So I turned 40 on Sunday, June 28 2020 though officially according to all my public records including driver’s license, school certificates, passport, and all I was 40 5 days earlier but let me quickly tell you a story behind it. It was on my 34th birthday that I happen to visit my dad since he has been asking me to come to see him and I had traveled to Abuja a few days to my 34th, I went to see him on my return and he was very happy to see me. I told him it was my birthday but I have to make myself available since I do not know the importance of what he wants to talk about. He said he stumbled on my birth certificate that was issued to them at the hospital on my birth and he found out I was actually born on the 28th of June and not 23rd. My eyes got lighted and I wasn’t sure if I should be angry, sad, or happy but all I could at that moment was to nod my head and said I see. He did not apologize and I wasn’t expecting it either because that is something that is almost never going to happen with a Nigerian dad or has you, dad, ever apologized to you before even when they are wrong? Only answer this if you are from Nigeria or any part of West Africa. Remember I have been using the 23rd of June as the date of a birthday since I could recognize my right hand from the left but it’s all good. I decided from that day that though my date of birth on all public records I might not be able to fix, I will be celebrating my birthday on the actual date I was born which is June 28th. End of story.
How I celebrated my 40th: On the eve of my birthday, my friends of over 2 decades made an incredible surprise video to celebrate my birthday, they had planned it all with my wife without my knowledge and while watching the tv and reading some posts made by my social media friends, the video suddenly appeared on the TV and as strong as I thought I was, I broke down with tears. Here is the link to the video on Youtube. While I was still trying to recover from that, another video popped up on the screen this time from the love of my life, My Wife, then came my daughters who I am yet to see in almost 6 years wishing me a happy birthday and praying for me. The 4 of them. Lord, I cried like a child but I am grateful that the girls are alive, healthy, and still hopeful that daddy will come for them soon. It was a great night for me and luckily for me, I was off duty that Sunday so I slept for about 8 hours something I have not done in a very long time.
I woke up to a great meal and was home all day receiving calls, reading messages, the messages and show of love were so overwhelming and up to the time of writing this blog I am still receiving a message on my Facebook page which is at 425 at the time of writing this blog.
Then came the surprise party: With the COVID-19 pandemic raging and almost every social activities and traveling on lockdown, my wife, friends, and colleague still managed to pull a small party of 20 people on Friday, July 3rd with a very big surprise from my friend and brother of 16 years and counting Babatunde George Ige, the CEO of BGI autos in Atlanta flying all the way from Atlanta just to show how much he loved me and my family. I am still recovering from the shock of seeing him showed up at my apartment door that Friday night.
Reflection: before the date arrived, I had time to reflect on my life and all I have done. My mistakes, my learning period, my daughters, my business, friends. I looked at how I the mistakes of the past will never repeat itself as well as taking better decision going forward.
Going Forward: I have made some changes before the 40th year arrived and I have been making some little but key efforts in having a different view to life and what the next decade is going to be like, I want to focus on a few but very powerful things such as my health. I had started working out daily since December 2019 going to the gym as much as I have the time and even when I am not able to make it to the gym, I always do my home workout without any excuses. There have been days my body is sore and I don’t feel like exercising but when I look at my goals again, it reminds me of getting my butt off the couch and get my workout in. I have also been closer to God, I promised myself to read the word of God by myself and get to know him as that is the only source of my power. I am always counting on his word in Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 8:18, and Philippians 4:13. Those 3 verses have confirmed there’s no other power anywhere but true him that made the heaven and earth and that is what I intend to stick come rain come shine.
I want to focus 100% on using all my strength and the grace of God upon me to work on my company’s. To create a football technology company that will help youths in every part of the world to make their dream a reality, to build a football facility in Nigeria where young football players can be given a football and vocational education to give them an opportunity to become a success in life and go on to helping others too. I intend to share my stories and inspire youths in every part of the world on the power of dreams.
Finally, I am hoping to take more calculated risk not just risk, I am working on being a better listener and more importantly a father to my children and to be present in their lives.
I am using this opportunity to say thank you to every one of you who took out time to wish me a happy birthday, my friends of 2 decades and more, my former colleagues in broadcast industry, my colleagues at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and my family. I look forward to the next decade with a lot of excitement and adventure. The best is yet to come.
Challenge your limits and do not underestimate the power of prayer.