My name is NASSUNA Ndzenge Lucia and I live in Cameroon. I have read thousands of inspiring stories of individuals whose lives were transformed just because they met someone on the way. I read about people who grew from grass to grace thanks to somebody. It is true that people have always given me some words of encouragement such as teachers and other elders. I have one person whose life has been a great motivating factor in my life. That is my mother. This woman has strengthened me in my marriage, my studies, my spiritual and social life. Well, I am sure you are eager to read about my story.
This noble woman of 79 years, Martha, was born in Cameroon, in the centre region, of very poor parents. Her father was a tailor and her mother was a housewife with a very fragile health. She was a very outspoken child and very intelligent and generous as well. Her parents had two girls and she was the third and last child to be born of this couple. Martha was born during the post-colonial era, an era during which the male child held a powerful position in the African family set up. Her adventure began when she was rejected by her father simply because she was a female child and he wanted a male child in his family. He did not bother to give a single glance at Martha when she was born in her grandmother’s kitchen, by the fire-side . Her father died when she was 7 years old and her poor mother had to take care of her three daughters through farming and selling of farm products. Because of these challenges, she stayed at home till the age of 11 when some missionaries settled in the village and forced children to attend school free of charge. Her two sisters had been sent to school earlier and had already been prepared for marriage. The first one got married at the age of 16 and the second one at the age of 18 years. Martha’s mother had decided that she, being the last child, would serve God as a Reverend sister or a Nun. Even though she went to school very late, the teachers observed that she had something special in her. She was very bright and had an extremely retentive memory. This capacity made her move very fast as she skipped some classes and found herself in college. She equally climbed the ladder very quickly and obtained a scholarship to study in Europe. Before then, having been educated by the missionaries she was encouraged to become a nun. I will save you the details of her stay in France but one thing I will not forget to mention is that in France, she excelled in her studies and came out with a maîtrise in Language studies and gave up the idea of becoming a Nun. This decision however, did not please her poor mother who expected to have a Nun in her family. In France, she got married to a young man who was from a different country. At the end of their study program they both migrated to the husband’s country (Ghana) and occupied top ranking posts as university lecturers. Martha,later on appointed Chief Examiner at the East African Examination Board and Head of the French division. They had five children and lived happily until the civil war in that country turned their dream into a nightmare. She witnessed killings and a lot of bloodshed during the war until she once had to give birth to one of her babies from a military patrol vehicle. She witnessed taking her family to hide under tables as was advised to do during airstrikes and bombings. This woman crossed dead bodies every morning and saw people desperately searching for their missing loved ones along the streets. When her sisters heard about the situation she found herself in, they levied a lot of money from family members and transported her with her entire family back to her country of origin. She had spent nine years in that country and had to leave, share all that she had worked for( wealth brought all the way from Europe to furnish her home). All she could take along were her five children, her husband and a flask of hot water.
Back to her country of origin Martha had to start searching for a new job and to readapt into a new community. This was not easy at all for her because she had stayed away for so long and had adapted to her husband’s culture. However, she succeeded having a job and started her life from scratch with her entire family. She worked as a translator in a research institution until her retirement in 1998. She is a co-author of some French grammar books and is presently living in the capital city of Yaounde where they built their house and is still with her husband. All of her children are grownups with their own families and none was lost in the course of her struggles. Like any other person, she surely had challenges in all aspects of her life but is still waxing strong and encouraging people wherever she goes. She is so thankful to God and this joy contaminates all who approach her.
You are probably wondering how this woman’s story motivates me? Ok I will tell you. Whenever I am passing through a very difficult, painful or confusing situation and I am feeling as to give up and die, I just look at the film above and tell myself,”if she could pass through all these and is still alive, so full of joy and happiness, it means I too can make it.” She solely relies on God for her problems. When she was rejected at birth, was in need, was ill, was experiencing marital challenges, was jobless, was under bombs and bullets, when she went into a coma twice, had strokes from High blood pressure, Heart disease, etc. The Lord who sent her to this world saw her through, yes, even her closest friend was murdered in her house with her entire family but God never abandoned my mother till today. Through her true life story I have learnt to depend on Him in any situation, I have learned to worry less, not to be afraid of anything, to be bold because nobody can harm me or take me away without His permission. I have learnt to never give up in times of challenges. I have learnt to love and understand others in a special way. My mum will sleep the day that God will order her to do so. No amount of witchcraft or any other threat will take her before her time. I have learned to confess that in my life and all I have to do. Ever since I started taking life from her perspective, I have achieved greater things than in the past when I used to sit, cry and complain. Thanks to her steadfastness and encouragements, I am married, with 4 healthy children, a holder of a ph.d in Applied Linguistics (Language Pathology) and a consultant in Special Education. I am doing great things in my community to impact all those around me. For instance I am a leader( chairlady) in the women department of my church as well as a language teacher both in the secondary school and university. There are still so many things I learned from her which I happily give back to those that i come across. I pray that someone who reads this gets inspired too and will not give up on life no matter what.