I Dedicate This Day To My Mom And Jennifer - Julius Bokoru

By The Nigerian Voice
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Jennifer Bokoru

Julius Bokoru is a literary star that authored the award winning book ‘The Angel That Was Always There’. This fictional literary work of excellence catapults him into the reminiscent of his childhood and the touching role of the angel that was always there. Beyond his literary prowess, Julius is a social commentator and a media practitioner. He is currently is the personal assistant on media and public affairs to Chief Timipre Sylva, Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum resources. Above all, he is a columnist with The Nigerian Voice.

Today marks a new year in the life of Hon. Julius Bokoru. However, he has decided to celebrate this special day in a unique way. Thanks to Literature, his first love. Below is his thought-provoking but sweet prose, dedicated to his ever cherished Mom and his wife Jennifer.

Julius Bokoru
“It's my birthday and like all significant days, I try to look back, with the eyes of a spectator, at my life. There are the embarrassing lesions, the moments of glory and those fleeting instances that my life took a dramatic turn. Like when I walked down the aisle with Jennifer, looking breathtakingly beautiful on flawless white, and when, on that uncertain rainy season a few years back I began that walk to the future with Chief Timipre Sylva, a fascinating man with ethereal qualities.

But there are moments that brought me to these fresher moments and I cannot help but think of my mother a lot. This night, this dry night, this quarantine, this lockdown night brightened by Jennifer's smile and chicken peppersoup I think of one, quite honestly, abstract afternoon with my mother...

It was 1997, RSUST staff quarters, Port Harcourt. She had just returned from England, a day old in Nigeria. She finds the parlour very hot. She chews on her bubble gum, banana chewing gum, and she is making up, set to go out. She tells me her experience in England, in Newcastle upon Tyne. The endless possibilities that came coursing through her when her plane landed at the London metropolitan, the first anxious train connecting Newcastle and the house, more like a manor, that sat at the centre of beautiful, green, man-made vegetation. Her host was a Czech lady, a very kind nurse whose name sadly I have forgotten. The nurse was as white as a cotton bud, late 50s, had a cat named Shinerman. In the future my mother would buy me a cat, my first pet, and name it shinerman.

L-R: Julius Bokoru receiving award for his literary work

She returned, of course, dumping a promising nursing career at the UK, sacrificing her prospects for the love of her children. And I do wonder if Shinerman, the manor house at Newcastle Upon Tyne or the Czech lady informed her decisions. But, those decisions ensured my survival and that is one sacrifice I am yet to earn.

And since she passed away, 16 years ago already, I try to piece it all together and try to understand the choices she made, the sacrifices and the hope that in us, in her children, in me, the things she had believed in would persist.

Like I said in my memoir, she was an Angel, mother and Tigress.

And when I look at the strength and wisdom of Jennifer, I think that God has given me, at last, a closure. And I am grateful for that."

Happy birthday, Julius Bokoru