If I was to describe dad in a nutshell, I would describe him as a strategic planner, patient & meticulous in execution, considerate in love, driven, self-aware, daring and most of all a student for life. He always had a reason as to why he did what he was doing and it always seemed to make sense. Everything was well thought through, and the bible guided all his life principles. He carried the weight of many responsibilities on his shoulders, yet he always seemed to have more than enough time to rest- he taught us, the family, that it’s really not about time management but more about prioritizing. He focused his energy, time and money, all in that order, in his areas of greatest influence – no wonder he seemed to shine in all he did (chuckles). Being an astute businessman, he often said his principles in business terms and I remember when going to high school as a young girl, he told me that my most marketable attribute wasn’t how similar I was to others, but how different. Of course this was his indirect way of telling me to avoid peer pressure! It is therefore my pleasure to honor the memories of dad – my king, my friend- and how different he was from others.
Dad openly said that God loved him, it was more important for him to be loved by God than trying to love God. He knew that his love had limits, so he trusted Him who had no limits to keep the relationship going. This trust in God allowed him to receive his desires from God rather than telling God his desires. He taught me how to pray, now I realize he gave me the greatest power on earth-the power of prayer. I never saw dad angered even when things seemed to go hay wire, which they often did-we were adventurous kids to put it lightly(chuckles) – he kept his cool. Deep down he knew that God loved him so much, He wouldn’t give him things he couldn’t handle. People are known not by how they act when they are in control but by how they react when things are beyond their control- he took it to the Lord in prayer. He made God smile, by letting Him be God-he received all the love he could. The best use of life is love, God is love, this is why he received Him and His desires.
During my brother’s wedding, dad said a remark that will forever be etched in my heart, he said if there is one thing he had taught his kids, it was how to love people-I teared up realizing how true that was. We understood what a good marriage was as we watched him and mum still being interested and impressed by each other even in their old age instead of trying to be interesting and impressive. Every meal prepared by mum received the highest accolades from dad, it didn’t matter whether we had eaten the same meal three nights in a row! Whenever I was going through something, he could tell it without me saying anything to him, he had a way of getting me to say it to him and each time we spoke I never felt judged or misunderstood. He genuinely sought to get my perspective. Even when our opinions were different, it felt like we were on the same side of the table looking at the problem, instead of being on opposite sides looking at each other. Because he was influenced by my uniqueness, I was always influenced by his advice. No wonder my kids follow my instructions today- I mastered this art! I admire the friends who walked with him, they had different purposes in life and their career paths were very diverse but when they sat together, one couldn’t tell them apart. The essence of their synergy was in valuing their differences, they built on their strengths while compensating on their differences. They gave their all to each other and saw each other through the dramas of life even when the cost was so high; I guess the beauty of genuine concern is its willingness to get involved without being influenced by the price tag.
Dad was a true servant, nothing was too small to be used to help others. Unlike many people who went to school for degrees, he decided to use his knowledge for a greater good beyond himself. Being academically gifted, his career path seemed defined from an early age but as he was about to complete his 5 year degree course in engineering, he realized that he had a choice to either enrich himself or sacrifice himself. He chose the latter, venturing into business, with the hope to acquire enough knowledge to teach and inspire others into entrepreneurship. It paid off, in big dividends at that. He availed himself by pursuing his passion, starting from humble begins as nothing was too small or menial. He gave equal dedication to all tasks remaining faithful to the very end. He tried to keep a low profile, despite the occasional tributes that came from his success stories, if he could avoid the public eye, he would. He understood that the only way to make people believe in the goodness and provision of God, they had to see it in his own life. Africa needed selfless leaders, willing to give their talents and resources, he chose to be among those leaders.
I’ll keep doing the eternal and timeless in a contemporary and timely way, I love you dad.
From your loving daughter.
- Are You Living Your Eulogy or Your Résumé? (huffingtonpost.com)