Martin Beck Nworah Tuesday, October 11, 2016 7
Today is the International day of the girl child and I want to personally reflect on the roles played by the females in my life. When I talked about two female coders last month, I was moved to tell their story back then because of the positive effect the females in my life have had on me. Today for the first time, I thought about what it really meant to be in the minority or to be an endangered specie in a male dominated world. Even with your ideas, you can't become much. With female leaders springing up in Germany, UK and USA pretty soon, I want our ladies to understand that they are no more the victims. They are becoming the key players in the global economy and politics with problem solving ideas. It's all about ideas.
Talking about the girls in my life, my grandmother told me stories of how she managed to build her own business empire in the early 90s, and was able to train my mum and her siblings. It was a story of perseverance, grit and determination to educate her kids the much she could. It was tough, but she gave her best. In my grandmother, I saw a woman who never relented even when tired. I remember when her children pressed her hard to retire to the village. Reluctantly, she returned home to rest and enjoy her old age. Or so they thought. In less than two months, she opened up a soap factory, reared chicks, pigs and a dozen other stuffs. As a little kid, I watched with passion, how this woman was driving herself to work; even when nobody needed her to work again but just to relax and enjoy. It fuelled my passion to support ladies and create life changing ideas for them.
My mum bought into the same philosophy and trained herself into becoming one of the very best teachers you can encounter in Anambra State educational system. Her mother was a business merchant who didn't go to school and seeing some of the limitations therein, my mum made up her mind to be educated up to the PHD level at any positive cost. She achieved her goals. With determination and personal encouragement, even when all odds rose up heavily against her from the most unlikely sources, she pressed hard and refused to give up. With that determination, she swore to give me and my siblings the best education she could afford and make sure we surpassed her achievements. I have always marvelled at her uniqueness, eloquence, and consistency in supporting us every step of the way. I remember sometime in 2012 when I wanted to launch my three books (I have six under my belt now). She went through the stuffs and realized it wasn't so good a market deal. But she didn't shout me down nor discouraged like some men in my life. Together with my elder sister, they raised ALL the funds I needed and gave me the foundation that is gradually becoming Martin Beck Nworah today. When I look back, I laugh with nostalgia those days when she will tell me that this won't bring much money, but if it makes me happy, I can go ahead and do it. Through those times, I have learnt to reinvent myself and pursue what really matters.
My two elder sisters are shining examples of total sacrifice for the good of another. When I was 9 years old, my elder sister Amaka had to travel back and forth Lagos with me just to make sure I got a good training as a little kid. I would cry, run away, give her sleepless nights but in all these, she smiled with a good heart and never gave up on me. At a point when I got into the university, she had to give me what was at that moment, her last physical cash so I can get a taxi back to school and not use the public transport because no one was home to transport me back with my multitude of luggage.
And for my elder sister Oge, what more can I say? Through the years, this young lady has always sacrificed her finances and ideas for me to grow. The mere fact that I am making exceeding progress in my personal life is a huge contribution of her prayers, encouragement and support since my first day in the university. And I totally agree with Isha Sesay, that when you train a girl child, great things start happening in the family. My sister is a perfect real life example of that quote. And even as I continue to grow in life, she never fails to come through whenever I need her support. Thanks to this young lady who gifted me my first laptop, printer and the most expensive phone I used when I turned 18 many years ago...valued at almost 90k at the moment.
In all of these stories, the ladies in my life have helped me to grow in so many aspects. Moving forward, I want our young ladies to prioritise education and get involved in the process of making their own lives better. Don't pull yourselves down by backbiting One another. When I speak to the students of St Anthony of Padua high school later this month, I intend to engage their females in a charged up conversation to show them the need to think beyond child birth, marriage and being just housewives.
If you are a male reading this, support the females in your life to become better and achieve more. Don't stop them from taking up jobs and leadership roles that will put them on the global stage. It is all to a glorious future for all of us.
EDUCATE THE GIRL CHILD TODAY! GIVE HER IDEAS!
Till we get to the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.