There’s a winsome and engaging woman here in Beijing, whom we call MAMA (pronounced M-a-a-m-a). And she enjoys the appellation, though a good number of the delegates are older than her.
MAMA’s real name is Wang Xiaoming, a professor, and Director of The Global Center For Culture And Education of the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The academy is facilitating the seminar for presidential advisers of developing countries, which I am currently attending in Beijing, China.
Prof Xiaoming had greeted me warmly on arrival at the seminar centre on Thursday. Her delight increased when she learnt I was from Nigeria.
“They call me MAMA, and it was a Nigerian delegate who gave me the name many years ago,” she informed with glee. “And I love the name, though I am not old enough to be mother to some of the participants. I enjoy being called MAMA.”
Truly, Prof Xiaoming reminds you of your mum, as she takes care of all affairs; food, accommodation, study, travel details, everything. She ensures that all goes well, just as your biological mum would do.
“I would be proud of the name for a lifetime. I am told that in Africa, a woman you respect is called MAMA. I love it,” she added.
Professor Xiaoming has been involved in the international seminar since it began eight years ago. And she enjoys every bit of it. Her words: “Although our programs do not make profit, our staff members still work very hard, for we are accumulating wealth that is not measured in money. With so many masterminds, we are sure to provide the best programs to participants from all over the world.”
MAMA specially loves the first line of her school song, which goes thus: “Open the window of your heart to sunshine, hold fast to dreams, and I’m the wings of spring.”
Yes, hold fast to dreams. They do come true.