The venue of the celebration, a large spacious hall was filled to capacity. The chief celebrant stood up from the high table to come to the podium, and she was greeted with a resounding round of applause.
Madam Rose Mazinga, widow of late Chief Roland Mazinga; a wealthy industrialist of his time, was celebrating her 55th birthday. In attendance at the venue were friends and well wishers of Madam Rose, a highly respected philanthropist in the township. Therefore, apart from her relations and well wishers, there was a group of enthusiastic young men and women- students of various educational institutions; all of them beneficiaries of her philanthropy. They were also there to celebrate with her; with almost each one of them yearning for a space of a minute or two, to express their gratitude to her verbally.
“I thank all of you for sparing some of your valuable time to be here today”, said Madam Rose as she cast a sweeping look at the audience from one side of the hall to the other side. Then she continued, “I thank God Almighty for keeping me alive today in spite of the huge obstacle on my way of survival. Unknown to many of you, I am one of a set of twin sisters; but I lost my partner fifty years ago.” The hall became cold and enveloped in utter silence; with tears welling up in the eyes of some of her young beneficiaries.
“Five years after we were born, my twin sister was diagnosed of a heart condition, and with the residue of superstition still surrounding the birth of twins at that time, the general assumption was that the ‘gods’ were not in favor of the kids (being twins). Eventually, she passed away while most of the citizens in the locality expected that I too should follow suite very soon. True to their expectation, I too fell ill of the same ailment a year later. My father was said to be on a business trip abroad and my mother was faced with a situation in which she may remain childless for life because it took her almost twenty years after marriage to have us. This time, she was not prepared to lose me as it happened to my sister. She promptly asked for a referral note from the village clinic to the specialist hospital in the capital city.My father was contacted and he consented to the proposed heart surgery abroad”. Once again, she cast another slow, frank and appealing look at the now ‘frozen’ audience in the hall as she concluded, “I appreciate the gallantry of my late mother, who chose to rise above the ignorance that pervaded the locality and opted for an extra ordinary action to be taken to salvage the almost hopeless situation, thank you all once again, for coming.”