Inspiring Story of “Iron Lady” Muniba Mazari

19 07 2019

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. 20 yro Muniba Masari’s life was shattered by a car accident when her husband who was driving fell asleep and the car fell into the ditch. Though he managed to jump out and save himself, she sustained lots of injuries:  fractured wrist, collar bone and rib cage; because of the rib cage injury, her lungs and liver where badly injured. She couldn’t breath, she had lost urine and bowel control. To add to that, her backbone where completely crushed. She was paralyzed for the rest of her life.

Two and half months in hospital and multiple surgeries later, the doctor said she will never walk or have a child again.

She was devastated and asked her mother, “Why me. Why am I even alive?”

Her mother said to her, “This too shall pass. God has a plan for you; I don’t know what it is.”

Those magical words set Muniba’s heart afire. She had always wanted to be an artist, and though the doctors said she could no longer use her hands, she asked her brothers to bring her canvas, and when they brought them, she did her first painting inside the hospital and that began her process of recovery.

When she was discharged, her doctors told her to lie down straight on her bed for 2 yrs.

“That was when”, she said, “I realized how lucky people were who could walk around, go outside, and they don’t even know it” She decided she was going to help others to know how lucky they were.

Her first step was to liberate herself from her fears. So she took a paper and jotted down all her fears.

Her biggest fear was losing her husband, divorce. She was 18yro when she got married to the man her father chose. It was never a happy marriage. Her husband had survived the accident unscathed and scorned her because of her condition and was having an affair with another woman.

 “I was clinging on to this person who didn’t want me, Muniba said, and from that day, I decided to liberate him, to set him free.”

But in so doing, she set herself free also, from worries.

Perhaps, this was what St. Josemaria meant when he wrote “Is it not true that as soon as you cease to be afraid of the Cross, of what people call the cross, when you set your will to accept the Will of God, then you find happiness, and all your worries, all your sufferings, physical or moral, pass away?”

 “In fact”, Muniba continued, “I was so free that on the day that I heard that he was getting married again, I sent him a text saying congratulations, I am happy for you, and he knows that I pray for him today.”

Unawares, she had followed the teaching of Jesus who said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Mt 5:43-48 

Again, her fear of never having a child of her own evaporated when she realized that there were thousands of children in Pakistan who had no one to love them. So she decided to help them, by adopting one as her own, and a cool stream of happiness flowed back into her bruised heart. Today Muniba has a healthy young son whom she loves and who loves her, more, she goes around giving talks and helping people see the good side of life, and appreciate what they have.

Every great athlete will tell you that they are at their best when they are not self focused or self conscious, but rather when they are totally focused on the outside, on the game, likewise, people who have suffered some disaster are best able to overcome when they resist the urge to bitter self pity, focus on helping others.

Muniba’s pain and suffering opened her eyes and made her more understanding with the sufferings of others and thus made her a better person.

“There are incidents that happen, that deform you, yet they mold you into the best version of you,” Muniba said, thus affirming the truth that behind the dark clouds of pain lies the silver lining of realizing a better, more beautiful version ourselves, like gold purified by fire, like rough diamond made valuable by knocks and chisels blows.

Understanding God

“God has a purpose you,” her mother had said to her and those magic words had set her heart into a search mode, looking outside of self. It awoken her curiosity to discover what she can do to help others, for to suffer need is something that can happen to anybody, but knowing how to endure it belongs to great souls, to souls who have loved much.

It is understandable that most people avoid suffering like a bat avoids fire, but if the suffering has come to stay, then rejection would be futile and harmful because the hand of the clock no matter how we wish cannot be turned back.

The wise thing is acceptance. And making the best of the bad situation

This is why the Christian message is so powerful and is called the good news.  God emptied himself, became man, and humbled himself to die on the Cross, so that people like Muniba will know that God loves them since he himself choose to suffer similar affliction, but not just her, but indeed all men and women of all times

Prior to Jesus message, suffering was insufferable, and those who suffered had no hope. Then worldly power and wealth was everything and a man’s worth was largely measured by what he had.

Christ turned all that upside down. He, being rich, became become poor, born in a Manger, the dwelling place of animals, lived poor and preach that the poor are blessed, and that all the things that men cringe and fly from are the true treasures, hunger, thirst for Righteous, meekness. Further, He not only preached, His death and resurrection sealed His teachings as authentic and indeed divine.

Though Muniba isn’t a Christian, she has grasped the tenants Christianity, and just like in the Passion, the Cross ceased to be a symbol of punishment and became instead a sign of victory, so Muniba’s wheel cheer and urine bag is a sign hope and victory for all. At 42, she has won so many international award as an artist, motivational speaker, activist, TV Host, and Pakistan’s First Goodwill Ambassador to UNWomen Pakistan.

“I always go around with a big smile on my face,” Muniba says, an iron woman whose example is urging everyone to make up their minds to follow the way of self-surrender even when the Cross is on their shoulders, she urges us to have a smile on our lips, so that light can enter our souls.

Muniba Iron Lady of Pakistan

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





Holy Matrimony: Odera & Chinedu Odunukwe: 13 July 2019

15 07 2019

Enjoy Pictures of the joining of Chinedu Udunukwe and Odera Iyizoba together in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1004 Estate on Saturday 13th of July 2019. Wishing the couple a life of Holy Wedlock filled with God. Enjoy!

 





A boxer’s Kiss and the Story of Virtues

26 03 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Flaunting female journalist gets forcibly kissed by a shirtless boxer. Both need virtue therapy.

Bulgarian heavyweight boxer abruptly grabbed a female reporter Jennifer Ravalo on live television, and kissed her on the lips. Jennifer who works for the Vegas Sport Daily was interviewing the still bleeding and shirtless boxer Kubrat Pulev, Pulev had just knocked out Bogdan Dinu in a Las Vegas fight, his 27th victory in 28 professional fights, according to gaurdian.uk

She was all smiles, leaning in way too close, cleavage clearly visible, as she smiled to the camera and right in his face. His drawled responses was getting more and more distracted, and he lost  self control, abruptly  grabbed and forcibly kissed her on the lips and walked away.

“Thanks you, Jesus Christ!” Jennifer exclaimed, embarrassed.  This seemly abrupt and strange action may not be entirely inexplicable. A boxer brimming with adrenaline, in close proximity with a sweet female with some flesh in display may just grab her. It is called original sin, a sin as old as mankind; it led to the fall of the first man and woman according to Christian scriptures, and occasioned the banishment of man’s first ancestors from paradise.

It’s clear that simply being a good person requires some kind of self restraint. If a man gives in to his anger he’ll be impossible to live with, and may even end up a murderer. Furthermore, if a person doesn’t know how to deny his excessive desire for alcohol, he’ll become drunkard, a child who does not curtail his desire to watch television or play computer games will fall behind in his school work, a boxer who does not want to control his desires will grab female reporters on live television and kiss them on the lips.

Virtues are what we use to control ourselves.

What are the virtues?  Virtues are habits that help us act according to right reason, to move us towards what is truly good. Virtue come from the Latin, vir: Life .Virtue is a state of character and excellence that make a person do good. They are realized and grown by constant practice. There are four virtues, called cardinal, on which hinge the whole moral life. They are: Prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. Each of these four virtues has bullet points.

The Catholic Church describes these four cardinal virtues as “human” (in contrast to the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, which are of divine origin).  The cardinal virtues are habits that, when practiced and cultivated, allow us the ability to make right choices.

Prudence

Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is going.”… It guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. If boxer Pulev practiced prudence, he would know that forcibly kissing a woman could land him in big trouble and possible lawsuits in this age of #MeToo.  Again, one of the bullet points under the virtues of temperance is modesty. Perhaps, if Jennifer kept a modest distance from the boxer and showed less cleavage, she would have helped him maintain control. This is not to say that she is responsible for what happened.

boxer kissing reporter

Justice

Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor … Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good.

Fortitude

Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. Pulev might have resisted the Jennifer’s alluring lips, perhaps looking away,  this resolved could be strengthened by thinking about his wife and children, not wanting to embarrass them.

Temperance

Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable … In the New Testament it is called “moderation” or “sobriety.” We ought “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.”

It’s clear that these qualities are essential for everyone, today as they were yesterday, if not more…and for celebrities, much more.

Chinwuba Iyizoba is the editor of Authors-choice





Breadseller or model, a good job is attractive

15 03 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Jumoke the bread seller whose ordinary work turned her into a model has uncovered how extraordinary and attractive an ordinary work done well, with love and a smile can lead to success.

In 2016, 27 yr old breadseller, Olajumoke Orisaguna—Jumoke, a mother of two was pounding the streets, carrying her wares on her head, eking a living to save her family from starvation.
Unawares, she walked into a street photo-shoot and was caught in the background. While editing the pictures later, the female photo-journalist was so smitten by her photogenic beauty and determined to find her, she posted the picture on instagram and successfully tracked her down and offered her a job as model, thus making an inspiring rag-to-riches story that held Nigerians spell bound for years. Fans couldn’t get enough of her, hope spread among desolate millions in the streets that one day their luck will change.

Olajumoke Orisaguna walks into a photo-shoot accidental
The Picture of Jumoke at background that made her famous

Her parents were too poor to send her to a formal school, Jumoke had trained as a hairdresser because and in 2010, met and married a craftsman. But their combined income wasn’t adequate to feed their two children. To haul the family out of appalling straits, she moved from Osun to Lagos with one of her daughters, to work in a bakery. It was a hard and difficult work, on foot each day with a tray laden with bread loafs on her head. Yet, come rain or shine, she kept a smile on her face.
That afternoon walking past people talking pictures, unconcerned, she smiled and hurried on, calling for customers; little did she know that Lady Luck saw her.

She had since become a runaway success, yet she remains inwardly unaffected by it, humble and straight talking her reality TV shows are filled with great street wisdom and is the darling of you-tubers.

In one of the episodes, she spoke with her usual unadorned candidness, of the shocking things she had seen on social media, things like a man getting married to a man and a woman marrying another woman.

With the candidness of a child she expressed it as utter “unNigerian” and unthinkable.

Jumoke’s wisdom

She was simply expressing her opinion, and besides she isn’t a lettered woman, and as Peter Kreeft, philosophy professor of Boston College said, “There are certain falsehoods that you need a PhD to believe.”

Yet, the floodgates of hate and cyber bullying were immediately flung wide open and attacks on her person and family began. Orchestrated and led by a Ghanaian self proclaimed transsexual who continues to smear her, intent on ruining her, and getting her blacklisted by modeling companies.

Not satisfied with hounding her job, they have turned on her husband and marriage, spreading vicious rumors that she was sleeping with other men and disrespecting her husband.

Yet, come hell or high water, Jumoke is refusing to succumb to threats, and continues sharing her hard gotten wisdoms with Nigerian youths who adore her. And she is not all talk, often swinging into action when she comes across women in grim straits. She recently convinced her promoters to intervene and build a house for an aged woman she saw being evicted from her home.

Jumoke

Yet, young people best remember that Jumoke’s success wasn’t entirely of her own making. “Lady Success” lent her a hand whilst she was busy with her ordinary work selling bread, for love of husband and children.

How true what someone said, that success, true success is really carrying out the duties of everyday and the little things of each day well, with a smile if possible and always elegant. For it is along ordinary paths of life that we meet our destiny.

Still her success is an unlikely story for millions of indigent youths. A rare combination of luck and the goodness of a relentless photo-journalist had made her what she is today, and many Nigerians may never have such luck. They should not be disheartened however, but rather continue doing their ordinary work well, throwing in a smile along, even if their work should suffer the privation of remaining unclaimed till death.

They should remember that just as a man submits to the cruel torture of a surgical operation in order to save his lives; it is quite possible ordinary life’s cruel sufferings might save the life of their souls if accepted with love and a smile. “Pain or suffering of any kind for that matter can, be bearable when accepted as a form of purification,” some spiritual writers say.

And anyone who examines himself honestly will find much to purify: sins, omissions in love, disorderly inclinations which must be paid either in this life or in the next. Suffering is necessarily part of this life, and those who wish to go straight to heaven, after a life spent wholly in God’s service must not shrink from it

And St Paul exhorts in scriptures, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us when we contemplate God face to face.”
And St. Josemaria Escriva adds,“ Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.”

Infact, Escriva, with Gospel in hand, constantly taught that God does not want us simply to be good . . . , he wants us to be saints, through and through. However, he wants us to attain that sanctity, not by doing extraordinary things, but rather through ordinary, common activities. It is the way they are done which must be uncommon. There, in the middle of the street, in the office, in the factory, we can be . . . holy, provided we do our job.”
Young people might not all become famous like Jumoke, but their work no matter how ordinary, done with love, and extraordinarily well, is attractive and is a sure path to happiness.





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.





Angel Priest

21 01 2019

It was a pleasant surprise when the relentless fog of bad media enveloping on Catholic priesthood was momentarily lifted by a bright ray of sunshine. In August 4, 2013, a young woman, Katie Lentz was trapped inside her crushed Mercedes Benz rammed by a drunken truck driver. Her life was slowly ebbing away. The rescue workers huffed and puffed as they cut and drilled trying to free her, but were getting nowhere. They were about to give up when a priest appeared and asked the sheriff if a priest was needed. He was carrying a bottle of anointing oil. The sheriff said yes and the priest knelt by the wrecked car and started talking with the young woman inside. She asked him to pray that her leg stops hurting. He did so.  She asked him to pray aloud, he did and absolved her from her sins, anointed her with oil”

He then stepped aside to allow the workmen continue their jobs.

Shortly after, things began to work and the workmen cut and pulled the woman out of the wreck. She was immediately flown to a hospital and survived. When they turned to thank the priest, he was nowhere to be found.

The workmen where unanimous, a miracle had occurred. They all agreed that the priest’s prayers helped pull this off. The officials at the scene said it seemed he appeared from nowhere, and he couldn’t be found in any pictures taken at the scene and left without anyone seeing where he went.

She survived but, for days, no one could figure out who the priest was, and the media was agog.

“Mystery Angel priest appears at Missouri Car crash” one headline went.

“The power of prayer and the Miraculous Angel priest,” screeched another.

At last the priest in question caught wind of the hubbub and quietly came out. Fr. Dowling, for that is his name, said that he was pleased that he was able to help by performing his ordinary ministry and noted that that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident. “I think there may have been angels there too,” he added.

Fr Dowling

He was a good priest, and like all good priests, took no credit for what happened, rather, he selflessly attributed the success to others.

Suddenly, the story was no longer sensational, not even entertaining.

“Mystery Angel priest is just an ordinary priest who did nothing,” scoffed one headline.

 Disappointed, the media moved on in search of other sensations. They are like children who had flocked in looking for ghost stories and found an ordinary priest who had no wings, and couldn’t vanish.

 Search for the extraordinary, celebration of scandals and lethargic indifference to common place things are traits of today’s media culture, often at the mercy of the unscrupulous who, spurred by money, no doubt, fabricate titillating stories that are rewarded with instant media attention.  

Yet ordinary life is chockfull of miracles and God works great miracles from the ordinary. So as the world reels from the ugly acts of some priests, it’s worth remembering that there are plenty of good priests like Fr. Dowling, whose prayers, self effacing work and ordinary priestly duties makes the world a better place yet never acknowledged or celebrated by the media.

Katie Lentz

Out of hospital, and on her 20th birthday, Katie Lentz finally met Fr. Dowling and was so happy.

 “I feel so honored to be with such a man of faith,” she said. “He was there to do his job the day of the accident, and I’m so thankful he was there.”

Katie Lentz meets Angel priest

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Billion Dollar Couple Divorce: What about the Children?

16 01 2019

The 55yrs old billionaire and owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is divorcing his wife of 25yrs and mother of his 3 sons and an adopted daughter from China.

He is now in a relationship with a twice divorced woman and mother of 3, 49yrs old Lauren Sanchez, whom he met through her husband. Sanchez herself is ditching her husband of many years for Jeff and his billions.

Social media is abuzz and experts are speculating breathlessly about how the billions will be split (137billion), and who gets what. Tabloids are spewing steamy headlines to make the most from the sordid affair. Yet, they skip the hard questions: what about the children?

Studies show that children are significantly affected by the parents’ divorce. The upheaval in their lives a serious and demands they be protected by the state.

Adult children of divorce are more likely than children raised in intact families to be fearful of intimacy, according to Judith Wallerstein. They are especially fearful of commitment, often remaining on the brink of marriage in cohabitation arrangements. Their thinking: “I don’t want to happen to me what happened to my parents.” If they do marry, they tend to fear and avoid having children. Their thinking: “I wouldn’t want to inflict on my kids what my parents inflicted on me.”

Most of them never saw their parents’ divorce coming. They remember that, as children, when they were enjoying themselves, their parents one day called them together and said, “We have something to tell you…” Now, as adults, when they are supposed to be enjoying themselves, they are waiting anxiously for the other shoe to drop.

By every measure of flourishing known to social science, children of divorce do noticeably poorer than children raised in intact families: higher incidence of school drop-out, drug use, sexual acting out and teen pregnancy, need for the mental health profession and for anti-depressants.

In a better world, the outcry and condemnation of this brazen disregard for the children’s welfare would have carried across the globe. As always the Catholic Church remains the sole voice of sanity in a deranged world, proclaiming boldly that divorce is immoral…because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society (CCC 2385).

One you-tuber commented, “Marriage is for suckers cucks and simps” and another wrote, “I’m not getting married until this freakshow stops!” While many scoff at women, calling them names like, witch, suckers and the likes. It is clear confirmation of the damage divorce does to the fabric of society and the psych of the youths.

In a world gone insane walking the cliff edge, marital vows are not worth the paper they are written on; promises are no longer meant to be kept; dishonor is honorable; serial polygamy is fashion. Truly, the words from W.B Yeats’ poem, the ‘Second Coming’ are prophetic for our world today, ‘Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold’. A sad prophesy of the future of our world, cut adrift from sense and reason, drifting aimlessly in uncharted waters of moral and marital relativism. Yet many call it progress.

But as St Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei said, “I want you to think about how evil has prospered. All over this field of God, which is the world – Christ’s inheritance – there are weeds. Not just a few weeds: vast quantities of them! I want you to be aware of this, so that you may never be deceived by the myth of constant, irreversible progress. Understand what I mean: progress, when it is properly directed, is good, and God wants it. However, there is a kind of progress that blinds all sorts of people, who fail to see that in some areas mankind sometimes goes backwards and loses ground previously gained

Chinwuba Iyizoba








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