‘Tolerance, Patience keys to success’
Augustina Nwanegbo is the mother of the Provincial Pastor and National Coordinator of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Belgium, and five other countries in Europe, Mike Nwanegbo. At her 70th Birthday last weekend she spoke with Kehinde Olatunji on endurance and patience as key to a successful life.
How is life at 70?
Life has not been a bed of roses. I was born in Calabar. My father was a policeman and I’m the third child out of ten. Unfortunately, my elder brother was killed during the war and I became the second. Eight of us are remaining now. One of my brothers who is a barrister was a former custom officer. He graduated as a lawyer.
My husband, Emmanuel Nwanegbo, was a province inspector. When the war started we relocated back home in Oguta Local Government, Imo State before he later joined the Army. The war lasted three years so he was away for those years.
After the war, we relocated to Port Harcourt and that was where I can say that I started life fully and it was not easy for the family at all. There were lots of challenges. My husband was out of job, so I was the one taking care of the family. My children hawked Pap to support the family too. They sold it very early before going to school and after school hours.
At a point my husband got an appointment with the Nigeria Port Authority, but things were still very tough for the family, at that time we could not even feed the children. Many times my husband would trek from home to work and it is a very long distance. It wasn’t easy, but I give God the glory because all my children are graduates and doing very well now.
How did you feel when your son told you he wanted to become a Pastor?
Hmm! My son Mike, when they wanted to make this boy a man of God in London, they asked if I would like to give him to God, my response was that God should do whatever He likes with him. Though I am catholic and I gave birth to them there but everyone know where they got their salvation. Even today, Catholic is not what it used to be, its no longer standing in one place to pray. In Charismatic, when you pray the whole place will be vibrating. Aside that, I love Jesus so much and I desire to see Him at the last day to be in His bosom. God has been good to my children and I. God is using my son Mike to do great and mighty things all over the world. He has changed our story.
How was life as a teacher?
I taught for seven years, but when I saw that the income could not feed the children nor train them I resigned. So I went into business. I cooked from morning to night, I don’t rest. I was very slim because the suffering was much. Later, I began supplying snacks to buttresses in Higher Institutions. I started from the University of Port Harcourt where Mike was an undergraduate, I would tell the buttery man to give the profit to Mike so he could survive in school. One a man from nowhere just took interest in him, Amadi Opara he loved him. He just helped us to train him. Mike travelling to oversea is still a miracle to us.
How has life been without your husband?
My husband was a very strong man. We loved each other. The day he passed on, I didn’t know I would survived it. People even doubted that I would live. I don’t know how God revive me and I thank God today that all my children are waxing great. All of them are graduates. My daughter is at Manchester with her children and she’s here to. I go to abroad every six months during summer. I didn’t go this year because of this party. So I give God the glory that today my son has honored me by celebrating my 70th birthday for me.
Advice to younger generation
My advice to young women is that they should have endurance. When you have a man you love, have endurance because one day, God will lift you up, before my husband passed on, we so much love ourselves. My advice is that when you are married, have endurance because tomorrow may be better but if you are impatient and say that your husband is not treating you well, he’s this and that and you leave your matrimonial home, you might meet another man that would treat worst. Be patient, they say that a patient dog eats the fattest bone. Today, I am eating the fattest bone. I really struggled; there was a time I didn’t even have a cloth to tie. When I go to the market and come back, I’ll wash that particular cloth I wore and tie a towel till it is dried. It is that same cloth I would wear in the morning to go to the market. I didn’t have two; it was only one I had. But today, I can tie any kind, call it hollandis, I don’t tie anyhow cloth because I have a beautiful daughter in law. That girl is my wife, she has really come to marry my son and she has made me proud. They met in London, she was a gift from God to me and she’s really taking care of me today. Look at me today, I am so beautiful, I am restored.
In what way are you giving back to the society?
There is nobody that comes to me with a burden and I don’t contribute a little if not all. I will make sure I give you what I have, I can’t say no because I know what I went through and how I felt. Every December, I get bags of rice and groundnut oil and give those women who do not have anything. I support them to help their children.
How do you keep fit?
I do a lot of exercise. God has blessed me; I don’t have any sickness at all. Call it Fibroid, Cancer or anything. I am in perfect health and soundness.
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