Published On: Wed, Aug 12th, 2015

A mother’s agony : How showbiz guru, Princess Hellibas lost her daughter …


… two months to NYSC discharge

*God should have taken me instead of her

*At 21 she was still a virgin and one of the brightest from Covenant University

Madam Hellen Bassey, singer, performer, fashion designer, photographer and recording studio owner, has suddenly become a shadow of her once beautiful, elegant, ravishing and ever-smiling self.

She is still in serious pains. Two months after her first daughter, Marybel Omar Bassey, a 2014 Sociology graduate from the revered Covenant University, Otta, Ogun State who was posted to Ekiti State for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) mysteriously succumbed to the apron strings of the monster called death, the world still remains upside down for.

”I have been thinking about why Mary had to die at this time, age and the way it happened but everything remains a puzzle to me. I keep wondering why God didn’t exchange me for her for obvious reasons,” she tried to open up but couldn’t resist the overflowing tears that terminated the interview on the first day.

Even at the second attempt, the Akwa Ibom State-born mother of three, who sat inside her once-busy recording studio reception, only managed to utter a few words to our reporter.

According to her, Mary was a very bright and intelligent girl right from her childhood days and that explains why she was exceptionally different and brilliant in the university.

”She already had two scholarships to pursue her master’s programme upon the completion of the youth service. One of them came from our pastor (Redeemed Church) and the second from abroad. But this monster called death shattered it all,” she struggled in-between tears again.

Marybel was truly a bookworm and, reading, took 80 per cent of her time every day.  She was always seen clutching one book at any particular time as leisure meant little or nothing to her. In fact even her profile message on ”Whatsapp” read ”Read a Book Everyday”.

But everything became history when the poor girl unexpectedly ceased breathing at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on April 21, 2015. Perhaps, in consonance with the popular parlance ”vanity upon vanity”

”I was completely devastated the night it happened and that is why, even if I don’t sue LASUTH for neglect, I may never forgive the staff for the treatment meted out to me and the way and manner they handled the case. My daughter was very agile and lively until she fell ill and we decided to take her there for proper care. But the reverse was the case. She returned from her service center hale and hearty on a short break and on getting, it turned a bad case.

”All that mattered to the hospital authorities was money, everything money. And being a training ground, they seemed to have used her for series of experiments. Money was demanded for even tests that had previously been done. The night she died, for instance, they asked me to go for another round of blood only to tell me when I got back that she actually lost the battle the previously day, can you imagine?”

All the same, the money spent to save her life which was in vain didn’t cut any ice with her. ”I was ready to do anything to ensure that she survived without caring a hoot about what anybody would say, but it was beyond me. After all, we all know what it takes to train in a child in a private university,” she muttered.

The jewel, Marybel, finally died. And although she had received all sorts of consolatory words from different people, she still visibly dreams, sleeps and even eat the irreparable loss. ”I still don’t believe that Mary, with all her brilliant dreams and intelligence, will die the way she did. At 21, she was still a virgin and cared for the welfare of others. Only God knows what happened…”

Left with two of her remaining daughters now, Abigail who is in a university in Benin Republic and Princess Joy a.k.a Little Rockstar in the music arena and a junior class student, Princess Hellibas is still confused on how to pick the bits and pieces left after the shocking loss.

”You can see things for yourself, nothing is going on here. We lost out in all ways. Even some friends have deserted us while business suffers because here was closed down for many months. Sometimes I think it’s a joke, that she will rejoin us soon but no way. God will surely fight the battle for us, if there’s any fowl play in her death.”

A single mother who is very hardworking, highly creative and a devoted Christian before the cookie crumbled, one doesn’t need a soothsayer to tell one that she needs rehabilitation now. And this is where public-spirited Nigerians have to come in. Her studio, career and remaining children’s forward match need subtle revival too. ”You know I’ve always believed in hard work and God keeps logging me in never fails me in for blessings.”

Like her mother, friends, colleagues in the NYSC, neighbours and others wept uncontrollably the day Marybel’s remains got committed to mother earth at the Atan Cemetary, Yaba Lagos. Her innocent soul and irresistible beauty un-desecrated but gone in her prime. What a world!

By now, Mary would have joined the ”unemployed” graduates in the land which, of course, she was not destined to be.

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