Raquel Daniel, if you are going to define life, what will your definition of life be as regards where you stand today?
Life is what you make of it. The idea that we are all given different ages, that we are going to live before we die is true. What each person is given is different; some are given 100, some 50, some 20, some 10, some are given 150. People are given different life spans. What life is, is what you make of it even if it were 10 years God has given to you on earth, and you are here for the 10 years, it is what you make out of the 10 years that count.
Jesus had 33 years and half years, and the time of his ministry lasted for 3 and half years. It is what you do with the air that you breathe, the life that you have, I think that is what life is. What you choose to do with it.
I know that a lot of people don’t have the opportunity that others have, however, others didn’t have the same opportunities but were able to make meaning out of it. That is what life is to me.
Many young people blame their families for the outcome of their lives. Did the kind of family you are born into contributing for good or bad to the person or the outcome of your life experience? Maybe you wished if you were born into Dangote’s family, you would have turned out differently. Do you say the family you were born into contributed to your life?
Yes! When I was younger, I often wished we had a bigger house. I asked my mother one day at a place my father was working back then, why can’t we live in a big house, my mummy would say, “it is their house, my dad is only working for their father. “But why can’t we live in a big house too? I replied. And I knew a lot of people do wish that too when they were young in their families.
To answer your question directly, yes, the family we are born into really has an impact on our lives. We either decide to embrace it, or we insult and blame our families. It is left to us, what we have decided to do. For a long time, I didn’t want to embrace it. When I was in secondary school, I didn’t like the fact that my father was a police officer. People insult police people and called me names, ‘Omo olokpa’ (child of a policeman) as if you are just a low life. When I reported it to my mum then, my mum would say, “If you don’t like it, change it for your own family, your children, so that your children would say, ‘they are proud of the parents they have.”
But I never blamed my family. Of course, I would have a different life if I were born into Otedola’s family but I wouldn’t have this life. And for me, I love this life, this particular path of the journey I am on. And I believe it can get better and get better. Yes, you would have a different life, but you wouldn’t have this life.
I wouldn’t know what it’s like to have this conversation with you if I were not born in this family, because the reason I am here is because of the family I was born into. The path I took was because of the family I was born into. I wouldn’t end up on the streets if my family was not trying to get me married out. I wouldn’t live on the street; I wouldn’t have met the people I met on my way growing up.
So, a lot of things that happened in my life or are happening now, are happening because of the family I was born into.
So, do I want to change my family? No! I don’t want to change my family because I love my brothers. My husband always jokes with this anytime I mentioned my past, “If you were a rich man’s daughter, I wouldn’t see you marry.” If I were not born in the family I was born with, I would not have met my husband. I am happy for the family I was born. When I was a child no, but looking back now as an adult, I love the family I was born into.