I want to be like you when I grow up.

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Teenage African American girls in graduation cap and gown photographing themselves

Growing up, it was drummed into my ears that I had to be exceptional. To my parents, that meant studying a professional course, and going on to fashion a life of comfort for myself. My parents were my role models. Rising from humble parentage, they went to school on scholarship. After that, they built a life for themselves, and rose to become highly respected among their peers. One of their ambitions, was to head any organisation they belonged to. They ended up doing just that. We had a standing competition to beat their O level results. Their friends and old school mates used to ask us if we are as brilliant as they were, and we would roll our eyes.

Where am I going with this? This generation needs godly role models. People with integrity, who worship God in truth, who get results doing things the right way. Many of us are hiding our light. Who mentors your younger ones? The nudists on media? The video vixens? The playboy driving cars he couldn’t have bought by honest means? Who?

I remember valentine night, some years ago. It was 2am. The nurses and I had gone to bed, after laughing at one another for being at work when others were partying. Suddenly, my phone rang. I groaned. Could even 1 night be uneventful? A young lad of less than 16 was brought in by his parents. He had sneaked out of the house to attend a valentine party. In a city where militancy was rife at the time, wandering about at night was irrational. People called me all the time to ask if I was safe, and here was a teenager risking his life to be popular. He had a deep laceration on 1 cheek, very close to his eye. It was bleeding so much that the gauze he held to his face was soaked. The party he attended, was invaded by hoodlums, who brutally attacked the fun lovers. Hacking people with matchets, and other weapons, he was fortunate to escape alive. Many died there. I’m sure he had a praying mother.

The nurses were already berating him for his silliness. I told him he was really lucky. Firstly, his eye was spared. Secondly, cheek wounds are dicy. If handled carelessly, the complications are worse than cuts on the limbs. (Think brain damage). Anyway, I promised him I would use a very tiny suture that would heal with minimal scarring, if he gave his word that he had learned his lesson. He agreed. I never saw him after that. Someone else must have attended to him when he came to loosen them, but I always remember that story.

I shared it because, I was so brainwashed as a child, I just felt that the hard way was the cool way. Some people thought I was old fashioned and called me out. Today, they are not surprised that I achieved what I set out to. I am exactly who I planned to be. Practicing what I enjoy, married to a man who makes me smile, and chasing my dreams.

I worry about those who accused Rihanna of being a bad role model. She rightly replied that she never set out to be a role model. Imagine Miley Cyrus being my sister’s mentor? Never! You and I are the ones tomorrow’s adults should aim to copy. The job of artists is to make money, not to mentor. The youth should aspire to make enough money, legitimately, to hire them to perform. Not aiming to dance in their videos! How hard can it be to wear the right make up, clothes, accessories? How hard can it be to strip and shake my booty? How hard can it be to tag along with a musician, wearing his cast offs, organizing babes for him, cleaning his shoes, since I have no talent of my own?

There are 2 approaches: The church can use the popular faces (business men, artists, etc), to mentor the youth. Alternatively, we can expose and celebrate those doing it by the book, and encourage the youth to aspire to success their way. It may seem easier to use the known than seek out the unknown, but I prefer it. This is because, we may send out the message that the church condones the lifestyle of those who live by their instincts, rather than living by grace. Do we love them? Yes! Do we aspire to be like them? No! Are we any better? Yes! We may not have as much money, but we have the hope of heaven, and this must become more valuable than all the popularity in the world.

If you agree with me, come out of your shell. Stop telling people your good behaviour is because of your ‘home training’, your temperament, your career, or such lies. Boldly proclaim your faith as the reason for your choices. Sow the seed in the mind of everyone you meet. My faith is the reason i refuse to do abortions, it is the reason i refuse to wear skimpy clothing, it is the reason i wouldn’t cheat in an exam. My faith makes me tell patients the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I have sent patients away with no medication, when I could give placebos and make money. Am I perfect? NO! I don’t have to be; I only have to be willing. I pray we will have an army of godly mentors, so we will dethrone injustice and impunity. Passionately, Dr. N.


23 thoughts on “I want to be like you when I grow up.

    tenderonii said:
    February 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Great Post ma. My faith is the reason I choose to be the best of me. I represent the Master here on earth and I will live the life he has called me to live.
    Mentors are really important for this generation. Good and Godly ones at that. I will be the Mentor God has made me in Jesus Name.
    Thank you and I must say that you are one of my mentors ma. U rock!!!

      drnsmusings responded:
      February 28, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      Lil me? Aww. You’re awesome

        tenderonii said:
        February 28, 2014 at 9:51 pm

        Lil you ke,….hmmmmm. Great Woman like you ma. You are a real blessing, you have no Idea.

    imperfectlyperfect92 said:
    February 28, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I tweeted during the week that there’s no need to be ashamed anymore, I will let my faith speak for me, I will speak it forth and let everyone I meet know that Jesus is the reason I am and the foundation for all I do.
    God bless you ma for this, filled with lessons as usual.we do need godly and good mentors especially in this day and age..

      drnsmusings responded:
      March 1, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Yes o

        Ezinne Ajoku said:
        March 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

        Like. My faith:the reason i live

        drnsmusings responded:
        March 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        Like too

    niki said:
    March 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    As usual Dr N, spot on. You know you are one of my role models. I always say when i get married and get to ‘that’ place in my career i will send you a pic (however long that will take) so you can know that you egged me on and showed me that i can achieve my dreams regardless of how challenges. Your posts regarding hard work, integrity, faithfulness to mention a few has inspired me and its a constant reminder. God is faithful. I hope i can also inspire the younger generation.
    Love u loads!

      drnsmusings responded:
      March 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Love u too, sis. U inspire me

    Oyinkansola Yusuf said:
    March 1, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Very well said!!!

    Fola Daniel Adelesi said:
    March 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Hmmm, the all important issue of mentoring and role modeling! My dear sister, the church has a lot to do here as well. I see churches running or shying away from this responsibility yet blaming the youths and teens for a wrong choice. Many of the leaders there don’t even have a mentor! Some parents are also as confused as their children on the issue of mentoring! Thank God for people like you and those few others out there who are speaking up. More Grace!

    Femmetotale said:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Beautiful post!
    We really need to re-examine ourselves every now and then.
    If u claim ur a Christian then there shld be at least one person you inspire.
    There has to be at least one person who says she wants to be like u!
    How else can we change the world?

    Emeka said:
    March 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I began reading this a few days ago, then for some reason I got distracted and stopped(not without bookmarking the blog). Now I’m back to it, and I must say, I’m totally wowed.. You completely nailed it. I hope ‘all'(or at least as many as possible) Nigerian youths get to read this. I’m glad I found this blog. Thanks for sharing this. Chukwu gozie gi.

    D'Dream said:
    March 10, 2014 at 6:31 am

    i believe every child of God is a potential Mentor. “let your light so Shine, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. it is easier said than done cos many of us cant truly handle the scorned looks we get, i am a culprit too.

    The truth is not that we are not bold but we just dont want to rock the boat so that we can be accepted and liked.
    God help us all

    naijawife said:
    March 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    the more i read your blog, the more i’m convinced you’re a long lost sister of mine. I wish I could share on our own blog more about my profession and my husband’s profession and the decisions we’ve had to make to be the ones who ‘refuse to do wrong’….understanding that we , as christians, have to be mentors. maybe someday soon

      drnsmusings responded:
      March 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Go ahead n share O! God needs more voices n as my pastor says, your vocation is your pulpit. What’s d worst that can happen? Of course we have a blood tie! The blood of the lamb. Ice cream soon?

    dnddyon said:
    April 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    ” Am I perfect? NO! I don’t have to be; I only have to be willing.
    I like this
    God bless you

    adaeze said:
    October 28, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Jesus said if we deny him on earth, He too will deny us. Funny irony is that as Christians, we have the better life through Christ, numerous promises, hope and grace in such a perverse world. yet we are the ones who shy away n keep mum. may God forgive us for this and make us bold for Him. I wear my Christian banner proudly from now on.
    more blessings ma’am

      drnsmusings responded:
      October 29, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Wear it proudly sis. He is our banner

    Dee. said:
    November 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Dr N, God bless I can’t even begin to describe how much this post blessed me. Being boldly nd unapologeticall xtian, i’ve had pple say lotta uncool stuffs. ‘specially cos our values are way different, I don’t give credence to their ignorance again, I just make sure I live what I professs nd as much as possible mmake sure that my life eez a living conviction to them.

      drnsmusings responded:
      November 8, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks for sharing dear

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