Mobolaji: Hey sis! Welcome to our platform! Pls, introduce yourself.
Distinguished: Thanks for having me sis. My name is Chinyere Distinguished Lydia Anoke. I am the 3rd girl, 4th child in a family of 7. I studied Computer Science in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I love to read and writing is my passion.
Mobolaji: Aww. So, how has 2016 been?
Distinguished: 2016 for me has been amazing and interesting. It’s a year I looked forward to and I thank God that He’s making a lot of my dreams come true. One of my biggest dreams has been to have my own blog, but I kept putting it off cos I didn’t really know what to focus on. But At the tail end of last year, God gave me some ideas and vision to focus on and today the blog is up and running. Starting the blog is one of the big steps I have taken this year and I’m grateful to God for His Faithfulness.
Mobolaji: Nice! What inspired you to start it?
Distinguished: Yeah, I started my blog distinguishedlives.wordpress.com on the 4th of January, 2016. And yeah it’s been awesome.
What inspired me? The first thing that inspired me to start a blog was a desire to have most of my articles in one place. I have always desired to inspire others, the same way other people’s write ups and articles inspire me. Before the blog, I used to write articles and short stories and post on Facebook. I was once active on naijastories.com though briefly. Back in uni, I used to do poems for most events we had in my campus fellowship (Grace Campus Fellowship, UNN) and way before then, in my primary and secondary school days, I used to compete in essay and short story writing.
The bad news is, I don’t know where most of those write ups are, some of them I know are lost for life except those I uploaded to one online platform or the other. That’s why I needed a blog to keep track of my articles.
Another reason that inspired the blog is my passion for Excellence that’s why the tagline for the blog is “Excellence As A Lifestyle”. This was borne out of a desire to see individuals and organisations, especially Christians, live out excellence on all areas of their lives – personal, career, relationship, etc. There’s a lot of mediocrity out there, we need people who will deliver excellent value in the market place and wherever they find themselves.
The focus of the blog is driven by 3 major columns:
a. The ‘Moday e-Boost’ which comes up weekly to Motivate and challenge us to maximise our skills|talents|potentials and thereby; increasingly live out an excellent life on all fronts until it becomes a norm in default mode. For your information, the ‘e’ in the eBoost stands for EXCELLENCE not the conventional ‘e’ for electronic. So it’s Monday Excellence Boost not electronic Boost.
b. The ‘CEO Memoirs’ which is a career|business driven column where we have CEOs of companies tell us the secrets to a successful career|business. The column comes up fortnightly on Wednesdays.
c. The ‘Frankly Speaking, Random Topics’ column is a miscellaneous column where we talk about various topics ranging from family, health, movies, music, academics, food to any random topic that comes to mind. The column comes up fortnightly on Fridays.
Mobolaji: Hmm! Well done with the nice blog sequence. So, what have you learned since you started blogging?
Distinguished: Hmmm lessons so far… The first thing i’ve learnt is that time flies very fast when you have a target or deadline. Before I started blogging, I used to think I would have time to write out articles before posting time, but so far, I haven’t had that luxury. Because I work and have some other engagements that demand my time, I rarely have time to write out my articles before time for posting. You may not believe this, all the posts I’ve done so far on the blog, I publish them as soon as I’m done writing; and you know that’s not advisable. I don’t get to thoroughly review and edit before publishing, I do everything together. So, I’m working on squeezing out more personal time so I can write in advance and also ensure that no area of my responsibilities suffer. Wisdom is profitable to direct, so to avoid dishing out mediocre substance when I’m so pressed for time, I’m also working on getting more good Christian writers to guest write for me.
Mobolaji: Chai. The struggle is real! Blogging really takes effort and time o. Guest posts are awesome too.
Ok, what do you think about the internet? Has it caused more harm than good?
Distinguished: I often say “God bless the people that introduced the internet”. For me, the internet has caused more good than harm. Without the internet, we wouldn’t be having this interview now seeing you’re in Ghana and I am in Nigeria. The internet has helped fast track a lot of ideas, businesses and even in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the utmost parts of the earth. I cannot deny that there are some negative things that come with internet access but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. I like to think of the internet as fire. Fire has the capacity to consume but you can’t say that fire is bad simply because it has the capacity to consume. It all depends on how you handle it to help you achieve what you want to achieve.
Mobolaji: Well said! What will you advice people about the internet?
Distinguished: My advice to people about the internet – before you log on to the internet, have a goal and time line else you can surf the net endlessly without achieving anything meaningful.
Mobolaji: So true! One can spend hours doing nothing on the internet and not even realize it! Still on the internet, that was where we connected. Have you also connected with other people through technology?
Distinguished: Yes I have, a lot of people actually. Some through facebook, some through BBM, some via twitter and whatsapp and some through blogs. I met Itunu of myglowingscenes.com through a friend’s blog, it was from her blog I met you, then I met Frances of imperfectlyperfectlives.com through your blog’s PraiseLetter. The internet and technology have been an amazing connector, bringing my destiny helpers closer home across physical barriers and distances.
Mobolaji: See connection o! I also have met many awesome people through the internet and reconnected with old friends too.
So gist us. How did you give your life to Christ. Like, when was that final moment that you said-‘enough is enough.’ LOL.
Distinguished: Hehe, the ‘real’ questions have come, lol. My parents were|are clergy so I was born into a Christian home where going to church was the norm, even when you didn’t feel like it. Giving my life to Christ a.k.a going for altar call, was something I did regularly whenever the preacher’s sermon touched my soul or pricked my conscience. Lol. I didn’t know that I was born-again each time I answered the altar call and all I needed do was ask God for forgiveness and repent whenever I erred.
I thank God for revealing the truth to me years later. I officially gave my life to Christ on 1st May, 2006 during a church service where we had a guest minister whose sermon touched my soul and pricked my conscience again. That’s my Christian birthday, lol.
Mobolaji: Oh wow. Isn’t that fantastic! I don’t remember my exact Christian birthday o! Lol. But it was December 2013. Ewoo, you have followed Jesus long time o. LoL!
What will you tell those who’re still holding back on getting serious with God?
Distinguished: Well, the truth is there’s a void in every man that only a relationship with God can fill. Without God, I wouldn’t be where I am today, I would probably be dead or useless. God in my life is what makes me Distinguished. I owe all I am and all I’ll ever be to Him.
So, my advice to anyone still holding back on getting serious with God is this – sweetheart, you need God, you need Jesus, you need the Holy Spirit. They are 3-in-1, the Trinity. You may have money or not. You may have academic qualifications or not, you may have human connections or not, you may have influence or not. But the truth is, you can’t successfully make it in life without God. A life outside God is a life of struggles. This is why God gave His only Son to die and reconcile us back to Him. He didn’t stop there, He gave us victory over Satan and all of life’s challenges. All you need do is believe and accept Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, Shekina. My sister, the world is too cruel for anyone to be lukewarm or undecided about serving God.
Mobolaji: Thank you so much for this o. Christ is the only TRUE saviour!
Can we talk about relationships a bit? What’s your opinion of purposeful relationships?
Distinguished: My opinion on purposeful relationships is that every relationship should be defined. If we’re just friends, let it be defined; If we’re business partners, let it be defined; if we’re just members of the same church, school, unit, course or department, let it be defined. Defining relationships helps you to determine the purpose of that relationship. For instance, if you’re my reading/study partner, our purpose for meeting up will be to read/study not to gist or pray or anything asides reading. Defining relationships helps us to determine the purpose of each relationship to avoid disappointments and unnecessary assumptions. This is especially important in relationships between the opposite genders.
Mobolaji: Interesting. So, purposeful relationships is more than just liking one another to you?
Distinguished: Yes o, purposeful relationships is more than just liking each other. Purposeful relationship is focused on adding value to the lives you relate with. It’s goal is to leave people better than you met them, if the need for separation arises.
Mobolaji: True. What has God taught you about keeping yourself and waiting till marriage to have sex? Or, is it just impossible?
Distinguished: What God has taught me about keeping myself till marriage is that sex of any form, does not keep a man or sustain a wholesome relationship. He opened my eyes to note that if it’s sex that sustains relationships, then married people won’t be having issues cos they’ll be having lots of sex depending on how they plan it.
Primarily, He taught me that my body is His temple so I shouldn’t mess with it. Keeping one’s self till marriage is possible even though it’s not an easy choice. Temptations plenty, lol, especially when you love someone and you both have plans of getting married. But, we should always remember that not all plans of getting married end up in marriage so we should be guided. My pastor will often say, “Before you ‘Do’ (do asin ‘I do’), ‘Don’t’! (don’t asin don’t do what is exclusive to married couples).
Mobolaji: Lol. Nice! So, your body never itches to do stuff? Are you like super woman or something?
Distinguished: Ehhhhhhh! Who talk that one!? My dear, body no be wood. But it’s only God’s grace and fleeing that keeps one from sin. February last year was a very trying one for me. I almost gave in full time, thank God for His mercies.
Stop looking at me like that, I’m not giving you the full gist, lol.
Mobolaji: LOL! Thanks for keeping it real. Meet me on bbm for the full gist na. Lol. I’m kidding.
Back to writing, do you believe everyone is a writer?
Distinguished: Well, I don’t think so. Writing for me is a gift and a skill that can be developed. You need either or both, to be called a writer.
Mobolaji: Hmm. That’s another angle o. Either gift or skill. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
Distinguished: Thanks for asking, lol.
Mobolaji: Finally, I know you’re currently working. So, as a Christian, how has it been?
Distinguished: It’s not been easy, especially working here in Lagos. For weeks now, I’ve not been able to make it to church weekly activities due to traffic and all. Thank God for other channels of fellowship and listening to God’s word, Sunday services alone is not healthy for my spiritual life.
Mobolaji: Woo, I can relate! Lagos traffic alone is palava. We can only ask for grace and push ourselves over the devil’s tactics! Lol.
Now that everyone is doing anything to stay ahead. What will you advice Christian workers to do?
Distinguished: I advice Christian workers to be prudent with what God has placed in their hands no matter how small. Diligence and integrity pays. My second advice is for Christians to be creative and innovative, don’t depend on your salary alone. I have a paid job, but I do some other legal things on the side that give me extra income.
Mobolaji: Smart geh! What about excellence at work? Since, I know that’s the major theme for your blog!
Distinguished: Lol, you already know my take on that. Mediocrity should not be found in the handiwork of a Christian, it’s a reproach to the gospel of Jesus Christ! As Christians, excellence and integrity should be our default mode, norm and lifestyle.
Mobolaji: Excellence and Integrity in default mode! Una hear?
Thanks so much for spending time with us today. It’s been such a pleasure connecting with you.
Distinguished: Same here dearie. I’m honoured to be invited to this platform. Keep up the great work!
Mobolaji: Stay safe girl! We love you!
Distinguished: Thank you for having me. I love you too.. Xoxo
Distinguished blogs at distinguishedlives.wordpress.com
Excellence is the theme of her blog and as Christians, we need to learn what true excellence means! Go there for eboosts- excellence boosts! Lol.
Yaaay! I really enjoyed this interview with my sister sister! Lol. But Distinguished, you can talk o, or write! Anyone. LOL!
Love you girl! Thanks so much for granting this interview.
I’ve been pretty busy and I asked her in such short notice but, she was delighted to join us here! Please, help us thank her. Lol.
I hope you’ve taken a thing or two from this interview o. You can read our other awesome interviews here! Trust me, you’d be blessed.
These interviews hold every last Friday of each month this year.
I know this should have gone up yesterday, but mahn, my body was on fire! Especially my legs! Lol.
I joined a group called ‘Word on the Streets’, where we evangelize holding boards that say beautiful things that draw people to Christ. Mahn, no be play!
We stand for about 3 hours holding the messages at different traffic spots, but I know it was worth it.
Happy Easter to you!
Stay awesome this period and share Christ with someone!