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Behind The Heart with Chiadi Ndu: No Longer Afraid of Who I Am



I have looked forward with a lot of excitement and a little bit of trepidation to today. Even though I have written quite a lot, I have never done anything like BellaNaija. I know this is going to be sizzling hot. Writing and having your work ‘commented’ on almost immediately by faceless people can’t be an easy place because not everyone will agree with you or even like YOU.

I have seen a lot of frightening and vicious comments on some blogs but I have decided to take this bull by its horns. I prayed for an additional platform and I got BellaNaija; for this I am very grateful.
I am a firm believer that there aren’t many bad people on this our earth- just bad behaviour. As a result of this I am usually very empathetic and I try not to judge people harshly. I know that most individuals have learnt their behaviour because it seemed to be their best option under their circumstances. I know this not only because of psychology but because I learnt most of my behaviour.

I grew up a bright and happy child in an upper middle class family. My life was stable and secure until one day everything began to collapse like a pack of cards. I went out in the morning with my mother and sisters. We spent most of the day together until about 3pm. She went back to finish her day’s tasks but by the next day she was dead. I was just 13years. I didn’t recover from that shock before I had to learn to be tough for my sisters and my father because I was the oldest child.
I learnt to carry on with life wearing a mask of calmness and confidence while the child in me was perplexed and afraid. At this very vulnerable point in my life, I needed to change schools. For some reason or the other, the students in the new school didn’t like me. I experienced the worst form of rejection and unkindness, but I learnt to fight back with anger and aggression because that was the only way I knew to cope.

As if that was not enough my family suffered a huge financial set-back a few years later, towards the end of my teenage years. From a lifestyle of comfort, I was thrown into penury. We could no longer afford the things I was used to. Almost immediately all the ‘friends’ we had when I was growing up abandoned us because we no longer fit their profile. I was angry, bitter and very resentful. I had to learn to cover-up my misery and aloneness with a lot of roistering. While I struggled hard to keep up with the ‘Joneses’, my self-esteem and self-worth plummeted with alacrity. I began to need everyone’s affirmation and validation.

I don’t know what might have happened if I didn’t meet Jesus at this point in my life. He brought with Him acceptance and tenderness – my healing commenced. He was the most peaceful place in my life. He comforted me with such a comfort that I developed a passion to share comfort with others.

Most people do not realize that a lot their weaknesses have an origin and a root cause. As a result of this, they have paid undue attention to the symptoms, ignoring the cause. I have walked that path too and I know that until the roots are tackled, most of the ‘baggage’ remains.
Backed with professional, personal and spiritual experience, I trust that BEHIND THE HEART will be able to help most people identify, confront and conquer their core heart issues and from there begin to enjoy the gift of life, love and people.
I write with a lot of openness and candour because I am no longer afraid of who I am. So loosen up, roll up your sleeve and go behind the heart with me. I look forward to a very pleasurable trip!!

Chiadi Ndu was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. She has a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology and a Diploma in Stress management. She works as a Pre- Divorce Concilliator, hosts a radio programme – Behind the Heart on Inspiration FM and also writes a relationship Counselling column – Bridges on Sunday in Sunday Thisday newspaper.

CHIADI NDU was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987 but has since obtained a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology. A Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, she runs BTH Integrated Wellness and Therapy. Email: [email protected] BTH provides premium professional counselling services with experts who understand how the mind works; offering a confidential and safe environment where our clients can work on any stressful, traumatic or simply uncomfortable issues they may be facing- ANXIETY, GRIEF, FEAR, TRAUMA, LOSS, FINANCES OR HEALTH  CHALLENGES. Website:


  1. Gbemi

    November 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing on bellanaija. I would really love to talk to you. Cheers

  2. Timibaby

    November 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you. I hope to learn alot from you.

  3. abimbola yussuf

    November 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Chiadi, i am very touched with this piece you wrote about not being afraid of who you are anymore and i desire such too. you are right that alot of issues has an origin but we mostl concentrate on the symptoms. pls keep up the good work and god bless you.

  4. Yeoal

    November 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Nice!!!! I always read her column in Thisday (she kind of replaced Ruth Osime’s “Truth by Ruth” for me). Fantastic, deep and entertaining writer. I hope Bella would make her a regular fixture here.

  5. watever

    November 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    What is the essence of this post seriously? Let God be the judge,you been born again,lies between you and him…see you in heaven

    • Idak

      November 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Take a chill pill. too much bile can’t be good for a heaven bound passenger like you. I guess she is just introducing her new column on BN.

    • M

      November 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      She is talking to you, be at peace with yourself. Great article

    • X factor

      November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      You invite God to Judge what you already judge as lies………. Isn’t it obvious you need to get behind the hearts…… lah…………………………Fantastic piece, thumbs up to the writer…..

    • Bleed blue

      November 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      I think she meant “lies” as a verb though

    • Purpleicious Babe

      November 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      haba babes…chill nah… she took us a journey if God is part of then double awesome. Why the sudden or outburst of sarcastic and immature comment… People need this and if you don’t then it cool. Prolly do cos there is a root behind every action.

      Pls Ms Chiadi you spoke well and it is well explained. If the roots of a situation isnt tackled then it will be us building on a wrong foundation and yes everything does have a root. I also agree that people arnt bad/good, people just have bad/good motives/intentions that transcends into their character. The state of a man’s heart determines his attitude and outlook. Am glad you are an inspiration too many and God will continue to empower you as your share his amazing love..


  6. boring and dry

    November 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    What are we suppose to do now?

    • Dr. Dayo

      November 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm


  7. Lizzie

    November 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I Loved Chiadi from thisday. glad to have you here…

  8. slimzyose

    November 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Hey Chiadi i luv dis piece,really wish i can talk 2 u

  9. Esther

    November 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I love dis.

  10. prettylady

    November 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    chiadu, u said your mum died and everything took a left turn, was she the bread winner and pillar of your home.. just thinking sha

  11. Behind the Heart fan

    November 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I look forward to reading from your column! your Bridges article on thisday is great! Please keep it coming! thanks Bella!!

  12. cathy

    November 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    am with you, bless you

  13. Mz Socially Awkward...

    November 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Oh, heck yeah, I’m all for this “Behind the Heart” segment as a new addition to BN, because Nigerians need CANDOUR. They need candour like they don’t even know so, girl, you better get to writing it!! Openness and truthfulness about being who we’re meant to be AS INDIVIDUALS not as lemmings would be an absolutely refreshing eye opener to many people. That’s why so many of us dont get “it”… We’re in danger of floating through life never getting “it”.

    My heart aches more especially for the young women who’ve grown up in these shockingly modern times but remain terrified (or, even worse, unaware!) of being who they’re really meant to be. Goodness, if Buchi Emecheta and some of the members of her generation had been given an iota of the opportunities we have today, the things they would have achieved… So, get to writing, Chiadi, get to writing!!

  14. Ade

    November 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    God bless you Chiadi. ONLY Jesus MAKES all the difference. Lots of love, be encouraged! (Hugs:)

  15. Edith Nkwocha

    November 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm


    I just read your article and I am so proud of you. I’ve known you from since those childhood days you mentioned, and even though it’s taken you this long to see the gem in you, some of us saw it way back then. Keep on writing and being an inspiration. It’s your time to fly!

  16. abimboladare

    November 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Looking forward to this Chiadi! Interesting that you are a pre-divorce counsellor, Id like to learn more about what you do. Bless you dear.

  17. Hi

    November 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Chiadi, na Enugu Town typical syndrome be dat wan. when the going is gud and smooth,many people will be ur friends, but when the going bbecome tough, many of them will run away. 🙂

  18. Udoka

    November 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    awsome writing …inpirational

  19. Gina

    November 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Niece one.

    • e-bukun

      November 28, 2012 at 12:59 am


  20. iffy

    November 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks a lot, this write up lightened my spirit

  21. Iye

    November 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Hi I love reading this and I am in a place now where you where years ago and I often wish there was someone to talk to. Your piece gives me hope. God bless you

  22. Damie

    November 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Looool. Nigerians o. Someone writes about God and all of a sudden it’s “nice one”, “thumbs up”. What is the head and tail of this article? And yes this is coming from someone that has faced sudden death and financial discomfort. You are not the only one. I dont get how this gives you the qualifications to speak on whatever subject you may be speaking on.

    • laide

      November 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      if u need to see the qualifications…just read below the article

  23. nita

    November 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I really feel you bcos recently I av started thinking dis way…I LOVE MY LIFE! I will follow my passion n mk gud in Naija…I try 2 like Pple as much as possible n not judge dem cos I see only d ‘symtom’ but I understand dem bcos der is a ‘reason’ why pple act d way de do. Dis country is hard! Wen I see d bad circumstances dt pple lived wit I wonder wat wud av become of me if I had lived dt way; suffered d way de did! I try to understand Pple n help try to help bcos little tins matter…good piece, I feel you! God bless you

  24. na me

    November 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    i’m i the only one that didn’t get the point – was this an introduction? there I was reading to find myself at the end thinking huh? ok going to read it again must have missed something

  25. Brandigest

    November 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Kind of fanned my zeal to start my second book, it’s my memoir… I have been there, still is

  26. dazzle

    November 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    wow thats rather Harsh @ Damie

  27. Myne Whitman (@Myne_Whitman)

    November 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I look forward to this, indeed so many of us are so afraid to get behind the heart to the roots of who we really are. I am just learning myself…

  28. faith

    November 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Not my thing…

  29. ije

    November 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    its nice to have u here, my mum and I are ardent readers of your column on Thisday. Keep up the good work!

  30. mpb

    November 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I wish I knew how to get behind my heart…

  31. Father K O

    November 28, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Chiadiii,welcome to Bellanaija. Great start. May God use you to wet a lot of thirsty souls out there. Cheers.

  32. tplusf

    November 28, 2012 at 3:09 am

    This is interesting and inspirational… we need to read this on BellaNaija… thanks Chiadi!!!

  33. Ginika

    November 28, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Loved it soooo much.
    Such simple writing and straight words; nice and short piece but soo powerful. It actually evoked a willing attitude inside of me. As much as I know this, you ‘saying’ (writing) it makes me want to get busy, weeding and tilling the soil of my heart. Already a work in progress and not about to stop.

  34. MamaDMama

    November 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Behind the heart – looking forward to it, although I didnt really like this introduction. I am however interested in it. Because I know that I like many of us, I have been affected by word wounds that have altered who we are or are supposed to be. I am working on getting behing my heart, trying to heal and praying to God for restoration of who I am suppose to be. It will be well with me and all you..

  35. mfon

    November 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    like my prayers have been answered…will love to talk to you! God bless u for this.

  36. Carolyn

    November 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks Chiadi.

  37. Nancy

    November 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Wow, Chiadi!! I heard no idea what you had been through. Thank you so much for sharing your journey so others with similar experiences can have hope and see a path forward. Awesome article! Great job!

  38. Funmie

    November 29, 2012 at 3:18 am



    November 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

    “Thank you” to everyone that bothered to comment on. For the kind ones, I appreciate, the not so kind-its your opinion and you are entitled to it. To those who didn’t get it, BEHIND THE HEART is now weekly BNcolumn. I apologize if the intro didn’t communicate this effectively. Pls keep reading.

  40. ZainabKuso

    November 29, 2012 at 10:54 am


  41. azuka

    November 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Chiadi, very cool!! Takes a lot to write what’s deep and personal….

  42. Oluseal

    November 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Thanks Chiadi
    I’ve been following you ever since your first article in Thisday.
    Looking forward to learning more from you

    Best wishes

  43. Jonny

    December 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

    We tin you talk? Too abrupt if this was an intro. We wait and see. But most of your columns in Thisday present the issues from a female perspective only. So it’s likely you are either not married or divorced

  44. kathie

    January 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Well… i enjoyed it and i feel whatever we do christ need to be preached…

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