To Our Mother, Aunty Martha, Good Night
MRS MARTHA Takang Ogwugwua Udemagwuna known popularly within the family circle as ‘‘Aunty Martha” or better still ‘Nne Kings’ was born to the family of the late Mr and Mrs Tabort of Bakwelle Town in Manyu division of South West Province of Cameroun. She was the second daughter in a family of four comprising two male and two females.
A sojourn from her town, Bakwelle, to Manfe, within same Manyu division, paved way for the actualisation of her destiny as she met a handsome young man from Nigeria, Mr. Benjamin Ogwugwua Udemagwuna, then 19 years old, who was at that point a successful patent medicine dealer in Manfe. Martha and Benjamin fell in love with each other and happily got married. The union is blessed with eight successful children — two males and six females.
Aunty Martha, due to the loss of her father at a very tender age, did not have the opportunity of western education but successfully engaged in numerous businesses in Manfe before her final relocation from Cameroun to Nigeria and indeed, Onicha-Ugbo, in year 1967 shortly before the commencement of the Nigerian civil war.
To many who know her very well, she was one woman who wholesomely and dedicatedly gave herself to the demands of her marriage, which culminated in ensuring that all her children advanced academically. She always told her children: “I no longer feel pains that I didn’t attend any school especially now that all of you have not only gone to school but also done me proud academically.”
Our mother had a rare quality in home and family coordination especially with her daily dealings with all Tom Dick and Harry. In all our years with her in the village both as toddlers and grown-ups, we can’t ever remember any day we saw her quarrel with any member of our immediate and extended family neither did we equally witness her quarrel or exchange words with anybody in Onicha-Ugbo town or anywhere for that matter. No wonder our kid sister, Queen, calls her ‘‘Madam no comment” because she let go easily when dangerously offended.
Madam ‘‘No Comment” spiced her life with the things of God. She belonged to many Christian associations while alive. Working in the vineyard of God was more of a way of life for her and she fundamentally proved that as a member of Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild of the Anglican Communion.
It is pertinent to mention here that Aunty Martha in her quest for education enrolled with an Adult Education Centre and subsequently wrote the primary six examinations and graduated in flying colours. To God’s glory, the result she acquired was to later play a formidable role in her life as she used it in 2002 to secure a job as a health attendant with Aniocha North Local Council, Issele-Uku, where she meritoriously served in the Health Department of the council rising to the position of Head, Health Attendants, till her demise on September 5, 2015.
Our dear mother, no doubt we are greatly pained by your early and unannounced exit but we are consoled more by the remarkable and Christian life you lived. Were it possible, all your children seated with you the day you departed this sinful world at your hospital bed would have fought that monstrous death and got victory but it was beyond us.
We painfully remember your last minutes struggle with death and your persistent cries and appeals that we help you so you could live.