In a world where young people are constantly in need of focus and direction, a book like Sarah Dakum’s ‘The Ripple Effect’ comes as a handy guide to uphold beneficial societal values, good parenting, and demonstrable leadership capacity. This testimonial of Dr. Patrick Dakum written by his wife practically glues the reader to its pages, leaving him with a feeling of awe and deeper respect for the man.
As stated in the subtitle of the book, it is a testimonial of Dr. Patrick Dakum who was born in Bwanzuhum Village of Jiblik District in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. Born into a humble and highly moral family, Patrick worked his way to prosperity using his intellect, commitment, sedulousness, and transparent character. He schooled at G.S.S Funtua, School of Basic Studies Zaria (where he bagged three ‘A’s, a feat that has also been attained by Nasir El-Rufai and Adamu Mu’azu), A.B.U Zaria and University of Lagos. He has worked in different places culminating as the CEO of one of Nigeria’s leading health organizations – Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria. In spite of the wealth and fame that came his way, Dr. Patrick Dakum maintains an unwavering loyalty to his God, wife, family, State, and Country.
There are three things one would not miss about Dr. Patrick Dakum when reading this delightful book by Sarah Dakum: First is love for God manifested in the endless roles and responsibilities he undertakes for the edification of the church and Christian communities. He has served and still serves as Chairman of the Literature Committee, among membership of various committees, of the General Church Council of COCIN, yet he still teaches children in Sunday School and leads Bible Study sessions in his local church. How he creates time to nourish his spirit and those of other people remains a mystery, this is in view of the fact that he is an ardent politician, a passionate medical doctor, a fervent philanthropist, and the indefatigable CEO of Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria. One of his sons expresses it more succinctly: “If what motivates my Dad to do all that he does and strive to be all that he is is his love for God; then the greatest act of love that my father has shown me is pointing me to Jesus Christ” P. 109.
Secondly, Patrick is a family man. Family always comes first for him and that was way before he became closer to God, courtesy of his wife’s persistence in prayer. His craze for family is not unconnected to the fact that his father was a dedicated family man too. He simply amplified what he was taught. Herein lies ‘the ripple effect’. It must also be stated that, whether by divine connection or mere coincidence, his wife also had a similar family and underwent similar upbringing. For their own children, it’s a double ripple effect. Dr. Patrick’s family here is in the African context, where parents, children, relatives and family friends live together under the same roof as one family. This kind of family requires extreme management on the part of the parents, but Patrick has a large heart to contain over 20 people in his house yet according them the same privileges as his biological Children. It is little wonder that he has come to be nicknamed ‘Babban Yara’ which means ‘father of children’. Together with Tunji Adewumi, Patrick hosted a popular radio program in ‘90s known as ‘Home Front’, which sought to improve families by offering free counseling on air as well as relationship tips. Anyone who had resided on the Plateau around the late ‘90s and early 2000s would attest that ‘Home Front’ was a listeners’ favourite, which is partly due to Patrick’s analysis of family situations, useful recommendation, and humorous interjections in every conversation. Dr. Dakum also became the National Coordinator of Christian Couples Fellowship, and interdenominational fellowship of Christian couples. No other person is fit to testify about one’s fulfilling of his familial obligations other than his wife, and concerning her husband here is what Sarah said: “Most times as I sit in congregations, and I hear him preach/talk about what a husband/father should be; to me, he is all of it and much more than I can put into words!” P. 81. Could there be a better verdict? How many women in our Nigeria of today can make the same declaration? Well, it is not because Sarah was out to flatter, neither was she out to exaggerate because many other people like Prof Suleiman Bogoro, Barrister Obadiah Tohomdet, Engr. Esther Gonda etc., made nearly the same statement in different ways in the text.
Thirdly, Patrick is jovial, funny, sociable, loving and generous. About his wit and charisma, almost everyone who meets Patrick for up to an hour attests to that. His generosity cannot be fully expressed because a lot of times he gives with the left hand without the right hand knowing. He has been sending money and gift items to many widows and fends for underprivileged children, yet he makes no noise about it. He has always been an advocate for youth empowerment and he supports almost every enterprising youth that comes his way. Through his influence as CEO as IHVN, over a thousand people have gainfully been employed directly or indirectly. To corroborate, his P.A let’s us in on Patrick’s giving attitude. He says at the end of every month Patrick would reel out names of people to be given money or gifts sometimes gulping his entire salary and when his P.A raises any objection, Patrick would respond: “People seek assistance from me because they are in need, if God has placed you in a position to be able to assist, then assist, you or your children will never go hungry because you have assisted people.” P. 125. It could be assumed that Patrick’s permanently giving hands are also responsible for opening more doors of resources and blessings.
In writing a story about Patrick, Sarah unconsciously throws the limelight on herself. From the text we see the portrayal of the tirelessly praying woman who fights for the security of her children and for the reclamation of her husband on bended knees. Consequently, her husband becomes a heavyweight in godly matters while her children become her pride. This closeness to God enabled the family to pull themselves through especially during the period in which they lost their first son, Daniel, in the US.
This book is a must-read for every man who desires a mini paradise in his home. Beyond the superb delivery of the author is the radiating persona of Dr. Patrick Dakum, which makes one to wish every man would be like him. In any case he remains a quintessential epitome of a role model. If every head of the family has the semblance – in character – of Dr. Patrick Dakum, the world would be a better place.
Read the Book Here: The Ripple Effect
Yadok is a teacher, poet and novelist. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Plateau Writers’ society (PLAWS).