident Assistant with Housing and Residential Communities.  In addition to being a serene and inspiring presence in Blount’s curricular and extracurricular activities, he was actively involved in the African Students Association and Al’s Pals. The students in the Blount Program have created this page both to give voice to the penetrating sadness with which we have received Ife’s death and to express our gratitude at being touched by his remarkable spirit.

You’re listening to “Na Gode” by Yemi Alade ft. Selebob, which Ife submitted as part of the playlist on his Blount application, along with the caption “This song made me reflect on a few bad things going on in my life and still want to dance.” The lyrics can be found at this link. If the audio isn’t working on your device, or if you’d like to view the music video, you can visit this link.

Ife’s “voice” can be heard in his portfolio for his Spring 2023 composition course with Professor Kelleher.

The University held a memorial service for Ife on 8/10/23 in the Student Center. The video of the service, including tributes from the African Students’ Association, First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa, Al’s Pals, Blount, the Honor’s College, and Circle K, can be viewed here. At this service, attendees left cards as tribute to Ife: Ifeanyi-Anyoku-Memorial-Cards.  The Capstone International Center created an article in honor of Ife, which can be viewed here: link to article.

If you would like to donate to Ife’s family, you can do so here.

The Blount Scholars Program will hold its own memorial for Ife on August 29th at 5pm in OB.

"Anyoku" in Ife's handwriting
Ife’s Mark

11 thoughts on “In Memory of Ifeanyi Anyoku

  1. Ifeanyi was one of my three suitemates last year.
    I remember when I first realized how young Ife was (he was seventeen when we met each other at UA) that I was surprised and inspired by Ife’s level of maturity. Ife carried himself with the drive, passion, and wisdom of someone much older than his years. I could not fathom the braveness and courage required of Ife to venture so, so far away from home at such a young age. Clearly, Ife was incredibly brave and courageous, which I am sure is why he was able to excel so much academically during his all too brief time at UA. Ife was the kind of hard worker that inspired me and others to try to work half as diligently as he did. When I talked to Ife about his studies, he would often admit that his first year was not easy for him. He told me about laboratory sessions late in the evenings, exams in his pre-medical studies classes occurring during the same week as one another, and the challenges associated with juggling the academic, social, and personal demands of college. When Ife would tell me these things, however, he would have this look—of determination, of drive, of resolve—on his face and in his eyes. I could tell that he knew the collegiate challenges he was facing were temporary and surmountable, and Ife worked persistently to overcome those obstacles and excel in spite of them.
    I am sure it is cliché at this point, but there is no apt description of Ifeanyi that does not mention how deeply kind, thoughtful, and generous he was. Ife was a far better friend to me than I ever deserved. Ife checked in on me and my fellow suitemates often by popping in to chat quickly about our days and by messaging our suite group chat over holiday breaks. He always seemed genuinely interested in what each of us (myself, Eddie Bassett, and Dalton Good—Ife’s three suitemates) had going on in our lives. On multiple occasions, Ife asked me to allow him to clean our shared restroom because he did not feel comfortable with me being the only person to clean it. Although I never took him up on it (which I now regret, but alas), Ife often invited me to attend church with him on Sunday mornings. I did not earn or deserve or ask for Ife’s love, kindness, and generosity. And yet, because Ife was such a kind and good soul, he gave that love and kindness and generosity to me anyway.
    Ife will be missed tremendously by myself, my fellow suitemates, and the rest of his community here at The University of Alabama and in the Blount Scholars Program. We will do our best to honor his life and the legacy of kindness and unconditional love that he left behind.

  2. Ifeyani was an amazing peer that I was privileged to share a suite and Blount with and will be sorely missed by not only me and Blount, but the University of Alabama as a
    whole. Ifeyani was one of the most friendly, kind, and delightful people I’ve met. He was always there to offer a helping hand and I appreciated it greatly. I reminisce about our time together with gratitude, and I’m glad he was in my life. Seeing how much selfless volunteer work Ifeyani did in his free time is not only impressive but inspiring. The world needs more people like Ifeyani, and it’s tragic he was taken from us at such a young age. His inquisitive soul and evident intellect reflected positively on him. He always had a smile on his face that made your day just that much better. I will miss him greatly, and may he rest in Heaven.

  3. I just wanted to say how deeply sorry I am at Ify’s passing and how much I will miss him. My name is Brannick Rummery and I was a member of the Blount Scholars program with Ify this past year. Meeting him and knowing him changed my life.
    I made more poor decisions at school in 2 semesters than I had made in my entire life previous. And I was harshly judged for those choices. But not by Ify, he was always kind to me. Sometimes I accidentally walked in to one of the classrooms while he was studying at the dorm late at night. I would try to apologize for bothering him but he wouldn’t hear about it. He would invite me to sit and would always ask me how I was and if I was doing alright. I’ve yet to meet another human during my time on earth as brilliant as Ify while also being so kind and humble.
    Ify was far too good for this world and was gone much too soon. He is one of those souls that gave us cynics the hope that humans could be better.
    I mourned not just his passing but the loss of what he could’ve been. That God should take someone with such potential and such a kind heart and yet leave behind the rest of us with no reason behind it. It occurred to me that at 19 years old, I had already wasted precious hours and days and weeks of my life that Ify would never have. So I decided to change things. I decided that I would stop wasting my life because that’s an insult to my memory of Ify and his kindness.
    So when I say that Ify both changed and saved my life, I’m not exaggerating. I will always remember him and his kindness.

  4. Ife is unequivocally one of the most selfless individuals I have ever met, with his legacy of kindness extending beyond the reach of Blount, and certainly the University. He was always willing to extend a helping hand, despite his own mountain of coursework and busy schedule-none of which I ever heard him complain about. I can still hear the warm timbre of his voice when he would gamely ask, “How you doin’, Maya?” whenever we crossed paths. Quite frequently in the spring semester, Ife and I would find ourselves in the same classroom in Blount, usually in the midst of hammering out another essay. Inevitably, Ife would have already completed the reading days before and be in the possession of a thought-provoking interpretation that was as instrumental to my understanding of the text as the in-class discussions. Ife was the kind of thinker and student I can only hope to become-his essays embodied a degree of maturity and wisdom well beyond his years. Whenever we would proofread each other’s work, the only feeble critique I could offer to Ife was to reduce his word count-his analysis, including his meticulously selected word choices, were not only powerful, but expansive. Ife was also incredibly driven to succeed. When I would depart a classroom at 2am, Ife would remain, his unflustered nature belying a razor-sharp work ethic and relentless positivity. And despite his late nights, Ife would always offer to assist me when I was stumped over an assignment-whether it was precalculus problems or a particularly tricky Foundations reading. One of Ife’s most commendable qualities was his uncanny ability to make everyone he encountered feel seen, welcomed, and loved. He always went out of his way to greet everyone in his presence, and it was obvious that when he asked you how you were doing, he genuinely meant it. One day, Ife excitedly showed me a picture of some critter he spied on the side of the road while he was biking. Despite the hour-long (!) bike journey ahead of him, he stopped to peer inquisitively at the creature, seeming to marvel at the gift of its existence briefly intersecting with his. This anecdote will forever define my memories of Ife-as a person who is always willing to delight in and share the goodness inherent in this world that many of us (myself included) would ignore or simply fail to detect. Ife was unassuming, yet radiant. An extraordinary intellect, but ever curious. Gifted beyond measure, yet always humble. Generous without bounds, but constantly searching for new ways to serve. Ife is and always will be, an example of the best of us.

  5. I once drove him back to Tuscaloosa from the airport in Birmingham. He was returning from visiting his cousin in New York and talked about his family and how much he enjoyed visiting his cousin. Ife was so community-minded and empathetic, he cared deeply about the world and people around him.

  6. Ify was an amazingly kind and intelligent person. I seemed to always run into him studying in one of the classrooms at night time. When you entered the studying room, he would look up from his work and would smile to greet you. He was willing to talk to all sorts of people, regardless of their reputation and found a way to make them be seen. I have countless memories of us in the downstairs classrooms and reviewing each others essays. As I said earlier, he was extremely intelligent, which was seen in his early essays. Yet his drive made the essays become even better overtime. One of the things that he really taught me was how to listen to feedback from peers. When he read my essays over, he would point out details I hadn’t considered. His amazing skill in analysis of the books made him have the best feedback available on my essays. Ultimately, I attribute a lot of my academic success in Blount to him and his amazing positivity that allowed for feedback to feel truly mutual and respectful. He was an amazing person. I am so lucky to have had the time and opportunity to have gotten to have learned from him.

  7. In addition to the much-deserved surge of fond memories, cherished moments, and inspiring words being shared in honor of Ifeanyi Anyoku, I myself would like to add something about him. To me, not only did Ify epitomize the term “Academic Scholar” and possess a brilliantly unique perspective on things, but he was also a benevolent spirit that never hesitated to lend me a helping hand, whether it was with deciphering a Blount text or applying for an RA position. He will undoubtedly be missed by all, and his family has my hopes and prayers.

  8. I would like to share my recollection of Ife, it’s such a tragedy that his life was taken so soon.
    Ife went out of his way to care about everyone, and he would be the kind of guy to just make you smile by saying hello and asking how your day was in passing, he was truly that genuine. I had the pleasure of living down the hall from him and I can recall the countless nights where I’d come up from working on a Blount essay or studying and I’d see him walking into the room the same time I was. He always made a point to say “have a good night”, no matter the time. There were many occasions where we collaborated on biology homework, talked through an assignment for psychology, or even threw ideas back and forth for essays and I can genuinely say I’ve never met someone so passionate about what he wanted to do for the future. He was always big on making sure that we pre-med students within blount communicated about anything from classes to resources that the school was offering. I was beyond shocked to say the least when I heard of his passing; just days before he had been sending messages in our GroupMe. Ife was an amazing human being that I had the pleasure to know for such a short time. May he rest in peace and in power.

  9. Ify was the kindest soul. I’m sure a lot of people have said that. For me personally, one of the moments I’ll always remember about Ify was one day we were walking together back to the dorm, and he asked me about a question the teacher asked in class (we shared a Blount Foundations section). She had asked us if we were religious and both Ify and I had raised our hands, so he wanted to know what I believed. I admitted to him that although I was raised as a Christian, I felt myself drifting away recently. I knew I wanted to believe something, but I wasn’t sure what. Ify was happy to let me express what was bothering me and answered my questions with kindness. He shared what he believed with patience and more understanding than I’d received from any other Christian. He saw through all the questions and straight to my heart in a way others haven’t. For the rest of the year, he continued to check in on me and share what he believed when I needed him to. I never got the chance to tell him that I found my faith, I suppose he’ll figure it out when I see him again!
    Another less emotional moment was simply that we both shared a deep love for the anime Attack On Titan. We would talk about it often, especially since I was peer pressuring my friends to watch it and he would often sit in and whisper to me about the show while they watched it, and we would talk about our favorite characters and whether or not Reiner deserved all the slander he gets. The final installment of the series is going to be here in the fall, I’ll be thinking of him when I watch it!
    I thank his family for raising such an amazing son, I’m so glad I got to know him for the short time I did!

  10. Ife was one of my closest friends at Blount. But our friendship really wasn’t limited to Blount at all. It is crazy how small of a world he made it seem, because, somehow, he was friends with most of all my friends at this university. I never had the best luck making friends with my Blount peers but Ife was always there for me, offering to sit with me at several occasions. I still remember how we sat together at the Blousical and he just thought it was the silliest thing, it is such a fun memory to look back on. Ife was such a big part of the Alabama experience to me and I am having a hard time accepting the reality even now.
    I want to deeply thank his family for raising such a distinct human who was so incredibly smart and such a kind soul.

  11. I’ve never met Ife; as a freshman student in Blount he was taken away from this world before my time at UA even began, and yet my heart hurts for this brilliant young man, his community, and this world after hearing all of the remarkable stories about him at the Blount Memorial service.
    I’ve met only one other woman in my life from Ghana who I think I could imagine embodying the energy Ife so evidently exuded. His bravery and human compassion have marked his classmates; his drive and wisdom has marked his teachers; and yet I don’t think all that would matter to him. From what I’ve heard of Ife, he would see the community gathered for him now and say, “Oh. Thank you! But how has your day been?”
    Ife was here and Ife was taken for a reason. However brutally it hurts, as an outside watcher it is easy to see how his life and death have knit together individual hearts and a greater community even just here in Tuscaloosa, let alone all the other places he has touched. Lives will grow and be bettered to honor him; Ife will be remembered here as he rests in heaven.
    Thank you to his family for sending us this gift who has touched so many without, in my case, even needing to breathe a word.

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