The Sunsets for Charles Iyizoba

23 01 2022

There are two types of people in our lives: those who bring happiness when they come and those who bring happiness when they go away from us.” May we remain the former! We need to give more and take less. We need to share more and own less. We need to realize the importance of our fellow man as the backbone of stability. We need to look more to realize that we are not different from one another. We need to create a world where we can all peacefully live the life we choose and trust each other, to the greater Glory of God

—Charles Iyizoba, “Life is for others” (p.251).

Brief Biography of Barrister Charles Iyizoba

Early years

Charles Chukwuka Iyizoba was born at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1945, in Enugu. He was the third of Chief and Mrs. Richard Onuora Molokwu Iyizoba’s nine children. Two weeks later, he was christened at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Coal Camp, Enugu. He went to St. Anna’s Primary School in Ahiaeke from 1958 to 1959, and the College of the Immaculate Conception (C.I.C) in Enugu from 1960 to 1964. His favorite subject was English literature, and he received high marks throughout his elementary school years, endearing him to many of his teachers as well as the school principal.

Enugu Campus/Biafran war

After clearing the West African School Certificate exams with flying colors, he began studying law at the University of Nigeria Enugu campus in 1965. However, his law studies were cut short by the outbreak of the Nigerian–Biafra conflict in 1966. He was willing to put his life on the line to help others. For example, during a disturbance that resulted in the massacre of non-Igbo students on the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Charles offered to shelter certain Yoruba students by hiding them in his room. When a machete-wielding mob surrounded his room, shouting for their blood, Charles refused to bulge and instead barred the door with his body, telling them they had to kill him first before killing them. When he accused the blood-thirsty mob of being no better than the brutal killers of Igbos in the North, they backed down and dispersed, even feeling ashamed of themselves.

New York (1971)

Charles, heartbroken by the destruction of Eastern Nigeria, departed the country on March 8, 1971, to seek a degree in political science at Newark State College in New York. His intellectual prowess was acknowledged, and he quickly made friends with lecturers and students alike, as was his natural ability to make friends. He transferred to Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in September 1971 to study political science. His charity and care for his classmate were on display once more. He, Willie, and Eddie assisted numerous freshly arrived African students by housing them in their flat for months while assisting them in finding jobs. Because students from several African countries such as Sierra Leone, Cameroon, and Senegal were living there, their apartment was often referred to as the Organization of African Union (OAU). Charles was an “A” student at Rutgers, making the 1972 edition of “Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.” After completing his degree program, he was awarded a scholarship to The University of Columbia in September 1973, where he graduated with a Master’s degree before returning to Nigeria in 1975 to take up a position with the Ministry of External Affairs under the Federal Civil Service Commission in Lagos.

Ministry of External Affairs (1975)

Although it is often assumed that battling corruption in Nigeria is perilous and that eradicating corruption in government service is a pipe dream, Charles was determined to give it a shot. During his tenure at the Ministry of External Affairs, his honesty and integrity were obvious to all, and he would not engage in unethical behavior, such as producing fake receipts to embezzle unspent funds; instead, he would attach the receipts, air ticket stubs, and return the unspent money to the treasury. When in charge of an official visit with his colleagues, he always ensures that others get the best hotel rooms first and he comes in last, so he is frequently left without a place to sleep and has to sleep on sofas and couches. He followed due process in the Ministry’s staff employment selection, basing his decision on the candidate’s merits regardless of ethnicity, and refused to hire based on ethnicity. Charles believed that his soul’s integrity was in jeopardy if he violated his conscience and succumbed to the injustices of nepotism and dominance perpetuated in the Ministry, and he was willing to pay the price of falling out of favor with very powerful interest groups.

Expectedly, his principles of honesty and transparency enraged some less scrupulous individuals who were determined to give Charles a hard time; however, he took it in stride, never holding grudges and striving to forgive and help those individuals to rise to higher standards and remind them that the main reason why they should be ethical was that even if they were not accountable to anyone on the planet, they would still have to give an account to God. He saw people behind institutions and organizations, and as a result, he was not hesitant to go the extra mile to assist a friend, sibling, or colleague who was suffering from injustice. On the other hand, he was not hesitant to challenge those in positions of power in government to live up to a higher standard of their calling and execute their duty for the general good.

“We are atomized and it is now everybody to himself. We have crawled into a cocoon, unconcerned about the well-being of others. We have swallowed the evil fruit of materialism, ready to kill even our children for money. We have placed materialism as our new god. We can no longer tell the truth to power. We are afraid of the truth. We are afraid for our lives. We can no longer stand up for principles

Charles Iyizoba, “Life is for others” (p.207).

Nigerian Embassy in Washington (1977)

Around the middle of August 1977, he was assigned to the Nigerian Embassy in Washington as the secretary of education, where he was tasked with caring for thousands of Nigerian students visiting the United States. He was a firm believer in the notion that a leader must also be a servant. As a result, he spent countless hours assisting numerous Nigerian students who were in some sort of problem, while never asking for anything in return. For example, a Nigerian student was arrested by police when an inebriated female accused him of rape. When the Nigerian Embassy became aware of the situation, Charles intervened and requested that the accuser be produced by the police. When she was brought to the station, she admitted that the claim was made in jest and the police had no choice but to release the afflicted student. Furthermore, Charles was detribalized and would assist students regardless of where they came from in the country. For example, there was a case of a doctorate student from Borno state who was attacked by some people back home who were jealous that he was about to receive a Ph.D. and hence withheld his scholarship monies. Charles resolved to assist the pupil and sent letters telling the governor of Borno state of the problem and paid the student all his scholarship money. The student was pleased and sincerely appreciative that an Igbo man from the south would risk his life for him even as his fellow northerners tormented him. Charles reminded him that if it came down to justice, he would risk his life for everyone, regardless of clan or faith. The student was eternally thankful because he was able to complete his Ph.D.

In another case, the US Department of Immigration detained a Yoruba student from the University of Maryland who was working part-time to fund his tuition. The issue was that he dropped out of school to earn money to finish his education, but he had no work permit, only a student visa, and because he was no longer a student, he was detained for deportation. A number of his classmates protested at the Nigerian Embassy, and Charles raised the issue with the US director of immigration, urging him to bring back the car carrying the youngster to the airport and cancel the deportation and he did. Furthermore, he made it possible for students who completed their Bachelor’s degree in a record-breaking two years instead of four, to use the remaining time for their Master’s degree while still on the same scholarship, saving the country time and money and easing the burden on students who would otherwise have to return to Nigeria and apply for another scholarship, which might be unsuccessful.

Internal Liaison Unit (1980)

Charles was recalled to Nigeria late in January 1980, to the Internal Liaison Unit, Protocol Department, where he worked as a protocol officer in charge of managing state visits by foreign leaders, arranging state dinners for visiting Heads of State, selecting appropriate gifts for the visiting leaders, correspondences with foreign embassies on protocol issues, and issues about diplomat accreditation and their welfare in Nigeria. His responsibilities included raising the Guard of Honor and screening those requesting an audience with our President. He brought professionalism to the job and worked tirelessly to earn the respect of foreign leaders. When he was in charge of organizing the visits to Nigeria of prominent African heads of state such as President Arap Moi of Kenya, Prime Minister Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Joo Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo of Brazil, and, most importantly, Pope John Paul II in 1982, he was able to save Nigeria from some embarrassing situations.

Visit of Pope John Paul II (1982)

It was an honor and a pleasure for Charles to be in charge of planning and coordinating the celebrations when Pope St. John Paul II visited Nigeria in 1982. In his memoir, he recalls some of the unforgettable anecdotes:

On the day the Pope was to meet with other Christian religious leaders at the State House, Marina, which had a large garden. One of the first to arrive was the head of the Methodist Church. I shook his hand and jokingly said, “Your Eminence, what are you doing here? This is the Catholic Pope.” He burst into laughter and said, “No, no, he is the head of all Christians.” I too burst into laughter

Charles Iyizoba, “Life is for others” (p.180).

Charles was able to guarantee that anyone who comes into proximity to the Pope dressed and behaved appropriately. For example, when he spotted that one of the NTA’s senior female anchors was inappropriately dressed since she was wearing shorts and a “see-through” blouse, he pulled her aside and questioned her why she was so barely dressed, knowing who was coming. When she gave an unsatisfactory response, Charles summoned the security guards and requested that she be removed from the Presidential area, where she would have no interaction with the Pope. He also protected the Pope from intruding politicians who wanted to colonize the Pope’s time and space, preventing him from effectively meeting with others. He also prevented them from crowding the Pope’s helicopter during hectic schedules, allowing Pope John Paul to have a few precious words with his Bishops and Cardinals during flights. Overall, Charles protected the Pope from the deplorable press and political abuse, and I am sure Pope John Paul II was thankful.

University of Buckingham (1984)

The military regime of Buhari, which replaced the democratic government in 1984, ushered in a slew of retirements, including Charles’. Following that, he planned to return to the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus to finish the legal studies he had abandoned in 1971 but was convinced and funded by his friend, Bertrand Ude, to attend the University of Buckingham instead. As a result, in March 1985, he enrolled in an accelerated legal degree program at the University of Buckingham and graduated in 1987, returning to Lagos to attend the Law School in September 1987. In 1988, he was admitted to the bar. Additionally, he met and married Florence in 1992, and their first child, Onyinye, was born on November 16, 1992.

Nigerian Ports Authority (1994)

Charles was appointed Liaison Officer to the Nigerian Ports Authority by the Minister of Transport, Ebenezer Babatope, in January 1994, and was promoted to General Manager, Marketing within a few weeks. He set out to modernize the NPA marketing department, which he found to be dormant and lacking in the most basic of amenities such as computers. He approved the purchase of computers for many departments, particularly the Department of Computers, Statistics, and Planning, and hence the department was able to issue its first timely end-of-year report since its existence. The increased ease of doing business was one of the most distinguishing elements of his era. Businessmen who previously had to bribe their way through the Ports bureaucracy to get their goods approved began to receive express services and their import paperwork signed without having to pay large bribes. His subordinates adored him because he would pay them visits and get down to their level. He had an open-door policy, meaning that anyone could come to him with a problem, and he helped a lot of people. Furthermore, he would not hesitate to take up an issue hurting little people with the Managing Director of the Port Authority, encouraging him to approve what these junior staff wanted. He was the voice of those who had no voice. People accused him of not knowing how to do “big guy”; he didn’t know how to toss people around. Rather, he treated everyone fairly, regardless of their social standing. He wrote in his book, Life is for Others:

There is always the fallacy among our top men that you have to keep your distance from your subordinates who have to live in fear of the “Oga.” The fallacy here is the saying that, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” I have discovered that it does not work that way. Once a leader brings himself to the level of his co-workers, shows them the way and treats them with concern, shows interest in their well-being, they will give him so much loyalty that he can repose his confidence in them

 Charles Iyizoba, “Life is for others” (p.234).

As if to round out the picture of who he is, he tells us an anecdote about how he interacted with his driver when working in the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs:

I remember when I was in State House Protocol; a driver was assigned to me to take me to Ilorin on an official trip. The man had no notice that he would travel that day and as we set off, he asked for permission to enter Bariga where he lived so he could tell his wife and take a change of clothes. I agreed. When we got to this slum area, the man apologized and asked me to wait in the car while he rushed in to pack his things. I refused and said that there was no way I could come to his street and not enter his abode and see his wife and the family. I told him that he must try to eat something in his house before we set off on the long journey. We got in and the wife was bathing her newborn baby. I greeted her and my man went in to pack and asked his wife to prepare some garri for him. I held the baby whilst she was on this chore. When she brought the food, my man asked me to join him, that the wife made enough for two of us. I declined, but the wife insisted, so I joined in the meal. Before we drove off, I donated to the new baby as is customary. On the way, my driver told me, “Oga, for somebody like you I go do anything. I thanked him for the sentiment. I had shared a meal in his one-room apartment without doing “big man”

Charles Iyizoba, “Life is for others” (p.235).

Furthermore, while working for the Nigerian Ports Authority, he could have fallen to corruption to become wealthy. On the contrary, he fought against it, knowing that when good people fail, evil grows stronger; thus, he fought corruption, embezzlement, and graft like a gladiator, armed only with prayer, faith in the sacredness of living truthfully, and a desire to save his soul when he must stand before God’s judgment. In his book “Life is for others,” he describes a conversation he had with someone who came to inform him that he could make a lot of money by extorting money for attaching his signature as a General Manager:

I laughed aloud as was my custom. I assured him that I knew that each time I signed on a paper for a shipping company it was worth one million naira. But that was not what I was sent to do on the job. My reading of my job was to give all possible assistance to businesses so that their businesses would expand, would hire more people, and create more jobs, which would lead to the expansion of the economy. I did not believe in the extortion that I knew was going on. My father did not bring me up that way. That was not the reason he gave his children a good education. He would turn in his grave if he knew his son was now a bribe-taker. It would mean that all the education I had was for nothing. The man could not utter a word. He just shook his head and left

Charles Iyizoba, “Life is for others” (p.241).

Charles fought against the hydra-headed creatures of corruption, knowing that unless it died, things would continue to deteriorate and ordinary Nigerians would die in misery. He fought and lost at times. Though not everyone agrees with his methods, no one can deny the honesty and truth contained in his words. There is no doubt that Charles suffered as a result of his upright way, constantly resisting the dictates of an oppressive and unjust system, and that it would have been easier for him to just give in, be concerned only with his own pockets, and gradually lose his soul in the myriad of corruption and become just another thoroughly corrupt civil servant, but he believed that despite the odds, the fight to right this country must begin with someone, and he was that someone. Indeed, anyone seeking to live a moral life must seek strength from God. As a result, Charles was a God-fearing man, a regular practicing Catholic who attends Mass daily, because the eternal salvation of his soul was more important to him than any human success. He writes in his memoir that he even asked God to remove him from NPA if the brazen corruption going on there would cost him his soul:

Early in December 1995, I came into my office, locked the door, and prayed to God in this way, “Almighty Father, you have seen how they throw money around in this place. If you know that I would lose my soul if I continue here, please Lord, take me away and find another place for me.

Charles Iyizoba, “Life is for others” (p.254).

Retirement and Death

As a result, Charles retired from the Nigerian Ports Authority in 1995 and was delighted with the birth of his second daughter, Ekanma, in July 1995. Since his retirement, he has been able to rely on the goodwill of friends and family. He also served on the boards of the AIT television network and Thisday Newspaper in various capacities. Despite his health issues, he has devoted a significant portion of his time to raising his two girls. He moved his family from Lagos to Abuja, where he died on December 18, 2021, after a lengthy and severe illness. Some may argue that Charles failed in his mission because he died before his dreams could be realized. Everyone, however, fails because everyone dies. The important thing is to live in such a way that when death comes, the eternal reward of living forever with God in heaven, which He promised those who strove against great odds to keep his commandment in this life, is not a pipe dream but a reality, and this was how Charles lived and died, and may the good Lord whom he served grant him the reward of eternal salvation according to His promises through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Photo Reel

With his daughters, Onyinye and Ekamma
With his wife, Florence and his daughter, Onyinye
With his daughter, Ekamma
With, his brother in-law, Gabe and friends
With Carmella Ezekwe, Chike Ezekwe and friends
With Ik Onyiuke and Chief Robert Clarke
With Kaechi Ezekwe Ogbuagu
With Frank Alamah (sitting behind)
With Ijeoma and her husband
With Gabe, Liz, Florence and Ekamma and Emeka
With Odera and Ekamma
With Willy, Chiedu and friends
With family ( L-R Florence, Balum, Liz, Agozie)
With Brother Eddie and sister, Liz

Tributes

TRIBUTE TO MY TEACHER, MENTOR, AND HUSBAND

Dear Charlie, to me, you were a teacher, a mentor, and a husband. You were the best father to our two wonderful daughters, Onyinye and Ekamma. I learned a lot from you in these past 29 years we were together. You were the best uncle to your nephews and nieces and the best brother to your siblings and cousins. I am your nwayi calabar as you would often affectionately tease me. You were a very neat and meticulous person, and your life philosophy is best described as “out of this world.” You were sincere, upright, peaceful, principled, and kind and you treated everyone you met, young and old, with dignity. You were very religious (he was praying in his sickbed before he finally lost his voice on Thursday, December 16th), and it still feels like a dream that you are no longer with us. It hasn’t been easy for me or the kids, but we can’t question GOD, the giver, and taker of life. We miss you and know you’re in a better place where there’s no more suffering and pain, watching over “onyinye-again” and “fatso,” as you affectionately referred to them. Continue to rest in the LORD’s bosom until we meet to part no more.

Your wife
FLORENCE

A TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER

I was watching Sean Connery in Goldfinger order a vodka martini “shaken not stirred” when it occurred to me that I would never watch any 007 movies, or any movie for that matter, with my Daddy again. I have so many wonderful memories of my Daddy, but my favorites are of us watching late-night movies together. Nobody knows how many times Daddy watched The Incredibles with a cigarette and a glass of whiskey in his hand.

Daddy loved all the classics: 007, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and even Disney classics like The Jungle Book. Thank you so much, Daddy, for all of the wonderful movie memories… I can’t wait to share them with any future children I may have.

I love you, Daddy. May the force be with you.

Your daughter
ONYINYE

TRIBUTE TO THE BEST DADDY IN THE WORLD

When I think of you, my Daddy, the first thing that comes to mind is your great knowledge of many things and your love of books, which you have transmitted to me. You loved music; especially the Beatles and I remember us singing along to the Beatles as you drove in the car. Indeed, I recall that when I was six, every Friday night was movie night for us, Daddy! And we would watch classics like Jaws and James Bond, and you would try to explain their complicated plots and storylines to my six-year-old mind. Daddy, you made me love and appreciate different genres of music. We would often sit side by side, talking and exchanging views on different genres of music. All I can say is that my sister and I are extremely grateful to have you as our Daddy.  You were not the typical Daddy, boring and full of “do’s” and “don’ts,” rather you were a cool Daddy, so non-judgmental, so loving, so caring. You were much more than a Daddy to me, you were my friend, and I will miss you greatly.

I don’t know where I’d be without you, Daddy.

Your daughter
EKAMMA

ADIEU IS A HARD WORD TO SAY TO YOU, CHARLIE!

We miss you. You were an embodiment of love, patience, kindness, and intelligence all wrapped up in non-apologetic contentment. You would trade everything for peace in your life. You loved all and always looked out for every family member especially your nieces and nephews. Their Christmas joy will never be complete without their Big Uncle Charlie. Justice for all was your key principle. You fished out the needy for your voluntary assistance. Anyone meeting you at your quiet moment would be greeted with a wide smile and gentle invitation to shots of Whiskey and sticks of cigarettes over which you shared your deep thoughts about life and its uncertainties. Charlie, in your journey through life, you touched many lives such that your death has left a void in the family that none can fill. However, we are consoled by your long-standing relationship with Jesus and Mary, his mother. We love you Charlie, but they love you more. Stay happy with them till we meet to part no more Adieus!


Your brother and his wife
JOHNNY AND ELIZA

TRIBUTE TO MY IMMEDIATE JUNIOR BROTHER CHARLIE, THE STAR OF THE FAMILY

When we were growing up, Charlie was the star of the family. He caused no problems for our father. Papa was overjoyed with him because he aced all of his exams and was an obedient son who never did anything to deserve a beating from papa; less than what could be said for some of us who barely passed our exams and frequently did things that earned us deserved beatings from papa. He continued on his path of honor throughout his life, doing everything as and when it was due, and lived a full life by making the most of what God gave him. He had devoted friends who believed in him and were always available to him. I want to use this opportunity to place on record with gratitude the immense love showered on Charles by the family especially the younger Iyizoba generation. I thank you all and I pray that your children would do more for you!
May the soul of my brother Charles and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest in Peace Amen!

Your brother
CHIEF OSSY IYIZOBA
Onyimonyi Onyibalu
Ajie Nimo
Ebubedike Enugwu-Ukwu
Onyima

IT IS DIFFICULT TO PUT INTO WORDS!

Please bear with me as I try to put into words how much I loved and respected my brother Charlie. Those of us who knew Charlie must believe that angels do exist among us on Earth. Charlie was a true angel who was unconcerned about material things. He was one of a kind, generous to a fault, and fiercely protective and caring for all who were fortunate enough to know him.
I recall a close friend of ours getting engaged to a lady from a low-income family. The majority of people were opposed to the union. Charlie drew everyone’s attention with his usual calm demeanor and asked, “What’s wrong with you guys, don’t you realize that this union will lift a lot of people out of poverty that houses will be built, that school fees will be paid?” That was Charlie at his best, always looking out for others. Life is for Others, his memoir, encapsulated his personality and worldview.
In the 1980s, he was the Education Counselor at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC, where he housed and fed a large number of Nigerian students. He did this out of the goodness of his heart, expecting nothing in return. His home was always open to those in need. Charlie was a voracious reader and student. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a law degree from The University of Buckingham. Despite his accomplishments, he remained humble and true to his beliefs.

It was the last thing I wanted or expected to hear from Charlie’s wife, Florence that he had left us. To say I went insane would be an understatement. My wife Donnie (Donelda, as Charlie always called her) was completely taken aback. Charlie and my wife had a special bond since the first time they met. I knew she’d have a difficult time dealing with this devastating news, just like I did. We lived with Charlie when we moved to Lagos in 1984, and we had a great time with him and his many friends. He was always concerned with our comfort and well-being.I can’t say I’m alone in my grief because I’m not. I am in mourning with all of my siblings, as well as other family members and friends. My sorrow over my brother’s death extends to his two lovely daughters, Onyinye and Ekamma, but I take comfort in knowing that I will always see him in them. They are aware that I will always be available to them.
Rest In Perfect Peace my brother, Charlie until we meet again.

Your Brother
WILLIE

I HAD NEVER KNOWN WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO LOSE A BROTHER!

I’d never known what it was like to lose a brother before. A brother with a personality like Charlie, who took up so much space in my life as we grew up and into adulthood. My brother Charlie, I remember how, when I lived with you in Washington, you would take care of all my needs, including washing and ironing my clothes. When I went out with friends, you would give me your credit card as insurance in case I ran out of money.
Now I know what it’s like to have a gaping hole that nothing can quite fill – memories that I now hold even tighter. I’m waiting to hear your voice above the din of our Iyizoba shouting matches, which, to the untrained ear, may appear to be a fight but are usually just casual conversations. Goodbye, my dear brother. We will miss you terribly. God is the ultimate authority.
Rest peacefully in the Lord whom you served so well!

Your brother
CHIEDU

CHARLIE, THE ENIGMA!

It’s difficult to write about someone you’ve known your entire life; where do I begin, where do I end? Charlie, you had always been the family intellectual, avid reader, and philosopher. Understanding issues and putting things in their proper context was your strong suit, thanks to your analytical mind… You would have done a much better job on this. Charlie, you were a kind and caring person. You interacted with people of all ages and gained great, loyal, and trusted friends who stood by you through thick and thin. The younger generation will never forget how you used the ‘carrot and stick approach to teach them life lessons. You were the historian, always entertaining everyone with stories from the past. You would always find ways to entertain all of the children in the family during the holidays, taking them around town and looking for interesting masquerades, making the holidays memorable.


You were my doting big brother, arranging and sponsoring my first trip to the United States in the 1970s. Since you moved to Abuja, our bond has grown stronger. I realized who you truly were, and I appreciate you even more as a result. I tried to imitate your reading habits, but I sometimes gave up and asked you to read and explain to me later. You were a selfless man who was always concerned with the well-being of others. Even when you didn’t have the means, you were always there to help the oppressed. You never discriminated against or attempted to stratify people, which was sometimes embarrassing and uncomfortable for those who do not know you.

You did not scorn minor chores, and when someone younger offered to do them for you, you always responded that they should let you continue because it was your way of doing penance. You were a direct man who always said things as they were no matter whose ox was gored. You were the epitome of a man without guile. You were ready to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, with no jealousy or bitterness in your heart for their good fortune. Charlie, you were a man of strong faith and your belief and trust in God’s providence were unshakeable. Our mother Mary had a special place in your heart as you constantly said your rosary.

From the onset, you seemed to understand a certain truth about the human experience and never cared for worldly things. Truly a mystery, you were “in the world” but not “of the world.” When you became too ill and had to be admitted to the hospital, I came to see you, and when I asked how you were feeling, you replied in your usual philosophical manner, “I am watching the sunset… I am watching the sun go down.” I wasn’t sure what you meant, so I told you I couldn’t see any sun in your room. You cracked a smile. I’ll never forget the parting handshake you gave me as I left that night, not realizing it was the last time I’d see you.

I believe that this verse of scripture encapsulates your life and that you won’t be denied the reward that awaits you in Heaven. Charlie, My ‘Charlie Parker’, my beloved brother, continue to rest in the Lord, until the resurrection day when we shall meet to part no more. Na n’udo I will surely miss you. A vacuum has been created in my life that only your loving memory can attempt to fill.

Psalm 24 verse 3-6 states:
“Who shall climb the mountain of the lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
Who desires not worthless things,
Who has not sworn to deceive his neighbor. He shall receive blessings from the Lord and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him,
Seek the face of the God of Jacob.”

Psalm 24 verse 3-6

Your sister
YOUR MADAM LIZ

TRIBUTE TO MY BELOVED CHARLIE

Charlie, my brother, was thoughtful. He was a man who lived for the sake of others. Thank you, Charlie, for being so selfless and thoughtful. You’ve taught me a lot about life. You took the time to teach me how to read when I was a child. You always sent me money when I was in high school to make sure I was okay. You were there to make sure I didn’t have any problems on my various trips back from the United States to Nigeria, especially at the Embassy. As a mother of four beautiful children, I appreciate that you took the time to take your nieces and nephews to see the masquerades so that they could have a vivid understanding and appreciation for their Igbo culture. You valued history and ensured that the next generation did as well.
Throughout your life, my beloved Charlie, you were always concerned with doing what was right. To say I will miss you would be an understatement. It’s surreal that you’re no longer here. Your legacy will live on through your loved ones. May your soul rest in peace. With all my love.

Your baby sister
ANN

MY DEAREST UNCLE CHARLIE PARKER!

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been born to parents who each have eight siblings. I am the first grandchild on both sides, followed by my brother Onuora; it was a long time before anyone else arrived, so we were completely spoiled by many aunties and uncles. My aunts and uncles were as important to me as my parents themselves in my early memories. My mother told me that when I was a baby, she would take me to school at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, and leave me in Uncle Charlie’s room while she went to class. Uncle Charlie described me as a “beautiful baby.”

I recall spending my vacation in Washington at Uncle Charlie’s house. There are so many memories, and Uncle Charlie’s death marks the end of an era for me. He was the most educated and well-read person I knew. He was a wealth of information. He was a true gentleman who used to chastise my husband, Nedu, for not keeping good cognac in his house. Indeed, I can’t hear a Beatles’ song without picturing Uncle Charlie.
I am going to miss you.
Look out for us from the other side, dear Uncle.
Much Love.

Your niece
EBELE

MY DEAREST UNCLE CHARLIE!

I know you are happy where you are.
I can visualize you walking into heaven with your classical wide smile.
Amongst your many great qualities, you were the epitome of COMPASSION and SELFLESSNESS.
Thank you.

Your niece
ADAORA

UNCLE CHARLIE WAS A GIFT!

If I told you everything I’ve learned from Uncle Charlie, I’d have to write a book, so I’d just pick one story.
The story is about my first day of school at Unilag in March 1992. I was living in Dolphine Estate with Uncle Charlie. When I awoke that morning, there was money and a “one naira coin” on my bedside table. I was taken aback by the sum of money and impressed that Uncle Charlie didn’t wait for me to ask. But I couldn’t figure out why he’d left a coin until I arrived at the bus station and realized that a trip from where I was to Unilag cost exactly one naira coin. I also discovered that bus drivers rarely have small change that early in the morning, and that it was best to have “one naira coin” with you. Uncle Charlie going to such lengths for me astounded me. But that was who he was.
All five years I would live with him as a student, I never had to ask for money, he would simply leave me money, and when he did not have it, he would ask his friends for me. Uncle Charlie was a gift to anyone who came into contact with him; he freely gave his time, money, and wisdom to anyone in need, but more importantly, he made other people’s problems his own and worked tirelessly to solve them. He believed that if others succeeded, he would succeed as well! Uncle Charlie was a gift to all of us.

Your nephew
Chinwuba

UNCLE CHARLIE PARKER…..IJE OMA!

Uncle Charlie and I had our little greeting custom. “Uncle Charlie Parker!” I would call out whenever we met. “Ify Again,” he’d say, his eyes gleaming and his smile cracking wide. That was our little ritual that endeared him to me, and I know it still goes on, albeit inwardly! Uncle, I can hear your voice! It’s as if you’re right in front of me!
I can feel your joy because you’ve always had such a strong connection to the afterlife. Your serene, dignified, and noble gait and demeanor are ideal for where you are right now!
Uncle, you lived this life with such acute awareness of its brevity! Everyone who knew you agrees on one thing: “He was a good man!!!” In terms of justice, you treated everyone equally, whether they were friends or foes. You were a man of integrity and moral uprightness, and you always prioritize these virtues above all else. You have truly inspired us, and your life demonstrates that a good reputation is more valuable than gold and silver!
Thank you for all of the wonderful stories and history you shared with us from your vast knowledge! We miss you and wish you a bright and joyous journey in the afterlife!
Uncle Charlie Parker…..ije Oma!

Your niece
IFEYINWA

MY DEAR UNCLE CHARLIE, SO YOU HAVE LEFT US……HMMM!

To be honest, you prepared us for this. For as long as I can remember, you’ve been open about death and its impending arrival. At first, I thought, “This uncle is so morbid,” but as I grew older, I realized that you knew from the start that this life was merely transitory. You recognized that we were all just actors on a stage and that when the time came, we would take our bows.

Uncle Charlie was a straightforward man. He never worried about accumulating worldly possessions and was quick to give out everything he had to help others. Uncle never flaunted his generosity in public; he genuinely cared for others and helped people even when he didn’t have much. Uncle remained humble and saw his achievements as a means to help others, regardless of what position he held in society, whether as a manager in the Nigerian Ports Authority or as a Diplomat in the Foreign Service.
Uncle Charlie built and maintained long-lasting relationships. He had so many prominent friends in strategic positions in society, but he didn’t let it get to his head. He was extremely loyal and kept those friendships even after they were no longer in power. Uncle Charlie’s ability to connect with anyone was one of his most endearing qualities. Uncle could strike up a conversation with anyone, regardless of their age or social status.
Uncle was a fantastic storyteller. He was extremely knowledgeable about a wide range of topics, including Nigerian history, Biafra, current events, the Iyizoba/Onyuike family tree, and so on, and we never hesitated to tap into that knowledge whenever the opportunity arose.
Uncle was always laughing, no matter what life threw at him. “Why worry about what you can’t control?” was his life philosophy. Uncle exemplified the admonition in the Bible (Matthew 6:25) that worrying is futile and that the Lord truly provides for all of our needs.
Here are some of the life lessons I learned from Uncle Charlie:

  • That we should focus on our relationship with God and eternity;
  • That family is above all else. Uncle Charlie’s love and dedication to family was worthy of emulation;
  • That wealth and material acquisitions are meaningless
  • That you cannot put a value on loyal friends and strong relationship
  • That top positions in government mean nothing when those around you are suffering
  • That whether you were the gateman or the CEO of a company, you should be treated with dignity and respect.
  • That one should always have a cheerful disposition regardless of what they are going through.

Uncle, I’ve known you my entire life, and even though your physical body is no longer with us, you will always be with us in spirit. Nimo’s family gatherings will never be the same without you. We wish we had written down more of your wise sayings, but, alas, we’ll have to make do with the memories we’ve made so far. We’re all going in the same direction, so please say hello to mummy, mama, and papa for us. We will always love you.

Your niece
IJEOMA OFODILE (NWAMMAJI)

A TRIBUTE TO UNCLE CHARLIE

Dear Uncle Charlie, I had a dream about you the other night. I dreamt you were still with us, but we all knew you were going to die. You were carrying out your annual Christmas tradition of driving us, your children, nieces, and nephews, around to see relatives. We started saying our final goodbyes to you at the last house. I started crying because we knew it was the last time we’d see you. My tears were shed not only for the loss of a loved one but also because I knew that your death meant the loss of something more. A lot of my childhood Christmas memories revolved around you transporting us from one relative to the next. I met other members of the Iyizoba family, the Onyiukes, the Ezekwes, and Agbims, all because of you. We’d go to Abagana to watch the masquerades and while we were there, we would drop by to visit the Seas.

You were the custodian of our oral history and because of you, I know the origin of the “Iyizoba” surname, a name so rare and unusual. No one could tell a story like you could, with that rich gravelly voice and a cigarette in your hand. You told stories with awe-inspiring eloquence. I used to enjoy hearing your Biafran war stories. I believe I can speak for my cousins, siblings, and myself when I say you kept us firmly rooted in our heritage. It breaks my heart to think that my children will never meet you or hear your stories. Finally, it was time for you to return to Papa, Mama, and Auntie Mmaji. The fact that you died on December 17th strikes me as symbolic. Around this time, we’d all congregate in Enugu, and then travel to Nimo, where you’d start taking us around to see relatives. That time of year will always be associated with you in my mind. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us. We will miss you. We love you.

Your niece
NESOCHI

THERE’S NO STORY OF MY LIFE WITHOUT YOUR NAME IN IT, UNCLE CHARLIE!

I thought about a lot of things while I was with you in the final hours, but it never occurred to me that I would never see you again. The events of that night continue to replay in my mind, reminding me that in life, one must cherish every single moment. When we discussed the possibility of you visiting Nimo for Christmas, I didn’t hold out much hope, but you did, albeit not in the way I would have wished, but in the way God permitted.
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t take anything personally, didn’t hold grudges, didn’t demand anything, literally didn’t expect anything from anyone, and utterly and completely relied on God. Uncle, you were and continue to be the most consistent, content, and selfless person I have ever known. Uncle, you were so brave in the last few months, cleverly hiding your pain; how could we have known what you were going through? Even at the very end, you put us all first.
Thank you, Uncle, for the childhood memories and experiences you provided us. Thank you for believing in me and entrusting me with your timeless Ede & Ravenscroft wig and gown, which I proudly wear today.
God Bless you My Uncle Charlie!!!

Your niece
BALUM

THANK YOU FOR TEACHING US HOW TO BE PROUD OF OUR COUNTRY

Spending time with Uncle Charlie taught us to be proud of our country. With his smooth, raspy, velvety, deep baritone voice, he often held us transfixed with stories of his life experiences while deeply analyzing the issue with Nigeria, unafraid to speak his mind, yet we could sense a deep abiding love for his fatherland that infected us. He was aware of its capabilities, especially in light of Nigeria’s vast natural resources. Uncle Charlie, in essence, knew what the nation could be and how we should bring our talents to the land in order to help it reach its full potential.
As a result, we were eagerly planning a trip back to Nigeria soon, to reconnect with our beloved cousins and to hear Uncle Charlie’s stories of Nigeria’s rich history once more, but alas, this was not to be. “When man plans, God laughs,” as the saying goes, and death has taken away our favorite uncle. Nonetheless, Uncle Charlie, thank you for teaching us what it means to be proud of our heritage. Thank you also for reminding us to give back to the community that has given us so much.
May God continue to bless your daughters (our cousins Ekamma and Onyinye) and your wife (our Aunty Florence), and may God’s Light envelope your soul in love, peace, and fulfillment forever. Amen

Ann’s four children
LORRAINE, PATRICK, PAMELA, AND RICHARD

UNCLE CHARLIE, A TRIBUTE

Your time shall come
You will see the end in all its glory
Then you will bleed light
The thread becomes visible
Me to you

You to me to them
The thread connects one end to another
And then another
And then another
Me to you

You to me to them
The infinite weaving of Gods plan
This is not the end.

My dear Uncle Charlie, it appears that your journey on this side of the pond has come to an end, and you have crossed the pond and are now in the evergreen meadows of everlasting rest. Those of us who remain on this side, however, must deal with the void your absence has left.
Many things will be said about the many lives you have influenced, including mine. With each decade that passed, I gained a better understanding of who you were, from the tough disciplinarian of my childhood to the historian/scholar of my early adulthood to the wise sage.
One of my favorite childhood memories of you is when we were walking around egbengwu and you were telling us the history of each family house we passed, stories that no one else had ever told us, and that we may never hear again now that you are gone. I also recall you taking us to watch mmuo every December. These are memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. Because of you, I appreciate our Igbo way of life even more, why it was important for us to reconnect with our ancestors, with our history. I’ll miss your face, which has similarities to my mother’s. I’ll miss your voice: smooth and deep, but a little rough around the edges. Uncle, you taught me the importance of hard work and striving for excellence in any endeavor, whether it was as simple as cleaning my room or as serious as working towards a degree; not for external adulation or reward, but for my own personal fulfillment and satisfaction. I’m grateful for this lesson.
You were a wonderful uncle to me, and I am grateful to God that I was able to accompany you on your life’s journey, even if only for a short time, and how short that time has been. Thank you for being who you are. You will live on in our memories, in our blood, in our decisions, in our breath, and in the stories, we pass down to future generations. Rest in Peace! Je n’Udo

Your nephew
ODERA ADIMORAH

TO UNCLE CHARLIE PARKER


Uncle Charlie Parker. I write this tribute to you with great sorrow and sadness. You were a one-in-a-million uncle; you were humble, kind, loving, caring, and all-around good in heart and soul! I remember you coming to my traditional wedding despite your frail health. Uncle, you were a shining example of humility, your love knew no bounds, and I thank God for the opportunity to know you. You were a great pillar of support when my father was down. I only wish we had more time to continue to appreciate you. May God Almighty keep you in perfect peace until the day of the Resurrection, Amen! My heartfelt farewell, Uncle!

Your niece and her husband
ODERA AND CHINEDU ODUNUKWE

HI UNCLE CHARLIE!

As I write this tribute, it feels completely surreal; the idea of you being gone is foreign to me because you have always been a constant in my life, much like the sun, moon, or seasons, your presence is unwavering. But that isn’t the only thing that remains constant about you. Nothing can shake your belief in what is right because your beliefs and principles are like a rock that ground you. To those on the outside, it may have appeared as “stubbornness,” but to those who know you, it is faith.

Your belief in goodness and truth. I have so many memories of you to share, but the Christmas memories you created for my siblings and cousins will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember being so terrified when we went to watch masquerades at Abagana that I began to pray and speak in tongues in an attempt to disperse them. Even as you laughed, you held my hand tightly, assuring me that nothing could happen to me as long as you were there.
I struggled with writing in the past tense when I began this tribute, but now I realize I don’t have to use the past tense because you are still here with us, in our hearts, minds, and the ways you teach us to live. Uncle Charlie, rest in the boundless love of God. Until our paths cross again.

Your Nephew
KAELO

TRIBUTE TO A BELOVED BROTHER-IN-LAW

Members of Charlie’s family who were with him in hospital in Abuja on the night of his departure saw a man who knew his earthly life was coming to an end. Charlie, who was in pain and unable to speak, seemed to improve and began talking and shaking hands with those gathered around his bed. Although it was late at night and the sky was pitch black, he claimed to have seen the sunset! Charlie was completely prepared to die. Charlie Parker is indeed gone!
The truth is that at this point in our lives, at least for those of us over the age of seventy, we are all on a bus bound for our respective final destinations. When it arrives at each person’s bus stop, he gets off and that’s the end of it! Charlie arrived at his bus stop on December 18, 2021. Many people may not have realized Charlie was ill for a long time. That was because he took his illness in stride and never made a fuss about it, nor did he want anyone else to worry about it; instead, he was quietly preparing himself for death. Indeed, he frequently expressed his desire and readiness to return to his creator. He was well-prepared, and I am confident that he is now where he wants to be and at peace. Charlie would not have wanted anybody to mourn; he would have preferred that we celebrate his life.


Charlie was a calm, intelligent quintessential gentleman of the highest caliber; he was also a lot of fun to be around. He was highly cerebral, capable of debating politics and current events in an analytical and incisive manner. As a result, people enjoyed his company and wanted to spend time with him. I’ve always had a special connection with Charlie. From the moment I was introduced to him, he took a special interest in me and refused to consider any event, such as religion, as a hindrance to his brother OSSY marrying me. Whenever I saw Charles or spoke to him on the phone, I scream at the top of my voice: “CHARLIE PARKER!”
His response: “THE RIGHT HONOURABLE”
It was a ritual! It is now over. The voice is forever silenced! Such a warm personality, a caring husband and father, a beloved brother and uncle, a loving brother-in-law! Charlie, you are in a much better place now – in God’s Hands! All your pains and troubles are over. Florence, Onyinye, and Ekamma will be okay. Rest in Peace, my beloved brother-in-law!

Your sister-in-law
CHINWE

TRIBUTE TO MY BROTHER-IN-LAW, CHARLIE

“Watching the Sun Set.” That was Charlie’s description of his impending death when my wife asked him how he was doing as he lay in the hospital bed on December 16, 2021. When my wife told me, those words, coming from a person of Charlie’s caliber and loaded with meaning, filled me with dread, and I made up my mind to see him the next day at the hospital. When I arrived the next day and saw Charlie, a man who was always vibrant and happy, lying prostrate and helpless on his sickbed, it broke my heart. As we were about to leave the hospital, he extended his hand and shook mine, without saying anything, and his eyes gazed on me, apparently in appreciation for everything we had shared; little did I know he was bidding us a final farewell. When I saw his lifeless body in the morning of the 18th, completely wrapped in cloth, I realized it wasn’t all a dream.

Brother Charlie is gone, never to return; gone with beautiful 60’s tunes constantly blaring in his head, tunes of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Little Richard, and so on, tunes he loved so much when he was alive, tunes that put smiles on his face whenever we were driving together on the streets of Lagos. He was so taken with these songs that his lovely daughters fell in love with them as well. He knew almost every song by heart, word for word. He was a die-hard Beatles fan. Charlie was a simple man who cared little for the things of this world. He was happiest when he was able to assist others. He was so generous that he would borrow from others just to help the needy, and he couldn’t stand it when he saw a poor man being treated badly. It’s difficult for me to think of Charlie as someone from the past. For those of us in Abuja who spent the last days of his life with him, he will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in the Lord. Amen.

Your brother-in-law
ARC. GABE ADIMORAH

GONE FROM US BUT NEVER WILL BE FORGOTTEN

I am known as Donnie by family and friends. Charlie alone called me Donelda, hence making our relationship unique. Charlie and I met very early in my marriage to his brother Willie, and we formed an instant bond that I cannot explain. For me, it was a bond that was unaffected by time or distance. I regarded him as one of my brothers, not as my brother-in-law. I admired his intelligence, life philosophy, dry wit, giving heart, dedication to family and friends, and unwavering faith in God. Charlie was simply “one of a kind.”
I was devastated by the news of his death and walked around in a fog for several days. When I was inconsolable, I didn’t know how to console my husband and the rest of the family. If I was feeling this way, I can only imagine the profound loss his beautiful daughters, whom he adored with all his heart, were and continue to feel. Onyinye and Ekamma, I want you to know that your father will never be forgotten and that your uncle Willie and I will always be there for you.
I am going to share a poem with you that always brings me solace when I have lost a loved one and I hope it does the same for you, your mom, and the rest of the family.

If Tears Could Build A Stairway
If tears could build a stairway
And memories a lane
We would walk right up to heaven
And bring you back again
No farewell words were spoken
No time to say goodbye
You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why
Our hearts still ache in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you

No one will ever know
But now we know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store
Since you’ll never be forgotten

We pledge to you today
A hallowed place within our hearts
Is where you’ll always stay
Author Unknown

Rest in peace my dear brother Charlie until we meet again.

Your sister-in-law
DONELDA (DONNIE) IYIZOBA

TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE, MY AMAZING COUSIN

I have pondered writing this tribute for a long time, but words fail me, and I am looking for words that can do justice to this man we all fondly refer to as Charlie Parker. He was an institution, very cerebral, extremely kind-hearted, intensely honest, fearless, and had little or no regard for financial appropriation. Charlie was unconcerned about factual embellishment and stated things as they were.
Though he was a thorn in the flesh to those who preferred not to hear the truth, he was a hero to others. Charlie was deeply religious and had a thorough understanding of the scriptures, which he applied in his daily life. He demonstrated a strong faith in God and was never afraid, not even of death. He had the makings of a saint, and in a better world, he could have been a holy Catholic priest, in my opinion.
He was a voracious reader with a deep thirst for knowledge, and he was always up to date on virtually every topic that came up for discussion. Charlie Parker was a very unassuming man who was unconcerned about class distinctions based on finances or education. He saw and interacted with people as humans.
Charlie was one of our best. Though he has left this world, his memories will always bring back fond memories that will warm our hearts. Adieu, Charlie Parker!!
May God grant your soul eternal rest. Amen!

Your cousin
FRANCA OFOR

TRIBUTE TO UNCLE CHARLES

My mother told us many stories about Uncle Charlie before I met him for the first time in the mid-1990. Uncle Charlie, she said, would buy gifts for everyone every Christmas. He was kind to poor and needy relatives, as well as friends and well-wishers. When I finally met him, I realized that everything my mother had told us about him was true.
What struck me the most was his faith in divine providence. I recall Uncle Charlie telling a true story to family and friends several times about how he needed fifty thousand naira to pay for his children’s school fees and didn’t know who to turn to, so he prayed to the Blessed Virgin for assistance.
Guess what, the next day there was a knock on his front door, he opened and lo and behold someone had left a brown envelope inside it was exactly “Fifty thousand naira he needed for the school fees, and he searched for the person but to no avail.” Isn’t that incredible? This incident boosted his faith in God. To be honest, Uncle Charlie’s faith inspired me greatly to grow closer to God. Though some may disagree, Uncle Charlie lived a saintly, humble, and God-fearing life in my opinion.
His life should inspire everyone to grow closer to God. So, Uncle Charlie, on behalf of everyone whose life you have touched in some way, I’d like to thank you for leading by example. I would especially like to thank you for restoring my faith in humanity’s goodness and revealing God’s goodness.
Adieu! Big Uncle, rest in the Lord until we meet again. Amen!

Your cousin
ELIZA “OBELE”

THE EXIT OF A GOOD MAN – CHARLES IYIZOBA

Charlie –Parker! My personal person! Charles purchased the jacket I wore to the party where I met my wonderful husband, Maduka. He liked me a lot, and we became close friends and in-laws. He was a great diplomat with a childlike inner being. He never stressed or fretted, as other Iyizobas do. He cherished his life and his cigars and whiskey. He rose to the pinnacle of his profession. He had a wonderful family and was loved and cared for by the Iyizoba family. A good man has perished. My greatest regret is that I did not communicate with Charlie or visit him to pray for, encourage, and support his recovery. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the whole Iyizoba family. We will do everything we can to assist his family in carrying on his legacy. You lived and cherished your life, Charles. Charles Iyizoba, farewell.

Your sister-in-law
DR. IFEYINWA NWAKWESI

ADIEU! BELOVED BROTHER-IN-LAW, UNCLE CHARLIE

I lost a rare gem. I lost a brother-in-law, who was so special and kind to me.
I lost a man who treated me like a daughter and extended the same to my children (Chikwelueze, Maama(Uju), and Ifunanya). I lost a mentor, a man I looked up to. I lost the world’s best brother-in-law, so truthful, disciplined to the core. I lost a brother-in-law whose good deeds, generosity, intelligence, and charisma will never be forgotten. Indeed, your departure pained me in my heart but I am consoled that you lived a good life and got to the peak of your career in sound health of mind and body. As God has deemed it fit to call you home, we surrender all to Him. He will grant us (Iyizobas) the fortitude to bear this loss while hoping to see you again on the resurrection day where we will meet to part no more.

Your sister-in-law
ENGR. MRS ADAEZE IYIZOBA
NMDPRA, Abuja

TRIBUTE TO BARRISTER CHARLES IYIZOBA, A KIND, AND COMPASSIONATE MAN

With extreme shock, I received the news of the passing unto glory of our dear brother Charles on January 1st. As I looked at the obituary poster I received, I realized how time had flown. Reminiscing, I cast my mind back to when we first met after I married his cousin Brian. He showed us love and was always kind, warm, and compassionate. I found him to be a straight talker, and you were never in doubt about where you stood with him.
We were blessed to have known him and still recall his words of wisdom that helped me understand the intricacies of their extended family setup. Navigating the complex family terrain became easier. What shall we say unto the Lord? All we have to say is thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with a kind, eloquent, compassionate, witty, warm man like Charles Chukwuka. A true inspiration whose memories are priceless. Charlie may have passed on, but you will forever be remembered, loved, and sorely missed. Rest in perfect peace, Charlie. The precious memories we have of you will always be evergreen.

Your sister-in-law
THELMA NWOKEDI

TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE IYIZOBA

Chief R.O.M Iyizoba and Dr. P. V. N Ezekwe’s children are scions of two great Onyiuke sisters: Agnes (Onyiuke) Iyizoba and Rebecca (Onyiuke) Ezekwe. They were close and loved each other, and their love is the source of the love that has endured between the Ezekwes and the Iyizobas to this day. But then Charlie arrived, the third child of Aunty Agnes (born a day before Sister Rebecca’s third child, Carol), with his unique, sterling qualities as a human being, and endearing nature, and the love, closeness, and friendship between the two families burned even brighter.

We are eulogizing Charlie in this tribute, which is heartbreaking because eulogies are mostly dedicated to the dead, and we are deeply saddened by his passing, but Charlie is truly deserving of our praises and expressions of love. Charlie was a nonconformist who may have said to himself upon entering this world, “I will live the way I see fit, and speak from the heart, unafraid to stand alone if necessary, but respectfully and considerately and true to my God, so bear with me.” That was the essence of “Charlie Parker,” as we affectionately referred to him; a man of integrity, unapologetically frank and bold, who maintained an enviable sense of detachment from worldly things until the very end. Charlie Parker was a true gentleman.
His vast knowledge of world events, as well as his analysis of situations and circumstances, usually captivated his audience. But, alongside these admirable qualities, there was a humble soul who had no qualms about deferring to the opinions of others. He was completely certain of who he was. Charlie, no airs, no pretenses. The Iyizobas have lost their lovely son, the Ezekwes have lost a brother and friend, the world has lost a true gentleman, but God has gained a Saint.

Charlie Parker, we will miss you greatly, but we are comforted by the fact that your death brought peace and an end to all the physical pain caused by your illness in recent months. Rest in peace, dear one, and know that our prayers will hasten your journey to meet your Maker. We send our heartfelt condolences to Florence, your wife, and your two lovely daughters, Onyinye and Ekamma. Our hearts go out to the incredible Iyizoba family, who showed Charlie so much love and support throughout his life. Farewell and rest in the eternal peace of Christ.

From
UMU REBECCA NWANYIEGBOGU EZEKWE, ADA ONYIUKE
(The Family of late Dr. and Mrs. P. V. N Ezekwe of Ezeawulu Nibo)

TO MY BELOVED COUSIN, CHARLIE IYIZOBA

Charlie, you were extraordinary! You have a magnetic personality; one easily warms up to you. You were candid, truthful, and open. You were bold, qualities that endeared people to you. When you took ill last year we were so pained and prayed constantly for your recovery. I had hoped to speak with you when you were taken to the hospital on the 17th of December 2021 to reassure you of our love and encourage you, but alas! We love you and always will. We miss you, Charlie. Goodbye Charlie. May your gracious soul rest in the peace of the Lord, Amen.

Your cousin
PROF. IFEOMA ENEANYA (NEE EZEKWE)

TRIBUTE TO A RARE GEM

Charlie! Though you may be gone, you have left an imprint in the hearts of many. I remember way back in those years when my father used to tell us to look up to you as a role model worthy of emulation. You were smart and always well-behaved. Your humility and kindness were unprecedented. You were ever ready to assist people, especially your own. Indeed, you touched the lives of many in one way or another. As a diplomat, you were sound. Among other things, you ensured that every Nigerian student on scholarship in the USA was able to access their student’s loan. I especially remember how you facilitated the process for me to access mine. You were a brother and a friend to me. I will live to always remember you. We will miss you dear brother, most especially your siblings. May God in His infinite mercy grant them the fortitude to bear the loss. May your soul rest in peace in the bosom of the Lord.

Your cousin
FRANK ALAMAH

MY TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE CHARLIE, MY FRIEND & OKENWADIANA.

I received the sad news of the demise of Charlie Iyizoba from Edu Boy, his youngest brother. I was devastated, to say the least, because I was hoping to see Charlie in Nimo during the 2021 Christmas Season. Unfortunately, it was not ordained. What can I say about Charlie that many who knew him well cannot imagine? Charlie was a mellow and highly educated man with indescribable humanity and love for the downtrodden. In him, I found a man who laid his treasures in Heaven. You may be wondering what I am talking about, but please bear with me and read on.

I will share only two aspects to prove my honest analysis of this man I call Charlie Charlie. In the early 1970s when I was living briefly with the Iyizobas in East Orange, NJ; I saw a rare quality in Charlie that I have never seen in anybody, talk less of any Igbo man. Charlie would get his biweekly paycheck and sign the back of the check and leave it on the table for his immediate junior brother, the indomitable Eddy Iyizoba, now Dr. Edward Iyizoba, (MD), to cash and buy food for the family and pay the apartment rent. A normal man would NEVER do that! Rather, he would contribute his share, but everyone else must also contribute their share. The majority of men today, money mongers, would NOT even contribute their fair share without a vicious fight and someone twisting their arm. These extraordinary acts of Charlie endeared him to my heart and when I say that Charlie laid his treasures in heaven; you may begin to get my point. Charlie was not a worldly-oriented soul. He was highly religious, honest, hardworking, and a lovable gentleman.

The second aspect that led me to conclude that Charlie laid his treasures in Heaven was his refusal to accept bribes to execute his job as once the General Manager of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos HQ. In a country where cheating, bribery, and corruption are the way of life and are accepted as the norm, once again Charlie refused to amass wealth and riches by trampling on honesty, decency, and good ethics. He chose dedication to duty and fear of God; for it is written: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul”. He refused to collect N10M (ten million naira) bribe/extortion to sign the shipping documents for importers of various goods into Nigeria. He also refused a “cash- thank- you” from surprised shippers and businessmen who wondered whether this rare gem was a Nigerian. Yes, Charlie was a Nigerian of the Igbo Tribe. A dedicated Federal Employee who never left his office without finishing all the in-files on his desk as the GM of NPA. Yes, he had to fight the status quo and some family backlash for playing the honest man in a country where basically everyone is a thief one way or the other. His life was threatened many times by the rogue employees who found his dedication to duty an obstruction to their daily brigandage in the name of chasing money from all angles.
Charlie truly laid his treasures in Heaven for he died a poor man on earth but one of the richest men in Paradise. I will miss your company Charlie but God Almighty needs you more than we do on this wicked planet heading to perdition. Adieu, my friend, nwadiana, and a rare gem. I am sure the Angels in High Heaven are singing their welcome chorus for your soul.

To Florence, your wife, and your daughters, I say take heart for Charlie has gone home to the Lord. If this country has people in high places and positions in the ministries and parastatals who can emulate the standards Charlie set in public service and beyond, Nigeria would be on her way as a competitor among the comity of nations around the world. Charlie lived a good life without riches, mansions, millions/billions of money stashed away for generations yet unborn at the expense of the living. He is smiling at us in our follies as we go about killing one another in our quest for worldly wealth. Goodbye, my friend Charlie until we meet again. In you, the world has lost an Angel.

From your namesake & friend,
PRINCE OKEY CHARLES ONYIUKE, KOFC
NJ, USA

TRIBUTE TO UNCLE CHARLIE… A MAN WITH A HEART OF GOLD

The news of your death came as a rude shock to me, but I take solace in the fact that you lived a life of fulfillment, a life that was in sync with Jesus Christ’s command to be good to whoever is your neighbor. You are one of those who come to mind when I think of the biblical Good Samaritan. Everyone was not just a neighbor to you, but a brother and sister. You loved and cared for everyone who came into contact with you the same way you would love and care for your biological children.
You chose the best, a life of love, which the Bible clearly states is the greatest and most important virtue of all. There was no ‘Jew or Gentile’ in your good nature and giving spirit. Even if you don’t have anything material to give, you would give your time, guidance, advice, and prayers. The place for men of goodwill is surely in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ and I am certain that that is where you are. Adieu my sweet Uncle Charlie
Adieu Kind heart and soul. Adieu Golden heart. Rest in perfect peace Nwachukwu until the resurrection morning where we will meet to part no more, Amen.

From
MRS. NGOZI OKEREKE
(Nee Micheal Udemezue Onyiuke)

A TRIBUTE TO MY DEAR UNCLE, A MAN OF PEACE AND THE PEOPLE

When I learned of Uncle Charlie’s death on December 18, 2021, I was shocked and devastated. Uncle Charlie was a wonderful man who lived for the betterment and happiness of others. Without hesitation, I would argue that he lived solely for humanity and a life that I will refer to as “heaven on Earth.” I do not doubt that his lovely soul will live in eternal bliss.
He was gentle, kind, peaceful, generous, loving, social, happy, gentle, God-fearing, and cheerful. Uncle Charlie never discriminated against or looked down on anyone; rather, he welcomed everyone as a member of the family and a friend. He was radiantly happy on the inside, with an infectious smile and laughter. Uncle Charlie was truly the best of his breed. Rest in peace, good man, until we meet again. I will miss you dearly. May the Almighty God console and comfort the family and everyone you left behind.

From
MR. ONYIUKE IFEANYI SAMUEL & FAMILY
(Son of Late Prince Michael Udemezue Onyiuke)

TRIBUTE TO BOSS MAN, BARR. CHARLIE IYIZOBA

What a day it was when your brother, Chiedu, called to tell me you’d died. I was numb because I had just talked with Lizzy, your sister, about your condition and how God had preserved you in His infinite Mercy. However, God had a better plan; man proposes, God disposes, and God’s Will is always Supreme. You and I have been friends for about 50 years. I met you through my late brother, Prof. Dr. Ifeanyi Achebe; we all became family friends with the Iyizobas and have remained so to this day. In a strange way, you were close to me. I suspected that your elder brother, Ossy, and my brother, Ifeanyi, were plotting for us to date. I was aware of the plotting, but as a vivacious adolescent on the verge of puberty, I laughed it off.
You and I eventually settled on Agape Love, which was priceless to me because you were always there for me, whether in Washington, New Jersey, or anywhere else. You had a calm demeanor. You’re always minding your own business, reading your newspapers, and oblivious to what’s going on around you. Many people mistook your demeanor for arrogance, aloofness, and the like, not realizing that it was your own way of not hurting anyone and that beneath that outer husk was a deep humility, honesty, boldness, confidence, and courage that I always admired.

You chose your words carefully since you were a man of few words; nonetheless, you never suffer fools gladly. Regretfully, I missed the opportunity to visit you while you were having your health challenges, at least to reminisce about the old times. Oh! Well, the vicissitude of life denied me that. But God knows best. You will be remembered for your good deeds. Posterity will speak well of you. History will judge you well. Although you’re no longer with us, I know that your spirit lives on in your wife, children, and other relations. We will not mourn you. Instead, we will celebrate you. Surely, a place is reserved for you in heaven. You have run the race and now, it’s time to rest. Remember us always up there as we also continue to pray for you down here. May your soul journey well into the bosom of the Lord, Amen! May you have eternal rest, Amen! Fare Thee well! Je nke oma. Na nu udo! Good night, boss man! Agape love.

Your friend
CHIEF (MRS) NGOZI ACHEBE-AKPOJOSEVBE (Adaife 1, ifitedunu)

TRIBUTE TO MY FRIEND AND BROTHER, CHARLES

He was courageous, confident, charismatic, catalytic, and catholic. He was a patriot who lived a life dedicated to others just like the Bible instructs (Matthew 25:30) “For as long as you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me.” Charles and I were both students at the College of Immaculate Conception (CIC) in Enugu. The school assisted us in deepening our Catholic faith. I ran into Charles after the war at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington; it was a wonderful reunion. He assisted me in obtaining materials for my doctoral research. He also treated me to a nice lunch on another occasion.
Years later, we reconnected in Nigeria, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was still practicing his Catholic faith and attending Mass daily. I had a chance to meet with him at Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos in December 1995. While we were talking after the Mass, he asked if I had been to Aokpe, the site of the alleged apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but I had never heard of the place. I inquired and discovered that the apparition had drawn a large crowd. As a result, I gathered a group of people and we traveled to Aokpe in January 1996, and it changed my life. I became a devoted follower of Mary.

CHARLES despised injustice and would bravely and truthfully condemn the Society’s outrageous ills in any form, but more importantly, he was always willing to lend a helping hand. He assisted me in my Ichie ndi Igbo project. Taking me on a tour to meet with various Igbo leaders so that I could pitch my project to them. We met with the former Biafran soldier, Alex Madiebo, Col. Tony Eze, Admiral Alison Madueke, and Rich Okafor. Charles was also friends with prominent Yoruba leaders like Ayo Okpadeku and Ebenerzer Babatope. He introduced me to Professor Joy Ogwu (DG NIIA, Lagos), a classmate of his at Rutgers and Columbia.

Charles also volunteered to assist with other projects. He was a great motivator and advocated for our project to empower young people to become entrepreneurs capable of creating jobs. He introduced me to people like Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Chief Tom Ikimi, Abdulazeez Ude, and Admiral Alison Madueke. When he relocated to Abuja, he became more helpful in supporting my projects and facilitated my meeting with Professor Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), in 2013. He was also acquainted with the proprietors of DAAR communication Plc and ThisDay newspapers.
The death of my friend and supporter, Charles, has deeply saddened me. He has, indeed, left his imprint in the sands of time. He fought a good fight, and God will reward him because he lived for others, as he stated in his book “Life is for Others.”
Adieu my brother, may Mary lead you to Jesus.

From
LARRY C. FEJOKWU

THE BEST AMBASSADOR THAT NEVER WAS

Charles was a one-of-a-kind, a true brother, a diplomat extraordinaire, an officer and a gentleman. Charles was “Nigeria’s best” Ambassador, that never was. He lived up to the title of his book, “Life is for others.”
From
Emeka B Obasi, Esquire

TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND AND A BROTHER

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born and a time to die

—Eccl. 3:1-2

As human beings each time we lose a dear one we die a little, a little piece of our heart is forever broken. But then the Bible says, “O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory. But thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Sir Charles loved and served God diligently so we are sure that he is heaven smiling down at us right now.
Charlie, it was a pleasure and a privilege to call you a friend; but you were more than a friend; you were a brother from another mother. Sir Charles was a decent man; he was honest, forthright (sometimes to a fault), selfless, genuine, and unique, and he was kind and hospitable. And he had the fortitude to face any challenge. But what we remember most about him is his wicked sense of humor and jokes. He made fun of himself and never took himself too seriously. We will also miss his vast and diverse knowledge of everything. If you needed a historical or cultural perspective on an issue, he was the man to see.
Those who will miss him the most are his lovely wife, Florence, and “Charle’s Angels,” Onyinye and Ekamma, whom he raised into the lovely women we see today; his girls were the love of his life.
Sir Charles lived his life in his own way, doing the things he enjoyed; he was a wonderful companion. Sir Charles was ready to meet death whenever and however it came; in fact, we could argue that he had been fearlessly preparing for it for over thirty years that we had known him. So, on December 18th, 2021, he was well prepared to give an account of his life to his Lord and Maker.
We, the Usman family, pray for his soul’s rest. We pray that God will console his wife Florence and his daughters, Onyinye and Ekamma, and that God will give the entire Iyizoba family, his numerous relatives, friends, and well-wishers the strength to bear this loss.
Rest in peace at the bosom of the almighty God till we meet again.

Love always
Miss Tootsie, Esther, Yorraha Usman

TRIBUTE TO OUR GREAT IN- LAW MR CHARLES IYIZOBA

The family of late sir FGN OKOYE sends this tribute in honor of a great son of Nigeria, Mr. Charles Iyizoba. Charle’s senior brother, Chief Ossy Iyizoba, married our sister, Justice Chinwe Iyizoba and a passionate and inspiring relationship began with the Okoyes and Iyizobas. The Iyizoba family is a role model family and many families need to emulate the unity, love, and harmony that exists in their family. Charles was a great ambassador of the Iyizoba clan as he was a very amiable, warm, and kind individual. He was a brilliant man and was a very successful career diplomat and excelled in his job. He was at one time a top official of the Nigerian Ports Authority. It was widely known that Charles never accepted to be bribed for rendering his professional services. Charles loved life, his cigar, and his brandy.

He had a great family life and was blessed with a lovely wife Florence and two beautiful daughters.
The Iyizoba clan rallied and took care of him with love prayers and financial support. We are pained that Charles passed on, so untimely, but it is not how long we live but how well. Let us all emulate the life of love, peace, inner contentment, harmony, happiness, and humility which were the hallmark of Charles’s life, and let us also learn how families can team up and sustain the great legacies built by their patriarch and matriarch. We are proud of the role Chief Ossy and our sister, justice Chinwe Iyizoba, are playing in the Iyizoba clan. We are proud of our sister Chinwe, for being part of the growth and harmony that exists in the Iyizoba clan. We condole the entire Iyizoba clan through the head of the Iyizoba clan, Chief Johnny Iyizoba, and the entire Onyuike clan, where Chief Mrs. Agnes Iyizoba, the Matriarch of the Iyizoba family came from. We also extend our condolence to all our in-laws, especially Gabe and Elizabeth Adimorah, and we thank Elizabeth for the amazing role she is playing in the Iyizoba family. We also thank God that the younger generations of the Iyizobas are doing well and ready to take over the mantle of leadership.
We say Good night to a great son of Nimo, Anambra state, and Nigeria – CHARLES IYIZOBA,

Chief JC Okoye
Chinyelugo 11
For and behalf of
Late Chief sir FGN Okoye Family.

The EXIT OF A GOOD MAN – CHARLES IYIZOBA

The family of Dr. Maduka Nwakwesi sends this tribute in honor of a good man in every sense of the word – Mr. Charles Iyizoba. We are connected to the Iyizobas as our matriarch, Dr. Ifeyinwa Nwakwesi, is the junior sister to the matriarch of Chief Ossy Iyizoba family, Justice Chinwe Iyizoba. Significantly, Charles came with Dr. Iffy Nwakwesi to the party where our patriarch, Dr. Maduka Nwakwesi, met her for the first time. Charlie-Parker was a great man that was deeply loved as he was a very warm and caring person. He was a very calm, brilliant diplomat, with a very child-like inner being. He never stressed or fussed typical of most Iyizobas. He loved his cigar and brandy and excelled to the top of his career. He is blessed with a lovely family and was loved and cared for by the Iyizoba clan. A good man has fallen.

Our greatest regret is that we lost touch with Charlie as we would have loved to pray, encourage and support his recovery. We like the bonding and love that is seen in the Iyizoba family. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with them as the warm ambiance you feel is very gratifying. Chief Ossy and his wife, Justice Chinwe Iyizoba, are some of the nicest people we know. They provided a solid platform for the expansion and growth of the Iyizoba clan. We are very proud of the inclusive nature of Justice Chinwe in being a role model wife and mother, pushing for peace and harmony in the Iyizoba family. We also recognize the role their great daughter, Elizabeth Adimorah, is playing in their family as she is a role model Ada of the family. We also are very proud of the entire Iyizoba clan as they are all committed to protecting the legacy of peace, harmony, and love put in place by their father and mother Chief & Mrs. Iyizoba
Our condolences to Florence, Charles’ wife, his daughters, and the entire Iyizoba clan.
Charles, you lived a good life. Adieu, Charles Iyizoba
Mr. Obinna Nwakwesi
Omekannia
For Dr. Maduka Nwakwesi Family

MY DEAR BIG COUSIN, BARRISTER CHARLES IYIZOBA

It is with great shock that I took the news of your departure. I was planning to see you this Christmas; I didn’t know it was not to be. While working in Irving and Bonnar Lagos, in the ‘90s, you were the only family member I had in Lagos and we bonded with my weekend hangout at your house in Apapa GRA Lagos.
You are very kind-hearted and loving. You are always willing to help and fun to be with. May your gentle soul continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord!! I will forever miss you!!

Atty. Amaka E. Iyizoba
Atlanta Georgia

Condolences

Please Pray for him!





How to shine as a Parent

25 05 2021
Shine

Parenting is not an easy task, sometimes it requires more courage and right thinking than any other endeavor thus little wonder that many people shy away from having children.

In the film, Shine, child piano prodigy, David Helfgott has a father, Peter Helfgott, who is overbearing and turned their little family of four into tense and anxious place rather than a house of peace.  Peter Helfgott’s anger stems from his difficult childhood, a polish Jew and holocaust survivor, and having to struggle against great odd to fend for himself,  thus he never fails to remind David how lucky he is, often asking him to repeat the words, “ I am a very lucky boy”. Furthermore, he pushed the boy to win at all cost, and would shout and hit the table with his fists if he didn’t and even asked his tutor to teach the boy to play Rachmaninoff, a complicate piece music way above his age and yet would not permit him to accept a scholarship to the London school of music.  Consequently the adolescent David rebelled went off to London on scholarship prompting his father to repudiate him and break all ties with him. Nevertheless, at the London school, he finally leans enough to play the Rachmaninoff at an orchestra, monumental effort that triggers his psychosis. The entire plot of the movie leaves very little doubt that Peter Helfgott parenting style is not the right way to be a good parent.

The most importance lesson to be drawn from Helfgott family tragic history is that parental authority is not all about imposing your will on your children, or a kind of obedience at all cost attitude, in which children obey because they are terrified of the consequences of not doing so. David’s father threw the weight of his authority around every decision he made about David and would no broach a no for an answer and hardly even bothered to ask David’s opinion. For instance when David got the scholarship, despite his misgivings, He should have sat down with his son to discuss the pro and cons and listen to his son opinion after all it his future.

Although David true siblings has refuted the claims made in the film,  arguing that their father was not like that and that he was mischaracterized in the movie for commercial gains, it is still pertinent warning for other parents who perhaps may have toe that line

On the opposite extreme of Peter Helfgott, are parents who cave in to every demand of their children, we can call this defect permissive parenting, where the parents feel the need to cater for every whim and caprice of the child.  This is because, according to this article, ~ “parents fear disciplining their children due to some negative consequences they themselves have suffered because their own parents imposed things on them. Yet, to give to a child everything it wants is to lie to that child. Hence as a result we could conclude that the virtue of a good parent lies in the middle of both extreme. It is a balance between allowing them to act freely and teaching them how to take responsibility for their actions, because freedom and responsibility are inseparable. Furthermore, exercising authority comes from offering children the knowledge and tools they need to grow into responsible adults  and this lies precisely in giving them a good example which they can emulate since children generally observe and learn from what they see their parents and other adults do.  This website has videos explaining the common problem that often arises when bringing up children and it might be worth watching.





What Beowulf has to say to us?

21 05 2021
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Beowulf (2007)

Living in age where the nuclear family is under attack and fatherhood is considered irrelevant hold over from the middle ages, the epic poem, Beowulf, written probably in the 6th century by an unknown author may have something to say to us. Director Robert Zemeckis  2007 CG remake of the poem Beowulf is delight to watch.

The movie Beowulf (2007) is in 507 AD when a legendary warrior, Beowulf (Ray Winstone) comes with his band of soldiers to Denmark to the aid Danish King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) against the demon Grendel who torments his mead hall and kills and eats his men.  To confront the devil, Beowulf told the beautiful Danish Queen Wealtheow, whom he had fallen in love with, that since he had no weapon that could kill a demon, he would fight the devil naked and let fate decide who will win. Though funny, there is a fine logic behind Beowulf’s idea that reminds me of sayings of St. Josemaria, in his book the Way:

“Detach yourself from people and things until you are stripped of them. For, says Pope Saint Gregory, the devil has nothing of his own in this world, and naked he comes to battle. If you go clothed to fight him, you will soon be pulled to the ground: for he will have something to catch you by (The Way, pt 149).”

 If the devil has nothing and comes to battle naked, then those who wish to do battle with the devil must meet him on equal term by equally being naked, or else they would be putting themselves at great disadvantage the fight. Put in another way, if we are attached to anything, the devil will use that thing to defeat us. It happens all the time, for instance, a drunk attached to the bottle is dragged to the gutters by the devil through the bottle, and similarly a man attached to sex and women is dragged by the devil to his destruction through sex and women.

Thus, Beowulf strips himself of everything and lay naked waiting Grendel, and when Grendel (Crispin Glover) enters the mead hall that night catching and eating men, only Beowulf who was naked escapes his clutches and thus was able to fight him, cutting off his arm thus wounded Grendel ran off howling in anguish back to the swamp from which he came and there he died. The King Hrothgar gave a mighty feast in honor of Beowulf and made him a gift of his golden drinking horn. However, after the celebration, Beowulf wakes the next day to find that all his men have been slaughtered except for his friend Wiglaf who was not with the others.  King Hrothgar conjectures that must be Grendel’s mother who has done it, and called her the last of the water demons and confessing that he taught she was dead.

Thus Beowulf goes to the swamp to kill Grendel’s mother, queen of the devil, but she meets him in the form beautiful naked woman (Angelina Jolie) and enchants him, promising him to make him a king if he would love her and give her a child. She then took the dragon drinking horn from him and told him that as long as she keeps the horn she will never break her promises and Beowulf succumbs. Back home, Beowulf brings back Grendel head tells lies to his people, that he has killed the queen of the devils but the Hrothgar smells a rat and confronting him asks, “You have brought back the head of Grendel, but where is the head of the mother? To which Beowulf could give no answer except to retort, “Do you think she would’ve let me live if I didn’t kill her? And the old king suspecting what must have happened laughs and says to Beowulf, “It does not matter, what matters is that Grendel is dead and the curse of Grendel’s mother is no longer my problem.” It was then that Beowulf understood that he has now inherited the curse of childlessness and bareness with which King Hrothgars was accursed because of his sexual liaison with the queen of the devil.  Hrothgars then calling his people told them that since he has no son, upon his death, Beowulf would be king and with that he takes a leap through the window committing suicide.

Thus Beowulf becomes king and marries Queen Wealtheow but theirs is not a happy marriage and fifty years later, having conquered all the surrounding kingdoms, he is desperately unhappy and childless. However, Queen Wealtheow who is now a Christian sadly watches her husband’s infidelities, as he crawls into bed with different women, but thanks to her Christian faith  she was able to forgive. Then one day, a slave found the golden dragon cup returns it to Beowulf, who realizes that the evil queen was no longer protecting him and worries and prepares to returns to the swamp to try and return the golden cup. His wife, the queen, begs him not to go. Beowulf finally confesses all he has done and asks his wife forgiveness, declaring he has always loved her and she forgives and returns his love and affection. And his final words to her were that she should remember him, not as a warrior but as a man who had failings and weakness. With the love between him and his wife restored, Beowulf takes heart to confront the evil queen but it was too late for the fruit of their unholy liaison has grown into a mighty dragon that has already begun unleashing terror in the land and Beowulf dies from severe loss of blood because he had to cut off his own arm (much the same way that he cut Grendel’s arm) in other to kill the dragon and save his wife whom the dragon was about to slaughter.

There are many lessons to be learned from this film, one of them is the love of family, both on the side of the good guys and on the bad guys. Later in the film when we learn that the demon, Grendel was the son of Hrothgar, King of the Danes, through his unholy liaison with this Grendel’s mother, queen of the devil, we thus understand why Grendel did not harm Hrothgar, when he first attacked the mead hall, this was because even a demon does not kill his own father, Furthermore, when he returns  to the swamp, his mother, the queen of the devil asks him about his  father and Grendel quickly replied telling her, “I did no harm him,” which made her happy. Thus this film is very pro-family and fatherhood is sacred even to a heinous creature like Grendel.

The second lesson is revealed still in the opening scenes of the movie where we see the, Queen Wealtheow a modest and chaste woman who would not participate in the revelry and debauchery going on at the mead hall and thus when devil Grendel struck, it was as if Grendel had no power over her and she was invisible to him. This has been proven time and again, when girls and women guard their virginity through modesty and by not succumbing to the temptation turning their bodies into a canal play ground and toys, then they would not be tormented by the demons of abortions and others. But to do that they need to   shun pride and avoid dialoging with the devil. This was the mistake Eve made in the Garden of Eden according to the book of Genesis, when she willing entered into dialogue with the serpent in the garden, allowing him to fill her with his empty promises.  Beowulf equally made the same mistake when fell into the evil queen’s trap by dialoging with her and hence allowing her to fill him with her empty promises

 It is just as St. Josemaria advices those who wish to make progress in the interior life never to dialogue with the devil. The reason is because the devil is as old as the world and full of lies and empty promises, we cannot hope to match his capacity for deception, and the best thing is never to enter into dialogue and give the devil the opportunity to convince us because would lose we have an enemy within us that is attracted to sin from what spiritual writers call the wound of original sin. Thus we have a fallen nature and thus find it difficult to do good and easy to do evil, so the best defense against the devil who can easily seduce is never to dialogue. In conclusion, I would say that the movie Beowulf (2007) apart from a few incidents of bad language and adult scenes is very instructive and has a lot to teach us.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





It all begins at home

7 02 2021

On a chilly September night in 1994, two teenage brothers forced an 11 year old boy, Robert Sandifer into the back of a car, drove him to an alley, told him to get out and on his knees and shot him twice at the back of the head killing him. Robert (also called “Yummy”) and the teenage brothers where part of a gang robbing, raping and dealing drugs in the neighborhood, and Yummy was on the run for killing a teenage girl, the problem was that the brothers felt Yummy was compromised and could give them away and the only way to deal with that was to take him out. The news broke in Chicago media and indeed the world was amazed that such young boys where capable of such crime, and the Times featured Yummy’s picture on the front page with the title, “Too young to kill, too young to die.” The two brothers were arrested however, the older who was 16 at the time was sentenced to 60 years jail time, while the younger 14, got 45 year jail.

How did things come to such a pass and how did these youngsters turn killers. Some people blame this tragic incident on the failure of the system to provide guidance, encouragement for youngsters. But all time superstars, Denzel Washington disagrees.

“It all begins at the home,” he says, “because the time the system comes into play, the damage is done. Where was his father? It starts in the house, it starts in the home… If the father is not home, then the street becomes the father.”

So, where were Yummy’s mother and father? Yummy mother was arrested multiple times for prostitution, and his father was in jail for felony and he was seriously abused boy, who ran away juvenile home authorities sent him after his mother’s arrest, and at age of 8 lived out on the streets where he joined up with gangs running drugs and robbing people. 

“So we have to ask where Yummy’s father was.” Washington continues “and if you say he is jail, I would ask where the father of Yummy’s father was?”

Denzel Washington

What Washington is saying is that parents are the first educators of their children and if they fail in that duty, it is usually too late to help. And he is not the only one saying it. The Catholic Church has been preaching this for centuries, that parents have the great duty to bring up their children to be good citizens and no system, or government agency can play that role effectively, making it all important that governments should promote stable families.

 Pope Francis adds that the family is the “center of love” where the law of respect and communion reigns and is able to resist the pressure of manipulation and domination from the world’s ‘power centers’. In the heart of the family, the person naturally and harmoniously blends into a human group, overcoming the false opposition between the individual and society.

St. Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei, when asked about how parents can become good fathers and good mothers said:

Parents teach their children mainly through their own conduct. What a son or daughter looks for in a father or mother is not only a certain amount of knowledge or some more or less effective advice, but primarily something more important: a proof of the value and meaning of life, shown through the life of a specific person, and confirmed in the different situations and circumstances that occur over a period of time. He continues saying that

The parents are the first people responsible for the education of their children, in human as well as in spiritual matters. They should be conscious of the extent of their responsibility. To fulfill it, they need prudence, understanding, a capacity to love and a concern for giving good example.

Being a father or a mother is not simply a matter of bringing children into the world. The capacity for generation, which is a share in the creative power of God, is meant to have a continuation. Parents are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the development of their children into men and women who will be authentic Christians.

It is true that in today’s busy world parents have to grapple with lots of things, including not having enough time to be with their children as a result of work or lack of it, or some other circumstances that impede them from carrying out this duty, but St. Josemaria insist:

Parents should find time to spend with their children, to talk with them. They are the most important thing – more important than business or work or rest. In their conversations “parents should make an effort to listen, to pay attention, to understand, to recognize the fact that their children are sometimes partly right – or even completely right – in some of their rebellious attitudes. At the same time, they should help their children to direct their efforts and to carry out their projects properly, teaching them to consider things and to reason them out. It is not a matter of imposing a line of conduct, but rather of showing the human and supernatural motives for it. In a word, parents have to respect their children’s freedom, because there is no real education without personal responsibility, and there is no responsibility without freedom.”

And in January 16, 1915, speaking at a meeting of Families in Manila, Pope Francis also warned of some ideologies seeking to destroy the family:

“The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life and adds that every threat to the family is a threat to society itself.”

Not to mention the sexual revolution that has been wrecking havoc since its inception in the 60’s on the lives of vulnerable young men and women, resulting in spiking teenage pregnancies, poverty, crime, school dropout and substance abuse. This comes out graphically in the case of Yummy and the two teenage boys who killed him. Lottie Joiner, writing for the Center for Health Journalism, lives in a neighborhood four miles from U.S Capitol claims that “73 percent of children in the neighborhood live in households headed by a woman.”

“And research show,” she continues, “that children in fatherless homes easily drop out of school, exhibit behavioral problems, end up in the criminal justice system, suffer unemployment, and are at a greater risk of substance and drug abuse.”

University of California San Francisco Professor Howard Pinderhughes adds that “If you don’t have a father in the home who can act as a source of support and one of your pillars for your formation of resilience, then you’re less likely to be resilient in the face of a lot of sources of trauma.”

Family therapist Ayize Ma’at chips in that 90 percent of his clients are black boys without fathers, many of whom come in with major depression disorders.

“We look at our youth and say that they’re bad. I like to say they’re hurting,” said Ma’at. “Their behaviors are behaviors of them acting out pain. They’re just trying to meet a need — the need to be included, to be loved, to be welcomed, respected and wanted.”

The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family,” Pope Francis continues:

So protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments. Families will always have their trials, but may you never add to them! Instead, be living examples of love, forgiveness and care. Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death. What a gift this would be to society, if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation! So rise with Jesus and Mary, and set out on the path the Lord traces for each of you.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





Wisdom from a third grade dropout: Story of Rick Rigsby

21 01 2021

A few days after, a Journalist, Rick Rigsby, delivered this speech, it received more than 130 million views on YouTube, and it is called the most motivational speeches ever given. In his speech, he said that one of the wisest person he ever met in his life was a third grade dropout, who taught him to combine knowledge with wisdom to make an impact–his father.

A simple cook who left school to help out in the family, his father believed he left school not education, and never let his lack of education get in the way of his achievements. He taught himself how to read and write and decided to be a man: not a black man or white man, but a man. His father challenged him and his brothers to be the best they could saying, “Boys, I have no problem if you aim high and miss. But I have a problem if you aim low and hit.” Again he would say, ” Son, you better be an hour early, than a minute late.”  

Citing Aristotle, his father used to tell them, “Son, you are what you repeatedly do. Therefore excellence has to be a habit and not an act.”

One of kind with a mind chockfull of life changing wisdom, little wonder Rick has three degree and a PhD and his brother is a Judge all because  their third grade dropout Dad. The video below of the talk by Rick Rigby is worth 10 minutes of your time.





Vice or Virtue? Comparing “Northanger Abbey” & “Black Beauty”

23 12 2020

Northanger Abbey ( Henry and Catherine)

The opinion held by most people is that movies should entertain but also help foster virtue.  A comparison of two movies, “Northanger Abbey” and “Black beauty” reveals that one fulfills this goal while the other does not.

“Northanger Abbey” is adaptation of Jane Austin’s novel of similar title and “Black beauty” is an adaptation of Anne Sewall’s novel of same title. “Northanger Abbey” is a high budget film with great cinematography and top notch casts, nevertheless, the characters spend their time gossiping about class distinctions and angling for wealthy suitors, while “Black Beauty” was done a more modest budget with a handful of armature casts, yet the characters are down to earth, concerned about family and helping others.

 “Northanger Abbey” is about a 17 year old girl, Catherine who is introduced to high society and falls in love with Henry, a son of a wealthy man. She is invited to their rich castle called “Northanger Abbey” a  place crawling with servants and rich things, though  her suspicions that the castle is haunted is proven false, nevertheless, there is hardly a mention of the kind of things the average Joe might care about. Rather, intrigues and ball room plots are the order of the day. Somehow the movie leaves you wondering if going to the ball, dancing, and hooking up was all there was to life. What about work? In the entire length of the move, there was not a single instance of someone doing any productive work such as cooking washing or any of the typical things that make up daily life.

On the other hand in “Black Beauty,”  a 15 year-old girl, Audrey  adopts an abused horse and together with her grandpa they work towards restoring it back to health. The movie is chuck full of sublime teaching moments such as when Audrey was accosted at a department store by a rude and antagonistic rich girl  but she simply leaves the store rather than engage in a fist fight. She also gallantly decides to lose a competition rather than risk her horse suffering injury when midway into a competition; something went wrong with the horse. The audience at the competition was so touched by her nobility that they broke out in applause for her even though she was disqualified.

Audrey and Black Beauty

In “Northanger Abbey” on the other hand, Catherine and the other girls care very little for the sublime moments, rather the care more about boys, wealth and fortune. Perhaps that was what Victorian society dictated at the time, unlike them, Audrey even though she was also interested in boys, she was rather gainfully employed rehabilitating her horse and her romance with Josh, a boy that worked in her grandfathers ranch just happened along the way.  Furthermore, she didn’t take Josh’s bank account into account before accepting to go out with him as the girls in “Northanger Abbey” undoubtedly would have done. As far as she was concerned, his financial status was irrelevant and she was happy and enjoyed her time with him and his sister.

Another quite remarkable scene in “Black Beauty” was Audrey’s relationship with her father. They quarreled at the dinner table because he wished she finish school before settling at the ranch, but she had fallen in love with the ranch and with Josh and was thinking of chucking school so she quarreled with her father. Nevertheless, a few moments later, her father apologized for being harsh and she apologized for being rude, and they made up. She also accepted to do his wish and finish school, thus showing that both father and daughter loved each other, and are willing to forego their ego, and apologize when disagreement arises between them. On the other hand, in “Northanger,” General Tilney, Henry’s father, was a harsh and rather vain man, who was only generous to Catherine for as long as he thought she was from a rich home but turned her out of his house in the middle of the night when he discovered that she was poor—a most despicable act.

Hence, while “Northanger’s “plot emphasize the importance of wealth and having a good fortune or inheritance and negate the value of hard work, “Black Beauty’s” plot on the other hand, emphasizes the value of kindness, and altruistic love. Arguably, “Northanger Abbey”, written in 1798, may not be representative of 18th century England that produced English men like James Watt who invented the steam engine or James Dewar and Isaac Newton who greatly impacted the scientific world with their resilience, enterprise and hard work.  England at that time was emerging as an Empire, big vast and strong; a feat that would require hard working men and women with enterprise and determination.

In summary, even with “Northanger Abbey’s” high budget and great cinematography, “Black Beauty” is a more realistic and its short fall notwithstanding, encapsulates the real concern of ordinary life and portrays model behavior that could bring people to live virtuous lives.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Black Beauty
Northanger Abbey




A life worth living: Denzel and Pauletta Washington’s 40 yrs Marriage

6 09 2020
The Washington family

A life without self-examination is meaningless, according to Socrates; only when we strive to learn about ourselves can our lives be worthwhile. Last year, when Denzel Washington received the American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award, this fact was made abundantly clear to those in attendance. Julia Roberts thanked Denzel for helping her get her life back on track during the filming of Pelican Brief in 1992, when she was going through a rough patch in her personal and professional life. When she confided in Denzel and his wife, she said she felt like she could open up and share her problems with them because of their genuine concern and support. An incredible story in Hollywood, where men are notorious for exploiting vulnerable women, is unquestionably this one. Not only does Denzel, a black man, help a white woman, but he introduces her to his wife as well.

Julia Roberts

He also teaches a valuable lesson to married men: If you wish to help other women, do so with your wife. That way your help will be more effective and what’s more, you will not run the unnecessary risk of endangering your marriage by getting emotionally entangled with a woman who is not your wife and whom your wife knows nothing about. The devil that drives men to adultery thrives in secrecy. When fail to introduce their wives to the women they work with, leave the door open to possible infidelity.

Again,  in Hollywood where serial divorce, adultery, and infidelity are the norm, there is no doubt that a good role model like Denzel Washington who has risen to the very top of that industry and yet kept his sense of duty, family, and honor intact is in high demand.

Interestingly, when Denzel finally mounted in the midst of thundering applause, he began by thanking God and asking God’s forgiveness for what he had done badly.

Denzel delivering his thank you address

“I m up here to say thank you to God,  for giving me this ability, for blessing me, for shaping me, for chastising me, for teaching me, for punishing me, for allowing me to be a vessel to touch people around the world.”

 Few actors can boast of the kind of success that Denzel Washington has had in Hollywood: two times Oscar winner, starred in at least 53 movies–most blockbusters, in a career that spanned 40 years, yet even fewer actors can boast of his capacity for self-examination. While success often spurs disdain for religion, Denzel’s success, on the other hand, makes him more humble in acknowledging God and his instrument for sustaining, nurturing, and supporting him.

In his speech, he appreciated his mother at 95 and declared that his father taught him how to be a man. Turning to his wife of 40 years, he proclaimed, “I would not be alive, without Pauletta Washington. 40 years of sacrifice, 40 years of forgiveness, she taught me about faith, spirituality, love, real love, unwavering love, inspite of myself.”

Older than Denzel when they got married, Pauletta has played the balancing force in his life helping to anchor him from the illusory world of make-believe to the nitty-gritty of reality. Mother of his children, she surely must have fought many fearful battles with jealousy whenever it rears its ugly head as beautiful dashing damsels flock towards her handsome husband ready to give him anything if he so much as smiles at them. However, she did not let fear override the trusting confidence that every spouse deserves. Her devotion to the home, made him long to return home, to her and his children. Today, she is blessed to hear him acknowledge it before the rich and powerful and attest to the truth that the power of a woman is not solely in her external beauty, but the internal as well.

Unfortunately, many people claim that happy marriage is all about the money and that having made money, Denzel and Pauletta no longer need to struggle to love each other. This is not true. A cursory look at the dismal marital landscape of Hollywood full of battered, violent, and ruptured marriages, with all the abuses, infidelities, and misery is sufficient to refute this argument.

Denzel and Pauletta have confirmed that marital fidelity is possible regardless of the environment. Their example is a challenge to those who have already caved in to licentiousness to pick up the pieces and begin again, and an encouragement to the young. It also demonstrates that the prevalence of toxic culture opposed to life, values and spirit, is largely due to individual choices.

Denzel then played a video where Pauletta’s father said:

“We were put her for a reason. God created man and God intends for us to love all mankind and by being in a loving mood, caring for one another, that is our purpose for life. We should care for one another, and we should love one another.”

His words echoed the words of Jesus Christ, “Love one another by this all men will know that you are my disciples,” reminding all that all lives matter. Love does not discriminate. Jesus said to love our enemies and do good to them who hate us and thus we will be like our father in heaven. The hate we see today is proof that we have ditched the Christian faith and that witness is lacking.

 “In this twitter-tweet mean world we have created for our children,” Denzel continued, “the least we can do is to consider what we have done, and think about the young people, the future and individually, collectively do the best we can to try and turn this thing around.”

 Perhaps to the surprise of many of his colleagues who have been blaming President Trump for all the evil in the world, Denzel said, “I blame no one, I look in the mirror.”

“On the other side of it,” he continued, “what an opportunity we have–because tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives– what an opportunity we have to practice what Pauletta’s father preached.”  

 In the end, Denzel’s qualities as an actor, for which he was being honored, is the quality expected of all, but more especially from Christians. The Christian faith calls all Christians to do all things well as Christ did. St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, has preached the message of sanctification of work since 1928 and that Christian holiness depends on work well done, for God.

Finally, Denzel has borne witness that a well-done work leads us towards God, and that work sanctifies and sanctifies others. Millions the world over watched as Julia Roberts narrated how working with Denzel and seeing how much he loves his wife made a deep impression on her.  Julia, who herself is a remarried divorcee, knows more than anyone does the challenges of marriage. She has now been married for 17 years to her present husband perhaps due to her emulating the life of Denzel, a life worth living.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Editor of Authors-choice





Marry her! People tell man who shielded girlfriend from shooter with his body

8 08 2019

They say that real men protect women. The terrifying video of a man who used his own body to shield his girlfriend from the shooter in the recent shooting at Dayton Ohio has gone viral. Camryn Crowder, 24, jumped on top of his girlfriend, Brittany Dungey to shield her from flying bullets when a gunman killed nine people, including his sister, and injured 26, in less than one minute on Sunday, 4th August 2019

CCTV footage showed Crowder using his body to shield Brittany as bullet flew.

The couple was walking through the Oregon District around 1am when they heard gunshots ring out. Brittany took off running and Crowder instinctively pushed her to the ground and pulled her body under him and army crawled towards the curb, checked that the coast was clear, then both ran away from the scene

“I turn my head and I see some guy pointing a gun,” Crowder said, adding he pushed his girlfriend to the ground “to make sure she didn’t get hit.”

Many of the comments on the dailymail.co.uk where the story was reported are calling on the couple to get properly married.

 They have been living together unmarried for a while and Brittany recently gave birth to a baby girl for Crowder.  After what happened, she should be rest assured that he is a real man ready to protect her and marry him.

Brittany pregnant with Crowder’s baby

Studies show that marriage confers a lot of benefit such as happiness and stability to a relationship.

Married couples are generally healthier and live longer lives than their single peers, they are also more economically stable and earn much more than the unmarried counterparts, and typically, the economic capacity of a married couple’s household exceeds that of a single-parent household by nearly three times the amount in income.

 Also research show that children do better in a stable home with a married mother and father, and are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier than their peers raised in non-married families and are significantly less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, and thoughts of suicide. Read more about the benefits of marriage here

Whatever they decide going forward, Crowder has restored people’s faith that real men still exist. He has been praised as real hero and rightly so, for believe it or not or not, this old notion that real men protect women, is fast disappearing everywhere.

Chinwuba Iyizoba





The Millionaire Who Loves Street Children

27 05 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Mully family

His father was an alcoholic and often beat his mother. At 6, he knew the pains of hunger, cruelty and indifference and at 17, he ran away from home, walking all the way to Nairobi. There, a kind lady offered him a job. He later worked for a construction company and started his own transport business, with one taxi, which grew to a fleet, then a bus company, a transport company and finally, an insurance company, and by age 40, Charles Mully was a millionaire.

He began living in luxury, enjoying the company of the rich and powerful and forgot his past.

“I associated with big people, rich people,” he said. His home life was also a happy, he and wife; Esther lived with their eight children in a beautiful, large home on a big spread of land near the Kenyan town of Eldoret.

Wake up call

One day, while parking his car, a group of street children approached and asked him for money. Suspecting that they probably would use the money for drugs, he ignored them. When he returned, his car was gone.

Shocked and dismayed, not for his lost car, but because for the first time, he remembered himself as a little abandoned boy fending for himself, with no one to help.

He saw himself in those street children. He realized that they must despise him as strongly as he had despised the rich and powerful who wouldn’t lift a finger to help him. Now he was rich and powerful, and he wasn’t lifting a finger to help.

The excuses the rich gave for not helping him were the same excuses he was not giving for not helping. He was no different. His was selfish, a coward and a lover of comfort. He wept for hours, wrestling with a hard decision that was pressing urgently upon him.

“I saw myself in their eyes,” he said of those desperate children. For the next three years, I saw the children everywhere.”

Finally, he decided. He would sell his businesses and take into his own home the children from the slums.

When he told his family of his decision, they were horrified. They had a comfortable life and didn’t want to be inconvenienced.

His wife was heartbroken by his decision. “People told my wife to take me to the hospital,” he said with a chuckle. “They thought I had lost my mind.”

Yet, she supported his plan to sell off his business and take in street children.  His biological children were alarmed when their father started bringing home children from the streets, their alarm turned to anger when they realized they had to share their rooms.

“Daddy will come home later from walking the streets, smells of streets children filling the house, and some skin disease,” his daughter said.

Soon, their large home had nearly 100 orphans from various tribes, sleeping in every corner of a house. The house was soon too small to carry on and they rented a much bigger house. After taking in hundreds of children the Mully’s needed even bigger house, and so they moved to a dry and deserted land with nothing on it, not even water.

The going was rough at first until, through a miracle, they discovered water, which transformed the land into a fertile land so that they could cultivate their own food and as time went on, they had a sizable farm from which food came to feed the growing number of children.

With God’s grace and hard work, they have transformed this dry patch land into a home where abandoned children can find a true home. Charles called it the Mully Children’s Family (MCF), and he is so happy to give these children, who call him and wife, dad and mom, a true home and loving family.

Today, the MCF has taken more than 23000 abandoned children off the streets and given them education and a future.

In Africa rife with startling inequalities, where a few have so much when millions have nothing, Charles Mully has shown that sharing with the poor is a way to make personal wealth more effective. Just as he built a great business starting with one taxi, he has built a great family starting with one child at a time, a family of every race and color. His efforts have spawned MCF vocational schools and colleges right within the community.  While the boys learn technical skills, like carpentry, electronics and mechanic, the girls are equipped with catering, fashion and dress making. The brighter children go on to college and higher education and many have become medical doctors, engineers and lawyers.

He could have used his hard earned money to build fantastic houses. He could have deposited his money in the bank, earning generous interests. Rather, he chose to lead the way by his example so that others can follow his footsteps helping and stop attributing their misfortune to laziness.

Though Mully isn’t Catholic, he would understand well the teaching of the Church on the universal destination of good, that every person should regard the external things that they legitimately possesses not only as their own destined to benefit not only themselves and their family but also all others.

Feed the people dying of hunger, because if you do not feed them you are killing them,” above all by giving them aid which will enable them to help and develop themselves. (Gaudium et Spes 68)

It is true that not everyone can be as courageous and generous as Charles Mully, but like Mother Theresa of Calcutta said, if you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed one.

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Davido’s Mom

18 02 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Davido gets it right with his mom, but wrong with women.

Davido at 02 Arena London

When Davido’s January 27, London concert sold out at the 02 Arena, with a crowd of more than 20000 people, the music maestro was so overjoyed that he credited the triumph to the help of his late mother.

Celebrating with guests, the next day, the 26 yrs old broke down in tears, and continued thanking his late mom comparing her to an angel, posting on instagram:

“Only angels can make such Dreams come true … Thank you mom for watching over your baby.”

His mom, Veronica Adeleke, died when he was 10. A woman of rare beauty and a music lover, she had owned a record label in the 90’s which she named after Davido, who must have inherited her love for music, and a sign of strong bond between mother and son that even death is unable to break.

Veronica Adeleke, Davido’s Mom

Much like Catholics understanding of devotion to Mother Mary, he believes that she is very much alive in heaven, helping him each step of the way.

In his mind, love for his mom pushes him to give his best.

Interestingly, this devotion to his mom, rather than offend anyone is in fact making him appear more humane, warm and attractive to his fans especially women, yet his relationship with other women leave much to be desired having fathered two daughters from two different women while in a public relationship with a third.

Considering that he has over 2 million followers on face-book and many more on Instagram, many of them young people, one can see that his loose lifestyle is having bad influence on public morals.

As a role model, he is teaching his young fans to behave like cows, next he will teach them to be content to go the way of goats. He is sending the wrong message to young people to act like miserably beasts who dont know how to control their passions.

Davido whose music career took off with his 2011 hit single “Dami Duro” and gained him a huge student fan base should remember that his mom, apart from her love for music, was a teacher, a university lecturer, who loved academics and taught her students well, and desired that her students do well in their studies.

Davido’s Fans

Without a doubt, she would desired that his music and songs helped his young fans achieve academic excellence, by being a little less salacious, and more focused on themes that encourages learning, extolling the virtues of hard work and family.

Thus it is meet and proper for him to recognize his moms help, but it’s even better for him emulate her love for family, marriage and try to emulate it.

Davido’s Father (Middle) with daughters by his side and his son Davido standing behind with his elder brother.

Moreover, he enjoyed and continues to enjoy the dignity and prestige of being born in a family. His mom met his father Adedeji Adeleke in the 80’s; they fell in love, got married and had four children. Where his parents not properly married, perhaps he would not be who he is today.

Why then would he deny his own children that same dignity? It is unfortunate, unfair and rather irresponsible.

Davido with one of his daughters fathered out of wedlock

One could argue that wealth and popularity has gotten into his head, but his father was a very rich man, and popular, yet there aren’t evidence that his money or fame influenced him to lead a reprobate life, having, and children with other women apart from his mother.

Without a doubt, his parents good example of lifelong love, marriage and great family atmosphere has contributed in no small measures to his own success; his children has a right to expect same from him and would be a dereliction of duty if he fails to do so. In fact one could even say that he is setting his daughters up for failure since studies show that children from stable homes do way better than one from broken homes.

His mother, like all mothers know a great deal about love. Through marriage, God opened a fruitful channel for her love to share in the power God on free and responsible transmitting of life, rather than the wickedly undermining God’s plan because selfish human pleasures.

I am sure, Davido’s mom watching over him so motherly, wanting the best for him, would wish him to stop sowing his wild oats around, settle down, get married and treat his wife and children with more respect. She would wish to tell him that running around and fathering children shamelessly with different women isn’t a very good way to pay her back for all the toil and hard work in bringing him and his 3 siblings up and that he must stop taking advantage of women if he truly loves her.





Why we hurt our kids when we don’t want them to struggle like we did 

19 09 2017

A man, an avid Gardener saw a small Butterfly laying few eggs in one of the pots in his garden.
Since that day he looked at the egg with ever growing curiosity and eagerness.

The egg started to move and shake a little.

He was excited to see a new life coming up right in front of his eyes.

He spent hours watching the egg now. 

The egg started to expand and develop cracks.

A tiny head and antennae started to come out ever so slowly. 

The man’s excitement knew no bounds.

He got his magnifying glasses and sat to watch the life and body of a pupa coming out.

He saw the struggle of the tender pupa and couldn’t resist his urge to “HELP”.

He went and got a tender forceps to help the egg break, a nip here, a nip there to help the struggling life and the pupa was out. 

The man was ecstatic!

He waited now each day for the pupa to grow and fly like a beautiful butterfly, but alas that never happened.

The larvae pupa had a oversized head and kept crawling along in the pot for the full 4 weeks and died!

Depressed the man went to his botanist friend and asked the reason. 

His friend told him the struggle to break out of the egg helps the larvae to send blood to its wings and the head push helps the head to remain small so that the tender wings can support it thru its 4 week life cycle. 

In his eagerness to help, the man destroyed a beautiful life!

Struggles help all of us, that’s why a bit of effort goes a long way to develop our strength to face life’s difficulties!

As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our kids from life’s harsh realities and disappointments.

We don’t want our kids to struggle like we did.

Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kindlon says that over-protected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and 

with challenges.
We’re sending our kids the message that they’re not capable of helping themselves.
To quote clinical psychologist,

Dr. Wendy ‘s Moral:

“It  is  Our Job  to  prepare  Our  Children  for  the  Road & Not  prepare  the  Road for  Our Children”





Acid attack victim woman to kill herself but meets Pope Francis 

12 09 2017

​​

For Consuela Cordoba, life had no meaning anymore. Hit by the depth of human wickedness, she had lost faith in humanity and wanted out. She was going to kill herself and had set a date with death and an appointment with a doctor who will kill her (Euthanasia is legal in Columbia)

Once a pretty woman, with chocolate colored skin and gleaming white teeth accentuated her dimpled smile. All that changed in 2000 when her ex-boyfriend poured acid all over her. He was arrested and spent just one month in jail, but for Consuela, nothing would ever be the same again.

She will spend not one month, but the rest of her life breathing through straws tubes sticking out from what was once her pretty nose. Her face or what remains of it must be covered at all time with skin mask or it would desiccate on contact with sunlight. Her life was over. 

After countless surgeries, she finally succumbed to despair. Wickedness has triumphed and evil has had his way with her. There was nothing. She would help her ex-boyfriend finish what he started so that his complete and utter triumph over her would be final. She will end her life and that was that. She paid the required fees to the death doctor and a date was fixed. 

But just before the date arrived, Pope Francis visited Columbia and met with her. 

She was one of the crowds but Pope Francis spotted her and asked them to bring her to speak with him. 

When she stood before him,  she made a simple request, ‘Papa, give me permission to end my life for I am tired of this world”

Pope Francis crushed her into his arms and looked deep into her eyes and said, ‘No”

“Why,” she asked him, weeping and shaking from the magnitude of love she be-held in his eyes

“Because you are very beautiful and I love you”.
That was it.

That moment was all it took.  She changed her mind. 

“I will never kill myself,” she swore to herself.

 Rather, she will live on, determined to be a witness and an inspiration for millions of other people, victims of wickedness. She will give hope to the raped, to those suffering violations of any kind. She will turn the great evil done to her into something good. In her suffering she will share in the sufferings of abandoned children, of mutilated girls and of starving the world over. She will offer her pain in expiation for the crimes of war and injustice throughout the world. In-short her agony will pay the ransom for girls kidnapped and sold into prostitution and slavery in Europe and all over the globe. Her beauty so cruelly and brutally erased she will accept, in exchange and in atonement for those beautiful women who misuse their beauty in pornographic ways to ravage the hearts of men lead and lead them into sin and addiction ruining their families. For every ounce of diabolical hatred with which her ex-boyfriend poured acid on her, she would pour out all her love for every creature for the rest of her life.





​The world is lying to us and to our children,  says Dr. Hahn

3 09 2017

“Just recently I was listening to this expert therapist on radio,  Dr. Ruth telling a 15yrs old boy who had called in to tell her that he was having sex with his 14 yrs old girlfriend and all she could ask him was, ‘is it safe sex? ‘” 
” I felt like shouting,’ Woman,  tell him to save sex for marriage!!'”

“When he told her that he was using some kind of contraception and she crackled , ” Oh that is so good ‘” 

 “I was like, ‘Woman,  he is a 15yrs old fornicating with a 14 yrs old.” 

“When I was 15,” continued Dr Hahn, “Canbery soup was  good,  not fornication!”   

“When he told her, he was using contraception,  she said that was great!”

” No it’s not, “said Dr. Hahn,  “When I was 14, flakes were great,  not contracepted fornication.” 

“Our kids are being lied to.  Sex isn’t good,  it’s not even great.  IT IS SACRED.” 

With these and many more stories,  Dr. Scott Hahn inspires  us  on how to  build  successful families. 


 “World Congress of Families, 2015”








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