Some people get a great stride ahead in life. Both parents. Wealthy. No struggle for basic needs. Vacations. Good schools. Medical covers. A good life. Such people have a different type of struggle in life. Struggles that are different from this woman’s (let’s call her Nancy).
As a teenager, Nancy was picking pyrethrum from her Auntie’s farm and the neighbouring farms just to earn her keep. The Auntie took Nancy and her two siblings in – all of them from different fathers – not out of love rather out of obligation. It’s said that before Nancy’s grandmother passed on, she gave orders that the Auntie take the kids in and raise them up. Nancy’s mother had ditched them with Grandma and left to wander the world for God knows what, only to resurface years later when they were all grown up.
But growing up under their Auntie’s authority wasn’t easy. It seems like the moment they checked in, the cousins pressed the relax button and forgot all about their chores. They were turned almost to slaves, save for a little dignity of having their cousins’ old clothes the moment the cousins got new ones. They were treated like second rate humans with little focus paid to their education advancement and general livelihood. Something that led to Nancy’s first sibling leaving the shagz to go seek a better life for herself and her siblings in the city.
The elder sister found some luck with jobs at one point getting a secretary job, which she used her earnings to get both her siblings out of the farm as well, and back to school. Nancy did her best in school despite the many hardships with fees and juggling the piling responsibility of studying, raising the younger sibling, and doing the chores around the house. She never got to clear her high school education.
The elder sister got a son and Nancy took care of him while the sister worked in the city to cater for their needs and upkeep.
Nancy soon fell in love with a man who saw so much beauty in her. Beauty she didn’t see in herself. The relationship grew and soon they started a family. By now both of her other siblings had settled in different walks of life, the younger sibling starting his mechanic career and the elder sibling starting her own family with an entrepreneurial husband who taught her the ropes around the business world.
Some people start from a disadvantaged point but that doesn’t mean their future isn’t bright. Nancy understood this and that’s why she made it her life’s purpose to help and assist anyone who came her way seeking help through their interactions.
It’s as if God listened to her declaration and He sent many lost souls her way. As fate would have it, shortly after settling down to start her own family even before the honeymoon phase was over, she took in cousins from a distant relative who had fallen out of luck. She knew perfectly what it felt being in their shoes. Thankfully, her family was now in good financial condition to share what they had with the new members of their family. She saw them through school and into getting them on their feet armed with the ability to fish on their own.
As soon as the cousins were out of her care another one came seeking help. This time, a relative who came with a young wife with nothing else to their name other than clothes and the love they shared. Nancy cared for them, took them in, fed them and helped them start their own home in their own house with rent paid for three months. That couple did get out of the bad luck streak and things got better eventually.
It is said that Nancy took many more relatives in turn, gaining a standing with the extended family as the go-to person when you need help to make the next level in your life. Her own kids, Nancy’s, never knew the idea of a nuclear family since every time there was someone new in their house, sharing their meals, their space, their TV, their beds, basically becoming one of them.
As soon as one person in need left, better than they came in, another person walked in. And it was all sorts of people, not just relatives, strangers too found their way to her seeking a helping hand. She never tired from this noble cause. It gave her great joy to be part of transforming the lives of the people she encountered for the better.
Her exploits didn’t go unnoticed in her own community and they put her in charge of the community leadership, in charge of welfare matters. Nancy lives a full life. She has raised her own kids to have the same spirit of being the bridge to people’s destiny whether that person ends up appreciating their help or not. She has taught her kids to never expect too much from people but to give with a cheerful heart.
Nancy believes that you do not have to be the wealthiest to share what you have with those in need, neither do you have to be the best to do something for a positive change. She lives to make a difference in her life and in the lives of the people around her, even if that change is small.
Everyone can play a part in being of positive impact in this world we live in. Find it and keep in mind that not all heroes wear caps, some just lurk in the dark making one small change at a time. We all can learn from Nancy’s story.
I was privileged to meet Nancy. From my interaction with and my observation of her, I can truly say this golden woman is changing her world, one step at a time. It made me wonder, what am I doing to be part of the change?
Now I pose that question to you.
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