Tributes have been pouring out on social media after a young female commercial bike rider, whose name MMI got as Sheila Ndungafac, was announced dead.
The resident of Limbe, who was one of the few Cameroonian girls taking up jobs that were traditionally reserved for men, died in the hospital on Tuesday.
Reports say Sheila Ndungafac suffered a brain injury from a bike accident on Sunday and was ferried to a hospital in Limbe for treatment.
But she died in Buea on Tuesday, after she was referred to a specialist.
Her death disheartened many social media users, especially as they have been seeing her striving to make ends meet in a harsh economy.
Shella became popular online a few months ago after blogs floated images of her on the bike riding job.
It was strange for many to see a girl making a living from commercial bike riding. People heaped praise on her for venturing into the male-dominated job.
But this time, streams of sorrowful emotions inundated social media platforms, where an image showing her on a hospital bed made the rounds.
“Shella, you came to my place on Saturday we talked. Sunday I hear na accident; Monday I came to the hospital (and) the only word that came out of your mouth was that ‘I want piss’. Tuesday you gave up,” said Vivian Msendoo, a Facebook user based in Limbe.
Shella was noted for always wearing her helmet while on the job— something most of her male colleagues ignored. Reports say she was not putting it on when she had the accident on Sunday.
Memories of her remained fresh in people’s minds as they celebrated her barely three months ago.
“My day is ruined after reading this. May God bless and have mercy on her soul and accept her in His bosom,” wrote Temajung Michael Tanjang, a Facebook user.
Ndah Laura, another social media user, said, “Oh my God! This is heartbreaking! May her soul rest in peace.”
Neba Mark also lamented, “Oh, good God! This shouldn’t be the fruit of this labour.”
The body of the young girl has been preserved at the mortuary pending burial.
Some social media users used the occasion to caution girls and women about doing risky jobs like commercial bike riding. They insisted that it should be left for men since it is hard, risky, and demanding for a woman.
Amid a scarcity of white-collar jobs, some young girls and women in Cameroon have been turning to jobs like driving, bike riding, motor mechanics, car wash among others, which are typically considered male jobs.
Shella Ndongafac was among the few who were changing the narrative when her life ended prematurely.