Posted in Marie's Garden

A Gardener’s Tale

Marie the baby               You-can-complain-because-roses-have-thorns

I was born on a certain Thursday the 18th of January 1979 and I was later told that my father who had been hoping to have a Son this time around (since their first child was a girl), just resolved to treat me like one.

I was the kind you will call a ‘jolly’ kid (full of fun, love and life and sure I am still one), who left home in the mornings only to be brought back in the evenings from a hard day of play in the entire neighbourhood in all kinds of homes.

My alias or nickname “Ayo” is kind of an exclamation like ‘Oh my God’. The Douala people use it in their dialect to dramatize or exclaim and several songs had some Ayo word to my childish annoyance.

I had all sorts of friends then and still do; there were big ones and those my age, from richer homes and from poorer homes, school goers and school dropouts, boys and girls, sure just about every and anybody even a madman.

Back at home, I was everywhere and nowhere. Loved and cherished by my family. I often incurred the wrath of my mother, was always getting into some kind of accident and loved fighting in school mostly to protect my kid brother irrespective of whether he was at fault.

I however came to realize that my parents’ relationship was almost kind of “master-servant” and all at home including my siblings, dreaded my father. Whenever he was coming back home, at the sound of his car, the house was rearranged and everybody went behind the house or into his or her rooms.

I couldn’t share my worries with anybody, neither about this nor about any other issues a teenage girl of my nature could possibly be facing.

I carried my inner struggles and outer smiles and jolliness to secondary and high school and eventually to University.

I started sinking deeply, gradually  living parallel lives; promising myself things were sure going to get better, and that maybe all I needed was my own home.

Disaster, what a wrong decision I made to marry for all the reasons but love. And so I paid the price, made that ultimate sacrifice and packed my belongings. There were however the most precious ones I could not take and those were my children. What a mock, pity and shame!

However, after wandering in the desert – maybe for 40 days too, I returned to my mother – as a prodigal daughter. She gave me the chance to start again and my gardening took me from Tanzania and now Belgium.

I have so far been able to pull a lot of the pieces of my life together but yes how I miss my boys whom I fondly call “mes 3 mousquetaires”. They however are my greatest motivation for starting all over and working harder each day.

I am not ashamed to be learning some basics like using a Google Calendar or Google Drive, eating properly on the dining table or simply operating either a dishwasher or a washing machine.

I have learnt a lot since starting out here, got into social networking and yes am faring, woah I am even getting to virtually meet so many inspiring people.

I just wish some younger girls get some inspiration herein and if this post could save even just one or motivate yet another to start again, or hang on, then I will have accomplished something.

So there you go for this weekend in my Garden, feel free and sure welcome to leave a comment or suggestion as you leave…



Marie Abanga aka MAG likes to describe herself as a “Jacqueline of several trades”. She is an everyday woman and mother with a zigzag profile. Let’s give it a try! She is an Activist, an Author, a Coach, a Consultant, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Lecturer, a Prince 2 Project Manager, a Psychotherapist, a Philanthropist, a minister of the Word of God and...! She just loves to sum it up by saying she is a person of passions and a tale of talents. Her life’s journey has filled over 6 books already and her three musketeers keep her busy at home. MAG is also the founder and CEO of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, and the Country Director of the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental wellbeing. The plethora of life's experiences and shenanigans she has lived through and learned from in near 4 decades of existence, have equipped her with such an arsenal to coach, train and motivate just any and everyone. She is so charismatic, dynamic and full of life, going by her designed mantra of 3Ds: Determination; Discipline and Dedication. These sum her+her quest to be the best version of herself and impact others perfectly. She attributes all her wealth of knowledge to her conscientious attendance of both informal and formal school.

22 thoughts on “A Gardener’s Tale

  1. Hi Marie,

    I love your story! It really touched my heart. It’s so inspirational and I’m sure it will motivate a lot of other women, young and mature alike.

    Well done on your achievements! 🙂 Life is a journey and as we ride down the roads, we’ll take different routes. Each route comes with its own experience. But all of those experiences (good or bad) are to be used as lessons to help us improve and grow as we move along the journey.

    It’s a shame that you’re apart from your boys. But like you said, everything you’re doing is for them. I know that one day you’ll be united again. Just that thought alone is enough to keep you focused.

    It’s a pleasure meeting you. Have a blessed day. 🙂


    By the way, I logged in under my Twitter account because I wanted to make sure you saw this comment.


    1. Darling June,

      Thanks for stopping by. I worked all night to get the trouble of comments getting stuck in some pipe sorted because I didn’t want to post my first tale in such a state.
      I agree with you that we best grow through those experiences and we try to help others out with those experiences too, hence I blog

      It’s my pleasure meeting you and I look forward to Sunday and hope to visit you in June …


      1. Dear June,

        I love the emoticons got to learn how to add them

        Got so much to learn, Commentluv and all

        Never did enough home work before starting out here but it looks like I will cope

        Thanks to June and all of you, it will be more of summer than winter especially for the Roses in my Garden!


    1. Thank you mama,

      It means so much to me

      I just found that poem I wrote to you and never got to give you personally, but now I share for the world to know what a Mother I have been blessed to have!

      Will always do my best to grow for us the best of Roses!


    1. It will be a waste and pity to grow a beautiful rose garden in your bedroom right Joel? Am so grateful more people stop by my garden and smell a rose, admire one or simply pluck it out and go. I give them for free as gifts to a charming universe to whom am ever in awe and full of gratitude 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Joel, I plan to. It amazes me the writing bug I stepped on in 2012, paradoxically during one of my real dark moments. My 10 year goal is to retire into reading and writing full time… How cool 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The question logically gets down to: Are we looking forward to that bright light as we wheelbarrow along through those dark moments or are we doing all we can to disown and blank them out? Gosh so much makes sense to me now I agree with Steve Jobs we can only connect the dots looking backwards. Joel you’ve got that bug too, don’t let it scare you by its sting 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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