Man-To-Man About Woman: Lessons From Awo By Omozuwa Gabriel Osamwonyi

By Omozuwa Gabriel Osamwonyi

One of Nigeria’s premium political philosophers and strategists, Chief Obafemi Awolowo was born on March 6, 1909. He would have enjoyed the spotlight this week, if we had a national culture of celebrating the life and times of heroes of hope.  Efforts should be made to ensure that men and women who selflessly laboured to leave befitting legacies for posterity remain evergreen in public consciousness.  

This is absolutely important against the backdrop of a manifest generational value shift. Altruistic values are now disdained. Materialism is nibbling our national soul. Hence, there is a new but debased service culture, which places self at the centre; others at the margin, in the shadows. Public service is now a gravy train. Does service to the nation mean anything to Nigerians?

Leaders behave very badly these days.Globally, there is a gross lack of living legends and models worthy of emulation. Therefore, we need to excavate history and showcase the best of every era.   Otherwise, we will soon forget the meaning of leadership and entrust our destiny to rudderless moral dropouts.  

Our efforts to build a value-based, corruption-free society will record significant milestones, when slagging atrophic leadership is no more our sole preoccupation, but dominating popular imagination with images of our past heroes who laboured sacrificially for a prosperous Nigeria. This will not only popularise their lofty qualities, it will enable many to ingrain them as well.  

If you are like me, you would have started asking some of these questions.Why did Chief Awolowo live and die a happy man? Why did he splendidly succeed in his private and public life? Why are his legacies still celebrated? One answer suffices. We will examine it soon.

The sincere encomiums distinguished leaders showered on Awo in my view are apt summaries of his political greatness. Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, remarked at his death: “That he is the best president Nigeria never had.” In the same vein, General Yakubu Gowon noted “He had true presidential qualities. The services he rendered to Nigeria were second to none. Chief Awolowo was dedicated, disciplined and serene. In the single-mindedness of his devotion to the business of government and his political career, he was resolute and almost stern. He was indeed a charismatic leader who commanded great respect among followers.”

Awo was a strategic leader of leaders, a man’s man. Yet he was a great husband and father. His life speaks to today’s man on how to achieve wholeness and succeed in all facets of life. His historic eulogy of his wife, the admirable Chief Mrs. Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo reveals the secret of his private success.  

At his 70th birthday celebration on March 6, 1979, he joyfully described his wife as “a jewel of inestimable value.”  This expression did not stem from puppy love. At this time, they had spent forty-two years together as married couple. Yet, there was a youthful exuberance about his adoration for his wife. That’s a true quality of love: exuberant admiration and genuine reverence.

Awo embodied many truisms. Highlighting his relational skills will help men. Particularly those who think that building life-enriching relationship with the lady they love is like a corkscrew that can't be straightened.  Those who say things like: “Spousal relationship is a minus that won't add up. There is nothing to anything. Love is buried in the graveyard of idyllic past.  It’s a delusive fantasy, futile to pursue. It is better to be alone.”

Yet their self-image is best described by the odd half of a scissors. Their hearts ache with longing for the lady that will complete and complement them for life.   Admit it. Being alone is tough.  The life of a lonesome guy is like a tragic tale.  So is that of the unhappily married.

So let’s extrapolate some truths from Awo’s love life, so that we can build rock-solid homes, which are the true foundation of a great nation. Like Awo, don't put a price-tag on your lady. She is priceless.  Don’t come to her thinking, everything is for sale. Everyone has a price.  That’s contrary to the wisdom of Awo. Even though in his days, it was fashionable to see women like expendable possessions, he never did. And it paid off hugely. Just imagine what a tragedy his life would have been if he was tempted to see his wife in the light of the dictum: “Women are like clothes in the market place they go to the highest bidders”

Awo’s wisdom says give her attention, and then give her things. Have you ever wondered why he had the courage to marry even in the face of an impending bankruptcy? He knows the affection a royal and loyal lady can’t be bought. He knew there is more to lasting romance than finance.  Your lady needs you, not your things. She won’t give you her affection, simply because, you always give her nice things. But she will if you fondly give her attention.
The lady with the deportment of a queen like Chief (Mrs.) H.I.D. Awolowo knows what counts forever. She values intangibles more than perishable things. She will never barter affection with things. Not all ladies will swap total wellbeing with material comfort. So be there for her. Listen to her.

Talking is to ladies what football is to guys. Ladies in the main are “phatic communicators.” So, when she is talking pause, ponder, then you will perceive the unsaid. Accept this as a rule: What is unsaid is more important than what is said.

Awo prioritised touching hearts over touching bodies. This is difficult to say in today’s world of sex is everything. But then, the lady with the bearing of a queen does not consider your head fit for a crown, if you seek to touch her body before touching her heart. Touching her heart requires work. Yes, Intelligent lifelong work.

Awo did not objectify his wife. It will profit you to keep in mind that your lady is not a plaything.  Treat her like an embodiment of grace deserving tenderness and respect, not like a shop-worn toy. The objectification of loved ones is a TABOO. It is the bugbear of many failed, failing relationships.

Learn from Awo, fidelity pays. Don’t break her heart.  Break her barriers. The heart of a truly beautiful lady is not cocoon in steel. The seat of her emotion is as soft as eggshell. Handle it delicately.

Like Awo, publicly celebrate the virtues of your lady. Back up your words with deeds. Don’t say it is not African to publicly compliment your wife. We are not more African than Awo.  

Let me end with the words of Olufemi Ogunsanwo.  Ogunsanwo noted in Awo: Unfinished Greatness “History’s judgement should leave good leaders and their deeds in the green column for posterity while the tyrants and their villainy should be dumped and forgotten in the footnotes.” Let’s evolve a culture of celebrating our heroes. By so doing, our society will become a better place.

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@Sanusi & Dele Awogbeoba

If Ojukwu life was miserable? How will describe that of Awolowo? Frustrated and humiliated in front of the camera by Major Gen.Hassan Usman katsina. Ask your father because I guess you do not know.In the end, Awolowo committed suicide because he had wanted to rule Nigeria for just one day. Infact, the good God is indeed good.That same mistake is repeating itself again.Read my lips.

@Emeka London and Ladipo Market

You hypocrite. You accuse Fashola of dispossing the igbo because he closed L;adipo market fore the same reason Youbas and hausas were ejected from market places in Onitsha almost a year earlier.

http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news-update/34089-tensio...

What is good for the geese is definitely good for the gander!

@Emeka London

Judging by the genocide commited by Biafran troops in the midwest, Ojukwu is a bastard and a war criminal.

http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/special-report-biafra-american-s...

Awo: The greatest

Chief Obafemi Awolowo died in 2006 and he is still the tormentor-in chief for bastards who wants Nigeria broken. Despite their obsession, they cannot stay in their enclave. Once weaned by their mothers, their dream is to escape to the land of their 'enemies'. Even when they are continuously hounded and killed in some places, they prefer to die in the foreign lands than return to their homelands.
If the Igbos so hate the Yorubas and Hausas and believe they are the best as shown in their idiotic proclamation of Igboland as that flowing with milk and honey like the Canaanite land, why won't they sit in their erosion eaten land and enjoy the benefits?
Since Awo died, his family has continued in peace but less than a year after the traitor Ojukwu died, his family has completely fallen apart. The first son has been revealed to be a bastard just like Sir Lois disowned Odumegwu. (its in the family). So many court cases over inheritance. Some Igbos are indeed stupid.

Better A ''Bastard' Than Be Known As A War Criminal.'

@Sanusi

I had rather have a "bastard' who appreciates the value of human life and is ready to protect it at all cost as Ojukwu heroically than follow a blood-thirsty psychopath like Awolowo with millions of Igbo blood in his hands.

There's no doubt the name 'Ojukwu' causes those who tried but failed to wipe out the Igbo race sleepless nights and rightly so. Say what you like, just as in life as in death, the name Emeka Odumegwo Ojukwu will continue to haunt those with Igbo blood in their hands.

Is there anything like the

Is there anything like the American Foreign Affairs Ministry? Never heard of it. The Americans don't have ministries, they have State Departments. You have just exposed your ignorance.

@yaradua: we hail you,

@yaradua: we hail you, professor of ojukwu history...that -for you info prof- is your personal but lousy opinion.

AWOLOWO IS SYNONYMOUS WITH WAR CRIMES.

Poor Osamwonyi

So you are wondering why Nigerians, not even the hitherto noisy Awoyists, do not remember when Awolowo was born nor care about the "legacies" he left behind? Just go read Chinua Achebe's masterpiece then you need not look any further.

How could any reasonable person want to remember or celebrate the birthday of a WAR CRIMINAL who masterminded the starvation of a generation of Igbo race and stole the property of those who managed to survive by handing them paltry 20 pounds irrespective of how much the person had in his/her account before the war of extermination?

The only visible legacy Awolowo left behind is his trademark tribal politics and hatred for the Igbo, trails which his followers like Governor Fashola of Lagos State who is presently busy dispossessing Igbo traders at Ladipo market of their hard-earned properties has imbibed.

My brief on Awo

Awolowo should go down in history for what he is: an egocentric tribalist, an Ibo hater and a war criminal who escaped Justice on earth but will be judged ultimately by the Almighty. If he was the great statesman his followers are trying to portray him as, why was he unable to build bridges with the hause/fulanis and Ibos in his quest to become Nigerias president. That was why he never realised his Presidential ambition and the country never benefited from his immense potentials. This man had a deep seated hatred for Ibos and took his pound of flesh judging by his activities during and after the Civil War.

My brief on Awo

Awolowo should go down in history for what he is: an egocentric tribalist, an Ibo hater and a war criminal who escaped Justice on earth but will be judged ultimately by the Almighty. If he was the great statesman his followers are trying to portray him as, why was he unable to build bridges with the hause/fulanis and Ibos in his quest to become Nigerias president. That was why he never realised his Presidential ambition and the country never benefited from his immense potentials. This man had a deep seated hatred for Ibos and took his pound of flesh judging by his activities during and after the Civil War.

OJUKWU WAS A BASTARD!

A report about the 1967 civil war in Nigeria released by American Foreign Affairs Ministry has revealed that Ojukwu led a miserable life and became so violent because his mother's sex partner Mr. Lious Ojukwu rejected him. His life became miserable for which he wanted to kill Lious Ojukwu and those who tried to stop him from such action also tasted such threats and bitterness of Ojukwu. The report revealed that Ojukwu was not a democratic or ideal leader rather a vagabond and bastard who disguised under ethno-religious sentiments to quench his frustration of being a bastard child.