My mum and I have a pretty normal relationship. We talk mostly about school and work. After every conversation, she always ends with ‘nnem ji sike.’ For my non-igbo speakers, this means ‘My daughter keep going on.’ I know right. I always thought it was a bit strange that she ended our conversations that way.
As an Igbo enthusiast, I started looking deeper into why she ends conversations like this. My mum told me it is because she believes in what I am doing. She is my biggest cheerleader. She comes to all my events, she is constantly searching the interwebs looking for anything that she thinks will be beneficial for my education. Like I mentioned in previous blogs, I am an aspiring medical doctor. I remember when I was in secondary school, and I didn’t do well in a particular subject. My mum knew that my dad would be mad at me, so she helped me hide my result from him, and did everything possible to make sure that i improved the next time around.
Back to the topic at hand my mum says, ‘Nnem ji sike’ because she is proud of my accomplishments, and has always imagined that her children will succeed, but didn’t know how. She says this to give me encouragement, and remind me that I am doing a great job, but I am not at the point that I should be. She says it for me to remember that there is someone out there looking out for me constantly. It is her way of saying’I love you, and never forget that.’ To all our cheerleaders out there, we love them too.