iyaniwura (mother is supreme)

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By un’ruly contributor, Dupsy O.

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mother’s in the world around us.  Growing up, I had two very strong maternal influences in my life that left an indelible mark and has shaped me to become the mother I am today.

I remember that fine day, at my primary school in the rural villages of Nigeria.  My grandmother, who had just passed away, paid me a visit at school. It was my first day and I was only six years old.  After my grandmother’s death I had been reunited with my mother whom for years I thought was my aunt; but instead it turned out that my favorite auntie was indeed my mother.  I was my grandmother’s favorite grandchild and this was the reason I believe she visited me frequently at school. When I told my mother that grandma comes to my school regularly she was worried and knew what that meant. She prayed that I’d stop seeing her. When the prayer did not work, she took me to a Muslim prayer man an “Imam” who prayed for me, and cut each side of my face with a razor blade and applied some herbs on the cuts.  He then wrote the prayer on a stone slate and washed it into a cup for me to drink.  He washed my face with the rest of the water.  All this to stop me from seeing the spirit of my grandma; however nothing worked! My mom then took me to visit an old man who gave her a piece of dried elephant skin, pierced a hole into it, threaded it with a black thread and put it around my neck.  That was the last day I saw my grandmother.  This event was momentous in my life and was the prefect illustration of how maternal bonds can transcend earthly bounds.


Today I am a mother of three blessed children and I am happy to be a mother. The nine glorious months of being a soul mate with the seed of God in one’s womb is unforgettable and memorable. A woman can give birth to a king, a queen, a doctor, scientist, a pop star or a felon. We carry all the possibilities in our blessed womb. Yes we! Mother! While expecting and nurturing our unborn child, we dream of what we want them to become in life, the great expectation that sometimes is realized and most often not.  We have little control of what our children become, no matter how much we give and do to direct them on the right path.  But we love them anyway. They are part of us. They are made of us.  Mother.

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There is a song people in my village used to sing when I was growing up in Nigeria: “a barren cried because she has no child, a mother cries because she has no clothes for her child, but managed to buy a little piece of cloth for her child, but in their evening, for a barren on her death she has no one to shed a tear for her to send her to heaven, as for the poor mother, she has a child to cry for her on her death.” Being a mother is a blessing; so mothers appreciate your children, and children appreciate your mother. “Iyaniwura” Mother is supreme!

Mother is supreme! Mother is supreme, that invisible cord will always be there. It will always unite a mother and their child no matter their age, who they become or whether or not we’re still on this earth.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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