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Tomorrow is Not Promised But We Can Live, Love & Learn from Today! Read the Heart Warming Tribute to Adaobi Obih by Stephanie Cole



On the 17th of November, 2013 a young Nigerian, Adaobi Obih was murdered by her flatmate. Her friend, Stephanie Cole has written us with a tribute to her friend. With a very heart, we mourn the tragic loss of Adaobi. We hope you are inspired by this tribute and our hearts go out to Adaobi’s friends and family.

I met Adaobi in 2007 at Louisiana State University (LSU) where we were both undergraduate students. She was one of the first Nigerians I met at LSU during a visit to a friend’s apartment complex where she also resided. My first impression of her was that she was a loud, no nonsense person and any accidental wrong crossing of her path would result in a serious tongue lashing. Needless to say, I stayed in my lane and only spoke when she asked me a question. After that, it was hi or hello anytime I saw her around. Fast forward to a few weeks later, I attended the National Society of Black Engineers meeting on campus and Ada was there. She ended up giving me a ride home and we talked about different things; engineering, cooking, family and most memorably Igbo catholic mass and the Christian mothers (Ndi nne mama).

From game nights to LSU football watch parties, African students’ organization banquets, society of women engineers events, birthdays, car rides, and even taking shelter from hurricane Gustav in the same apartment. Over the course of the next two years as I interacted with Ada, I realized how wrong my first impression of her had been. Ada turned out to be one of the nicest people I knew. She was always laughing, down to earth, extremely funny, smart, care free, fearless and positive. Lord did she love football! Her laugh was infectious and she was always the life of any event/gathering she was at. She was not worried about being politically correct, pleasing everyone or fitting in. Although she was very opinionated she never judged people. She was always willing to help in any way she could whether with her time or just giving some advice. I can still hear her voice saying “my dear”. That was how she referred to anyone she was talking to.

I cannot still come to terms with the fact that Ada is gone. Worse still that she was brutally murdered in the comfort of her own home. I got a slew of messages asking me to be careful, buy pepper spray, and lock the doors. All well-meaning I know but where is safe? Children go to school and a lunatic comes in and wastes 20 beautiful lives.

People go to the mall and another lunatic opens fire. Is it the movie theatre that’s any better? On a plane perhaps? Maybe on a university campus? Definitely in a church right? Sadly none of these places has been able to protect innocent people from the attack of animals in human form. It is irrelevant to me if she had a male roommate that was an older Caucasian man. All over the United States and the world at large, husbands are killing wives, children are killing parents, and siblings are killing each other. Let us not even begin to talk of those who are not related. These acts transcend gender and race. Only God can protect and keep us safe because evil is everywhere.

Over the past two weeks, trying to swallow this bitter pill, I cannot help but be angry that bad things happen to good people, and there is not much we can do about it. I am angry that her life was cut short in her prime and that her last moments were full of fear and pain. I am angry about the wedding she never got to have, the children she never got to birth and the milestones she never got to attain. I am angry about the promotions she never got to receive and the inventions she never got to create. I am angry about the hugs she never got to give, and the “I love you’s” she never got to say. I am angry that her killer has the right to defend himself when he did not afford her that right. I am angry that even if he is sent to prison, money from taxpayers like Ada will be used to feed, clothe and provide medical care for him. I am angry that there will never truly be justice because Ada can never come back.

The older I get, the more I realize that truly tomorrow is not promised. I cannot count the number of times something or someone reminded me of Ada and I thought of sending her a message but never did. We always think we can do it tomorrow, next week, over the weekend or when we are less busy. What happens when that person dies before you have the chance to? Regret? Guilt? Frustration? What we must take away from this is to never take anything or anyone for granted.

LIVE like today is your last because you never know when your time will be up. Try something new, pursue your passion, start that business, take that trip, follow that dream, spend time with family and friends. Leave no room for regret.

LOVE unconditionally and without fear. Give love freely and receive love freely. You might get hurt but it is part of life. Don’t take it for granted that they know, let people know you love them (you can never say it enough). Be kind to strangers and more importantly to the people you care about. Lend a helping hand without always expecting a favor in return. Give a hug, make a call, send a text or an email. Let someone know you love and appreciate them.

LET GO of grudges, pride, hurt. It is inevitable that people will step on your toes, but it is not worth sacrificing your happiness and peace of mind by holding onto it the rest of your life. Don’t let pride prevent you from apologizing or from accepting an apology. We all offend and get offended. No one is perfect. Be the bigger person and reach out. Let someone know you are sorry or that you accept their apology.

LEARN to show gratitude. Say thank you no matter how small the favor. To friends, colleagues, spouses, siblings, parents, subordinates. LEARN to take responsibility for your actions. Be accountable. Look inwards and make the necessary changes. LEARN to grow, the only thing constant in life is change.

LEGACY is what you leave behind. What will you be remembered for? Will anyone even notice you are gone? Will they secretly be relieved or will you make such an impact that you will forever be missed?

A scholarship fund has been set up in honor of Ada by some former classmates at LSU. It is called the ADAOBI MICHAELLA OBIH SCHOLARSHIP FUND. It is to enable young female Africans at LSU pursue a major in engineering which Ada was passionate about. Please check it out on Facebook and consider giving towards it.

In a week from today Ada would have been 27. I know it is not the norm to celebrate the death of a young person, especially with her manner of death, but Ada was so full of life. I would like to dedicate her birthday as a day to celebrate the amazing person that she was and to let her family know she was loved. In the midst of the tears and pain, let us join her family and friends to remember her for who she was and not how she died. If you knew Ada personally, on wed Dec 11th 2013, please share a memory in whatever way you feel most comfortable. A status, picture, story, prayer, anything. If you did not have the fortune of meeting Ada, feel free to post a prayer or goodwill message to her friends and family.

To Ada’s family and close friends, may the peace of the Lord that passeth all understanding be with you through this trying time. May he give you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.



  1. Sophia

    December 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Adaobi remains a special person…..I still have thoughts and flashbacks and it all seems incredible.our solace is in on Ada.peace

    • Dora the explorer

      December 7, 2013 at 1:55 am

      Our solace is truly in Christ Jesus.. This made me make a few calls which I have been meaning to make for sometime with some friends I fell out with for no good reason, next thing you know I did not have a calling card enough for lengthy international calls.. I Just closed my eyes and called with my mobile damning the cost because really and truly tomorrow is not assured,Ill sleep better tonight knowing I have made peace with these friends.. Life!

  2. Miss Mo

    December 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Oh wow, so touching. May God console her family and friends. RIP in sweet peace Adaobi

  3. Joan85

    December 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    *sigh* #RIP Ada. She was so young…

  4. princess

    December 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and sadness you must all feel. May she rest in peace and may the good Lord give you all the fortitude to bear this great loss. It is well. Thanks also for the words of wisdom, I really needed to hear all of that. God bless you.

  5. Boondocks

    December 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    This is sooo heartbreaking….Lord have mercy

  6. tatafo!

    December 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Anyone that knew Adaobi knows that she was so full of life and always laughing. I still cannot believe she is gone.

    I was just saying last night how it’s amazing how life has already gone on and everyone is back to normal but those of us who knew her will never forget her.

  7. funke

    December 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Oh no! Ds is too much for me to bear. It jus brot back memories of my late sister. She requested of me to walk her down the road but I declined cos I was crossed wt her. OMG that was d last tym I saw her, d nxt I saw of her was her corpse. It still pains me till today. Ever since,I don’t allow grudges in my heart and I grant people’s wish if its within my power. RIP adaobi. Return if possible

    • Wooooo

      December 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      She can be resurrected! God can do it. He invented man and
      life in the first place. HE CAN DO IT.Try pastor Adeboye or Dr
      Olukoya to help in the resurrection.

    • kemi

      December 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      seriously, you are saying God can do it and then you are still attributing it to man. i respect these preachers, however, its not a joke, except your refering to the Last day when the dead in Christ will rise again. For now, please let her soul rest in peace

  8. Berry

    December 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    So tragic! Sleep ell Ada. May the peace of the lord be with all her friends, families and well-wishers at this time. Lots of love from Arizona

  9. Aviva

    December 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    May her beautiful soul rest in peace. She’s my birthday mate and will say a prayer for her. God that knows and sees all will be with her loved ones. Amen.

  10. Ekwitosi

    December 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Dear Stephanie,

    This is a well thought out piece for a dear friend. I can tell your pain from this tribute. Honestly though I don’t know her I can imagine what her parents, family and friends are going through. This is a parent’s worst nightmare! Sometimes its not that someone dies that hurts because there are situations we can’t help but accept. But the circumstance surrounding this death is too horrendous for one to begin to comprehend. I wonder what was going through her mind as she took her last breath. Such a bright future just went dim in an instant. May she find peace where she is and I also pray that God will grant her family peace as they come to terms with this senseless violence. I hope the justice system will speed up their healing process too. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

    • jcsgrl

      December 7, 2013 at 2:25 am

      Amen my dear…you echoed my sentiments. I’m too sad to say anything. Its soo sad

  11. Ebony

    December 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Great tribute. Prayinh GOD will comfort you and her family and friends!

  12. ugo

    December 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Now I have tears….RIP Ada!

  13. banke

    December 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm


  14. TA

    December 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    *sigh* Big hug for you Stephanie. May God be with Ada’s family and close friends. Will say a prayer for all of you.

  15. westafrican

    December 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    With tears in my eyes I pray God gives your family and friends the fortitude to bear this great loss! Rest In Peace ADAOBI. May God protect us all in Jesus Name, Amen!

  16. amakazee

    December 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    R.I.P Ada

  17. Otoide A

    December 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    :(( We used to be neighbours! this is so sad!!! She was always very cheerful! The world is just wired wrong! :((

  18. Asaa

    December 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Lovely piece, quite sad!

  19. babysco

    December 6, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    ewoooo.R.IP Ada.May God grant comfort to the family

  20. Anon

    December 6, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Too sad. Rest in peace.

  21. Chigbo

    December 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    May she RIP in Bossom of The Lord.

  22. Belle

    December 7, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Rest in Peace Ada..

  23. Aisha

    December 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Dear Stephanie,

    Beautifully written.
    The way you describe Ada reminds me a lot about myself.
    Your words struck a cord in my heart.
    May Ada continue to RIP and May the God Lord continue to console you , console her family and everyone who loved her


  24. ao

    December 7, 2013 at 1:39 am

    It’s obvious that Ada had a positive impact on her community. Though her life was cut short, it was clearly worthwhile. I am very sorry for your loss. Ndo.

  25. ms lala

    December 7, 2013 at 1:41 am

    She was our assistant head girl in boarding school..i left the country when i was ten but i remember when she landed the States we hooked up immediately on FB…she was pious and gently..always willing to throw in a prayer for anyone who needed it…but i always tell these to girls wanting to save money and rent out a room…sometimes comfort is worth it..i always cry whenever we remember warning her not to rent out squat to anybody…suffer the gbese and come home safe. my heart still a grad student in DC and this one bedroom will be for me myself and i.

  26. Deebabe

    December 7, 2013 at 4:58 am

    This is too sad…she was a friend to my friend. I saw her at a wedding and her beautiful smile caught my attention. RIP Ada

  27. Ugbaby

    December 7, 2013 at 7:36 am

    May her soul rest in peace!!!!

  28. lala

    December 7, 2013 at 8:20 am

    may her soul rest in peace…

  29. Barry Hust

    December 7, 2013 at 10:27 am

    rest in peace lady…

  30. pweetypeepy

    December 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

    My eyes are full of tears. From all that has been written about Adaobi, it is obvious that she was a good girl while being alive. Death is the only things that can cut short our dreams and expectations. Death is very wicked and understandable, has it keeps taking away the good and beloved ones of ours, while the bad ones are kept alive. Ada may be goon, but i so believe that are memories shall forever linger in the minds of her family and friends. I pray to God Almighty to give your parents and friends including me us all the fortitude to bear your loss. Keep resting in the blossom of our heavenly father, until we meet to path no more.*sobs*

  31. Endo

    December 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    So poignant ! Rest in The Bosom of The Lord .


    December 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    this has brought pain to my heart and tears from my eyes.

  33. [email protected]

    December 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    heart breaking rest in peace ADA

  34. Wooooo

    December 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    If we pray, she can come back to life. It depends on how
    much we want it. God can do it. He is the creator and inventor of
    life. For those who do not have neough faith, grab hold of
    Redemption Camp testimonies.

  35. Wooooo

    December 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I am sure she wants to come back! Please make the sacrifice
    in prayer and Ada can have her full life.

  36. tobi amokeodo

    December 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    No words!

  37. tobi amokeodo

    December 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    No words!

  38. Modella

    December 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Hmmmm @ woooooo

  39. Olushola Taiwo

    December 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Live each day like its your last”.Who hasn’t heard this
    statement before?Anybody? Fortunately,we have all heard these seven
    words;”Live”,”each”,”day”,”like”,”its”,”your”,”last”. However, I
    have come to realise that as popular as this saying is,only very
    few under the full implications of this statement. This is because
    this particular saying has various interpretations.In this respect,
    I wish to use this medium to state with pellucid clarity and
    sufficient certainty the exact meaning/interpretation of this
    popular saying:”live each day like its ur last”. Living each day
    like its your last does not entail spending money lavishly everyday
    because of the uncertainty of doing same tomorrow. Living each day
    like its your last does not entail sleeping with the hottest of
    girls or hottest of boys because of the uncertainty of doing same
    tomorrow Living each day like its your last does not entail
    drinking heavily and smoking ceaselessly because of the uncertainty
    of doing same tomorrow. Living each day like its your last does not
    entail jumping from one party to the other because of the
    uncertainty of not doing same tomorrow. Living each day like its
    your last does not entail putting urself at the forefront of
    everything without putting other people into consideration because
    of the uncertainty of witnessing the next day. In my own
    words,living each day like its your last is simply leaving a
    timeless legacy that will stand the test of time. It entails living
    a life worthy of emulation. It entails loving truly, showing care
    and attention to every one around you because of the uncertainty of
    doing same tomorrow.Most importantly,living each day like its your
    last entails a careful understanding of this question:”If I return
    back to my maker,where will I be in the world beyond”.If u haven’t
    asked this question,then surely u heard this word “Live each day
    like its your last” but you never understood it.Peace

  40. Yinka Ogunbajo

    December 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Rest in peace dear one. May God continue to strengthen her
    family and friends. RIP.

  41. Changing Faces

    December 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Too sad… May God comfort her family and friends

  42. Ada

    December 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    SPOT ON! God bless you Stephanie, God bless you! Ada, in
    God we trust, Rest in peace.. We miss you and will NEVER forget

  43. Theresa

    December 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Continue to rest in peace dear Adaobi, may your loved ones
    be comforted by the beautiful memories they have of you. Thank you
    Stephanie for such a lovely tribute and the life lessons. Thank you
    also for the scholarship fund set up in her memory. As sad and
    painful as her death is, I am encouraged that you and others have
    chosen to make something good out of it. May the good Lord help us
    to number our days and live with wisdom, life is

  44. Angie

    December 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    *sigh* God have mercy!

  45. Adaeze

    December 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    May her soul rest in peace. Amen. What a wicked world! And
    may her family bear the loss with the consolation that God reigns
    supreme and He who was raised from the dead, has promised life
    eternal to all who believe in him. Amen.

  46. farida

    December 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Even as much as i dont knw Ada this tribute brought teara
    to my eye. I feel so bittered. Her life was cut short, her dreans
    were ended. May her soul rest in peace. And may God bless and
    protect her family, and may he give her family and friends the
    strength to go through this hard time in their life. May God bring
    justice to Ada’s murderer.

  47. sade

    December 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    sigh.. RIP..

  48. dountoothersasyouwouldhavethemdotoyou

    December 8, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Oh dear! Rest in peace Adaobi. May God comfort your loved
    ones, heal them and grant them the grace to forgive your

  49. Lade

    December 8, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Ds world iz jst so unexplainable sumtymz..ts soo sad..and
    above all…she’z ma birthday mate…dec 11th…i rili am sad…may
    God give her family the heart to bear the loss.

  50. pretty miss

    December 8, 2013 at 1:55 am

    grief is almost as worse as the grave, so worthless that it
    cannot be bought or sold, only God can take the grief away. My
    heart bleeds for Ada’s family especially her parents and sibling. I
    can identify with their pain…it lodges like a heavy rock in one’s
    heart and time can never erase the memory but will just ease the
    pain, only Jesus has the power to comfort them at this time, take
    away their nightmares and wrap his arms around them. Amen

  51. divy

    December 8, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Ada u were such a rare gem,mehn life is indeed enigmatic#
    wish u cud bin given a 2nd chance 2 live#baby sleep well#*tears
    rolls down my cheek*

  52. Myne Whitman

    December 8, 2013 at 9:56 am

    So sorry for your loss, and my prayers for all her friends
    and family.

  53. Tanna

    December 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    May the memories you and her family cherish of her grant you peace.

  54. Temi Olayinka

    January 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    The smile in that picture is beautiful, no-one understands why bad things happen to good people but now she’s at peace, she sounds like she had a fulfilled life with love and happiness, though she may not have reached all her goals, it sounds like she also accomplished many things whilst she was still here. my condolences to her family and friends. and as for her murderer, he is still coming to meet God.

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