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

Acknowledgment

The most important role models weren’t patronizing saviors. They were partners who understood their aims as well as mine and collaborated to bring both our objectives to fruition and shared victory. They didn’t try to reframe my potential based on their own narrative or biases. They came as travelers broadening their horizons as mine was also broadened by their patient wisdom. They modeled and encouraged self-respect. They pushed when necessary and their demands were clear. We both cultivated and valued the relationship. For every time I leaned on them for help, they leaned back on me with an approach that fulfills their own aims along the way. It was never for favors or free lunch, but genuine camaraderie. That’s what makes them so memorable!

Dili's Memoirs, Influences

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

{ 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: you’ll always be the coolest and most inspiring musician I was fortunate to also call a friend; 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 bad influences that dragged me there, as well as the difficult 7-year period it took to reel out. Yet our loving friendship which still pulses in my heart always gives something to look back on with gratification; Anna Ruth Flagg and Nancy Turtle: for your relenteless gestures of encouragement – it really was all I had to go by sometimes; Susan and Paul Dimmick: despite an uninspiring penchant to presumptuously deride with nescient grandiosity, your family’s kindness with the men, and especially Laura Wood, Laurie Chandler, Allen&Susan Scott, John Butler, Donna Misa, Mr. T, Barbara Sphon, and others widened my options considerably during one of the most important transitions, thank you; 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.

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 and The 50th Law. These were immense encouragement and reinforcement to both my drive and focus, through the darkest moments of inner conflicts where no other voices of reassurance nor light could travel, 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 victory continues to inspire resilience in 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 and grief bringing all the excitements of meaningful human to human connections both with laughter and occasional irritation. Sharing many moments with people I never could have met from all works, classes, and places of life and the world has affected me considerably and leaves me with no doubt that humanity is far better across peoples, cultures, and nations, than our individual cultures and upbringing 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 – high and low, 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 Elementary school whom I only remember as Mr. David, are remembered as though from another lifetime. 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 both parents and siblings. Permanently cutting ties may have been the most disorienting painful and difficult decision I ever made in my life, but was also the healthiest. For this commitment, I have no doubt being a horrible monster – even by my own standards. So be it. May time show favorably the wisdom of our judgements and bring greater contentment that eluded us together in our permanent separate paths.
Remembering my grandmother, Mary Rose Mbaezue, whose soft reassurance I could never forget. Fond thoughts also of Sylvia Omini and Onumasi Okafor. Ifeanyi Ikwuadinso: my childhood’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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