Category Archives: My Heroines

She told me she had AIDS and I told her that was ok: In memory of Violet gone too soon


HIV

I met Violet in September 2009 and in December 2009 she was dead. I had sent word to the village looking for a nanny and when Violet said she was available, I arranged for her to come very fast. Little did I know what I was signing up for. But here is the deal, I had already made a covenant with God that if he spared me of AIDS especially after the turbulent ‘sexually’ irresponsible life I had led so far and was again pregnant, I was never going to ‘reject’ any person on my path because of their status. That was in 2003 in the city of Yaounde inside a church after I had just given my blood to be tested for HIV at the CHU hospital. How could I therefore send Violet back a few hours after her arrival and following her revelation? I feel out with my husband and mother but I wasn’t going to fall out with God. My baby was 3 months old and I knew Violet wasn’t going to deliberately or accidentally harm my baby. We loved each other till the end. Her last words to me 3 days before dying however still tear me up on days like these: “mummy why have you abandoned me?”

She had returned to the village to spend that ‘last’ Christmas with her own daughter, leaving the hospital here on her signature because she felt her end was near after all.

The Following is a conversation I had this (this post was written (01.12.18) morning with my neice who lived with us back then: [01/12, 07:36] .Marie A. Abanga: Morning mama Ndolo [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: You remember Violet who lived with us for like 3 months to take care of Gaby? [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: If yes, did you know she had AIDS? [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: If yes, how did that make you feel especially as you guys slept in the same room? [01/12, 07:38] .Marie A. Abanga: Please I will like to share your answers in a live video am doing at 8 am to talk about her. Today is world AIDS Day. Thank you baby [01/12, 08:13] Malaika Moki Linonge: Hello mama [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: Sorry I am in the mkt [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: But it was a good experience [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: I was afraid that we could be contaminated, especially for the bb [01/12, 08:15] Malaika Moki Linonge: And also as I stayed with her at the hospital [01/12, 08:20] Malaika Moki Linonge: It was wonderful when we knew she had AIDS, we where surprised why u took her in and understood why u excepted her for some work at home [01/12, 08:20] .Marie A. Abanga: Thank you baby so much [01/12, 08:20] Malaika Moki Linonge: U are welcome mama

Anyone wanting to watch the live video I did could click the link below

https://web.facebook.com/marieangeleAbanga/videos/1253824834759318/

#thankyouviolet #notostigma #knowyourstatus #liveyourtruth #safesex #Showsomeempathy

Although World Aids Day is come and gone, we are still in the month of December. I shared this on my Facebook on the day itself, along with a live video. I just thought to share this here again, to inspire+motivate us all.

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Please could you vote for my sickle cell Warrior Arrey Echi?


 

Hello all oh, please I need your votes to get my Sickle Cell warrior Arrey Echi nominated for some big awards o.

You sure saw my blog about my becoming a Strong and Proud Sickle Cell voice now thanks to her right? She has for a few years now done these colorful online campaigns to raise awareness, hmm this year’s own beat all the others. Yours truly was featured and appreciated to all my blushing.

 

Arrey shared this at the end of this year’s campaign on her facebook wall:

I would like to say a big thank you to those who supported the sickle cell awareness month in one way or another. Worth mentioning are those who went out of their way to support our activities by buying a #BreakTheSilenceTee shirt.

Because we have a lot of activities planned for warriors, we had to seek ways to raise funds and what better way than to add some swag into tee shirts while we devise other means to ensure we have our programs funded?

With 5.000frs, you can also get a tee shirt like this and because I like nyanga, I just needed to bring some swag into it with this unique Cameroon touch thanks to Enjoh Prodencia Asanga and her unique #ContriLifedesigns.

Please support a worthy cause. Get a Break the silence tee for 5k or if you like gi we 1million we no go mind 😉 😉

Our people say one hand cannot tie a bundle. I am forever grateful to all who are always supporting me in one way or another.

A collage of some who bought and wore in support of sickle cell awareness month.

Thank you all. The awareness continues.

#BreakTheSilence #BeASickleCellVoice #SickleCellAwareness

To vote so she be nominated for the categories:

  1. Best Blogger in English; and
  2. Best Social Media Campaign

Please just go to this link and go to those categories, click them and you are asked just two questions.

  1. Who are you nominating? answer ARREY ECHI.
  2. Why are you nominating this person? Answer BECAUSE SHE DESERVES THIS NOMINATION.

Simple right my people? So I beg on bended knees lol, give us your votes so my heroine gets these nominations. You can vote everyday too, I do that. They insist you have a facebook account and I hope many of us do o. Thank you very much

p.s: I will sure be back when thanks to your votes she gets nominated and we needs votes for the finals hahahaha

Two more portraits from my darling Phoebe…am spoiled


I am still so emotional and fighting back tears. In total, I have got three precious portraits from Phoebe (formerly Pamela Spiro-Wagner)

I am not sure I need/want to write about who Phoebe is to me and how much she means to me. These posts, like here, here and here for any wanting to read some of my previous blogs on my darling… Ah how I wish I could just get on a plain and go wrap up in VT now under one of those her comfy comfy handmade blankets.

Phoebe is so gifted and talented, has been through so so so much, and yet has such a heart of gold. She is Graceful even when she is having a tough time, so generous and makes me so grateful to know her and call her darling.

I appreciate you and treasure you darling Phoebe, yes all the way to the grave and even beyond Amen

Thank you so so so much

I am a proud sickle cell voice thanks to my heroine Arrey Echi


Hello world, the first two pictures were taken at her house in Yaounde, and the third one in my own house in Douala.

I am talking about my heroine Arrey Echi’s house lol. Now, here is who my heroine is in a few words;

She is a gentle and caring soul. She lives with sickle cell anemia and she is a warrior. Recognized both nationally and internationally for her advocacy, she has received quiet some awards for her work. She is currently setting up her foundation aptly called Joy2Endure, and those t-shirts are part of her branding and advocacy material. Ah, I could write a whole book about Arrey Echi.

I happened to have gone to the same university with Arrey, but hmm…where will a chakara like me meet a gentle lady like Arrey if not through our respective online advocacy? We’ve been following each other like for a year now, and we even ran into each other at an event last November, but the time wasn’t right yet it seems. We acknowledged each other and continued our friendship online.

Two weeks ago I decided it was time to go visit her when I got to Yaounde. It was an awesome visit. We had just 30 or so minutes together in her office, and it was hard to say goodbye. Indeed, we agreed when next I was in Yaounde I was staying with her. Here was my recap on facebook lol;

Marie Abanga is feeling blessed with Arrey Echi and 2 others.

21 September at 11:10 ·

I have been following all her advocacy here on FB and didn’t really want to write anything until I met her. The conference I had to attend in Yaounde and hopefully spend a night at her place eating one of her healthy and deli dishes she sometimes tempts us here with, was suddenly postponed. Gladly another opportunity came up and Yaounde I did have to go. I braved the 8hrs trip because above all I was going to meet my heroine. Her voice left me mesmerized, we just got into each other. We both don’t hear so well and so we enjoyed reading our lips and using our hands lol. I am a passionate advocate of some causes too and so I love meeting other passionate advocates like her. And to say we were UB mates? Well chakara me couldn’t meet calm and focused people like her there. And to think I was dreaming she could be my petite soeur because of her petite self and gentleness? Lol see me to blush. Life has lessons. Am a proud student. What is there to fear about sickle cell? Follow my heroine Arrey Echi and be educated. Thank you darling for receiving me.

The opportunity came up while I honoured an invitation to the 2nd national days for Mental Health. I got to Yaounde on Monday and left her house on Thursday morning. She simply spoiled me and I wrote the following about her on Facebook.

Marie A Abanga is feeling grateful with Arrey Echi and 3 others.

Yesterday at 05:43 ·

Arrey Echi I will celebrate you from the mountain top because you are a remarkable person with a very warm heart. I am not saying this because of all the food you loaded me with (wish I could finish each of those plates however lol), I am saying this because of your gentle and caring nature. When someone in 2018, warms you water for your bath, you go on your knees and say a special prayer for them. You came back home early not feeling so great, but you still offered to fry some plums? Chai thank God I had already brushed my teeth and quickly went me to bed. This early am you asked me to wait for a quick breakfast or take along, ha mami, I couldn’t for the love of me accept that o. Now, the advocacy you do for Sickle cell is not just noise, I witnessed you eating balanced meals and sleeping good and co. You even thought me why it was VIP to know one’s genotype using a simple to understand diagram. Have I said before I am mesmerized by your voice? I wish I could stay longer and learn sign language like that other student of yours. Dearest Arrey, I will celebrate you now and not later. Thank you so much, and thank you too Yensi. Dearest Arrey then, hopefully see you next time in your office where there wouldn’t be all that food hahahaha.

Now, talking about being a Sickle voice, the food didn’t kill my voice hahaha. I learned why it is so vip to know our genotype and she used this diagram to explain that to me.

save_20180926_104236

I think I was lucky gambling into making babies without knowing my genotype. I will however get the boys and I tested cause one never knows, and for them, iy would be great knowing their genotype now and not when they fall ‘madly in love’ hahahaha.

Anyways, dear Arrey, I just wanted the world to know what a pearl I have found in you. All the excellent work you do to raise awareness, and that am adding my voice to your campaign and say, ‘No Sickle cell is not witchcraft’, people can live with sickle cell into a ripe old age, #NotoStigma

Happy weekend everyone

p.s; let me just mention that Arrey brought me so much popularity on Facebook with a total of over 170 likes and about 50 comments on all my write ups about her lol

Talking about kids+talents: May I introduce OTANG The Rap Princess from Cameroon


With the above clip, and in light of this week’s theme on my blog about children and their amazing talents, I wish to introduce OTANG The Rap Princess from Cameroon Africa.

Its been just 3 months since I discovered this free style of hers on Facebook…and you can tell I was mesmerized to the point of contacting her manager to offer pro bono legal services for when the big deals start coming lol – and bet ya they are here already. Miss OTANG DA GAME CHANGER is already the “Brand Ambassador of the Voice of Hope International Foundation”.

Recently on promotion in Yaounde the capital city – invited to some prominent shows and all such great platforms, she took time out to reach out to the less privileged kids on the streets.

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And so, her EP was recently released in grand style, and is currently making waves in Cameroon.

OTANG is a brand and voice to be watched and I hope some big labels sign her on early before the deal skyrockets…read more about this Game Changer on the awesome 237Showbiz site right here.

 

OTANG is my heroine no joke, I can’t wait to meet her in person and get my own selfie while the celebrity train is still within my reach o

1st Globuntu Online Summit: I’ll be telling my story from breakdown 2 breakthrough


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looking at all 10 storytellers, do I look like the typical  ‘Angry black woman’? hahaha

Hello world,

Another is week is here and we are starting a new month for real. Wow, the 9th month in this 2018 which just started like yesterday? And yet, I have so much to tell about this year, one which my spirit revealed to me was my year of Grace. Ah, it’s been Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…all along. Thank God really that I blog so much and have all my records as I progress – cause sometimes it could feel surreal what has happened or is planned by faith you know…

One of these plans, is to join a panel of 10 amazing storytellers to share my story of what I did when “Shit happened”, and I was near checking out altogether from this life.

Storyteller Marie Abanga

You could watch the Ted X by the amazing founder and host Ms Beatrice Achaleke – my boss lol, where she talked about what she did when “shit happened” in her own life. Needless to say Beatrice is my heroine, have worked with her from my most tender age and we are related by much more than blood. Here is the introductory post I did of her several years ago hahaha.

 

Now therefore, anyone who believes like Iyanla Vanzart once asserted that:

“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.”

Will rush to book one of the few remaining early bird tickets before they are all picked up…click right here and sign-up cause am so excited to get to tell my story on this beautiful platform offered by the Globuntu Academy for Happy Minds. I will forever be grateful to and for Beatrice.

While at it, maybe you would love to check out the Facebook event page or look out for the Globuntu Academy for Happy Minds?

Judy Joli ma miss et heroine


Hello World, happy midweek. I am writing today about one pretty little backbone of my support system, there was simply no way I could ever write about my support system without ‘Ma Miss Judy’ being among – and am planning a post on my super support system next week lol

When I moved back home from Belgium in August 2015, and decided to settle back once and for all, it was easier said than done. I hung out at mum’s for 6 months and then found a place of my own. I then knew I needed help keeping that place up and running before my head exploded. I put that into prayers and went about my business. A few days later at a shop, a friend of the sales assistant, boldly but politely told me she was looking for a job – just any job she quickly added. I called her 3 days later to offer her the house help job I was seeking to fill, and she quickly accepted the offer and told me she could start the very next day.

Judy (I quickly added Joli because she is pretty and loves to make “nyanga”), came and in no time became my first ever PA and ‘tata Judy’ to the boys. In short, I could write a pamphlet about ma miss Judy, ah God is good. Her youthful spirit and constant cheer, make her so ‘go to and wonderful’. I learned so much from her, and taught her all I could. She still calls me maman to this day lol. I was so happy our home was equally a safe haven for her and she even spent some weekends – just because. I visited her family and still do when there is an event. Her father is a carpenter and you can imagine all my wooden furniture are from him – and that is no joke…I love my bed above all lol

And so, when it was time to move on, I recommended her for her next job. Yet, we have stayed together. When my eye was going through what I call ‘it’s own hiatus’, Judy  Joli showed up sometimes like an Angel – when most needed. When am to be on the go, just an sms or phone call to Judy’s dad and ma miss is at home for back up.

She is so full of life ma miss – seriously she is one of my natural anti depressants. when I asked her to send me some of her pictures for this post, she simply dumped an album on me hahaha

For all the above, all what Judy Joli is to the boys and I, I will forever be grateful. She is my heroine, and the best aunt her ‘new comer cute’ niece could ever ask for.

Pour Judy

Quand tu va finalement lire ceci ma chère Judy Joli, sache que le monde entier sait maintenant quelle chérie tu est pour les garçons et moi. Je suis très reconnaissant, que Dieu te bénisse et protege pour toujours. Beaucoup de gros bisous, maman

Introducing The Hope Centre and Yensi my heroine


 

Hello world, happy new week. A few months ago, I received a wonderful and dynamic lady called Yensi Helen Jokem in my modest abode at a time when my left eye was threatening shut down. I concluded after that trial that indeed in life, it could sometimes get worse before it gets better.  Hope kept me going during that very challenging period of time, one which equally saw me doing a 70 days spiritual journey with long intermittent fasting.

Yensi is the Founder and CEO of  The Hope Center, and she has a dynamic team; oh how I wish I were one of them. It is so awesome working on something so noble as instilling hope for one of the most vulnerable and marginalized group of human beings. Whether we all agree or not, women and girls are victims of told and untold atrocities all over the world and in alarming proportions. Indeed, violence against women seems to be so common and would I call it ‘evil effective’, to the point that it is being replicated in wars and civil unrest on large scales with the intention of causing long term physical and psychological damage to the victims and all those concerned with her existence (when the woman is damaged, her entire family suffer and her husband’s ego and reputation is tainted once and for all). Here I am talking about violence against women which is now internationally considered a weapon of war.

Truth be told, if we taught our children to respect one another and not resort to violence as the means or resolving disputes and conflicts, they would likely grow up with those values. They would respect each other as siblings and partners, and will chose dialogue over violence more often than we currently see.

 

We survivors of Domestic Violence also need to share our stories through all mediums possible. We need to stop the vicious cycle of victimhood to silencehood to nothinghood. Anyways, I did when Yensi asked me to, and was really honoured when my story was featured in the very first edition of their awesome magazine: “STOP THE DV” with DV meaning Domestic Violence. Yensi and I both attended the landmark and over due Leading Ladies conference in Yaounde some time ago, and that is where she gave me a copy of the magazine featuring my own survivor and success story. What an honour and priviledge.

DV is for real and we really need to be the hope for one another. DV has led to mental health challenges and illnesses, the trauma can be destabilizing and damaging for the rest of one’s life. It can never be overemphasized, the time to speak up is always now. Stigma is still so rife even ‘developed countries’, what more can we expect in ‘least developed countries’ like Cameroon?

It is for all the above, and for the charm and courtesy I find in Yensi, that I am proud to consider her one of my heroines. Thank you Yensi for reaching out to me, and for all the awesome work you do out there. There is help available people, do not suffer in silence out of shame and stigma.

P.S: If you or any organization you know, would love to donate to the Hope Center, kindly do not hesitate to contact Yensi or the center through their Facebook Page.

Barakah Barakah my heroine and the Prisoner’s Night…


I have truly and remarkably been blessed beyond measure to meet wonderful people in my life. There sure is something about me or better still the spirit which attracts all these amazing people to my modest self – or takes me to them fearlessly. I met Barakah Barakah precisely on the 18th of January 2016 (my 36th birthday). We were both invitees on a show and although I was so low that day, Barakah and the host did it – Barakah especially with her zeal and all brought my spirits back up…thank you my dearest Barakah Barakah especially with that surprise birthday cake lol

37th-birthday

How can I not celebrate this special Barakah Barakah …she is another one – we say out here she is too much. Look, me thinks BB as I fondly call her, is connected to super natural energy. She is a …what do I say and what do I leave out? Ok for the sake of this post, she is an artist. When am in the office or even at home and I just want to sing for Jesus, I put one of BB’s tapes with my favourite being Back to Jesus. See some of her CD covers for yourselves oh…indeed Mama BB is Addicted to Worship lol

She has no complex whatsoever, so down to earth and full of admiration for everyone she meets. Let me just share more of my picture collection of BB

I have worked in the prison for 3 years and I know what a world that is. So many lost ones in there and oh so much pain and suffering and despair. One of BB’s passions is to visit them as many prisons as she can, singing and ministering to them and dancing with them in ways only she can. When BB shows up, even the ever tense prison administration relax. See some of her stuffs out there…

So on Thursday the 5th of July, I’ll be honouring BB’s invitation to her mega CD launch of: ‘the Reason I live’ and the viewing of the documentary she made of her exploits in the prisons.

I wish I had more time to raise funds for this wonderful woman. But I know she will never lack as long as she is doing it all for Jesus.

BB's documentary

‘Le chemin de l’espoir’ in english means the Path of Hope. Indeed, hope is what keeps many an inmate holding on, not ending it all in there, not giving in to the pressure to join a gang or go awol and all the vices you can imagine thrive in there.

I wish BB so so much and hope she gets the prize for which she has been nominated in Atlanta come September this year.

BB, you are my heroine and I’ll always appreciate you for the joy you bring to my heart, my ears and to all who know you especially those behind bars.

Have a fabulous midweek everybody

p.s: let me leave you with this shout out to BB from one of her million fans out here:

Thank you Lord Jesus for this missionary corridor. I pray for the increasement of the grace required to fulfil this commission. Be strong and of a good courage dear sister Barakah Barakah for the Lords of Hosts is with you. Love you dear mummy

Have you ever slept with your childhood photo under your pillow? My experience…


MM the Jittery pupil.jpg

Happy Saturday world,

Am emotional week wrap up right? So, a hopefully brief post to inspire and motivate us to go for it, whatever it takes to heal and nurture our inner child.

Soul Signature

During my 70 days spiritual journey, one of the books I studied (you don’t read such books I swear) was by Panache Desai called 33 days of Discovering Your Soul Signature. On one of those days, you have morning and evening study guides now; he encouraged/challenged the ‘student’ to take down their childhood picture from where it is tucked, look that picture square in the face and seek bonding and healing. That picture of mine I have labelled MM the Jittery pupil and one indeed I was at that age.
I thought some about bringing it down from just above my bed, thinking what the heck I can just stand up chat with you and sleep. But no, spirit nagged and I brought MM jittery pupil down and said ok it’s my bed time so let’s just sleep – under the pillow I tucked her.

Guess how many times I got up sweating that night? 3 good times. And how long I slept? 5 hours instead of usual 7. What was up? Jittery had much jittering to do and directly from beneath the pillow into my brain poor (or rather lucky now) me.

Long story short since I promised a brief post, we reviewed so much from that era in different stages of sleep and bonding, and guess what happened in the am? The photo I had been trying to no avail to rip open (the plastification I had had done, was now ruining it and I wanted to take that out); just opened up some and it can now be salvaged. See below

And so world, go ahead and sleep with your childhood photo under your pillows and let’s see how it goes – for me it was simply put THERAPEUTIC

Enjoy your Saturday everyone, I have one jittery week ahead lol

p.s: I just look up the word jittery and it is: “Nervous, unable to relax” Gosh where did I take that to label my picture? No doubt that night was jittery – really the thoughts we think, words we speak or use, hmm they do come around oh