By Karamoh Kabba : 

Mrs. Alice Rosaline Koroma, commonly known as Mammy Alice, truly and truly lived a life befitting of her moniker. She was indeed ‘Mother of the nation’. Whereas the foregoing statement is a symbolic one, because of her kindness, open-mindedness and accommodating attributes she was known for, as well as her love for humanity, she was indeed literally mother of the nation.

Mammy Alice was a self-motivated, self-determined, unassuming and kindest elderly woman I’ve ever known. I first met her in 2008 when I went with Hon. Mabinty Daramy, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry to visit her in her very modest home in Makeni City where she also lived a very modest life until her graceful passing away on that blessed and magical Friday, 6th July 2012.

 

 

The indelible and greatest impact Mammy Alice had on me as a person is her modesty, humility and simplicity. She also had a great sense of recognition of people she had met and appreciation for their deeds. I went back at least ten times with Minister Daramy to visit Mammy Alice because I loved it. Each time, without fail, in a very soft and relaxed tenor of voice, she said “Kamor…,” she paused, “Una Tenki for woke”. Her words awakened memories of motherly love of my mother, a Kono woman who is now thousands of miles away from me and who also calls me ‘Kamor,’ the same way Mammy Alice called me. So I loved going back to Mammy Alice for the proxy motherly love I felt from her kind words to me on those visits.

Minister Daramy always stuffed her bag with little personal items such as tubes of lotion, bottles of perfume, canisters of deodorant spray etc. each time we went to Mammy Alice. Hon. Daramy is fond of commenting on everything she does and I was therefore privileged of over-hearing her saying “Ah! Da mammy, pursin nor de ker money go for ram. Na den thing ya nor mor ee lek,” before she urged me, “Karamoh, leh we go.”

Simply, money was not a source of motivation for Mammy Alice. I am not personally privy to her philanthropy that is much talked about, but it goes without saying that Mammy Alice was indeed a great philanthropist who took care of other less privileged mothers and children in and outside of Makeni according to testimonies from those who knew that warm side of her and beneficiaries of her spirit of giving.

On that magical Friday, I went to drop off some members of my staff who were bound for Makeni City to deliver some print materials. One of the staff members was fond of Mammy Alice and he told me that “ah the pass to Mammy Alice, ee go lek for read this stuff,” he said before they left. We had worked all night that day to hit our target of making the print materials reach Makeni City on time that Friday morning. I returned home from Shell Company where I had dropped them off to take a public transportation. Hoping to catch-up on sleep, I was awakened to the announcement of the death of Mammy Alice.

If only I had left with my staff that morning, I would have probably witnessed the beginning of the ending of a great mother, a long-term mother-activist of feminism and children affairs with an unwavering commitment to humanity in Sierra Leone.

There is no good time for a parental death even at age 80, but there is good timing for gracing the graceful passing away of a great mother. Indeed, Mammy Alice passed away at the climax of her days on the stage of life. The death of Mammy Alice has triggered memories of some words of condolence I offered a bereaved friend of mine who had just lost a mother. Very disturbed then, he lamented that “death has become rampant”. In my consolation, I told him that it seemed so, and drew his attention to the fact that the occurrence of death also increases in our lives with age – and that it could also mean that we are actually coming closer towards death.

But for President Koroma, he has every reason to find solace in the fact that Mammy Alice had achieved the highest climax in her commitment to serve humanity. Through her careful nurturing and skillful child-upbringing, she gave us the greatest president ever in the history of Sierra Leone. And indeed, death waited patiently until Mammy Alice completed her Godly assignment on earth, relaxed in her sofa, reading her book and awaiting death to take her peacefully.

And no one could have changed that – not money – not the presidency – not the authority – not even the prerogative of mercy could have changed it. And like in the words of Hon. Alhaji Alpha Bakarr Kanu – Minister of Political and Public Affairs, in consoling a distressed bereaved friend somberly told a Biblical story of a king, who had sent his servant in Samaria to hide from the Angel of Death before going to the market place to rebuke the Angel upon his servant’s complaint that the Angel was threatening to take his life only to learn from the Angel of Death that, “I am shock at your rebuking me for threatening your servant. I was surprised to see your servant at the market place in the first place. We have an appointment tomorrow at Samaria,” where the servant had gone to hide from the Angel of Death. The story is befitting to the fact that nothing could have changed that graceful passing away of Mammy Alice. She had prepared for it all her life of being good to humanity and of serving God.

And indeed Mammy Alice was faithful to her desire as activist, Christian, wife and widow before her death. Mr. and Mrs. Koroma, even before the presidency of their son, were already household names in Makeni. Together, they had served as role models and had influenced the lives of many youngsters who have all become grown-ups and very successful adults today.

Mammy Alice was a tremendous example of a woman with a servant’s heart. At her old age, she was still part of a crew of God’s servants for the improvement of the lives of women and children in Sierra Leone until that graceful passing away on that blessed Friday morning. And some of her legacies include the many grown-up adults she and her late husband had impacted and influenced to become successful members of society and most notable amongst that breed of protégés of God’s servants is His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

And as we mourn the passing of a great mother as a nation, there is every reason to find courage in her work and her gift to humanity in Sierra Leone, and forever and ever celebrate her life for the simple reason that courage is not the absence of fear but the act of overcoming fear. We shall overcome the fear of the graceful passing away of a great mother.

May her soul rest in peace

Your son by proxy and great friend,

Karamoh Kabba.

 

© 2012, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

2 Responses to “Gracing the Graceful Passing away of a Great Mother : A Tribute to Mrs. Alice Rosaline Koroma”

  1. It is indeed a sad day to mourn for our country,and our first family. Her life and gift to us will forever be celebrated in appreciation of its virtue. Man was created to pass, but while our body will leave us, our souls rest in the most perfect of peace, our deeds will forever live in those we come to touch. While, I was never opprtuned to have met the “first mother” of our beloved Sierra Leone, I had the opportunity to meet her son, His Excellency, President Koroma. It is noteworthy to mention that his mother had to have been God fearing, loving, humbled and kind to raise such an outstanding human being that is caring,selfless,courageous and patriotic in the person of President Koroma.
    So, I hope that the first family will find in it solace, and comfort during a very difficult time, to accept the wish of our heavenly creator and decider of all life and death. As he now call for one of his own, our ” beloved first mother” to her final place of rest, and to rest in peace.
    My deepest condolences to the president, his family and our country. May her soul rest in eternal peace.
    Dr. Ibrahima Diallo, DPT, MBA, MSHA
    Maryland, USA

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  2. Book of Ecclesiastes – A Time For Everything

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    a time to be born, and a time to die;
    a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
    What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?
    I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
    I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
    That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.Time for me to go now, I won’t say goodbye;
    Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
    In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
    Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

    Time for me to leave you, I won’t say goodbye;
    Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
    In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
    Just look for me and love me, and I’ll be close to you.

    It won’t be forever, the day will come and then
    My loving arms will hold you, when we meet again.

    Time for us to part now, we won’t say goodbye;
    Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
    Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
    Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

    Just wish me to be near you,
    And I’ll be there with you.A honest woman here lies at rest,
    The friend of man, the friend of truth,
    The friend of age, and guide of youth:
    Few hearts like hers, with virtue warm’d,
    Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;
    If there’s another world, she lives in bliss;
    If there is none, she made the best of this. Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I’m following the path God laid for me.
    I took his hand when I heard his call, I turned my back and left it all.
    I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
    Tasks left undone must stay that way, I’ve found that peace at the end of the day.
    If my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy.
    A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.
    Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
    My Life’s been full, I savoured much, Good friends, good times, a loved one’ touch.
    Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
    Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.We have shared our tears and our sorrow,
    We have given encouragement to each other,
    Given hope for a brighter tomorrow,
    We share the title of grieving mother.

    Some of us lost older daughters or sons,
    Who we watched grow over the years,
    Some have lost their babies before their lives begun,
    But no matter the age, we cry the same tears.

    We understand each others pain,
    The bond we share is very strong,
    With each other there is no need to explain,
    The path we walk is hard and long.

    Our children brought us together,
    They didn’t want us on this journey alone,
    They knew we needed each other,
    To survive the pain of them being gone.

    So take my hand my friend,
    We may stumble and fall along the way,
    But we’ll get up and try again,
    Because together we can make it day by day.

    We can give each other hope,
    We’ll create a place where we belong,
    Together we will find ways to cope,
    Because we are Angel Moms and together we are strong!
    Sleep on and take your rest Mama Alice Koroma we love u but Jesus loves u best

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