January 24, 2022

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Calabar Gospel Singer Locates Dad At Last

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D- Praise is one of the few gospel artistes in Cross River State whose life story is heart-warming. The artiste who has produced three albums and is set to launch his fourth titled Onye Inye Akam recounted some of his growing up experiences as a child single-handedly raised by his mother.
He spoke with Rose IDO in Calabar. Hear him.
Growing up, for me as a child who was raised by a single mom was challenging. There was a point where I missed my father, missed his home and the beauty his presence would have added to my life. I was born in Adadama, a community in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State and was taken away from my dad from month eight, due to an irreconcilable issue my mom had with my dad. So, from that period of my life, I was moved to my mom’s community still within Abi, till I was almost through with secondary school.
As a child without a father at that time, I became a fisherman joining people to fish for survival. Gradually I moved from fishing to a bus conductor. I can recall the incident that led to me looking for my father. As a bus conductor I was staying with my mom’s younger sister and her children were not comfortable with me in their home. So constantly they will remind me of the fact that I am not their father’s son and I don’t belong there. It was at that juncture that I had to threaten my mother to tell me who my father was and where I can find him.
To be honest with you, I enjoyed every second in my mother’s village with her people because my grandma made the place a home. My late grandmother was a local business woman. She taught me how to prepare the local beans and akara that she was into and I enjoyed doing the business with her until she died. I had no place to stay and at that point, I needed a room of my own because I was mature enough to have a little privacy of my own. So that was how I was asked to move in with my Aunty who whole heartedly accepted me into her home but her children were though not comfortable with me around.
During that period of time, I used to have this regular visitor who comes around once in a while from where I don’t know, to visit. But I didn’t know he is my brother from same parent and that he was always coming from our dad’s house until that ugly incident that prompted me to look for who my father was that was when I realized he has been my elder brother all along.
My mother explained that she was scared of losing me which is why she kept me away from my father, then told me that my father was from Adadama. So I immediately went in search of him.
The whole thing look to me like it was orchestrated by God because my father was aware of my coming and was waiting for me in his living room. Who informed him, I still can’t tell.
The bike man who drove me in search of my father stopped me at the front of his compound. So, while I was trying to find out where my family compound was in the community, his wife came out and asked if I was so so person, then I said yes and she said my dad was waiting for me in his living room. That was surprising to me.
Do you know I got in and saw him actually waiting, he didn’t come over to me so I walked up to him. In the process, I discovered that he is a blind man. When I moved over to him he stretched out his hands and then started feeling me from my head down to my toe and said ‘wow you have become a man now.’
My meeting with my dad changed a lot about me and brought back my self esteem because at that I knew in me that I have a home, a village, and most importantly a father.

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