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Nkwain Buries 111-Year-Old Mum 

By Jude Nsom Waindim

CameroonPostline.com — Nini Thecla Neng Nakeh, (1901-2012) mother of Hon. Bochong Francis Isidore Wainchom Nkwain, made history on Saturday, July 21, in a celebration that was both historic and historical in its own right.

I may be mistaken, but it would appear that the Guinness Book of Record credits a UK female citizen with 109 years, a record that Mama M+njein, as our aunt, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, as she was fondly called, had clearly broken.

What made history last Saturday went far beyond the fact that Nini Thecla Neng Nakeh’s Funeral Mass was co-celebrated by His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua and His Lordship George Nkuo, with the Gospel and Homily taken by her very own Fr. Aloysius Nkwain Boh and Fr. Ignatius Salah Waindim.

It also went far beyond the fact that around the Eucharistic Table of this celebration were top politicians as National Chair of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, and CPDM Central Committee Secretary General and former Vice Prime Minister, Jean Nkuete, together with business magnets in the likes of El Hadj Ahmadou Danpullo, Cabinet Ministers, Rectors of State-run Universities, and many other fellow Christians and humble citizens.

Indeed, to say that it was a ‘come and see,’ a real ‘yaissa yaissa’ farewell ceremony, is to say very little.

What made history was the fact that while the Bamenda Archdiocese shall be celebrating its 100 years next year at Fujua in Fundong, where the first Christians arrived before moving to Njinikom at Isailah, where Nini lived until her passing away, and where the first Catholic Church hut was pegged, the Church in the Archdiocese was bidding farewell to her lone surviving first-generation Catholic Christian; in fact, an icon of Catholicism to the local Church. The Archbishop indicated that the next first-generation Christian was found in the Kumbo Diocese, the mother of Christian Cardinal Tumi.

Yes, for the first time in the history of our local Church, the local Ordinary, together with Christians, stood and applauded as the mortal remains of a Christian were conveyed for Funeral Mass, led by 21 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, dancing to the local ‘njong’ and ‘samba’ rhythms, punctuated by volley after volley of farewell gunshots (the recent national injunction on gun-firing at popular occasions has already been explained within context).

Furthermore, what also made history was the interpretation of the context of what happens in the Parish Church, the Neighbourhood Church and the Domestic Church. It was the first time that the local community was witnessing a burial in a family grotto, after viewing the mortal remains of Nini Thecla Neng Nakeh in her family Chapel.

 For one thing, if sheer joy, admiration and approval could beg one’s way to Heaven, then, her immediate family, that of Nkwain Neng and Boh Nakeh especially, shall, of course, rest assured that Mama M+njein is already at the Lord’s bosom. For sure, Pa Martin Wainchom, her husband; Pa Gregory Boh, her brother; together with Mama Pauline Neng Boh, Bernadette Ansama Boh, Emmanuella Neng Nakeh Ngong, and her sister, Nini Njang Nakeh, have joined all the other family members gone ahead marked with the sign of faith; so sing Alleluia with the Angels and Saints in the choir of the Celestial City.

May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in most perfect peace.

First published in The Post print edition no. 01362

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