A peep into life in Africa, through the eyes of an African Reformed Baptist pastor.

Water, water, water, everywhere. What else do you expect? I am a Baptist, and I live in the land of the mighty Victoria Falls!

Monday, September 9, 2019

“Ba Mirriam” has become a celebrity!

The whole clan—parents, children, spouses, grandchildren and dog—with "ba Mirriam"
Two weeks ago, our family held a surprise party for our house keeper (maid). She is popularly called “ba Mirriam” by all of us in the home. The party marked her working with us for 20 years. As I often do, I shared pictures of this event on my two Facebook accounts.

To our utter amazement, my official Facebook page (which keeps a counter) showed that by yesterday the posting had reached almost a quarter of a million people, with over 600 individuals sharing it with their own Facebook friends. News has it that this event was also featured on radio and television. I readily admit that we did not expect such popularity.

Every party must have plenty of food and eating!
We must have gotten onto something here. I have personally read each of the comments. Most of them are either grateful to God for also having virtuous maids or complaining of having landed themselves with irresponsible gold-diggers. Let’s face it, such is life.

Many wrote on behalf of maids who have had a raw deal and have been ill-treated by their employers. The cry was very loud in many of the comments, basically saying, “If we treated maids with more dignity and honour, they would give us the best of service too.”

Every party must have plenty of food and eating!
We are glad that while the post was “trending” we gave the nation a chance to air their views on this matter. As long as sin remains in human nature, we will never reach perfection in employer-employee relations. However, talking about it helps us to re-examine ourselves.

Many thought we are a great family. I hurry to say, we are not. We have all the flaws that any human family has. Any semblance of good about us as a family is a fruit of the grace of the Lord Jesus in our lives. We try to obey God but have also failed lamentably many times.

A 20th anniversary cake being cut by "ba Mirriam" and her sister
When an institution organises a party to acknowledge the longevity and excellent work of an employee, the limelight is not on the employers. Rather, it is on the employee who has given so much to make that institution what it is today. That is how we feel as a family.

It is not our family that must get any glory here. It is ba Mirriam. Thanks for each of those 4,000 likes and 800 comments that have made her day. Since I recommenced blogging recently, I decided to share some of what our children have said to her on this occasion. Their comments speak more eloquently of their appreciation of the now famous “ba Mirriam” than my wife and I could have done.

"Ba Mirriam" and Mrs Mbewe hug
BWALYA: Ba Miriam, congratulations for working for 20 years. I remember I was in grade 9 when you joined us. You have been very hardworking and neat especially in cleaning the house, washing and packing clothes. Now that I am married and managing my own home, I wish I can have someone like you because such commitment to work is rare. You should come to my place to help me when you are next on leave!

MWILA: Ba Mirriam, thank you for your love and excitement. I remember how when I started my first job you were excited for me. I also remember when I first moved out of our parents’ home, you excitedly cleaned my new home for me. And recently, when I moved into my matrimonial home, you excitingly wanted to clean it all by yourself. Oh, ba Mirriam, may the Lord bless us with 20 more years with you!

"Ba Mirriam" also hugs "yours truly"
MWINDULA (“BIGGIE”): Ba Mirriam, I remember how committed you were to ensuring that my school uniforms and shoes were always flawless when I started Grade 8. I ended up getting the award for "Cleanest boy in school" at the end of that year. That really was your award! You are now part of the family and we dearly love you. As an honorary member of the family you can rest assured that we will always be there for you!

MWANSA: Ba Mirriam, you have been more than a housekeeper; you have been a friend. We have shared so many jokes and laughed together from the time I was in primary school as we talked about school to the times when you always had hope for the Zambian national football team. Indeed, we finally saw them win the AFCON. The years have flown past and we have so many good memories because of you. Thank you!

Mwila soothes "Ba Mirriam" as she is overtaken with emotions
MWAPE: Ba Mirriam, thank you for being the addition to the family we never knew we needed.  Thanks for being “furniture” in our lives. I can’t describe any season of my life that you weren’t in. You’ve been with us that long and I’m so grateful to God for you and your servant heart. I love you so much that I’m carrying you with me to my house. That’s where you’ll do your next 20 years. Haha!

MWINDULA (“SMALL”): In the 8 years I have been in this home, I have come to learn much about ba Mirriam. I have learned how she started work here, how she has provided guidance where needed, how she has seen each one of us grow under her watchful eyes, her struggles with health, her relationship with the church, and her relationship with each family member. All that can be said is that we have been BLESSED to have her!

If you want to see the Facebook post, click here.


2 comments:

  1. Wow...we thank God for ba Mirriam and for your family that has honoured her faithful service.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pastor Conrad, I just bought Foundations for the Flock. I wanted to ask you, what are some ways you disciple people in your church?

    ReplyDelete