By our news desk - Bamenda - Mama Susan Mande born around 1918 slept in the Lord in May 2010. She was one of the fortunate Cameroonians who lived both the pre- and post-colonial era. Though gone, the son Dr. Dewah, Titan of Modern Traditional (African) Medicine remains her eternal achievement. Conscious of the role Mama Susan played in his life and professional career Dr. Dewah organized a burial of the century for his mother as a sign of honour and a moral debt he owed her as a mother. The funeral started with a Mass in Catholic Church Akum before proceeding to Balikumbat where she was laid to rest.
Convoy created sensation
At Bamali junction Ndop, a convoy of cars and motorcycle bike riders that led the corpse created sensation on Friday June 18, 2010. The noise generated by the horns of the bikes caused residents along the road to throng out of the houses to be discover what was happening. It was all fanfare when they discovered it was the remains of Dr. Dewah’s mother they had been waiting for. Many joined the convoy to St Mary’s Catholic Church Balikumbat where another Mass was conducted by Rev. Father Joseph Nchituh in the presence of family members and sympathisers. After the mass, she was conveyed to her final place in a journey which began at the Akum Health Centre mortuary as early as 8.30 am June 18. The mammoth crowd that flooded the church and Dr. Dewah’s new compounds still under construction and the messages delivered depicted the popularity and the love Balikumbat had for the man Dr. Dewah.
Mama Susan Mande was a staunch Roman Catholic Christian like her son. At St. Mary Catholic Church Rev. Father Joseph Nchituh, Parish Priest drew his lessons from Mathew 25:31-44, in which he described the fallen mama Susan as a heart that brings together family members and friends. The Rev Father likened her to Prince Nico Mbarga’s ‘Sweet Mother’. Father Nchituh said though all were in grief, Mama Susan was in the Lord’s vineyard preparing a place for those to follow her.
Prepare for same call
As death does not announce its arrival, he urged those living to live a clean life in order to prepare for same call. Reiterating that Mama Susan had finished her work on earth, Rev. Nchituh said her departure was rather a feast than mourning. He said Dr. Dewah was true replica of his mother. This was manifested in his simplicity, gentleness and humility. Dr. Dewah told mourners at St. Pius X Catholic Church at Akum, that it was a pleasure for a son to burry his Mum. He thanked those who sacrificed both time and resources to honour his invitation for the burial of his mother.
White T-shirts with Mama Susan’s effigy
The funeral Mass was graced by St. Cecilia Choir of St. John’s Parish in Kumba that animated a greater part of the funeral Mass at Balikumbat. Family members, including Mayor Wasum Augustine, Mayor of Balikumbat were dressed in green dresses bearing the effigy of Mama Susan while other family members were in white T-shirts with Mama Susan’s effigy.
Curtains on her stay on earth
Remarkable at the burial was the presence of Chief Nwosu of the Nigerian community in Kumba, Dr. Dewah’s bosom friends. Several dignitaries, including family members came from Yaoundé, Bamenda, Douala and parts of the South West region to mourn Dr. Dewah’s mum. After the Mass at the St. Mary’s Church, Mama Susan’s body was taken to Dr. Dewah’s compound, where it was placed in the family chapel for viewing before burial. Curtains on her stay on earth were drawn at about 4.30 pm on June 18, 2010 with her burial. She died at the ripe age of 92.
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