Her Life

Dodo's Life


Dodo was born on the 24th of May 1949 to late Pa Maximus Chibikom and Mama Angela Ngum Chibikom. Early on in life she lost her mother and as eldest child was left to take care of her 2 siblings. One of them passed on shortly leaving her with one sister - Mrs Neba Therese. Their father will eventually take several other wives who bore him many children. With her dad, being a teacher, the family had to move around quite often but they eventually settled and she attended Catholic School Mankon. She loved her early years in the mission compound, and Commercial Avenue. She would remind us that she was a child from Commercial Avenue. She also had a great love of working in the Church, putting flowers and decorating it, a practice which she kept till her death.


After primary School, she was admitted into Our Lady of Lourdes Secondary School, one of the students of the pioneer class. Shortly after graduating in 1968 she got married to Honourable Zamcho. Their union was blessed with seven children though two passed at a very tender age. She also secured a job as Post Office Clerk and will rise through the ranks to become Post Master before she retired in 2002. A self-made woman, she studied at home for her 'A' levels and after she got this she desired to go to university and study law, a dream that she attained in 1981.


A turning point came in Dodo’s life when her Father passed away in 1986. Because of her deep love for him, she was very shaken, but before dying he asked her to take care of all his children and give them a good education. This responsibility proved to be a difficult one because shortly after his death she started receiving summons to respond to litigations concerning inheritance by a woman. These court cases never ceased till her death. They were however cause of deep sorrow for her, because she deeply loved her siblings and did not want to see them suffer, yet one or two always allowed themselves to be manipulated by unscrupulous people who wanted to swindle the little they had. Even though she won most of these landmark cases, resulting in multiple citations of being the first female child to succeed her father, and a precedent set by the courts, Dodo was never proud of this as an achievement as she deeply regretted the fact that people were only out to divide her family


Dodo’s faith was her biggest asset. She was not only fervently taking charge of decorating the altar of the Cathedral of Big Mankon; she was also deeply involved in running affairs of the parish. When the family relocated to Bamenda in 1988, she participated in church affairs as a member of the parish council. In this mission the late Rev. Fr. Noel Cannon was a deep influence in her life. He was instrumental in her unflinching engagement in matters concerning the Church. She was also very involved in the Archdiocesan AIDS Team with Sr. Mary Neville, along with Pa Cyril Nsom and several others. She had been an active member of Bona Mors, and at her death was the secretary of Catholic Professionals. She will however be most remembered in her engagement as the National President of Catholic Women Association (CWA). She was the secretary of the CWA under the leadership of Ma Anna Foncha and because of the potential she showed was elected as second National President after Ma Foncha stepped down.


In this capacity she strove to make CWA a national body with recognition by the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon. She was concerned that women in the Church were usually marginalized to cooking roles by church leadership in many occasions. She advocated for women to take up a prophetic role in the Church and to realize their potential in society by educating themselves. She studied theology and read extensively to be kept abreast with Church teachings on many issues, not only those that concerned women. She proposed an updated manual in French and English for CWA meetings which will help women to think about whom they are and how they are called to be followers of Christ in the world. Before leaving CWA leadership she had been elected as regional representative into the World Council of Catholic Women Organizations.


After retiring from all these responsibilities, Dodo took to writing a story of her life and also to keeping the compound at Nitob I Bamenda beautiful. Dodo was a very loving person. Many students from Our Lady of Lourdes around the 90s remember her fondly because she understood them and was a friend to them. They knew they could come to her home and feel as free as they wanted to be, but she was not one to spoil children. She hated mediocrity and also avoided people who served as anchor for capital sins, especially that of pride. She was a faithful friend and very committed when she took up any role. Even those who disagreed with her were surprised when they came to know her personally. She was a special friend, easy to talk to, and a keen listener irrespective of age.


Dodo was hardly ever sick. Even if she was she would still get up and help out with any duties to be done. She however took ill recently and it happened to be the signal of the end. Her death is a big loss to all who knew her, especially her family, but she will only rest in peace if people agree to be true agents of peace and reconciliation. Above all to be not only faithful and committed Christians but ones who are truly attached to Christ and to Our Lady. Hers was a life of simplicity and humility till her death, and it is because of this faith that her death on the day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a big consolation to all of her friends in faith. May the Good Lord who is the light of the world grant her eternal rest in his Kingdom.