Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stella Sassou Nguesso Mensah: The Wallis Simpson of the Nguessos(profile)

Stella Sassou Nguesso: Congo’s president has several children. To be precise, he has 29 children and perhaps still fathering.  Anyway, about the above figure, he was the one who told me in 2012.  One thing amongst some of the Nguessos, like most children from rich and politically well connected homes or families in Africa and in some third world countries, is that, sometimes, some of them want to use or shield themselves behind the prestigious name of their father, family or political formations. But it is not the case with Stella Sassou Nguesso Mensah. She is different from the newly minted or newly recognized Nguessos. This is so, because, she seems hardworking and humble. At least, when I met her in her home located at the Plateau des 15 an, north of Brazzaville.  Unlike most of her sisters and half sisters, who are married, but don’t like to be identified by the names of their husbands, Stella Sassou Nguesso Mensah likes to be known by the name of her Togolese husband. The only two known girls of the Nguesso galaxy, who are proud to be identified by the names of their husbands, are Julienne Johnson and Lydie H. Kourissa. In Stella Sassou Nguesso Mensah’s case, it is not as though she is not proud of her father or her family’s name or heritage; hence she wants to be known only as Mrs. Mensah.  

La discrete

She just wants to do what is the tradition in Congo, Africa and most of the world. She says.  And according to Mrs. Mensah, she wants to be judged not in connection or in relation to her father who is president of the Republic, but she must be judged based more on her own acquired merit.   Also all those who know her or are also close to Mrs. Mensah, refers to her as the “discreet one” or in French: “la discrete.”  But how come that, a discreet Congolese girl or woman could have as a role model, Wallis Simpson? I asked her. Her response was evasive. Personally I felt that, it is either her family never wanted her to get married to her Togolese husband or it was the family of the Togolese man or husband who never wanted him to get married to her. Or perhaps Stella Sassou Nguesso Mensah is too independent minded and free as in her head and spirit as Wallis Simpson was, hence the affection or the appreciation for the late American. And according to Colonel Ignace Ngakala, the former Director of the Brazzaville University Teaching Hospital or CHU, Mrs. Mensah is unique in the way she behaves, given her background. He adds that, she does not brag and she is not tempestuous. Colonel Ngakala concludes that, Mrs. Mensah is very humane and humble.

Humble & Generous

Colonel Ngakala is not the only person who is close to Mrs. Mensah and who is also full of praise of the French trained interior designer. Mr Oriac Tchimbabelela, a close aide, describes Mrs. Mensah as a person who is patient and does not take decisions under pressure or influenced by her surroundings. He also adds that, Mrs. Mensah is very generous and she is also a person of strong will. He concludes that, it is the humane side of Mrs. Mensah that has forced her to sponsor annually, a number of socially disadvantaged youths throughout the country by buying them text books and also pays for their schools fees. Besides being humane, Mrs. Stella Sassou Nguesso Mensah is also patriotic. She is leading a campaign to encourage Congolese intellectuals who are abroad to come back home and share their knowhow with their country of origin.


Like most people, Mrs. Mensah and as already mentioned, has a role model. And hers is Wallis Simpson, who was married to Prince Edward. Asked again why she has chosen Wallis Simpson as role model, she replies this time around, albeit hesitantly that, she admires Mrs. Simpson because of her character. According to Mrs. Mensah, Wallis Simpson was very independent minded. The “discreet Nguesso lady” will soon become visible, for she is not only a card holding member of the ruling Congolese Workers Party or PCT; she plans to take an active role in local politics. In the upcoming local council elections, she plans to become a councilor for the Mbamou Island, a municipality attached to the Brazzaville 7th district. But her ultimate goal is to become the first female lord Mayor of the Greater Brazzaville City council. On why she wants to go into politics and why she has chosen Mbamou Island as her launching pad for the control of the capital city in the future, she says, it was her decision and she was also supported and encouraged by her father.  She adds that, her father loves Mbamou Island and has bought lands there for future development.  But I am going into Mbamou Island politics not just because of my father, but more because I love the place and its people. And on whether she has the support of the ruling party, in her ambition, her response is affirmative.  I also asked her: you want to become the first female Lord Mayor of Brazzaville.


But won’t that create problems between you and your half elder sister whose husband is the current Lord Mayor of the Greater Brazzaville city Council? She starred at me and was speechless as if she seems to have committed a mistake. And then, said: I don’t care. It is my ambition. Then, she quickly adds that, there will always be people who will challenge or contest what you are, who you are or what you want to do. She also adds that, there is an advantage as well as disadvantages of being the progeny of the president of the Republic. Concerning the advantage, I think people do give an ear or pay attention to all what (you) I say. What I don’t know is whether they do respect or act as I do recommend, simply because I am the daughter of the president or for some other rationale reasons. On the disadvantage part, she says that, being a Sassou Nguesso, people think all their problems and difficulties can be solved by me with a magic wand. Mrs. Stella Sassou Nguesso Mensah, who was born on the 19th of November 1974 and married to a Togolese national by name Emmanuel Edoe Mensah, has three children and chairs a humanitarian NGO called Roca-Diale. This NGO which has partnership with the FAO and UNDP focuses on humanitarian and development oriented projects around the country. Her NGO has constructed schools and provided pipe born water in remote localities throughout the country. 

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