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    Why Sacrifices Are Vital For Success

    Why Sacrifices Are Vital for Success

    By Sir Paul Chukwuma

    I recently came across several stickers and images on social media humorously depicting the legendary Kanayo O Kanayo as Nnayi sacrifice, a nod to his numerous roles in Nollywood portraying an expert in offering sacrifices in exchange for wealth. While these images were amusing, they reminded me of a sacrifice that profoundly impacted my life.

    My father was a deeply religious man and I am yet to meet any other person who was devoted to Catholicism and the church as he was. His love for the church is partly why I headed to the Juniorate Seminary in Ihiala to fulfil one of his desires, that a child of his become a priest.

    As a civil servant with the old Anambra State Water Corporation, my father’s postings across Anambra meant frequent relocation for our family. In 1982, we settled in Ekwulobia, where he spent his final working years before retirement.

    Upon retiring, something remarkable occurred. In those days, it was customary for civil servants to receive their entire gratuity upon retirement. One morning, shortly after my father retired, he took me to the African Continental Bank, withdrew his entire gratuity—filling his portmanteau bag with cash—and drove straight to our local parish in Umueri.

    At the parish, my father asked me to wait outside and engaged in a lengthy discussion with the resident priest, the details of which I was not privy to. What struck me was when he instructed me to hand over all the withdrawn money to the priest. Witnessing this act, I pondered the implications: my father, a father of eight, relinquishing his entire gratuity to the church—what would become of my siblings and me

    The rebel in me flared up and I began to argue and question my father about his actions. The next day, I convinced my mother to travel with me to Umueri to confront the priest. She obliged. We confronted the priest and he remained adamant. I tried to negotiate a win-win situation where he could hold on to some of the money and my mum goes home with a part of it. He didn’t bulge. I loathed the priest and the parish.

    Not long after my father died I graduated from the University of Nigeria with a first class in Philosophy and headed to Edo state for my NYSC, where after the mandatory three weeks camping I was redeployed to Abuja. This period coincided with the return of the Fourth Republic and through another miraculous intervention I was posted to the National Assembly. Through some strokes of luck, I began to write minutes for a committee of the National Assembly and found favour with them and soon began to get LPOs from them which I began to fulfil by travelling to Lagos to get it cheaper and beat the quotes of their previous suppliers.

    I would go on to found a Magazine where I focused on PAN-Africanism which I had picked up in the University and continued to associate with as I relocated to Abuja. I set up Anmity Press for this and soon, through another miraculous intervention got a Publisher in Chichester, London on whose invitation I travelled out of Nigeria for the first time in the early 2000s. I can still remember the look on the face of the female UK Embassy staff who interviewed me. She was wondering how this ‘poor’ boy could afford to travel to the UK. I almost thought at one point that she would deny my application for a visa but as it has come to be a miraculous intervention ensued and I got the visa.

    In London, faced with financial constraints, my aspirations teetered on the brink of collapse. I could not afford the cost of the quality printing I wanted for my Magazine which the Chichester Publisher offered. I became desolate and was about to give up. The Printer asked that I go search for advertising to raise money to cover the cost. I knew no one in London, I barely managed a meal a day in the UK just to retain the little funds I came to London with. Once more, another miraculous intervention bailed me out. The Zimbabwean Airline agreed to give me a one-year advertising contract and paid six months upfront. My dream which nearly died sprung up and I began to distribute the magazine to the USA and other parts of the Western world opening up a vista of opportunities for me.

    I have gone on to acquire a Law degree with a first class from the Baze University, and an LL.M with Distinction from the University of Derby. I am also the Pro-Chancellor of the fast-growing English University in Burundi, Olivia University. I would say I have done well for myself.

    When I look back at all these miraculous interventions in my life at every point when I thought I had lost hope, I had a deep reflection and found that this could not be ordinary. My mind raced back to my journey with my father to my local parish in Umueri and I found the link. My father had used me as a point of contact to make a sacrifice to his creator and I am a beneficiary of that sacrifice. This is why I am always proud to say I am a Child of Grace and I understand what sacrifice is. It was this realisation that led me to take the title Onye Chinazo osi na ona emelu onwe ya

    My dear friends, the moral of this story is not to tell you to give all your savings to the church or to believe that certain religious actions supersede hard work and industry. It is just to say that in whatever you do-you need sacrifices. The sacrifice might be delayed gratification, sleepless nights or consistency.

    While I recognise the sacrifice of my father to my success, I didn’t sit back and wait for divine intervention to direct my course. I got busy and equipped myself. I became dedicated and worked tirelessly without resting on my oars. I had a vision and I knew to meet my vision I had to work hard and as I did this, the hands of the divine interfered in my favour.

    The greatest sacrifice anyone can make is to be persistent and consistent. Keep showing up.

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