I Had A Father- World Acclaimed Author, Jude Idada Eulogises Dad


He was from a humble background.

Uneducated parents and relatives.

No wealth.

He went to secondary school at Edo College on a full scholarship.

And worked selling charcoal during the holidays.

He enlisted in the Nigerian Prison Service after graduating from secondary school, travelled the length and breath of the country serving at different prisons and rose to the highest levels.

He married.

Had children.

With a woman, who was also from a far less humble beginning than his.

Being from a middle class family.

And built his father, his first house years before he could build his own house.

He went to University of Lagos

As an adult.

A father with 5 children.

And graduated, went to Law School and became a lawyer.

He left the Nigerian Prison Service and joined the Federal Civil Service.

He rose and rose.

Moved across ministries.

And worked on huge projects as a member of the pioneering teams.

That organised Festac 77.

Built the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He retired from the Federal Civil Service.


And started a legal practice.

He handled high profile cases as an advocate and did laudable work as a solicitor.

And became wealthy from the proceeds of the cases he won, the legal milestones he achieved and other business activities he engaged in.

All the while having 3 more children.

Of which I am the last but one.

He died at the age of 65.

After educating each of the 8 children to the highest levels.

2 engineers, 2 chartered accountants, 2 doctors, 1 industrial chemist and me, the artiste.

And now when I see all that he achieved in that short period.

I understand why he used to say.

“Everyone has 24 hours in a day to do with whatever they choose. The only difference is what you choose to do with yours.

You can work assiduously towards a worthy goal irrespective of where you are coming from and what you have, turning lack into a surplus and misery into joy or you can stay on one spot idling your life away in entitlement, while complaining and mourning about all the reasons why life is not fair to you and your kind. It is all down to choice.

That decision you make which gives time the value it has.

Because like money, whose value is in what it can buy, the value of time is also in what it can achieve. But unlike money which is infinite, time is finite.

It is constrained.

You cannot ask for more, so you have to use it the best way possible by understanding how to manage the finite to achieve the infinite.

It is all about setting benchmarks, what do I want to have and who do I want to emulate and be like and placing milestones on your path in life, saving when do I want to achieve these benchmarks I have set.

Then you have to go for it with all you have, focus, diligence, integrity, perseverance, hardwork, humility, charity and happiness.

The happiness being borne out of your dedication towards your pursuit, gratitude for the opportunity to pursue and the rewards you get even when there are also failures.

Life is a race with different finish lines, but with varying goals which can be copied or imitated, so while chasing your benchmarks you have to remember that your finish lines differ.

So do not harbour envy neither disillusionment, but a spirit of contentment and thanksgiving, knowing that it is in your power to work towards a reward, but it is not in your power to be rewarded.

And most importantly even as you strive to be what you have envisioned yourself to be, always ask yourself, if my time is up right at this moment,what would I want to be remembered for and what thing of immeasurable value do I want to leave behind, and let your honest answer be to you, the true value and definition of time.”

I had a father.


Jude Idada
June 7, 2020


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