The goddaughter of an Anglican priest who was (blessed memory) very active in my upbringing, I was born and baptized in the Anglican communion. Although my dad was Catholic and some part of my childhood included learning to read the rosary and attending early morning mass, my Anglican mother would later win the entire family over to the Anglican Church. “You were baptized in the Anglican Church anyways,” she would say and that justified it.
I grew up in a tight Anglican community. My church was less than a block away, my neighbors included my priest and his family. My Sunday school teacher would ask me where I was headed to and if my parents were aware of my destination every time he saw me – he found pleasure in finding kids at the wrong place and taking them back home to their parents. There were other women in the church who complained my hat or head tie was not big enough or my dress was not flowing below my knee or sweeping the ground enough. I think I can give them credit for my style/fashion because they made me conscious of what I had on at all times. I also had two choir members whom I shared a fence with and we would sing on weekdays. I sang alto, and they both sang tenor, sitting in our backyards and hearing each other sing across the fence. This was the only life we all knew and what we were always told was right in the eyes of God. A life very judgmental of your physical actions but blinded to every other aspect of life. Although I must say my mother always preached spirituality over physical appearance and I would later in life be shaped by her views of Christianity, after my rebellious years.
My family dynamic is different from the traditional family dynamic where the men are automatically in control. In my family, it was balanced (my grandmother was the daughter of a king and she had a huge influence on the family). The words of the women in my family held water and their presence was treated with great respect. As the first child, I was expected from an early age to control my emotions in the midst of chaos and react, if necessary, only after the situation was under control. This skill would, later on, be beneficial in my role as Student Union President (first female to hold the position) and later the National Secretary. I represented every college student in my state, dealing with student complaints/protests and finding common ground between students, school officials and government officials. Among other projects, I commissioned the first student-run restaurant on campus and ensured payment of years of backlogged student bursaries. A great learning experience that shaped both my world and political views.
In 2015, a friend invited me to Grace. I felt peace and it was like I never had even left the church. Well, it hasn’t been the same since. In 2016 I decided to be fully committed to Grace. Grace drew me back and reminded me of my roots, my upbringing and the sense of community. I joined EFM in search of finding answers to so many unanswered questions and to reconnect spiritually. Grace drew me closer to the city of San Francisco and I felt responsible to impact positive change through my words and action and by volunteering in any capacity that I could. I have volunteered with the Red Cross, Compass Family Services (providing shelter for the homeless) and with different groups/events at Grace.
My mother always said to me, “Make wherever you are your home and make it as comfortable as you can. Life’s too short to live carelessly hoping to be home someday, someday may never come” – author, my mother, Comfort N. E. Grace is my home, San Francisco is my home now and I am ready to serve to keep it loving, peaceful, united and habitable for us all! Let me know if you want to try some spicy Nigerian cuisine, the famous Nigerian jollof rice is a must-try.