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Mbella Moki — Thousands of people travelled from within and without the national territory to pay last respects to the mother of Senator Charles Mbella Moki, Mama Elisabeth Nalowa Mbella, on Saturday, February 1, in Buea. Administrative, religious, traditional authorities, diplomats and other crème de la crème of the society all answered present to pay their last respects and witness the remains of Mama Elisabeth Nalowa Mbella nee Mwambo, who slept in the Lord at 97, on January 13.

Mourners had been trickling in and out of the Senator’s home, shortly after the death was announced some three weeks earlier; but then, on the tarry night and the day of the funeral proper, the crowd of mourners was simply overwhelming. The funeral ground was like a convergence point for politicians, clergymen and women, administrators, journalists; in fact, long lost friends from all the nooks and crannies of the national territory and beyond.

In a eulogy from the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC, Mama Elisabeth Nalowa Mbella was described as the pillar of PCC Likoko Membea. “The Church has lost a pillar and heaven has received a Saint,” the eulogy stated. In a tribute by the Moderator of the PCC, Rt. Rev. Dr. Festus A. Asana quipped: “Who said that the era of biblical women of faith like Sarah, Rebecca, Miriam, Deborah, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Priscilia, Lydia, and so on, is gone?”

He asserted that: “The likes of Mama Elisabeth Mbella constitute today’s women of Faith and ripple effects of their faith remain positively contagious. Their examples instil long lasting lessons to posterity.” The Rev. Asana recounted that: “I first met Mama Elisabeth Nalowa Mbella in her illness some years ago in the home of her 12th child, the then Mayor of Buea – Charles Mbella Moki – now our honourable Senator.

The wonderful care he took over her, the honour he gave her and the positive attitude he showed towards her, had a story to tell. With time, the story came to be revealed to us and her son will tell it best. Even as Moderator of the PCC, I continued to learn from the faith of women like Mama Elisabeth Nalowa Mbella.

Her determination to keep the family together, her longing and effort to have the Church house built, her zeal to hold on to the Christian faith and her will to live on positively in hope are all models for any true Christian to long for and follow. Even death cannot quench these ideals,” the Moderator intimated while expressing the condolences of the entire PCC to the bereaved family and encouraging it to: “open your hearts to God’s consolation.”

Senator Mbella Moki, in a tribute that held the thousands of sympathisers spellbound, but for occasional cheering over the points he was making, extolled the virtues of his mother and the values she lived for. “I know that mothers are beautiful, but mine was beautiful indeed,” Mbella Moki, the Benjamin in a family of 12 issues, stated intimately. “I know that mothers are gold, but mine was truly gold,” he maintained saying all what he has become in life is mostly owed to his mother.

“Mama, I miss you exceptionally ….” he was saying when he broke into tears and could not continue with the tribute to his mother laid in front of the pulpit of the PC Likoko Membea whose modern structure she was instrumental in its erection. Another son of  Mama Nalowa, whom she named after her father (Mwambo Mukele), Simon Mwambo Mbella, stated: “It is very hard for me to let you go! But God triumphed at last. Now, the storm is over. You have lived well. ‘Love’ was your aim.

You were so humble, strong hardworking. You were very gentle but stubborn when it came to doing what you considered right or playing your role as a mother. Mama, with all gladness of heart we all release you to enjoy an uninterrupted, all-consuming and endless communion with Him who loves you so much.” One of her daughters, Lydia Ngowo Fru, stated: “I want to thank you for having me as your daughter.

Thank you for guiding me through life’s challenges. Today, I can be seen as your carbon copy. I cannot thank you enough but like Papa, you gave us all, such is what I have to show the world today; the fear of the Lord and the ability to recognise the greatness and the goodness of the Lord. What a blessing? Other tributes came from her other children, children-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

First published in The Post print edition no 01503

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