The Tragic Death of Cheslie

6 03 2022

Following the tragic death of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, many people around the world were left wondering, “Why?” What would drive someone like this to commit suicide? She had already accomplished a great deal in her life by the time she was thirty. She was beautiful, well-educated, and a lawyer, and she was widely regarded as the most beautiful girl in the United States. What kind of life could be anything but fulfilling in such circumstances? To put it another way, she was a success. Hers is the kind of life many young women can only dream of having.

As a result, it is puzzling why someone with such a background would commit suicide. But, according to reports, Chelsie Kryst posted a message on her Instagram page just before jumping, saying, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”

Why would someone who has lived a life that many people only dream about still be on the lookout for tranquility? Perhaps the only explanation is that she suffered from a mental health problem that only a few people knew about. As a result, anyone looking in would have the impression that Cheslie Kryst had a perfect life, that she was in control of everything, and that she was in complete control of her emotions and thoughts.

It is clear that mental health problems are often not visible, and those who do have them are difficult to identify. So many people who appear to be normal may be dealing with mental health issues, while the rest of the world is unaware of what is going on in their lives.

Chelsie Kryst tragic death serves as a reminder that not all that glitters is gold and that a beautiful body does not always imply a healthy, happy soul.

The very notions of beauty pageants and competition are being questioned once more in this case. After all, why would someone be rewarded or celebrated for a beautiful body they did not create, that they had not worked hard to acquire but was instead bestowed upon them by nature? Much unlike an athlete who trains for months or even years to achieve the level of physical fitness that will allow them to win a gold medal at the Olympics, hence we rightly celebrate their accomplishments because they had put in the necessary effort. To be sure, most athletes who achieve great success do so because, in addition to their rigorous training, they possess some inherent ability that provides them with the initial momentum, drive, or recognition that allows them to progress to the level of professional athletes. Perhaps they were already the best runner in their school, the best gymnast in their class, or the local hero on the school football team when they were in their early teens. This natural ability then serves as a motivator, propelling them to more excellent hard work and effort until they win a gold medal.

Physical beauty, on the other hand, is unmeritorious. In addition, it is transient because it frequently fades away over time, and its appeal dwindles, more importantly, beauty is not achieved through effort but is often provided directly by nature, as a gift. After all, no matter how hard or fast an ugly woman works out, she will never be considered beautiful because she lacks the natural attributes of beauty. But, on the other hand, a naturally beautiful woman attracts attention even when she isn’t trying. So what exactly is the point of that?

I realize I risk coming across as insensitive, but this could happen to anyone. Mental health issues have nothing to do with physical beauty, talent, or celebrity; they could happen to anyone.

While there is much to be learned from this, I believe there are a few lessons here for young people in this era of so much confusion: it is possible to be extremely beautiful while also being extremely unhappy, thus putting the lie to the popular belief that once you have beauty and power, you have it all.

Chelsie Kryst had it, but she was so dissatisfied that she destroyed it by hauling herself 20 stories down and smashing herself to pieces. That being said, we pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Chelsie Kryst and for God to grant her family and loved ones the strength to bear the loss.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





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.





Molokia: True story of courageous Priest and Queen working in Leper’s colony

23 10 2020

“I see another law in my member warring against the law of my mind, for when I wish to do go, I find that evil lies at hand.” These words of St. Paul are ever relevant in the life of all men no matter where they find themselves to be. Even in the leper’s colony of Molokia, among the lepers, the law of sin still holds sways, and men still hunger for sex amidst the flies and decaying flesh, as Fr. Damien would find out.

The movie Molokai (1999) is a true story of a young priest, Fr. Damien who volunteers to minister to the leper’s colony off the Hawaiian island of Molokai. He gets there to find not only decay and abandonment, but, worse, sex brothels! Men and women with half rotten limbs, soaking themselves in alcohol and sexually cavort with each other even though they are unsure that they would live to see another day. Fr .Damian instantly sets about rebuilding the broken Church and cleaning up to celebrate the Eucharist, and despite, his bishop’s repeated warning not to touch the lepers,  he warmly shakes the hands of a young boy who came to offer himself as his as altar boy.

As soon as he gets the chance, Fr. Damian rushes into the sex brothels and rescue the children among the inmates and starts a small clinic, and with some other healthier women volunteers, begin taken care of the sick and dying, but more important, he reawakens the love of God in the hearts of the inhabitants of the colony, most of whom have fallen into the despair, tormented with enormous doubt of the existence of God. Fr. Damien reminded them that, He, Jesus, who died on the Cross, bears their pain and isolation and suffering, reminded them that they should unite their torments with His, as atonement for the sin of the world. In short order, joy and singing could be heard in the community and people who have long given up all basic instincts of human decency begin to pick themselves up and clean up and sing. Though there was no cure for their illness, Fr. Damien’s love and compassion helped bring the light of God’ love piecing through the darkness and gloom in their hearts.

News of the revival at the camp soon reach the all Hawaii and the Governor and bishop are full of praises for Fr. Damien, yet when he began making demands for better housing, clothes and most important,  Christian nuns to come to the colony, he was met with severe opposition from the greedy Governor who was unwilling to lose his sources income he usually diverted for personal use, to the lepers colonies, and using the pretext of quarantine and  preventing infections, he bans  Fr. Damien from ever leaving the lepers island, such that he could not even come to make his confessions, and his bishop had to hear his  confession at sea.

When news of this incident reached the crown queen of Hawaii, Queen Liliʻuokalani, her heart was rent with sorrow, and in a magnificent display of love, she decides to visit the leper’s colony herself. It was the high point of the movie, a rare and almost unbelievable scene, and like, Theresa of Calcutta, this queen not only came to the leper’s colony, but picked up and hugged and kissed leper children, children with rotten limbs. Having seen for herself the good work that Fr. Damien was doing, she becomes his advocate and with her help and support he begin receiving more support from the governor and even from the ecclesiastical authorities.

Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawaii

But the devil had more in stock for the young priest as he finds himself the object of intense sexual attention of one a young woman, Malulani who had been helping him with care for the others. One day, unable to control her passion, she bursts into his dormitory  pretending he seemed sad and dejected and she wished to comfort him cuddled up to him, but Fr. Damien, emphatically, ordered her to leave, saying to her, “You wish to destroy my life’s work?”  For a plate of beans, I would add.

How does the devil offer so little in exchange for Eternal life? For the undoing of  happiness of paradise, for which Fr. Damien  worked all his life,  the cleaning, scrubbing, smell and flies, he had endured for years, all that would have gone up in smoke in minutes for a few minutes of canal pleasure with a half dressed young woman. Yet countless men and women would take that deal. They give up the happiness of paradise, in marital fidelity for the passing pleasure of adultery, and extramarital sex. Innumerable priests and nuns abandon the prize of heaven for passion and license. Countless youth, toss unending happiness out the window at the behest of sex. Yet as Dr Peter Kreeft puts it, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot long keep for what he can never lose.” Many of the patients in that colony knew that they had but a short time before the disease consumed them, and that the time they had was a gift, a chance to get well prepared to pass the entrance exams of into life that never ends which for them was sure to come so soon. Yet even this imminence was insufficient and many still chose to hang on to whatever they could get from fleshy pleasures. Thanks to the courage and perseverance, by the time he lay dying of the leprosy he cleaned up in others, of Fr. Damien’s Molokai leper’s colony was blessed with a community of nuns to care for the sick and continue his life works. He died in 1936 and went like St. Paul to receive his rewards in paradise having fought the good fight and kept the faith.





The sex agenda: Hollywood attack on Judeo-Christian sexual ethics

17 08 2020

Research shows watching onscreen sex and pornography is more addictive and harmful than tobacco, yet Hollywood keeps escalating use of onscreen sex and pornography in blockbusters. Why? This article would argue that the permissive attitude of Hollywood and other social media to onscreen sex, nudity and pornography, is a deliberate attempt to supplant Judeo-Christian sexual ethics with moral relativism, in addition, this paper would argue that the promotion of the theology of the body of St. John Paul II as the best measure to counter this agenda.

According to George Gerbner’s Cutivation theory, people often imitate what they watch. To avoid imitative smoking by their teenage viewers, big studios prohibit cigarettes smoking in PG-13 rated movies. Paul (2013) citing studies conducted by Annenberg Public Policy Center and the University of Pennsylvania claims that Hollywood successfully cut onscreen smoking down from roughly 68 percent in 1985 to 21.4 percent in 2010 and onscreen Alcohol use from 89.6 percent in 1985 to 67.3 percent. Unfortunately, onscreen sex and pornography remained at 80 percent high all through the period (Paul, 2013).  

Why is Hollywood determined to ignore science when it comes to onscreen sex and pornography? Research confirms that onscreen sex and pornography harm teenagers. Brown & Newcomer, (1991) found that teenagers who watch intense sexual contents begin having sex earlier than that those who do not. While Eyal & Finnerty, (2009) confirm that among public health professionals,  escalating sexual content in movies and   social media as a growing concern driving the surge in teenage risky sexual behaviors. In addition, research by Institute of Medicine (1997) confirms that one in four sexually active teen in US have STD, and of the 19 million STD infections diagnosed annually, half of them are teenagers and young adults between ages 15-24. 

Pornography fuels human trafficking. Peters, Lederer and Kelly (2012) cites instances where women are kidnapped, coerced and forced to perform sex  acts while being filmed and uploaded to porn sites for real time views. Cybersex camps springing up in Philippines with kidnapped and indigent girls are enslaved for commercial sex, live streamed to paying customers in the US.

The authors’ allege that pornography is the leading cause of objectification of women and violence against women.”A study by FBI researchers of 36 serial killers revealed that 29 were attracted to pornography and incorporated it into their sexual activity, which included serial rape-murder (Peters, Lederer and Kelly, 2012 p. 13).”

Furthermore, they assert that pornography is breaking down in marriages, men addicted to onscreen sex and pornography wishing to replicate their fantasies, finding their wives on willing, seeks out prostitutes, leading to family problems. In addition, law of diminishing returns demands that addicts often require more deviant form hardcore pornography to get the same level of arousal, leading to greater and greater perversion (Peters, Lederer and Kelly, 2012). They also claim that pornography fuels trafficking of women to produce pornography and consumption of pornography escalates deviants sexual appetite in men who seek out trafficked prostitutes to live out their fantasy, thus pornography drives prostitutions and prostitution fuels sex trafficking.

One common theory that tries to explain the use of sex in movies is that it makes movies profitable, in other words, sex sells movies. However, studies by Cerridwen & Simonton (2009) disprove this theory, showing that there is little correlation between a movies box office performance and sexual content. Egan(2000) however disagrees, arguing that pornography is indeed a multi-billion dollar industry, tied with many American corporate names. The author claims that DirecTV, a General Motors subsidiary buys nearly $200 million a year in pay-per-view sex films. Egan confirms that international brands like AT&T Corporation are neck deep in selling hard-core sex channels to millions of hotel room in Marriott International and Hilton. Mahlburg (2020) discovered that each year, 42 billion users visit the largest pornographic site in the world called Pornhub, where research has revealed every type of criminally deviant porn can be found even with minors. While Asher of Vivid Entertainment Group argues that obsessed people are sources of income, and hotels make up to 90 percent profit from streaming in-room porn.

Nevertheless, it can be argued that profit alone fails to explain the proliferation of onscreen sex.  After all, Hollywood and other social media willingly loose out from $8.4 billion dollar bounty that the US tobacco companies spent in 2018 in advertisement and promotion because of their anti-tobacco stands.

Thus, Charles (2014) asserts that the primary objective of Hollywood’s proliferation of onscreen sex is to subvert the Judeo Christian morals of their viewers. Alberto and Eliana (2009) details other research supports the use of onscreen sex to undermine Judeo-Christian sexual ethic. The authors cites the Brazilian military government’s agenda of legalizing divorce, in the 70’s, using television series inundated with sex to little by little deform the consciences of millions of viewer, this successfully resulted in a spike divorce rates among women across Brazil municipal areas.

Furthermore, Charles (2014) cites Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany saying, “We’ve always heard that Hollywood is about making money, but I think it’s really about an immoral or amoral agenda to promote lifestyles, relativism, compromise, and shades of gray with no black and white. There is a force in that community. Michael continues, “more important than making $100 million is to plant seeds in the minds of young people that will take them away from Judeo-Christian ethics.”

Gordon Pennington, successful marketing consultant in Hollywood adds, “Whoever controls the image of culture controls culture.”

In addition, according to West (2014), they are willing to risk everything, even lawsuits from the #metoo movement of female actors forced to perform sexual content, as conditions of employment. Back in 1953, In an era when an NC-17 rating for X-rated films well known to lead to box office failure, West argues, Hugh Hefner was willing to lose money to destroy by founding playboy magazine, and the adult movie industry to spite Judeo- Christianity. Lucky, the invention of the video cassette recorder (VCR) ended up making him a lot of money, because “The first thing that a lot of people did when they got their VCR was rent or purchase an adult movie (Porn in the USA , 2003).”

Furthermore, other evidence of anti-Judeo-Christian bias emerges with a cursory look at Hollywood’s blockbusters over a thirty-year period. Greydanus (2020) claims that Hollywood consistently links Christianity with murderous violence, like the rosary-clutching villain in the Legend of Tarzan and murderous villain called “the Butcher” who wears T-shirt with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wanted (2008). Again, you have Tom Hanks’, Irish Catholic hit man packing a rosary and automatic weapons in the Road to Perdition (2002). Going further, recall the butchery and cold-blooded murder in Gangs of New York (2002) and The Godfather (1973) all carried out by religious people.

Even more scandalously are depictions of ordained ministers, priest, bishops, and popes as bloodthirsty murderers (Greydanus, 2020).  The Albino monk assassin in The Da Vinci Code a block buster released in 2006 as another poignant evident, and V for Vendetta (2006): a depraved bishop who is complicit in Mengele-like human experiments and who indulges a sexual penchant for very young girls or the Catholic-themed killings in Seven (1995) and The Glimmer Man (1996) (Greydanus, 2020).

It can be argued that onscreen sex and pornography in particular strikes at the heart Christian sexual ethic. Houck (2009) asserts that Christian moral code exalts decency, modesty, and purity of heart as a basic perquisite to see God. “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). However, on screen sex and pornography excites lustful thoughts and attacks cleanliness and purity of heart. Seghers (2018) argues that for a Christian, sex is holy and linked generation of new life.

According to West (2015), in John Paul II teaches in the theology of the body that Christ spilt blood on the cross gave Christian life to believers within the Church, in the sexual act, a husband’s spills his blood within his wife, and gives new life, a new human person. Furthermore, Christians consider the human body as the dwelling place of God, not to be degraded as a sexual object for commercial consumption. West (2015), expounding on the Theology of the body of John Paul II said that if Heaven is the dwelling place of God, then a woman’s womb is heaven on earth since God took flesh on womb of a woman, Mary. Thus, the author continues, it is by God’s design that in the sexual art, man enters the heaven of a woman’s womb and spill out his life the way Christ spilt his blood for the Church (West, 2015). “Coming together in the profound partnership of marriage, man and woman live for the other in mutual love and deference. This union is expressed concretely in the couple’s bodily sexual bodily gift of themselves to one another in sexual intercourse. Here they speak a profound language of total self-gift and unconditional fidelity (Grabowski (n.d).”

Onscreen sex and pornography breaks the fidelity between marriage and sex, introducing  complexity, selfishness, lust, into a perfect act mutual and exclusive self-giving between married spouses.

In summary, with pervasive onscreen sex and pornography, Hollywood is not showing too much sex, rather they are showing too little, and they do not go far enough. Sex is much more than physical bodies, it has eternal dimension. They treat sex pornography as a consumer product because of the huge profit coming in from it, but also with a primary agenda of   subverting the Judeo Christian ethics. Yet the remedy to this destructive distorted view of sex lies in the proper understanding of the Theology of the body of John Paul II

References

 Alberto,C., & Eliana, L. (2009).Television and divorce:Evidence from Brazilian Novelas( Working Paper No. 651). Retrieved from Inter-American Development Bank Research Department website:https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/51502/1/591278979.pdf

Charles, C. (2014). Hollywood’s Immoral Agenda Entertainment Industry Accelerates Attack on Biblical Values. Retreived from https://decisionmagazine.com/hollywoods-immoral-agenda/

Cerridwen, A.,& Simonton, D.K.(2009).Sex Doesn’t Sell—Nor Impress! Content, Box Office, Critics, and Awards in Mainstream Cinema.  American Psychological Association, 3(4),200-210. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/aca-3-4-200.pdf

Egan,T.(2000,Oct.23). Wall Street Meets Pornography. The Newyorktimes .Retreived from https://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/23/us/erotica-special-report-technology-sent-wall-street-into-market-for-pornography.html

Eyal, K., and K. Finnerty. (2009). “The portrayal of sexual intercourse on television: How, who, and with what consequence?” Mass Communication & Society 12: 143-169. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/sex-on-tv-4-report-introduction.pdf

Greydanus, S. D. (2020). Let’s face it: Hollywood’s got a “religion problem”.Retrieved from http://decentfilms.com/articles/hollywood-religion-problem

Grabowski, S. J(n.d) The Theology Of The Body AccordingTo Pope John Paul II. Retreived from https://www.foryourmarriage.org/the-theology-of-the-body-according-to-pope-john-paul-ii/

Mahlburg, K. (2020, June 26).Tell Pornhub and Planned Parenthood that Black Lives Matter. Retrieved from https://mercatornet.com/tell-pornhub-and-planned-parenthood-that-black-lives-matter/64162/?preview_id=64162

Paul, B. (2013).Study: PG-13 Films Combine as Much Violence, Sex and Alcohol as R-Rated Titles. Retrieved from https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/study-pg-13-films-combine-663899

Peters, R.W, Lederer, L.J and Kelly,S.(2012).The Slave and the Porn Star: Sexual Trafficking and Pornography. The protection project: Journal of human right and civil society

Retrieved from https://www.rescuefreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/slave-and-the-porn-star.pdf

Porn in the USA, part 2.  (2003, Nov 21). [Video/DVD] New York: BBC Studios Americas, Inc., Columbia Broadcasting System. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1822822291?accountid=188730

Seghers,J.(2018). Theology of the Body: An Overview. Retrieved from https://www.totustuus.com/essays

West, C. (2015, Oct 24). DCC Lecture Series [Video/DVD] – God, Sex and the Meaning of Life. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHUsnDwB8Ww&t=33s





The Four Last things: What happens after our death

3 08 2020

The Four Last things

Last month, I read about Eschatology, a Greek term that refers to the four last things in everyone’s life: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Among these, the one that we are all familiar with, because we see it often, is death.  Still, most of us, perhaps out of fear, do not consider what happens after we die.

Death

Well, according to Catechism of the Catholic Church, death is the separation of soul from body. The soul, being spiritual cannot die. The soul is immortal, self-reflective, and aware and knows.  It possesses the ability to move from one place to another, passing through walls and things like that. More important, as soon as we die, God grants our soul light to see with perfect clarity, the good or evil aspects of the choices we have made throughout our lives up until the moment before our death. Death makes these choices permanent, and the soul adheres to these choices, and can neither change nor repent any longer.  Thus, the soul of the dead perseveres in choosing or rejecting God forever.  Death irrevocably fixes the good or evil we have chosen in life and we cannot change. Put another way, death is the end of testing process, what remains is either reward or punishment.  God immediately judges and rewards the good soul with heaven, and judges and punishes the evil soul with hell. If the soul is in state of grace with some imperfections, it goes to purgatory for purification.  This immediate judgment is the particular judgment and it is differs from the general judgment at the end of the world.

Immediately after death, the soul is Judged in the Particular Judgment

At the particular judgment, the soul of the dead appears immediately before God (even as the relatives are weeping or preparing the decomposing body for burial). God grants the soul light to see the choices made while alive. If it has chosen God (good) it rushed towards God who is infinite love, beauty, happiness, joy eternal blessedness and the very source of all that is lovely. If it has chosen evil, it rushes away from God, towards hell: hatred, evil, misery, emptiness, and eternal separation from God. The truth of the particular judgment and the immediate retribution or punishment at the moment of death is borne out in sacred scripture by the words of Jesus on the cross to the good thief “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Regarding the fittingness of immediate judgment after death, it is argued that, since a dead man cannot choose good or evil anymore, there is no reason to wait until for the final judgment at the end of time, to reward the just or punish the wicked. Besides, such a “waiting” or “delay” will only punish the just, keeping them in a state of permanent anxiety, not knowing their fate, while at the same time it would be a reward for the damned soul whose punishment is put off as it where for a very long time till the end of the world.

Purgatory

If the soul is imperfect, having no mortal sin, but retaining imperfections, it goes to a place of purification we Catholics call purgatory. This is because, before a soul enters heaven, every trace of imperfection must be eliminated, and all attachment to sin or evil destroyed, and purified.

Though many people (mainly Protestants) argue that there is no purgatory, for it is not explicitly stated in the bible, and since we are saved by faith Christ in alone, we are perfectly ripe for heaven when we die. Yet, the Church teaches that purgatory is in the bible, even though it is not explicitly mentioned.  The sense of purgatory is clear from the Old testament, second book of Maccabees where Judas Maccabee took and gathered a collection of money for the sin offering for the souls of the his dead men to be released from their sins.( Mac  12:39). In the New Testament, purgatory is even clearer.  1 Corinthians 3:10–15, talks about two fires, there is one fire to examine the good or evil of men’s deeds and another fire to purify them before they are saved. Experience tells us that there are different shades of perfection, and we all can grow in perfection. Thus, purgatory answers the question, “What happens to the soul of the imperfect who dies.”

This is why the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass, during the funereal and encourages all to offer suffrages for the souls in Purgatory. The souls in purgatory by the nature of their state can no longer merit graces for themselves and are wholly dependent on the people on earth to pray for them.

Pain of loss & pain of the senses

The souls in purgatory suffer two kinds of pain. The pain of loss consists in a certain delay of seeing God. The souls in purgatory no longer desire material things; they only have one consuming desire, to see God. That delay is pain, but it is much unlike the pain of loss suffered by the damned souls, in that they have the joy of knowing that it is only a temporal delay and they are sure of seeing and uniting with love of God. In addition, there is the pain of sense that some call fire. This fire purifies them of their imperfections. This suffering is not a meritorious act because it is not performed freely but with compulsion. Yet, the souls in purgatory gladly accept this fire and impatiently await the end of their trials so that they can be with God.  The duration and intensity of their suffering is dependent on the amount of suffrages we on earth offer for them through our good acts and Eucharistic devotions. It is a duty of Charity to pray for the souls in purgatory, since they are our brothers and sisters. It is a requirement of justice, since souls can be unduly detained because of our negligence, and finally it is obligation of piety that we owe members of our supernatural and natural families who might be in purgatory.

Hell

Truly, many do not understand what hell is, if they did, they would be anxious never to go there. Strictly speaking, the Catholic Church does not talk about those in hell because they are considered to be outside of the Church. They are no longer a part of the Church. The souls of people who die in the state of opposition to God through attachment to evil go straight to hell. Hell is the ratification of the choices they freely made up until the moment of death. Death makes the opposition to God permanent and eternal. In Hell, the separation from the all-loving God is permanent, irrevocable and without end. It is a life of complete frustration and emptiness. Hel is the opposite of love; it is hatred, darkness, and eternal punishment. It is eternally living with evil, and knowing that it is forever, without end. Recalling that we are going to die and that there is an afterlife could help us keep focus

Hell involves two kinds of pains. Pain of loss and pain of sense.

The pain of loss is the most intense and in enormity, surpasses every other suffering imaginable because it is the loss of the ultimate end, happiness, and eternal bliss desired by every creature. The souls in hell experience intense remorse, but not because of repentance from their sin, but because of the enormity and the eternal duration of their punishment .They also experience the pain of the senses, which some consider to be unquenchable fire, burning sulfur. Even if they do not know it, all men are created in the image of God, to live with God forever. Every soul hungers for this union of love and happiness with God. To be eternally deprived of ever achieving this is the most terrible suffering a soul can have, a loss of all meaning and purpose and a permanent state of frightful misery

This pain of sense on the other hand is comparable to dying but never dying, hence the name “eternal death.” Apart from this two pains mentioned above, there are other pains, such as the suffering of being in the eternal company of the wicked and the damned, where all is misery and vile, the permanent company of the devil and all his demons, where hatred and evil is the only rule. We should truly pity those who do evil here on earth.

Heaven

The existence of heaven is explained in the same way that the existence of hell is explained. It is proper and fitting that those who die in the state of grace, without sin, and in union with God, having kept and obeyed his laws in this life be rewarded. That reward is the immediate and eternal possession of God who is love.

The metaphor of heaven as the dwelling place of God in the sky can be misleading, but through faith, we know that heaven is not a place but a living relationship with the Holy Trinity in Christ. Happiness of heaven is the enjoyment of all good, all love and beauty and bliss in God in a permanent eternal way without any fear of loss, forever. This eternal vision of God cannot be unless God grants the soul a light of glory that illuminates and unites with God. This light of glory called lumen Gloriae enables the creature to see and know God. Since love comes from knowledge, this act of seeing and knowing God is immediately followed by an intense love of God that produces immense joy, happiness bliss that nothing in this world can describe.

Thus, the soul participates in all joy and happiness of the blessed. Moreover it is in the blessed company of the saints, Mary and all the blessed. It is also know all creatures through the mind of God. It is able to communicate with his loved ones on earth and rejoices as they progress towards heaven. 

The final judgment

Unlike the particular judgment that comes immediately after death, the final judgment comes at the end of the world. It is the public ratification of the irrevocable sentence of the particular judgment. Moreover, is in keeping with the justice of God that just as many people do good without reward because no one sees them and many people do evil and are never caught, the final judgment will be the universal acclamation of hidden good doers and universal condemnation of hidden evildoers.

It is also the time for the resurrection of the body. The same body that participated or even aided in the good or assisted in the evil done while on earth, will resurrect and re-unit with the soul for the universal judgment of body and soul. The final judgment will show that God’s justice prevails over all the injustices perpetrated by his creatures, and that God’s love is stronger than death. Our hope does not look forward to the eternal life of the soul alone, but to the eternal life of the whole human person, body and soul. There is an eternal life of salvation, as a participation of the entire man in the glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In addition, there is an eternal life of damnation, in which the separation from God becomes eternal.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





Self Fulfilling Prophesy: causes of break between friends, business partnership, and family.

13 04 2020
Self fulfilling prophesy

Years ago, at a communication seminar in Lagos, the speaker talked about the “Self Fulfilling Prophesy” (SFP) as one of the causes of break between friends, business partnership, and family.

According to the encyclopedia Britannica, SFP is a process through which an originally false expectation leads to its own confirmation. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, an individual’s expectations about another person or entity eventually result in the other person or entity acting in ways that confirm the expectations (encyclopedia Britannica).

The video above uses a simple anecdote to explain SFP:  if two people go to the same party, one expecting to have a nice time, the other expecting to have a nasty time, most times, their expectations come true,  because each  will behave in according to his expectations thus fulfilling the prophesy. Thus, the one that expects to have fun would act excited, smiling, and meeting people.  People, in turn, will smile back and engage with him, and as a result, he will have a nice time. The other one expecting lousy experiences will be curt, restrained, and uptight. He will avoid making eye contact, people would avoid him, and he end up having a bad time thus fulfilling his own prophesy!

After the seminar, I was incredulous. I didn’t want to believe want to believe that I suffered from SFP; however, I began observing myself to see if it was true.

I must confess that only in very few occasions, this theory was accurate. Many times, at the office, if I “apriori” decided something was not going to work out, it won’t! Later if I checked backwards why it hadn’t worked, I would discover that I had acted in such a way to discourage it.

I have long stopped wondering why I do not get along with some colleagues at the office and why, if a friend told me that someone I have never met was selfish bum, and if I eventually meet that person, I came to the same conclusion. This by the way is why calumny (bad mouthing people behind their back) is sinful because destroying the good name of another increases the chance that SFP would kick in when other people meet them.  

What the speaker did not tell us at the seminar though was how to overcome SFP, because I could not. I kept trying to stop doing it without success. It was instinctive. I could observe the tone of my voice changing due to SFP but can’t do anything about it. The more I tried to change the worse it seemed to be getting.

Thanks to a holy priest, I got to know that it’s was part of the “human condition” or what spiritual writers call our “wounded nature” Wounded by original sin”

“We can’t remove it or change it,” he said,” You can only struggle against it, and that struggle is your victory. It has not compromised you. This is why we pray, my friend, this is why we  examine our conscience frequently, go to confession and receive the sacraments of Eucharist, because somehow God’s grace has more weight than our weakness and tips our scale towards goodness .

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Love sees what eyes cannot: Victoria & Abdul

7 01 2020
Victoria and Abdul

Those who say that love is blind ignore its power to see what naked eyes cannot. “Victoria and Abdul,” a film of rare artistry based on the true-life story of queen Victoria’s blind love for a poor Indian servant, Abdul Karim who, in his turn, saw in her royal heart, a thirst for warmth and affection unquenched by the fawning, kowtowing mass of royal maids and servants.

It was a story of love at first sight. “I think the tall one is terribly handsome,” the queen quipped to a concierge the day after the tall and handsome Abdul and his shorter companion were ushered into her presence to present her with a gift of a gold coin from India.

Things moved quickly as the queen requested that he become her personal attendant much to the consternation of the uppity, scheming, gossipy and crafty royal household.

Consternation turned to anger when the queen made him part of the royal household, appointing him as her personal “munshi” or teacher, and took him in her travels, to banquets, to operas, and even allowed him to assist her with the boxes of government papers.  

Anger turned apoplectic when the queen offered him the knighthood and palace gossip spindles furiously wove tapestries of rumors that the queen was unhinged and in love with the munshi.

But the tapestries were shredded into heaps of jumbled rags when the queen excitedly ordered Abdul to bring his wife to England after learning that he was married. When she arrived, the queen took great pleasure in meeting and entertaining her. She even sent her personal physician to assist Abdul and his wife with their difficulty in having children.

What could have drawn the most powerful woman in the world to this lowly Indian prison officer?

Love sees what the naked eyes cannot. Abdul enchanted the queen. While others treated her with great fear and difference, he on the other hand treated her like a person, unafraid; he looked at her, and talked to her like a son would talk to his mother.

Surprised, perhaps even relieved, Queen Victoria responded like a mother and loved him like a son and even more.

Abdul was devoted to Queen Victoria in life and even more in death. After her death, he returned to India and had a life-size statue of her erected at the precincts of the TajMahal, where he would go daily to pray and meditate on the life of this great woman.  He wore a gold locket with her face on his breast, which she gave him with great devotion even though his Muslim religion forbade graven images.

Abdul actions should is hardly surprising, it is an action born out of gratitude to one who loved him more than a son, in spite of his low birth. The most powerful and feared woman in the world, revered by kings and princes yet stoops to his love and elevates him to her equal.

In many respects, his actions repudiate those who disparage devotion to loved ones after their death. Catholics, for example, have been knocked around for their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, whom they regard as their mother. Yet it is a most natural human reaction. Gratitude comes naturally to those favored by majesty.

When Abdul stooped down and kissed the foot of Queen Victoria at the garden party in one of the early scenes of the movie, he wasn’t in effect worshipping her as one would worship God. Rather, he was reacting in the expected way as anyone would, overwhelmed with gratitude, standing in the someone would react who feels that for some unknown reason he is the chosen recipient of majestic benevolence despite his low status; a servant loved by a queen; a lowly Indian prison officer adored by the Empress of India.

True, it might have been a desperate love between scheming Indian taking advantage of a bored, desperate and tired old queen whose husband had died many years ago, yet there is no denying its beauty and charm.

Mary was a simple village girl, unaccustomed to the pump and pageantry,  wielded no earthly power while she was on earth–except of course the power of a loving mother whose son is Jesus, King of the universe and on this account, she is far superior to the queen of England.

And from this motherhood draws all her authority, power, and grace Christians call her mother because her blessed womb gave them their savior.

Her powers are undiminished by death but have everlasting potency now that she is in heaven body and soul next to her son, Jesus Christ.

Queen Victoria on the other hand was aware that death would end all her powers and render her incapable of protecting Abdul. Thus at the twilight of her life, she implored Abdul to flee England, because “the vultures are already circling” Abdul insisted and remained with her till the end, and faced the spiteful fury of her son, Edward, who dealt mercilessly with him, even before the dust had settled over his mother’s grave. Yet he counted it all as gain, for having been loved by such a mighty one is greater than the suffering endured by the hatred of the world put together, and saw his life as defined by the short span spent by her side.

Many thanks to the casts and director of this movie, and the eagle-eyed journalist who uncovered the delightful story, so nearly scrubbed off the annals of history by those whose ox was gored by it. 

Chinwuba Iyizoba





A powerful proof of forgiveness, boy hugs officer who killed his brother

12 10 2019

A powerful proof of forgiveness, boy hugs officer who killed his brother.

“I forgive you, I love you, ” he said.

Watch this video of true forgiveness.

It was the last thing anyone was expecting.

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger had just been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting a black man, Botham Jean, in his own apartment.
Jean’s younger brother Brandt Jean was on the witness stand Wednesday, giving a victim-impact statement, when he turned to the judge and made a most unusual request.
“I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?” he asked.
What happened next stunned both the courtroom and the nation. Jean stepped off the witness stand and stepped over to Guyger. The two hugged for nearly a minute.
“I forgive you. And I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you,” Jean told Guyger. “I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you.”(source CNN)

Video of Amber Guyger, former cop being sentenced to 10 yrs for killing a man.





Nigerian Teens Create Sci-Fi Movies With Smartphone

21 08 2019
Critic company

The saying that if you give a hungry man a fish, you will feed him for a day but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life is so true for 8 teens from northern Nigeria who are making science- fiction movies using a broken smart phone.

No doubt, they love watching Sci-Fi movies but unlike other teens their age, the Critics company, as they call themselves, are determined to make their own. They came together 2016, started creating short film with special effects they learnt from YouTube videos.

Using a broken tripod stand to hold up a smart phone with a cracked screen, they shot a ten minute film called ‘Redemption’.

This film caught the eye of international media organization like Reuters, Aljazeera and others who celebrated them for making history by successfully making first Nigerian sci-fi movie. According to one of the young filmmakers, Godwin Josiah, their aim was to show that kids in the north are doing something different.

Support has since started pouring in. Veteran film maker Kemi Adetiba, tweeted enthusiastically about them in June and helped them raise $5,800 to upgrade their equipment.

Imagine what they could do with a formal training in sci-fi movie production.

Ironically, this same youtube medium that can create porn addictions that wrecks the lives of other teens is empowering and enabling these 8 youngsters to acquire skills in movie production. This shows that it is not the media as such that is to blame when youths get hooked on internet porn but the lack of focus and motivation among young people.

Serious minded teens can sift out the best and useful things in social media and use them to advance themselves without necessarily falling prey to harmful contents as these 8 teen have aptly demonstrated.

Still, it takes guts and drive and thinking out of the box. It demands  finding a dream, pushing forward and following that dream to its logical consequences.

In life, honest and productive work is usually rewarded with fame and success, and Godwin Josiah and his cousins are making themselves useful with a broken smart phone

Nigeria has over 70million are teenagers, but still teen productivity is so low. Experts say that this is due to skill deficiency Nigerian educational curriculum, which is shockingly theoretical rather than practical, and many teen leave school ill equipped to earn a living. Hence the high rate of youth jobless, resulting in political unrest, economic instability, drug abuse, crime, prostitution, human trafficking, terrorism and kidnapping..

The Critics Company have alerted people to the possibilities of digital media like YouTube to tutor themselves in skills that can fetch money or jobs or even help them start their own businesses. 

Many handy skills can be learned via YouTube: from air-conditioning repairs to fashion designing and computer programming and countless free online tutorials on software development. Furthermore, an average low-end smart phone is chockfull of useful apps, such that an average user cannot exhaust 1% of its capability.  There are apps that can transform a smartphone  into a math lab, reader, and multimedia learning platform and many other things, and most are available free.

The triumph of these teen is good news for a region considered by most as educationally backward and where teens are often school shy. The Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-rufai has praised their creativity, invited them to statehouse for special visit and is generally making a fuss of them. He has also offered the government’s support and constituted a team of senior officials to work on the details with their family.

Josiah and his cousin are blazing a path for African teens to follow, and confirming that with courage and determination, any African teen will not only survive, but actually thrive in these polluted waters through through hard work, unrelenting focus.

  Their fame and success has even wider relevance. Teens the world over should cease being passive consumers of social media content and become innovators, leveraging on these platforms to create and market their own ideas and become creators, and contributors to human progress.

They are an indictment of those who engage in online scams popularly known in Nigeria as “419”, a scam that has given millions of Nigerians a very bad name.

They are also showing up the so called Nollywood industry, still stuck in their abysmally low quality films, rife with poorly written scripts and stale story lines  revolving around time worn themes of sex, money and power.

They may yet give the Nollywood oligarchs a run for their money and possibly break their  strangle hold on the industry.

With sci-fi movies like Star Wars and Avengers grossing over $900Million and $800Million respectively, a sci-fi skill set is not a bad investment and the Critics company could be pioneers in a business that could bring much needed foreign exchange flowing back into African pockets. Time will tell.





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





Inspiring Story of “Iron Lady” Muniba Mazari

19 07 2019
Muniba Masari

Sometimes just existing is an act of bravery. Muniba Masari, 20, was involved in a car crash when her husband, who was driving, fell asleep and the car crashed into a ditch. Though he was able to jump out and save himself, she suffered numerous injuries, including a fractured wrist, collar bone, and rib cage; the rib cage injury severely injured her lungs and liver. She couldn’t breathe, and she’d lost control of her urine and bowels. In addition, her backbone was completely crushed. For the rest of her life, she was paralyzed.

After two and a half months in the hospital and multiple surgeries, the doctor told her she would never be able to walk or have a child again.

“Why me?” she asked her mother, devastated. “Why am I still alive?”

“This, too, shall pass,” her mother assured her. I’m not sure what God’s plan is for you.”

Muniba’s heart was set on fire by those magical words. She had always wanted to be an artist, and even though the doctors said she couldn’t use her hands, she asked her brothers to bring her canvas, and when they did, she did her first painting inside the hospital, which started her recovery process.

Her doctors advised her to lie down straight on her bed for two years after she was discharged.

“That’s when I realized how fortunate people were to be able to walk around, go outside, and not even realize it,” she explained. She resolved to help others realize how fortunate they were.

Her first step was to break free from her fears. So she took out a piece of paper and jotted down all of her fears.

Her greatest fear was losing her husband through a divorce. She married the man her father chose when she was 18 years old. It was never a happy union. Her husband had survived the accident unscathed, despised her for her condition, and was having an affair with another woman.

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

“In fact,” Muniba continued, “I was so free that when I found out he was getting married again, I texted him and said congratulations, I am happy for you, and he knows I am praying for him today.”

Muniba had unknowingly followed Jesus’ teaching, which stated, “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, so that you may be called children of God. He makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. What is the reward for loving those who love you? Aren’t the tax collectors doing the same thing? And what are you doing more than others if you only greet your own people? Do pagans not do the same? Therefore, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48) 

Therefore, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48) her fear of never having her own child vanished when she realized there were thousands of children in Pakistan who had no one to love them. So she decided to assist them by adopting one, and a cool stream of happiness returned to her bruised heart. Muniba now has a healthy young son whom she adores and who adores her. She also travels around giving talks and encouraging people to see the bright 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-conscious or self-focused, but rather when they are completely focused on the outside, on the game. Similarly, people who have suffered a disaster are best able to overcome when they resist the urge to bitter self-pity and instead focus on helping others.

Muniba’s pain and suffering opened her eyes and made her more understanding of other people’s sufferings, making her a better person.

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

God’s Understanding

“God has a purpose for you,” her mother had told her, and those magical words had set her heart on a search, looking outside of herself. It piqued her interest in learning what she could do to help others, because suffering need is something that can happen to anyone, but knowing how to endure it belongs to great souls, souls who have loved deeply.

Most people understandably avoid suffering like a bat avoids fire, but if suffering is inevitable, rejection would be futile and harmful because the hand of the clock, no matter how much we wish, cannot be turned back.

Acceptance is the prudent course of action. Making the most of a bad situation

This is why the Christian message is so powerful, and why it is referred to as the good news. God emptied himself, became man, and humbled himself to die on the Cross so that people like Muniba can know that God loves them because he chose to suffer similar affliction, not just her, but all men and women throughout history.

Suffering was unbearable before Jesus’ message, and those who suffered had no hope. Then, worldly power and wealth were everything, and a man’s worth was largely determined by his possessions.

Christ turned everything on its head. He was born in a Manger, the dwelling place of animals, lived poor, and preached that the poor are blessed and that all the things that men cringe and flee from are the true treasures, hunger, thirst for Righteousness, and meekness. Furthermore, He not only preached but His death and resurrection validated His teachings as genuine and divine.

Though Muniba is not a Christian, she has grasped the tenants of Christianity, and just as the Cross ceased to be a symbol of punishment and instead became a symbol of victory in the Passion, Muniba’s wheel cheer and urine bag are a symbol of hope and victory for all. She has received numerous international awards as an artist, motivational speaker, activist, TV host, and Pakistan’s first Goodwill Ambassador to UNWomen Pakistan at the age of 42.

“I always go around with a big smile on my face,” Muniba, an ironwoman 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, says.

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!

 

Odera + Chinedu White Thriller







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