Hidden Figures

Happy birthday to me

It’s my 29th year on earth today. #29onthe29th

It has been a remarkable journey of love, loss, pain, and laughter. All my life, I have received an abundance of help and love, and I’ve been blessed with the gift of people.

In celebrating my birthday today, I will shine the spotlight on some of the people God has blessed me with. These people have invested their time, money, wisdom, and energy into making me the man I am today.

(Please note this isn’t an exhaustive list)

Anyone close to me knows the value I place on family and it stems from having the best family anyone can ask for. My family is the anchor to my soul, the root from which everything blossoms. I am loved unconditionally and I’m never afraid to go home regardless of what I do or I become. This love, support & sacrifice has enabled me to become the person I am. I’ll be eternally grateful

Celebrating my oldest and consistent friends, Ozioma & Ore. Having 2 female best friends in my teenage years helped me develop the necessary boundaries needed for my boy-girl relationships. These women greatly shaped the man I am with their wisdom, grit, patience, and friendship. For more than a decade, they have been my go-to for all things in my life from relationships to career, and at every point, they have been rock solid.

Celebrating Boluwatife, my roommate during my first year at the university. Bolu’s insistence on finding an extracurricular activity in my interest led me to public speaking. A skill that changed my perspective on life and people. He alongside Amobi (a great leader) taught me to communicate effectively off and on the stage, to lead and teach. Skills I love and profit from.

Celebrating Peter. The boy who seem to know all things that I questioned if my parents wasted their money sending me to secondary school. He taught me to think outside of my books, to have an interest in science, sports, entertainment, and politics. A lesson that proved valuable in life and in my career.

Celebrating Nkechi, Dotun, Jumoke, Elijah & Yetunde, my friends from the university. At a time of great confusion for me, I found a family and community in them. They probably are the very few who have seen my extreme nonchalant side. Still, they loved me and helped me through school, sometimes submitting assignments I never knew we had. Their love and support freed me to engage my other passions without failing in school as they always had my back. For these and more, I am grateful.

Celebrating Victoria, who shared her dream with me and allowed me to run with it, A lot of the skills I have today came from her allowing me to help manage her dream. Her consistent belief till today is an inspiration. I have gone to do some other things but her faith in me over 10 years ago has led me down this path.

Celebrating Ifedayo and Muiz. My music and movie foundations rest on the shoulders of these two gentlemen. Their friendship brought me so much laughter and as expected some troubles, but my music and movie preferences benefitted greatly from their refined taste.

Manners make a man, there is none nobler than my final year roommate, Godwin. He taught everything there is about civility and honour as a man in the 21st century. He showed me the strength and nobility in politeness and respect. The honor in hard work even in mundane things like cleaning after oneself. He was an inspiration.

Celebrating Folarin, he showed me being gentle doesn’t mean you can’t burn for God. His knowledge of the word of God led me to the throne of grace. He is like Timothy — an example in speech and in action.

To Feastoria, my darling friend who consistently shows up for me. She is teaching me to never give up and hold on to the faith. I haven’t witnessed strength like hers. Her everyday life inspires me.

To Dami, Ope & Dimeji. They treated me like their brother. We had the best fights and bants. Dami is always looking out for me despite living millions of miles away. They did their best to drag my introverted self out at any opportunity they found. Thanks to them, I like people considerably more than I did before them and became a bit less antisocial. A trait I would find later was crucial to life and success.

To Faithful, Ada, Tonton, Ife, and Tomi. Thank you for the memories, I don’t I would have survived my NYSC year without you guys and I mean this literally. Selflessness was the order of our friendship. I am kinder to new people I meet because of the grace they extended to me. I was safe, loved, and encouraged by Ada’s goodness, Tomi’s calm strength, Faithful’s bubbly determination and spirit, Tonton’s brilliance, and Ife’s leadership.

To Mrs. Adekunte. This woman is mighty! In the years I have known her, her concern and commitment to me and my family as been exemplary. She has also been an inspiration in kindness and grace. I hope someday I’m able to pay back the favors I have received.

Celebrating Abeke, thank you for teaching me to be self-aware. I learnt to be patient and intentional. Traits that have spiraled into the rest of my life. Having you in my life has brought remarkable joy and inspiration to me.

P.S Many others have contributed to the person I am today. These people’s investments in me, some for most of my life and others for short periods have made me who I am. I am a reflection of my family and friends. I don’t take their labour of love for granted.

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