Category Archives: Heros

Alain turns a whooping 14…Hurray


22.10.2016 Alain himself
He did that himself last November and he calls himself…

It’s been much more joy than anything else for real

Alain has always done so so well in school regardless of the school he went to; or the circumstances WE were going through like when I upped and disappeared in May 2011.

al&l
A one month ‘visit’ (not planned as such) in July /August 2011 a few months after I left them behind

I am so grateful for him. He loves sciences that I see, but he writes poetry, draws some and enjoys football. I could never thank my God our God enough for Alain. He is for all time the epitome of my sorrow and joy and has a very special place in my life and heart of course…He is my Hero…Thank you so much Alain from my every pore, you know how much I love YOU!!!
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Sharing some ice cream love over at one they call Ice cream Grandma’s in the cool city of Buea, Cameroon
Sometimes in July on our way for a diiner date just us, brothers were at their dad’s

 

That was on friday on our way to a dinner invitation

 

We are out today having a blast at a Chinese all you, can and then some ice cream hurray.

When I reread this post and what I wrote last year for his birthday, I’ll say although I stumbled into motherhood, am so proud and grateful for the journey.

Dear all, kindly join me in wishing Alain a belated birthday, he’ll sure see all your likes and read/reply to your comments.

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Martin Baker my Model and Hero


 

Hello world, and Friday is here! I wrap up this roller coaster week with the potrait of my mental health advocate model and hero.

The guy you see above, he is the co-author of the book that has rocked my mind for the past two weeks. Uh huh this one here:

High Tide Low Tide

I have been through low tides and high tides and low tides again with this book and currently I am on safe tides: Not so low, not so high!!! Thank you Marty (for much), thank you Fran.

Now, here is personally why Martin Baker is my model:

  1. He has shown me what it means to be a friend – best friend to someone living with a mental illness: A friend in need is a friend indeed. In a recent guest post of theirs with Time to Change, Fran had this to say:
  2. Fran Time-to-Change-Champions-blogIf you get to read their book, you will understand and appreciate what she means and hmm, Martin has braved it all and is not only around but such a champion now. He has taken courses and done oh my so so much for his friend – I wonder where he finds the time and emotional stamina;
  3. Marty was there for me on the night I was in a police cell in a non controling nor judgmental way and that is what I most needed: Here below is an excerpt of our conversation that night:

    Marty: Hello Marie ?  (sorry the smiley can’t come along) How are things with you today? (I gave an honest response – which was not so good bla…)

    Marty: Sorry to hear it’s not going so good for you ?

     I went on to explain the ordeal to Marty and when he said he believed in me, I asked why because I didn’t want one of those generic I wish you the best statements without facts…

    Marty: In the short time we have known one another the impression I have formed is of a woman with courage to fight for what she believes in and wants.

    This sealed it for me, it was not only true I was a woman of courage and all, but it was touching in the short time we had know each other he had been able to form that impression. For the above reasons and more including his love for poetry, his appreciation of my poems and posts, our shared interest in photography, I declare Martin Baker my model and Hero  I appreciate all he does for Fran and am grateful for the friendship we are building too.

 

Inspiring Positive Actions Now Ltd inspires on with Javnyuy Joybert


Awesome Flyer

Hello world, on the 28 the of May 2017,  I took that big leap of ‘Stubborn but very Passionate’ Faith and officially launched the company I had been dreaming and planning on for 3 years.

This Sunday, we have another interesting line up and when you read our keynote speaker’s  profile below, you’ll agree with me that there isn’t only hunger, strife and ‘crazy ‘ politics and policies in Africa.

In my meditation this morning, I summarized these five tips which aptly corroborate the Me doing all I do and where I get my strength from:

1) You can draw strength from the connection you have with others;

2) You can align yourself with the beauty and goodness that resides firmly and persistently in every corner of life;

3) In the darkest darkness, you can shine a light;

4) In the most difficult circumstances, you can act to make a profound and positive difference;

4) You can know, you can understand, and you can live in the service of a purpose that becomes more powerful and refined with each passing moment;

5) Choose to do what you can, and there is no limit to what you’re able to achieve. Amen

About our Keynote speaker for this Sunday June 18th 2017: Javnyuy Joybert

Javnyuy Joybert is a Social Entrepreneur, Empowerment Coach, Public Speaker, Personal Development Strategist/Blogger and a dynamic, prolific and strategic Entrepreneurship/Business Management Trainer and a blend of administrative gifts. He is a focused and purposeful young African.

Javnyuy is a certified Business Management and Entrepreneurship trainer by The American Entrepreneurship Foundation (AEF) California USA, performance and efficiency consultant whose forte lies in Empowerment, Training and Development in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Personal Development and Business Management Development. He is one of the youngest and finest Entrepreneurship, Organizational Leadership and results based Business Management trainers in Africa.

Javnyuy Joybert is the Founder/CEO, Senior Trainer and Principal consultant at The Center for Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Business Management Development (CELBMD) Africa – The Pan African Professional Center. CELBMD Africa is an International Center of choice for skills/competency based Professional Executive Training/Development which cut across all levels of industry from Senior Executives to high school graduates. CELBMD Africa offer innovative Professional Executive Training/Development programs and capacity building seminars through the expertise of our renowned trainers, industry experts and volunteers… please visit his website I can’t do justice to this young, dynamic and oh my so so much Icon.

I mean, how grateful can I be right? It is all so amazing and I owe and wish the one I fondly call JJ so so much.

Have a weekend us all

 

DO YOU LIKE YOURSELF?…


Source: DO YOU LIKE YOURSELF?…   If there was only one post I will recommend anyone to read on one of the most awesome blogs I follow: It will be the above… every other thing to me flows from here.

If you like yourself, you’ll be able to genuinely care about what you eat, think, say, do, write etc etc; and you will care what anything or anyone does to you to the best of your faculties.

The blog is none other than: All About healthy Choices. And yes, I am all about that and it pays big time.

I leave us this weekend then with this post which calls not for a quick like or comment but above all for authentic introspection and genuine resolutions.

Thank you Doctor Johnatan, you are my Hero and I will be talking about you on the panel I join today on leading from the heart – cause I feel that’s what you are doing

Five Life Lessons from my Hero Erico: “The So called Fool” in Wum


All the above pictures were taken on the same day, in the space of 6/8 hours. Is anyone else excited at the transformation like myself? I forgot something insignificant in wum, but I am threatening to do 20 hours on the road to go get it… wish I could afford that now, just so I see my hero again and give him the pictures he asked me to develop, and thank him from the bottom of my heart from making my short stay so fulfilling. Also would have loved to get him a pair of snickers or take him one of mine.

Dear world, to wrap up this week, I share 5 lessons I learnt from my interraction with Erico:

  1. There is so much to people than meet the eye… how many times do we need to read or hear this I wonder. Anyway, people are different and some take prejudice seriously and go with the general consensus that ‘a fool will always be a fool’. I am so happy I courted Erico and that he warmed up to me so much and agreed to go bathe and come back so we could go around. He talked about so many things and such wisdom from his mouth oh my God;
  2. Erico for example told me that now when people laugh at him he says to himself ‘they are laughing at their own stupidity’. Those were his words, I didn’t want to ask him if he goes or went to school. I don’t think he does but the bottom  line also is you don’t need to go to school to acquire wisdom. Erico told me when he just got to the village he was always angry and fighting especially when he felt or saw children and adults alike mocking him. The fights landed him into so much trouble because he was often beaten by the numbers or stones thrown at him and he had to run and hide home and not want to go out again. Gradually, his mentality changed and he keeps to himself but doesn’t fight back if laughed at;
  3. The ‘fool’ may know something or somewhere you don’t and that could be your saving grace. I could have asked around for the direction to say the lake or the shoe mender, and I could have been ‘scamed’ or taken to a bush and assaulted… these are extreme examples but am sure you can imagine. Now it costs me next to nothing to court Erico and there I was with a warm friend, a guardian and so much information;
  4. Accept your limitations in life and spare yourself head and heartaches. Erico told me that he knew what was expected of him by his grandmum everyday, and he knew that those were his responsibilities because he could not do much more. He couldn’t go to ‘big school’ (I marvelled at his expression), nor work any money. So grandma expected him to wash the dishes, clean the house and compound and go fetch water. He loved doing those and in return he was very grateful for the food he ate everyday;
  5. Don’t take things for granted, it could have been worse. I mean when you see the man who doesn’t have his four limbs, or you see some picture like that of the famine ravished child who was been ‘eyed for a meal’ by a nearby vulture, how can you take anything for granted? Now, some will laugh at Erico and call him a ‘fool’ (probably thinking to themselves they are lucky neither them nor theirs are ‘fools’). Erico told me he was happy to be living with his grandma and able to eat everyday – even he didn’t take things for granted. He was maybe luckier than Tangatapan who lived in the market or motor park or wherever night met him, and carried his luggage on him. And then we want to whine at the weather?

Dear all, I learnt so much and was so touched by my friend and Hero Erico. Such incidents keep me grounded, more humble, modest and simply so grateful for life.

Please, you wanna share any insight?

Wishing us all a splendid weekend and lots of such in life.

Erico the ‘So called Fool’ My Hero P2


With my star at the lake.JPG
Erico and I by the infamous Lake Nyos – Wum

Hello world, I met Erico during my last trip to Wum in the North West Region of Cameroon, and made him my Hero for my short stay there. That sub division made international headlines in August 1986 when the lake Nyos erupted killing over 1700 people and so much livestock… I wanted to go see that lake and gladly Erico knew just how we could get there. He negotiated for motor bikes to take us there and back. So this is the ‘so called Fool’ right?

Erico showed me round the market and took me to his grandmum’s stall. He had already been there when he showered and wore his Jersey, and had told all who cared to ask that he had a new friend called Marie from Douala – who had bought his nice jersey earlier on. His grandmum gave me some groundnuts in appreciation, and I was so touched. All the neighbours smiled at us that day and Erico was visibly proud of himself. I wish he keeps his glow mindful of the challenges he has to overcome daily.

erico-my-star
Erico visibly so happy during the wake keeping ceremony

Erico did keep his glow for all my stay there. During the wake keeping ceremony, he actually danced when I asked me to show me his styles. You see the guy behind Erico, that is Tangatapan another mentally challenged. He had been dancing to any music played since I got there but he preferred to keep to himself and barely answered my greetings. Erico had earlier made fun of his dancing and so had to show me how much better he could dance. Another thing is that Tangatapan refused to share a meal with Erico and Ndolo, insisting on wanting his own pan. Maybe that’s why there’s a pan to his name? Anyway, Erico did eat with Ndolo just like he had eaten with me that afternoon, and as I said he sounded so wiser than his age nor circumstances.

Erico the so called ‘Fool’: My Hero in Wum P1


my new friend.JPG
That is Erico shortly after I courted him

Dear World, remember I said I was gonna be away last week right? Yes, I went to a village called Wum in the northwest Region of Cameroon. I mention this village because over 20 years ago it was the scene of one terrible disaster. Will bring that up in another post.

Now, over to my Hero Erico. Some call him a fool. I wonder who is the bigger fool, cause after 8 or so hours with Erico, and all the places we visited and discussions we had and the transformation I saw in his ‘spirit’, I am humbled – simple – Amen!!!

When I got to the compound, I noticed Erico sitting isolated under a tree. Guess he’s used to. I decided to befriend him, and offered that we share a meal. He was so excited.

erico-warming-up-to-me
Yes I wasn’t really hungry but wanted to court Erico and stigmatize some stigma in that area

Now, while am sitting there with Erico, a lady comes up to us and ask me if I know Erico before. I say well I know him now and ask why, she says because he’s a fool and may embarass me. Ha!!! I let her go. Then a second man comes up, and asks me if I don’t want to go eat indoors; I ask why (like I don’t know he’s jealous of Erico), he says well it’s more comfortable indoors. I say no thanks.

You see people, their envy fuels me up with motivation to make Erico my Hero and star of my short stay. And Erico knows that village inside out. He was abandoned with his paternal grandma by his mum when he was 5 years old because she couldn’t cope with such a foolish child. I taught Erico how to take a picture and see his shot below. He was so excited:

He ignored the kids laughing at him when he initially fumbled with the camera, and am so impressed with his improvement. He took me to the market, and the infamous lake and talked about so much. I will be sharing more of those in p2. I end this with another more glowing picture of Erico taken a few hours later. I got him that jersey from the market as a souvenir.

erico-so-loves-his-new-jersey
I wish I could afford snickers that day, he tells me he loves football but the kids don’t let him play: He had graciously taken a shower and was so impressed with himself – he was the star of the day

This is the first part of my short series of a personal experience with one of the marginalized in our society – the ones we stigmatize because of their physical appearance or mental disposition which apparently is not ‘normal’ and so they should be shunned. One ‘Christian’ lady (she wore their uniform) actually made a gesture like they ( yes Erico’s 2 other friends Ndolo and Tangatapan also became my friends) were smelling and should leave the place.

So my e-world, what do you think of such experiences and different perspectives?

Meet Richie, my wonderful seatmate to the deep south and my hero


Richie Selfie
Richie Selfie

Richie looks at the Selfie and asks who is that cool guy there? He tells me he still thinks he’s got some looks and I add some style too. You see Richie’s necklace? And oh his Ray ban sunglasses? Richie says if I come to South Carolina he’s gonna buy me a pair. Oh, ok let’s start from the beginning right?

Meeting Richie

Bye Arlington VA, welcome Durham NC
Bye Arlington VA, welcome Durham NC

On a probably once in a life time opportunity, after testing of this infamous jetlag, and getting ready for Uncle Sam’s, I am hoping to zoom across at least 5 states. After MD and VA in three days, it was time to head south to NC. It was at the Megabus at the Union Station, that I met Richie. On the queue, Richie appeared somewhat nervous, and to some he could pass for a guy not worth befriending. Well, as it turned out, he landed in the seat right next to me. And to say I had first chosen a seat below, before changing my mind to seat on the top? And what to make of the fact that Richie had missed his morning bus and had had to pay a 5 usd fee to reschedule?

Well, I love people of his age, and Richie’s initial ‘stern’ look wasn’t going to deter me from striking a conversation. He carried a little box and my curiosity asked to see what was inside. ‘Oh my Clarinet he goes, it’s older than you are young lady…’ Richie says that clarinet bring him so much joy, it is simply his therapy and call to pursue to joy…

I wish I could attend Richie's next european tour in July!
I wish I could attend Richie’s next european tour in July!

Richie the encyclopedia

Richie like most people his age, know way more than you can find in some text books. I love listening to them and I think they love having me pay them that attention. Even my boss’s mum often asked after that african miss! Richie told me where we were headed is known as the Deep South. He told me about his 3rd fore-generation who were slaves. Told me what ever he knew of the American Revolution, the Civil war and sure about life in general. ‘Oh Baby, I had a full one going he goes … ‘ ( He called me baby and I smiled in fond remebrance of some other pops I had met in Brugges Belgium). He told me his best hero was a man named John Brown, and this got me looking up this brave American Abolitionist I had never heard of. In short, Richie was good company and the bus ride was cool. I wish I were actually going all the way to deep south Carolina…

With buddy Richie in Richmond
With buddy Richie in Richmond

In Richmond, Richie bought me a coke and two walnut bars, and told me some story about the town. Richie made me laugh so hard when he told me his 100+ home in South Carolina, had been declared a historical site, but he hadn’t qualified for the grant to renovate the fast dilapidating bungalow. He said “Oh sure the house qualified, but not me…”. Richie is a hero to me, having lived in several states and held several various jobs…

Dear gentle readers and followers, I am glad to share some highlights of my US adventure. Another lesson here for me which I am confirming, is that some first looks may be deceiving or even revealing. Richie said I don’t talk like a lawyer, and could woo a tough guy. Wow, anyway I have worked in a prison for six months and I did woo Billy the Bully!

Billy the Bully my Hero


My Heros and Heroines are from all walks of life. All those who have touched my life in one way or the other. I know I can’t do a post of them all, but I take great pleasure in doing posts especially of those who aren’t obvious to the ‘conventional’ eye.

One of such people who touched my life and thaught me further how to look beyond appearance and listen beyond ‘Hearsay’, is Billy the Bully!bully-1I didn’t give him that name, he got it from the wardens in the jail where I met him.

Our meeting

Billy was still fuming when I sought him out
Billy was still fuming when I sought him out

In my search for more ‘meaning and purpose’, I volunteered to work in the central prison of my city for 6 months. Yes, that was one big episode of my life I’ll never forget. I went there often twice a week or even more, as the circumstances warranted. I was already a lawyer, and I took on several pro bono cases especially of those awaiting trial, even if only to help speed or unblock administrative procedures so they could finally be tried.  I recall the very first case I won as a pupil lawyer was one of these. On weekends, I visited there and equally attended Sunday mass with the inmates when I could.

It was on one such Sundays that a guy burst into the small cramped and tight air something turned chapel for the occasion. He had a dagger and was hyper furious. I mean he had the ‘ready to kill’ redness and everybody was scared.

bully 2 Billy ranted and thundered, and then he threatened and dared anyone to look him in the eye. I didn’t understand much of what he said, but I dared after ‘praying and meditating’, ‘dare to look him in the eye’. I was sitting in his direct view and you could tell I was from the ‘outside’. I not only dared to look him in the eye, I dared to stand up and take a step ahead while keeping eye contact. Mass went on and people were starring at me like I sure had gone ‘lun’. Billy was taken by so much surprise that he just dropped the dagger and ran out. I picked it up, turned around and gave it to some warden who was also there attending that mass!

Our Relationship

After mass, I had the opportunity to meet Billy again in some corner of the prison yard where he normally took refuge and kept to himself and his ‘likes’. Weekends are also ‘visiting’ days in our jails and so the main yards are always very busy. Despite the warnings from the wardens and the plea from the ‘pastoral team’ I had come there with, I went to sit down next to Billy. I kept my head down in ‘submissiveness’ but I refused to leave when he didn’t even look at me for the next 10 minutes.

And then Billy started to talk – oh rather rant. He told me the world was against him, proof is that even his own family had abandoned him in there. He told me of what he was accused of and yes told me he’d done pretty much of those stuffs. He added that not only was he under so much influence then, but he belonged to a gang masterminded by some big shot in the army. I remember that period when there was a national curfew and the era was coined “commandement operatrionnel” seemingly to dish out and wipe out the alarming insecurity in the city. Billy must have ‘done much more than was expected’ and now he was serving a 15 year sentence.

Friends with Rascals

Billy wasn’t  the first of such rascals I was becoming friends with. I am one in the sense that others could easily qualify me as such depending on when they meet me. Yet I always say that it is not only those behind those physical bars who are rascals and bandits and all. I became Billy’s friend and he would mise and call me even if only to rant or check on my boys. I visited him some Saturdays and brought him a bar of soap or whatever I could afford. When I showed up and asked to see Billy, the wardens would chorus who? the Bully? You see his label had another star. A rascal/monster and now a bully. Well, Billy told me didn’t care because being all that even provided ‘protection’ in that jungle.

I did become friends with several others there too during that period and did help many with my time, their case files and materially to my ability.  Often times, I left there drained and in tears. There is so much pain, suffering, rejection, shame, stigma and all in that place. Even the air in there is different.

I say to this date that two categories of people I think are abandoned most by either their families and society, are the mentally ill/challenged and the prison inmates. Especially back home, this can be proven to beyond reasonable doubt.

Why is Billy my Hero?

I dared to temper Billy
I dared to temper Billy

As I earlier said, I further learnt to look beyond appearance, especially in a place as notorious as the ‘New Bell Central Prison’ in Douala – Cameroon. You tube this prison or google it and you’ll get more info. I learnt and could listen beyond ‘Hear Say’. Yes I risked a lot and put in so much.

To tell you some more, my ex husband even claimed that I had an affair with Billy! Oh Ayo had I suffered!

Dear gentle readers and followers, I would forever be grateful for that ‘internship’. I don’t know about you but I guess there is so much wrong in our world today than all the labels and categories we hear and see, as well as all those people ‘acting’ right?