There are actually two different origin stories. In the first one, Rufus meets Neema first, and takes Ellowyne to a nice restaurant so she can meet Neema. In this version of events, Neema is an artist, and she and Ellowyne get along well.
In the second story, Prudence meets Neema at an art class they were taking. Pru thinks Neema and Ellowyne would hit it off and invite them for lunch. Unfortunately, Ellowyne was feeling stressed. She was late to her appointment with Dr. Bantam, which caused her to be tardy getting to lunch. Indeed, she was so anxious that she talked at Neema incessantly, giving her way too much information. She made several faux pas about cherries and berries, to which Neema took as offensive because her family owned the biggest organic cherry and berry growers in the country. The friendship starts off tenuously but as Neema and Ellowyne learn more about each other, their friendship blossoms like the cherry trees on Lake Michigan.
By the way, did you know that Neema means “Born during good times” in Swahili?
It is so much fun to write about a new character. She pretty much is the personification of the tabula rasa, that is, a blank slate. We only know a few things about Neema and we can let our imaginations go wild(e). I’ve given Neema a surname that should accurately reflect her nationality.
As a result of Sadiku’s financial prowess the Zuberi family was wealthy. They purchased a condo in one of San Francisco’s elite high rises for Neema and a state-of-the-art electric car.
Neema is the daughter of a retired NFL player, Sadiku Zuberi and his wife, Ayanna. They emigrated to the US from their native Tanzania when Sadiku was recruited to play football at the University of Nebraska. After graduation, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Over the years, he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Detroit Lions. Sadiku was proactive in terms of managing his wealth. and, when he retired from football, he purchased an organic berry and cherry farm near Traverse City, Michigan, which became the largest and most prominent grower in the nation after only a few years.
Having just graduated from college, Neema wanted to explore some of the places in which she had lived as a child. Her mother suggested San Francisco, where Neema was born. Ayanna remembered how much she and Sadiku loved living there and thought her daughter would appreciate the ethnic and cultural diversity and would also enjoy experiencing life from a different perspective.
Neema will have many adventures with her new friends. Let’s see what happens as she joins Ellowyne’s social group and gets to know some of the rest of the squad!