African News

Everyday is Mother’s Day

By  | 12 May 2012 at 17:58 | 602 views

Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world on different dates. In the United States and Ghana, in West Africa, the event falls on the 2nd Sunday in May, that is May 13th this year. Ghanians placed 98% more calls last Mother’s Day than the average, registering the highest calls in the world. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Nigeria the day is observed on the 4th Sunday of Lent. May is the most popular month for this event. But I refuse to be sold into the commercialization of this special day, honoring our mothers who have endured indispensable roles in our lives. I consider every mom priceless.

For me, everyday is Mother’s Day. I don’t know of anyone who’s not the child of a mother, even Christ the son of God had an earthly mother, Mary. It saddens me when politicians in the US claim that they value the sanctity of life, and uphold family values but go on to show how much they value families by chopping off a big chunk from food stamps, childcare provisions or housing for the poor and needy. At the same time their rhetoric on abortion grows vicious and divisive. Are they speaking from both sides of their mouths? If men were to conceive and carry babies, a debate might not even exist.

I’m proud to adore, if not immortalize my mom, Mrs. Eva Koni Marke,pictured, who turns 86 this year. She gave birth to 7 children, the youngest is deceased, and she worked a full time job, where she rose to the position of manager. She carried out her responsibilities lovingly, faithfully and judiciously. She invested her life and treasure in all of us her kids. In Sierra Leone, where retirement benefits are negligible, often non-existent in most cases: investing in the upbringing and education of one’s kids is the best investment. Mom’s zeal for living is ever stronger, trying to outlive her mother the late granny Victoria Tryson of blessed memory, who lived till the ripe age of 98 years. Yes, the genes of longevity is in my DNA. But in today’s stressful world married to cut throat competition for survival, longevity is not guaranteed.

The best gift we could give our moms aside from supporting them financially, during these trying times, is to live a life that makes them proud rather than dragging the family name through the mud. Moms get most of the blame if the kids don’t turn out well, while fathers get the lion’s share, if they do. I encourage folks to call mom all the time, not only on Mother’s Day, and tell her how much you appreciate her, and thank her for the endless sacrifice she made for you. I remember being interviewed by the UN radio in Sierra Leone, before it merged with Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. Mama heard the interview in Freetown, and was so overwhelmed hearing my voice on national radio, during the nation’s Independence anniversary that she called me in the US to express her sentiments. Though it was not a big deal to me, for her it was more than a big deal. Her son was on radio and that made her day. It is not just our deep pockets that make mom proud and elated, though that helps a lot, but our deeds. What we do with our lives and how we impact our closely knit society and the world. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and prospective mothers. The joy of motherhood is a wonderful, special gift and blessing from God. My poem, Heroine in my life, says it better as it pulls through my heart strings.

Heroine in my life

How quickly time races on
Mama’s love’s ever the same
She has endured anxious times
As teary eyed loving tears flowed.

Gave priceless sacrifice of love
Tender heart as warm comfort
Mama, I’m innately proud of you
Enjoy long life amid good health
Enjoy more showers of blessings.

Peace as happiness be yours
Mama is the heroine in my life
May God bless you dear mama
Strong African roots is a blessing
Indeed, everyday is “Mother’s Day.”

Roland Bankole Marke © 2012

Roland Bankole Marke is the Deputy Editor of The Patriotic Vanguard, a Sierra Leonean publication based in Canada. He’s the author of 3 books and 3 CDs and scores of articles, short stories and commentaries, published around the world. He lives and writes in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

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