Community//

Flying Trinity In Return Of A Lioness Home

In Honor of the Late Therese Ndatchou, Her Sister Clara Bakope, and Melissa Marpoo

(Clarra Bakope, Melissa Marpoo, and Lauren K. Clark At Cairo International Airport's Shipping Area-August 22, 2017)-Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark 

In the world of sacred sisterhood, 3 is not a crowd.  Rather, she is a way into triplets’ coming into being. A making and birth of creativity.  

Mother. Maiden. Spiritual Warrior.

These sacred personas and aesthetics of womanhood. Working ever so to complement each other, these feminine Spirits who secure the world of feminine existence-even when one has transitioned back into the heavens. 

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

When the Maiden of any community passes on, there is a mourning of maidens. For a life giver and cultural preserver of that community has been lost.  When Maidens grieve, the Garden is silent.  Creative magic becomes still. And the Mother and Spiritual Warrior arrive to strengthen and comfort her. 

Such was the occasion on August 22, 2017, at Dar Es Salaam Hospital and Cairo International Airport. 

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

In the Cameroonian community, from the village of Bamileke, a Maiden had passed on.  Into the heavens, her Spirit returned to rest in the Garden.  A Mother image was present.  Dressed in one cloak of Islamic fashion. Yet, with a tongue, culture, and face of Cameroon, Melissa Marpoo, was the Mother Image of that time.  A Maiden was in mourning.  So, she took on the role of nurturing and guiding attending members of the community.  

Watching her purchase juice and other snacks at a local kiosk, during a pit stop, was proof of such.  Caring for her community, as only a daughter of Bamileke would, through her, a nurturing Spirit for present members, continuing onto the journey. . .took place. 

In the midst of such was the Maiden–Clarra Bakope, who mourned the loss of another Maiden-her Sister. Within this space, when one Maiden passes, fellow Dark flowers carry her name. Carry her legacy. Speaking memories of her legacy. 

It is a great tragedy to lose a Maiden.  But, in loss, other Maidens strengthen the Gardens. Youthful, elegant, and attuned to the energies around her, she would rest from her duties within the Garden. 

Rituals of water surrounded her, in preparation of her Sister’s return to the Universal heavens. 

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

The cleansing of every part of her Being. Dressed in the color of pearls, for her transcendence into blackened seas.  An eternal sleep, while awaiting heaven’s entrance.  For the door had been knocked, and she was awaiting to open. 


The presence of Melissa Marpoo, was vital.  Ever symbolizing that maidens of Bamileke would continue to be the feminine image of their own gardens. 

And be so. . .they will. 

Another dark image of the feminine trinity had come. A visiting Maiden, in a garden not of her own making.  Her people were peculiar-Blackened gardens of American soil. 

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Their music, culture, persona. . .their perfume is recognized the world over.  And for this ritual, this feminine trinity, she would occupy the role of Spiritual Warrior. A Spiritual protector for the safekeeping of another Maiden-whose Garden, she was visiting. Daughter of Black America, the mourning of family lost.

 Something she knew too well, while in distant lands.

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Comforting a daughter of Bamileke, the whispers of a Negro Spiritual propelled her to add harmony to the space.  Especially, once attendees gathered around to bid farewell. 

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)


Come by here my Lawd

Come by here

Come by here my Lawd

Come by here

Somebody’s prayin’ Lawd

Come by here

Somebody’s prayin’ Lawd

Come by here

We need yo’ blessin’ Lawd

Come by here

We need yo’ blessin’ Lawd

Come by here

We need yo’ blessin’ Lawd

Come by here

Come by here, my Lawd

Come by  here 


That’s the magic of Maidens. A Universal understanding in the responsibility for re-birthing and preservation of their cultural existence. 

Outside of the Trinity, lay the existence of another feminine Being. Not only was her presence significant, but it was a blessing for the safe travel of a foreign Maiden’s return to her Garden. 

Recognizing her subtle vigilance, an Egyptian-Arab maiden was present. 

She was there.  In the Spiritual and physical preparation of Therese Ndatchou. . .she was there.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Presiding over her own Egyptian-Arab warriors, who invited (and ensured) that members of Bamileke’s soiling would cleanse and touch their Sister one final time. . .before her departure from Egypt’s Paradise.

With her pink hijab, comfortably symbolizing her compassion, she recorded the ceremony, as a dutiful Maiden, and feminine representative of her culture and nation. 

Again, the understanding of Maidens is Universal.  Their compassion for another, even when unfamiliar. . .is intrinsic.  

And once all farewells were complete, her job was done.  And a precious one. . .at that.


Traveling to the airport were those selected few.  The last phase in the transcendence of the Spirit.  It was at this point, where the Trinity would be revealed.  Captured and archived for the re-balance of womanhood’s existence.  Inside a temple of flight, they would perform their duties. . .one last time in honor of passing lioness.  

And so, it was done


The Mother led

A Maiden mourned

And the Spiritual Warrior protected her journey’s home

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

This sacred trinity was forever bound.  And it was a Bamileke Maiden of Cameroon–land of magical lionesses–forever initiating a walking understanding. . .into each other’s Gardens.


#Remember Therese Ndatchou!-A Cameroonian Maiden of Bamileke

Born In Douala, Cameroon-Born July 25, 1977. . . 

Whose Spirit Lives On. . .Forever!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph By Gabriel Neko, Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

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