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Geraldine Ogwe: Things I Hope Never to Do Before I Die



As part of my job description, I interview potential employees. I always want to know their short term goals and long term goals. For those already working with me, I can randomly ask, “Can you maintain your current lifestyle without salary?” I asked one of my co-workers this question and he replied, “For now, I still need salary. I have not saved enough to start up my dream business. I need this year’s Xmas Bonus to travel to Dubai”. He went further to tell me about things he hoped to achieve and places he hoped to visit before he died.

My brother’s friend told me that even if he was shot at, the bullet may hurt him but he would never die until he had acquired all the wealth he wanted to acquire.

Recently, I was thinking of all the things I hoped to achieve before I was forty. It also made me realize that there were things I hoped NEVER to do before I died. Never is a strong word but they are things I am comfortable with not doing.

Trying to be anyone other than Geraldine:
Being someone else is a waste of the person I am. I enjoy my unique quirks and twists. I admire people and their distinct skills but I don’t want to use anybody as a yardstick or moral barometer for myself. Being someone else is like having a fusion of about twenty persons in me. This will lead to a personality clash.
Being a good employee at a job I hate: I would rather resign than be unhappy daily at a job I hate. I can’t skillfully pretend to be happy with a job that saps my self-esteem and ridicules my self-worth. I’m not going to the grave as the respected employee of a soul-crushing company that wouldn’t even notice my demise.

Saying I have no regrets:
That would be a lie. We all have things we regret whether we accept it or not. They may not be huge mistakes but silly petty stuff. I regret not having a duet with Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston. I silently regret not having a baby when I was much younger. It wouldn’t have been funny then, but now, it would have been fun. My child and I would have set fire to the rain. I regret not buying anything expensive for my mother. I regret not telling her daily how much I loved her and how much she meant to me.
Worrying too much: Worrying, especially about those things that haven’t happened yet, is useless. Why should I worry about how children would turn out when I haven’t even had them yet?

Staying in an abusive relationship:
It may feel hard to get out of a bad relationship but it’s not worse than staying in it and wasting everyone’s time. I won’t spend the rest of my life with a violent lover. If I have to be with a panel beater, it should be with one who panel beats on vehicles only.
Dressing accordingly: Why should I wear black or dull colours for a funeral? If I want to wear all colours of the rainbow, I should. That is my own way of giving the deceased a colourful farewell. I will definitely wear jeans and sneakers to a Sunday Church service. If you were paying attention to the priest, I am sure you wouldn’t notice my dressing. I won’t wear aso-ebi. Why wear the same material with people you don’t like?

Taking people who care about me for granted:
I hope not to hurt people who genuinely care about me. I hope to be grateful to my stylist who takes extra time to make my hair beautiful. I hope to show more appreciation to the tailor who makes my dresses. He bears all my tantrums and gives me a fantastic combination of my taste and an ideal dressing. I hope never to hurt, even with words, the driver who finds joy in running personal errands for me. I hope to not hurt Queen (my dog) who is a better human than most Homo sapiens I know. Her allegiance is unparalleled.

Feeling bad about having “too much” or “too little” sexual experience:
My sexual acrobatics would not be something to give me restless nights. I have no desire in medals or remedial classes on sex.

Ageing gracefully: I am supposed to look old. I wouldn’t put in so much effort just to look forty when I am eighty. No Botox, no cosmetic surgery of any kind. I am going to be close to a living corpse and scare the hell out of people.

Leaving a testament:
I would not leave my loved ones with an instruction. Let them use their intuition and discretion. I will not write an accurate will. Let them fight it out. In this way, my legacy and all of its glorious mystery will live on, now and for the duration of my family’s disputes. To spice things up, I may leave a blank will that looks like, “…to my darling Chiboy, I promised to mention you in my will, hi”.

I hope not to die. I want to be immortal. I have so much to not die for. I need to experience the hot air balloon. I want to have dinner with my sweetheart at the great Noma restaurant of Denmark where the cost of a meal for 2, without wine is $600. I would love to savour the culinary specialties of Chef Rene’ Redzepi. I would love to swim with Belugas in the Cook Inlet in Alaska. I would love John Legend to sing “Tonight” to me while I sleep and I would love to wake up to the sonorous voice of Juice Newton singing me “Angel of the Morning”. No, I won’t die now. Dying would defeat this journey of life.

People are usually scared of dying and death. It is not a familiar topic except when discussing the deceased. When we realize that death comes even when we least expect it, we will live better and more compassionately. When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that university degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now? Live as you would have wished to live when you are dying. Now that we are alive, let’s maximize our positive potentials. Don’t let time and chance pass you by. We only live once, but if we do it right, once is enough.
Don’t forget to share with me the things you hope never to do again.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bevan Goldswain


  1. ME

    October 15, 2014 at 10:25 am

    i just love you and ur articles, they give me life and I always look forward to reading them.

  2. Bellemoizelle

    October 15, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Thank you Geraldine!This is so apt! La vie est belle….

  3. bukky

    October 15, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I love this article. You’re brilliant! Keep Inspiring…..

  4. mama ovie

    October 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

    inspiring Article made lot of sense
    Thing I never pray I do before I die
    (1) Cheat on My Husband ( Temptations dey sha)
    (2) Change My religion even I ISIS wan Behead Me (lol)
    (3) Been Greedy as in to Get Big eye (lol) I just want to be contented
    (4) Sex Change
    (5) do a boobs Job (Once My money show if fit contemplate am
    (6) do gastric by pass surgery ( I dey envy oluchi Figure )
    (7) By my ticket to hell with my own Hand , any atrocity that will lead me to hell father n heaven take my life instead so that I will rest in your bosom for eternity

  5. Adeshewa

    October 15, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Nice piece!

  6. Neo

    October 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I thought i was the only one who wished i had been “wayward” as a teenager and had a kid. I fantasise about her (definitely a girl) often, she’d be about 10 -13 years old now and we’d be best friends and i wouldn’t have to think “yup, there goes another scrambled egg” each month. Lol.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Do not feel alone. I also started having those fantasies in the last couple of years and yes – it’s also a teenage daughter that I daydream about having in my life today .

    • Jo!

      October 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm


    • Ivy

      October 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Thought i was the only one……now i ve soul sistas. lol

    • Geraldine Ogwe

      October 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Soul sisters indeed. E-hug dear.

  7. Personal Assistant

    October 15, 2014 at 11:22 am

    This past sunday, I was telling some friends that my only regret is not having a baby at 17/18 years. Kai the two of us for run things sha.
    I will never stay with a woman beater. Before you kill me I go poison u and waka far far far.
    I will never spend my hard earned cash on a boyfriend. My money is for me, Your money is for us.
    I will never be with a broke guy……i don try am befor that kin life no pay me at all
    I will never compromise my Relationship with God. (So help me Lord)
    I will never buy more than 4 asoebi in a year. No be becuase of you i dey Wake early go work everyday.
    I will never stop reading bellanaija until i do my own ‘jobless’photoshoot and send to bellanaija because i don tire to see other people own.

  8. stephanie

    October 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    @Personal Assistant, u are hilarious especially d my money for me,ur money for us part but u no lie my dear. Lovely article Geraldine…I definitely have a list of things I want to try before I die,God helping me!

  9. Tosin

    October 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Nice title/headline.
    Never say never tho’ 🙂

  10. @edDREAMZ

    October 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I love the article and i think it makes alot of sense no doubt…

  11. Mz Socially Awkward...

    October 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Geraldine, you nutter. 🙂 Imagine the kind of legend you’ll be by causing such havoc in your family with those words left to “Chi-boy”.

    • Geraldine Ogwe

      October 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      The boy will resurrect my corpse with curses. I can imagine the look on his face. Hahahaha. He would be like, “lawyer, what does she mean by HI?’

  12. Joan85

    October 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    “I will definitely wear jeans and sneakers to a Sunday Church service. If you were paying attention to the priest, I am sure you wouldn’t notice my dressing…” This is me right now lol. The new le boo goes to an Oyinbo church where they wear jeans and flip flops to church, while I go to my naija church where heels and dressing up happen every Sunday. He is rubbing off on me o, so now I show up to my beloved RCCG in jeans and flats and it is so comfy mehn. I can’t shout 🙂
    Thanks Geraldine!

  13. Omolola

    October 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I got hooked a few months ago when I first read your write up . Another beautiful write up…absolutely beautiful. .God bless u.I hope never to take myself and loved ones for granted. Never settling for less in all …..cllothes, , food, friends etc. I deserve only the very loved ones remain top on my priority list forever!

  14. Personal Assitant

    October 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    See as I dey feel like super star on top all this many many likes. Thank u all, u r far too kind. Mehn na my mind I talk. This life is too short not to enjoy the good things it has to offer. The things we can do we should and the ones we can’t do we should let go and the ones we wish to do but can’t at the moment, na God go help us do am. I can totally relate to this article. I don’t comment a lot but as long as it’s Atoke, Geraldine, Isio and Arese madam cash money, count me in.
    Peace, love and cucumber (borrowed)


    October 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Geraldine Ogwe, you have just acquired a new fan – you write so beautifully!

  16. Ivy

    October 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Thought i was the only one……now i ve soul sistas. lol

    • Ivy

      October 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm


  17. Elle

    October 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    well written..inspiring article… By God’s grace i wont ever have a reason to hate myself..would constantly find happiness even when life presents its gloomy moments. i also hope one day i can look back and say yes i have lived life to the fullest and savour every bit of it.

  18. Ready

    October 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Things I won’t do before I die:
    –Not ask Geraldine how she got a job as a Relationship Manager for an Oilfield Servicing Company when she studied Biochemistry.

    Answer me, abeg, Geraldine. The streets aren’t smiling.

    • Geraldine Ogwe

      October 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Ready, flesh and blood cannot answer this question o. It can only be revealed to you by the Spirit.

  19. Geraldine Ogwe

    October 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate. Walahi. I lie not. Atoke has finished all the cucumbers, so I leave you with watermelon slices.

  20. meelikey

    October 21, 2014 at 10:50 am

    As much as i find humour in your write up, the depth amazes me. More oilfield servicing company money to ya elbow

  21. chi

    November 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Geraldine,let’s b friends jor…[email protected]….

  22. ACE

    November 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    How have i missed your articles all this time???? I just spent the last few hours reading them up instead of sleeping to revive my body. #BigSmile. I pray for God’s grace upon my life to minister to souls like you do… God bless.

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