On Growing old

Hey everyone, it’s been ages. I haven’t been here in over 2 years. I was literally overtaken by events. It’s indeed a blessing to be calm enough to share my thoughts after such a long time. Today I decided to share my findings on the road to old age. I hope you enjoy it.

I once read somewhere that an elderly woman told her niece “no matter what you do., don’t grow old; it’s a trick”. How true!!! It’s amazing how when growing we can’t wait till we turn 5, 10 (double digits), 13 (teenagers), 16 (oh sweet sixteen!!!), 21 and lastly 30. After that we find ourselves less willing to talk about our exact age. We’d rather bounce around our 30s without actually mentioning or even remembering if there’s an additional # to 30. “I’m in my thirties, that ALL”. Then don’t even go near the 40s and onwards. You stop counting how old you are and then you start saying “I don believe I am this age, I don’t feel it”.

It was while thinking of growing old that I decided to look further. All of a sudden among my contemporaries, I started seeing changes. One by one I started noticing white beards, wider foreheads (I didn’t say bald heads) and eye glasses on my friends and family: from real life to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I had to ask myself….” Wow, you mean these gray hairs and glasses are actually age related?” That was strange cos by glasses, I mean real prescription glasses to help what is called ‘tired eyes’. Then it slowly came creeping up on me too!!!

After consoling myself that I wasn’t growing old so soon, 2 things happened:
i). I woke up one day and knew I just wasn’t seeing like before. After battling with that for several months, I finally respected myself and went to check those eyes and true enough, the eyes were getting tired. The day I picked up my glasses, wore them and stepped out the store, I almost fell down cos the ground became so close and everything so clear it was like I was seeing using magnifying glasses. Chai!!! Evidence of growing old.
ii). I have 2 strands of beard that I’ve always pulled out. For many years I’ve plucked them and they are black. One fateful day, I pulled on one and lo and behold, it had become gray…white. I just shook my head and realized that the gray beards I had noticed among my brothers weren’t showing on me because I had no full beard. Hmmnn… that was additional evidence.

I then told myself “girl you need to LIVE THIS LIFE because before you know it, you’ll be wearing fake teeth and be there wondering where all the years went!. I have picked up life’s lessons from here and there that I have therefore decided to apply to myself. I hope at least one strikes a chord with you. Enjoy and please feel free to add your advice so we can all learn. So here goes:

  • Don’t be alone. By this I mean find someone you love or accept someone who loves you and stay with them. Don’t be so tough and difficult to live with that you end up being all by yourself. If things failed in a past relationship, marriage or partnership, find another. Don’t dwell on the past one. According to Teni “we move”. There are over 7 billion humans on planet earth, so please give love a second chance. I found out that many of the 80 something year old’s I met who were alone and had refused to give love a chance were alone, sad, miserable and downright mean…just angry with the world. The kids are all grown , gone to live their own lives and so they were left with no one. The other ones I have met, who had stayed with a partner still quarrel and bicker but always look out for each. They share and cherish their companionship which helps to keep them very stable emotionally. That’s one of the important things you need at that age.
  • Now when you are together, create memories for each other. Travel places, visit friends and family, go on holidays and cruises, etc. If one passes on eventually, the other has wonderful memories to cherish which can cheer them up when they get lonely. So I repeat, DO NOT BE ALONE.
  • Keep your mind very engaged, active and alert. Keep reading books, playing mind games and doing all kinds of puzzles and mind engaging activities. You do not want to experience what old age can do to one’s brain. Let your mind be busy.
  • Stop worrying about how to change the world, just brighten the corner where you are. Some nice old woman said to me “We might not be able to change the whole world but we have changed it by having and raising sweet children and grandchildren”. So block out the bad news on the TV, pray for the world and live cos before you know it, the years would have gone by and you would have spent so many of them in worry with lots of anxiety and sadness.
  • Being someone who doesn’t like being in the spotlight on my birthday, I was jostled to hear a little boy tell his grandmother who turned 91 that she “needs to celebrate and really really enjoy her birthday because it takes sooooo……long for another one to come by”. So celebrate yourself and life on your birthdays. Be happy about how far you’ve come and look forward to where the Lord is taking you.
  • Love hard on your loved ones. You never know when it will be too late. See how Covid-19 carried us do anyhow!!!. So many people who lost loved ones couldn’t do anything but watch on screens how their family members who passed away were bundled away and buried. So please go ahead and love them, then show them you love them and also tell them you love them. Cos here today, gone tomorrow.
  • Take the sabbath issue seriously. A research shows that the Seventh Day Adventists have higher life expectancies with an additional 10 years because they take the sabbath rest. The book, ‘Peak Performance’ mentions that research also shows that there is reduced productivity after every 6 days worked in a week and hence the advise that we rest for at least a day to heal from the past week and rejuvenate for better performance in the coming week. So rest from your phone, apps and every drama that drains you every week. My people, I heard Jews don’t even turn on light switches, punch elevator keys or make calls during sabbaths.
  • Take that Jesus thing very seriously. You know what, after all is said and done, that’s what really matters. If you end without Him, you have labored and toiled in vain
  • Please ‘MYOB’. This means ‘mind your own business’. So if they don’t tell you, don’t ask. If they don’t invite, don’t go. Dey your dey. Face ya front….and you’ll have peace of mind to last your lifetime.
  • Lastly plan for your retirement, old age and end of life care. Don’t stay there thinking your children will automatically take care of you when you grow old. You might be disappointed. So make it easy for all of you by ensuring you’re adequately covered in these areas.

Thank you all for your time. Have a lovely week ahead.

Love always, Ananzo

CAPTURE THE MOMENTS

Yesterday after church I decided to take the kids to a park so we would get a breath of fresh air and enjoy the ambience. We had been indoors the whole week so the outdoors was just what we needed.

While enjoying the fresh breeze, a man hurriedly walked into the garden with about 9 kids of different ages. The younger ones ran to the swings and slides while the dad and older kids headed for a table about 100 yards from us. Immediately, roasted fish and drinks followed them. These were quickly devoured by the group. Then 20 minutes later the guy jumped up and told the ones who were swinging that it was time to go, to which they said they weren’t following him. This got all of us laughing so I asked him why he put a few drops of honey in their throats and then stopped the supply. They hadn’t even played enough.

His answer really impressed me. That this was as much time that he had for the kids today cos he had a meeting and had already started receiving calls for he was running late. That it’s was better to come out with them for even 10 minutes than to not come at all. In his words “let them know they have someone no matter how brief the outing is”. And off they went…along with the ones who had refused to follow initially.

I really wish this generation of busy fathers would capture the moments that present themselves and do something with the kids even if it’s for 30 mins. In spite of your busy schedules, it would mean a lot to the kids and help reaffirm your commitment to them. Plus at least, you kept the promise to take them out!!!

I then decided to apply this to my family and bring it down to my dad/ siblings while we were growing up; and one particular outing stood out. I think that was one of the last times that policeman took his children out.

It was a Sunday afternoon and Baba decide to carry all of us out to a golf tournament holding at Lamingo golf course in Jos. We used to look like the ‘Sesame Street truck’ if all of us went out in one car. You’d see so many heads in the back, you’d wonder how we all got in there. That day, I think we were about 8 girls in the back with both parents in front seats.

On getting there we saw at least 3 different food stands serving food. Not sure of what to do but still respecting our family name, we jejely stayed not far from the queues waiting for the thumbs up to go and take food. Baba had already met his friends and forgot to tell us that the food was for one and for all. We finally got one of our younger ones to help us ask him if we could go and eat and he said of course the food was for free.

We quickly joined the queue but alas by the time we got to the service point, the food was finished. All 3 serving points had finished sharing food. See disappointment!!! We then held a brief meeting and decided it was too heavy a loss so we had to get some form of compensation for the food we didn’t eat. We then agreed and stole 1 spoon each. We even comforted ourselves that the spoons at home had disappeared so the new ones would be a nice replacement. Then we left satisfied.

While driving back home, we were so excited with our loot that we told our mom. Baba being totally unaware yet sensing our excitement asked her why we were so happy and she told him what we had done. The policeman almost flipped out. “What? And I am busy arresting criminals in town not knowing I have some in my house? ” He said he would just drive straight to the station and lock us all up. Thank God for His mercies upon us as we didn’t get to the station. However, I am not sure I remember any other outing after this episode. 😅

Good bye April. We welcome you May. Please be good to us all.

*Happy birthday to my sweet mother. A strong and resilient woman who has been a strong source of help and support to us. Love you plenty, O’ma love 😍. May God bless you real good.

* I welcome a new nephew today. Congratulations to Peter and Jules. May God bless the lil man👨.

*Oh and my lil man Micah took his first steps today. So so excited. 💃 💃

Cheers, Ananzo

Happy New Year Everyone 😘

Wishing you all a very fruitful 2019. Remember these:

1. You matter a lot in any equation that involves you, so always look out for yourself.

2. Dont entertain bad vibes and negative energy around you at all.

3. Please eat healthy and timely.

4. Pray always 🙏. It does wonders in nourishing your spirit.

Cheers from us; Ananzo, sweetest girl Myeisha and lil man Micah. One love 😍

ON AIR PERSONALITY: YVONNE KUPTONG

My first ever on-air personality is Yvonne Shikhimwa Kuptong.

She’s is a one of a kind, kind of person. You can come across her type only once in a life time. She is a sweet, kind hearted, bold, determined, extremely hard-working, fun loving, funny, hilarious and amazing kinda woman. Her honesty, guidance and advice are always on point. Girl, you have taught me so much.

Around this time last year, she was a strong pillar of support for me. She welcomed us into her home, cared for us in every way possible, went all the way with me to the labour room, held my hand and helped me push this little man, Micah into the world.  Myeisha calls her Fairy Godmother. Her love and care for us are really like a fairy tale because she’s given her very best to us.

So today we are thinking of you with so much love and saying thank you darlyn Shik. We love you to the milky way and back. Shine bright and always remember you’re very special, highly appreciated and loved in a million ways. Merry Christmas darlyn.


On gossiping alias aproco.

While growing up, my father being a seasoned policeman with a wealth of experience always warned us about the danger of gossiping . He would always say “when you find yourself among people who are discussing another, don’t put your mouth and join in gossiping…. just make exclamations like hmmmnn, ahhhh, toor, etc. Dont join in the gossip cos it will surely backfire one day”!!!

I never took this advice to heart until experience became my worst teacher. Since a word was not enough for foolish me, I learnt the hard way. I went visiting my girlfriend whose sister was dating a popular guy in Jos who had just returned from the Abroad.😁 Coincidentally that same mugu was dating a cousin to my best friend. So I weighed my loyalty and decided to cover my bestie’s cousin’s interest…see the distant relationship sef😜. I gathered all the gist and went straight to my people and told them. Abeg who sent me?

Before i knew it the gist went round and came to the girlfriend i had visited. Next thing i heard was a message to me through my sister that she knew I was the one who said it cos i was the only other person there when the matter was discussed.😲 Chai who sent me. I avoided her like a plague for a whole semester but one day luck ran out on me and gbam!!! I ran face on into her at the faculty lobby in University of Jos. Nowhere to hide again. Being the sweet outspoken personality that she was, she just said haba judith why……..? I wanted to die. For the 1st time in my life i became a stammerer. The only words i could utter were “errmm, errmm, errmm”. Direct opposite of the kind of words Baba had warned me to say in order to avoid being involved in gossiping. I’ve never been so ashamed in my entire life. I should have listened well to Baba. 😭😭

Now if you like, be the sister to my twin sister, I have resolved never again will I be put in such a precarious situation. I dont care who is dating who and who is related to who, my integrity is my honour and it must be kept impeccable. I basically switch off and forget irrelevant things that will bring shame to my name in the name of gossip. My peeps, beware of gossiping and rumour mongering lest you find yourselves in your most embarrassing moments of life. Aproco no good at all. SMH !!!

Cheers to a great weekend and oh dont forget to show yourself some love this month.

Ananzo

NOVEMBER: SELF-LOVE MONTH

I am one of those that hate the happy new month, new week, Monday,Tuesday, etc slogans that suddenly sprang up in recent times. I grew up knowing only 2 happy slogans; Happy New Year and Happy Easter finish!!! Even Christmas is Merry and Sallah is Barka. So I WILL NOT wish any happy anything. I woke up thinking of this beautiful day, 1st November. We thank God for bringing us safely into a new month which is almost rounding up the year. It hasn’t been a hitch free ride but God still carried us to this point and stood by us so we are most grateful to him.

This is my message. Please take time to appreciate yourselves my dear people. Show love to yourself, give yourself a break and stop killing yourself for things that didn’t work despite all the effort you put to make them work. So let’s make it a month of self-love. Do something nice for and to yourself each day of this month. Each morning get up, dress up, make up, show up, slay up and oops before I forget, make love. Whether at home or hanging out, drink some wine, grill and enjoy good barbecue, demolish some isi ewu/ nkwobi and celebrate this life that you have. With the passing away of my brother-in-law, I realised the importance of taking good as well as spontaneous pictures. He took some really awesome pictures a few months before he passed away which helped us tremendously. Please snap as many photos of yourself as possible, don’t worry you wont die now!!!  In fact get the kids to do the snapping, you can’t be snapping only them always.

We have entered the best part of the year wef today so cheers to an awesome November. Ananzo…..

NOVEMBER

TRIBUTE TO LOST LOVED ONES

Being a historian by training, it has become inherent in me to always record dates and events.  So each year, I update my journal with the following details: births, deaths and weddings in that year. Updating the births and weddings has always been done with excitement but when it is time to fill in the deaths, it is done with sober reflections. In the past, the deaths have usually been a distant relative, a relative to someone I know, a university mate, etc. I have thus always wondered how I would feel if someone really close to me passed away.

In July, I decided to update my journal with the usual info. I happily recorded my Son Micah’s birth along with several other births in 2018. I then realised that I had not been to any wedding this year (haba someone should invite me to at least one wedding na!!!). But for the first time, I felt real grief when I recorded the deaths for this year. The Igbo proverb says when death happens to someone’s mom, it will look to you as if it is firewood they are carrying when they are going for the burial procession but it is when it happens to you, that you really know you have truly lost someone. 2018 has really hit me hard in terms of losing loved ones. I have lost 3 very important people who were very close to me. I lost a woman I christened my Godmother; Mrs Ada Martins. This was followed by the demise of a boss, mentor and father figure all in one; Mr Silas Liman. But on 12th September, I got the hardest blow as I lost my brother in law; Emmanuel Nanle Samuel.

Mrs Martins was an epitome of grace and beauty. So beautiful yet so calm, kind and she always spoke so softly. She took me under her kind wings when I was a rookie teller in the bank in Jos. Each time she walked into the banking hall, her gait and kind spirit would flood the whole environment. Apart from her awesome demeanor, she would most definitely give us “ese gan” to brighten our day. (It’s Yoruba phrase I learnt in Lagos which means “Thank you very much”. You say it to a customer who gives you a cash gift after a transaction.) This became so regular that each time she walked into the bank, all the tellers would eye each other and smile secretly. She was a widow who had lost her husband several years ago and had raised 7 lovely kids perfectly. She just added me under her wings and made me feel like one of hers. Before I knew it, I was visiting the family house, going for weddings and doing asoebi like a family member. Even when I left the bank, she kept in constant touch with me and coincidentally, my daughter Myeisha shares the same birthday with her.

She was really special to me because she came to my life when I really needed a mother figure. As stubborn and strong willed as I was, her calm spirit helped to cool me down and I am so grateful for that. After I had my son, I sent her a message telling her I would bring her grandchildren for her to bless. Only for her daughter, Toun to call me that mummy passed away in May,  barely 2 weeks after her birthday. Words fail me to express my sadness and grief. Oh mummy dearest.

Mr Silas Liman was a one of a kind, kind of boss. Apart from being my boss (Branch Manager in Intercontinental Bank, Jos and Kaduna Branches), we attended the same ECWA Plateau Church and he was a member of the same Plateau Club as my father. It was just like working with your uncle. He was a jolly good fellow. I learnt so many tricks working with him. He had a ready response to every issue. He could talk his way out of any situation. I am still shocked that he didn’t tell death a few things to keep him with us a bit longer. I will surely miss you, Oga Liman. It is so ironic that the next person I am writing about took time and ensured that he attended Mr Liman’s burial in Kaduna.

Mr Emmanuel Nanle Samuel (Rosewood is another of his names that I really loved) was someone who I had known for almost 30 years. He was a loving husband to my elder sister Susan and a wonderful father to my amazing nieces and nephew.  I met him with his friend, Godwin Clark, just after secondary school in 1991. They came a-toasting. This was the toasting that led to marriage between him and my sister and was blessed with 4 lovely kids; El-Nissi, Elyon, El-Shammah and El-Shalom. Baban Nissi (which means Nissi’s dad in Hausa ) was just so vibrant and active. He had a larger-than-life character. A God fearing man who was actively involved in so much: missions work such as the Kanuri Project, politics, investment, education and a host of so many other fields. What I loved so much about him was the fact that he was never ashamed of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Even as he grew older, took up more responsibility and got so busy with politics and career, he still stayed actively involved in the God’s vineyard. He was the Catechist of St Peter’s Parish of LCCN, Dogon Dutse, the Patron of Plateau State Chapter of the Boys Brigade and held several other positions in the church. I told my sister that I’ve never been so sure of someone going to heaven as I am of Baban Nissi. That I am sure he will be the one telling us which spots would be best to sit and enjoy the presence of God when we get to heaven. (We only need to make sure we get there).

My immediate family has never really suffered the loss of an adult with whom we have spent time together, shared good memories and had so many plans for the future so when we were told he had passed away, we were all greatly shaken. I kept thinking of my dear sister. Kai their love was so sweet, faithful, committed and patient.  Haba death, why so hard a blow? We all mourn your passing away dearest Baban Nissi. You were just one of a kind.  May God rest your sweet soul.

I end by saying a big thank you to these angels for making a difference in my life. Your deaths have been very big losses to me but truly heavens great gain.

Dear readers, kindly feel free to add to my post as well as celebrate and mention your loved ones that are among the crowd of witnesses looking down from heaven and praying for and with us.

Cheers….Ananzo

DEBUT

After many months of planning to start a blog, I’ve eventually set the ball rolling. A few things came up and delayed the kick-off date.

 

  • Firstly and most importantly, I needed a name. What name would I use? I sat with my sisters and we deliberated on the name to use. Different suggestions were given but one kept ringing in my thoughts. My elder sisters, Inga, kept insisting that we need to sell/help preserve our tribe so I should use my native name, Ananzo for the blog. I hail from Rukuba, Bassa LGA of Plateau State, Nigeria. My language is called Kutche. I thus went with the adage that says “if you want to preserve your language, speak it”. I most definitely agree with it because there are many times I’ve wished I could speak my language to my daughter when she does those things that kids of nowadays do yet don’t get it when you give them that our mothers’ stares that used to factory reset our brains. I finally agreed to use my name for it….so tada: ‘Ananzo’s Blog’!!!

 

  • Secondly, I was worried I would not be able to keep up with the constant need to update and create fresh ideas to keep my followers entertained. I am a working mom with a 7 month old who is still breastfeeding and a 7 year old. You know these modern women like having ‘me time’ which we take seriously but hey, we are doing this!!!

 

So thank you so much for being part of this. I am Judith Ananzo MusaKolo (chai…I almost typed my maiden name!!! We will discuss this matter in future). I am running it  as a diary which I will visit almost every day to discuss life’s issues as they affect me as well as my reflections/ perspectives on experiences about relationship, marriage, work and life in general. It is also an ‘Ask Ananzo page’ where I encourage people to feel free and ask me questions about issues and I would in turn give some good solid advice. We will coach, counsel and consult together. So cheers to a lovely experience ahead.

 

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