My Story

This was a talk delivered at a Young Adults conference held in People’s Church, Edmonton. Saturday, June 4, 2016.

I Studied Demography & Social Statistics in my undergrad years and I learnt about the 3 factors of population change being: Birth, Death & Migration.
It is funny that the major changes in my life so far have been caused by these 3 factors.
 
By Birth, I refer to the family I was born into.
I am the last born of 6 of my father’s children.  He had 4 girls and 2 boys.  The girls were from his first wife, who died and then he remarried my mom, who bore my brother and me.
I was born at about the time when my family was transitioning from abundance to scarcity.  My dad was a very successful person.  He had everything going for him –He was royalty, his first wife was a princess, he was very well educated and known within the political circles.
A few years before I was born, He was the Chairman of the Aviation Authority of my country and so he had his own jet and helicopter at his disposal –he was powerful and popular.
It’s hard to think that such a man would have a relationship with God, right? You’re correct. He did not.
He had extravagant parties, he was a jetsetter and he actually didn’t have a deep relationship with those closest to him.  Everyone outside liked him, but those inside? Not so much.
With this level of popularity and wealth, he decided to go into politics and vie for the senate.
As erratic as Nigeria was at the time, the military took over, overthrew the elected government and proceeded to lock up all politicians, and seize their assets.
He was later released from prison after 8 weeks but with no assets. At the time, he had lost his wife and was courting my mom –so she was the one visiting him and taking food to him while he was locked up. 
They got married when he got out and of course she immediately took on the role of provider in the home as he had no money.  She did this however, without letting the world know.
 
So that was the circumstance I was born into.  I had a father who was just figuring out who his real friends were, as you can imagine.  So from an early age, I learnt that money cannot buy you real friends –only fair-weather ones.
I have always been careful with my association, especially my inner circle. 
In fact I was so careful that I didn’t allow myself to get attached to anyone.
My brother would always complain about me dumping friends –I would return home from boarding school with stories about my new best friends, I would even get my parents and brother to visit them at their house during the holiday and then by the next holiday, they would be history.
This was a repetitive pattern and my brother tried to be the voice of reason in my life.  He could not understand how I could be that way with my relationships.
 
He stopped being that voice of reason when the next major factor of change occurred in my life.  He died in 2010 due to the sloppiness of our medical system back home.  He was being treated for the wrong illness.
After this happened, I reacted by deciding to live the YOLO life! I went into my first serious relationship with a girl and not surprisingly, it lasted only 6months.
I decided to travel the world. I visited Europe, India, Dubai and some other parts of Africa; to try to find myself.
I was doing all of these while living with my sister and her husband, who stepped in and became the new voice of reason in my life.  I allowed him to mentor me because God knows I needed mentorship plus he had led a very good life.  So he advised me to stop wasting money traveling and put some money away toward my master’s degree.
So I saved up and he matched my savings and I ended up migrating to Canada as a student, first at the University of Windsor and then the U of A.
 
Moving to Canada changed my life –it helped me have a sort of fresh start and do things right outside of my previous environment that had led me to see myself through everyone else’s experiences.
I knew that over here, the churches would be more sincere, because those that attend truly want to, unlike back home where you have to attend or “you may experience bad luck or spiritual attacks from your village”.
I pursued God here from a fresh perspective and I started learning to be a true giver of myself to others.
After the first year of my masters program, I taught English in Brazil for a while.  It was such an awesome experience because God provided everything I needed for it –from the finances to even the courage to do it as a non-native speaker of English or Portuguese.
 
I have since graduated from school and now put my life to good use in my estimation.
In the daytime, I help banks make good lending decisions through Risk Analytics, and at night I help people live intentionally through mentorship, just as I have always been mentored.  These are people that share similar values with me and want to live their lives through those values.
 
I am grateful for where I am today –the amazing friends I have like the Kamaus, who have opened their home to me and other friends of ours to fellowship together and study the bible every Thursday.  We also take it a step further and do some volunteering together in the community.
Most of all, I am grateful to God, who has always put me in the right places at the right times, and is shaping my story for His glory!
Thanks!

Posted by Akanna Okeke

Akanna is an avid reader, writer, Risk Analyst and a budding Social Entrepreneur. He’s passionate about personal development, and influencing others to succeed!

4 comments

Beautiful.

Akanna Okeke

Thanks! 🙂

hey akanna, I am Patrick. i am an avid fan of your articles. you are such an inspiration to young milliniels and i cant thank you enough for sharing your wisdom to the universe. thanks for being a blessing. kindly drop your contact or social media handle if you can. any program you are interesting, don’t hesitate to invite me. looking forward to meeting you soon. cheers.

Good to meet you Patrick! I’m on twitter – @akannaokeke. I’m glad you find my articles of value. Thanks for reaching out. Cheers!

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