Sunday, 2 October 2016

I met Udo Okonjo last night

I met Udo Okonjo last night and I learnt a few things from being with her. Let me share.

Oh, by the way, Happy Independence Day weekend and Happy Thanksgiving Sunday! We have much to be grateful for and I pray that you are able to see things through balanced lenses if you like. True, there is much that is wrong with our country but it could be worse. Plus, there is still much that is right. Like you being here, alive reading this right now. Like the fact that Nigeria is not Aleppo. Please send up prayers for every nation at war right now. Then send up thanks again, for Nigeria. Things could be way worse. PapaGod, thank you so much for sparing us such and please, in your mercy, continue to keep those kinds of trials away from us.

So, back to me meeting Udo Okonjo last night. As my MGM and I stepped into the venue and walked towards the first group of people, this lady more or less 'flew' towards me with arms outstretched ready to embrace me. I was so pleased to see her that in that instance, I forgot that we had never met. Maybe she thought we had. Maybe she thought she knew me. I don't care. All I know is that she hugged me like she did. 

Lesson 1. Udo Okonjo has no airs. She  was warm, gracious and inviting. Some people who have no reason to be aloof go around waiting for you to come pay obeisance. Not Udo Okonjo. Even when it became clear we had never met and that I just knew her from Facebook, nothing changed. She did not suddenly freeze me out. My kind of person. Pure class. 

Next thing I know, her phone is out and she is like come, "let's take a selfie" and I was like 'Hian'! You mean I did not have to beg for one. Wow! 

Lesson 2. Udo Okonjo is down to earth and friendly. We giggled and took selfies and giggled some more. She even taught me a new trick. How to take the photo using the clicker on the side of  my phone. I had no clue. Lol! Just because you are well known and a force to be reckoned with in your field does not mean you must cease to be kind, friendly and fun.

She was to give a small speech and she did it so well. So articulate and well spoken. I was helping her take photos with her phone as she spoke but still had time to be impressed. Then she comes back afterwards and jokingly alluded to the fact that she could not remember a word she had said. I was gobsmacked. What! "You were great I gushed". She laughed her thanks to me and then I got it.

Lesson 3: She was not afraid to show that she was human too. Udo Okonjo who has probably given a zillion speeches experiences nerves too. She walked up there all cool as a cucumber, all poised and confident but when she was done and came back to stand beside me, her words let me know that she had no issues sharing what we all ought to know: Fears do come; nerves are real but in this world, especially as women, we must learn to do it afraid. I liked her even more in that moment. She was real. She is tall but in that moment, she looked even taller to me. 

Isn't it funny how much you can learn from just spending an evening with someone. I doubt it was up to two hours but in that time, Udo Okonjo showed me the kind of person I always want to be.

Thank you so much Udo. I had fun in your company last night and I will remember it for sometime to come. I entrust you and yours to God for safe keeping. You are good peoples. You are light as we all who call ourselves Christians ought to be.

Dear reader, I wonder what people who have hung around you will learn.

Yes, I wonder what lessons can be learnt from being with you for 120 minutes.

Think about it.


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