The death has been announced of Brother Ronald “Ronnie” Hickman, aka “Ngia Ndeh”. He was a former teacher of Sacred Heart College Bamenda and well known friend of Cameroon because of his love for Cameroon and his exquisite command of the local lingua franka; pidgin English.
He died peacefully in his sleep at his family home in Wolverhampton Uk on October 16 2013 after a brief illness. He died five months after his mother.
Announcing the death, Sacred Heart College Interim president in the UK Akwo-Fese Victor Efimba noted;
“Brother Ronnie, also affectionately known as Ngia Nde by the Cameroonian Community in the UK, taught at school Sacred Heart College-Mankon between 1987-1994 and returned for a second spell 1997-2001 as part of the Marist Mission in Cameroon. Brother Ronnie taught Biology, Chemistry and Religion while at Sacred Heart College. He was the founder of the North West Chemistry teachers association for Catholic Schools and he also taught at other schools in the the Archdiocese of Bamenda.
For the past students who had the privileged of being taught by Brother Ronnie, there is deep sadness for his sudden death and immense pride for the contribution he made to the students religious life, education and helping us become the men we are today. He will be remember for his dedication to God, the teaching profession and his humility. He inspired a generation of who are now clergymen, engineers, scientist and medical doctors.
As well as his work for the Church and being an educationist, Brother Ronnie’s influence spread beyond the confines of Sacred Heart College and Ex-Students associations around the world. Brother Ronnie/ Ngia Nde embraced the community life of the Mankon, Bafut, Bali people to name a few while in Cameroon. He was known for his love of traditional music, traditional food and especially Achu!
Even on his return to the United Kingdom he continued his association with the Cameroon community. He was a very influential and active member of the Cameroon North-West Cultural Association (CNWCA) UK where he was held in high regard and warm affection. As recently as the 6th of October, Ngia Ndeh celebrated the life of his departed mother with the association in the company of his sister, his in-laws and nieces. His death will be deeply felt by all sections of the Cameroon community as well as past and present staff and students of Sacred Heart College Mankon.
The SHESA UK are in contact with Brother Brendan Greary, Head of Marist Mission in the UK and Brother Ronnie’s family in Wolverhampton regarding the funeral arrangements. Once we receive the information we will share with you on this forum”
SHESA UK and The Marxist brothers will take part at a requiem mass that will take place at the Brentford Diocese in London in memory of “Ngia Ndeh”. SHESA UK has also created a special tribute page where people who knew Ronnie can leave their tributes. You can visit the page here http://shesauk.org/2013/10/20/in-memory-of-br-r-hickman/
Tributes have been pouring as people remember the jovial brother who gave so much to Cameroon and taught a whole generation of students who are now leaders in their various professions.
Joki Manga, SOBA Vice president for Europe who knew “Ngia Ndeh” personally described his death as a great lose to the Cameroonian community in the UK. “We are not going to have two people like that…He learnt to speak our broken pidgin very well and also learnt our culture and tradition and will be greatly missed” he noted.
Mr Manga called on the Cameroonian community in the Uk to “come out in numbers and give him the farewell he deserves.
Poem In memory of Ronald Hickman
Dear Br. Ronnie, if we could have a lifetime
wish, A dream that would come true,
We Shesans would pray to God with all our
hearts For a yesterday and you.
A thousand words can’t bring you back,
We know, because we tried;
And neither will a million tears,
We know, because we cried.
You left behind our broken hearts
And happy memories too.
But we never wanted memories,
We only wanted you. (Culled from From SHESA UK Website)