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Behind the Heart with Chiadi Ndu: I am a Phenomenal Success Story



Chiadi NduI am a phenomenal success story…I made it!”- Chiadi Ndu
Many would assume that I am suggesting that I have various healthy bank accounts, many cars (perhaps even a private jet), numerous houses and that I wear only diamonds and platinum. In their opinion, that is what it is all about – tangible, measurable things.
But that for me is so far from it. I consider myself a success because I am where I am today; in a place of fulfilment.

I have walked through 15 years of one of the most debilitating and humiliating illnesses ever known. {Click here to read my story on BellaNaija} I have walked through lack and deprivation. I have walked through pain and grief. I have worked through failure and rejection. All these led me to a place of self- loathing – a place where I felt that my life couldn’t be worth much.
It is not a good place to be. It is a place where you can’t look away from your deficiencies; a place where all your weaknesses are exaggerated.

When I was in that place there were two audible voices in my head; Tiny and Louder. Tiny suggested to me that things were not as bad as I was making out but Louder always seemed able to shout her down. Louder had the knack of recounting all my mistakes, my doubts and my catalogue of ‘incompetencies’.

My time there was peculiar because I really had no business being there. It seemed like I had everything I needed. The few times I tried to talk about my feelings of discontent, I always heard “But you have a lot to be grateful for. Do you know what other people are going through?” Before I could catch my breath my listener would reel off all that I had going for me. This tended to make me feel worse. It added ingratitude to my already long list of faults.
I mastered the art of not talking because almost everyone I spoke to trivialized my struggles. I became an expert at masking my feelings. I laughed at jokes I didn’t find funny, I dressed in clothes I didn’t like and hung around people I didn’t really want to be with. I did jobs I didn’t like and I felt had to apologise each time I had the courage to be myself. After a while, in this quagmire, I lost my true self… my authenticity. I stopped knowing who I was, what I was and what I wanted. Needless to say I was confused, unhappy and unfulfilled.

But the purpose of God found me. When I learnt to be real with Him, the Master of my Orchestra turned my mess into a beautiful symphony. He started to weave the disjointed fragments of this life into a beautiful tapestry. I found my meaning again and I discovered some of the reasons life had thrown me such hard punches. Now I am fully convinced that all of creation has synchronized to support my genuine effort to be the person I was created to be. I am finally starting to experience self-fulfilment and Tiny has become Louder.

This can be your story too. Those low places and sad phases in your life can all be woven together to bring meaning, healing and fulfilment. Louder in your head can be crowded out by Tiny too.

This column is about very real people and their real struggles… real pain, real tears, real laughter, real hope and real faith. The ethos of this column is to use the broken places in real peoples’ lives (including mine) to inspire and empower.

I don’t know how long it is going to last or even the path that it will take but I invite you to walk with me. You won’t regret the liberty of authenticity.

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. Alem

    November 11, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I love this, very inspiring

  2. Charity

    November 11, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Congratulations Chiadi! Your authenticity is such a breath of fresh air. I’m sure your column will be an inspiration to many. Good job!

  3. Gbemi

    November 11, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I love your authenticity. Please don’t stay away for too long (your last post was 04.02.2013). We desperately need some real untouched raw inspirations straight from the heart! I am happy to offer any help to make ‘Behind the Heart with Chiadi Ndu’ more frequent. God bless you.

  4. Ese_sleek

    November 11, 2015 at 10:51 am

    very inspiring write up
    looking forward to more from you…

  5. Ella

    November 11, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Chiadi, you must be me…or do i say i think i am the person you used to be: incredibly depressed behind the forced smiles; unable to talk to anyone about it anymore because, ‘what’s wrong with you honey, you are soooo blessed’ only made me feel worse about myself. i laughed at ‘…dressed in clothes i didnt like…’ OMG! (sobbing) I am still there Chiadi, and i need help. i was touched two weeks ago in a way i have not been in a very long time by God’s indescribably warm love. i felt myself beginning to thaw. i did not want the conference to end. But it did. That euphoria carried me for days and then i felt myself crash into that pit of self-doubt, zero confidence and that horrible need for validation after a request for something was rejected with no reason given. I desperately need to go back to that happy place but like a lot of things in my life that i have lost touch with, i dont know the way back to that place anymore. Please help me

    • Chiadi

      November 11, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      But changing is not an event. It is a process… identifying where you are is a major step towards where you are going. The process has commenced. Congratulations!

    • larz

      December 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      I once learnt that whenever you learn something inspiring. you should take notes on how you plan on sustaining that new behaviour when things seem tougher. Come up with counter measures to help you stay on track so that when it does happen, you have a note of planned action of things you can do.

  6. fleur

    November 11, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Do you have multiple sclerosis?. If you do, share with others because someone’s life could be saved. incidence of MS is increasing in Nigeria. I believe it’ induced by chronic exposure to stress combine with environmental triggers. Both exposures have increased exponentially in Nigeria the past few years. Glad you have found stability, health and s sense of purpose.

  7. Chidi Maduka

    November 11, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I am walking with you!!!!!

  8. Chiadi

    November 11, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you so much. No the Doctors’ diagnosis is not MS. I do agree that chronic exposure to stress including environmental stressors are major triggers for most health challenges. Every one must make an effort to reduce their individual exposure to stress

  9. Ijeoma

    October 11, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Thank you very much…

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