I pride myself of being a passionate pan Africanist and yet, I do not know much about my continent. It took a virtual encounter with the dreams of a 6 year’s old resident of Abu Dhabi for me to learn about Wangari’s Trees of Peace and the beautiful story of a young Kenyan woman who had the courage to fight established institutions and big corporates and replant trees in her home country, Kenya.
I am sitting in front of my screen computing large numbers in small excel cells and trying to balance the ins and outs of the businesses I have just launched, all of which have a point in common, Africa.
That’s when I receive a WhatsApp of destress from an Arab mum. Her 6 years old has a costume day at school. The little lady wants to dress like the heroine of her favorite book – Wangari Maathai.
I sit there wondering who is Wangari and why would a little girl favorite her to all the heroines of Disney blockbusters?
Mama is desperate. She needs to source African fabrics of similar colors to the ones Wangari is wearing on the cover of the book. Orange and pink…not easy…and what’s more she is based in Abu Dhabi, close but far Emirate that requires a Covid-19 test to travel to!
But Mama has knocked on the right door: Africa Avenue. I am curious to know how she found us? She searched the net in despair for beautiful African fabrics and found an article written by Ansie Van Der Walt two years ago. Ansie did mention we are the boutique to go to for genuine African fabrics and Mama trusted the content of that article, searched us on Instagram and found our number.
Mama’s story touched me deeply. I asked her about the budget to create the outfit for her daughter. Her answer? Whatever it takes to make my daughter happy. It reminded my of my own mum, may her soul rest in piece inshallah…She was capable of miracles to make me happy. I have always thought she was a magician. She still is from wherever her soul is … She makes my dreams come true…and my dreams are about drawing a smile on every face, all the more when I am approached for that purpose. I feel like I am on a mission.
In 24 hours, the fabric was found and selected; the tailor Ibuken from Nigeria prioritized the dress making; Fetcher has been super cooperative and Miangola coordinated to perfection, as usual. 2 days after, our 6 year star was shinning in her dress and ready for her big day.
I kept thinking about what the love of a mum can achieve. Mama thinks I have done miracles… Does she know her love for her daughter is the reason why God allows for these miracles to happen?
To all Mamas in the world, you have my total respect.