|Award Winning Nollywood Producer & Director, Obi Emelonye.|
Welcome to our first hero of the year post and if you missed the notification yesterday, you can view it here: E4 PR's Hero Of The Year Posts
Grab your hankies, for you are about to go on a tear-jerking journey towards love that is larger than life.
I know Obi Emelonye as a talented movie producer and director and I am certain that a lot of you are aware that he produced and directed the highly acclaimed Award Winning movie, The Mirror Boy, starring Genevieve Nnaji, Osita Iheme, Edward Kagutuzi and many others; and he is about to premiere his even more star-studded and much-talked-about Last Flight to Abuja (details at the end of this post).
Obi is a very lively person and has always been the picture of health. He is very funny as well, so the general picture I have of him is not unexpected, as his character has never betrayed otherwise.
When I saw Obi last year at Ruke Amata's Class Act, where he had come to offer his input on acting to the students, he was his usual bubbly self and even had me bent double with laughter at his hysterical jokes. Little did I know that I was looking at one of the most noble people that I have ever known; and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I did not realise as well, that Obi had just "played Russian Roulette with his life" (for want of better words) purely for the sake of love, and was actually in the recovery stages at the time.
I recently came across an article by sheer coincidence while doing a research on a project, and it was Obi's name in the headline that captured my attention. Please read: Obi Emelonye's Sacrifice Of Love
I have a Ugandan friend whose brother chickened out of a similar decision on the D-day. He had flown from London to India to meet his brother for the arranged operation and on the day of the operation, his brother was a no-show. His wife and mother who were with him, made frantic calls, all to no avail. Nobody knows his brother's reasons for backing out and it is easy to be judgemental when you are not the one faced with such an agonizing decision to make. Indeed, I was judgemental myself, when my friend's jaundiced eyes betrayed his fragile condition. I remember wondering at the time how his own blood brother could be so hard-hearted. Through it all though, he kept saying that he'd never blame his brother because it is a life-changing decision.
I had bumped into Obi and his wife at a movie premiere a few days before reading that piece and we all happily posed for photos together. Now I reflected on how happy they looked and then the stark realisation of what (God forbid) could have been, hit me like a hurricane, as I recalled his words about his wife's worry, how emotional he felt when he was saying goodbye to his children and how he had actually prepared his will. So Obi, after being informed that he could die, still went ahead and prepared his will? And then left The Mirror Boy halfway for a journey that he wasn't certain he'd return alive from? Apart from stating the obvious, I have now discovered that this an example of the type of FAITH that God requires of us.
I suddenly remembered my Ugandan friend and realised that I hadn't heard from him in a long time; and then found myself making a critical analysis of why his brother did not turn up for the planned operation. I had a mental picture of him about to leave and of his wife kneeling on the floor, holding onto his leg, crying and pleading with him not to go, and his children all gathered around their mum crying and echoing her pleas. I cannot begin to comprehend the emotional torture inflicted on his heart, the reverse psychology, the stark realisation that this could be the last time he would be seeing his family...it is heart wrenching even imagining the scenario.
For the first time as well, I realised how wrong I was to have judged that guy; more so because even in sober reflection, I still cannot say, in all honesty, that I can do what brave, golden-hearted Obi did. Like his doctor, I was also meeting a donor for the first time and seeing someone that I know faced with the same decision that guy had to make, especially after reading his detailed narration of the entire episode and procedure, made me shudder with realisation at the gravity of it all and it was a very humbling experience. Suffice to say, it is not an easy decision to make, therefore please join me in welcoming our first HERO OF THE YEAR, Obi Emelonye, and as I say to him, "I duff my hat to you sir" and to his beautiful wife for standing by her husband's decision even in the face of negative consequences, "You are blessed among women and now that the worst is over, yourself and your household shall constantly receive God's showers of blessings, In Jesus' Mighty Name- AMEN"!
It is also important to stress that, my revelations about what I may do if faced with the same situation, are however, just my honest narration of my battle with fear; and should not deter anyone from being a donor if the need ever arises. In fact, Obi actually sounds like a doctor (lol) when he carefully educates me about how everyone can live a perfectly normal long life with one kidney. Talking about long life, Obi mentioned in that interview that the blessings that he got from his mum will last him a lifetime. Can you see it actually manifesting? Since the operation, God has actually increased Obi's blessings. Look at how successful The Mirror Boy was. And as for Last Flight To Abuja...are you willing to bet on its success? I cannot bet on it...God's blessings go beyond our imagination. I have witnessed God's blessings upon the lives of good people and am always affirmative that God does not cease to amaze when He decides to bless deserving people. Obi is actually going to outlive everyone's imagination...all filled with immense blessings. Well, at least I am glad that I have nabbed him first as our hero of the month! Hehehe! ;)
I managed to squeeze some additional information out of Obi that would have made you realise that he deserves even more accolade, but my noble friend thinks they are too personal to share and as he made light of it in his usual funny manner, even teased me about "not going overboard" with what I write. I wish I could quote him. Too funny! Obi is so funny and is always smiling, that it is hard to imagine him ill. I didn't get much luck with the photos too, as many of them are also personal. I managed to get 3 (1 is exclusive) from him after being a "persistent pest" (lol) and for a man who has already doled out so much love, I am sensitive enough to accept whatever he can offer. :D
Last Flight To Abuja is about to be premiered and you can't even afford to miss it. If you missed my previous posts on it, please click on the link below for my most recent post, which has all the information needed. Many thanks for reading and please share on your sites and different social networks. God bless you in advance for this goodwill act.
Update: the movie premiere is now being dedicated to the plane crash victims. Please read here: May Your Dear Souls RIP - This Movie Is Dedicated To You
Please click on "Read More" to view hospital photos after the cut...
|Exclusive photo of Obi and his brother, 4 days after the operation.|
|Obi, outside Apollo hospital, Chennai, India.|