Emmanuel Gabari: Fond memories of my late mother (30 Days, 30 Voices)

Whoever says miracles don’t still happen? Whoever says God doesn’t answer prayers? Hmm, think again, because am a living proof of God’s faithfulness.

“Sweet mother, I no go forget you, for the suffer wey you suffer for me …….”,  that was the lyrics of a very popular award winning song done many years back and still an ever-green masterpiece today. Every time I hear that song, it brings back nostalgic feelings for me and makes me remember my late mother.

Hmm, where do I start from? How do I begin to recall the trauma I went through and the shock I suffered when she died?  Well, I lost my mum when I was 14 and that was when I saw the other side of life.  I was from a polygamous home and my dad had several wives and many children.  Sadly though, I was the only child from my mum to my dad, so life was like a “one man squad” for me; typical example of suffering amidst plenty.

The trauma and pains I went through was excruciating and almost indescribable.  Was it the torture I received from my late mother’s people? Or the lukewarm attitude my other siblings treated me with when I needed them most?

I look back today and I realise that God is God and will ALWAYS be there for those who diligently seek Him.  He will ALWAYS make a way when there seems to be no way, only IF we put our trust in Him.

I still can’t believe that at 14, I had to do all types of menial jobs just to get food to eat and shelter for myself.  I still can’t believe I was able to go to school and even got up to tertiary institution, not to talk of graduating and now working in a broadcasting house as an on-air personality.

And this is where I remember Mum’s words to me when she was alive.  She would always say to me: “my son, I know you will grow up to be great.  Live your dream, don’t let anything or anyone, not even me, stop you from achieving greatness.  Don’t hinder your own self from achieving happiness.  It’s your right and you must fight for it”.  Aaah, whenever I recall those sweet words of encouragement from Mum, I get a boost and gingered to face life’s challenges.

In my final year in school, I couldn’t complete my school fees.  It was few weeks to my final exams and I knew what would happen to me if I couldn’t pay.  I searched everywhere and asked everyone but the chorus answer I got from everybody was ‘No!’

As I sat in the corner of my room packing my things into my bag and getting set to “expel”, “withdraw”, “rusticate” myself from school, I felt so alone.  I felt so sad about how people profess love so easily and frequently but never make any move to show it or even lift a finger to assist a “loved one” when he/she is in need.  I became sober, looking at all the years I had spent and laboured in school, only for my dreams and aspiration to be thwarted by the non-payment of my tuition fees in my final year.

Tears started rolling down my cheeks, flash back of life’s events played back and forth.  I thought about what my other course mates will say.  Some will laugh and be happy for my “downfall”, others will be sad as well.  I thought about giving up and just ending it all.  Tears flooded my eyes.  Nothing made sense to me at that moment.  I was faced with the stark reality of life.  I was feeling dejected, rejected and so out of place.

Then like a flash and a bang it happened.  Like a picture from a life-size screen projector I pictured Mum’s ever-smiling face and heard her soft voice repeat those words of hers again: “my son, I know u will grow up to be great.  Live your dream, don’t let anything or anyone, not even me, stop you from achieving greatness.  Don’t hinder your own self from achieving happiness.  It’s your right and you must fight for it”.

That bolted me from my dream world to reality.  I reached for my Holy Book and started reading my very favourite scripture that I love so much.  Hmm, do you know the passage? I bet you don’t know it. You think you know it too? Okay, let’s see if you do.  I will read out the first line of that scripture and let’s see if you can complete that verse.  “The Lord is my Shepherd…” (oya complete it and see if you will win my gift. Haha).

Anyway, as I kept reading The Word, I felt an inner joy come alive inside me, hope was building up once again. I knelt down and started praying.  Honestly, I didn’t know what I was mumbling. I just knew that from the deepest part of my heart, my lips were moving and asking God to come to my rescue since He promised to be “a very present help in times of trouble”.  Few minutes later, I slept off while still kneeling down. Hours later, I woke up, wiped my tear-stained eyes, took my bath, ate some food and unbelievably, I picked up my lecture notes and read throughout the day.

I got to school the next day and while in the lecture hall, the bursary office sent for me.  With uncertainty I walked forever to the bursary office, not knowing what to expect.  I got there and I was told to sit down.  Few minutes later (and it seemed like eternity), some lady came in with a file and sat in front of me.  She looked me straight in the eyes and my mouth dried up.

For a minute I thought I was going to have fever.  My hands were shaking, sweat gathered on my forehead.  I thought I could do with some jacket, sweater or even a blanket because I started feeling feverish.  And all of a sudden, she spoke: “young man, why haven’t you completed your school fees”?  I stared at her and then bowed my head in shame.  I opened my mouth and not a word came out.  I started stammering.  I didn’t even make sense to myself, so how could I have passed any reasonable message across to her.

And then suddenly, she smiled.  In my heart I thought she felt I was crazy being in my final year, one of the best students in the class and yet couldn’t pay my fees.  Then she spoke and it was like a verdict, “young man, a philanthropist visited the school yesterday, dropped some money and instructed for it to be used to offset the school fees of any 10 bright students in the school.  We included your name in the list because we felt you deserved to be encouraged”.  She handed me a white envelope and as I opened it and saw many naira mints inside. I fainted.

Whoever says miracles don’t still happen? Whoever says God doesn’t answer prayers? Hmm, think again, because am a living proof of God’s faithfulness.

If you are going through any challenge of some sort, I would like to tell you what Mum used to tell me: “I know you will be great.  Live your dream, don’t let anything or anyone, stop you from achieving greatness.  Don’t hinder your own self from achieving happiness.  It’s your right and so fight for it.”

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Emmanuel Gabari is a broadcaster with Radio Kano Fm.

:)

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30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their stories and experiences with other young Nigerians, within our borders and beyond, to inspire and motivate them.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

Comments (11)

  1. Wow! What a life touching story….couldn't help but to shed tears while reading it, also has gingered me honestly. Surely he will finish what he has started in your life and may the door that he has opened never close. Ur blessed Amb Emmanuel.

  2. Mr Emma Gabari! What a wonderful piece! I admire your courage to share your live true story, it was very touching and I will to Love my Mum, I am happy that you made your Mum proud even in her grave, I know she will be happy with you. It is good that we listen to our Mothers when are talking to us. Sweet Mothers may God bless you all!.

  3. Very inspiring a story line…….it truly appeared as a continuity of my Strength to always have Faith in God because definitely all will be well in a timely manner.Time and chance answereth them all.

  4. There's a HERO inside all of us.

    Pls wake up and live your dreams.

    Make. Yourself happy. Yes u can!!!

    1. U're right Gabari,its always gud 2 believe in God and in urself,because we all have a great deal of greatness buried inside us,but not until we realise and start working on it,it can't be brought to fore

    2. U're right Gabari,its always gud 2 believe in God and in urself,because we all have a great deal of greatness buried inside us,but not until we realise and start working on it,it can't be brought to fore.Gabari,this is a touching story,wish u more of Gods blessings!

  5. Its well my broda, we similar stories n i thank GOD 4 Ur life Gabari.

  6. Wao! We almost share same stories my broda Gabari n i thank God 4 ur life. The good lord wo did urs wll sure do mine dis year in d mighty name of JESUS. Once again i m proud of u Gabari. Kia

  7. Such a wonderful piece but am not surprise reading dis from u. Its in you Gabari , the sky is ur limit as to archieving greatness! Carrygo my correct brother

  8. Thank you for this.

    This was indeed a timely piece for me.

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