A Tribute To A Hero
10th of December 2016 is a day that I normally celebrate because it is the international human rights day, but this particular 10th of December 2016 will have a double significance in my life. It is a day that my hero, my mentor, my role model, my biggest supporter and my father joined his ancestors. It is very significant that you joined your ancestors on the 10th of December, a day that we celebrate all over the world as international human rights day. The theme for this particular year is ” Stand Up For Someone”. You have always stood up for someone; you always stood up for the oppressed, the suppressed and the marginalized. You stood up for your co-workers, you stood up for your children. I buy into the philosophy of standing up for someone because of you. That is why as you leave this world , I can assure you that I will always stand up for someone.
You were a “fada fada”, an example of a loving, caring, devoted and committed dad. I learned a lot from you: your mastery of the queens language , the way you would write letters to me. Notwithstanding the fact that you were not certificated, you were highly educated and very wise. I will miss you, we shall miss you.
The legacy that you have left behind will last forever, you thought us to be hardworking, to be honest, to be committed and to do whatever we do to the best of our abilities. And that is the driving spirit that I will always remember.
You were called SN Brown , I am called Agbor Balla and we have lots of things in common. I remember how you told me I was a blessing to you as a child and I replied ” you are a blessing to me as a father”. The best dad I could ever have. I remind my kids that I know I will never leave up to the highest standards of my father, because you were a father ‘s father. You spoiled me as a child; I grew up as a very privileged kid notwithstanding the difficulties you might have been facing financially. You made sure that I had the money to foster my education. I remember in 1996 when things were tough in the country , you could still afford to pay my school fees of $1000 at the Nigerian Law School. I remember you visiting me in Sasse and CCAST Kumba; you will always encourage , motivate and support me. I owe my success, I owe whoever I am today because you were there to support me. I know that wherever you are, you will be smiling.
You were a keen supporter of the anglophone struggle. I know you will be proudly saying “that is my son Balla” . Some people are surprised, shocked and stunned that whilst I was running around criss-crossing the south and north west regions, organizing, you were in the mortuary. Yes you were in the mortuary, but I know you , I know that you were supporting me and you will be happy and proud of what I am doing. You spent your entire life praying and working for the success of your people. I remember the stories you told me of how you never had the opportunity to go to school but you vowed to educate all your kids. For that reason you sent them to the best schools. We will always remember you.
I wish I was there to pay you my last respect , I wish I was there to read my eulogy in church. I wish I was there to see you being buried. But you know what we stand for is bigger than me, it is bigger than you. You know that when you are fighting for your people, there will be sacrifices to be made and this is one of tthem I am making. Although you died in my arms, I will not have the opportunity to bury you. So is life, but one day when we meet I will explain to you how the struggle went. I will tell you in detail how I was kidnapped and incarcerated in Yaounde and that I could not attend your burial. But I know that I will do everything to ensure you have a befitting burial. I will always love you. You will always be my mentor, my hero and my role model. When you get to the promise land don’t forget to say hi to my favorite woman, Comfort Brown. Tell her that Show Boy is doing what Show Boy knows best: to speak for the voiceless , fight against marginalization, oppression and suppression and to defend the rights of our people.
I wish you a safe journey until we meet again. Adieu S N Brown. Bye bye Pa Brown. Rest in Peace Pa Brown.
Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla(son)
Principal Prison Kondenqui, Yaounde.