By LORRAINE JIMAL
PILIMBO Malibu, 15, raised by a single mother, received the Grade 12 Science dux prize at the Asia-Pacific-Multi Cultural College in Port Moresby two weeks ago.
Malibu’s late father Peku Pilimbo, a former journalist, was from Southern Highlands. His mother Elsie Diabule, who raised him and his brother Tumil alone, is from Hela. He was five when his father died in 2011.
Malibu was one of the 10 Grade 12 students who received prizes for getting top marks in each subject.
He smiled proudly standing next to his mother, letting her do the talking about his outstanding achievement.
Mum Elsie is working for the National Coordination Office for Bougainville Affairs in the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council under the Finance and Audit division.
She raised Malibu and Tumil with strong discipline, making sure they are obedient, honest and follow her instructions. The two boys understand the situation they are in and help her in any way they can. They are always responsible.
“ At least my sacrifices are not wasted because my son has completed the first chapter of his life. I’m happy today and we are looking forward too many challengers ahead.”
“Whatever I give them, they take it and never complain or demand more from me.”
She never gives more than K10 for their lunch money. They learn to manage with just around K5.
She felt proud when Malibu received the dux prize.
“At least my sacrifices are not wasted because my son has completed the first chapter of his life. I’m happy today and we are looking forward too many challengers ahead.”
They used to live in her province Hela and their father’s province Southern Highlands while she was pursuing further studies.
“As a single mother, I struggle to cope with my work and travelling.”
Malibu was born on April 23, 2006. He started his education in Hela but due to tribal fights there, his mum brought them to Port Moresby in 2018. He started in Grade Nine at the Asia-Multi Cultural College.
Malibu plans to be an aerospace engineer. He always watches movies, especially of how rockets and planes are made and operated.
“Sometimes he and Tumil watch movies on my laptop. If Tumil wants to watch other movies apart from rockets and planes, they will argue and start fighting each other.
“Malibu is a man of few words but makes sure his actions speak for themselves. My other son talks a lot.
“On some weekends when I ask my sons to go for a swim at Ela Beach, or take them out to Big Rooster for lunch, Malibu would always want to stay home and watch or play using the laptop and phones.
“His grandparents want him to become a doctor, saying engineering is only for white people who die when flying. His reply will be: We all will die one day. No one will live forever.”
Mum Elsie can see Malibu’s determination to fulfil his dream of becoming and aerospace engineer and will do her best to support him.
“As a single mother for almost 12 years, I have gone through life’s struggles. Disciplining my two sons at a young age was hard work. Parents can provide food, shelter, clothes and other needs. But most important is to discipline them at the early age.”
Her advice to any single mother whose husband has died, or left for another woman, is to focus solely on their children’s future.
“Do not take them to another man but only to God through prayer and by attending church. Only God’s word will discipline them. And when they grow up to be adults, they will do whatever they want but will never forget their mother’s hard work and sacrifice.”