Sometime in the 1960s, a young princess from Funam, BomeGot married to an enterprising young man from Kai village in Mbengwi. He was the founder of Wakaman Enterprises, an inter-urban coach service. Together, they got busy raising a young family of blue-eyed babies. Yes!
One day in the 1980s, a tragic accident happened! Wakaman was gone. Too soon! A long, dark and painful shadow ensued. Untold misery. Raising 9 kids with no income, no job, no companion…
The days were longer. So were the nights.Words can’t capture the pain. Not at all. Silently she wept daily from house to farm to the house. Over and over. With little hope of a better day. Countless hours of sweat and scarred hands. Subsistent farming of every crop in the book to feed and clothe her kiddos.
Yellow yams, sweet yams, white yams, hairy yams, cocoyams, pumpkins, chili peppers, Who is this soft-spoken widow? Well, she is not tall, not short and no bitter. She is the type Maya Angelou referred to as phenomenal woman. I’d be remiss forever if I don’t say she is simply phenomenal.
Not by the stand of her posture, but the scars in her palms. Let it be known that 8 of her 9 kids grew up to have college education. No excuses. No procrastination. No distractions. No proclamations. Her only open book secret was her love of family and farming. Without saying a word, she defied all the world threw at her.
From the confines of her smoke-logged kitchen in Bamenda She fed her kids and even nosey ones like me from far away. Thanks to her sweat, tears, and toil… Her tenacity mocks of adversity. A fortnight ago, we celebrated her 78 Birthday in Baltimore!
It was a privilege to be in the company of hundreds who came to see. This phenomenal woman raised high achievers on less than $10 a month. It taught me never to mess with a soft-spoken African woman. Never underestimate the power of small miracles.
Forever to my brother Dr. Tekwe and family for letting me witness this milestone. Forgiving Mama a surprise gala celebration to honor her abounding love. An appreciation of her humility and audacity in the face of adversity.
An un unsung hero whose work inspires me to work daily harder. An unsung hero who lives with the smile of a maestro. She is my unsung hero! Who is Your unsung hero?