Dear Ubuntu, Today makes it a year short of few hours that I received the call that your Mum Mujidah Mojeed-Sanni (the sheep that tamed the lion), put to bed a boy (mind you, you weren’t bouncing, for that would have thrown the whole community into wide frenzy, a new born baby bouncing would have made newspaper headlines), but I was ecstatic and happy to receive the news. And I wasn’t surprised you were a boy, after all, I have made tacit references to your Being in previous letters but I was amazed by God’s benevolence of gifting you and your mother to me despite my huge failings, it shows God’s sense of humour and what He can make out of purity and impurity, of black and white, of struggles and survival, of demand and supply, of love and hatred and undefined religious mix. If you see somebody saying he/she is doing God’s work, I tell you the person is lying. Eledumare has made the world without anybody’s help.
Giving the circumstances of your birth, I want you to know it is not about where you were born but who you grow to be. Your grandfather was a Carpenter, your grandmother was a petty trader, your father belongs to many worlds and your mother sees tomorrow. Your paternal forebearers controls the Olisa Stool, your maternal forebearers rules the land. Adesola, never forget the son of who you are. Even though this should not define you, let it humble you. Let it show the humility of your royalty, let it show that you are my son.
Dear #Ubuntu, never expect life to be fair, it is a tough rough turf out here Son, life is never what it seems. There is always another side, if you do not look into that of others, they won’t look into yours. But you have to know what is happening at the other side if you must survive. People come to you if you know not when you do not know, so chose what is worth knowing. Seek knowledge and never ever be tired of asking questions. Above all, know that I will always be available to answer your questions inasmuch as God still gives me the privilege of healthy life.
Dear Son, as you turn a year, know that the life is a race, everyone running at his own pace, yet you must run with the crowd if not you will be left behind. It is a marathon of a billion people, many would pull you down, many would trample upon you, only very few will give a helping hand, when that time comes, remember my words never to stay down, falling, failing and losing are just part of the race. In you I see a champion.
Dear #Ubuntu, always listen to the sayings of the wise and borrow wisdom from their counsel. The name you bear has a pan-African origin. Ours is a culture that believes in togetherness, that cherish brotherhood and places family on a high pedestal. Son, Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his book,”No Future Without Forgiveness”, said,”a person is a person through other persons”, it is not,”I think therefore I am.” rather the #Ubuntu ideology says,” I am human because I belong. I participate, I share.”
Dear Son, a person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirms of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are. Those were the principles of life your grandfather lived by, the mantra I am striving to live by and a belief that will be priceless when you come of age.
Dear #Ubuntu, life is more joyful when you are responsible to the nation, community and family. I call this approach to life,” shared responsibility of existence”. In the long run, it brings ultimate peace.
Dear Son, do note that at the moment of extreme financial constraint, little fund can be more than a life saver, it might be your only lifeline. Show empathy at frequent interval without showing emotions, with the little I have learnt, people only appreciate a brave and compassionate leader. But bravery and compassion in literary terms can be at variance but it is you duty to balance it.
My Son, the world is changing, my generation calls it the Internet Of Things (IoT), in this new world, nothing is real. Younger generations are abandoning old ways in pursuit of ease of doing things, while you must endeavour to participate in the innovative world, remember easy way is not always the best way. There is another one called social media and it has changed the way we live. Today, it is a man, his phone, his phone, his phone, his children and his wife. We as humans are moving closer to artificial intelligence and drifting away from moral and human intelligence, with information being the worse victim. A journalist I respect so much, Azubuike Ishiekwene, once wrote in the first Editorial of The Interview Magazine,”in a world of 24/7 news cycle and (where) social media consumers are awash with information. When the tsunami comes, depth, context and relevance are often the first casualties.” That is the basic truth, if depth and context has been thrown overboard in my generation, I wonder what you will grow to met. So, I implore you to read books in it lies the secret to unlock the human potentials.
Dear #Ubuntu, remember stories follow the story when you are not there, so endeavour to develop people who will always write the true story. And care less about what appears in the dailies, not all stories are not paid for. Trust with caution and love with your head not your heart. And remember life is full of mysteries… you are just a part of the puzzle so live life knowing somebody somewhere is controlling all creations.
Happy Birthday Muqsit Mojeed-Sanni. With love from a father you can always trust, Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni and a mother who loves you unconditionally, Mujidah Mojeed-Sanni
Be Safe. SM-S