Smile with your soul

A profile of Nigerian writer Gabriel Okara

“Be honest. Do the right thing—all the time. Tell the truth, and stand by it—nothing but the truth, even if it costs you your head!” says Gabriel Okara.

“I can still hear my father’s voice booming out across our dusty yard in the village of Bumoundi, on the banks of the River Nun in Nigeria. I write about the lessons my father taught me. For many decades, they have been an essential part of my way of life, my philosophy.”

Since that fundamental teaching in his childhood home, Okara says he’s come a long way—helped by his understanding of Christian Science. “My church has elevated my approach to many things. This is why I have become so happy. Now I say to my four children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren: ‘If you want anything good in life, trust God to guide you. Work as God directs you. If evil tries to make an entrance, just kick it out like a football!’ ”

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Love waits to bless
February 7, 2011

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