Last weekend was quite remarkable as it afforded me an opportunity to prance around on the golf course while being pleased that I still had the spirit of the game in me. Add the palpable joy that I saw coursing down the faces of my children at the experience of playing unrestrained in the luscious Millennium Park, Abuja; I can boldly say that it was a spectacular weekend to remember. As this is a week dedicated to celebrating how far we have come in this journey of democracy as a nation, I affirm that one thing democracy symbolizes is freedom. I pray that you receive freedom in thoughts and actions and break every chain of mind and mental slavery. You are absolutely free. Happy Democracy day!
In a brief conversation with my colleague in the days leading up to the weekend, I was prompted to listen to a talk given by Fela Durotoye on ‘lanes for acceleration.’ Excited at what I heard and enjoyed, I immediately swung into tasking my son and daughter to consciously make a list comprising of the actions they wish to start doing, stop doing, intentional do more of and deliberately do less of. I could still picture how I broached the topic to them with my hands in my pajamas pockets whilst walking up and down like a remixed version of Les Brown. Suffice to say that they caught on with the excitement and listed out some things that they have shown commitment to accomplishing. By the way, we decided to shoot a video of them presenting their commitment and giving specific timelines on achievement. This I hope can form a self-audit framework for them in the weeks ahead.
Back to the fun day we had at the Millennium Park; this is undoubtedly one of the best family hangout spots in Abuja. With an endless sea of families all spread out on mats that can be rented for about 200 Naira each and lots of vendors plying ready to eat food stuff; from the predictable “suya” (beef kebab) to chilled drinks and pastries of all kinds and shapes. In slightly related news, the “suya” found in these parts cannot in any form be likened to the designer series that Jamie Oliver once pulled with Tinie Tempah who by the way, happens to be a Nigerian). I was sprawled out on the mat while admiring the beautiful sky pattern just above while trying to imagine the thoughts of Manfredi Nicoletti, the Freelance Architect and Interior Designer that designed the Millennium Park, should he by some sudden stroke of fate arrive at the entrance of the Park. I could just picture his slight irritation as he struggles to get a parking space for his car. The frustrating thing is not the non-availability of a parking space but the huge potholes that will welcome one into the parking lot. This can in no way be part of the plan he had several years ago when he designed the place. I certainly hope that should he decide to make an actual visit to the park in years to come, the abundance of potholes would have become sparse and a thing of history. I believe that the agency that is charged with taking care of such would have walked the talk and make them go away.
On the way out of the Park after a memorable time out, my son was full of appreciation as he gushed with joy. I immediately made a mental note to make a return trip, not once but probably fortnightly. One thing struck me on the drive home; you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to spend quality time with your children. The major requirement is the timing. Once the timing factor has been made available, all that is required is to be expectant of the joy that the experience would bring. Glad that I got this all figured out and I hope the rains would partner with me as we have some fun and some more in the weeks ahead.
This post was originally published for The Cable Nigeria in my brand new series, Blooming Blossom. Click here to read it on the platform.