Guiding Lights: How the Life and Memory of my Dad Inspires me

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." – Proverbs 22:6


Lema Abeng Nsah dad

Have you ever wondered what the driving force is behind the work you do? What is the root of your passion? — could it possibly be DNA?

The above photo of my dad (who passed on in 2003) sits on my desk – a special source of encouragement and inspiration and a constant reminder of whose blood flows in my veins.

Many that are close to me and who have followed my works over the years are wondering why recently, I am focusing on philantropic works with and for our women … it's a far cry from the glamour of business world travels, six figure a year incomes and boasting of driving luxury cars – which was primarily my profile a few years ago. The truth is, I too, a couple of times have wondered what the pull is.

Because I write to inspire through personal experiences, I hope today's post helps you feel comfortable in answering the call of the heart (whatever it is), also known as purpose.

In the DNA?

My dad was a police commissioner who lost his position as one of the top in the North West Province of Cameroon because he chose to do the right thing. In the 90-s, during a period of political unrest in our country, my dad – then Commissioner of Special Branch, had ordered the release of a wrongfully incarcerated political prisoner, whom the government wanted behind bars, but for whose release the people were demanding.

This led to my dad immediately losing his position as head of the highly coverted Special Branch, including all perks and priviledges that came with it such as service cars, government homes and huge pay check. He was demoted, forced to work on the floor (general office) with officers whom he had previously supervised. He remained in service for a number of years before finally retiring from the police force.

We never heard my dad complain, or express embarrassment. Instead, my dad dedicated his time working for the community and the church. In April of 2003, he died in a car crash – on his way to the village to preside over an impromptu ceremony for one of his nephews. 

He lived for family and died for family is how I summarize my dad's life.

Parents to children

As his first girl child, I am proud to continue his legacy. I know he is smiling down. I wish he was here, that I could call him up to discuss events in the Congo, South Sudan and even Ebola as he followed world affairs very closely. However, that is no longer possible, so I do the work proudly, knowing he also stood with the voiceless and worked in the trenches.

It's no wonder that my siblings follow along similar lines – hardworking, compassionate and humble. My mom is very good at being that quiet rock that we have needed as a family.

Recently, I have been feeling very thankful for my parents and all the hardwork they did and continue to do for family and community. I think that when we become parents ourselves, the effort and guidance of parents, family members, teachers and friends who were a part of our upbringing become much more significant, and worthy of lots of appreciation. 

Your calling – connect with it

When God has sown a calling in your heart, it is hard to turn away from it. Many may not understand it, but He who is calling you provides wisdom, guidance and resources as needed.

It is up to us to make sure we find our purpose and follow through. Always remember that the plan God has for you is very different from that which He has for the next person. Also, where He starts us off, may not be where we end up. Living life is much like going on an exciting trip that is continuously evolving.

May we also keep in mind our children, what example are we setting for them? Will our legacy be worthy of continuing?

When you follow your dreams, the warm light that shines from your heart touches and changes other lives.

Cheers to your success!


 SONG of the DAY: I hope you enjoy the following thanksgiving sound


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