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New York mourns Veronique Tudieshe, fighter for justice

YACINE SIMPORÉ Special to the AmNews | 5/30/2012, 5:59 p.m.
New York mourns Veronique Tudieshe, fighter for justice

Some called her "Maleky," which means "Little Mommy" in a Congolese dialect. The legacy of Veronique Tudieshe will keep her as one of the most influential New York Congolese community leaders.

Police reports say she committed suicide from the George Washington Bridge on May 2.

Sadness and misunderstanding were felt in the testimonials at her funeral, held Thursday, May 24 at the Unity Funeral Home in Harlem.

"Though difficult to understand, we try to respect and accept the decision to take her own life. Veronique didn't want to stop living, she only wanted to end the evil that tortured her," read a portion of her written eulogy.

"I am so proud of what she has done. She was so generous and easy to get along with," said Pyne Bertsche, a friend.

Tudieshe was born in Libreville, Gabon, a small country in Central Africa. When she was 4 years old, she settled in France with her parents, where she grew up.

A lover of science, when it came the time to go university, the young lady decided to study medicine and chemistry and got her master's degree in the city of Grenoble, in southeast France.

But her achievement in her studies didn't guarantee her a job. One of her closest friends said, "She felt constrained as a Black woman who wanted to get a job she had studied for."

Tudieshe found herself attracted by the American Dream and decided to move to Seattle after marrying a U.S. soldier. There, she started to develop the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

After moving back to France for treatment, she returned to the United States, this time settling in New York after a divorce.

It took about a year, but Tudieshe finally got a job that she felt she had studied for and deserved. She was employed at CBS as an engineer.

Along with her work, she became committed to her community, serving Congolese associations that fight for justice and peace for the Diaspora and their home country.

Three years ago, Tudieshe also began working at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, in its archives.

Martia Goodson was one of her co-workers at the church. She told the AmNews, "Veronique was the younger of us, but she acted like an older person. She was a beautiful woman born in Africa who just wanted to [explore] the world. She had so much energy. We will miss her."