Remembering Grandma Nelle

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Grandma Nelle was my maternal grandma, she was my mom’s mum. She was my favourite grandma….well, the only grandma I grew up with.

A moment I will treasure for the rest of my life!

When I started my first grade, I went to live with her because mum had to work and there was no one to take care of me while she worked, so I went to the countryside to stay with grandma for a little bit. I stayed with her for about three years.

I had grown very fond of my grandma that as soon as school was out, I was on the next bus to the countryside. I loved it out there! I loved feeding the chickens, gardening, picking wild fruit and fishing with my cousins, sitting around the fire in the evening and telling stories with my extended family.

I even had my son at the countryside with my grandma, one of my aunties and one of my cousins as my midwives, so I have a special connection with home village…I could easily live there.

A priceless moment of Kapambwe and grandma

I loved my grandma so much, I followed her everywhere. She gave me a little space just behind her hut, where I grew my own crops and taught me how to dig the ground, sow seeds, weed, fetch water from the stream/well, collect fire wood, make a fire and she taught me how to cook too.

When I came to live in Belgium, I prayed to God that I would see her before she passed on and God answered my prayers because I got to see in 2012, when I finally went home after about 14 years away from home……circumstances beyond my control.

When I saw her, the first thing she said to me was, I  was very upset with you! How could you leave a 4-year-old baby behind! You are so silly! (I had left my son with my mum because I came to Belgium to work and I couldn’t come with him.

Grandma Nelle, my son Kapambwe and I. This is the last time I saw granny before she passed on

After screaming at me for a while, she calmed down and said, anyway, I am glad you are finally home, now I can go and rest because i was just waiting for you to come home….that brought a tear to my eye because she had so many grandchildren, I didn’t think she loved me so much to miss me as much as she did and held on to her life just for me….I felt so loved and special.

She blessed me, and told me to take care of my siblings (my mum and step-dad had passed on by then), to have a kind heart towards them and to everyone else, then she told me that next time I went back, I wouldn’t see her again because she said her time to go had come, she was tired. I was sad to hear that and I still hoped I would see her again despite what she said but unfortunately I didn’t get the chance.

My grandma Nelle went to be with the Lord on June 17, 2013 at the age 105. I cried for days but I was happy that I got to see her, got a blessing from her and I was happy too that she was in a better place because she had been ill for a while and she was quite old, she couldn’t do much for herself, though her sight was still good, she recognised me and her memory was still sharp, she even remembered things I had forgotten lol.

A few of grandma’s children, grand children, great grand children and  great great-grandchildren…….This is the part I’ve always loved….sitting under a mango tree chatting away with family.

At the time of granny’s passing, she left behind 4 children, 48 grandchildren, 107 great-grandchildren and 34 great great-grandchildren……a total of 193…….wasn’t she a real blessing to our family?

We are so thankful to the lord for the time we spent with her! She fought a good fight and now she’s resting in the loving arms of our God until we see her again.

May Your Soul Rest In Eternal Peace,  granny!


Dee xxx

Photo Credit: Rita Musowoya Daka (My lovely little sister)


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