Published by Ayo Dada
“What you see in the picture above is not happening in Africa! It is in the United States of America, in the state of Georgia, and that is not enough to say: we are in an American university (Gwinnett Georgia College). The black woman you see is no ordinary person on the street, she is indeed a Professor of Biological Sciences at this university. Her name is Ramata Sissoko Cisse. She has a Doctorate Degree and more; (obtaining a Doctorate in Science in North America is to be at the pinnacle of planetary knowledge in her field).
It should be added that she is from Africa, from Mali.
Let’s get back to the facts, now that the context is well established. This Professor had hit the headlines in the United States by her beautiful gesture on September 19, 2019, a gesture relayed by thousands on Twitter. That day, a student mother who could not find a babysitter for her baby had to gone to class with her child. The Malian teacher, instead of sending the student for the door because of the child’s restlessness and cries that was not only affecting the mother from her classwork, but other students, was rather taken with compassion.
Like the true African woman she is, she took the baby from the student, carried her on her back in a typical African style/way and taught the lesson for three hours with the baby on her back. The child, very comfortable on her back, became peaceful and slept through the three hour lecture.
All the students could not believe this “magic”. Yes, it was magic in that part of the world. But this Malian professor was unaware that this gesture, which came to her naturally was going to go viral and make her a celebrity, not just a us as professor of biological sciences, but also as a compassionate humanitarian.
Interestingly, she had just taught two African values to her students and to the world: sympathy and the maternal character/instincts of the African woman. Sympathy because it was kind enough to allow the student to attend and remain in class with a baby who cried non stop. Other lecturers would have applied the rules by showing the door to the student who wanted to remain anonymous.
As for the maternal character, it is fully reflected in the carrying of the baby on the back, a practice absent in North America but inherent in the African women. In fact, in the African tradition, women have always carried infants on their backs. We think that there is a fundamental bond, protection, and love shared between the baby and the mother.
Yes, we Africans have values, and great ones at that, to keep and teach the rest of the world! – “The Texts of Camara Laye”
The Baby Became a Learning Aid
So Cissé improvised. She found a white lab coat and tied the baby to her back.
The baby quickly fell asleep and stayed quiet for the rest of class. Cissé was able to incorporate the baby into the lesson, elaborating on concepts related to the nervous system, brain function and metabolism.
One student asked why he was able to sleep so quietly.
Cissé explained that he was cozy and warm, with her body temperature next to him, and the matching heat made it easier for him to relax.
Later when the baby became hungry, and the baby’s bottle was cold, she explained that warming up the milk would help aid the baby’s metabolism.
A spokeswoman for Georgia Gwinnett College told CNN that the child’s mother asked to not be identified.