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Tribute to my Father, My mentor and friend.

 

Mr Ganzy

Arthur Kayode Gansallo – Land Surveyor – Jan 8th 1933 – Feb. 24th 2018 (85 years old).

The departure of life eclipses everything’. When a death is good, the room is filled with peace, and all the pain, that went before it is forgotten. Where there was mystery and anxiety, there is knowledge, where there is fear and doubt, there is love. And when asked how to move on afterwards, I whispered, ‘I just want to DO IT (life) again with you, Papa-mi’.
‘Narratives of my Father’ – Yinka.

With Loving memories, this is how I want to remember my beloved father, Arthur Kayode Gansallo. To others, He was known as Daddy, AK Gansallo or Brother Surveyor, but to me, I have always called him “Papa-mi” ‘which made our relationship very personal and special. Sometimes even indicating affection that’s cautiously guarded with youthful zeal implying “mine only”.

While growing up, I have always been reminded of my resemblance to his late mother, Madam Emily Gansallo (nee Coker) fondly known as ‘Mama Upstairs‘ (I guess the fondness emerged from that maternal-reflection I carried with me while around him).

She usually sat at one of the bow-windows on the top floor of her glamorously decorated baroque Brazilian architectural influenced parlor; with exuberant and individualistic styled doorways, brightly painted facades and chunky concrete columns, flight of polished wooden steps with brightly colored panels and delicate floral plaster motifs of the Brazilian artisans!

Gansallo Family House

Gansallo Family House – Lagos Island.

Yeah, my late grandmother was always strategically located in such a way that she had a bird’s-eye view of both Tokunboh and Oshodi streets, at this perch she was able to view the comings and goings and ready to call out anyone who’s out of order….I grew up learning those boundaries too from my father.

Where do I start? All through my life, He’s always been my shield, especially where I usually seek shelter when I am in trouble due to my smart mouth or need to escape some sibling scolding or from my mom’s non-stop-nagging about why I needed to step up my game and claim the 1st position in class!

I usually run to hide in his home-office, where the entrance marks no-allowance to violence and the red sea for the offended-ones chasing after me! He always protected me from altered hot slaps, or sibling-beatups, listened with an open mind to my talk about life, my dreams and my future plans, and gave re-directions without being overbearing.

From my 1st primary school best literature award, his glowing face with his Polaroid camera, proud as ever! Even encouraging me to buy more books at CMS bookshop to read as we drove home from school that day and thereafter enrolling me at Teacher Pat (of St. Mary’s Private-afterschool) lesson for mathematics clinic! I remember him forbearingly tutoring me for common entrance exam and patiently waiting to pick me up at St. Gregory’s college after the long yearly 5k-Corpus Christi procession!

From the set of French curves he gave me when I informed him I was taking Technical Drawing in school and aiming to be an Architect trailing after him; to Alliance Français French school when I changed my mind and wanted to study foreign language instead, He encouraged me all through, emotionally and financially.

My 10th birthday party, where He officially became the DJ and MC, even though He practically played his own favorite music (FELA) all through, we still had a blast;

Oh, my 1st day away from home at FGGC Sagamu, the panic attack once we crossed the toll gate and the long dreary drive in his car as He continuously encouraged me about the unknown, Apparently, He had labelled all my belongings, boldly scripted in his fine cartographic hand writing ‘A.O. Gansallo’ (Anthonia Olayinka Gansallo) even on my school sandals, my red checked house wear and school bag legible enough for other students to be amused or read from afar.

He never missed any visiting days or our usual stop over at Uncle Ladipo’s (his brother) at All Saints school Ikorodu to review my report card and make plans for summer school! Phew!

I remember my 1st visit to a fancy restaurant, at Eko Hotel when I was just 9 with him, my 1st table etiquette training and tableware placement. Our religious visits to CFAO Moloney supermarket to buy chocolates, biscuits and of course Benson & Hedges and thereafter our painful visits to the dentist together.

Our weekend drive to Museum Kitchen, to listen to high life music with a sip of fresh sour palmwine! or to Bar Beach to watch the sun set or to see Grand Uncle Akin Coker at his beach house on Elf Estate, off Lekki road in the early 80’s (which was formerly Maroko swamp). Or our visit to the stadium to watch Abiola Babes and Iwuanyanwu Nationale soccer match at Onikan!

I got to learn a lot about land acquisition, families with landed properties and sometimes history behind land allocation, all mostly within Ibeju Lekki & Eti Osa Local govt. as I was usually in his company during some site visits and very inquisitive about his passion for his job, drawing up maps and calculating numbers nonstop!

My 1st & 2nd graduation from college and His advice to keep on aiming higher, not to stop there, to be all I can be, as a daughter, a wife, a mother and a woman who stands out in her generation.

One funny thing is that, He actually knew and remembered all my girlfriends by name, and would approach them when they come to visit and usually engaged them in ‘girly’ conversation, even decoding our secrets codes over the telephone! They usually call him, Mr. Ganzy of which He usually smiles at and could sit with them for hours talking about his favorite movies – especially Gremlins!

dad 3

My wedding day. (Dad & I) – Aug. 14th 1997.

I can never forget the big smile of accomplishment and joy on his face on my wedding day, 20 years ago, as He proudly walked me down the aisle, clutching the marriage certificate afterwards close to his heart and looking at me with that fondness I grew up knowing.

I thank God that I can proudly say today that I have been so blessed to have him as my Father and friend, ‘would do it again and never could have traded him for anyone! I am who I am today because of the devotion and love of my parents, more especially my father’s undying love and His belief in me.

Last time we spoke, just after his 85th birthday in January, He muttered under heavy breaths…

Yinkus baby! I am still here, even though all my friends are gone, I am counting down to your next graduation commencement” and I had joked with him saying

Ah, Mr. Ganzy, you are still very young, I will be back home soon, to complete that Autism clinic project we’ve always talked about”….we both laughed over that as He hung up the telephone.

 

dad 5

Feb. 2018 Commencement.

And those were his last words to me. 

He was a fantastic man. He was a great father, loving husband, caring brother, nurturing grandfather and dear friend to many people. To me he was more than just my father; he was my friend and my hero.

I always admired my father and had a great deal of respect for him. I pray the everlasting love and peace of God dwell with him in his new abode.

Eternal Rest, Grant Him O Lord!

Your loving daughter!
Yinkus Baby (as He fondly calls me).

 

 

 

 

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Sending off 2014 (the favorable, the awful and the mishap) and how I discovered my own strength!

year agoHave you ever been in a position where you feel like…Yes… ‘You finally got something done! All the goals you’d created at the end of 2013 have matured and still yielding fruits…nice!

Or are you at a crossroad of a certain goal you created around this time last year that is yet to show case itself?  You know you started 2014 determined and expectant, but along the way something un-expected happened and you get side-tracked or distracted. You’ve practically dragged yourself through the days, the weeks and the months hoping and still expectant. You are not alone! 40% of goal writers are also in this dilemma, but because we are still alive today – ‘there is still time to catch up!

If you are reading this…you are definitely a part of the reason why I am still keeping the faith and encouraged to keep writing and sharing real life’s event through everyday-people’s views, challenges, joy, concerns and testimonies.

Eventually, I’ve learnt that there is a purpose for everyone we meet. Some will test us, some will use us, and some will teach us. But most importantly… some will bring out the best in us. And trust me, it has been all of that for me looking back… but I am buoyantly taking the lessons learnt from it and striding into 2015 with a cheerful mindset, like…Ok! I discovered me!

So, this is a special salutation to all my readers:

“When I thought hope was what you could buy with self-pity, when all I could think of was creating an outlet for passionate expression, even when life’s issues frustrates and dictates above the edge, I found my strength in you, I discovered what lights up my fire and you helped me chase after the match. Little did I know that the same passion was also helping in building me up. Little did I know that our hearts of human tenderness often begins to beat only when we allow and discover a particular pursuit that absorbs us, frees us, challenges us or gives us a sense of meaning, joy or passion. Ah!  I am most grateful and say a big heartfelt Thank you!

For encouraging me by building this blog and also believing in me that there’s more and what’s next? and sincerely always pushing me to just keep writing even when I tell myself I’m done and tired. For constantly tolerating my ‘craze-now/cool-later attitude’ Thank you! (even though I seldom say it) I am grateful and I acknowledge your gifting! smiles… (You know who you are!) God bless!

For everyone who’d find another “New Post from Moving Forward with Yinka” in their mailbox, or a certain commercial-like name (anthonialawrence.com) and would re-consider opening it to read – I say Thank you (I know, sometimes it can be annoying right?) For everyone who’s approached or applauded me with “Hey, that was a beautiful article you posted! “I am inspired” or “You touched me” or “Thanks, that message was for me” “Good one, Yinka” “I love your blog” – I say thank you! (I am more inspired when I know my message is digested).

For my support group at Therapy Sol and Shelter who always welcomed me into their community whenever I needed to spend time with them – a big thank you! For all the readers who were courageous enough to send in their comments or posts or articles – I say thank you (you made me shine more with your bravery!) For all the people I wrote about (living or dead) – thanks for giving me a story to relate to!

For the grace and wisdom to answer some challenging comments, I say thank you for bringing it on! For reconnecting with my college alumni group AIESEC after 20 years and living-forward with them, thanks guys – you still rock!

For the love of poetry/dancing and dragging my family to watch Shakespeare in the park with me in New York City! or for Zumba class… ‘Priceless memories – I say thank you! ‘love you all for life!

For my Greater than Cancer team & My Day out with the Ladies group – You are the best and un-forgettable!’ love you all for real!

For having the courage to discuss the issues of Sexuality, Love, Abuse, Survivorship, Pain and Relationship! I am most grateful to all my guest writers for sharing their platform of awareness and hope. Believe me, you’ve made a difference in someone’s life!

For all those we lost in 2014 – I pray perpetual rest be granted unto them. For new lives and new birth, I pray God’s guidance and protection.

It’s been a beautiful and rewarding 2014. I have gained very useful knowledge. I have been comforted with sincerity. I have rekindled the true meaning of friendship. I have learnt to embrace fondness without breaking a heart. I have learnt to pick my battles. I have also laid down the burdens of aged and disruptive relationship. I have opened my doors and welcomed new tenderness in other people’s shortcoming. I have inquired from God and have learnt to appreciate beauty through the little things I’d been taking for granted. I am a whole year wiser and drunk with life’s passion to succeed, and ready for greater things to come. I hope you’ve all been able to discover some “new strengths’ in 2014.

Thank you everyone…’because you believe in me and made it happen in 2014! ‘See you in 2015 with more of me!

Yours in hope as I share one of my favorite Whitney Houston’s song below.

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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