At 100 years old, Chief Johnson Ogbebor has lived a great life. The centenarian spent his life doing the things he loved – cooking, hunting, gardening and raising a family. And when it was time to retire, he did so in the United States where he is well cared for by his children and where he is surrounded by family, including Dr. Prince and Ike Nnah, co-founders of Intellycare. NPM sat down with Chief Ogbebor as part of the big celebration for his 100th birthday. Enjoy!
NPM: Sir, let’s start by getting to know you a little. Could you tell us your name?
OGBEBOR: My name is Johnson Ogbebor.
NPM: It is OUR understanding, Sir, that you are celebrating a major milestone, a big birthday. Please tell us how old you turned and how it has been over all these years.
OGBEBOR: I thank God today. I was born on May 13, 1921. Therefore, I am celebrating 100 years this month. May God be with all of us.
NPM: Happy birthday Sir.
OGBEBOR: Thank you very much. I have a little problem with my eye. I cannot do any job anymore. My children are now taking care of me.
NPM: That is fantastic. It is great that you have children who are taking care of you. At 100 years old, you should not be worrying about doing any work. That is what retirement is all about – time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. So we are happy for you Sir.
OGBEBOR: Thank you very much.
NPM: You are 100 years old. What is the secret to such a long life?
OGBEBOR: Because we do not know what tomorrow will bring to us, let us try to love each other and get along with everyone. Honesty is the key. Do not tell lies. Do not keep secrets.
NPM: That’s wonderful. Tell us a little about how you lived in the last 100 years, the type of work you did and all that.
OGBEBOR: I worked very hard when I was young. I worked with the British people in Nigeria as a cook. I became a chief cook and worked for many companies under the British government. I was a hunter and farmer. Every small space I found, I planted things in it. That’s how I lived my life.
NPM: Tell us a little about your family. You are with one of your children at this time. They take care of you. How many children do you have, sir?
OGBEBOR: I cannot call all the names of my children but I can give you a number. My first baby is here with me today. Her name is Mabel. I have eight children, thirty-five grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren. And more are coming soon. Currently, I live with my son Richard Ogbebor and his wife and they are taking good care of me. They live in West Roxbury.
NPM: We will not keep you too long, Sir. We want to thank you for spending part of your birthday with us at the Nigerian Parents Magazine.
OGBEBOR: Thank you very much. God bless you.