‘Nobody’ cares about the elderly

My 2-year-old son, Rahul, is still in diapers, which means that at least once a day, there's some Congo couple
heavy-duty wiping to do. Even when his mother is home from work, he insists that his stay-at-home Dad does the honors. It's his way of rewarding me, I suppose. Since I feed him during the day, taking care of the input, he doesn't want me to miss out on the output.

My 4-year-old daughter, Divya, often shows up to watch the diaper-changing, like a raccoon drawn to a foul smell. She doesn't just watch, of course. She has to offer some commentary, usually in the form of one word: "YUCK!"

Yuck is right. It can be pretty yucky, but all parents have to do it, except the ones who have nannies to handle it for them. I feel sorry for those parents. They'll never have the pleasure of saying to their grown children, "Don't talk to me like that! I used to change your diapers, you know! I used to wipe your butt!"

Nursing assistants who care for the elderly and disabled often have to change diapers too — and I'm sure it's not a pleasant task. But it's part of their job and they know they're helping people.

It wasn't part of Balex Kabamba's job, but it became part of his responsibility as he helped an elderly couple return to the Democratic Republic of Congo from Canada. As reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, the couple, Abedi and Eveli Kipala, had come to Winnipeg in 2007 as refugees, but when their daughter died, they felt lost in the new country and wanted to return to their homeland to spend their last days. While the Congolese community and others in Winnipeg raised money to send them home, Kabamba, a nurse from Congo, and his wife and three teen-aged children invited the couple into their home.

"I am nobody. I don't know them. I'm just putting myself in their place
— they could be my parents," he said. [Link]

Nobody? After 'nobody' invited them into his home, 'nobody' also accompanied them back to Congo, where Abedi, in his 90s, died within hours of being reunited with his family. He hadn't eaten anything during the trip and just barely made it back alive, thanks to 'nobody.'

Exhausted and sick with a cold after the trip, Kabamba was glad to have reached out to strangers who became family.

was like my father," said Kabamba, himself a father of three teens. For
the last two weeks, the elderly Kipala could no longer walk or toilet

"If you would have seen how weak and fragile he was… During the last
week, he was fully dependent. I washed him, he wore diapers . The only
thing he could do was barely feed himself," he said. [Link]

If you've ever wondered who would go out of their way to help an elderly couple, who would wash an elderly man and change his diapers, the answer should be obvious: 'Nobody.'

'Nobody' really cares.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. God Bless them !..the Nobodies who proved Everybody that humanity still exists in its most humble form.
    Thanks for sharing this piece of very inspiring news.

  2. Man. What a story. I wish we could have more nobody’s out there.

  3. God bless those who care for the elderly. Wish the grown up children of old parents took care of them like the parents did of the children when they were young.

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