Category Archives: About

All the Single mothers: All the Single mothers…


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Dear World,

An emotional recap of my single motherhood journey. I share part 1 of a 3 series post to be featured on the phenomenal blog Miraculous Ladies

http://miraculousladies.com/single-motherhood-story-part-1/

Have a great midweek

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Hurray It’s my Birthday: 36 course in 36 years


MM full of anticipation
MM full of anticipation

I am glad to have made it to 36! At some point in my teenage, l kept feeling l’ll leave this world at 33! Not that l didn’t like life, but l felt it didn’t like me and l was doing so much to get it to accommodate me! Well, I didn’t but my Gaby did, while I had tried to let myself out at age 30! Anyway, you readers can thus understand why my 35th Anniversary message here was this emotional.

And so on this day when l celebrate my 3rd bonus year (from 33 you know) or my 6th (from the suicide attempt), permit me to share with you blogging pals the main courses l have taken so far, the lessons learnt and those I still ponder about:
The jittery Pupil
The jittery Pupil
  1. It isn’t the absence of fights that mean there’s peace;
  2. Being a dad on the parlour sofa does not make you one for your kids;
  3. Pushing trauma to the back of your mind doesn’t mean it’ll go away or even stay just there;
  4. Your crowd largely reflects you or some big part of: I have met and liked the good, the bad and the ugly;
  5. A smile can mean you are appreciated, envied or simply wished vanished;

    A pupil on a permanent internship in the school of life (hope the cute boil on my nose produces a wink)
    A pupil on a permanent internship in the school of life (hope the cute boil on my nose produces a wink)
  6. You have a right to choose your friends;
  7. Mental illness is for real and it can take all shapes and forms, and even visits celebrity & royalty;
  8. Love truly lies in the hands of the beholder;
  9. You either stand your ground or get trampled upon;
  10. Regardless of the above, humility is one great virtue;
  11. Sometimes it’s so hard to pick up a mirror cause the reflection could as well be too bright enough to blind you;
  12. It’s not how fast you skip through formal education, it is how far your survive in the informal school;
  13. Illusions are mostly what make the world go round;
  14. The more unconventional it is, the more appealing it could sometime be;
  15. We are ere past the inquisition – I put Faith, Hope and Charity on the same lane; I refuse to align behind any Religion;
  16. knowing how to spell a word today doesn’t mean you’ll always know how to spell the same word;
  17. Nothing permanently binds a pauper to that pauperhood;
  18. Nothing permanently guarantees a millionaire his millions;
  19. Insurance is simply business built on fear, but a good one nonetheless;
  20. Some keep their troubles to themselves while others just can’t keep their troubles to themselves: that’s equally democracy;
  21. There indeed can be miracles when you believe – yet it is and should rightly be a choice;
  22. If you truly can’t adapt, stop trying and move on – one day your visit here below will be unilaterally terminated, for you would have outlived any purpose;

    Plain Me
    Plain Me
  23. It’s a 6/6 hole for all so I am made to believe;
  24.  Were really all men born of a woman? I still ponder!;
  25. Are boys better than girls or does it really matter?;
  26. What the heck did pigmentation think when it was leaving some bodies devoid of protection?;
  27. Must medication have side effects?;
  28. I once thought a second was the smallest unit of time, how limited was my imagination?;
  29. Either grow up, think global and act local or remain in your mother’s eggs;
  30. An ocean of knowledge is how l now see it, and the journey across takes a lifetime;
  31. Who do you wanna be? The option is to face that now or latter when it may as well be too late!;
  32. How would you know how you are remembered? That could give me more incentive;
  33. I had thought by now l should be immune to pain;
  34. My future is indeed behind me, it is those 3 boys who call me mama;
    The gentlemen in my life
    The gentlemen in my life
    For them I thrive amidst my challenges
    For them I thrive amidst my challenges

    it is all the school girls l campaign for; it is all the boys l advocate to treat their sisters in all equity and equality;

  35. There are just two words that change it all to unlucky, unhappy, unimportant…;

    My memoir
    My memoir
  36. Baring myself in my memoir was the most dreadful thing l did to my family, the most therapeutic thing l did for myself, and an amazing thing l did for the community.
× The bonus is – l found love, at last deep within me! It’s ok not to have a man or any one validate you, it’s ok to have ‘me’ time, it’s ok to follow your inner GPS, and sure while we’re still at it, it’s ok to have some fun!!!
And you gentle readers and followers, do you mind sharing any of your lessons or leaving a comment on one of mine? Come on now, that’s the only birthday present I humbly ask of you 🙂

The prodigal daughter: Happy Birthday to my first and best Heroine


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She rocked her adolescence like that before becoming my prodigal mother!

We all sure know of the Bible parable of the prodigal son right? I mean religious or not we must have come across it somehow huh? Well if not, you can probably google it up.

I think in that parable the emphasis is, and rightly so on the prodigal father!

But l am reversing the emphasis in my own story, hoping to illustrate how low l sunk before crying out an umpteenth time for that help which came: at the speed of lightening! And yes, all this is mindful of the poem I had written in 2004 which left the impression I had ‘learnt my lesson’ then!

I mean, when you up and disappear leaving behind three innocent kids, your mum and yep several others in total confusion, there is no logical explanation to your “selfishness” and “madness”!

When you do the above, and refrain from contacting any of them for over a month, something is definitely not going well with you!

When you are ‘rescued’ a first time and yet do all you can to up and disappear barely 4 weeks later, you probably think that was your last chance!

But then when you learn more “good lessons” in the ‘dessert’ and have sure squandered the last Dirham borrowed yet again, and then dare to send an email to the mother you have lashed out at in all sorts of ways; you keep your fingers extremely crossed!

I did not expect my mum to respond so on the spur and with so much love and all. She had come out to the desert to get me the first time and l had just flown right back there. Would she care this time? Well, yes she did and still does up to this day!

Gosh, even an entire book can’t tell it all about the very deep and jealous relationship that has sprung and lasted for 35 ‘good’ years between an exclamation of a prodigal gal called Ayo and her mother!

And so, on this day when this first and best heroine of mine welcomes another year of life, l just wanted to say it loud and unreservedly that l am GRACED, BLESSED and PROUD to be her prodigal daughter!

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Dear Gentle Readers and Followers, let me leave you both with 2004 poem and this beautiful piece of music about the sweetness of the mums most of us have been blessed with. Do have a wonderful season and end of year and hope to see us all right here on the blogosphere come next year. 

Ode to Mama!
Ode to Mama!

 

A befitting Disclaimer for a Sunday!


A long overdue welcome huh?
A long overdue welcome huh?

I have been seeing and reading and maybe even replying to some comments on my blog recently, and this now warrants a Sunday disclaimer before it gets out of hand. I normally don’t post on Sundays or bla bla, but this is: 

Yes, mine: about me, my and mine - is that too hard to understand?
Yes, mine: about me, my and mine – is that too hard to understand?

 

And so, although the first picture says welcome, and although I should have included such a post in the introduction of my garden (I did vaguely I suppose), I have a right and duty to myself and let’s see, a favour to you, to be clear about this now.

Very basic ones here
Very basic ones here

The Inquisition is long over I suppose, or is there still some remnants or semblance?

  1. And so, primo, NO RELIGION/RELIGIOUS DISCUSSION OR … HERE. Out of decor and respect for my upbringing, I will tolerate God Bless you and Amen. I mean, it’s my blog and so I make dem rules right;
  2. I am not obliged to give reasons, or explain my blog posts further, or reply to any comments except I choose to. I respect your blog, your religion, your faith, your opinions, your sex or or fantasies… (yes but no religious ones here or else I will delete same);
  3. I have chosen my Advocacy priorities; Mental Health and Women’s Empowerment – and all in so far as relates to my life; call that selfishness if you care but out here, it is my blog and 
    Is this so hard to understand?
    Is this so hard to understand?

     

  4. No politics in here; gosh I don’t know nothing about it in the first place – (yes am a lawyer but not all lawyers end up in the presidency);
  5. Feel free to un-follow if you can’t follow dem basic rules.
  6. You can read more about me in my memoir or this recent interview of mine,  if that will settle all your doubts. They are sold in Cameroon by Pressbook Ltd.
  7. If not stating my religious inclinations or whatever I believe in makes me a ‘bad’ or ‘damned’ girl, so be it … I heard similar even when I was on the other side;
  8. When it will become a matter of life and death as some have reckoned I will make on my dying bed ( if I will die on one I dunno), then this seems appealing: 
    I care more of my life here than wherever after!
    I care more of my life here than wherever after!
Gratitude all the way
Gratitude all the way

My Memoir writing journey!


I was recently asked by an e-friend of mine, to be a guest on her blog and share ‘some’ from my memoir writing journey. I copy paste the post in its entirety because there ain’t a re-blog option on her blog.

Drum rolls for my guest Marie Abanga

I’m so pleased to introduce my guest Marie Abanga, author of My Unconventional Loves: My Hurts, My Adulteries, My Redemption, a book written in a voice so raw and open it almost takes my breath away. Here she  tells how she created her book almost in complete secrecy because of what she calls her “embarrassing and shameful revelations.” Please welcome Marie. I am so glad she persevered and successfully completed her memoir project.

My Memoir Writing Journey
by Marie Abanga

MarieHi there, my name is Marie Abanga, author of the memoir My Unconventional Loves: My Hurts, My Adulteries, My Redemption. I was so happy when one of my favorite authors, Madeline Sharples, offered to host me on her blog. She asked me to do a post on my memoir writing journey for other beginners like myself.

I sort of knew what memoirs were and had read several. But I had not come across one with such embarrassing and shameful revelations like I included in mine. There may be worse ones out there, but the authors are more prone to bring out their ‘victim hood’ than otherwise. Sure, I did that too but to a very limited extent – I focused on my story, my mess. This is what I think appealed to me most, that I write my story and just that. I decided to write it as honestly as possible.

To use or not to use characters

To begin with, please understand something about my context. In the part of the world I come from, precisely Cameroon, you DON’T write such ‘crap,’ and if you have to, don’t use your name. It is one of those ‘taboos.’ It was therefore no wonder that when my sister got wind of my project, she quickly advised I use characters. Of course, I had already decided to use ‘nick names’ for all but myself because I wanted to be known as that ‘shameless’ woman who ‘successfully’ lived ‘parallel lives.’ Using ‘characters or nick-names,’ saved or spared me some embarrassment, but revealing myself, got me some embarrassment too.

Coming out of the closet

I don’t think coming out of the closet should be reserved only to LGBT. I mean, writing a memoir of any kind is a revelation by itself. You reveal yourself to yourself and to the world. You reveal your family sort off and you reveal other ‘stuff,’ which may directly or indirectly concern or probe others. Actually for me, writing and publishing my memoir was a big therapy for my near ‘nervous breakdown.’ I needed to see myself on paper, in no-nonsense words and in all the different feelings I experienced as I wrote what I had so far lived.

Writing in hiding

To be candid, what I wrote was even very powerful and embarrassing to myself. I dreaded what would have happened had my mother or someone else stumbled upon it. I dared not write on paper, and this had disadvantages. I then also didn’t know as much about the writing and social networks and resource websites for writers of my genre. I was scared and yet determined. I wrote my chapters at midnight when all were asleep or at 3 am before starting my 4 am workouts. I tried to password the file and give it a weird name. Publishing while still in Cameroon was out of the question. I actually hid that file away for almost two years until I found myself in Belgium and discovered CreateSpace.

What I have learnt

There is no point ‘writing your memoir in hiding.’ There are lots of websites, workshops, and nice people out there prepared to help and guide or even reassure you as you embark on that ‘tedious journey.’ After ‘opening up’ and reading several other more poignant memoirs (though none from a Cameroonian or even an African author so far), I have come to realize and accept the fact that my story is not the worst ever. I have also come to benefit fully from the ‘largess’ of that ‘courageous endeavor.’ Indeed, as I keep telling people, my writing is my therapy and message and so is my memoir.

Thank you Madeline Sharples for writing your soulful memoir. Special gratitude also to some authors like Linda Joy Myers, Sherrey Meyer, Joyce Meyer, Iyanla Vanzaart, Ellen Johnson and of course Maya Angelou for sharing your stories and much more. I am forever inspired and motivated by strong women like you.

Marie’s bio:
Marie Abanga describes herself as: “A dynamic and passionate woman, mother of three boys, lawyer, activist, mental health advocate and feminist.” She is a native of Cameroon in Africa and currently lives in Brussels, Belgium. She is enrolled at the Brussels School of International Studies as an LL.M candidate for international law with international relations. She also works as the Regional Manager Africa for the Women In Parliament Global Forum. Marie was a pioneer community champion for the UN Women Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment and has been spotlighted by various feminine magazines, including Women’s Lead and the Girls Globe. Fluent in English and French her native languages, she speaks pidgin English and tries to understand Italian and Swahili. In addition to her memoir, Marie keeps two blogs: her award-winning http://marieabanga.com andhttp://myeverydaypersonal.blogspot.be/. She is making strides into the social network world, keeps numerous journals including one for her first son, and has a second memoir in the ‘conception’ stage.

Finally – Live on Kindle and Paperback


And so dear all, this is a reminder of a public service announcement:

You got the preface

You got the trailer

You got the contents

You got the why

You even got a star chapter on Marriage My Refuge

And now in all modesty, I give all to you LIVE: My Amazon Author Page

Thanks in advance for all your comments, reviews and love (or em hate? well that would be honest critical reviews too right?)

The Kindle version is easily accessible with this one click, while the paperback Product Details can be found right here .

Gentle followers of mine, dare I thank you for checking my book out and leaving your honest reviews thereafter!

The Description as featured!


Click to Enjoy  The You tube Trailer Book Cover

What on earth could push or pull a woman and mother of three to abandon her marriage, elope with a street kid, leaving those three kids behind?

What on earth could push or pull a woman to live such parallel lives and fake such an existence whereas all the ‘glamour’ was just superficial?

What definitely went wrong in her childhood that could have contributed to the sad and dare say ‘insane’ series of unconventional loves and existence?

Well, this is what the novel is all about.

This novel is a brutally honest memoir of a woman’s struggle to live a ‘Meaningful and Happy Life’.

This novel is a sad tale of the depths a woman had to sink to before braving to a new life of ‘Meaning and Happiness’.

This is a story of Determination, Discipline and Dedication which takes its readers through a series of ‘sane and insane acts’ of a woman who lived in adultery over and over again, who lived parallel lives, and who when she missed the suicide attempt, realized it was time to be Honest with herself and her world.

Intermingled in the sub themes, is the unfolding of a mother’s dramatic and tough love for her daughter.

Some say the novel is encapsulating and captivating and others say it is inspirational and motivational.

The Author says, she thinks it is both. She wrote this personal ‘thriller’ of hers in all honesty because she wanted to make her Mess her Message and her Test her Testimony.

It probably would make an excellent read!

Gentle Followers of mine, you all know I am so appreciative of your comments and hopefully your honest reviews right there on the amazon and others!

MY Angel and My Shepherd


Water drinking race organized by Gaby
Water drinking race organized by Gaby

I started off my posts of this week saying it was a very emotional one for me right? And how I survive far from what you read here and there!

So by now the reasons are obvious. My book goes Live on Paper back this coming monday  and for me that is the immortalization of my life.

That is the evidence of my journey so far and that is the story of a kid with a hurt who turns out the way she does, but who never gives up.

Several reasons have kept me going most important of which are my sons. My three Musketeers. The real men in my life!

Alain,

Often so reflective
Often so reflective

the first, had his post on wednesday and the other two had already been introduced on monday by their drawings.

These two are equally special because they are my Shepherd and my Angel.

David Lumière my Shepherd

David my Shepherd
David my Shepherd

And Ange Gabriel my Angel

Aka the Commander
Aka the Commander

Well, since the Angel announced the good news to the Shepherd according to the ‘nativity’, I titled my post putting the Angel first.

As you could read in my book, their names were carefully chosen. David has an entire chapter and so does Gaby. Alain does too.

Here I focus on the Angel role and the Shepherd role of my boys.

Gaby has always made me relive my childhood by being a real copy of the ‘yummy’ kid I was.

My Angel
My Angel

He brings me ‘peace’ and ‘warmth’ and is so like an Angel in his understanding and behaviour. He told me he knows I am very far away in a country called Belgium and he knew why I was there.

He is curiously also an angel like to his siblings hence he has been named the commander.

Could we talk of last but not the least? Could we talk of age being nothing but a number? At four, he amazes and frankly for his last birthday, I told a few people he was turning five before I used my fingers to count the years.

Dave,

My King David
My King David

as he loves being called, is a Shepherd in every sense. He is so gentle both with himself and with us all. He does everything slowly but very nicely. he takes care of his stuffs like the Shepherd does his sheep.

At seven, his hand writing is smooth to say the least and the efforts he makes in school where he studies in both English and French, leave everyone amaze for someone who speaks so little and is often at the mercy of his kid bother Gaby.

Gaby chiding David as usual
Gaby chiding David as usual

Yes, both my Angel and my Shepherd are physically oceans and million of miles away from me, but they are very much in me every second of my existence.

They are not even living together with Alain to make matter more sad. They actually get to see each other only when either of their ‘other parents’ decide so but I know those visits keep them going too.

One of such visits, Gaby happy with what Alain kept him
One of such visits, Gaby happy with what Alain kept him

Dear gentle followers of mine, permit me to leave you today with this concise but precise letter from my Shepherd:

David's letter of 18 August 2013
David’s letter of 18 August 2013