Dili’s Log 傾聽你的心 ― dedicated to the people that got me here.

Acknowledgment

不聞不若聞之,聞之不若見之,見之不若知之,知之不若行之;學至於行之而止矣

Special thanks to the team of researchers and writers who transform my incoherent thoughts and ideas into legible articles and papers. I wouldn’t have an intelligible voice without you. Thank you.

{ For your faith, that gave me wings.
For your patience, that suffered me.
For your encouragement, that was relentless.
For your presence, that was unconditional.
For your empathy, when I deserved judgment.
For your comfort, through loneliness and desolation.
For your love, when I was unlovable.
Thank you…
For you taught me the life I now live.
Dulce bellum inexpertis.
Invictus maneo. } ― Dili

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Special Thanks

Royalties and New Life Choir: you helped shape who I am today – thank you; Abiola and Femi Otenigbagbe: for nurturing a youth’s reckless leadership believing he could rise to more; Adaeze Akeru: for your faith in me as well as your heart and friendship; Tola Akunji – in some alternate universe, our bond and friendship wouldn’t have been so underestimated. Chuka Ojimba, Brother Ben, Monday, James at Technical, Afolabi, others: names to always remember and cherish; Nelly Ekaidem: I will always adore you – the young are often stupid; Chidi Achims: my boyhood role model leader – death cheats and memories redress; Kingsley Igwe: a dear and constant friend of past, present, and future; Iyke Onka: Down in my bones I can feel this holy dope. More than a musician, the science ideas you shared with me about light and time were brilliant and I wish you’d put them to paper and publish some time. Thanks for the inspiring figure you were during my more musically inclined years; Chidi Nnadozie: my first work boss – thanks for taking a chance on me and encouraging my adventurism even when it seemed to threaten your job. You are the most secure boss I never had again; Tracey Newton: for your solidarity when everyone else avoided me; Allen and Susan Scott: for your warmth, kindness, and the memorable winter hat and scarf you knitted for me. I will always cherish the moments shared with your outstanding extended family. Contentment is seldom possible under great pain; Linda Hawkins, Laura Mae Wood, and Laurie Chandler: Atlanta was no doubt the biggest time-waste of my life under the circumstances, and I still curse under my breath the counterproductive influences that dragged me there, as well as the difficult 7-year period it took to reel out. Yet our loving friendship which continues to pulse in my heart reminds me of something to look back on with immense gratification; Anna Ruth Flagg and Nancy Turtle: for your relentless gestures of encouragement – it really was all I had to go by sometimes; Jerry and Susan Pickens: all-time favorite neighbors to always remember and treasure. The bests of friends don’t love only when it is convenient to do so or out of reciprocity. Thank you for your kind support – especially when it was most inconvenient for you. Every one of your names means something to me, whether or not I have opted to remain in continued contact. In some ways, the person you knew and loved no longer lives – perhaps crushed and scarred by the realities of life, which we all share in our own forms – but I hold his remnant and know how highly he esteemed you.

Special Thanks also to the notion of Failure and Imperfections: Whatever I am today, it is because of a healthy willingness to fail in friendships, love, family, business, and life. Without these strings of permanent failures, I wouldn’t be better at life, love, and work.

Academia

Adun Akinyemiju, S. O. Adigun, F. T. Himmikaye, S. O. Otoide, A. O. Edun, Lola James, N. J. Osai. A heartfelt appreciation for seeing something in me at a time I could not have possibly believed alone. Thank you. Dr. Ron Koger – for your influence that kept me in college longer than I could afford, Dr. Kim Haimes-Korn and Erin Sledd – for teaching me writing as an exploratory means for inquiry, discourse, and fine art. Dr. James Ponnley: the only math teacher that mattered… of blessed memory. Thank you, Dr. Ponnley.

Distant Heroes

Robert Greene – particularly your work on Mastery. It was immense encouragement and reinforcement to both my drive and focus, through the darkest moments of inner conflicts and sheer excess work over punishing hours, where no other voices of reassurance nor light would travel with me, often reinstating clarity and the security to stay on mission. Monica Lewinsky – for standing back up and outmatching the entire world; demonstrating our ownership over our own story. Your resilience continues to inspire my approach to life. MacKenzie Scott – the moment you had the influence to improve millions of minority lives, you did.

To my riders – you bore me through happy times, grief, and many reflections bringing all the excitements of meaningful human-to-human connections both with laughter, sadness, solidarity, and occasional irritation. Sharing thousands of moments with people I never could have met otherwise from all works, stations, and places of life and the world has affected me considerably – leaving me with no doubt that humanity is far better across peoples, cultures, and civil societies, than our individual upbringing and environment might have us think. Only through a genuine human connection with the person next to you can the world truly become more colorful and vivid. Every 20,000+ of you, 80% of which we shared more than a 5 minutes conversation, left a part of yourselves, your world, and your experiences – highs and lows, with me. Thank you.

Other

There are and continue to be people that add positively to the story of our lives. Many have names we tragically may never remember again. Others, like my literature teacher in Word of Faith Primary School (Elementary School), a tall slender man who often wore black trousers on a black short-sleeve shirt with tiny white polka dots, whom I only remember as Mr. David, are remembered as though from another lifetime. Mr. David’s immense disappointment, hearing my involvement in a foolhardy class raid and fist brawl in Primary 2, would go on to frame my conduct in times more inclined to violence and aggression – I never want to see that look on his face again. I have been loved, aided, and abetted by Latinos, Arabs, Indians, Black, White, and Asian people. Most of my teachers through life and school expected so much of me and fostered their hopes. All those past ‘lifetimes’ were the building blocks of the present. Wherever you are, thank you. You made a difference.

Honorary Mention

To surviving siblings. Our better decisions in life aren’t usually the most popular. Permanently extricating and cutting ties may have been the most disorienting pain and difficult decision I ever made, but was also the healthiest, and there is no looking back. I regret the extent of irreparable damage and perennial destruction it took to finally come to terms, but take solace in knowing the recourse was that much an absolute last resort. I hold myself in contempt for this resolution and allow that it no doubt makes me a monster. So be it. May we all find the courage to do what we have to do, and let time show the wisdom and harvest of our judgment – bringing greater contentment in our separate paths that eluded us together.
To Francis Ezeadina Ikwuadinso, I mourn you deeply. Your industry provided agency to my aspirations despite your shortcomings as a father. You certainly were no angel. Yet, I had silently expected better and prouder days ahead of us reignited by success and physical proximity. I always did feel gratitude for your hard work and what must have been painful sacrifices for you, especially faced with the same in my experiences as well as in my observation and shared stories with other hard workers. I am saddened by how much you enriched my life and how little of this impact you ever got to know before your death. We had no closure. In the absence of a conclusion, my mind recursively searches for you restlessly in dreams during sleep. Whenever found, an ephemeral brass light is cast upon you and none of it makes any sense. A meaningless and utterly avoidable death, yet inevitable in the absence of the will to live. While I hold no regrets but resolve from your fate, the reveal of the crueler realities of this world has dealt even a double loss. I grieve only one. RIP – Invictus Manetis (You remain unvanquished).
Remembering my grandmother, Mary Rose Mbaezue, whose soft reassurance I could never forget. Fond thoughts also of Sylvia Omini, and Onumasi Okafor: deep within my heart you will always live – death cheats and memories redress. Ifeanyi Ikwuadinso: once a boy’s nearest ideal of a big brother.
John & Marilyn Kelly: my second parents in my adopted hometown of Edinboro Pennsylvania, which is and will always be one of my favorite places in the United States.

Featured Song

Thank you.
Memores acti prudentes futuri

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