A story from a WOW DIVA

A friend once told me, I’m so optimistic; I always look out for something good in every situation and that’s why I get really excited when I hear stories of people who against all odds made it in life. I wrote an article Oops, I have to take my bra off on cancer a while ago which is the second most read article on my blog. I have a guest post on an amazing woman who is a cancer survivor and has gone further to become a pillar of strength to other women as well as an inspiration to many.

Mrs Okonjo

Mrs Udo Maryanne Okonjo is a female business tycoon. She worked as a lawyer for over twenty years before getting into the real estate business in a professional and advisory service level, no “to let” signs for her. She is remarkable on many fronts but that is not what the discussion is today.

She is a cancer survivor and not just a cancer survivor but an advocate for other women so that they would be protected and preserved. One of the ways that she helps women is with her WOW DIVAS hangouts. WOWDIVAS means Women of Worth, Divinely Inspired, and Victoriously Anointed Sisters. She is a successful wife, mother, sister and daughter. She has the awesome gift of being successful in her office and in her home.

Speaking of WOWDIVAs, she says it was born out of a desire to never let another woman think that she is alone in her valley with no one to cry with or celebrate with or support her through life’s lows and highs. I heard of the myth that a woman is her own worst enemies and I decided to challenge that belief and I came up with 26 women from different places in Johannesburg South Africa and we hung out and encouraged ourselves, prayed together and cried together, my friends and friends of friends who were glad to cheer and be cheered on in a meeting with laughter and support.“After the meeting we were so empowered we suggested that we do it again and invite other women who also needed to be built up”.

 Soon there were hangouts in the United States, London and other countries. The hangouts usually hold at the Oriental Hotel on Saturdays as breakfast meetings.  It is designed to help women see that other women have triumphed over the challenges that they are currently facing (whatever the challenges may be) and that they too can overcome.

The encouragement, prayer and affirmations leave the women feeling refreshed. I call the routine the RRR – retreat, revive and refresh. It is important for women’s total health and essential for a woman to function as the phenomenal women God has created the ideal woman to be.

 At WOWDIVAs we believe that ‘Impossible is nothing’ and that is why we walk on water every day in carrying out our functions. I believe that one of the challenges facing women is having the power to stay focused and optimistic in the midst of difficulties and the challenges from distress at home, to been unappreciated and the demands of society. Many are pressured to cut out and live depressed, accomplishing nothing with their lives or see suicide as a cop out. My goal is to let women see how truly valued and worthy of the best things in life they are. I love it when women know their self worth and are able to build up other women. I just believe that there is something amazingly beautiful about a woman affirming another irrespective of how close they are to you. Be kind, you never know whose life you are saving when you affirm another woman.

 Speaking on her most challenging moments, she said that the diagnosis of the cancer, the treatment and recovery period was particularly challenging. She believes that her unwavering faith and dependence on God got her through it all.

 All through the treatment, I was fully engaged and working, however I set limits for myself. It helps that I was never actually ill (apart from the discomfort of the treatment itself which is enough to kill you) since I discovered the cancer early enough to take a radical preventive approach. In all, I believe that doing all of the above alone without grace was no guarantee so surrendering the final outcome to God during the initial stages was one of my major turning points.

“I am so thankful to my honourable husband, children, parents, siblings, spiritual parents and friends were my support system” Something I am extremely for is that despite being diagnosed with cancer I had the healthiest, cutest most heartbreakingly handsome second son a few years later.

Website: www.udookonjo.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/udookonjoigniter

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I’m sure you were inspired, ladies no more bickering, we need to help one another. Let us all take a cue from this story and remember “A candle looses nothing by lighting another candle” and this goes out to the men too. We need more of her in our generation.

Loads of Love

JMAD

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The unfolding story

Time-check 00.03 A.M. my phone starts to ring, a look at the caller made me smile and there goes my first call accompanied with a song. After the call I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t, said a few words of prayer and I ended up typing this post.

The 16th of June may just be another date to you, but not to the South Africans whose youths took to the street in a march protesting the poor quality of education as well as the right to be taught in their language resulting in hundreds of deaths and it has been set aside to be celebrated as the day of the African Child or to late Tupac Shakur who was born on this day. The Ogbogu’s are not left out in this too, some years ago, on a day like this Heaven visited them with a gift in the form of baby girl.

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That little seed has grown and has become me, yes you heard me, and it’s my birthday. I’ve thought of so many things preceding this day and all I can see is an unfolding. I pause today to say Thank You to God, our Heavenly Father we have come a long way. He has been my strength in the middle of the night when I’m up thinking of the next thing. I’ve grown and improved over the years cos’ He has broken me and He is still breaking me. I can’t forget my parents, the two of them have given me a glimpse of Our Heavenly Father through their love, sacrifices, I may never say enough of it but I pray I’ll be able to spoil the two of you silly with so much care. My sisters, oh how I love them so much, they thrust on me my first leadership position and they have been faithful followers because of them I can’t quit and my two soldiers, God brought you into the world to make everyone realise beyond the clouds, there is a God existing and not even science can disprove it. I wish I can call out the gifts God has blessed me through friendship but I may get into trouble for forgetting some names but I truly appreciate you.

Timeline
I haven’t spent a very long time on earth but I’ve learnt a few things.
• We have been called into various assignments; you make a huge mistake when you start comparing your rate of growth with another person.
• I am unique and there’s no one like me on earth, I need to ride on my uniqueness to be relevant, trying to be another person will only produce a prototype of the person but not my best.
• Family is important, I may make the best of friends outside but some friends are transient but family remains.
• I shouldn’t always seek to win an argument rather seek to understand the person.
• I don’t know it all in life and there’s no harm in asking for direction if I’m lost.
• I am not an island, I need people to survive.
• Having a successful career is very important but it should NEVER take priority over the family.
• The world is moving fast, we try to act as though we will be here forever hence a laid back attitude to life but I’ve learnt every single time is precious I’ll never get back the time therefore I have to be conscious of it. Enjoy every moment.
• I should never limit myself with my words; I was created to Make A Difference.
• Forgiveness isn’t a feeling rather a choice I’ve to deliberately make to rid myself of excessive luggage.

There are many more, I wouldn’t want to turn this post into a book, maybe a book should be written on it. But that feeling of anxiety creeps in as I enter this new phase of my life, I know deep down in my spirit that the next year is a launching out period of me. Do I know how it’ll turn out? NO, but it’s something bigger than me.

All I pray for is more of God, as He leads me through this phase and places me on certain platforms I should always remember it’s all about Him. Just like my charmer Eziaha said ‘she sees too much brightness in my future’ I choose to believe it but I take it a step further may that brightness not hinder people from seeing God. The story is unfolding and I’m keen on seeing the next chapter.
LOADS OF LOVE
JMAD

 

 

Introducing Abuja Colour

Where ever ladies gather, be sure to experience some form of drama especially when it’s in a salon. My last visit got me laughing real hard and re-iterated what a colleague had told me a while ago. In between I think I prefer male stylist to the females, there’s just something about a man making your hair. Anyway while my hair was being done the other guy starts to gist the lady how he was upset with the gift a customer bought for him when she travelled abroad, he told her he would have preferred a bleaching cream. Now this got me interested, did I mention he’s a skin expert and I just kept on looking at his skin (gist for another day). The lady starts to mention other skin experts in town, who make double cos’ when they recommend the cream, the lady comes back with a problem of burnt skin hence another recommendation.

A new colour known as Abuja Colour has been discovered, if you ask me, it should be included in Guinness World Book of Records. A little history digression, Abuja is the Capital of Nigeria with approximately 170 million people, Nigeria is found in the West of Africa and Africa is one of the 7 continents of the world cos someone somewhere still thinks Africa is a state. I’m pretty sure by now you know what Abuja Colour is but for the benefit of those who don’t know, it’s simply light-skinned ladies, I mean really white. It has become the new cool; almost everyone wants to be fair. I saw a lady the other day who was a half caste but hers is a special type, her face was really white but her hands and feet were black. When did we get to this? The lady who the stylist was talking to, said something really remarkable (I think she deals on cosmetics and body care products), the manufacturer of some of the products (whitening cream) she sells said a person isn’t supposed to use more than 3 bottles the whole of their lifetime cos of the effect on the skin leading to cancer… WHAAAATTTT!!!

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A few months ago People Magazine named Lupita Nyong’o cast of 12 years a slave, 2014 World’s Most Beautiful Woman. Some people felt she wasn’t the best choice but it was really beyond physical beauty and more of her confidence in her skin. In her speech where she won the Essence Magazine Black Women in Hollywood Breakthrough Performance Award, she said she wished she was fairer as a teenager until she came across Alek Wek a black model who was on so many magazines and billboard. Her mom told her ‘You can’t eat beauty; it doesn’t feed you cos you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you’. She ended by saying she hopes everyone viewing her on their screen can feel the validation of their external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside which has no shade of beauty.

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Are fair ladies beautiful? Yes but it doesn’t mean black or brown skin ladies ain’t beautiful too. Isn’t it amazing to see people go out on the beach to get sun-tanned while those who have the exact skin colour want to change theirs? I’m really wondering what will make me drop my brown skin or like my friend will call it toast bread colour for a lighter one.  You don’t have to depend on the tone of your skin to validate your beauty. I won’t bore you with the health implication of skin whitening but a little reminder you are beautiful just the way you are.

Bruno Mars has a lil’ something to say to the ladies

When I compliment her she won’t believe me
And it’s so, it’s so
Sad to think that she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me, “Do I look okay?”
I say,
When I see your face 
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing 
Just the way you are

LOADS OF LOVE

JMAD

The One

Love cloud

Love is in the air, for a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to a woman and the two shall become ONE, I have always loved math; as a kid I was taught 1 + 1 = 2 but growing up I read One man + One woman = One. It became more of a mystery than mere calculation and then I read again “there’s more joy in Heaven over One sinner who repents than 99 righteous people who have no need of repentance”. There’s really something about the number One.

We are in the month of April, few days away from Easter, many of us are looking forward to the break, some weddings, parties, and visits are all lined up. In the midst of all these activities we often forget the reason for Easter. “For just as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” Rom 5:19 AMP. February is celebrated as the month of Love but I beg to differ, April should be the month of love. Everything about Easter rises and falls on love, for God loved the world so dearly that He gave His only Son Jesus Christ to pay the price for our sins. The price has already been paid, the baton has been passed onto us to carry the good news of salvation to the world, and we are all ministers in the ministry of reconciliation.

Cross

We shouldn’t wait to mount a pulpit to speak of the good news of Salvation to thousands; heaven takes notice of one person. Many years ago in FUTO, a fellowship decided to present a drama with the sole aim of getting the unsaved in campus, lots of sleepless night as a result of all night rehearsals, prayers and finances were put in, the day finally came, drama was presented, an altar call was made and only one person came out, you don’t want to know how disappointed they felt, after all the hard work. Fast forward 10 years later, that one person who got saved is now pastoring a church with many people getting saved.

We are often moved by numbers, you have a blog, one look at your stats leaves you feeling down, you are leading a class in church, at the end of your class only one person responds to the altar call, discouragement sets in, just in case I didn’t mention your own peculiar case you can fill it in… Isn’t it the same thing with helping someone financially, we want to make the billions to help the whole world forgetting we can start with a few thousand or less to help just one person. It’s a spiral effect, look at it this way a man needs N10,000.00 to send his daughter to school, he can’t afford it, he sends her out to hawk, she gets molested, a seed is sown in her, she hates men, she grows up and chooses the life of prostitution cos’ she can earn a living from it meanwhile you had the N10,000.00 but you were waiting for the remaining N990,000.00 to open up a foundation.

Can we celebrate this Easter differently? Can we spread the gospel of good news to someone? Can we put a smile on someone’s face? Can we make someone’s dream come through? Can we look around our neighbourhood or office for those who need some care? Can we visit an aged person and just spend time with them? The truth is, the message of Jesus Christ is all about love, we don’t have to quote the entire Bible to get someone saved, in fact you may end up not quoting a single scripture but your act of kindness or care could do the work.

Salvation

You may have been reading this and asking yourself how can I talk about Jesus when I don’t have a relationship with Him, it’s pretty easy “If you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe that God raised Him from the dead you’ll be saved” Rom 10:9 AMP.

We can say this short prayer “Dear Lord I thank You for the gift of Your Son Jesus Christ to the world, I admit I haven’t been living right and I’m grateful Jesus paid for my sins by giving up His life on the cross, I receive forgiveness and I pray You become Lord over my life, I lay down my past life at the cross and I receive a new life in Christ Jesus”. Welcome to the family, look for a Bible based church and fellowship with them. It’s a continuous work; get a Bible with a translation you can understand and study regularly.

LOADS OF LOVE.

JMAD.