December 11, 2018
As you read this story, you will find that some parts of it to be true; and the rest fictional. It is a fiction! If you find similar names, persons, places and events, it should be treated as purely coincidental, and must be considered as such. People who ever lived in similar place like the African Republic of Freedomville will know one or two families or individuals that have had the experience narrated here, and will be able to relate to the story.
The story is about a country located on the West Coast of Africa called the African Republic of Freedomville, whose capital is Virginia. This country was founded by Black Americans from North American. After slavery ended, their former owners did not want them remaining among them in North America, so they came up with the scheme to have them remove from amongst them. The former masters got together, formed an organization called the American Reparation Society (ARS), with the goal of resettling their former slaves in Africa. They made their scheme appeared as humanitarian and Christian responsibility, when in fact, it was being done out of hatred for Blacks. These former masters did not want their former slaves having the same rights and privileges as themselves in North America.
The sad thing about this is, when these Blacks arrived in Africa, they negotiated with the local African chiefs for a piece of land to settle. The chiefs and council of elders provided them the land; the Blacks who now became known as Settlers gave the chiefs, the council of elders and the people tobacco, rum, gun powder among others as their appreciation for the Africans’ kind hospitality. The exchange of gifts was misconstrued as the sale of their land for the tobacco, rum, gun powder, etc., that were given to the Africans as token of appreciation for the use of the land.
The Settlers, who have now settled in Africa, brought with them the so-called superior behavior and mannerism of their former slave masters to Freedomville. They made themselves masters and the indigenous Africans their subjects. They imposed on the indigenous Africans North American antebellum southern plantation cultural hegemony. The culture and the entire way of life, language, religion, traditional schools, and attire of the indigenous population was condemned and considered primitive.
The Freedomville government, churches, school curriculums and all other institutions’ overriding goal and objective were to transform the entire indigenous population into becoming Americans. As the result, names of individuals, schools, streets, towns, cities, counties, government buildings have Euro-American names. For example, the name of the only school that was named in memory of an indigenous person was misspelled. It was spelled D. Tweh High School, instead of the correct spelling of D. Twe. Moreover, the capital of Freedomville too, was named Virginia; and names like Greenville, Lexington, New Georgia, Arlington, and Buchanan where commonplace. Individuals took on names like, Jefferson, George, Lincoln, Washington, Madison, Thomas, Williams, Smith, Cooper, Dennis, Henry, Martha, Maryann, Sarah, Annie, Mary, Josephine, Jane, Dorothy, Louise, Roselyn, Carolyn, etc. Indigenous African names were discouraged and made fun of. They were considered uncivilized names or not good names.
Becoming Americans became so contiguous even indigenous children and children from mix marriages (Americo-Freevilians) were ashamed of identifying with their indigenous backgrounds; the children rather being called Americo-Freevillians than Lorma, Kpelle, Dan, and Mah. They were ashamed as well as refused to speak their indigenous language.
There is a hardworking indigenous woman named Frances K. M. Jones (indigenous names – Korlu Musue Zaza) who is of the Lorma tribe. She was married but the husband left her with two young daughters – ages 6 (Princess) and 7 (Queen) for a younger civilized Americo-Freevillian lady. Frances was a housewife and attending night school when her husband abandoned her and her two girls. With the responsibilities to care for her daughters and work, she dropped out of school in the 9th grade. In the day time Frances sold produce at the Rally Time Market, and in the evening after she assisted her daughters with their school homework, she spent three hours as an apprentice with the well-known seamstress Madam Victoria in the city making designer dresses. To learn the trade, she worked without pay or any monetary compensation. But she was determined to learn the trade in order to provide the best education for her two daughters, Queen and Princess.
With the money she earned from selling produce and sewing for individuals, she used it to enroll her daughters in the American Renaissance Academy (ARA) of America, a prep school. This school is the nation’s best prep school. Her daughters attend the school with children of the elites; and it is difficult to tell the family they were from. The girls wore designer clothes that their mother made; they were cleaver – scored A’s in all of their subjects; spoke perfect English, and exhibited good conduct. However, due to the school’s Renaissance (rebirth) philosophy and their socialization with the children of the elites, they too, took on the superior attitude of the Americo-Freevillians, but kept it hidden from their mother. They behaved like Frankenstein’s Mr. Jacko and Hyde. At home, they were well-mannered, but in the company of their elite friends, they would say things like the indigenous people can’t speak good English; they talk funny, their attires are stupid looking; they speak those funny sounding languages, and they are annoying and smell bad.
While still serving as an apprentice under Madam Victoria, Frances met Benjamin Kojoe, Madam Victoria’s bookkeeper; she and Kojoe had a serious romantic relationship; their relationship produced a boy child they named Kwame Kojoe. After a three- year relationship, Kojoe moved back to Ghana when the civil war in Freedomville started.
Prior to Frances’ daughters entering high school, she completed her apprenticeship, became a fashion designer, and gone into business for herself. She named her business Ingenious Ebony Designer, Ltd. She bought herself a Peugeot Station Wagon that she used for the business.
After Queen and Princess graduated from the American Renaissance Academy of America high school, Frances used the money she had saved for their education; she sent them aboard for college. Queen went to Yuke University in North Carolina, while Princess went off to Jeffersontown University in Virginia, USA. After several years of studies, Queen became a medical doctor and Princess earned herself a graduate degree in Nursing and worked as a Registered Nurse Manager. Queen got married to an African America, had a daughter, and worked as a staff physician in a hospital in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area.
Over the years, the relationship between Frances her two daughters turned not so good. Queen did not want her mother coming around her, and whenever she did, Queen complained about her looks, speech and every negative thing one could think about – to the point she would spread around her mother while she is sitting in the living room. Princess exhibits similar behaviors too, towards her mother. Kwame is the only child that love and care for their mother. Queen’s daughter whom they named England usually makes fun of her grandmother’s speech (accent). At one time she told her mother that she doesn’t like for her grandmother coming to their home because whenever she comes around she pollute the house with her foul scent, and they laughed about it without Queen scorning her daughter for her cantankerous behavior.
At the end of the 14-years civil war, Frances opened an orphanage to care for the children whose parents died during the civil war or could not locate their parents or family members. She had over 100 children at her “God Will Make A Way Orphanage Home”, commonly refer to as “The Home of Loving Kindness”. The children at the home are provided meal three times a day, health care, hygiene, basic grooming and therapy to de-traumatize them; general education, Bible Studies, work ethics and appropriate socialization.
Annually, Ms. Frances Jones would visit the United States and Canada to solicit sponsorships and funds to operate the Orphanage. Both daughters that she worked so hard to educate refused to have anything to do with her or the Orphanage; only Kwame has been assisting her with the Ingenious Ebony Designer business and the Orphanage.
Two years ago, Ms. Frances Jones had a stroke in Freedomville; she was rushed to the Catholic Hospital and received quality medical care. As the result, she did not sustain any permanent impairment, except her movement is a bit slow. Her son Kwame made arrangement for his mother to travel to the United States for further medical treatment. Two days after Ms. Jones arrived in the United States, she begged her son Kwame who had distanced himself from his sisters – to contact them; the medical doctor, and the nurse manager both of whom worked at major hospitals to come visit her or assist her; none of them returned the phone calls nor visited her. For the six months she was in the United States receiving therapy and related medical treatment, none of them ever bothered to call or visit her until she returned to Freedomville.
Ms. Jones’ son, who is now a big Corporate Lawyer with a reputable law firm on Madison Avenue in New York City, and a member of several social and philanthropic organizations, was asked by one his partners to recommend a self-help or humanitarian organization for their law firm Feinstein, Jacob, Blumenthal & Partners to nominate in an upcoming World Health Organization (WHO) Awards ceremony, scheduled to be held in New York City. Without hesitation, Attorney Kwame Kojoe told his partner he knew of one such organization – but then explained the story of his mother’s Orphanage in the African Republic of Freedomville named, “God Will Make A Way Orphanage Home”, also known as, “The Home of Loving Kindness”. His partner, Blumenthal could hardly hold back tears. Afterward, they had a meeting with the rest of the partners; all of them agreed to submit the name of “The Home of Loving Kindness” as their sole entry.
The months leading the announcement of the Awards ceremony, Kwame and his mother pray in the morning and before they went to bed. The prayer starts out like this:
Dear Heavenly Father, God of our ancestors:
God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses; I come before you this day with cheerful heart to give you thanks and appreciations for your unconditional love and grace and mercy and for watching over me and my children.
Lord, I thank you for all you have done in my life and for mankind as a whole. Lord, even if we don’t deserve it, you still care. Lord, I thank you for being God all by yourself. I thank you for being there for the poor, the rich the sick and the wicked. I thank you for favor not for only me and my family but for all those that I know and don’t know.
Lord, I thank you! I thank you for allowing a sinner like me to be your servant. Please increase my faith to be about only your business. Give me the strength to continue the work that you call me to do. Only you can do it, nobody else! I pray for blessings for my Orphanage and staff; including those who contributes to my success.
Lord, I claim your blessings and favor so; the Home of Loving Kindness Orphanage will be the recipient of the WHO Award. I glorify your name; I bless your name; I worship you; I love you with all my heart, and with these and many other blessings, I ask in your son’s Precious name.
On October 1st when Attorney Kwame Kojoe got to work that morning, he had the feelings something was going on; there was no one to be found in their offices. As soon as he sat down at his desk, the phone rang; the person at the other end summered him to come to the Conference Room immediately; when he entered, everyone greeted him with “congratulations, congratulations, we won, we won; our firm’s entry was selected for the WHO Humanitarian Award.” Attorney Kojoe almost collapsed as he entered the Conference Room. After he exchanged hugs and shook hands with almost everybody, the President of the firm, Cllr. Feinstein instructed him to call his mother to tell her the good news. Immediately, he put through the call to his mother in Freedomville; the phone rang, the person at the other end said, “Hello, this is Ms. Frances Jones.” Kwame interrupted, “Mom, it’s me!” She responded with, “Oh son, why all the noise in the background?” Then Kwame said, “We won! Your orphanage, the Home of Loving Kindness won the WHO Humanitarian Award”. The phone went silent for a moment, and then the voice at the end erupted into, “Thank you Lord! Thank you Lord! To God be the Glory for He’s faithful; He can do everything but fail.” At that point, everyone at the law firm shouted, “Congratulations! Congratulations Ms. Jones!” She responded with, “Thank you! Thank you!”
The following week, Kwame’s law firm liaised with the WHO officials responsible for the logistics and planning. They and Kwame worked out the details regarding his mother, Ms. Frances Jones and her orphanage entourage. Based on WHO’s Award Letter, the organization is responsible to underwrite the roundtrip airfare for ten persons, including lodging, meals, allowance and transportation during one-week duration of the program. In addition, Ms. Jones instructed Kwame to ask the Program Planning not to use the name – Frances Jones in the Program and on any of the Awards, that from here on she prefers to be known as Madam Korlu Musue Zaza – her Country names. Kwame took care of it!
Madam Korlu Musue Zaza and her entourage arrived in the US without difficulties. This time around, she did not ask Kwame to invite his sisters, Queen and Princess to the Award Program. Perhaps, she wanted to save them the embarrassment because one of the requirements is for the Award recipient to narrate their entire life story.
On the day of the event, everyone who is among the “Who’s Who” in the health, medical professional and philanthropy organizations were invited to the occasion. Madam Zaza’s daughters too, were invited because of their professions; Queen the medical doctor, was in charge of the Psychiatric Wing of a major hospital, while Princess the Registered Nurse, was now the Director of Nursing at another major hospital in the District. Both daughters did not expect their mother to be among the “Who’s Who” in the health, medical professional in New York City at that program. Since their bother Kwame did not call to tell them that their mother was in the State – that was the last thing for them to expect – their mother who is a ‘nobody’ to be receiving a WHO Humanitarian Service Award.
The reason Queen and Princess did not recognize their mother’s name in the program is due to the fact she used her traditional Lorma or Country names – Korlu Musue Zaza, which is not a custom among Freevillians.
When the ceremony began, both daughters were sitting in the third role from the stage; but could not make up their mother on the stage or on the TV Screen; the reason being they had not seen her in fifteen years, and she had aged beautifully, even after the stroke.
The third item on the program that evening was the African Humanitarian Service Award presentation. It was done in prime time. And when the MC announced the winner – there appeared, Madam Korlu Musue Zaza to receive the award on behalf of her Loving Kindness Orphanage of Freedomville, West Africa; and on stage with her was her entourage; they consisted of three staff members and six children from the Orphanage. The multi-color dress she wore was what caught the attention of the media, cameramen/women, and the videographers. The dress did not only enhance her beauty, it showed the radiant of her chocolate skin and pearl teeth.
My story is titled: “My Journey and my Passion to Help Others”
Well, where do I start?
First, I thank God Almighty for whom I work, and who has and continued to sustain me daily.
I give enormous thanks to the World Health Organization (WHO), for recognizing a Lorma Country woman like me, who a segment of my society thought would amount to nothing, and for recognizing my service, God will richly bless your organization.
To the law firm of Feinstein, Jacob, Blumenthal & Partners who believed in my work and made me their sole nominee; I thank you tremendously; I will forever remember your kindness.
To my sponsors, contributors, the children at the Orphanage, and my wonderful staff without whom there would be no Loving Kindness Orphanage Home; I say thank you plenty; it is you who made this Award possible.
My last thank you I will reserve for someone dear to me – if it wasn’t for this person and God, I won’t be standing with you here this evening.
“My Journey and my Passion to Help Others”
My story began at age sixteen. At age sixteen, I got pregnant for the boy who took away my virginity – my childhood sweetheart. His name is Paul Jones; his parents are of the ruling class (Settlers) of Freedomville; I am the daughter of a working class family – Lorma tribe; one of the indigenous tribes in Freedomville, designated by the social and economic structure as Subject. When my parents told Paul’s family of my pregnancy, and that their son, Paul is responsible; they categorically said it was impossible for their son to be responsible my pregnancy; even when their son admitted of being responsible. Paul’s father told some friends of theirs that they couldn’t imagine their son sleeping (having sex) with a low life (Country girl) like me. Paul’s parents never contributed any money to help my parents take care of me the whole time I was pregnant for their son. However, the good thing about it was, Paul never abandon me. Every now and then, he would sneak in my room to spent time with me. These visits were unknown to my parents!
At the end of the nine months, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She was born with a birthmark similar to a birthmark on Paul’s right arm; I main identical. When Paul saw the birthmark, he was ecstatic; he said to me, “Girl, how did you do it”? My response to him was, “It is God who wants to rub eggs in your father’s face; God doesn’t like ugly.”
When Paul’s father got the news, he came with some of his family members and friends begging and apologizing for what he did to me. My parents, especially my father refused to see him; said to Paul’s family that the child has a father, and his name is God; he needs no other father. After the left, my parents said to me, “Musue, do you think our refusal to talk to that ‘fool’ was wrong? What do you think?” I responded by saying to them that they were right and that I was very proud of the stance my father took. I said then, “But you are punishing Paul for nothing; it is not his fault; he not responsible for his parents’ behavior. Paul has never stop loving and seeing me.” At that point, my father interrupted, “What are you saying – he has not stop seeing you?” My response to my daddy was, “Trust me; he has not stop seeing me.” He got so vexed, he left the living room. My mother followed to calm him down. Several hours later, he came back and apologized to me for getting angry with me. He hugged me and whispered into my ear saying, send message to Paul to come see his beautiful Lorma Queen. That’s how my daughter got the name Queen.
When I told Paul of my father’s change of heart, he asked my permission if he could come along with his parents, I said yes because I knew my father would not object to it. The following day, Paul, his parents, family members and relatives came this time with all sorts of gifts for the baby and me. My father welcomed them; again, Paul’s father apologized.
During the festivity that ensued, Mr. Jones said to my father, “Is it ok for me to ask both your daughter and my son if they wish to get marry?” My father said, “What not?” Mr. Jones then asked Paul and me what was our wish. We said yes in unison, we want to get marry. Three months after the meeting, Paul and I got married. Paul parents, family member, relatives and friends planned and took care of the expense. The wedding day coincided with Freedomville’s Independence Day, which was July 26. We were married for ten years. We had our second daughter whom we named Princess.
The pregnancy and the babies prevented me from completing my high school education; yet, I was determined to succeed in life, so I enrolled in Edward Wilmot Blyden Extension Night School (BENS) to complete the 9th grade. Paul had completed high school and was attending the University of Freedomville (FU) as a Freshman student.
Not too long after Paul enrolled at FU, we started having marital problems. He would stay out after school and work; and occasionally spent the night out with the guys studying – no phone calls to let me know if he was alright. He was help with the girls and doing chores around the house; but when he did not come home the burden became too much for me. I had to quit the night school because I worked in the day selling produce and in the evening, worked three hours at Madam Victoria’s European Fashion Shop sewing dresses; then rushed home to take care of my daughters.
One night, Paul and I got into a bitter argument; he told me he regrets ever marring a native country girl like me; and now, he has found a lady of his own class at FU. That really hurt my feelings! In anger, I told him to get out of my life. I asked him to leave the house; and when he was leaving, he said to me, without me you will not amount to anything. I slammed the door in his face; then I said to myself, God, please forgive him; there, I began to pray to God to direct my path from here on.
I was determined to provide the best education for my daughters, Queen and Princess. With the money I earned from selling produce and sewing for other people, I used it to enroll them in a prep school called the American Renaissance Academy (ARA). The school was the best in the country; there where children of the elites attended. My daughters blended in too well, which came to hunt me later in life. I did not know I was creating monsters. My girls wore designer clothes because I made them. They were cleaver; they made all A’s in their subjects; spoke perfect English, exhibited good conduct. The school’s Renaissance (rebirth) philosophy and their socialization with the children of the elites turned them into Frankenstein’s Mr. Jacko and Hyde. At home they behaved like the well-mannered, respectable Country people we are. But at school the girls took on the superior attitude of the Americo-Freevillians. Unknowingly, they began to say things like, “Those Country people can’t speak good English; they talk funny; their attire looks stupid, they speak those funny sounding languages.
At Madam Victoria’s European Fashion Shop where I serve as apprentice, I developed a romantic relationship with the bookkeeper named Benjamin Kojoe. Not having been in a relationship for that long, Kojoe and I had this heated romantic relationship that both us could not control. Eventually, the relationship produced a boy we named Kwame Kojoe. After a three-year relationship, Kojoe moved back to Ghana when the civil war in Freedomville started.
Right before my daughters entered high school, I completed my apprenticeship with Madam Victoria. Within the same period, I became a fashion designer; I started my own business, which I named Ingenious Ebony Designer, Ltd.; and I bought myself a Peugeot Station Wagon that I used for the business.
After my daughters graduated from the American Renaissance Academy prep high school, I took the money I had saved for their college education; I sent them to the United States to attend college. Queen went to Yuke University in North Carolina, while Princess went off to Jeffersontown University in Virginia, USA. After several years of studies, Queen became a medical doctor and Princess earned herself a graduate degree in Nursing and she worked as a Registered Nurse Manager. Queen got married to an African-American, had a daughter whom they named England, and Queen worked as a staff physician in one hospital in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area.
Throughout the years, the relationship between my daughters and I turned out bad. Queen did not want me coming around her; whenever I did, she would complain about the way I look, dress, speak and every negative thing one could think about – to the point she would spread air fresher around where I sit in her living room. Princess did similar things. Kwame is the only child that cared and treated me like a mother and a human being. Queen’s daughter England made fun of my speech (accent) in the presence of her parents. At one time she said to her mother, “I don’t like for grandmother to come to our home because whenever she comes around she pollutes the house with her foul scent.” My daughter and her husband laughed over the statement as if it was a joke. The little girl is too obnoxious! She was lucky it was not in Africa!
When the 14-years civil war ended, I opened an orphanage home for children whose parents died during the civil war or could not locate their parents or family members. I had over 100 children. I named the orphanage home, “God Will Make A Way Orphanage Home.” Also, it is referred to as, “The Home of Loving Kindness.” We provided meal three times a day, health care, hygiene, basic grooming and de-traumatize therapy for the children; general education, Bible Studies, work ethics and appropriate socialization skills.
On an annually basis, I travel to the United States and Canada to solicit sponsorships and funds to operate the orphanage. Both of my daughters that I worked so hard to educate refused to have anything to do with me or the Orphanage; only Kwame has been assisting me with Ingenious Ebony Designer business and the orphanage.
Two years ago, I had a mild stroke in Freedomville, I was rushed to the Catholic Hospital, where I received quality medical care; as the result I did not sustained any permanent impairment, except for my movement. I am a bit slow in walking. My son Kwame who is not a nurse or a medical doctor arranged for me to travel to the United States for further medical treatment. Two days after I arrived in the United States, I begged Kwame who went against his way to contact his sisters to let them know that I was in the US for medical treatment; you would have thought my daughters, the medical doctor, and her sister the registered nurse manager, both of whom worked at major hospitals would make every effort to assist me or come visit me – their sick mother. They did not return the phone calls nor visit me. For the six months I remained in the United States receiving therapy and related medical treatments, none of them ever bothered to call or visit until I returned to the African Republic of Freedomville.
What kinds of human beings are they that called themselves health care professionals who did not have the decency to visit their sick mother or return her phone calls? I don’t want such individuals providing health care services for me. You be the judge! Do I deserve such treatment? Was it a crime I committed to forgo my own education to provide my daughters with the best education – with no help from anyone but with the money I worked hard for? Anyone who treats his/her mother as these daughters of mine treated me, and are still treating me, are not fit to be called health care professionals.
At this point into her presentation, the eyes of everyone listening to her began tearful, watery so to speak; her voice too was faint; then there was a distress alarm from the third role near the stage; some people in the crowd overheard two ladies seated together mumbling words like, “That’s our mother, that’s our mother; mom please forgive us; please forgive us, and they passed out. Securities and paramedics rushed to their aid. They were taken to the nearest hospital.
One of the security personnel came on stage, passed a note to Madam Zaza who was at the point of ending her speech. The note stated, “The two ladies that passed out in the audience kept repeating words that sounded like, That’s our mother, that’s our mother; mom please forgive us; mom please forgive us!”
Having read the note, Madam Zaza continued with her remarks.
Ladies and gentlemen, my story has its origin in the so-called founding of my country the African Republic of Freedomville, by a group of people that were practically treated like animals due to the color of their skin. They left these shores in search of freedom, and when they got to Africa, the natives gave them refuge and a parcel of land to settle, but in return subjected the natives to the worse kind of treatment that is not reserved for beasts. The natives became their Subjects and they the Lords – all due to, as they say, their superior language, culture, religion and way of life, and ours considered inferior. Who told them so? Did God say that to them or was it the figment of their imagination? How could they do that to a people, who according to their own Bible, God created in his own image? Now the country is in a MESS! They are wondering why! I believe it is a curse of the third and fourth generation. What is needed RIGHT NOW is for the entire nation to confess their SINS; turn from their wicked ways and practices, pray and ask God for forgiveness. That’s the only way out, we got ourselves into this MESS by disobeying Him!
Finally, let me close by giving thanks to the person I told you from the beginning of my remarks that I was reserving my last thank-you for; he is no other than my angle here (pointing to her son standing by her side), Attorney Kwame Kojoe, my darling and devoted son. If it wasn’t for God and this young man here, I won’t be standing here today with you. My son, as we say in our country, I thank you plenty; my thanks and appreciation, come from the bottom of my heart. May God continue to bless and watch over you all the days of your life.
Ladies and gentlemen, again, thank you for the Award and for listening to my story!
To God be the glory!
About The Author & Bloju TEH: Griot Elder Siahyonkron Jglay Kpa-kay Nyanseor, Sr. is a life-long activist (*troublemaker); a Griot and Member of Bloju Geesayfahnnonkon TARTY TEH’S Social, Political and Economic Rights Activists who is Committed and Dedicated in keeping his legacy and memory ALIVE through Writing and Telling the Stories of African people.
Bloju TEH is the late Liberian Literary Genius, Writer, Storyteller, Human, Civil and Constitutional Rights Activist who hails from the village of Pallipo, River Gee County (1946-2012). Griot Elder Nyanseor can be contacted at: [email protected]
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