Maybe the story of my parents, namely Massa Sheriff Nyei and Alhaji Vamunya Mohammed Nyei, without hyperbole or exaggeration, should be written in a hagiography, a biography of saints. That is right. They were more than mere moral and ethical leaders, but a paragon of virtue. They were sent to us and humanity to undergird our actions, teach us superior knowledge about life, justice, honesty, Islam, and the eternal rewards that await those who have unflinching and abiding faith and submission to the will of Allah, and to reach out support to everyone and uniting relatives, siblings, and families.
They lived an exemplary life. I met Dad and mom argue one time in my entire life. When I entered the house where they were arguing, both immediately stopped talking and asked me to leave. I didn’t know what they were talking about or whether they resumed what they were discussing or not. They taught that an acrimonious argument ensures because of misunderstanding the other side of an issue. They told us about a relative who never got angry. His wife and closer friends thought that was a sign of weakness. One day his son got in a fight with another child from the neighborhood. His son was severely beaten; he sustained bruises in the fight. The two neighbors were doomed to go to war because of the incidence. As his family, along with close relatives, prepared and geared up to go and beat up the boy, the father decided to go and ask what happened. And after gathering all the facts, he realized that it was his son, and not the other child, who initiated the fight.
Paragon of virtue. If you gave Dad a dollar to keep and wanted your dollar back later, you are going to get the same dollar that you gave him to keep for you. He will never use your dollar and exchange it with another dollar.
They taught us well earlier in life. Karmo – Alainu, meaning in the vai dialect, the teacher, or preacher children. This is how we were called or referred to by our neighbors and those who knew our Dad or the Nyei-Fofana families throughout Bomi County, Cape Mount County, Gbapolu County, Lofa County, and Sierra Leone, especially Galina Territory areas. They were right because our parents taught a more in-depth understanding meaning of the Quran, Islam, and life at a very early age. I remember learning about Judgement Day, and what transpires in our graves when we died and buried, theology, Islamic laws, ontology, and the divinity of Allah when I was just nine years old. This explains my love for and interest in education. Besides retail business, diamond mining, and farming, teaching was the primary Fofana Nyei family business.
Thy dedicated their life to the family. The families and relatives were all that mattered to my parents. Dad will travel the length and breadth of Liberia, vising distant relatives, bringing home children who had lost their parents, adopting, and caring about them, sometimes, better them his own. I was surprised that some of the closest children to him were not his biological children when he died. I was ten years.
My parents’ faith in Allah, ethical and moral values, and empathy toward their families and relatives were above most. They taught us to always believe in God and empathetic towards humanity. And that work hard, and honest labor will guide me to achieve all that I need in life.