By George Chellah (Ex-State House Press Aide)

The scene is engraved in my mind, like it occurred yesterday. It was early 2000. I was 19 years old and I had just left my parents home in Kitwe. I travelled to Lusaka in pursuit of a lifelong dream. Plans where to acquire a qualification as a precursor to a steady career.

Thus, a day before applying for enrollment to study at Evelyn Hone College, mom phoned me and this is how our conversation went: “Hello! What course are you choosing tomorrow?” she inquired. “Accounts or marketing, mom,” I replied. I must admit that it was the first time I recall telling mom about those two programs as my principal career choices.

Being a heeding mother, she let me talk and afterward, she remarked: “As far as I know, you have always wanted to be a journalist since childhood. Please my son do not be misled. What you should know is that you can be successful in any career, so long as you have the passion and satisfaction, and never forget that God ordains our destiny, not man. So tomorrow, go and apply to study journalism because that has been your passion.” Certainly, the next morning I did precisely as I was guided.

For a minute, I wondered why mom had been so enthusiastic about my career choice. Then I recollected how she identified and nurtured my talents and hobbies right from first grade and by third grade, mom already knew I was bewitched with politics and current affairs. From that instant onwards, my pastime was used up reading newspapers and watching news. She trained me to read anything I could possibly lay my hands on i.e. glossy magazines, novels etc. To this day, her words still reverberate: “…for you to be a good journalist, you gat to be good in English, and to be good in English you gat to read and read, and read.” The reminiscence, made me grasp her intense love and sacrifice just to ensure that I attain my aspiration.

Well, with mom’s help, I accomplished my studies and got a job. But it’s what mom did, seven years after I got my first pay cheque that made me shed tears, recount the lessons she taught me, and her devoted sacrifices. It was on September 30, 2011. I had just taken the oath of office, as Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations. That evening mom buzzed: “Congratulations Mr. Chellah! I bet you now know that mother knows best. Where would you be today if you had become an accountant or marketer because Presidents don’t hire accountants or marketers to speak on their behalf?” she joked, in a tone beautified with a naughty laughter. As I listened to her, I felt a lump on my throat, and whilst fighting off tears, I answered in an emotional voice: “You are right mom, thank you.” Such is the extent to which mothers go just to secure our future.

Comrades, my mom is no more, but my question for those whose mothers are alive is, have you honored your mom for her sacrifices in raising you? Thank God I acknowledged, and showed my deep sense of gratitude and appreciation to mom for her love, care and sacrifice, till she breathed her last. Always remember that to push a parent to a point of tears due to neglect, is inviting a curse upon your life. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). This is the only commandment accompanied with a promise – if we honor our parents, we will experience God’s abundant blessings. LONG LIVE MOTHERS!

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