Liliane opened up to her mother and...

“Mum, you mean so much to me. You can’t imagine how much i love you–you’re my role model,” Liliane said, brimming with joy as she looks at her mother. Liliane is 17 years old and is from Nyamagabe. She dreams of becoming a doctor and credits her mother, also a doctor, for setting a great example and for helping her achieve her goals. Liliane’s interview helped her learn things she never knew about her mum. She encourages all Ni Nyampingas to sit down with their role models and ask them questions about their experiences. Even if you think you know someone already, you’ll end up learning so much more!

  • LILIANE: Mum, can you introduce yourself to Ni Nyampinga?
  • AGNES (laughing): Thanks, Lili. My name is Agnes. I’m married and have four children: three boys and one girl that I love so much –that’s you, Liliane!
  • LILIANE: Mum, I admire everything that you do. I dream of being just like you and achieving so much.
  • AGNES: What is it about me that you admire?
  • LILIANE: I love how warm you are to everyone. You’re so selfless, you always put others first. Like the time you helped a homeless boy go back to school!
  • AGNES: Lili, I didn’t even know you noticed things like that. That makes me really happy. I help people in need because I put myself in their shoes, I think about how life would be if I were in their situation. As a matter of fact, as a doctor you really have to be able to think beyond yourself.
  • LILIANE: What inspired you to become a doctor?
  • AGNES: I started to study medicine because of my situation at home. My mum got sick and I was helping take care of her. There were things I couldn’t do for her because I hadn’t studied medicine. I saw how well the doctors and nurses tended to her, and I realised I wanted to be able to do the same for others. That’s why I’m a doctor today.
  • LILIANE: Mum, what was the happiest moment you experienced on your journey to becoming a doctor?
  • AGNES: I had a lot of happy moments. Do you know what my nickname was back in school? They called me ‘Qualified’ because I was so smart. I loved it! Back when I worked in maternity, I always felt a sense of joy whenever I delivered a healthy baby. It was so moving to know I had helped give life to a human being. And of course, every time I treat a sick person and see them recover I feel a great sense of happiness and pride.
  • LILIANE: Is there anything that was difficult or upsetting about your journey?
  • Mama: I remember how hard our job was sometimes back when we were still few. For instance I once helped 16 mothers to give birth in one night. Sometimes I could feel tired and felt like sleeping. So that was hard.
  • Liliane: So mum, you know me well, and you know my weaknesses. Do you think I can take care of people in need?
  • Mama: No Lili! I don’t see any weakness. Did you know that! (She laughs). You worried me much when you were young, because you couldn’t take your lessons seriously. I was so happy when you told me you wanted to be a doctor. Your brothers had declined it and I wanted to have at least one of my children who would do what I do. Sometimes I could even ask myself if you will be able to do it, but today I am confident that you will make it because you perform well at school.
  • Liliane: In what area do you think I should put more strength to be able to make it?
  • Mama: Liliane, a doctor must be someone who is careful, who pays attention to details and who is a critical thinker. Imagine if you had a patient who has a problem with eyes and you treat her/his teeth! Apart from that, you have to be quick. You have to love everybody and always ask yourself: “How would I wish to be treated if I was in the same situation?”
  • Liliane: Does that mean that I have to love others like I love myself? Did you know you were my role model?
  • Mama: Thank you Lili, I appreciate it. I am going to continue doing good stuff for you not to be disappointed. In fact, Lili, I consider you as my adviser, did you know that?
  • Liliane: Is that true mum? I didn’t know that but I am happy! (They hug each other and laugh).
  • Mama: Actually when I tell you my plans, though I don’t tell you directly that I want your advice, it’s that I want to know your view. Sometimes you don’t even give me a direct answer but I can read it in your eyes.
  • Lililiane: Mum, it shows me that even others can trust me and it make me pleased.
  • Liliane: Thank you very much mum, you are of such a great value to me. I love you so much. Your advice are very constructive, and I will always remember them on my journey to become a doctor and when I become one, I will continue to take them into consideration. Thank you.

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