Prior to this tragedy I never thought mine would come to pass. I thought I was immune but, alas life has a way of showing you otherwise.
Mine occurred on Monday the 4th March 2013 between the hours of 12midnight and 6am. I have laughed, cried and experienced all the different emotions known to human since then but I know that my life simply will NEVER be the same again.
After that terrible experience, and one very significant occurrence the “MAAMI FOUNDATION” was born. I realised that not only would my mother be pleased with it, but in a bittersweet way, this lifelong heartbreak has also empathised my role in this community we call “world” by bringing happiness to, if not many children. At least one child
Why the name MAAMI? It simply translates to ‘My Mother’; and one of the many titles I called my mum. It is also a famous pet name used amongst the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa in addressing their mothers.
Why is the primary focus Nigeria? My mum would say “East or West, North or South, home is still the best”, more so we have all heard the saying charity begins at home.
I am blessed to have enjoyed and experienced the power of a mother’s love and still do in that I know she is always with me and left me with an amazing family, teachings and legacy. But sometimes, just the odd times, I worry that I am forgetting her voice or her face and at such times I cannot help but to think about the thousands of children who are not fortunate to have experienced such love, the love we had. Whether it be children who didn’t get a chance to say good bye, or who also lost their mothers to circumstances they couldn’t control, or even the mothers who didn’t think them special enough to keep them but abandon them in such horrendous circumstances, and the list goes on.
Whilst we might never be able to completely fill that void we can do our best and make such children feel special and loved in our own little way. It is likely that the journey will be tough, challenging, disheartening but also happy, rewarding and pleasing. If it is just one person that is touched by our act, then WE know WE did well because there is no how this deed will not trickle down to the next person and the next person. (I purposely used WE as although, it is my story, this journey requires collective effort).
I don’t claim to be the knight in shining armour, or the know it all genius, but whilst making mistakes, falling and telling “life” , “Is this all you’ve got?” and then picking myself on this journey, I am determinedly creating memories to look back on and continuously striving to living a purposeful life.
Lastly, like the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promise and reminder of his mercy and love. I hope WE can be a symbol of hope to these children. After all, there is that adage in Yoruba which says “Orisa bi iya kosi” meaning “there is no deity like a mother’.