A visit to my kids’ cultural day celebration today was an eye-opener. I’d rather describe the chain of events as morally-charged, thought-provoking and inspiring.
“Daddy, I’m so happy that you’re going to be there when I present my recital today…,” my 7-year-old son said earlier in the morning. Excitement and gratitude blazoned on his face.
Although the memorable day started with battering rains, the chilly breeze from such unexpected early morning showers was soothing—and a huge blessing in disguise. Unknown to many parents who failed to show up at the school for different reasons, there was soul food to be shared by the charismatic school director whose humility, friendliness, invaluable wisdom, and powerful speeches continuously mesmerised attendees while the event lasted. I was lucky to be there.
In her emotionally-charged speech, the school proprietress clamoured for cultural revival among all ethnic groups in Nigeria, citing the economic and socio-political consequences of colonialism which, in her words, “destroyed the culture and traditions of many African communities.”
She acknowledged the developmental contributions from ICT but unequivocally blamed lack of parental control for poor academic performance and unruly behaviours, an assertion collaborated by her husband who watched admiringly from the podium.
Proceedings from the day’s event were both entertaining and educating; lovely traditional outfits from parents, teachers and children showcased Nigeria’s cultural diversity but, most importantly, the joyful atmosphere, love and understanding shared by everyone deeply stirred my emotions. The flawless academic recitations, fashion parade, songs, and jaw-dropping cultural dance steps—especially from the mothers who competed without reservations—weren’t just an eye candy. The spellbinding moments lasted some hours without signs of boredom from anyone—except for those grumbling for lack of storage space for pictures and videos.
Amid the revelry, I learned that little things matter most—in certain situations.
Nothing motivates children like parental support; it significantly impacts on their mental balance, self-confidence and academic performance. In addition, raising god-fearing, respectful and intelligent kids isn’t always money-related. Watching the excited kids perform in the full glare of their parents proved this assertion to be true.
I’m most grateful to God for the opportunity to encourage my kids and their friends at the cultural day event and, surprisingly, the results were heart-warming.
‘Today is the best day of my life…I had lots of fun,’ Henry and Stephanie echoed with energy and enthusiasm back at home.
‘Daddy, did I embarrass you with my performance today?’ He probed my face for signs but found nothing except admiration, love and motivation. The gifts stashed away somewhere in the house proved him wrong to the point that he couldn’t help asking, ‘What’s the biggest gift I’ve ever received, daddy?’
You are an inspiration to someone out there no matter your profession. With every opportunity that comes your way—through your actions or inactions—leave a lasting impact in the lives of others, especially young children who look up to us as role models with innate potentials to transform lives.