From Right to left 3rd, Amarachi Okpunobi, Chimezie Ibedu, Production Manager Fides Communications and some Memebers of the Great FIDES Family
Have you ever painted yourself without ink? Have you ever done your portrait without pencil? That's exactly what I'm going to do. Surprised? Just Read on...
I am Amarachi Florence Okpunobi, a native of Ebiem-Ekpomaka in Ikwo Local Government of Ebonyi State. I turned eighteen on Tuesday, 28th March, 2017, to God be the Glory. I am Dark, tall and gap-toothed. I am a girl child and I cherish that identity. I am a feminist but in the true sense of it. I have great dreams and I love my dreams. I have friends, lots of them but they are great friends and I am proud of them.
I grew up in a polygamous family of twelve children and am the last daughter. Growing up was an easy- tough- going journey. There were times of happiness and times of sadness, times of weeping and sorrow. But the Good Lord led me all through. There was this sad incident that happened to my family at a tender age that have left me wondering how much God loves me. My Dad was a bus driver in those days, just for the quest to survive. On a very good day, he picked passengers here in Anambra to Ebonyi. On their way, the brake of the bus failed, miraculously it was able to jump a big pit along the road as the road was under construction and hit a gmelina tree. The front glass of the bus was broken into pieces but no life was lost, luckily he was already in Abakaliki Town. That was our little joy. There, he hoped to sleep over with his Nephew in the town who is a barrister. But all effort to make that possible proved abortive as the Nephewc kept giving numerous excuses why he shouldn't come over to his house. The most painful part of it was that, this same Barrister is one whom my Father forfeited his education for just to have him trained in the University. He called on friends and all was in vain. At the long run, he slept under his bus. I cried all night thinking about my father. But God in his infinite mercy carried him in His Hollowed hands as he was whole and hearty till day break. In the morning, as the Mechanic was repairing the Bus, a rat and a wallgacko ran out of the engine. From that moment, the vehicle never moved again. That was the turning point of my family.
The life that followed suit is what has left me with tears in my eyes and pain in my heart. My Dad came back but all changed. All he had vanished like a fading star. He was depressed and frustrated. That made him to go back to the village to have his stay there. We lived without a father for years and my sweet Mother took care of us. She struggled and suffered for us. She waxed strong amidst of her fate and forever I will remain grateful to God for giving me such a strong and caring woman as a Mother. There were times when we had to go hungry to make ends meet. What pierced my heart was that we had to hawk seasonal goods to pay our school fees. My mother will keep reminding us that we have to work or else we won't go to school. The management of my school, Ezeani-Obidigbo Primary School knew it as our culture that we won't be in attendance every market day which was 'Orie'. We did this and got used to it. My mum will save the profit each of us made for us to pay our school fees. When school fees were due, if yours is not complete, you will have to hawk more. Most times my dear sisters will be chased out of school for not paying school fees. We did all kind of trade to walk through the travails of life. At a point ,I decided to live the family, I couldn't bear it anymore. I left for Lagos to stay with my Aunt where I was enrolled into Festac Junior College, Festac Town for my Junior Secondary.
It wasn't easy also staying with another family because I have come to love mine irrespective of situation. It was a very big adventure as I stayed for years without setting my eyes on my family. I wept and cried bitterly but I couldn't also bear going back to them the way things were. It was very hard to be accepted in the family of my aunt, that also tore my flesh. This made me to take my studies with all seriousness knowing full well my background. I never allowed myself to feel rejected irrespective of the surrounding I found myself. I stayed there for years and came back to my family with the decision of my mother. She realized that she could take care of us much more better than the past years. We loved each other and we got our backs.
With the endless aid of my mother, I was able to finish Upper Basic Two in Community Secondary School Obeledu. Here, my character was molded. I was taught discipline and selflessness. I had great teachers and guidance counsellor. My school didn't have much facilities but with the little we had we made judicious use of them. I was also surrounded by good friends and classmates that kept holding me in times of difficulties.
I moved to Pacnodim Comprehensive Secondary School Ihiala to conclude my secondary education. During those days, I met different caliber of people. There was also a point when my life was threatened by cultists (females). I got scared. But at the end I was safely guided by God and He never left me.
After secondary school, I enrolled in computer training school at University Computers limited. It was a big success for that led me to knowing FIDES COMMMUNICATIONS. I did my one month Industrial Training in FIDES and they sponsored me to learn Video Editing. During my I.T, I took interest in inspiring Young minds. I talked it over with our Editor, Rev. Fr. Obinna Dike and that led to the creation of my column; Insight With Amarachi Okpunobi under YOUNG PEOPLE'S CORNER FIDES.
Our Director; Rev.Fr. Martins Anusi wasn't left out as he kept encouraging and inspiring me all the way. There is also this quiet and significant priest that never failed to tell me how much he loves my Smiles. He is Rev. Fr. Cyril Ezeani, We call him 'kpojad' priest. If I needed an adventurous story, I had one priest to meet and my quest will be satisfied. He is Rev. Fr. Mathew Attansey, Former Assistant Director Fides Communication and now the incumbent Cathedral Administrator and the Episcopal Vicar of Awka Catholic Diocese. He is a good story teller as he can tell you stories endlessly without feeling fatigued. Do I also need a homely Deejay to play the songs of my heart, D.j Bukado Mario is the best to call. There is also this Young man who has mentored me. He knows how to travel in my mind and walks in imagination. He is a writer, poet, singer and audio editor. He is Francis Nwankwo, I call him my Franchis.
I will not conclude my painting without mentioning this young and handsome man worthy of emulation. In times of sorrows and laughter, his presence is always guaranteed and granted without any form of disruption. He is Mr. Chimezie Ibedu, the Production Manager of Fides Communications, I call him my handsome P.M and my second father. I will forever remain grateful to this wonderful and great FIDES Family, indeed this is a home to be. They've all been good to me.
This is how far I have gone and hope to go places where my dreams will lead me and come to reality. Hope you love my painting.
Happy Lords day Pals!
Enjoy your week!!