Nothing Prepares You.

August 8, 2018.

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Nothing prepares you for the ache. You feel like you have had time to prepare for the inevitable, but when it comes, you find that nothing could have prepared you for this moment.

Tuesday August 8, 2018 started out as a beautiful day. There was light through out the night, I woke up, ironed the ootd, boiled water for a bath, put in a little workout and packed breakfast. There was also a beautiful sun outside, and I thought it was going to be such a beautiful day.

In retrospect, there were the hours between 3 and 5 that I struggled to sleep. Could it be because my morning was turning at that moment.

I know you are definitely in a better place. I know here wasn’t any good for you anymore but we all selfishly wanted you here, keeping faith for the days you are strong enough to hold our hands and say our names.

I will miss you. And this is putting it mildly.

I’ll miss our conversations. Nobody can come close to you in that department. You were the most brilliant man.

I’ll miss your presence in Emmanuel Church. How your beautiful singing voice transcends all the other voices hymn-singing. Or when you clear your throat through the quiet of the congregation. Someone started sitting in your corner and I havent stopped deathstaring at that person.

I’ll miss our meals together. Your pristine table manners. They don’t make men like you anymore 😦

I’ll miss sharing your biscuits and chocolate.

I’ll miss your style. You had great taste and it reflected all around you.

I will miss your smile. Oh Daddy! That very sweet grin that you have. Your hugs and your busses.

I don’t know for certain what’s on the other side. I know our faith tells of a time in eternity, but I’m grateful that on this side, you were here with me and for me.

The greatest uncle ever!

Love always,

Ijeuru.

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This is the difference.

Franklyne’s call.

That was the beginning of this trip. Something in his tone had me tense, I imagined what it was as he got off the phone. I didn’t wonder for long because he called back, completely broken, and it broke me. I confirmed you were gone and I couldn’t find my voice.

Maybe I should send Uncle Okezie a thank you card, because he presented a splendid memory, which I am going to remember you by.

I talk about you and struggle whether to use past tense or present tense. I know I should use past tense, but I am not willing.

Grandfather left a couple of months before you. I knew there was something wrong with the way that left me feeling. Somewhat distant and in denial. I wondered what could be missing. The pain? The PAIN?

This is the difference.

Day 2 of n….where n is indefinite.

I don’t know when I will get tired of counting. Maybe today,Maybe a year today. I remember when the Champions of #BBOG were going about their cause, and counted as far as 500 days. I wondered if they would tire, when they would tire. The people who started the counting cause, and fell by the wayside; it don’t necessarily mean that they had tired to lend voice..

I may not count what day it is without you on earth, but it is certainly not any easier.

I bid you Adieu my brother and friend, this vacuum is yours to fill, the memories together will do it.

Ohakwe Stephen Akwiwu lives forever.

Because we think we have time.

Yesterday, my Country lost someone who really impacted on the growth and well being of our nation as a whole.

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Prof Dora Nkem Akunnyili.
I didn’t know her personally. Heck, I dont even know what her portfolio reads, where she schooled and what degrees she obtained and what she is professor of.
But I know she has been the most wave-making NAFDAC DG I have heard of since I have been born Nigerian and even though her rise to popularity may be accorded to her being female, she proved her mettle for the entire time she was in authority. She gained respect and accomplished so much within her tenure, that her record is definitely worthy of emulation. She was a fighter and a defender, she was fearless and she was woman.
In as much as this may seem like a bait for feminists but please spare me, I am in no way saying because she was a woman, it was such an incredible feat or that women are taken to weakness and non-performance. Instead I am posing a more valid question/argument/food for thought/however you want to see it, to us Nigerians, as a whole, man, woman and child.
Dora died at 59. After being ill for a while ( maybe two years), so lets say since she was 57, she had reclined from her very active life on health grounds. But in that time, she had made enough impact to make Dora a popular name (after Dora the explorer maybe) for the public which is not followed by hisses and cusses and accusations and judgement (which is rare for a Nigerian government official).

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I dont know what her illness was. You might think I should have bothered to do a little research for the sake of this write-up but honestly, knowing what she suffered from will not make her feel better neither will not knowing what it was deny the fact that her life taught me a thing or two.
Lesson 1: The problem is you think you have time.
Alot of times recently, I have come across the above mentioned and the pang of guilt I have always felt has been huge. I am a struggling repentant procrastinator. A lot of people I know probably are. Truth is, time is not a variable. Whether you agree or not, time is passing by and it doesn’t even have the “time” to notify you as it goes by. You have to, by yourself, develop the discipline to do right and do it promptly. You dont know how much time you have been allocated and you cannot determine for a fact how much time you have to achieve a task/goal. Whatever it is you plan to leave as a mark in your environment, it is very important that you start now. She died at 59. People have died younger. So what is age again?
Lesson 2: There is no excuse.
“If it is important to you, you will make the time. If its not, you will make excuses.”
Everytime I find myself giving an excuse, this creeps up my mind and judges me…(it hasn’t stopped me from making excuses though..lol) But that is the truth. Often times, the reasons we find ourselves in situations that require us to make an excuse is because we were not able to properly evaluate our actions and the consequences. Dora, as NAFDAC DG, had a goal to achieve, she did not allow the threats or attempts on her life to deter the zeal with which she worked. She understood they were consequences for her (good) actions and she remained undeterred. I dont know the name of the NAFDAC DG before or after her. I might not know them unless they are able to meet Dora’s standards or the need arises.The odds were not particularly in her favour, but instead of making excuses, she did excellent work.
So now tell me, whats your excuse??

I found myself in the dark once, singing the National Anthem and I paid attention to the words of that Anthem and I made a resolve to be a better Nigerian. Its not my fault if the elected authority are not living up to expectations, but it is my fault if the small circle of influence I maintain cannot be held accountable. Big things start small. So I am starting small.

For Dora, thank you for being strong. A (S)Hero when duty called. You caused a revolution (and I am not talking about the Rebrand Nigeria crusade). Nigeria will not forget you. Rest in Peace.

Jemjem.