Access Banner

Fidelity Banner Advert

Lizzy: Parenting, Hope And Second Chances


Lizzy: Parenting, Hope And Second Chances

My heart is broken.
Broken from the short 2 minute video on 26 year old Lizzy, found by Pastor Tony Rapu, of The House of Freedom Church and currently being rehabilitated.
I haven’t been able to get the video out of my head since I first saw it this morning. The question as to whether her parents did enough in preventing the last 7 years which she said she has spent on the street as an addict keeps replaying in my mind.

I was having a conversation with my Mum recently.
It was one of those conversations, where something led to my Mum giving thanks for how well I turned out. She spoke about how her monitoring me especially in my secondary school days helped me to turn out well.
“I never missed your visiting day once while you were in FGGC Sagamu because I never wanted you to feel neglected. I also didn’t want you to derail,” she said.

I looked at her face and I saw it break into a smile of pride. I smiled back, wryly.

“Mum you did your best, and I will forever be thankful to you. However, It’s not just because you were a great Mum that I’ve turned out OK, so many external factors come into play ,” I said as I thought even more deeply about my response to her.

My Mum agreed, and started to talk about the role of God, the God factor in raising a child. And as I think back to that conversation with my Mum, I’m reminded of all the external factors that come into play in the formation years of a child. The external factors that no matter how remarkable a person can be in parenting they have no control over. Factors like the relationships a child gets into,  e.g the boyfriend  whom Lizzy said introduced her drugs.

One of such examples was back in my Unilag days, when as a young adult I met a guy at a hostel mate’s birthday party I attended. At first he appeared responsible, intelligent, so it was easy to get along with him. He wasn’t suspiciously flashy or extravagant either, except for his exotic cars. When I asked what he did for a living, he told me he sold cars and as a result travelled a lot. His explanation seemed plausible enough for the flashy cars, and I believed. Until one day when he called and asked if he could come visit me in school to discuss a business deal with me. He said that the deal was easy and would change my life for good. Long story short, the business deal turned out to be cocaine pushing. I ran for my dear life, and after severally trying to reach me, he moved on, possibly to his next ‘ambitious’, victim.

Lizzy: Parenting, Hope And Second Chances

Lizzy’s case makes me look back in retrospect, to how things could have played out if I had agreed to give it a try. I never would have completed my law degree. I could be dead, in jail, amongst many other outcomes that could have resulted from that singular decision, had I made that mistake. My Mum as protective as she was could never have protected me from meeting that drug pusher. All she could have done was ensure she was a good parent who taught me the difference between good and bad, and that she did.

So after I first saw the video, I remembered my experience above, and thought about parenting as a whole. It led me to all sorts of questions about Lizzy’s parents. Parents who clearly were comfortable enough to send her to two of the best private schools- Caleb Nursery and Primary , Vivian Fowler Memorial Secondary – Lagos state can boast of. Parents who clearly understood the importance of good education in the foundational years of a child, reflecting in how well spoken and fluent she sounded in the video when she spoke English.

Where are they? Are they alive? Why did they give up on her at just 19? Did they do the best they could for her as their child? Did they have a role to play in her ending up on the streets? Where they attentive enough? Could they have done better? While I don’t have answers to these questions, what I’ve come to realise, in no attempt to make a case for them is that good parenting is no guarantee for how a child turns out. A child is exposed to all sorts of associations( like my example above), is ultimately their own person and will choose their own paths regardless of who their parents are. This is the sad reality of life: That parents really cannot protect their kids all the way. This is where the God factor comes in. It is that God factor, I surmise, that really ensures that after parents do their best, their kids turn out OK.

“Emi Omo nile, omo olona;
Mo di eni to n toro gbana
Mo deni to n se se
Mo de ni ti on toro kiri…”

“Me, A child from a privileged background
I’ve become an addict who begs begs for heroin/Coke
I’ve become one who sustains injuries
I’ve become one who begs for arms to survive.’

The above soliloquy brought tears to my eyes, as I watched and wondered about the life she must have lived for the past 7 years, exposed to all sorts of dangers, as she battled her biggest demon: addiction.

Lizzy: Parenting, Hope And Second Chances

“Pastor Tony, this is the way I suffer everyday, ” she said with a very clear accent reflecting her privileged upbringing as she is shown in traffic soliciting for arms .

“After I finish begging in the morning, I will still prostitute at night.” She continued. “Please I really really need your help…please, Im tired, I’ve seen it all. It’s only you that can come to my rescue”, she pleaded in an emotional laden voice even as tears flowed freely from her pain filled eyes.

The video ended.

Lizzy’s story is one of many other out there, filled with many lessons we can all learn from.
I’m glad God gave her a second chance, through Pastor Tony Rapu who revealed she is currently in rehab, undergoing detoxification.
Here’s sending her light and love, hoping that kicks off her life in full gear and charts a new course to a better future.

Rooting for you Lizzy.

  1. Temitope says

    Wow, thank God He gave her a second chance.

  2. Haroldwrites says

    Beautifully written. My heart broke when I saw the video of the girl. And thanks for sharing your story too. God bless your mum

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.