My mother, Late Mrs GoldCoast Dickson was born on October 11, 1946 to the family of Mr and Mrs Oruama Nipe of Toru-Angiama town in Patani Local Government Area of Delta State. This particular reason among others was responsible for the high number condolence visits from several communities in Delta state especially Patani Local Government Area. On August 28, the Government and people of Delta State and the umbrella body of Ijaw political leaders, the Delta Ijaw Political Assembly headed by the Deputy governor of the State, Evangelist Kingsley Otuaro, came to condole with the Dickson family in Toru-Orua. Delta has always been my maternal home!
Mama Gogo as she was fondly called was firmly positioned on the right pedestal to proclaim her destiny like story of Joseph in the Bible. She was born a star and her siblings, Afani, QueenMary and Kumasi, knew it. They watched daily as she rebelled against fear, lack and shame, to hoist her cheerful nature in the midst of penury, as she toiled with their parents.
Yet in her ordeal, she prayed for God’s will to prevail. And as God would have it, in 1956 when she in company of her uncle Odubo visited Toru-orua.
While there, her intelligence, kind, humble, friendly and jovial nature which was easily noticed by all very especially Princess Enuana Kpadia of Toru-Orua. Due to her exceptional qualities, The young GoldCoast soon became her favorite company and it did not take long for her son- Late Nanaye Dickson (my father) to pick interest in the young, brilliant and beautiful Goldcoast . They later on fell in-love with each other and married to the admiration of everyone especially his mother Enuana.
She spent her entire youthful years in Toru-Orua. Though a lady, her strong values and believe and love for family always made mama the peace broker and the one who usually unites the family whenever there were family differences.
But since she was too young, after the all traditional marriage rites, she handed Goldcoast to one of the wives of my father by name Abadere, to groom her, preparatory to her marriage to Mr. Dickson Nanaye as his last wife. Such was the tradition in those days and so it is in izon land that when a man marries an izon woman, he only Marries the flesh and not the bones hence upon death, the remains of the woman must be returned to her fatherland.
Days, weeks, months and years rolled by and before long, the once young girl became a woman. One remarkable day, Mrs. Goldcoast Dickson had just returned from the farm, looking very tired. Slowly, she dropped her basket filled with vegetables. She heaved a sigh of relief as she wiped the sweat on her brow with the edge of her wrapper. Then she rested her weight on the seat beside her little hut. Tenderly, she rubbed her belly and smiled knowingly to herself and looking up into the sky, as if to say ‘thank you Lord. Then, she smiled again.
True to her nature, the ever vivacious lady would never bow to any challenge in life. Not even the stress of pregnancy would hold her down. Although, she was nine months heavy, she knew it, her vows to assist her husband to achieve his goals kept her active throughout the period.
Irrespective of her condition, she toiled and traversed the length and breadth of Toru-Orua creeks and forests, daring the weather to ensure her family was happy. However, she had to yield to the yanks of that little angelic creature who had served his time in her loving cocoon for the midwives to come knocking.
On that day, the sun was shining, yet it was drizzling; a natural phenomenon believed by the people of Toru-Orua to mean ‘that ‘a lioness is giving birth in the forest.’ Indeed on that remarkable day, January 28, 1966, a lioness gave birth to an exceptional icon in the human race.
Mrs Goldcoast, had her first child, “Sarki” who later changed his name to Seriake and known today as Henry Seriake Dickson. Although Henry Seriake Dickson was not born with the proverbial silver spoon yet he meant the world to his family, especially to Madam Goldcoast who loved him with passions beyond explanation.
Recognizing the glow in her son’s eyes from that tender stage, Madam Goldcoast, fondly called Mama Gogo Seriake Dickson by her first son, knew he was a child of destiny and she resolved that education would be the only tool to break the cycle of want in their lives.
That resolve propelled Mama to ensure that her seven children – Henry Seriake Dickson , Ebuomotimi Steve Dickson, Akpholagha Dickson, Mrs Ebimoboere Fafi, Faboperegha Mike, Moses Oruaze Dickson (myself) and Kemeaweregha Nancy Dickson the last born – were purposefully moulded to triumph in life.
Mama was indeed a role model. She groomed her children in love, humility, the fear of God, and to always say No when No is the right answer. She instilled in them the courage to take on the odds to be goal-getters. Whether it was farming, fishing, the operation of a kiosk where she had a variety of little items, her meager purse could afford; like sweets, biscuits, groundnuts, etc, Mama confronted the seasons, as long as her efforts placed food on the table for her family. She tried her hands In a lot of endeavors to support her family and typical of young businesses in Africa, debtors owe with pride but even when some of her debtors refused to pay up, Mama was never deterred because she knew someday her children would be her solid pillars.
True to mama’s dreams, traces of her resilience and dogged nature flow in her children. Right from Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, the bold achiever, to Moses Oruaze Dickson-Managing Solicitor of Triax Solicitors and founder of the Goldcoast Foundation (a philanthropic organization in honour of mama) and her other children; excellence drives their course to succeed.
Mama’s free spirited nature extended not just to her children, but to all who knew her. Mama was a charitable woman to a fault. In 1982 when there was a great famine in Toru-orua and some people survived through the leftovers of others, mama increased her efforts in her struggle for survival in the rivers and farms. She ensured she shared the little farm produce; yam, plantain, fish and other items she had with as many families as she could. As a devout Christian, her doctrine to her children was the right foundation in love, fear of God and the ability to say no when no is the right answer.
She was indeed a good woman, a jewel to humanity and a determined fighter who fought to the last day. Even when she was diagnosed with cancer at the Bayelsa State Diagnostic Center and was referred to the United Kingdom for treatment, and then later to the University of Texas, M.D Anderson Cancer Center, Mama was still tough, hopeful and prayerful in her fight against the pains of cancer.
She refused to succumb to excruciating pains that kept pulling her down. She refused to be pitied even in that condition as she urged her children to move on with their lives. I remember her praying for me in her hospital bed in the USA as I left briefly to wrap up my second third masters in the United Kingdom recently. All she wanted for us is success and happiness in all our endeavours and indeed, mama achieved her goals.
Surrounded by her children and grandchildren, mama slept peacefully in the Lord on August 8, 2018 at about 11:27pm.
Mama will be greatly missed, but we take solace in the fact that her good soul has gone to rest in the bosom of God Almighty.
As the Bible says “ who can find a virtuous woman? For a Her price is far above rubies” ( Prov:31:10-31). Mama was a virtuous woman and so if there exists a place for good people life after death, I know Mama will be there by now.
I still thank all men and women of goodwill for their comforting words and support so far.
Rest on my mother like no other.
I love you ❤❤
You are always my 24/7 MUM.