BY IBRAHIM KEGBEGBE
Lateefat scans through my Facebook’s friends’ list on a warm Sunday morning. She takes a great observation at the blacks’ profiles; the Whites’ are ignored. It is easy to see this act as a pupil trying to work on a given research topic.
While waiting for her mother to serve the breakfast, she squints her eyes at my phone with slow speed to get her concerned motives before the battery goes dead. “Why is the perception of Africans is that whites are exceptionally created?”
“Are these not your black friends?”
She shows me something while scrolling from one African friend’s profile to another. Her index finger suddenly stops scrolling. Her ready-made mouth opens as if she were in a canteen with an inscription at its entrance: food is ready.
“Now, honey. Who is this Queen!”, says a voice from behind her.
“Going through your conversation with this lady, and her profile, I think she deserves to be called Queen,” says Lateefat’s mother while placing the breakfast on the table. I move close to them to view the profile.
“That is what the Queen does!” “That is why she is called the Queen!” I smile while giving the compliments with my finger moving on the phone’s screen. She is really called Nyajuok Maluoth Bol and she has been known affectionately as Kings’ and Queens’ maker.
Nyajuok is an attractive, black woman. She is 6 feet inches tall, and “young” in a strong, maternal way. Her clear, dark eyes and soft, smooth, lineless complexion give her a facial feature of a 20-year-old lady.
“I married at 14 and got my first child at the age of 16,” Nyajuok confides. “In South Sudan, there are 64 tribes but my tribe is called Nuer where girls are not allowed to have romantic lovers before marriage and parents choose husbands for their daughters. I didn’t know my husband before marriage, I only knew his parents.” Her voice trails off, then picks up. “But now I have got six kids. Inspite of that, some Americans do stop me on my way and tell me: ‘young lady, you are beautiful’,” she laughs.
Nyajuok was born in Ethiopia by Sudanese parents in 1986 while her husband was born and brought up in South Sudan. Her father was a lawyer who descended from a popular ethnic group, Nuer, in South Sudan. Her father had five wives with seven children but three of the children have passed away. Nyajuok was a pet child. “I was a daddy’s girl. Everyone thought I wouldn’t survive when my father passed away,” she says with sympathetic tone.
“Even my husband was afraid of my sudden illness as I was hospitalized for a week during the condolent visiting of sympathisers.” The affectionate care she received from her father was as a result of her beauty and because she was born on a lovely Sunday morning.
Nyajuok means Sunday,” she says with pride. However, despite the fact that her father loved her, he didn’t send her to college in Ethiopia because she needed to get married at a young age according to Nuer’s culture.
She went to college when she got to her husband’s home in America and she had been practising motherly roles before then. “It was my dream to become a doctor but early marriage did not allow me to achieve that. So, I then decided to study nursing but my business and responsibility in family have not allowed me to do so,” she says with great concern.
She enjoys travelling a lot. And despite the fact that she has been to many countries, she has also been to 44 states out of the 50 states in America. She also loves seeing movies, especially the ones by Nigerian actors. She even has some actors from Africa and others from Hollywood as friends but ungodly behaviour of the African actors has made her to block them on social media.
“They wanted to distroy my marriage as most of them were wooing me. As they continued disturbing me, I changed my contact numbers as a married woman,” she says frankly.
Well, her most cherished hobby is sending the less privileged students in Africa, especially those from Ethiopia, to schools. She has 17 Students being sponsored by her in Ethiopia. Some are in primary schools while others are in secondary schools. These beneficiaries are 7 girls and 10 boys.
“I am giving scholarship to the less privileged students because I know education is the key to accomplishing our lives’ desires. And as a lady who married at young age, I understand how important education is. So, I need to change that culture of a female marrying without sound education,” she explains.
“I have known Nyajuok as a giver and a caring someone right from her childhood,” says her childhood friend from Ethiopia. “As the C.E.O of King and Queen Boutique, my joy is to see the sponsored students to become Kings and Queens in the nearest future,” Nyajuok says. “It is not that I have not seen beautiful women before. In fact, I have princesses as friends but the inner beauty in Nyajuok has made her a special Queen in this world than the royal princesses I have met,” says Lateefat.