Chasing Dreams and finding Reality
I was born a dreamer of two risk taking parents who came from risk taking parents. This is my legacy, my ancestry, and I know no other and cannot claim to be what I am not. It is some of the reasons I became an entrepreneur. I am happy in this mode.
I am a dreamer born in the once small city of 200,000 people called Calabar in Nigeria, which is now 3.3 million people. It is this city my parents made home to my brothers and I. It serves as both my home base and my spiritual base, from my childhood where I blossomed and from which I have the happiest of memories. This city brings a smile to me, even after 31 years away, I carry it in my soul and it bears the name of my business.
Today, I honestly can say I am a New Yorker, for I have lived here most of my life, almost 29 years of it. I am an unapologetic Brooklynite, another place that has my heart and soul so interested, with unbashful love and affection. It is the place where my dreams are hatched and where they have been made. I am by default a child of a writer and journalist so the dream state I engage in always has a reality.
As I leave Brooklyn often and head to Harlem, I am reminded that my mother was born here in Harlem Hospital, so many years ago. I am reminded of her life in Harlem, the Bronx and New Rochelle. I dream that I am re-walking her steps and her parents, on the streets they transversed.
I am reminded that these three are my Harlem legacy; they may have left, my mother into Nigeria with my father and my grandparents into Jamaica but the almost 20 years for my mother and the 30 years are echoed in the words and stories from my mother of their lives here.
Chasing Dreams and finding Reality is what Brooklyn and Harlem are to me. I started in Harlem as a student of architecture and I have returned with Calabar Imports, my retail enterprise. It is Brooklyn that I chose so long ago to be my home, it was about being in a livable city.
What my dreams become are the realities of my life. They come from my soul and speak to desires of my ancestral trajectory of my future. My grandparents made this path, my parents carved their layer nd further enhanced it; now, I am only adding to it.
This path, my legacy, is an ancestral vessel. It is my heritage crossing two continents. I knew it when I felt I was different and never followed others. I knew it when I became an entrepreneur. My soul honors it and this choice. It is the “me” that I am. It is my reality.