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state mother of the year
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Meet Brigitte Queen Ndikum-Nyada, 2020 Massachusetts Mother of the Year®

February 6, 2020

About

Brigitte Ndikum-Nyada was born and raised in the town of Babadjou, Cameroon, as the sixth child (first daughter) of 12 children. Her father named her Mantoh after her paternal grandmother, meaning “Mother of the Palace.” She left Africa at 17 to attend and earn a degree in Liberal Arts at the University of Paris, France. She is a graduate with two master’s degrees – University of Evansville, Indiana and University of Massachusetts. Brigitte is at the peak of motherhood bliss thanks to 38 years of marital union with the same spouse, and three awesome sons and many adopted children. Brigitte continues to enjoy a fulfilled life juggling parenting of many children, working as an Emergency Manager, and spreading her passion as a courageous and resilient mother around the globe.


What is your favorite memory as a mother?

There are so many wonderful memories that come to mind. I recall reading many local newspaper clippings and grammar/high school new letters about my three sons’ academic and athletic successes and achievements. And, about the volunteer work they performed in the community. But the one memory I cherished the most is when they were all infants and the joy and pleasure, I watched in their eyes whenever I nursed (breastfeed) them without interruption. I find myself sometimes day dreaming, seeing those beautiful bright baby eyes looking back at me, and all I can do, is quietly smile back at myself.

What is the best or worst “mom purchase” you’ve ever made and why?

Back in the mid-eighties when my children were still very young, purchasing the hot electronic game at the time “Super Nintendo,” was a good/bad mom-purchase. The kids loved it. I also liked playing it at times, but when it interfered with homework, house chores and increased siblings’ rivalry I had to donate it to goodwill. The best mom-purchase was providing Christmas gifts, food, snacks and beverages to hundred of children back in my village back in Cameroon. My passion now is providing food and school supplies and other necessities on a quarterly basic to an orphanage back in Cameroon.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what would you ask?

Why does the government not revisit the regulations or focus on the production and distribution of all types, sizes of alcoholic beverages like the case of cigarettes, and vaping pen? Why is alcohol not treated as a drug?

What was your biggest misconception about being a mom?

It occurred after the birth of our first son while living in Amherst, Massachusetts. I was born in Babadjou-Cameroon. Most Americans are familiar with this African expression: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Upon returning home, after four days at hospital, for the birth of my son, I was disappointed nobody was at our home to welcome us with joyful songs, and celebration. I was heartbroken and cried. What a culture shock! The American realities for this new baby’s life/upbringing, didn’t include the village. I strive to help folks to understand motherhood as a community labor of love.

Any special comments or additional information you would like to share:

I am going to conclude my write up with the following quote from one of cousins who lives in Minnesota. “I believe Brigitte was destined to be a super mother since she was given the name Mantoh (mother of the King’s palace) at birth; and she has demonstrated through the decades that she’s a super mother by the love and affection she has for all the children in her broad extended African, American and European family” by Venantius Ngwanyia.

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