>LOVE-AFRICAN LOVE!-NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE WHOLE WORLD!-SEE THIS NIGERIAN DAUGHTER’S GREAT LOVE FOR HER INSANE MOTHER WHO LIVES ON THE STREETS BEGGING!-BLACK LOVE-YOU CAN’T BEAT IT!

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>from thenationonlineng.com

’Insanity can’t separate us’•Amazing story of a mentally-ill mother and her 13-year old daughter

By Evelyn Osagie Published 22/08/2009 News Rating: Unrated

Being mentally-challenged is such a traumatic experience which instantly makes one a social outcast. And because of the rather unpredictable behaviour associated with such people, show of affection, care and love is often in short supply. But in Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria, as EVELYN OSAGIE reports, not even insanity, as it were, has been able to separate 13-year-old girl, Indian, from her mentally-challenged mother as she has determinedly been caring and showing love and affection to Mama Indian, her mother. This, she does, not minding who is looking at her.

IT has been five solid years now. The barely covered market stalls and open sheds have provided Mama Indian with whatever shelter she needed. Silently, she would sit on the ground looking straight ahead as if pondering over something. She holds up her jaw with both palms as if waiting for something or nothing in particular, completely oblivious of every activity around her. Her systems have practically adapted to the changes and vagaries of the weather. The heat and cold have come to mean nothing to her just as the yellow sun and the starry sky have also become her close companions. And of course, the dustbin nearby and dirty drainage close by have also become her kitchen and bathtubs. Everyone seems to come and go except these elements and her little daughter, Indian, whom she lovingly and fondly calls by her name. This is the puzzling world of love between a mentally-challenged mother and a loving and caring daughter, which has made it impossible for her to ditch, reject or deny her mother.

Light-skinned Indian is, of course, not an American, an Indian or of Asian descent. She is a full-blooded Nigerian. But what makes her unique is her love for her mentally-sick mother. Though almost as helpless as a 13-year-old would be in the situation, Indian has nevertheless not lost focus and she hopes a better future will come her way some day. And nobody can grudge her for that, if only as a reciprocation of all the care and concern she is giving to her mother, even in her demented state.

If ever you hold the notion that the mentally-challenged do not know or recognise members of their household, you are damn wrong. For Mama Indian, every morning, as school children file past in droves to their various schools, she would patiently wait to see her daughter before getting involved in any other activity for the day. She keeps this task with precision and it is same in the evenings. She is always sure of getting one or two things from her daughter, who always makes sure she has a gift for her mother. Sometimes the kind-hearted Indian brings her mother’s food from home.

Although worlds apart in terms of mental balance, the girl and her mother are always together in mind and spirit. The love that exists between the two goes beyond the state of their mental health, it is beyond the issue of sanity or insanity, it pervades eternity. They have not allowed their fate, distance, or space to separate the cord that binds them as mother and child. Perhaps, the guilty party in this game of care and affection, if any, is Indian who has kept her mother lucidly in love amidst insanity. All that seems to matter to her most is getting education and reaching out with love to her mother.

The closest one often hears or sees of affection being shown to the mentally-challenged by their loved ones is when they come to show some solidarity with these loony fellows under the cover of the night. Only a few could dare the daylight and reach out to theirs in such a precarious condition. Whether in the day or night, some psychologists say, the show of love adds to their lifespan. No doubt, the story of Indian and her mother has given ample meaning to the maxim, ‘Blood is thicker than water’.

Indian comes across as a brainy young girl with a heart of gold. Teachers in her village testified to it but add that she needs a lot of encouragement. Life has not been fair to this little girl with big heart. Everyone talks about this intelligent young girl who sometimes follows her mother about to make sure the sick woman is kept out of trouble and the dustbin.

Indian was a student of Pilot Primary School, Chessu. She finished her primary education in 2008 but could not go further due to lack of assistance from any source. So, she now spends her time following her mother about from a distance to make sure she does not stray too far from her reach.

“I don’t want her to get lost, that is why I am always on her trail,” she said, when asked why she is always following her mother at a distance. She explained that she is “no more a kid” as an excuse for keeping an eye on her mother from a distance. Even when her mother behaves in a way that could embarrass her sometimes, the young girl remains unperturbed and goes about helping the woman to get out of the problem she might put herself.

Keeping her clean was a special thing to her. “I want to make sure she is clean and neat always but before I will come back, she would have sat or sleep on the floor and soil herself again,” she said.

She is often seen plaiting Mama Indian’s hair and dressing her with clean clothes. In fact, for these reasons, Indian is usually reproached by some. Her mother’s insanity and the fact that she goes about begging also sets her in the black book of some who feel she should have more important things to do with her life.

Meeting Indian was an interesting experience. After trying to see her twice without any luck, this reporter finally met her on this hot Sunday afternoon. Shocked at the large size of her family because one had thought she was all alone in the world.

The first time the reporter was told that Indian had gone to a nearby village for something they could not disclose. At the third visit, a lady answered and went in to call her.

Standing before one was a shy-looking girl. She emerged from the back of a mud house that served as her grandparents’ house. “Good afternoon ma,” she said and sat on a cane chair in front of the house.

“How are you?” “Fine,” she answered.

“Do you understand English?” “Yes,” she said.

“What is your name?” “Indian Ayuba,” she said in a tiny voice. “What class are you in?” “Primary Six.” But before the reporter and her escort could say anything else, they were interrupted by a young lad who claimed he was a cousin of hers. He asked the fellows around in Hausa language what the reporter had come for and he was duly briefed.

He then said in English: “She is very intelligent. In fact, she is the best in her mother’s compound.” Without further prompting, he went on: “She is level-headed, quiet and respectful and she is greatly interested in education.”

Back to Indian, the conversation continued:

“How is school?”

“Fine.”

“I heard you like school a lot.”

“Yes, I do. My mother wants me to go to school. She tells me everyday.”

“So, you would be going to school tomorrow?” “No, I have finished Primary Six since last year, but I have not been to secondary.”

“Why?”

“Because, there is no money to send her to secondary school,” answered her cousin, who refused to give his name.

“There is no money to send me to school,” Indian answered for herself.

Asking her about her father was obviously a big embarrassment to her. She probably never expected it and she was visibly cut off guard. After a moment of silent and painful rumination, she volunteered an answer with difficulty. “My mother told me that he lived in the big city but I can’t remember,” she said.

“You see, her mother was living in town before the sickness started, she brought her home. She was very small then, and since then, she has been living here,” her cousin said.

“What about your mother?”

“You passed her by when coming,” Indian said.

“Where?”

“She is in the market, you passed her by when coming here. She is not very well,” her voice had become emotional at the mention of her mother.

The road to Indian’s place is tarred, one could easily be carried away by the smooth ride that one may fail to notice the market some miles before.

“Who has been taking care of you since your mother became ill?”

“My grandmother.”

“Did you see your mother today?”

“Yes, I see my mother everyday. I make sure she is okay, even today, we saw, we were together.”

“So, you see her everyday?”

“Yes, when I was still going to school, I see her every morning before going to school and whenever I come back. I used to stay with her, especially, in the morning or evening,” she said with so much pride that one would have thought she was trying to impress one.

She continued: “Whenever I was going to school, my mother would wait for me. She would call my name, look at me and ask if I was okay. She would ask me if I had eaten. Even today, we saw and she still asked me the same question.

“Most times, I plait her hair and change her clothes. People laugh at me but I don’t always care what people think, she is my mother and I love her. Her present condition cannot separate us. When I grow up, I will bring her to live with me. She will oblige me if I ask her to live with me,” she said innocently, her eyes were now red.

“So, people laugh at you because of your mother?”

She is being stigmatised in school, and in the village.

“Yes, both in school and in the village. They call me the daughter of a sick mother, and they usually say I would soon be like my mother. These remarks disturb me a lot,” she said.

Turning to her cousin, this reporter asked why nothing was done to take the mother off the street. He said the question should be directed to Mama Indian’s father. At the back of the house there sat Koja Ayuba, Indian’s grandfather.

He is nothing like Indian or his daughter, he is tall and dark.

“Good afternoon Sir.”

“Good afternoon,” Indian’s cousin said he does not understand English that much. He explained that it had been “about five years now. She used to stay in Lafia before she became sick and they brought her here.”

“Why was nothing done to cure her of her illness?”

“We tried our best but she does not like taking medicine. And then the situation became worse that she no longer comes home again but she doesn’t look for trouble. She minds her own business and we take care of her sometimes.”

“Why have you not been able to send Indian to secondary school?”

“Lack of money is what has prevented my grand daughter from going to school. She is not the only one but what can we do? I am old as you can see.”

After speaking with the old man, the cousin suggested a meeting with the woman at the market.

On getting to the market, Indian came down and went straight to meet with a dark-complexioned lady, wearing a black dress. Even with her appearance, one could see she was once a beautiful woman. She was wearing a blouse and a wrapper, and she had a hair extension on her head (courtesy of Indian, of course). She appeared to be in her thirties.

She was busy in her own world when Indian met her and a drama ensued.

Immediately Indian met her, her countenance changed. She became calm and attentive. From a fairly safe distance, one watched how the two exchanged pleasantries and Indian, probably, taking time to explain to her that she had visitors who meant no harm. Before one knew it, she was walking towards the team with her mother. When they got close to them, she knelt down and greeted the team in Hausa Language. Encouraged by her action, the reporter moved close to her and asked how she was doing. She answered that she felt good, still in Hausa language. And then she said with pride: “Indian, she is my daughter and she is a nice girl”, a claim that moved one almost to tears. Curiously when she was offered money she refused it and rather directed that it be given to her daughter that she needs it more than her. Oh, what a boundless maternal love!

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17 Responses to “’Insanity can’t separate us’•Amazing story of a mentally-ill mother and her 13-year old daughter”

Oreshile sulaiman ademola at 22 Aug 2009 7:23:36 AM WAT Oreshile sulaiman ademola Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 7:23:36 AM WAT

I must tell u i have never read anything dat made me shed tears as dis. The article is super emotion

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tobi Jos at 22 Aug 2009 9:12:13 AM WAT tobi Jos Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:12:13 AM WAT

tears in my eyes. we all have to do smoothing for this girl. How can we go about it.

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ADA at 22 Aug 2009 9:33:40 AM WAT ADA Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:33:40 AM WAT

INDIAN NEEDS TO BE HELPED TO COMPLETE HER EDUCATION SO SHE IN TURN CAN GIVE HER MOTHER A DECENT LIFE AWAY FROM THE MARKET. HOW CAN ONE SEND HELP TO HER?

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Adeyemi sam. olusegun at 22 Aug 2009 9:48:10 AM WAT Adeyemi sam. olusegun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:48:10 AM WAT

As i was reading the article my eyes became red before i new what was happening tears came out and could not eat again.This is pathectic.How do we assist this girl to get back to school.

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shillingford at 22 Aug 2009 9:59:54 AM WAT shillingford Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:59:54 AM WAT

we are really in a different world, this is an emotional story of true love, how i wish we have a responsible government with an organise social security system that will help this young princess to achieve her mothers dream of going to school? oh my god! may god in his infinate mercy give her the courage to continue this good work of taking care of her only mother and provide all her needs

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Adekunle Olayiwola at 22 Aug 2009 10:13:34 AM WAT Adekunle Olayiwola Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 10:13:34 AM WAT

I want to implore the reporter to take further step in this matter. I thought PDP govt promises free 9-year basic education for all. This girl must not be allowed to waste away, considering her intelligence and great human feelings. I wish to read later that she has been promptly enrolled in a secondary school and necessary resources for her proper upbring are being provided. Please come to her rescue fellow Nigerians.

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dele at 22 Aug 2009 11:14:48 AM WAT dele Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 11:14:48 AM WAT

Blood is really thicker than water.This is THE NATION’s project now.Any how you may want to go about it,Evelyn Osagie,the girl must go to school and the mother taken care of.You may involve NTA Newsline too.I’ll like to read of the devt soon.

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Abdjeleel lawal at 22 Aug 2009 1:56:24 PM WAT Abdjeleel lawal Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 1:56:24 PM WAT

Oh! My eyes full of tears,a big pity 4 indian and her mum,wit my own view i tink solution as come dat y dis is being published becos i wonda y now and y nt b4 dis time.also suggest Acct open 4 d girl 4 well meaning nigerians 2 contribute 2 d future of dis young girl..Am also a student bt i tink my own and urs little contribtn can make a difference,so help us God.amin..

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Isa HASSAN at 22 Aug 2009 2:07:42 PM WAT Isa HASSAN Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 2:07:42 PM WAT

I was moved to tears on reading this article i think the govt and kind hearted Nigerians should help INDIA so that she could give her mother a well deserve life.God bless Her.

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Abduljeleel at 22 Aug 2009 2:50:57 PM WAT Abduljeleel Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 2:50:57 PM WAT

Oh!my eyes full of tears,dis is serious,any way it is now time 4 me and u 2 come 2 indian and her mother 2 aids,am also a student and am nt pray 4 dis,so am suggesting an Acct open 4 dos dat wish 2 contribute…i cant just wait 2 read d latest update on dis issue becos dis an urgenlt case.

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DAMBO at 22 Aug 2009 2:56:59 PM WAT DAMBO Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 2:56:59 PM WAT

NASSARAWA STATE SOCIAL WELFARE DEPARTMENT PLEASE COME TO THE AID OF INDIAN AND HER MUM.

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Shodiya Olukayode Ayodeji at 22 Aug 2009 4:18:23 PM WAT Shodiya Olukayode Ayodeji Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 4:18:23 PM WAT

To me, it is highly emotionally. The last paragraph really touched me. I think Indian, needs more attention in which will be directly refers to the mother as well. We read in the same paragraph that the money offered her (the mother), she direct it to Indian. Because, She cares for her Mother. Her educational life needs to be boost. I pray that God in his Infinite Mercy touch her Mum and heal her of her illness in Jesus Mighty Name. It is really touching…It really a big bundle of maternal love.

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Alhaji at 22 Aug 2009 5:10:51 PM WAT Alhaji Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 5:10:51 PM WAT

Enough of this emotion expressions. Osagie, my daughter, please, this matter of MAMA INDIA must be brought to the attention of the First Lady of Nassarawa State.If she fails to do anything humanely as expected, then, she is not worthy of that office. I know she has many conflicting demanding situation like this, but this should be given utmost attention and priority. Both mother and child are within redeemable distance of the First Lady. Please, Please, Please, my daughter, Osagie, you got a can to carry on this issue. You cannot be tired. If there is a way you want us to assist, get in touch with me through my e-mail. Remember that Abike Dabiri became famous because of the then controversial miracle baby girl,MARY. We are watching . This may be your own chance.

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Obi at 22 Aug 2009 7:48:01 PM WAT Obi Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 7:48:01 PM WAT

I am a Nigerian residing in the U.S. This story is not shocking because it is happening as we speak in many locales across Nigeria. What is touchingly uncommon about this story is the unwavering dedication of a CHILD to countering the stereotypical ignorant judgements of the adult world surrounding her and which she helplessly has to depend on but assuredly not for too long. Yes, it brought tears to mine and your eyes and NOW WHAT? SPARE ME!! IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME. Evelyn Osagie has opened a wound that afflicts us all but being the bearer of this news might want to go further and I beg her time in partnering with me and my US based Nigerian organization in this effort. I apologize for my tone but there comes a time when we should in the words of the late President John Kennedy (USA) “ask not what your country can do for you, but instead what you can do for your country”. Evelyn, you have my e-mail address and I will research a more direct way of reaching you possibly via your newspaper and things would start happening instantly for Indian. It is about her. Sorry, I cannot reveal more personal information through this means due to the tireless 419 correspondence that these things generate.

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Seyi at 22 Aug 2009 9:50:41 PM WAT Seyi Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:50:41 PM WAT

I really shed tears after reading dis article for d heart of gold possess by this little girl pls do a follow up 4 pplp 2 b able 2 help d india n mother

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bello biodun at 22 Aug 2009 10:41:58 PM WAT bello biodun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 10:41:58 PM WAT

I have never in my life moved this way.This is the area where wealthy Nigerians need to invest. though i dont have much,but i believe with the little i have and my prayer in this only month of ramadan, this young girl will achieve her mother wish and mother india will be well in shall~allah amin

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Billie at 23 Aug 2009 10:09:24 AM WAT Billie Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 23 Aug 2009 10:09:24 AM WAT

Where are the NGOs, where is the wife of governor,the philanthropists this girl most complete education pls save the poor girl and her mother from diein.

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MORE COMMENTS FROM ANOTHER ISSUE OF THE NATION-
 
Emotions on “Insanity can’t separate us…

By Our Reporter Published 25/08/2009 News Rating: Unrated

On Saturday, The Nation ran a story entitled: “‘Insanity can’t separate us’ Amazing story of a mentally-ill mother and her 13-year old daughter.”

Since then, there have been reactions from home and abroad by readers touched the story.

The responses have not ceased coming. Here are some of them:

Oreshile Sulaiman Ademola:

I must tell you I have never read anything that made me shed tears as this. The article is super-emotional.

Tobi, Jos:

Tears in my eyes.We all have to do smoothing for this girl. How can we go about it?Ada:

Indian needs to be helped to complete her education so she in turn can give her mother a decent life away from the market. How can one send help to her?

Adeyemi Sam Olusegun:

As I was reading the article, my eyes became red before I new what was happening tears came out and I could not eat again. This is pathectic. How do we assist this girl to get back to school?

Joseph Ameh:

I’ll like to offer the little girl a school scholarship to secondary school. Please, if you guys can connect me to the family I will appreciate and also take the mother to church for prayers. I advised the mother should go get a medical report. I will be willing to pick her bills. Obi:

I am a Nigerian residing in the U.S. This story is not shocking because it is happening as we speak in many localities across Nigeria. What is touchingly uncommon about this story is the unwavering dedication of a child to countering the stereotypical ignorant judgments of the adult world surrounding her and which she helplessly has to depend on but assuredly not for too long. Yes, it brought tears to mine and your eyes. I apologise for my tone but there comes a time when we should in the words of the late President John Kennedy (USA) “ask not what your country can do for you, but instead what you can do for your country”. Dele:

Blood is really thicker than water. This is The Nation’s project now. Any how you may want to go about it; this girl must go to school and the mother taken care of. You may involve NTA Newsline too. I’ll like to read of the development soon.

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8 Responses to “Emotions on “Insanity can’t separate us…”

Bode at 25 Aug 2009 3:34:02 AM WAT Bode Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 3:34:02 AM WAT

Yes, I read the story and like many others, it brought tears to my eyes. Everyone whose heart God has touched should please contribute to helping this girl and her mother. Nothing could be too small. Whatever problem the mother might have, there are people in Nigeria who are capable of helping to heal her. This is a story of unusual love and affection.

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AKINOLA M.A. at 25 Aug 2009 6:59:23 AM WAT AKINOLA M.A. Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 6:59:23 AM WAT

This story is heart rending and very touching…I read the story the very day it was published and i never realized there was space for readers reaction…Anyway,this newspaper should take this issue up as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).Set up a current account in her name and publish it so that donors will who are willing to help can pay directly into her account…I have no illusion about the virtue of the oppressed only the need to relieve the oppression..Action speaks louder than voice…it’s time to act!

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segun, Israel at 25 Aug 2009 9:38:20 AM WAT segun, Israel Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 9:38:20 AM WAT

I pray that we would one day have a government that is conscious of her social responsibility to the peopla.

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Lere Ojedokun at 25 Aug 2009 9:43:31 AM WAT Lere Ojedokun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 9:43:31 AM WAT

The article was a five-star piece. It was a hallmark of investigative journalism. While I commend Reporter and The Nation for this great work, I strongly appeal to the newspaper organisation to take up the plight of this hapless girl and mom. They both deserve decent living.

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Atat at 25 Aug 2009 10:41:04 AM WAT Atat Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 10:41:04 AM WAT

This is by far the best story i’ve read in the Nigerian dailies this year. It was really touching. How can one contribute his widow’s mite to this little angel?

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Queen Tee at 25 Aug 2009 1:00:52 PM WAT Queen Tee Rating: Unrated (

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