The Mbongo and Martin families are greatly saddened to announce the passing of Mrs. Eirene Mbongo on June 27, 2016, in Limbe, Cameroon.

* Wake-keeping services will be held at the Martin Family Residence, situated at 25 Makangai Street, Downbeach, Limbe on Friday, August 19 from 8 pm to 12 midnight;
* She will lie in state on Saturday, August 20 from 8 am to 11 am at the Martin Family Residence. The funeral service will take place promptly at noon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Down Beach. It will be followed by a reception at Down Beach. 
* She will be laid to rest beside her husband after a private burial ceremony in Buea at the Mbongo family home.
* A US Memorial/Thanksgiving service will be held on Saturday, August 20 from 3-5 pm at The Church of God of Prophecy, 8477 US NC Hwy 52, Morven NC 

We thank you for your thoughts and prayers,
The Mbongo and Martin Families


Eirene Evenye Mbongo nee Martin was born on 9th of April 1937 in the South West region of Cameroon. She was the fourth of ten children born to Hannah Nene Enanga Martin nee Steane, and Ernest Kofele Martin, both well-known educators. The former Miss Martin began school in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in early 1940’s. At the time she was living with her aunt, Mrs. Comfort Manga Bell nee Kofele. She returned to Cameroon where she attended the Buea Government School. Since secondary school education for girls was limited in the then Southern Cameroon, Miss Martin travelled back to Nigeria to attend the Teacher Training College in Ikeja, Lagos.

Upon graduation she returned to Limbe and was employed at Saker Baptist College as its first House Mother when the institution opened its doors in 1962. 

In 1966, she married Mr. Fritz Isoke Mbongo, a former stores manager for the United Africa Company who had just returned from studying architecture in Takoradi, Ghana. The couple was very happily married for 15 months that they spent in the staff quarters at Saker Baptist College. After Mr. Mbongo’s untimely death in 1968, Mrs. Mbongo remained a devoted widow and part of the Mbongo family for the rest of her life.

Her teaching career was briefly interrupted when she enrolled in the North American Baptist College in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) in the early 70s. When she returned to Cameroon, she again served at Saker Baptist College, this time as a Religious Knowledge and Literature teacher. She also taught at Government Girls' Technical College and finally at the Cameroon Baptist Convention's Baptist High School when it was still known as Baptist Boys' Secondary School - BBSS. She was widely known as a softly spoken, competent teacher who was well loved by her students.

Eirene was a long time resident of Down Beach, Limbe where she was an entrepreneur, founding and directing the Kofele Luma Academy, a fully accredited higher education institution that has turned out hundreds of graduates since its inception. Besides teaching, she was involved in women’s work in the church, the Cameroon Baptist Women’s Convention, the Girl Guides, and in spreading adult education in home improvement, cookery and sewing.

Growing up, Eirene was slim, a tiny girl and ended up being known by her sisters and cousins as "Tin’gal." Later on her nephews and nieces would call her fondly, Aunty Liling/Lileen. She is survived by her five sisters and one brother, her very many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, cousins, in-laws, friends, and her church and school family.

We invite you to leave tributes, share stories, view our photo and video galleries. Please refrain from downloading the various media you find on this site as they are personal, intimate copies. Thank you! 

Posted by Edna Kweti on June 28, 2022
Good evening Aunty!
Something as simple as making sandwiches for Track & Field for Clementine, brought back so many memories, watching you make sandwiches, what am I talking about travel “bags” of food for the many road trips I had the pleasure of sharing with you to really cherish until we meet again. Missing you, your smile and laugh.
Rest on Aunty!
Posted by Tia Harry on June 28, 2022
Six years now now so? I remember it all like it was yesterday. Our last telephone conversation the day before, on Aunty Doctor’s birthday, you were all at Aunty Gwen’s house. Then just like that you were gone the following day. Your bestie ‘age group’ Dada Latre is there, trying her best. We all miss you Aunty Tingal.
Posted by Nadia Cureton on April 9, 2022
Happy birthday in heaven, Aunty!
Posted by Ruth Ekangaki on April 9, 2022
Happy heavenly birthday Dearest Auntie!! One of our many April angels
Posted by Ruth Ekangaki on June 27, 2021
Hi Auntie I!! Missing you….. ❤️
Posted by Tia Harry on April 10, 2021
Belated birthday wishes up yonder oh Aunty Tingal. We miss you.
Posted by kofoworola anjorin on April 9, 2021
Dear Sisy Thingal. How time has gone past as if this happened last year. I miss you beyond words. I have a lot to tell you but have kept it in my thoughts. You are with the Lord. Rest in peace .
Posted by Edna Kweti on June 28, 2020
Hello Aunty!
How are you? I ask as I remember your soft voice start off with your trademark laugh, followed with "Fine, fine, na me dis!", but you are not here for a gentle hug that would follow. I was going thru some photos and ran into a photo of your passport, remembering that you were supposed to take a break and come visit, but instead you took a trip that we must endure your absence until we meet again. Oh, how a day like today and celebrating Aunty Doctor and seeing everyone back home, makes us miss you even more.
Well, pretty sure you had a spectacular celebration over there to toast her journey.
Missing you......

ps- Guess what? There were more mbombo's on the call today. Okay will will catch up again. Love you!
Posted by Tia Harry on June 28, 2020
Another year gone, yet the memories are fresh. We miss you Aunty Eirene.
Miss Binder asked about you oh, I spoke to her on her birthday, in March. She was stunned when I told her you were no longer with us. I have been staring at the screen for some time, and now it’s just gone midnight
Sleep tight Aunty.
Posted by Alice Martin-Daihirou on June 27, 2020
Dear Sissie, four years ago we wept when the news of your demise echoed around the world like a bad dream. Today, as on your birthday and during the numerous family events, we smile and sing your praises as we recall how things would have been done with perfection, colour and good taste if you were around. Down house is still locked up since you left. Your brother Sam has had it all fixed up and suitable for family gatherings. It is always a pleasure to receive our I laws and friends in the house because we know you will forever be there with us. Rest on classy lady and ask the heavenly angels to smile and watch over us especially during these very uncertain times.
Posted by Samuel Endeley on August 15, 2019
we miss you so much aunt Irene May your gentle Soul continue to Rest in Perfect Peace
Posted by Edna Kweti on June 27, 2019
Out of sight all the while close at heart! I remember the mani-pedi spa day? All that plenty negotiation to be bold and daring In the nail polish laugh sotey then softly said ”sparkle”~ laid back on the lounger in front veranda, closed your eyes with a smile on your face and the session began ending with an even bigger smile ! Thanks for letting me distract you for a few hours. Keep smiling as you rest on auntie!
Posted by Gladys Martin on June 27, 2019
Today makes exactly 3 years. What a day, never to be forgotten!! My birthday was yesterday and we had a simple supper, sang Happy birthday, blew out the candle & shared the cake. 
KLMA awaiting GCE results. CSMS enrolled over 600 pupils!! Scored 100&, list A. 3 teachers you knew won your award.
We always thank God for you and the memories. Rest in peace. Your sister.
Posted by Gladys Martin on April 9, 2019
Another year has rolled by and that day, that period is still as fresh & vivid. You are in every bit of our lives so you are always missed and never forgotten? The 6th Limbe FESTAC was openrd on Saturday and I tell those around how you never miss ed anything irrespective of other activities. Enjoy it. Today is your 82nd birthday and Maa is 110yrs. Enjoy your birthday. Your loving smiling spirit keeps us going.
Posted by Gladys Martin on April 9, 2019
Another year has rolled by and it is still like yesterday! You were in everything of our lives so you can never be forgotten nor missed
Posted by Gladys Martin on June 27, 2018
Today is 27 June 2018, another year has gone by but it is still as if you're still there or you only just left, yesterday!! You mean so much and you've done so much that you're always missed, talked about and remembered.
Last year, Nombissi went crazy drunk to celebrate being one of those awarded your prize for best workers.  This year in CSMS, the award went to Mme Esther, the nursery assistant, Mme Ngozi, Mme Ekema and Mme Partricia who is now the head cook.  I hear the roof almost fell when she was called!! Next year we would have finalized the criteria for selection. We have now awarded all the backbones of the school. KLMA is holding on strong.  As official tenants we are relaxed in the cleanly maintained classrooms.  Your friend Victor Mokeba is handling both schools very well. All staff and parents miss smiles, food and other amenities -when Maa, Mrs Mbongo, Aunty Eireen was here ----------. Staff get paid on time each month.
Enjoy your rest.
Posted by Ruth Ekangaki on April 9, 2018
Auntie, you live on in our hearts!
Posted by Tia Harry on April 9, 2018
Forever in our hearts. Rest on Aunty and happy 81st birthday.
Posted by Gladys Martin on April 9, 2018
Yes you would have been 81yrs today and there would have been lots of goodies!! I think of you everyday and especially on special days when you cooked coconut rice and made salad. For Gwen's 28/29 Feb birthday, I felt you so strongly that Rita grated the coconut and I tried to cook the coconut rice. We ate it at VGals but it was not like yours. We are trying to keep KLMA going. Rest in Peace. Grace has made up your grave and it looks nice by your mother-in-law's.
Posted by Alice Martin-Daihirou on June 27, 2017
Dear sissie, na one year don pass so. How time flies. I woke up on June 27/2016, switched on my phone only to find a new whatsapp page flooded with messages of some one's home going. All alone in my hotel room in Dakar , I had to look again and again to allow the photo of this lady going home to register in my thoughts. One phone call after another confirmed my fears. "Na true oh, sissie don go " Just to let you know that although you day up yonder, no day no pass na ya weh we no member you. No more special coconut rice during birthdays, scanty table like, no home cooked food during family meetings, no fancy salads for lunch on Sundays, no surprise bundle of goodies or a gift waiting for you as soon as you step into down house, etc etc. Don't laugh at us, oh. I will always remember your warm, welcoming smile and you stepping in to transform a dull family event into the most exciting feast ever. Adieu, sissie. Forever missed.
Posted by Betek Sally on June 27, 2017
It's a year since you passed on to glory. It has not been easy knowing I can't see you when I want or we meet in Kakane. But I know our God had a perfect plan. May your lessons guide and comfort us mama. Till we meet to part no more.
Posted by Gladys Martin on June 24, 2017
My Dear Sister, this day last year, you were busy preparing food for my birthday.  Sunday, 26 June, we enjoyed the meal, you said you were tired and lay down in your usual chair. You later went to your home. That Monday morning, 27 June you were too tired to get up but managed to walk into the car and out of it at the hospital You thanked all the nurses, asked for the time, grumbled why you should be sick when you had much to do. I went out for a few minutes to answer the phone and on reentering the ward, you were going, going, gone!!! It's like yesterday!! Gone but not gone!! How we miss you everywhere, all the time and you cannot be replaced.  During the 2017 Carl Steane Memorial Primary School graduation, we launched the Eirene Ebenye Mbongo Award for outstanding workers. Your closest collaborators - Sam Noumbissi, Aggy Maya, Catherine Beckley and Brenda Sona are the first recipients.

We shall try to keep up your good work. Rest in peace.
Posted by Mamua Andela on September 13, 2016
Dear Auntie Eirene,
        The void you have left in our hearts will never be filled. Thank you for all the years of love, laughter, sharing, kindness and that smile!!!!
Till we meet again.
Posted by Tia Harry on August 20, 2016
Aunty Tin'gal, Even as I stared at this memorial site throughout the night, and spoke with Aunty Dr at 3am about the wake and final few hours before you came back to 'down house' for the last time, I still could not bring myself to say goodbye. But seeing pictures of your home going and finally reality hits. If only I had known that the telephone call I made to wish Aunty Dr a happy birthday on Sunday June 26th was the last time I would speak to you! I thank God that I had several opportunities to say 'thank you Aunty' for all that you did for me, and the family. The ever so gentle, caring, kind, generous, loving and funny Aunty, mother, friend and mentor that you were. You were always around whether it was in Victoria, Yaounde and I remember the few days we had in Garoua together. I have very fond memories of you and the impact you had at various stages in my life.
You stood by Mummy when Daddy died, you held her hand all the way. You were there when she fell ill and stood by us when she too went. You took charge of decorating that sitting room with such attentiveness. You were there with us through out the night making sure it was special for when she was laid in state. Oh Aunty!
Then I was back 5 years later to bury Dada Jane and there you were again... You have been a friend, sister and confidant to Dada Latre' -your 'age group' as you called each other; now she is devastated and lost; your passing was so sudden.
I hear your gentle voice, your laughter as I write. I still feel the warm embrace you gave me when we arrived home that Thursday evening, 4 days after Mummy passed away back in 1995, and your words of encouragement and your support. I would call you if I hadn't been able to reach Dada Latre for some time and there she would be; with her 'age group'. Even when I called just to see how you were, you would reassure me that Dada was fine and that she was right there with you. Thank you Aunty for looking out for Dada Latre'.
Now you are finally reunited with your beloved uncle Fred, as you rest from your labours. Sleep tight Aunty Eirene, and once again thank you, thank you, thank you.
With Love always,
Posted by Linda Weber on August 20, 2016
I was fortunate to be a classmate of Eirene when she attended the North American Baptist College in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I was blessed to be able to visit her in Limbe and to be able to see and experience firsthand her love for education. Her love for God was always evident in her beautiful smile!
Posted by Egbe Monjimbo on August 20, 2016
Still unable to find the words to say goodbye, even this 20th day of August 2016!!!!! I just saw the pictures, yet my brain stubbornly refuses to grasp the fact that you just will not be there the next time there is a "MBONGO GATHERING" this side of Heaven!
Well, I do want, actually, I do NEED to say THANK YOU for being our indefatigable, loyal, caring, giving, LOVING "AUNTY EIRENE", from as far back as I can remember, till you left us! Say HELLO to your BELOVED husband and his sisters for us. SLEEP ...
Posted by Amina Kweti on August 20, 2016
Aunty "Irene"

I thank you for your last promise and know it shall be fulfilled in time.

You had courage for the great sorrows in life, and showed patience for the small ones and unfortunates; and when you had laboriously accomplished your daily task of feeding, comforting and caring, you went to sleep in peace knowing...........God is awake
Posted by Betek Sally on August 17, 2016

Our mother, friend and our greatest icon, which you were and still are. We had so many fun times with you and did not know death was going to snatch you so soon. You thought us how to be bold, believe in ourselves and how to live together. You were always there to hold us up. You did not only make Kofele Luma a fun filled place to be but you gave us a home and a conducive place for learning. We remember most at times how you would cook and call us to come eat. It was much fun when you imitate how we use to say “Ma it wasn’t us”. We remember when we left Kofele for lower sixth in other institutions. You would still call to check on how we were doing. Some who went to Saker still remember how you would pay visits to school. It was much fun when you would sneak food given to you by the women’s group in church to your girls through the lawns before leaving. Despite our faults, you always forgave us just like a mother and grandmother. We remember it all ‘Ma’; it’s a tale and will forever remain in our memories. We are at least happy to have met an Inspiring, motivating and above all a Precious Jewel like you in our time.
We will miss your presence but your teachings keep us strong. We love you Ma but God has a better plan.
Rest in Peace, until we meet to part no more. Evergreen memories.

KLESANS (Kofele Luma Ex-Students)
Posted by Harry Mokeba on August 11, 2016
Though an auntie by marriage, you were a lot more than that. You have been a blessing to us all, a flag bearer of the Mbongo family name and a tower of comfort and dedication. For your life's work and your loving loyalty we remain indebted forever.

What I remember a lot more early in life was how your wedding to Mola Fred was: the first one I ever attended; his death the first one that touched me so closely and the memorial service the first time I heard that song: In the Resurrection Morning...We Shall Rise.

Then you lived your life with so much grace and composure. You made teaching a thrill and joy at every stop through Saker, BBSS and down in Limbe. Such consummate passion for one's job is a rarity today.

I last saw Auntie Eirene at another funeral in Limbe in February 2016. I helped to serve their meal and drinks without realizing that would be our last encounter on this earth.

May her soul rest in peace. The kind of peace and grace that she projected with decency and decorum!

Harry Mbella Mokeba
Posted by kofoworola anjorin on August 10, 2016
It is with deepest sadness that I remember Sisy Thingal as I always referred to her. She was MY sincere friend, mentor and inspiration. When my parents passed away she comforted me and encouraged me to throw my worries away and move forward with my journey of life. I am truly grateful to God I saw her and shared a meal with her during my stay in June. We took photos together and again had a one to one chat . She treated me as a daughter. We shared great memories together which are like strings of pearls which I shall always cherish. Sisy you are one in a million.A rare person that is hard to find today. Hope we will meet again. I shall miss you pray for your soul to RIP. May perpetual light shine on you always. .Amen.
Posted by kofoworola anjorin on August 10, 2016
It is with deepest sadness that I remember Sisy Thingal as I always referred to her. She was MY sincere friend, mentor, and inspiration. When my parents passed away she comforted me and encouraged me to throw my worries away and move forward in my journey through life. I am grateful to God I saw her and shared a meal with her in June 2016 when I was in Limbe to unveil my late mothers tomb. We took photos together and again had a one to one chat. She treated me as a daughter she never had. We shared great memories together which are like strings of pearls which I shall always cherish. Sisy you are one in a million. A rare person that I had the previledge to meet. Sleep tight till we meet again. I am truly gutted. So so sad I didn't do more for you while you were alive. RIP may perpetual light shine on you. Amen.
Posted by Catherine Martin on August 9, 2016
It took me this long to gather courage to say something about a dear cousin, sister and mentor. She was there for us as little girls growing up in our family compound. Oh, all the baking lessons, morning devotions, 3H girls lessons, youth programs at Ebenezer Baptist Church every summer holiday. I remember on one of the days during our baking lessons, she scolded me for singing worldly songs, and said "christian girls don't sing songs like that". She shaped me to be the woman I am today. 
I thank God for her life on this earth and all that she did to touch the lives of so many people especially young girls. We cannot question God's decision and just have to accept it and thank Him for the many years she lived on earth.
Posted by Ndando Family on July 31, 2016
Aunty Eirene! 

So gentle and so kind - always a pillar in my mother's Mbongo family for my entire life! 

I barely knew Uncle Fritz since he passed away when I was still a young child, but I learned as I grew up that yours was indeed a special union. I listened to my mother and my aunties wonder at at your exceptional devotion to the memory of Uncle Fritz and to us all. I got to know you so much better while at Saker Baptist College and I built memories with you there that I will always cherish.

You are sorely missed and fondly remembered on this side of heaven, but I am also happy to know you are finally with Uncle Fritz again.

This is Didi (Namondo Mbiwan Ndando) on behalf of our family - saying well done, Aunty Eirene, and sleep well - we'll see you in the morning!
Posted by Beatrice Fontem on July 31, 2016
God looked around His garden and found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you and lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful He always takes the best.
He saw the road was getting rough and the hills were hard to climb,
So He closed your weary eyelids and whispered "Peace be thine."
Peace be thine, Mme Mbongo!
Peace be thine, my English teacher.
Till we meet to part no more!

Beatrice Fontem (Ex-student, Girls’ Tech. College Molyko-Buea)
Posted by Christiana Attere on July 28, 2016
Gentle, loving, ever smiling Aunty Eirene! I thank you for your love as a big sister, teacher, in-law, adviser.....etc. You are gone before us; we shall miss you a lot but you will be remembered forever. In your usual loving way you stood with my family and I (not saying much) until my sister was buried in Limbe. I did not know that that would be my last time to enjoy your love and support! You touched many lives while here on earth. May God receive you with wide arms into His kingdom. Go well, Aunty. By God's grace, I pray that I meet you again when our Lord will call me home. Christy
Posted by Etondi Tchwenko on July 27, 2016
Aunty Eirene, a kind heart and gentle soul. I will miss her dearly but I thank God for all the fond memories I have and hold dear to my heart. Nothing I say now matters to her but I am comforted, knowing that the time she spent here on earth was full of love.
Rest well aunty!
Posted by Nadia Cureton on July 26, 2016
Why do we cry?
Is it because of your smile, so effortless, so kind?
Why do we cry?
How about your laugh, from deep within, filled with glee?
Why do we cry?
Is it because your heart was good, so loving, so giving?
Why do we cry?
How about your sweetness, in your baking and your style?
Why do we cry?
Is it because your mind was ever curious, to impart and to learn?
Why do we cry?
How about your love, for your children not borne but every bit yours?
Why do we cry?
Because your laugh, your love, your heart, your might has left this earth
Perhaps to shower us instead while you rest
Why do we cry?
We cry aunty.
--Nadia "kirintin"

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Edna Kweti on June 28, 2022
Good evening Aunty!
Something as simple as making sandwiches for Track & Field for Clementine, brought back so many memories, watching you make sandwiches, what am I talking about travel “bags” of food for the many road trips I had the pleasure of sharing with you to really cherish until we meet again. Missing you, your smile and laugh.
Rest on Aunty!
Posted by Tia Harry on June 28, 2022
Six years now now so? I remember it all like it was yesterday. Our last telephone conversation the day before, on Aunty Doctor’s birthday, you were all at Aunty Gwen’s house. Then just like that you were gone the following day. Your bestie ‘age group’ Dada Latre is there, trying her best. We all miss you Aunty Tingal.
Posted by Nadia Cureton on April 9, 2022
Happy birthday in heaven, Aunty!
Recent stories

My Teacher, My model!

Shared by Beatrice Fontem on July 31, 2016

Mme Mbongo as we fondly called you. Mme Mbongo, our English language teacher!

It was in 1980 at the then Government Girls’ Technical College, Molyko Buea. The school was new and we did not have an English language teacher. Mme Mbongo, then a teacher at the then Baptist Boys’ Secondary School (BBSS), Great Soppo, Buea came to our rescue.

Years may have gone by and time may have eroded some of my memories of our time at the then Girls’ Technical College, Molyko but they have not touched my memories of your smile and motherly gait!  You taught us table manners at the refectory; you taught us to walk and speak like ladies; you showed us that a quiet voice can carry far; your dedication and guidance gave us the wings with which to fly.

I still sing the songs you taught us, the song about one smile that makes two, the song about how we walk with the Lord our Sheperd all way… How often did you  correct us when we said "always" instead of "all way"? Yet you did that with a smile. Yes, that Sheperd has now called you home to be with Him and I know, just as we used to sing, that “you walked with Him all way” and are with Him right now, smiling down on us.
Continue to smile, till we meet again, this time, no more to part! 

 I reproduce here three of those songs:

Song # 1

A smile is such a funny thing;

It brightens up your face;

You smile at me,

I smile at you,

And so one smile makes two!

Song # 2

You can smile,

When you can’t say a word you can smile

When you cannot be heard you can smile

When it’s sunny or fair, you can smile anytime anywhere!

You can :),

When you can’t say a word you can :)

When you cannot be heard you can :)

When it’s sunny or fair, you can :) anytime anywhere

(We would sing the second verse not saying ‘smile’ but actually smiling).

Song # 3

The Lord is my Sheperd, I walk with Him all way,

He leads by still waters, I walk with Him all way,

All way, All way, I walked with Him all way.

Beatrice Fontem. (Bamako-Mali) Ex-student, GTC Molyko Buea.