I am Called To Make Men, Men – Says Francis Okposidolo
By Uchendu Precious Onuoha
Have you ever thought about who a man is, what makes a man, and the position of a man in the family, community, and the world at large. To most folks, a man is an adult male human. But for the founder and leader of the ‘Men of Honor organization’, a nascent group that cuts across Canada and the USA, it goes beyond that definition. On May 27, 2021, TheSay News correspondent and Editor in-chief in Canada, Uchendu Precious Onuoha had an interview with this multi-qualified Aeronautic Engineer, Theologian and a high-profile personality. Below are extracts from the interview.
Our audience would like to know a little bit about your background, family, education and profession. Who are you sir?
My name is Francis Ukposidolo, as we know, the making of a champion go a long way. I was born and raised from Edo state Nigeria. My background is in aviation aerospace. I am an aircraft maintenance Engineer, trained in England with KLM. Worked with Nigerian airways, in the presidential jet unit. Was assigned to work with the President in those days when Nigeria airways was Nigeria airways. I lived in England for a long time, and landed to Canada in 1999. I worked with KLM in Canada as aircraft engineer. And became aircraft jetty inspector. Was later trained in aircraft quality assurance management. Right now, I am a consultant in aero solutions. My job is to help airlines get their certifications, and help airlines get their quality management and safety management system. In addition, I am a minister of the gospel. Along the line I had my pastoral training and obtained two diplomas in theology. Had leadership training, and was a Sunday school teacher for many years here in Canada. I am a husband and father of 5 adult kids who has all graduated from college.
Life is a journey and you have come a long way in life, is there any landmark experience you can remember to share?
Yes, I remember an incident that paved the way for me to become a Christian. That was far back in 1974, on the way to Ijebu Ode, the car I was travelling on summersaulted several times, and my survival was an act of God. After that, I sought to know more about the Power that be. And that took me to Lagos where I met a true man of God Pastor Felix Ikhimikor who is my godfather and mentor. He is the one who molded me to become a Christian and prevented me from taking a wrong route in
“Where you stand determines what you see”
That led me to form the drama group called ”don’t blame the youths”. The idea behind that is that, the path a child follows in life starts from how he is molded at the early stages of life, starting from family, church, school and community. And if proper foundation for any reason is not laid at that point by those responsible, the youth are bound to stray away from the right path. Hence the Bible says ”train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he’s old, he will never depart from it”. We used to perform at bachelor eves and other occasions. Later this metamorphosed to my leadership of the youth wing of the Catholic charismatic renewal Yaba, Lagos.
Another experience was how I came to live in London. While working at the airport in Nigeria, there was this young man who as a student, came during vacations from London to buy things he would sell to help sponsor his education. On this occasion, he was turned back because he had no money to pay for his excess luggage and I helped him. After years he finished his studies and settled in UK he invited me and that was how I landed to live in London for many years. Also while in London, I helped someone who was to go to Canada but lacked the means. Later on, he got settled there, and invited me, and that was how I landed to Canada. The lesson is that, it pays to help someone in need and there is always a reward in giving.
You are the founder of ‘Men of Honor’. What motivated you to form the group, why men of honor, and what makes a man of honor?
I was called by God to make men, men
Initially heard about Men of Honour in England. Started here in August 2020. I was called by God to start a ministry to make men, men. The family, church, and government starts from home, and the man is the head. But you discover that many young men today do not understand their true position and have abandoned their responsibility. In Africa, a man is not supposed to cry or exhibit soft emotions, but is meant to exhibit strong physical, mental, and spiritual toughness to be able to stand in the gap always for his family and community. Hence the saying always go, ”Be a man”. That is to say that;
Mothers want their children to be men, wives want their husbands to be men, and the community want
Their men to be men. Age is not what makes a man but the true godly qualities and characters. A man of honor is supposed to be there for his family, church and community when duty calls. To be a man of honor is to be disciplined, know why you are here and your purpose. Your purpose determines your destination. And you must know your goals and potentials in life. All these combined, makes a man of honor.
If you know who you are, you will know who you are not.
The world is in a state of pandemic, how has this affected your group and Christians at large?
The pandemic has really affected all sectors as physical, social and economic activities have been drastically reduced. But men of honor, prepares you for a time of crisis. A time that differentiates boys from men. During this period we meet every Sunday evening by 7:00pm on zoom, where we learn, interact, and encourage each other. And to the Christians, this is a time to be closer in your relationship with God in prayers and reading of the Bible.
What is your final message to our audience?
Come on board and let us join to build men of honor that will help each other grow and stand the gap in the family, church, and the community. There is room for everyone.