The Faith and Work Series
Israel Idonije on Faith, Work, and Success (Part 1)
by Ramon Mayo
Ramon: Alright I’ve got us recorded. Ok. We’re here with Israel Idonije and we’re going to be asking him some questions about faith and work. Israel, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about yourself.
Israel Idonije: My name is Israel Idonije and I want to thank you for having me on the show. It’s an honor and a privilege. A little bit about myself. I was born in Nigeria and I moved to Canada when I was 4 years old and my parents were missionaries, so I was fortunate to grow up with my family at service at a young age. At 17, I had a boss that ran after-school programs. I ran youth services for a YMCA; it got me into football and that led to an incredible journey into the National Football League where I played 11 years. Now, almost 2 years retired, I’ve been fortunate to be involved in a lot of incredible things off the field, and I’m just trying to continue to grow and ultimately, fulfill my purpose.
Ramon: Cool, cool. So, if you’re in an elevator, and people asked what do you do, how would you answer that?
Israel Idonije: [laughter] Well, when people ask me hey what are you doing now, I usually tell them a lot of different things. My core business is manufacturing. I’m a manufacturer; we are the world manufacturer–producer of pre-filled Communion Cups and that’s my core business, something I started in 2009 called Bless Communion. We do these little pre-fill communion cups. I wish my product would go globally. That’s always a shocker [ Ramon laughs] for a lot of people, but I think, in a broader sense, I’m a creator. I believe that we all have been created to create so a lot of time I tell people I make stuff, I create stuff, I write books, I do music and I’m building companies, and that’s all creativity.
Ramon: That’s you; that’s a good way to put it because you do a lot. Laughter. And so, when you think of success, who’s the first person that comes to mind and why?
Israel Idonije: Woo. Well, the first person that comes to mind is probably Michael Jordon. As a youngster, he was always like the greatest and I often think of success as the buy product in excellence. To me, that is what he represents. His work etiquette, his commitment, his pursuit of excellence and what he did made my whole childhood. My dream was to play with Michael Jordan and to play for the Chicago Bulls. When I think of that first person, I want to be like that person and I want to be the best at whatever I do. I want to achieve excellence and be great and successful. He was like that first person in sports, so I think the why is because I thought he was in his lane; he represented the pursuit of excellence.
Check back next Wednesday for Part 2 of Ramon’s discussion with Israel Idonije!
Ramon Mayo is a digital content developer at UMI. Since the 3rd grade, Ramon has been writing and publishing creative words for others. His words have evolved into different formats since he won his 3rd-grade poetry contest and writing hip-hop songs in high school. This all changed when he found an unexpected calling to ministry. After a stint as a pastor, Ramon has been an editor of the number one African American Biblical commentary Precepts For Living and a featured writer on UrbanFaith.com and Urban Faith magazine.