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Dad was the first doctor, I truly admired-Chichi Menakaya

Chichi Menakaya

Orthopedic surgeon, Chichi Menakaya, the CEO of Annomo Health Concierge based in the United Kingdom in this interview on the occasion of Fathers’ Day, speaks on how her father, Dr. Timothy Ndubisi Menakaya, a former Minister of Health, under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo administration has influenced her life positively.

How will you describe your father, Tim Menakaya?

My father is my friend above all else. He is also a true Nigerian, loving his country with every fibre of his being. Recently, my sister met someone who described him as “one of the good ones.”One of my Dad’s favourite quotes from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night has always resonated with me: “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Reflecting on his life, I am convinced that he was destined for greatness and worked tirelessly to achieve it, both as a father, a doctor, and a pillar of society. He embodies strength, wisdom, and compassion. His kindness, resilience, and unwavering commitment to helping others define his character. He epitomises a true gentleman and serves as a role model to many.

It’s Fathers’ Day today. At 90, what do you wish your father?

At 90, I wish my father continued health, happiness, and peace. He has led a remarkable life filled with achievements, giving, and love, and I hope he continues to enjoy his days surrounded by family and friends. My Dad is a people’s person, that is what lights his path. May he find joy in every moment and continue to inspire us all with his wisdom and strength.

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How has he impacted your life?

His dedication to people, his profession, and his patients taught me the value of hard work and compassion. His guidance and support have been a constant source of strength for me, and his example has inspired me to pursue excellence in my own career. He instilled in me the importance of giving back to the community and leading with empathy.

He is a medical doctor and you are too. Did his profession influence your choice of career?

Initially, my answer would be no. I chose medicine due to my early experiences with healthcare at the age of 12. However, upon reflection, I realise that the first doctor I truly admired was my Dad. So, absolutely, my father’s profession greatly influenced my choice of career. Growing up, I watched him care for his patients with such dedication and compassion, which inspired me deeply. His passion for medicine and his commitment to improving the lives of others left a lasting impression on me. Therefore, when I found my personal calling, I naturally wanted to be part of that noble tradition of healing and service

As an ex-minister, do you think the government is doing enough for him?

While my father has received national recognition and respect for his service, I believe more can be done to support not just my Dad but all our senior citizens. Senior citizens built our nation, and the government should ensure they have access to quality healthcare, social services, and a dignified standard of living. I am very passionate about advocating for better human rights for senior citizens, especially in cases of spousal, family, and elderly abuse, including neglect and isolation. Many seniors are abused by those meant to love and protect them. Strengthening laws to protect them at this vulnerable age is a state of emergency. Providing comprehensive support systems can greatly enhance the quality of life for seniors who have dedicated their lives to serving the country.

There were plans for his 90th birthday. How did it go?

The plans are still ongoing. Ninety years is a huge milestone that not only celebrates the man but also the goodness of God in his life. The true celebration of my father’s 90th birthday will be his legacy of love and giving. Our aim is to gather family members and friends to celebrate his remarkable life. It will be a day filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories. A day that honours his incredible journey and the countless lives he has touched. It will be a fitting celebration for a man who has given so much to all of us.

I wish every father or person who plays a father’s role in the life of anyone a day filled with love, happiness, and warmth.

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