Saturday, 30 September 2017

Why don't you Inspire Someone Today?

Many years ago when I was just a 200 Level student of English at the University of Abuja, I arrived home during one of those short breaks we have after exams and noticed an empty 40ft container had been dumped by the side of our house.  Because I was curious about this I went there from time to time to see what was happening in the container because I saw men get in there to do some work to make it habitable perhaps, for some purpose. After a few days the container looked different, maybe a place I would have loved to hire for a study and rehearsal area but Oga Aliyu; custom officer and owner would not rent to me. A week later, I noticed work had commenced in the container; there were young boys whom I found out were brought in from Kano to be useful to themselves I guess. They opened a local laundry place where people brought clothes, some to be washed, some to be washed and ironed. I liked the company of the boys whom I now visited frequently because they hardly could speak even one word of English; maybe they only knew “Good morning” and “fine”, the popular response to “How are you” only but for me I saw them as that avenue to sustain the little Hausa I acquired growing up, perhaps to also improve it. Of all these my Kano friends, Ibrahim and I got really close. He was 14 years old at the time and youngest amongst them. A day hardly went by that we did not see or speak even when school eventually resumed. 

Time passed and there was another holiday this time a longer one because I was done with 2nd Semester 200 level and came home to family and my Kano brothers. On my return, I noticed some little changes in Ibrahim the moment I stepped into Maitama again, this time he did not want to converse in Hausa, he tried mixing this Hausa and English that did not make sense to me at all, I mean Hausa and Pidgin and our conversing just never worked so we ended up getting back to Hausa full time. One morning while I got ready to go see one of my old Mentors, Barr. Austel Elumelu, Ibrahim cornered me and said, 'Chuka, please teach me English. I want to go to school'. Honest, within me I laughed and I asked him, 'haba Ibrahim, ya ya za mu yi wanan abu wanda kana tambe ni yenzu?' (Forgive my Written Hausa) but it means 'Ha Ibrahim, how are we going to achieve this that you have asked of me?' He said, he did not know but was willing to wash my clothes and everyone's clothes in my house and iron them for free if I was willing to help him learn. I was moved by his commitment to the point that same evening, I went to some stacks of old books we managed to save from our burnt book stores and got some old books for nursery one - Primary 2, queen Primer and few others then we kicked off studies next day. In a week, Ibrahim had grabbed a-z, 1 - 1000, A-Z, could combine 2 and 3 letter words. Gradually, we spoke more of English than Hausa but I did not let him wash my clothes all the time for free sha but I did enjoy the free perks sometimes. 


A month into our programme, I wished I was a teacher because Ibrahim, a mature Hausa guy who had never been to school and I mean never, had improved so much to the extent that during one of our lessons, he reminded me again, 'Chuka, I want to go to school, I want to be like you.' I was not sure what to say, I knew school was right because I loved education but I wasn't sure what this guy could ever make of it since all I have been able to teach him were in their preliminaries. But guys, you cannot tell what any seed could become because this guy shocked me oh. Before school resumed for the next session, Ibrahim told me he was going back to Kano, leaving the trade that made him dash me money sometimes to go to school. I thought he was joking but he left before I knew it; I woke up one morning with some clothes, I wanted him to wash for free and all I got in response was a note; 'Thank you Uncle Chuka 4 evritin' Well he tried to write something even though 'for was spelt as 4' and the spelling of 'evritin' I did understand and with tears in my eyes, I prayed that his dreams came true and then I went back to washing clothes myself. 

Years passed and I moved from Maitama as a full-fledged bachelor but never forgot Ibrahim because I always asked from the Custom's man how he was doing. All I heard was fine and nothing else. One day, Ibrahim called me from the blues, he did not lose my number and he said, 'Uncle Chuka, am getting into J. S1' and I asked how it happened and he said he took exams and started from Primary 2 or so and other gist and we left it there. Some years later, Ibrahim called me again and said he was getting into the polytechnic, I was flabbergasted and wondered more what God was doing in the life of this guy and what he was also doing with himself but I wished him well. Now see the shocker that inspired this. 

Few days ago, I was sitting in one of our businesses; RAPID EXPRESS LOGISTICS LIMITED working on some manuals with a friend when I received an SOS (important text) and it read 'Dear Uncle Chuka, good afternoon. I hope you are fine, Ebele, Emeka, Mummy and Everyone. I am sorry to bother you now because I am aware of the condition of things in the country but please I need even as much as 2,000N (N means Naira I guess) to manage for some days because I am broke. I will be grateful for your assistance. Ibrahim. Hmmmm, I read this message over 10 times and immediately made a call to the number and it was my friend and brother; Ibrahim. Nothing made my feeling better that evening, nothing made work simpler, I was impressed, happy, proud and anything you can think of reading from that guy and speaking with him who still had Hausa accents but good spoken and written English. I sent him 5,000 Naira and asked him to keep in touch because I know this man inspires me to also reach for dreams I have pushed somewhere down the drain. Just check this out; from not even a single word in English (Hausa only) to OND holder because he saw beauty in Education from a 200 level student of English. CHOI - I marvel. 

My former MD, used to have a saying "When a Child lifts his hands up, he will be carried or lifted higher". My message for you today and for us as a nation; Nigeria that gets older is, Inspire someone today! Be among those who can lift people up, they may never be able to give you anything tangible in return but you will know fulfilment and you, our families, our nation and world will be a better place. 


SO, WHO WILL YOU INSPIRE TODAY? 

From me and the team at Jewel Publishers, we wish fellow Nigerians, Happy Independence day, all men and women a lovely October 2017. 


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Sunday, 30 April 2017

REMINISCING


Many years ago as an undergraduate, precisely in my first year, a lecturer of Philosophy and Logic asked a question in a class of over 1000 students. He said “Who can be termed as intelligent and who in this class is intelligent?” Your guess I believe would be as good as mine; many students offered several definitions, some from dictionaries, some from wikipedia and some from experience. Some even cited as examples people like; Albert Enistein, Bill Gates, Chuba Okadigbo and many others who were in the limelight at that time way back in the year 2000. Some of my mates at that time also stepped out as intelligent guys and gave reasons (based on aptitude, achievements, awards etc.) why they should be seen as such. I must confess, it was a very interesting class until this shrewd lecturer asked another question; “What is the probability that a First Class graduate of Maths which is an excellent result I suppose will make same grade (First Class) in Chemistry, Law, Engineering, Medicine, Computer Science, English and Igbo?” 

The class went quiet for a few minutes following that tough question. Some mates of mine tried to joke about the question asked but seeing the seriousness in the man’s look, the class was quiet again. Now smiling, #Dr. Nnadi Isidore then said “Maybe by now it is possible for me to assert and agree with many great philosophers of the world that the probability of having a First Class (1st) graduate of maths make the same grade in other courses is almost Zero (0) because no man wins them all except God himself. This is a general studies course Jambites (that is what we were popularly called when we get admitted newly in school), and everyone of you have been admitted into various courses in the university and by the time you are graduating, some of you will graduate as mates and some will not, some of you will make first class and some of you will leave here with 3rd class, some of you will be seen as being so great at the courses you studied but none of you will be seen to know it all and function well in every function and work that exists in the world. Work means ‘YOU ARE FUNCTIONING IN YOUR ASSIGNMENT’ and if we choose to work, stay hungry and stay foolish, life will be good because we will keep in mind that we need the services of several people even our mates to make our society which is Nigeria a better place. The day you think you can do it all because you think you are intelligent, you do not work anymore, You begin to Labour; Labour is an activity of pain and God’s plan for us is to work and not Labour”. 

Listening to that man who I must say was one of my best lecturers in school days, I knew I had got the right motivation to enable me blend well in any society, work well with everyone I met to ensure I remained patriotic to my country by relating well with men and women from all works, tribes, religion and more. REMINISCING for some weeks, I have had course to wonder when we will have leaders who will make Nigeria progressive. What we have currently in Nigeria are different states or countries pretending to be one. Even at the level of individual states, what I can see we have is war or to be mild, strong disagreements between ethnic groups and tribes thus making some states ungovernable and I am wondering even to the point of writing when all this will pass, when brothers (people from same states) will stop fighting themselves, when parties will stop fighting themselves and think rather of the common good of our nation and people. 

His Excellency, Governor Nasir El-Rufai was one man I admired so much following the great works he carried out in Abuja - FCT when he was minister. No other FCT Minister if many choose to agree impacted Abuja the way that man did. I had encountered him a couple of times, loved his points of views and I believe he achieved all those things because he chose to work and not labour. When you choose to work as my philosophy teacher says, you engage the services of progressives to achieve your objectives. I guess that his successful election as Governor of Kaduna state was premised on the achievements he made in FCT. The people of Kaduna state; Northern and Southern Kaduna, I am aware were happy with their choice of a Governor and expected that same Abuja result would be reflected in Kaduna to bring back the glories of the Kaduna state some of us knew in the 90’s. Many of us do not live in Kaduna but we hear tales of Kaduna. Structurally, it seems Kaduna may look good again but something has gone wrong with the unity that was better managed by past leaders in the state and this happens because I think El-Rufai Labours; he seems smart and wants to do a lot of things himself but if Kaduna must be great again, he must get the people of North and Southern Kaduna together to achieve his goal. One of Jesus favorite words I Love is “WHAT I SAY TO ONE, I SAY TO ALL’. Kaduna state is not the only state in Nigeria where unity has been misplaced and almost lost, It occurs in several states and even communities where people speak same tribes, share same religion, it occurs in several government parastatals, in church, in mosques, in schools, in political parties etc and we need to fix this. 

Many Nigerians may not have been privileged to have the first motivation I got when I was admitted into the university but some who read may know now that we need to get back to WORK (ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF NIGERIANS IRRESPECTIVE OF TRIBE, RELIGION, ETHNIC GROUP, POLITICAL PARTY etc.) to achieve the goal of making Nigeria a better place. If we rule Nigeria the APC way because they have power now, it will only be labour, it results in little achievement only and only sets a pace for the next party that takes over to do same. 

Now is day and we must Work now because night comes when no man can work. We still have time and opportunity to work on the Unity of our country. Lets us begin in our offices, the private sectors, the church, our homes, the schools, the states, the parties, wherever you function, for it is tiny drops that make oceans. 

HAPPY WORKERS DAY AND HAPPY NEW MONTH FROM CHUKA CHIEZIE and the Jewel Publishers team. 

Call us now for your Printing, Publishing, Graphics Design, Branding and Copy Writing Services. 

jewelswriting@gmail.com, 08033615992.

<Nigeria>
<Governance>
<Unity>

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

FOR WHO I AM, THANK YOU MUM!

Out of Six (6) children of our parents, I was the last and you know what is said sometimes concerning the last child, he/she is spoilt for choice and my case was not any different. I was more like a pet project’ Aaron said. I remembered those early days when I was still little about 4 years of age, my mum and even sometimes my dad could give me anything I asked for if they wanted me to go to school or I would cry, hit myself on the floor, roll in dirt and sometimes not even go to school at all. My elder brothers and sisters then would stare in disbelief because they had never seen our parents that soft at any points in their lives. Sometimes I overheard them say in whispers ‘I can’t believe my eyes, do you remember those days when I would even stay just 10 minutes longer in bed and would nearly get the whipping of my life talk more of if I ever mentioned my unwillingness to be at school any day ever. Am sure this Aaron is their only child and maybe we were all adopted’ and I would see them fold their hands and make gestures in disbelief but of course could do nothing because I was at that time call it, “The Apple of my Parent’s eyes” and I prided myself in that title because I believe that anyone who touched the apple of my parent’s eyes touched my parents and that was big trouble.
I enjoyed this attention from my parents for a very long time but I realised that as I grew older, they began to worry about me. During my primary school days, I was either at the bottom of the class when the results were released or next to the bottom of the class. I never remembered completing my school assignments or even keeping my books well which were declared missing most of the times. My mother pressuring my father would ensure that I was promoted on trial to the next class because I declared strongly that I would not go back to school if I was not promoted. I guess I made my parents suffer but this was because I was Loved and then spoilt. I also noticed that my Dad gradually began to resent me, he would scream at me and never buy me gifts anymore and would compare me to my older sibling who at that time were stars and excellent people at their levels. He would even shout at my mother many times and blame her for the way I turned out but all these did not make me better, they rather made me recline to myself.  Years later when I was mid-way in my secondary education, my father was transferred to Abuja from Lagos but we could not move with him due to mum’s job, my school and Lagos was in fact our home. So he moved to Abuja alone and we were all expected to exchange visits. I remembered that for many years, I was the only who never visited him at Abuja for about 8 years, I only saw Dad when he was home in Lagos because he asked me never to come to Abuja until I made some sense of my life. I was heartbroken but I felt I deserved all the treatments I was getting because to be honest, failure is a big orphan and our parents are not God, so they may not love you the way you ought to be loved when you do nothing they are ever proud of.
My mother never left my side, she would encourage me especially when I wanted to write my final Secondary School Certificate Examination popularly known as WAEC. With smiles in her face, some I believed she was trying to put up, she would tell me, she was sure I would make and even bigger than my elder ones had made it. It was encouraging to hear that from mum and many times it made me want to work harder in my studies even though I broke the resolve a lot of times. My mother’s nights were spent in intercession, I hardly heard her say so much prayers for anyone else but me. I remember for almost one (1) year, my mum would kneel for hours, crying and begging God to help her with her son; Aaron and she would pledge that whatever God wanted her to do to earn this, she would do. I did not know when I did this or what I did but I noticed at some point that if my mother spent three (3) to Four (4) hours praying, I spent the same times studying until this became a part of my life. I knew I failed many times still but I noticed, my mum did not cry a lot anymore; when she spent her nights praying for me, she said more thanks to God and I noticed she glowed more. I did not know how much improvements I had made even when she made comments on how well I had done maybe it was because I was interested in becoming better than the best and it happened because my Mum was there for me. I saw her suffer because she did not want me to suffer, I saw her spend sleepless nights in prayer for me because she wanted me to have a bright future, I saw her cry because she wanted me to laugh, I saw her love me more even when I never did well because she believed that Love could change everything and my Mother’s Love did change everything for me. So what can I say?
On Sunday, 6th March 2016, the world marked ‘Mother’s day’; a day dedicated to celebrate mothers for all the great things they do in our world. Catholics also marked this day on 13th March 2016 to also tell mothers how special they are in our lives as humans. I am certain that Aaron’s story of how precious a mother can be is nothing compared with what we individually have experienced or become because we encountered a mother. I can attest to that after God, my mother is the best thing that ever happened to me.
To my Mum, the mother of my children, every woman who has been a mother to me and all mothers all over the world, ‘You are celebrated’.

Remember the place to Print is Jewel Publishers: 08033615992, jewelswriting@gmail.com  

Friday, 14 August 2015

WHAT DID YOU TEACH YOURSELF?

In Jewels’ last 2 editions, we asked and tried to discuss the subjects ‘What Did Your Father Teach You and What Did Your Mother Teach You?’  We tried to establish that men as fathers are responsible for providing psychological support to their children; raise them to be proud of who they are so they can be esteemed individuals and more. Mothers, we said to a great extent determine what the individuals character is, what he is known for due to the role mothers are supposed to play in imbibing conduct in their children so they can be seen as good children for the fathers as the old Nigerian proverbs says ‘When a child is good, he/she is the father’s child but when a child is bad, he/she is the mother’s child’. 

You will notice from the preceding notes above that the totality of what an individual becomes in live does not depend explicitly on who an individual’s father or mother is, where he/she was born, where he schooled etc. To the greatest extent, one can say that the individual is a major determinant of what he becomes and this is the reason for the subject Jewels chooses to share in this edition ‘What Did You Teach Yourself?’

Out there are several philosophies tagged under some heading like ‘Agents of Socialisation, Man and Society etc’ mostly dealing with the subject of how various agents (family, school, friends, background, society in general) can influence man to become a particular kind of man or woman in life. Most of those philosophies posit that society influences man and a few propose that man influences society or can influence his society. I am hoping that the Story of Thomas may be able to provide the kind of dimension Jewels hopes we adopt from today.

Thomas was born into the family of the Okoli’s in the late 70’s. Growing up amongst his pairs, he was an object of admiration and sometimes envy because his family was regarded highly by members of the community due to the high moral, disciplined life they led. Thomas growing up, did not let this family portrait they were known for diminish which made him more admirable not just among his peers but almost at every setting he found himself. Known for his choice for excellence, high morals, hard work, talents and lots of good virtues you may be thinking about, Thomas advanced through various stages of life quickly and in no time was almost ready to begin life as an adult himself.
Set for adult life having progressed so far in life evidenced by very good education, a fantastic job with several benefits, Thomas went to his father one day and declared his readiness to become a husband and a father like the one who raised him; Mr. Anthony Okoli. With a grateful grin on his face, Mr. Anthony thanked God for his son and said ‘Tom, I really have nothing to say to you regarding your intentions more because I am proud of what you have become, you did not let me down. However, I have to say this and hope you heed my words as you have always done. Anything wrong you have never done in life, please do not start because if you do, you may not be able to stop them and there is a consequence for every action. My piece of advice is to encourage you to always improve the person you are so that you can be better and this can only happen if you continually keep in mind all we taught you raising you and above all uphold fear for GOD. I know you have very good judgement so I would say, everything right you saw me do in marriage, please do and anything wrong you ever saw me do in marriage, please do not do. A man becomes anything he chooses to become. Tom, you have my blessings!’
Few months after the meeting with his father, Tom was married to Andi, the lady he fell in love with during his post graduate study days at Cambridge. Of course, life was sweet you can guess; both couples were successful and they enjoyed their times greatly and more because in no time they were blessed with a lovely son. Soon like every other marriages I guess, conflicts caused by several reasons (I permit you to think about them) began to creep into their lovely home and Thomas began to respond by battering his wife, having extra marital affairs which led to having kids out of wedlock, drinking and smoking all done to sometimes keep him sane. Mr. Anthony and his wife knowing of these reports wondered what had happened to Tom, they tried to think about anything they had done wrong; he had never seen his parents fight, he had always been calm, intelligent, a strong feminist, disciplined and Andi was a wonderful person. The more he tried to contemplate the reasons for Thomas’s action as several reports were brought before him, the more confused he became; everything seemed like an enigma. He usually would say to his wife, in-laws ‘THIS WAS NOT HOW WE RAISED TOM’

I could relate to the story of Thomas when it was told and I am certain that many of us can relate to it as well.  Most of what we become are not solely dependent on what our parents have taught us but on what we teach ourselves and thus choose to become. I agree that the story could have been one where Thomas may have found himself in an environment filled with so much violence and hate but this does not make an excuse for anything evil we become otherwise the laws and society would stand strong for them. Despite what we see in practice today; more of an EVIL world, I have not heard of a law that supports the wrongs we do. I have also not seen any law that holds a parent responsible for the actions of an adult. The beauty of living is the opportunity it provides through several agents society has put in place; Church, Mosque, Friends, Hospitals, Schools, Mentors and more. In every wrong done, it is said that a right can be preached and we have been built to know what is right and wrong. Jewels in this edition tasks You and I to remember always that We are the architect of our fate, we choose to become what we want to become and hence forth can determine what ‘WE TEACH OURSELVES’. I would like to put this perspective in every context by reminding us of the words I paraphrased tweeted by Pastor Dexter ‘Steve Jobs was an orphan, raised by adopted parents, dropped out of school yet he changed our world, What excuse do you have to give by whatever you are?’

There is remedy for every situation as you will read soon when I continue the story of Thomas in the next edition of Jewels – ‘What Did You Learn?


From Me; Chuka Chiezie and the team at Jewel Publishers we wish you a great weekend. Contact us (08033615992, jewelswriting@gmail.com) for your graphics design and Printing services and please do not forget to tell others about Jewel Publishers. More Grace!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

WHAT DID YOUR FATHER TEACH YOU?

Like previous years, we celebrated Father's day in June 2015. This memorable day marked by churches, mosques, entertainment centres, businesses, social media platforms and more was considered special for Fathers all over the world. I suppose, to tell them how important their roles are in our world. Thinking about the 21st day of June when this day was celebrated in Nigeria, I remembered feeling so grateful to be a father and also remembered my Dad and other great men that have impacted my life, some late and some living and felt really happy that the world did not fail to recognise the contributions of men who have attained this status in our society.

Many like me basked in the excitement of the day following the special prayers, messages, events that graced the day but I had cause to think about a lot of things that inspired this text I am sharing with you via this medium. I was wondering if fathers in Nigeria celebrated for the same reasons like Fathers in other countries of the world.  While contemplating the reason why fathers in Nigeria had course to celebrate, I decided to ask some men around me why they felt they should be celebrated on this day and these were the responses I got: 'I thank God that I am able to take care of my family and provide them with everything that they need not every father does that you know', another goes 'I do not have kids at the moment but not many fathers or even men at my age are married, so I am glad I am being celebrated for being responsible' and another goes 'well since there is mother's day, there ought to be father's day. If married women with children are celebrated for attaining that status, we too as men should be accorded the same right as well' and the responses went on and on for a while, some were very funny and some caused those of us gathered to contemplate until Mr. Simon one quiet man I had watched asked me 'You, Chuka tell us why you asked the question? ' 'Well' I began 'I am not sure w
e are celebrating for the same reasons that many men in other parts of the world are celebrating. I said this because, I know that every man that has a family here has a small country which means that our families have to be seen like a small Nigeria and we all ought to take care of Nigeria the way we take care of our families. Men in other parts of the world especially in developed countries may have cause to celebrate because they have done a lot of things that are ideal in their society ensuring that their societies survive and that almost everyone benefits from the stability that they have provided in their economies. I am not sure we can say the same of Nigeria. I am strongly compelled to ask our leaders and everyone who has toyed with and ravaged Nigeria "WHAT DID YOUR FATHERS TEACH YOU?" History taught us what the likes of Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubabakar Tafabalewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Odimegwu Ojukwu et al stood for. Those were some of the fathers who fought for Nigeria and for the rights of their people not because they wanted to amass wealth for themselves but because they wanted Nigeria to be the best country in the world. I have sometimes wondered if the fathers we have today especially the ones we see in our leaders were handed the virtues these men possessed or if they were raised by people they could never call fathers resulting in the kind of Nigerian nation that we have today; a nation where people clamour to rule not because they have got objectives that would benefit the masses but because they want to loot the nations treasury for themselves and their kins, a nation where poverty is gradually becoming our definition, a nation now listed among first options whenever vices are mentioned and more. These thoughts caused my questions Mr. Simon. I am not sure if many fathers worry like I do about what the generations that will come after us will become if we do not go back to those good old generations when our fathers stood for what was right not because they were easy virtues but because they knew that if we can build the nation, then we can build the people and live better with and for ourselves'.

Raising Men
The concern shared through this medium Jewel Publishers provides should be the concern of every well meaning Nigerian in the world especially those of us who reside in Nigeria. Fathers must return to the drawing board and provide the right mission statement that would take us back to our days of Glory irrespective of what our Fathers taught us. We must ensure that we do not educate our children because we want them to be thieves or corrupt people using the smart things they have learnt to rub our nation, No! We must educate them to understand that when education prepares you for life, it prepares you to live life that would first honour our creator; God and also benefit the people who live around us. Our greatest wish is that the new leadership of this country would stir the boat towards this mission so that many can follow.

In July, the team at Jewel Publishers encourages all of us to live with this awareness so that Nigeria can be better again. Selah! I wish you an attainment of those expectations you have for the month of July 2015. More Grace.

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Ebenezer

Ebenezer
At the sound of a very loud bang, I jolted up from my bed and almost ran from the room thinking the house would collapse on me only to realise it was just heavy raindrops followed by occasional strong thunderstorms. Alone in my room as always, having grown restless from the storm that plagued my now timid heart, I was lost in thought; my mind wondered through many questions indicating strongly how lonely my world had become since my Ex, my friend whom I fondly call Princess bade me good bye because I did not want to show clear signs of commitments that the relationship we share was heading to any permanent stead. I could not say at the moment if I was happy or sad about the present single state of my life, maybe I can testify to some mixed feelings anyways but one thing was clear, I missed my girl who was engaged now to be married to some dude that was ready for the big commitment.

Realising how deep I was drifting in thought about my life with Princess, I jolted up from the sofa where I laid and went to get myself a cup of coffee just to create some distractions that would stop me from getting into those sad moments that sometimes make me say 'Had I KNOWN’. Relaxing now with a cup of coffee, I decided to play one of the favourite songs 'It's US AGAINST THE WORLD by West Life' I shared with princess during those sweet old days. Consumed by the wordings, I decided to send a message to Princess about the memories that came flashing through my mind, something I hoped she would see the moment she got up at her usual 6:30am every morning. Only a 'Hello' dropped from me to her and I immediately got a 'Hi' response that killed the flow I had planned out. Shocked that she was awake at 3am, I quickly asked 'Princess, why are you not sleeping? It’s very late you know' 'Just like you Henry, why you not sleeping yourself?' she replied. Smiling now I had to admit, 'I was thinking about you and US against the world. You know Princess; I should never have let you go.  I thought I could live up to it by being sincere that you are/were too good to be mine. You had it all, Beautiful, Educated, Intelligent, Attractive, Homely and above all God fearing. Look at me, what did I have to measure up, maybe just a daytime job and a self contained apartment and maybe myself. I was not ready but you know what I should have let you help me be better. Well it's all gone now baby, so I just thought I would tell you again that I do miss you but wish you the best'. 'Henry' she began 'I am up because you showed up in my sleep and took sleep away from my eyes completely. I miss you more and I am awake this moment because you are the only thing that has been in my thoughts for so long and I am completely at loss about what to do. I feel I am in the wrong place. Dare does not treat me like you ever did. I knew you were not ready to be married but I knew you loved me. All you needed to do was ask me to wait or you wait or we just talk about it and agree. Now we are faced with all sorts of monsters because we left ‘US’ and have to fight this world individually. 2 months from now, I will be Mrs. Dare, maybe unhappy or happy but it's in God's hands now, I hope for the best'.  Alitea mixed with my coffee tasted really sour in my mouth now as I read these words from Princess but I was optimistic that things will turn out right for the both of us in the end and I had to tell her. 'Princess, the most sad moments of my life were when you agreed to walk away from me when I insisted that I could not measure up to the wonders I saw all around you. I wallowed in a state of great confusion for over 6 months you were gone from my life, Nothing I loved made sense anymore, music, movies, books and all those things you knew, my jobs did not; I even got fired eventually. I cannot tell you everything I went through because I inflicted those pains on myself. Until this moment, I still think I did not make the right decision letting you go because I have found no one else like you to be with. I know you wonder how I now cope so well from what you hear about me from some of our friends. Well my dear Princess, God helped me. One day, our old time friend Gabriel called me and asked if he could spend 3 nights in my place because he had a conference to attend in Abuja and I obliged. On arrival, he saw my pitied state and kept probing why things had gone that bad but I was so ashamed to narrate the story of our love. I am sure he got tired of asking but before leaving for his home in Makurdi, he asked me to read 1st Samuel and a couple of other verses he listed and left me his Bible. Few weeks after he left, idle me decided to see what was hidden in those pages he referred me to and I kept reading until I got to 1st Samuel 7 and was struck particularly by verse 10 and 12; how God helped the Israelites who in turn referred to him as their helper. From that moment, knowing that no one will make up for the absence of someone I Love so dearly, I decided to ask the Lord to help me and He did in the most amazing way I cannot fathom. All I call him now even though he has become everything to me is EBENEZER. Princess, the man, you are currently about to marry will never bring you the kind of Joy you expect, to compare him to what we shared would drive you further down into frustration. Quitting now maybe the only option you have but it may not guarantee that happiness you seek but like me maybe you can turn to my Ebenezer the one I am certain still has some help pills in store if you ask him. There is no guarantee that the help he will offer could mean giving you courage to go on with the wedding, it may also not mean giving you the serenity to bear the things that seem quite difficult for you, it may also mean returning you to me, Hahahaha but I know the help He brings will surely bring you peace that surpasses your understanding. Princess, for me, it is a normal thing for me to be awake at this time, I hope the words we have shared will help you try to catch some sleep in peace now. Love you!’

 I tried to guess what Princess would be doing after reading the message I shared with her because I got no response after all I wrote. Maybe she was sobbing or a bit sad like me but anyways I was certain that Ebenezer who works in ways we cannot understand will go about his work for her, for me who is a work in progress and anyone who gives him a chance to go about is good works.