Posted in Advocacy, Epilepsy Advocacy, Mental Health Advocacy

My Heart cries out for Boubou’s Case: Any mite goes a long way


Boubou

Hello World,

When I recently went on GoFundMe with the intention of starting a campaign to crowd source some funds for an MSC in Mental Health Psychology to start in September, I could not help but read this campaign. My spirit moved me to do all I could to get the word out and help a desperate family get the utmost medical attention their sweet Boubou needed.

I found an local number on the campaign and got in touch, and it was Boubou’s mother herself and she was from my own country – ha. Boubou is 5 years and has probably been through so so much we can’t even begin to imagine. She told me he now had induced epilepsy – oh my poor Boubou. Boubou is his nickname and it is an affective name for a sweet baby like him.

Please, let me stop writing and just wish that any gentle readers and followers of my blog will donate a mite to Boubou’s cause, and why not share this post as much as possible.

May God bless us all abundantly

Have a great week

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden

Formally introducing Marie Abanga the Clinical Psychologist and CBT Therapist


img-20180518-wa0014-1080993919.jpg
How Grateful can I really be? Oh my oh my

 

Hello World,

It is getting more elaborate what I am up going to be up to in the second leg of my journey here on earth. I hope my God gives me an full opportunity to do all He is giving the Grace and Talents to do already so far.

One of the most awesome things I have undertaken and will be furthering my studies in, is clinical psychology alongside with CBT Therapy. It is possible to do and be all you dream of, and if you fall short of all that you will land in some place you’ll still appreciate and be very grateful for.

I am celebrating this other milestone with its own dedicated website, hmm am grateful for the sleepless nights in Belgium setting up my blog. The website is tougher but I could manage quiet some and did got some help too.

It is still a work in progress of course, but this is what I got so far and will seriously appreciate candid feedback.

Here is the address lol: https://www.marieabanga.com/

I am leaving the office now for a well deserved weekend, be inspired and motivated someone

Have a fabulous weekend us all

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Parenting

In our Gender neutral Kitchen, everyone tries their best


At least in our kitchen, wherever we make or find one, everyone tries their best. Gone are the days when boys were not to be seen or allowed in the kitchen. I know some African men will still rather go hungry than go into a kitchen, but am not raising those kind neither do I let any man who comes into my home sit and be served.

Alain is the next in command here and cooks so well for his age; Dave loves more of pancakes, salads, fruit juices or smoothies; while Gaby wants to become a chef and takes much pride in doing risotto and helping me out preparing different ingredients for the meal.

Gaby peeling peanuts for soup
Gaby peeling groundnuts for groundnut soup, but not advisable o. I got back only half of that poor me

Indeed, I learnt the hard way to want to do it all by myself lol

Happy Sunday us all, and may we parents in here consider empowering our males to cook hahaha

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: This Child Will be Great by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


Picture below is on one of her release from prison in her struggle era
Picture below is on one of her release from prison in her struggle era

My second book review on this blog, is as powerful as it captivating. When I wrote a post about Mama Ellen (as she is fondly called), that she was my heroine and idol, I had not even read this book. That title is a ‘prophecy’ made by an old man who visited the baby Ellen at birth. Great indeed she today is right? She will forever be remembered not only for her record breaking and holding especially in Africa, but also for her famous statement. She said:

“All girls know that they can be anything now. That transformation is to me one of the most satisfying things.” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

I had the privilege to meet, talk to briefly and take a snap shot of Mama Ellen in November 2013 when I was sent on a near ‘mission impossible’ to get Mama to come and deliver the keynote address

Delivering her Keynote address at the WIP inaugural summit in 2013
Delivering her Keynote address at the WIP inaugural summit in 2013

at our inaugural summit. I succeeded, she came, delivered the keynote and told me she encouraged young dynamic women like me.

I took this shot because none of her guards would take a photo of us
I took this shot because none of her guards would take a photo of us

Synopsis of the Book

When I started reading that book, the very first page made me conclude, and rightly so as I eventually read, that most of it was written by Mama Ellen herself. I also noticed that it was published in 2009, that is three years into her first term as president and it meant that she was putting herself out there knowing fully well the ‘damage’ the book could cost her plans for a second term.

I say she took chances because she is as personal in several instances as she is candid. Who talks about her marriage to an abusive man when she was only 17 years old? Mama does. Who talks about her having four boys by 23 years old? Mama again. Who talks about knowing the pain of leaving your children behind at such tender ages (the last barely 1 year old) to go further your life? Of course only mama can do that. And of being unfaithful in marriage? Read that book for yourselves!

Yes, even on the political narration of her struggle, she is as candid. She tells how referring to the Doe regime in a speech as a bunch of ‘idiots’, landed her into serious trouble, earned her some jail time in one of those nocturnal confines (She actually says it did her some good, she rested and got to live first hand the life of an inmate), and above all, almost led to her being raped or killed. In each of those several narratives, she was saved she believes, by her mother’s fervent prayers and some ‘angel’ in the body of one of the guards.

Mama Ellen also tells of her campaigns to the Executive Mansion. The first time in 1997 was against the then all powerful Charles Taylor, and she says barely anybody supported her ‘folly’. Of course, she lost ‘woefully’ as she puts it, but she knows Taylor won by all ‘scrupulous’ means possible.  Her inauguration day on that famous January 2006 is the best day of her life and the speech she made on that day, is fortunately annexed to that book.

My Rating

I normally as in a previous book review, write about the author. But what can I write about Mama Ellen? Who doesn’t know her? I mean, for fear of not missing one of her stars, I will urge you to Google her and her book. Frankly, anything less than a five star will be lying to my own self.

I salute her, she is my icon, idol, heroine and you name it. I mean I was once asked who is the one person I will give my all to have dinner with, of course Mama I said.  She even works in her cabinet with some former warlords and fighting factions and guess, Mr Taylor’s ex wife is a Senator in their Parliament. I have also met her and heard her talk well of Mama.

Dear gentle readers and followers, this is my modest tribute to this great woman and writer and I look forward to others too. And you, what’s your take on this? As for me, I’ve got to ask my mama if some one said anything when I was born 🙂

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, My Memoirs

Mental Health in Africa: My Story


It's time to talk
It’s time to talk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear readers and followers, it is time to talk more seriously about mental health. Not only are statistics glaring of an increase in the number of patients and the failure of ‘society’ as a whole to tackle mental health issues, but ‘we’ the patients, are so scared of the stigma attached to our ‘diagnosis’, that we prefer to just shut up and ‘die’ out our own way!

l won’ talk about facts and statistics the world over or even only in Africa. No, l will speak from experience. Mine and what l observed, drawing from my brother’s and others’. l was therefore honored to receive an invitation by Trish over at Mentalhealthtalk, to do a guest post on this ‘salient and silent subject’. Kindly hop over to read the rest of that post with just one click right here: Sure, your comments will be highly appreciated.

Real facts and figures?
Real facts and figures?

l don’t know how real those facts and figures are of if they apply to Africa. l only know what l have experienced as a ‘patient’ and a ‘caregiver’.

l want to be the change, l think the time is now:

Be the Change
Be the Change

Fortunately, we have a lot of resources online to help us in our research in finding ways to avoid or cope with mental illness. l thus found this info graphics5-Cs-diagram-0011 worth sharing:

And this one is even more descriptive of the ways we can help ourselves and others l hope:

Ways to wellbeing
Ways to wellbeing

 l envy all those organized social services out here and all the helplines at your disposal or the insurance you could take out to help with costs and all.

mental-health-conversation-top-tips

My personal relationships are changing from now on; and l remember a recent post l just did where l expressed my determination to bounce back into life firmer.

We too can make a difference in someone’s  life, after helping our own selves out of course!

Dear gentle readers and followers, let’s not relent our efforts to make our lives and our worlds a better place, or what says thou?

Posted in My Heroines

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, an Icon, my Heroine!


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ( 1938 – )H.E Ellen Johnson at the Eu.dev days!

(I took this picture myself)

“All girls know that they can be anything now. That transformation is to me one of the most satisfying things.”

Her education began at the College of West Africa, Monrovia, and culminated in a Master’s degree at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her education and training in banking, economic and financial management gained her a trusted position as Minister of Finance of Liberia in 1979. Unfortunately, Johnson Sirleaf’s high standards and desire to improve Liberia led her to clash with the corruption and rivalry at the time. A ten year sentence under house arrest was followed by another position and then by a fortunate escape into exile. This was a turbulent and painful time in Liberia’s history. The frequent power struggles resulted in two tragic civil wars.Astonishingly, the civil war was brought to a sudden end by Liberia’s most voiceless population – its women, following their courageous stand in 2003. When she won the 2005 election, Johnson Sirleaf became the first female elected head of state in Africa. In 2011, she was one of a trio of women to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Healing her nation and setting it on the right track is what drives Ellen Johnson Sirleaf each day.

This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf)

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

When I prepared this post for my heroine two days ago and saved it as a draft, I had intended to post it on Thursday morning when she had been scheduled to give a Key Note Address at the WIP 2013 Summit.

However, circumstances intervened and I was sent on an almost impossible mission to secure the president’s gracing of the opening ceremony tomorrow at 2.30pm. I braved it and I did  and yes I got much more, she greeted me and not only her but also Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica and Dlamini Zuma of the AU.

Yes, her grandma had foretold that she will be great, she lost the first time she ran for the presidency but she ran again and won, so for me it is a sure sign of greater accomplishment to be greeted by such a great woman!