Things My Mother Taught Me…

mumShe taught me to say ‘Thank you’ and ‘Please’ (What’s the magic word? She would ask…and I cheekily replied ‘abracadabara’ or so she used to tell it). Thank you was not just in words, she would always show appreciation. To everyone who was nice to me…bake them a cake, send a card,,,but mostly cakes though. 
She taught me to be a gentleman….how to give a lady my arm, to walk on the outer side of the sidewalk when walking with a lady. Opening doors and pulling out chairs,

She wasn’t the biggest fan of my interest in baking and cooking (she didn’t like me messing around and hiding flour, sugar or butter…or the thought that I might burn down the house) but when I moved off campus and started cooking…shared some of her secrets with me (and swore me to secrecy to a couple of things)…the moi-moi lessons were classic…tying that ‘etere’ leaf- interesting.

She taught me hospitality…she was a hostess like no other and always happy to do it. I recall how I would be my father’s son and bring friends over without notice and we would have this amazing lunch. I recall one of them in particular…one with Uko, Chief and Osy…meal so good Chief stained his new beautiful white shirt. To her, hosting was an honor. When she was kidnapped, one of the things that hurt her was that one of the boys behind it, were people she had entertained. Regardless, she didn’t stop being the awesome hostess she always was…up until the day before she died.

I remember a story she told me of the 2 days she was held for ransom. She asked one of her kidnappers if his mother knew what he was doing…and how she would feel if she found out. She prayed with him and told him that the day he turns his life around, that he should come visit her. No one else would know but two of them who he was…and that she was looking forward to it. To always look for the good in my fellow man…to not the let the evil men may do to me stick on me…deep lessons.3 women

She taught me family was everything. It was so important to her. Her siblings meant the world to her…and each time they came together, it was laughs and laughs and barrels of laughs. Walks down memory lanes, eviscerating people they didn’t like and teasing themselves…it was a sight to behold. One of the few regrets I have is not being able to talk to her before she passed but I know without a single doubt that two of the main instructions would have been…” visit Chima and take care of Udo”. That’s how deeply she believed in family.

To love…she taught me that when you love…you hold nothing back…and you don’t stop. You may have to modify your behavior or learn some hard lessons…but you keep loving,

Happy Mother’s day to all the amazing women out there today!


PS: What did your mother teach you?

My Fathers Eulogy/Tribute (written in advance)

When I put up my pseudo obituary poster, people thought I had lost it. A good numberDad however, understood my call for ‘urgency of living’. Something else I learnt from the passing of my mother (an experience that taught me more things than I wanted) is to let others know what we think of them while they are still here. If we can bother to travel long distances for funerals to see a body laid to rest. wouldn’t it have been nicer if we could have called once in a while?Why say all the nice things when they have passed away and cant hear us when it would have been nicer to let them know before they were gone? I tried to get some friends to write what they would say to me when I pass…only Bennett was brave (or crazy) enough to write one and that singular tribute had profound effect on my life. I wrote this for my father on his birthday in 2009 and I was touched that he shared it with his friends. I am sharing it on his birthday this year (slightly modified but still with the confused tenses) and hope that it challenges us to live as we want to be remembered! Here it is… Continue reading

What I’ve Learnt About Fatherhood (from my father)

Taa bu ubochi ndi nna (translation: Today is father’s day)Dad

Of all the sermons I ever had the honor of hearing my dad preach, this stood out for me the most. He punctuated the sermon with that phrase over and over again while opening our eyes to why that day was so special and why fathers should be celebrated.

Let’s face it, fathers get a raw deal. Comedian Chris Rock(warning: very strong language) listed all the songs about mothers…what’s the most popular song about fathers? Papa Was a Rolling Stone! Yet, there are many amazing fathers out there. My father takes fatherhood really serious. I called up my brothers today and asked them what they had learnt about fatherhood from our dad and what they hoped to transfer when they become fathers. Putting these thoughts down was more difficult than I realized, there was so much to say and so little space, but here is my attempt to capture the essence of fatherhood as we have learnt from our dad.

Continue reading

January Winner of the 2016 12-Month-Book-Give-Away

Ladies and Gentlemen….we have our first recipient of the 2016 12-Month-Book-Give-Away: Mr. Osinachi Ibeneme from Nigeria.
Kindly send me your postal address and one copy of True North; Discover your Authentic Leadership by Bill George will be on its way to you. This is to thank you for your support and comments all these years.
Remember all you have to do to qualify is to follow the bliog and/or fanpage, make a comment about a post and share it…and you’ll be a contender for that months draw. Insightful or outstanding comments will also be recognized….Stay Awesome

The 2006 12-Month-Book-Give-Away

Every month in 2016, I will give away at least one book to one or two people somewhere in the world.
What do you have to do to win? Simple.
1. Like the Facebook fan page and follow this blog
2. Make a comment on either the Facebook page and the blog
3. Share a post from either the Facebook page or the blog.

The winner will be picked at random but once in a while, a comment might make so much impact that I would decide to give away another book or books. Books would either be the book I am reading that month, a book I might have reviewed or any of two others I will give the winner the option of picking from. However, all books are either on a specific business topic or motivational/inspirational.
What are you waiting for?
Stay Awesome