In my last post, a week to Valentine’s Day, I mentioned I would write a tribute on that special day of love. It had been presented like a surprise announcement of my true love but that was just to get you back to read.
It is five (5) days after Valentine’s Day and I do apologise for my lateness. Nevertheless, this was meant to be a tribute and so, here goes:
2013 is a year that started with great uncertainty for me. 2012 was a very tough year. Although I had a beautiful Christmas holiday with my family and looked forward to the new year, I was very uncertain.
On the home front, everything was well. No pressures, just debts owed my extremely talented brother 🙂 but my business interests and work had many concerns. I feared the amount of work I had envisaged was to be done, dreaded that other interests apart from my day job may demand more of my time and vowed to renew my creative juices.
At work, my CEO had given me a clear mandate: You will only spend as much as you make and run this company on a leaner budget. Although we planned to add more team members, our overheads were to marginally reduce whilst remaining within a specific percentile. What a dilemma.
By the time 2013 arrived, my thoughts made the year tough already. I got to work on the 7th Day (a few days after my holiday) and spent a few more days putting my thoughts on paper and prepping my teams.
Since this’ intended to be a tribute and not a first quarter review of the year, I’ll get straight to it.
Despite these undertones, 2013 wa(i)s a special year because two (2) very special people (women of course!) will celebrate their Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
Which do I take first? I’ll start with the younger. Exactly three (3) months from February 14 is the 50th Birthday of a truly great person.
When people ask me about her or make their assumptions, I marvel at how misunderstood we all can sometimes be especially if we were judged by a few minutes of observation. Albeit, those who pull close often relate with how much endearing and amiable she is. *cough* And I don’t blame them, they never experience her in the Board Room, Strategy Session, Staff Appraisal, Project pitch or Policy discource.
I can affirm that greatness lies in this one and wisdom is a virtue deposited in rich quantities. She is strong in character, brilliant in thought; Ruthless in strategy, loving in relationships; Evergreen in mind, effortless in style; Passionate about everything, lukewarm about nothing; Generous in gifts, a spend-thrift in emotions; Assertive and ambitious about life, subservient with God. Above all, she is a very deep, intelligent and wise person.
I can go on and on and on but this’ meant to be a monthly tribute. I intend to discuss key lessons I have learnt from this woman who has become my business partner, friend, client, side kick and mother.
Her depth of reasoning challenges me and encourages me to think in different ways. Her wisdom in managing people, practical dimensions of leadership and vast array of life’s experiences (which I am certain should be documented in a sort of ‘human museum’ for posterity) have made a tremendous impact on my life. Her genuine passion to help people and selfless commitment to the oddest of strangers reminds me of the essence of love, as God designed it to be.
Here’s to you Ini Onuk (@inionuk, www.inionuk.com). Wish you a truly Golden year filled with greater heights and achievement, answered prayers, wisdom, favour, breakthroughs and grace for the rest of your days, IJN.
You don’t want a party, you won’t get one. However, a party is what you turned down and not anything else *wink*.
Now, who’s turning 60 you may wonder. Here’s a little summary.
I met this woman well over two (2) decades ago in Surulere. Ekemode Memorial Hospital on Bode Thomas Street to be precise. She had gone to offload a member she had carried about for a few months. The very respected Gynaecologist, Dr. Ade Ekemode (former Chairperson, Lagos State Hospital Management Board) was on hand to assist. She was happy but someone else (Late Chief O) was happier. It was her fourth and last of such visits but this was a different meeting…she met a ruler-like-headed person of same gender.
Over the years, I have enjoyed a relationship with this woman that has come full circle: somewhat distant in childhood, wondering what was wrong with her scolding me with almost every breath of air, bonding effortlessly, convinced she hated me, bonding again and becoming a side kick, and now, cherishing the opportunities we have to be friends and sisters without distractions from the others.
She’s been my Central Bank Governor (lender of last resort), Cheerleader, Confidant, Solicitor, Doctor, Pharmacist, General Counsel, Biggest Critic, Spiritual teacher, Preacher, Marriage Counsellor (for fear of my seemingly idealistic expectations), Estate Administrator, Risk Assessor/Manager and many more.
I know she may never read this but I love her deeply and remain forever grateful to her for everything I am. For becoming my Father too since 1999 and doing this so brazenly and courageously. You are everything rolled into one.
On August 24, 2013 (she shares a birthday with a few other great people), Princess Geraldine Asim-Ita turns 60. No gift will be too pricey, too sacrificial for you. I love you and pray God keeps you to enjoy the very deserving fruits of your torturous labour.
Whenever my friends and acquaintances meet her, they usually cannot exercise a simple sense of self control at how young she looks. This would be more palatable if her compliments of beauty were void of comparisons with her only biological daughter. And when they remark on how nice and loving she is, I retort with a knowing bout of laughter – a teacher, nice?
The plans are not firmed up yet, but every single thing that will be done will not be commensurate for all you have achieved. So, by God’s grace we will stand together and stand strong to wish you a brilliant birthday in thanksgiving to Him who gave you to us and deserves all the glory.
Might I add that she was recently conferred with a recognition award by the Methodist Church of Nigeria as an Officer of the Order of the Wesleys (OOW). Mighty proud of you, mum!
Please look forward to the updates on the very many things these special women have taught me. Some of them are deep, others will make you laugh as they continue to make me. Nevertheless, you will learn a thing or two.
I love them in ways inexplicable and remain grateful to have such an over-powering combination of women to relate to every single day. It’s tough, serious work and most importantly, a daunting task shaped by expectations and responsibilities.
Happy Birthday, Mamas. God bless and reward you mightily, IJN.
Just My Thoughts,