Inspiring Story of “Iron Lady” Muniba Mazari

19 07 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Munabi Mazari inspirational talk

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





Tears to Joy (Ekundayo)

4 04 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Tybello

Photo journalist, TY Bellow, who discovered the bread seller model also discovered an unsung hero, Ms Ekundayo, a woman who had single handedly cared for near 500 orphaned children without any public or private applause.

An economist graduate, who had a brief stint in Government, Bello is a passionate Christian who has an amazing eye out for underdogs. Transforming the life of an illiterate bread seller caught in her camera by accident to a supermodel. But she wasn’t done yet.

In 2003, on a whim of philanthropic spirit, she decided to go visiting orphanages round the country to see which was in dire straight and how she could help, to her great surprise, she discovered an unknown and unsung heroine, who had quietly fed and sheltered close to 500 children in the backwaters of Kogi state.

In 1959, Mama Ekundayo, a married woman with five biological children of her own, decided to take care of orphans and abandoned children as well. Without money or power, she set about her goal and by 2003, she had taken care of well nearly 500 children without any government or international aid.

mama ekundayo

Mama Ekundayo

“Ekundayo,” which translates, “(my) tears have turned to joy,” captured Bello’s sentiments the days she met this woman.

“After talking to her about 10 minutes, I just started to cry,” TY Bello said.

“I felt so empty, you know there is something about her that is very peaceful, very wholesome. You can tell that she was happy but I felt that my whole life was just about me and my project and the things that I wanted.”

Greatly edified by sheer munificence of the woman and the gloriousness of this hidden sacrifice and the contrast of her own life Bello wrote a song for her which she turned to a music video called “Ekundayo.”

ekunday ophanage

Just like many things in life, there are many unsung heroes, people who do good quietly while the world largely remains unaware. Men and women who spend their lives serving others selflessly, at the cost fortune and family. They are so noble, inspiring and out of the ordinary.

It is like catching a glimpse of that image of God we bear in our souls, so obscure and difficult to see in a world marked by unchecked greed and selfish ambition for power, lust and personal gratification.

Using one’s talents or money to serve the greatest number of people is obviously more rewarding and effective, yet it is strangely not common in Africa, and in Nigeria especially. The truth is that it requires degree of spiritual awareness rare and hard to acquire, and even more, it requires willpower and self mastery over the animal instincts of self preservation that only very few can achieve in society rife with insecurity and poverty.

Yet, the Ekundayos of this world aren’t superhuman. They are people with deep convictions who choose to live out the consequences no matter the odds.

ty bello with mama

TY Bello with Mama Ekundayo

But they are the truly free. Those who understand freedom as the radically arbitrary license to do just what they want and to have their own way are living in a lie, for by his very nature man is part of a shared existence and his freedom is shared freedom. His very nature contains direction and norm, and becoming inwardly one with this direction and norm is what freedom is all about.

It is this radical shift in thoughts and philosophy that distinguish Ms Ekundayo from many. Yet, all Nigerians retain the capacity to walk the footstep of this giant.

Admittedly this is no easy task from start to finish in Nigeria. From scarcity of adoption agency to fraudulent agencies that run orphanages with a mind of achieving a clandestine agenda, to lack of proper documentation, to legal challenges to bureaucratic bottle necks ensure that only the truly convinced can walk this course on scathe.

“Mama Ekundayo has shown us how you can do so much with so little. There are countless examples of people like her out there,” said Bello,   “I hope the videos inspire us to help make their work easier or at least spread the word as much as we can.”

EKUNDAYO – TY BELLO (video)

LYRICS: EKUNDAYO – TY BELLO

Ekundayo sugbon E mi ko

Ise Oluwa ni

Her words resound over and again

Undoubtedly I’ve been changed

Madam your life your heart touched mine

And finally I realized

Even I can give a life

Ekundayo sugbon emi ko oluwa lo fun mi se

Mo dele ever before open my door

Jojolo

 

Life was all about me

My life was all about me

Did not see nothing wrong

The life that I lived

Was far from her reality

Don’t know how empty I was

Madam your life your heart touched mine

I was struck by the purity of your smile

Now I know

Realize the change I can bring (Change I can be)

To suffering children who’ve got no home

Pray for me so I can see

Through your eyes

Repeat Do you know beautiful you become

When you make way

For the all little ones

Who otherwise would not have made it through their day

You become a part of their tale

Oh how beautiful are the feet of every man

Who brings tidings of hope to children broken

Blessings from heaven gate

Will shower you every day

Everytime you open the door to link a child

Open my door

Eje ko mode ko wa

Eje kan wa oh oh

 

Open up my door (Say yeah)

Open my door

Eje ko mode ko wa

Ki won wa oh oh

 

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





A boxer’s Kiss and the Story of Virtues

26 03 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

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

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

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

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

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

Virtues are what we use to control ourselves.

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

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

Prudence

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

boxer kissing reporter

Justice

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

Fortitude

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

Temperance

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

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

Chinwuba Iyizoba is the editor of Authors-choice





Boys behaving badly.. By Pius Adesanmi (Professor)

18 03 2019

Today, I decide on a capitalist lunch alone. My assigned driver takes me to a capitalist restaurant – one of the elitist watering holes of anybody who is anybody in Nigeria’s centre of power.

I invite the driver to come in with me. He is shocked. He is used to waiting in the car. Or being given some change to go and find an appropriate Mama Put for his own lunch while the Ogas eat in the capitalist location.

I have no idea why I asked him to come with me. Inside, we strike a picture of contrasts. All eyes raised. All eyes looking at the odd pair.

We are taken to a table for one because the waitress naturally assumes that my driver is just carrying my phone and will find his way out to wait in the car as soon as I am seated.

I ask her for a table for two. She looks at me, looks at the driver, mouth agape. Something ain’t adding up. She takes us to a table for two. The driver is in a strange universe. Fish out of water.

I help him with the complications of the life of the rich: how to order swallow and “protein” from a menu in the ways of the rich instead of barking at Sikira to add more ponmo and shaki at Iya Basira’s buka. I order the same swallow and protein for both of us.

Inquisitive looks. Hostile looks. Querying looks. You’d think we were a black and white interracial couple that had just entered a public space holding hands in America or Canada. It is the same looks of disapproval. But this time, it is not from folks frowning on interracial border crossing. It is from rich Nigerians, big Nigerians, Ogas at the top and their accent-forming sophisticated mistresses, feeling that their space has been violated by the presence of my driver.

Much to my disappointment, nobody says anything to us and I miss the opportunity of a fight. However, I’m extremely pleased with what is going on – this sense that I am violating that space gives me immense satisfaction. I am also pleased that once he attacks his food, the driver no send anybody again. He eats with the natural noises of his normal buka environment – sneezing, belching, guffawing, etc.

There are moments when one has to be a strategic agbaya if it serves the purpose of getting on the nerves of a certain class of people so I join in the bad behaviour, also belching loudly and drawing satisfaction from the disapproving looks on the faces of some of the accent-faking sophisticated ladies and their male company at other tables.

We walk out royally after our meal. I can sense the happiness which engulfs my driver. We strike a conversation about it all on the way to the airport. He tells me that the most painful part of it for him is that all those madams and ogas spending about N10,000 for a meal for two are often people who owe their drivers, cooks, houseboys, house girls, gardeners, maiguards and nannies salary arrears and refuse to pay.

That is when it occurs to me that he probably would have appreciated the cash equivalent of what I just spent on a single lunch for him.

Our bill was N8000.

At the airport, I give him N4000.

His profuse prayers are the last words I hear as the airport terminal swallows me on my way to Lagos………
~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pius Adesanmi is a Nigerian Professor with Carlton University in Canada that is among those that died on the ill fated Ethiopia airline

Rest in Peace Professor Pius Adesanmi…..🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾





The Girl Who Looked Death in the Eye and Smiled

8 03 2019

#InternationalWomensDay

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

People the world over flee illness and suffering and despise death as an evil that must be avoided at all cost. They feel themselves most unfortunate, even unlucky if ever one or the other should overcome them. Yet, there was a young girl who did not despise and fly from suffering and pain, but even looked death in the eye with a smile, accepting and embracing it as a gentle caress full of affection from a God who loved her so much.

Who was this girl and how did she come to have such uncommon attitude in the face of pain, suffering, even death. What gave her mind to understand that acceptance rather than hatred and rejection are the most effective antibiotics against infecting the soul with bitterness. What were the outcome of these her radical ideas?

Her name was Maria Montse Grases, a young Spaniard who lived in Barcelona. She was only 17 in 1957 when she was diagnosed with a rare and painful bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. In the 50’s   Ewing’s sarcoma was a death sentence.


Maria Montse Grases

 Montse loved life and had an infectious smile straight from the heart. Her eyes shown like diamonds, tall and strong, it seems there was almost always a perpetual smile on her face, a smile that came straight from the heart. Her eyes were kind, friendly and filled with playful mischief.  She was neat and tidy and her clothes reflected style and taste. She especially liked a green plaid skirt that reached her ankles

  She liked sport and music as well as traditional local dances. She was a good athlete, playing basketball, tennis, and ping-pong. But her favorite recreation was outings with friends.

In many sense she was like any other girl; yet, she was unlike many other girls because she radiated an inner charm and her virtues and character made her attractive to all who met her. 

She almost never worried about herself but busied herself taking care of others, she showered love and attention on the needy and suffering; and took her friends to visit poor families and sick people, and she regularly gave religions classes to the local children in parishes, and would sometimes bring them toys and sweets.

 She took great care of her spiritual life of prayers because she loved God with a personal love that was both intimate and filled with reverence.  To her, God was a friend with whom she could share everything, the deepest secrets of her soul, she laid bare to him daily in prayer and anything that worried her.

Like every young woman, she had her personal shortcomings.  Impulsive and brusque at times, she however never compromised with her personal defects, wrestling resolutely against them and struggling to control her occasional ill temper, and be friendly and jovial with everyone.

This greatness of heart shone like a brilliant star when she demonstrated a rare capacity to dedicate herself to something greater than herself. 

When she was 11, her parents came in contact with Opus Dei an institution in the Catholic Church that shows ordinary people how to be holy in the ordinary circumstances of each day. They readily understood the message of Opus Dei and within two years both had joined Opus Dei.

Montse’s parents thought her how to deal with Jesus with confidence, they strove to make her stable companion of Jesus sparing no effort to make it happen.  It was her mother who first suggested she visited a center of Opus Dei, where Christian and human formation is give to young girls. In attending the means of formation given in the center of Opus Dei, she perceived one day God was calling her to serve him as a celibate member of Opus Dei. She was sixteen

After meditating, praying, and seeking advice, she asked to be admitted to Opus Dei. From then on she struggled decisively and with constancy to seek holiness in her daily life. She struggled to be in constant conversation with God, to discover the will of God in the fulfillment of her duties and in caring for little details out of love, and to make life pleasant for those around her. She was able to transmit to many of her relatives and friends the peace that comes from living close to God.

Her brother George soon took notice that Montse had changed. Though externally, she was the same, same dress, she still attended classes on cooking and arts, but her brothers noticed that she was no longer arguing with him, and was more affectionate and tactful. She seemed to have suddenly grown up.

What made her so readily generous with God?  Some people attribute it to her parent’s generosity with God in having a large family. Montse was the second of nine children.

“Me and my wife agreed in everything, ready to start a Christian family, accepting all children God wanted to send.” Her father said.

Ewing’s sarcoma

One day on June 1958, Montse went skiing with friends and injured her leg. The pain was excruciating and won’t go away; her parents took her to a clinic. After lengthy investigations, the doctor took her parent aside, and told them she had a rare kind of bone cancer, causing the great pain she had been experiencing. But worse, it was incurable. She was going to die.

Devastated, her parents wept inconsolably, unable to speak or break the news to her.

Finally, they told her.

“Would it help if they cut the bad leg?” she asked.

“I am afraid my daughter, that will not help.” her sad father said.

To her parents surprise she brightened up and began singing a Mexican song and that night, as her mother recalled slept soundly.

Little by little, her illness got worse though, and she spent many a sleepless night squirming in pain; the treatment made her suffer a lot. Her pain increased to the point of being almost unbearable. From February 16th on, her leg was so swollen up to the hip that her skin began to crack.

Treating the leg was terribly painful. But instead of complaining, she hummed a song. She always had an affectionate word for those who treated her leg, even though they couldn’t help hurting her.

She couldn’t eat. To take anything was a real torture. Since she couldn’t swallow anything, she sucked on a piece of ice for refreshment. She usually commented that she was a coward because she was afraid the suffering would come.  

Jesus was afraid to die?

At first, she naturally was afraid to die. One day she said to a friend: “I’m afraid of dying, because I’m afraid to be alone.”

Her friend tried to encourage her by mentioning the scene of Jesus in Gethsemane was afraid to die.

“Jesus was afraid to die?” She exclaimed, astonished that she hadn’t thought about that before. Joy flooded into her heart.

“What joy to find myself afraid together with Jesus,” Montse exclaimed ecstatically clasping her hands, her face radiant with peace and joy.

 “Together with Jesus I will face death happily!”

The end drew to a close rapidly however.  At the beginning of March they had to call the doctor quickly because. Montse had such a weak pulse that it was hardly noticeable.

The doctor, when he took her pulse couldn’t hide his concern that was noticed by all. Montse broke the anguished silence by picking up the doctor’s bag from the bed and saying: “Mama, have you seen this strange bag?”

This made everyone smile.

She grew much worse. They thought the moment had arrived to give her the Blessing of the Sick. She also thought it would be good to have it as soon as possible. A priest of Opus Dei administered this sacrament. Montse followed the ritual with great devotion, showing no sadness. Every once in a while she smiled at her mother who knelt at the foot of the bed.

On March 18, eve of the feast of St. Joseph, it seemed that the hour of her death had arrived. Montse was very happy.

“How do I look,” she asked those who were staying with her.

 “All right,” someone answered. Montse wanted them to say, “Worse.” And when asked, “How do you feel?” she answered unenthusiastically, “Me? Fine; just look.” The clock struck eleven, and she asked, “What time is it? Am I still here?”

At twelve she was asked, “Montse, do you want to pray?”

 They said the Angelus. At that moment she was more awake, and she said: “Do you know what I think? I’m not going to worry any more. When God wants, he’ll take me.”

Soon to Heaven

St. Joseph’s day passed, and her general condition improved somewhat. The doctor came to see her and Montse asked later: “What did he say? What’s happening? Aren’t I going?”

“He said you might go at any moment,” they answered.

 “Can you imagine? Soon to Heaven, soon to Heaven! Will you let me go?” she exclaimed happily, hugging the person who had told her the doctor’s comment.

Little by little she weakened. The nights were the worst. A continuous sweat left her exhausted. She became very thirsty and felt suffocated. The night before her death, Montse wanted to say something. But in spite of the effort she made no one could understand her. Early in the morning of that Holy Thursday, March 26, 1959, the directress of the Opus Dei house that she attended was close to her bed, and Montse asked her to say aspirations since she herself couldn’t talk anymore. About ten o’clock she tried to sit up to see the picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary that she had in front of her bed.

She whispered: “How much I love you. When are you coming to take me?” These were her last words. Her life ebbed away little by little.

At noon, those who were with her prayed the Angelus. She must have followed it with her heart. It was her last glance toward the One she loved so much, and to whom she had said so many things during her lifetime. Those who were with her began to say the Rosary in a soft voice, and they had just finished the first mystery when Montse died

Montserrat Graces, an 18 year old girl when she died on March 25, 1959 and was recently declared venerable by Pope Francis. She is a model for all women on women’s day. 





Davido’s Mom

18 02 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

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

Davido at 02 Arena London

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

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

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

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

Veronica Adeleke, Davido’s Mom

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

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

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

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

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

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

Davido’s Fans

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

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

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

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

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

Davido with one of his daughters fathered out of wedlock

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

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

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

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





Genevieve’s Lion Heart

11 02 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve Nnaji’s rise to the top in the Nigerian movie industry is a tribute to her parent’s unwavering faith in God when all seemed lost.

When 8yrs old Genevieve Nnaji debuted in “Ripples,” a prominent soap opera that gripped the nation in the 80’s, everyone was sure that she was destined for fame. The fourth of eight children, she was the rising star in the family and her parents, Theophilus and Benedatte Nnaji, spared no expenses in her education, to fulfill her dreams. 

But tragedy struck, unexpectedly. At 17, she came home from school pregnant.

 Shattered, a future so bright and beautiful, and at a time when her career was about to take off like a rocket, all in seemed lost.

To save her career, it would have been so easy to succumb to pressures and abort the unborn child. Few parents can ignore the danger of being ridiculed and yet, despite their dismay and sadness, despite their fear of the unknown, of possible failure, they paid no court to public opinion, and insisted that she must give birth to the child.

“My dad was like; it’s a child for Christ’s sake.” Genevieve who is now 40, said, “God knows why he wants to bring that child into life”.

Genevieve and her Daddy

“We are Catholics” Genevieve continued, “and it’s just, that in conscience, if you do wrong once, doing another would not make the first right. So, you either correct your mistake by doing the right thing. If I was pregnant, and then have an abortion, it would have been like murder after fornication! So, that was basically wrong.”

Thanks to their unwavering obedience to the teaching of the Catholic faith, and a well formed conscience, her parents rallied and protected her and the child. And as soon as she had the child, her mother cared for the child, allowing her to return to her studies and work.

Today, that child, Theodora Chimebuka Nnaji, is 23, a startling beauty, married with her own family, spitting image of Genevieve, a companion, confidant and constant source of joy to her and more so as the years go by.

Genevieve and her daughter

 “I am so happy I did not abort my daughter,” she said, eyes shining with gratitude.

By not succumbing to shame and going against their faith and conscience, Mr. & Mrs. Nnaji, have instilled in their daughter, values, solid as a rock on which she has stepped on to greater heights

In 2005, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (the first actress to win the award).

In November 2015 her first movie called Road to Yesterday won Best Movie Overall-West Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. But the best was yet to come

 On September 7, 2018 her directorial debut, “Lion heart” was acquired by online streaming service, Netflix marking it the first Netflix original film from Nigeria. The Movie had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and has since been making waves the world over.

Lion Heart has been dubbed Nollywood “reinvented” because it differs from other Nollywood movies, replacing poor screen play and scripting with positively enjoyable high quality cinematography, and gripping story line.

Genevieve directs her first movie and it’s a huge success

Lion Heart tells the story of Adaeze (played by Genevieve,) an executive in her father’s bus company was forced to a second position when her sick father chose an uncle over her to run the company.  But discovery of bankruptcy, a hostile takeover forced her to abandon her recrimination and work with her Uncle to save the company.

Particularly delightful was the stable traditional family values on offer throughout the movie as opposed to rampant divorce, rancor and infidelity in other movies.

Abigail, Adeaze’s mom was like a brilliant moon on a dark night, and her presence filled the house with light and warmth.

The effortless transition from high quality Ibo to flawless English without fake phonetics was as mesmerizing as the titillating aerial shots that brought out Enugu’s beauty in ways not seen before even by long residents of the coal city.

Netflix acquiring the movie sends a powerful message of hope to other Nollywood directors, that with the right efforts and doing things properly, there is nothing stopping them from competing with the best in the world .

Just like a good driver knows that obeying road signs on a winding hilly roads guides him to safety, and protects him from falling off the edge, Genevieve has learnt from her parents that obeying God laws and keeping an unwanted pregnancy and carrying it to term and giving birth to the child constitutes no obstacle to a woman’s future, education or professional success, but a sign of a lion heart.








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