Tribute To My First Love, My Mother
"My son never seek help from juju men, soothsayers, fake mallams and fake prophets. When you need anything, go down on your knees and ask God yourself. If you are destined for something, He will grant you and if you don't get your wish, be patient". This was your advice to me before I set off to Accra to start my first degree in Legon. Your advice is as fresh as a virgin on my mind. I will never disappoint you, mma.
I would like to use this medium to express my sincere gratitude to you for all the love and care you have shown me ever since I was born. I am not a musician else I would have composed a most beautiful song for you and I would have sung your praises to the hearing of the entire world. Nobody deserves to be celebrated more than you. I mean nobody. Unfortunately, I am not a gifted singer. Mum, kindly ignore my deficiencies in the art of music and accept this short tribute from me.
There is a saying that a mother is next to God. Indeed, you are next to God. It is said that a mother's love cannot be described in words. Yes! Our elders say a mother's love for her children doesn't end until she dies. Some say a mother's love is infinite. Others say a mother's love is incomparable. Mma Halima, I attest that all these descriptions suit you and fit you so well. You gave birth to me, bathed me, cleaned me, watched every step of mine to prevent me from harming myself and others from harming me.
You clothed me and taught me how to say my first word "mma" ( meaning mother). You held my hand and taught to me how to take my first step when you used say my son "ta ta ta ta" and I began walking following the "ta ta ta ta" rhythm. You used to put me to sleep by singing the most melodious lullabies which formed the basis of my earliest musical experience. From you I got my first kiss and my first hug. We never went hungry for even a minute despite the long absence of our father sometimes. Yes, us! It wasn't easy bringing up nine children ( 5 boys and 4 girls).
I recall your hustles, sometimes under difficult situations just to feed me and my siblings. Though I was quite young, I remember like yesterday how you sold waakye and tuo shinkafa (rice balls) to take care of us. Of course, I witnessed your frustrations when my father's relatives used to rebuke you for selling food because to them it was unthinkable for Alhaji Hamza's (a well to do man) wife to sell food to fend for her kids. There are consequences for every action. Polygamous marriages also have consequences for husbands, wives and children. Being a second wife, we paid for the consequences together with you, our mother. It wasn't your fault that you stopped selling food.
We understood you and knew what you were going through. Whereas, everyone was looking at the outside wealth, you were suffering inside but your constant smiles and patience hid all that from people.
You never gave up on me especially when I reached my teenage stage where I used to stir few troubles. I appreciate all your interventions. You always encouraged me to do my best under any circumstance and never give up. You always stood by us and never let us down. Today, you tell me my son, Hanif, is just like me in everything. Who else could have said this but you, my mother.
Hajia Halima mom, I have always appreciated you and appreciate you even more today because I am now a father of three children. I now understand what you went through very well. May God bless you and forgive you any errors you made while bringing up your children. May God bless every mother everywhere.
You stood by me when I was in JSS three and contracted measles and chicken pox within a period of one month. Nobody wanted to come closer to me for fear of contracting my ailments but you took care of me and wiped me as if I was a baby. I remember how you wept when I said out of grief, "who else could have done what you are doing for me?" Thank you mom.
A woman who served his husband and nine children deserved not just a compliment but a most wonderful reward. Mma Halima, may Allah reward you handsomely. I pledge to do my my best to make you happy in your old age. Not everyone lives up to seventy years. Not every mother lives long enough to see her grandchildren and great grandchildren. You are blessed, mma. May Allah bless you and only take you away when He is most pleased with you.
Not forgetting my father, Alhaji Hamza Hamma. May Allah be merciful to his soul. His guidance is what has brought me this far. A man whose boots none of his children has been able to wear. He was married to three women with twenty two children. He was extremely generous, extremely kind, extremely honest, extremely caring and extremely prayerful. Death is decreed for everyone. One day we will all join you in the Hereafter. May Allah grant you paradise.
Mma, I would like to end this tribute here. May Allah bless you, elevates you, rewards you, be merciful to you, give you long life and grant you paradise. Ameen!