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Clency & Norman: Making impossible possible

Norman, Clency and baby Aiwa on graduation day. Together they are fulfilling their dreams to have an excellent education and fulfilling careers
Norman, Clency and baby Aiwa Bana on graduation day. Despite Clency's blindness, the couple has a vision that is helping achieve their dreams for an excellent education and fulfilling careers


GOROKA - PNG Attitude resumes our acquaintance with Clency Amos Kaupa, from Gor village in Simbu province and blind since birth, as she graduates from the University of Goroka for a second time.

When we first met in 2015, Clency had just completed the Grade 10 national lower secondary school examination, a credential  necessary to continuing in Papua New Guinea's education system.

Clency had told us that her teachers at Kondiu Rosary Secondary School and Mingende Callan Inclusive Education had built her confidence and competence in learning.

And she praised the Simbu Writers Association, through its debates and quizzes, for making her assured and skilled in public presentation.

“The events helped me to believe in myself,” she said with tears in here eyes. “I have nothing to give you good hearted people but, in gratitude, I salute you all for making a difference in my life.”

And now eight years on, at the University of Goroka's recent 26th graduation ceremony, Clency has added a Postgraduate Diploma in Education to the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science she achieved in 2021.

She has also added loving husband, Norman Bana Lumbi, and a beautiful baby boy.

Norman, from Kuare village in Kagua-Erave District of the Southern Highlands Province, also graduated in 2021 – receiving a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Extension.

After completing their studies, they both decided to spend one more year at the university to complete a post-graduate qualification so they could teach in high and secondary schools.

Despite bring their mentor over the last four years, I never found out why they wanted to be teachers because I knew their first degrees were good enough to enable them to get jobs in their respective fields of study.

I suppose the only thing I knew really well about them was that Clency enrolled as a visually impaired student through the university’s Special Education Centre and that Norman volunteered to be her full-time guide.

In as busy academic schedule, Norman had to make time for Clency’ - being a guide to blind people is a hefty task requiring much patience and humility.

Their friendship had developed before university, in 2018 when they were both students at Kondiu Rosary Secondary School Here’s how Clency tells her story.

Clency Kaupa:

I’m a former student of Kondiu Rosary Secondary School. In those days, the Language and Literature Department used to organise school based activities like debates and quizzes.

I met Norman during a school contest when he represented his Science Department and I spoke for the Social Science Department.

We became best friends and used to assist each other in debates, especially when we succeeded in participating in the provincial debate competition.

We found that each of us possessed many things that perfectly matched our personal likes and dislikes, and we decided to begin an intimate relationship.

I like Norman because he is brilliant in his studies. I like it most that he does well in mathematics. In everything he does he works with quiet determination. He also has a kind heart to help and care for others, and is always the last to talk!

Norman found that I possessed some of the things that perfectly match his criteria for a girlfriend.

Because he is more of an introvert and shy, he likes me because I am extroverted, friendly and outgoing. I’m also brilliantly fast thinker.

Despite my impairment, I'm determined to begin a career. I think positively, dream big and think outside the box, which has also influenced Norman in many important decisions.

For instance, he got distinctions in the Grade 10 national lower secondary school exams and in 2018 wanted to apply to go to teachers college and become a primary teacher.

But he has a high GPA of 3.6 and I advised him to apply to the University of Goroka, where he was accepted into the Bachelor of Science (Agriculture Extension) degree program.

We were fortunate because both of us were accepted by the University of Goroka to pursue tertiary studies. During those years, we leaned on each other’s shoulders for academic, financial and social support.

We wanted to be self-reliant as well as good students and and Norman’s agriculture background enabled us to start a successful poultry project to raise extra money.

In late 2021, we decided to settle as a couple and also pursue post-graduate studies together.

On 10 June last year, we had a son. We named Aiwa Bana after the late Dr James Aiwa, the pioneer of special education in PNG, who had been my mentor .

I believe that with God, the impossible becomes possible. I also believe in my potential and abilities, for they are the power that will outweigh the challenges to come.

I dedicated my academic awards to my hardworking parents, Mingende Callan Inclusive Education Services, the university’s Special Education staff, my untiring husband Norman and the late Dr James Aiwa.

And now Norman adds his wise words.

Norman Lumbi:

I don’t take Clency’s impairment as a burden; I take it as an opportunity which has contributed to the completion of my studies at university.

I don’t regret my decision to marry her. I’m proud that I made a wise and the best decision.

The only thing worse than being blind is to have sight but no vision.

Clency and I know what we are for and where our young family is going and we will be there.

If God is willing, our next plan is for us to pursue Master’s degree studies. A PhD is also not impossible.

Immediately after their graduation, Clency joyfully came to my office in the university with her post-graduate transcript that revealed a 3.6 GPA in the first semester and 4.0 GPA in the second semester.

Clency and Norman now have been offered teaching positions at Kondiu Rosary Secondary School, their old school, and they can start there when the formalities arrive from the Simbu education authorities.

Clency passed all the academic and practical teaching components as part of her studies.

She is ready to teach Social Sciences, Religious Education and Personal Development in high schools, and History or Legal Studies in secondary schools.

Norman can teach the Sciences and Agriculture.

Finally I found out that they wanted to be together as teachers.


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Roslyn Tony

Congratulations to Clency Amos and her partner.

PNG Attitude published an original article in 2015, after her Grade 10 examination back then.

And now a greater success story following the completion of her tertiary education. "The impossible becomes possible" is surely a powerful phrase.

Congratulations, Clency, and welcome to the teaching field.

Joe Kuman's terrific story, 'Clency & Norman: Making impossible possible', can be linked to below - KJ:

Jimmy Awagl

Joe, this is an inspirational story for Clency. I taught her in Kondiu as her language teacher.

She was a brilliant and motivated student. She will make a big difference in her career as a teacher and will be a model to others.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Inspiring stuff, Joe. Thanks for telling us about Clency and Norman.

And congratulations to them for what they have achieved.

I like good stories about PNG.

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