This week, we will be talking years on LR. What has age got to do with it? How old are you? They say age is nothing but a number. Apart from a greater deposition of fat and greater incidence of diseases, what does age confer on us? What responsibilities come with age? Are there certain things we cannot do at certain ages? What would you be doing at 78? If you are 78 years old already, what are you doing with being 78 years?
Recently, Bill Gates heaped a load of responsibility on the older age group in his speech at the 14th Nelson Mandela Lecture themed “Living Together” in a Better World. This was held in Pretoria earlier this week. In his speech, Bill Gates explained that older people need to clear the way for younger people to make the difference. Older people need to help build the body, minds and brains of the younger ones. Since exercise is one sure way to build your body, mind and soul not just the brain even, there is one lady, who understands the clarion call by the world’s richest man and philanthropist par excellence. She is doing her own bit, making the path of the younger generation clear – building their bodies minds and souls through Zumba and body fitness.
We cannot talk age, years and living together to make a better world without Joy Ekeledo who after many years of helping to safely deliver the next generation, is now making the path of the younger generation clearer by building their bodies minds and souls through Zumba and body fitness.
Hi, all, my name is Joy Ekeledo, and this is my gist.
MAMA JOY – WHAT HAS AGE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
I am keen to tell the story of my life to help motivate others. So when Team LR contacted me to do them a piece, I could not resist the offer (ha ha aha ah).
I was a midwife for 47 years. During the time I was doing my midwifery, I always worked tirelessly to be the best I could be. I did not have time to stare at the television anytime I was off. Rather, I decided to take continued professional development courses and along the line, I chose to try something different. I took another short course in something many in my field did not have the luxury of time for – Exercise and Music Fitness. In 1999 I completed and obtained my certificate in level 2 Exercise and Music/ Fitness Instructing training.
I started practicing as a fitness instructor as well as a midwife. Nearer to the time of my retirement, I decided to do Zumba full time because God could not have kept me fit and well for no reason. He had a mission for me. So, I took up the mandate. I decided to help inspire and show the younger ones the need to actively make a decision to maintain a healthy life style and for them to realize that age is just a number.
Now I am 78 years old and still teaching Zumba Fitness Classes across the world. Just seeing me do what I do alone, has helped to motivate many persons younger than I am. This is because, like they tell me, they think to themselves “if Mama Joy at over 75 years, do what she does and look the way she looks, I have no excuse not to do my exercise session today”.
I always believed in taking care of myself in all my hard work. I worked hard to empower my children. In the journey of my life, many persons encouraged me along the way. People I will not for once forget. God repaid my effort. I have daughters who finished from ‘ivy league schools’ in the UK. One is now a practicing barrister and entrepreneur in Australia while another is an English teacher in Senegal. I have worked hard, and I have been blessed. I give God the glory. This is all down to him!
Watch how 78 year old Mama Joy rocked the hall and got not only a standing but a dancing ovation at the June 2016 Stars Award in London
If I were to give the younger generation advice on how to be prepared for the good life, my tips are:
- Focus: Think about the future, think where you’re going, don’t look backwards. Always look at the future, forget about the past
- Feel good in yourself: you must first learn to love yourself
- Be happy all the time: this makes whatever you do easier. Try and keep a smile on your face all 24-hours of each day
- Think of all the good things you can do for other people
- Do what you can do to make other people happy. Do not focus too much on yourself. Try to be on the giving end. Forget about receiving
- Don’t have a friend who will pull you back. Seek out those who will make you better – iron sharpeneth iron
Till I meet you in person, remember number seven even if you forget all others!
- Keep fit daily – make the keep fit options. We all know them
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends three basic requirements for healthy living which include 1) A balanced Diet 2) Rest and as Mama Joy aptly told us 3) Exercise. Exercise helps your blood circulate, it helps your joints to be flexible and also helps one to grow and look younger. A lot of people stress themselves for example trekking under the hot sun or carrying very heavy loads and say it is all part of exercising. Some do drastic exercises that reminds one of ‘deliberate self-harm’. However, what all of us took away at Team LR from our meeting with the simply amazing ‘Mama Joy’ that exercise is a CONSISTENT conscious effort and can be five minutes of jogging, press ups, skipping, short walks etc. She epitomizes the fact that fitness is a LIFESTYLE and not stress. We at the LR Team encourage us all to be inspired by Mama Joy at 78- years of age, we need to become consistent in making fitness our lifestyle. Dance to your favorite rhythm as you leave us your comments and have fun while keeping fit. Be inspired! Live healthy! After all, age has got nothing to do with it!