Nigeria recorded her first case of Coronavirus 2 days ago. I received this video from a friend in Italy.
Please share this video with loved ones.
Nigeria recorded her first case of Coronavirus 2 days ago. I received this video from a friend in Italy.
Please share this video with loved ones.
Earlier today, I found a rusty high school ID of me. I even dreamed to work for FBI as a little boy! 😀
All these while, I never knew I was the Batman. 😊
In Africa, some people are known to conjure rain. This piece is not occultic. I will explain more on rainmakers later.
Give me rain,
Let the wind rage again
Give me rain, dear Heaven!
Let it flood the browned farmlands,
Let it refresh the waters of the ponds,
And the hards rocks upon the dry Earth
Let the hamlet be full of the wet clay
Let the Heavens rumble loud
I summon the East winds
I knee before the passing clouds
I hear the aves call out
I summon the Wind from afar
And she quietly comes, alas!
She threw the mighty doors ajar
To wait for a great rain fall!
Clear clouds are darkened
Firmaments are blackened
There is a powerful surge of wind,
To the East where it always stayed
On such evenings when all is weak and weary
When the rain falls on this hamlet, hurriedly
My long candle lights become crimson with fury
When my light-grey curtains dance in sheer frenzy
So right now I am standing,
I stand under the falling rain
I chose to, for it is my special calling
And I thank Heaven for this blessing!
I picked a pretty fruit
Which reminds me of you
Grey eyes and elegant
There are many fruits
But you are just exotic
A fine and pretty sight
You are an amazing fruit
Like the seed of Sunflower
Sweet to keep my days light
You have become my fruit
The sunshine after darkness
My best friend; humble and sweet
I met John at the University of Uyo, Nigeria. I wasn’t sure what his talent was then. I’m now. Follow him at @putinpicturesJohn is a jolly good fellow…
Folklore are tales, legends, superstitions of a particular ethnic population. In Igbo culture and other African societies, story telling is unique, such that it is a passage to transmit the tradition of a place from one generation to another. These tales convey the history, ancient messages and old knowledge. They teach morals and virtues to younger people. I’m privileged to remember some tales I was told by Grandma. I was very close to the older folk in the community and it seemed I learned a lot fast. I loved and still adore rural life. During school holidays, I travel with my aunt to stay with my Grandma (God rest their souls). I learned rodent hunting, swimming, wrestling and other kinds of play from boys of my age. Countryside life was one of simplicity and I enjoyed every moment.
On one occasion, I recall traveling with my aunt and in the hurry forgot all my shorts save from the one I went on. As my Grandma had no boy and so couldn’t provide shorts I was made to wear skirts. It amuses me till this day when I remember this. I played with other kids in a red skirt! I was very little then, but coming from town I knew playing naked wasn’t my thing. So I went with skirts. My family still tease me. They call me Mr Piper, after the kilt-wearing Scottish wrestler and we laugh over it.
Most times, tales are told in the evening, after dinner. In extended and nuclear families, tales are normally told near a charcoal fire outside, preferably under the shed of a tree, on a moon light night. If the tale was to be heard by all, then it will be somewhere more open, like the village square. The story teller most times will be an elderly person. The little ones will sit still, listen and watch them. I guess this was the origin of my interest in story telling.
Mbe (Mbo), the Tortoise is the primary actor or villain in Igbo tales. He is portrayed as a shrewd person who cunningly gets what he wants and sometimes fails. According to my Grandma and my aunt, Alibo is the name of the Tortoise wife. I can’t remember the son’s name but this will not matter. There are other notable characters in African folklore. There is the dog, snake, boar, elephant, lion, crocodile, cricket, leopard and the rest. Mind you, the names one ethnic group give their characters may differ from another. I hope you continue to enjoy these tales.
Have a good night everyone.
Nights may fall, crickets may call,
I sit alone, thinking of you
I’ll be far away,
Promise you wait for me
When I am not making the rain fall
To flood the village and farms
And to make the river banks overflow
Then I will be watching the glittering stars
And talking to her, the night and moon
Well, the night is never complete without a tale
And this is for the sleepy little ones,
I shall tell you of the Forest and her folk
… The Rainmaker
Once when the Forests owned all the land
And the Forest King loved the valley greens
For it spread, such that the quiet mountain
Was covered with green grasses and plants,
The Wind adored the Mountain’s look
For during winter, she was terribly cold
That she felt absolutely nothing even for the Wind
She had no dimples, no smiles, no blushing
But the Tomato could blush and did a good job of it, anyway,
So each time the farmers called out to the tomato,
All she could was smile and blush deep red,
Now the Ice King wooed the Mountain and usually
Gathered around her face to give a warm kiss
But this never went down well with the Wind
For when the Ice King left with his captains,
And Summer came, the Forests grew their green
But the Wind felt awful all year round,
Thinking he was a big time loser!
The truth was that the lonely Mountain felt nothing
And was never meant for this young Wind
To be continued…
Do you feel overwhelmed by life’s stress? Then it’s time to take a break. Here are some recommended tips to stay relaxed:
1. Take a nap: It’s obvious that our body system is designed for rest. So enjoying some sleep is a good way to let off steam.
2. Water, Water and more Water : Water is life. The Earth and human body system is made up of water. So we can see the link between human beings and water. Some headache and stress can be fixed just by drinking a cup of water!
3. Exercise: Exercises are a great way to reduce stress. I remember that each morning I took a jog I tend to be proactive through the whole day.
4. Evening walks/Hangouts/Friends: Anytime I feel overwhelmed with work, I try to hangout with colleagues and friends. This normally takes place somewhere away from workplace or home.
5. Family: I’m a strong believer in the positive energy family can give. I know that families differ but if you really enjoy family time, you might find it comforting. I try to loosen up by talking to family members. We discuss warm memories and these memories are pleasant and gives a comforting feel.
6. Then I eat too: Hunger may cause stress to people. Trying to enjoy a well prepared and balanced meal can make one feel good. I’m a witness.
7. Music/Movies: Soft music can heal. Everyone have got songs that when it plays brings succour to them.
Take time to take care of yourself and to make yourself comfortable. You are the architect of your own well-being and comfort.
Two snails approach rail tracks
Skies are grey
Train horns afar
A friend sent this to me on WhatsApp and I thought of sharing with you.
While a man was polishing his new car, his 6 year old son picked up a stone and scratched lines on the side of the car. In anger, the man took the child’s hand and hit it many times; not realising he was using a wrench. At the hospital, the child lost all his fingers due to multiple fractures. When the child saw his father, with painful eyes he asked, ‘Dad when will my fingers grow back?’ The man was so hurt and speechless; he went back to his car and kicked it a lot of times, devastated by his own actions. Sitting in front of that car he looked at the scratches. The child had written LOVE YOU DAD. The next day that man committed suicide.
Anger and Love have no limits. Let’s choose the latter to have a beautiful, lovely life. Things are to be used and people are to be loved. But the problem today is that people are used and things are loved.
What is better than bringing two worlds together,
Bringing life and earth over a body of water?
What is better than true friendship
When it blesses all with companionship?
What is better than the scent of the rain
When it brings the reign of droughts to an end?
What is better than the smiles of loved ones
When all times, good or sad, brings satisfaction?
What is better than love in your eyes
When it can bring us together?
Bridges serves people and communities
Once we walk through it, we connect two worlds and their aspirations
When we stay connected to this circle and bridge
Love enhances our compassion for others
If things fail to come together lightly
We may have forgotten that we belong to each other,
So think of building more bridges than walls,
For all dreams depends on a bridge or another
Life is strings of memories,
Little moments and turning points,
Love and forgiveness,
Flowers and breezy nights,
Happiness and bird watching…
Life is living experience,
Horse riding and beaches,
Hiking and sunset,
Coconut juice and warm soups,
So life is found most in simple things…
Beware! There’s a furry ninja lurking in the shadows of this tree! Like when you see him in this slow-mo vid.
The trees here are home to many squirrels and birds and it’s just at my backyard! I have known these squirrels since I was a kid. This morning I patiently waited to watch them exercise.
My camera couldn’t capture the background hills exactly. I live up a hill, so it’s hard to capture a hill from a hilltop. I can never get enough of this view.
Ututu oma! Unu mere anwunu? Good morning. Hope everyone is fine. I’m returning to town today.
Swift breezes welcome me to my hometown
My mind is at rest, for the love felt around
Palm trees are sentries, termites their soldiers
Cherries and mangoes throw fruits, sweet as sugar
Swift breezes blow through our quiet neighbourhood
I stand under tree shades, with my hands raised
When tree leaves struggle all about breezy Ovim
To enjoy mild acquaintance: my forever home!
Reflecting on my writing history I’ll say it hasn’t been easy. Writing from rural and semi urban Africa can be challenging; poor internet connection, little or no research resource and electricity issues. Despite all these, seeing your vote, like, comment, share or a new follower is an indicator that there’s progress.
For your support dear friends, I’ve got loads of thank you. I’m grateful. Your presence here fuels me. Thank you for being part of this African story.
Now it was tradition that young men
Cut wood in the neighboring forest
Before they are allowed to chose a maiden
There was no axe in the town and nearby hamlets
So young men did desperate things,
Mirtle was a young man, deformed in one hand,
Humbly dull, but very courageous
Youth of the hamlet, saw him as a weakling
And laughed for he was unfit for this great competition,
So they cared not to help him and such the men
Went deep into the heart of the green forest
Searching for wood, for there was no axe then,
Then appeared dwarves loitering about the wood,
Without food, water or warm clothing
Night came upon them each day
And they starved and want warmth
But no one cared or even looked at them
For the villagers loathed strangers
But not all, were bad mannered
Mirtle had compassion, though he was weak
And knew every night come gruesome
And that treacherous cold was her mistress
So Mirtle offered his food and warm cloths
To some of the weak and weary dwarves
Sharing with them till he had none left
So one night, the elder dwarf gave him a gift
Behold, it was a great axe!
And so Mirtle got some wood for a fair maid prize!
For his kindness to strangers who were in need
I had imagined and created this story to discuss compassion, love and kindness. It is even revealed that Abraham entertained angels without knowing it.
Earlier this evening, I overheard the women talk; my mother, aunts, some helpers and my little sister. From my room window, I heard their discussion on the funeral and all they did to make it a success. Usually, I don’t eavesdrop on women chats, but I couldn’t help but listen to this particular discussion. I admire their ability to make things light even with their busy schedules. They did all the cooking, cleaned the house and compound, washed everything, and served the visitors who came for the funeral. What got my attention was their discussion on how they successfully implemented their plan. I admire and appreciate these women and their ingenuity. I wonder what they could do if they were in political posts. I think they will make good leaders and that African lawmakers should encourage female politicians to take up more political positions.
I sit in my room, trying to overcome the stress from the past week. I bared my mind to different thoughts. It is heartwarming seeing people work to make things happen for others. I am grateful to you all for your prayers and wishes. The family remain the most significant positive energy ever!
I am re-reading a drama, Robin Hood I found in my father’s box. I think my mind needs some education—Goodnight everyone. 😗
Further ahead, we came across the stream Ide, with her tide gliding smoothly through the green forest. The stream is deep and some fish trapping go on. Looks can be deceptive, huh? The stream’s murky waters are not what it seem at closer look. We took several images and made a video.
An aunt informed me a python was killed yesterday, at a neighbour’s compound in Umukwu but I arrived late to investigate that.
Night falls after the sun
And to homes we all return
Counting the days stress and toil
Letting the darkened kettle boil
And preying our eyes on passing people
While we eat out plates of sweet potato
When the full moon came out
The whole clan grants a sit-out,
The infants, the boys, girls, men, women and clowns
And for those who love the buzz of night life in the town
Tales told about the strong and tall Giraffe
And how she ate the sickly moon half
Hope grows in any determined mind
To courage and self-believe, he is binded
The struggles and pains of the years past
Ride his mind like the reins of a wild horse,
Things do not fall in place as expected always
But strong trust and faith may win the day
In few hours I’ll be heading to my hometown, Ovim for my elder sister’s burial.
I’m not sure how I feel right now but I know I’ll be fine. I’ll stay back after the burial for a couple of days to help sort things out and to meet other extended family members.
Please keep me in your prayers. Have a great day.
Twist and turns, hills and valley,
Day and night, your love is home
When I reached home that evening, it seemed like the whole world was turned upside down. I felt my head swell as the bee stings and sharp roots hurt my foot. By the side of my bamboo bed Nene and her dog sat, staring at me. She held my hand and squeezed softly. I saw her beautiful face through the moon light when she leaned over to kiss me. She was sobbing.
“Get well brother,” she said as she kissed my cheek. Ah! Nene seldom addressed me that way. I was always the big head or a naughty boy. I tried to smile at her but my pain won’t let me. I laid back speechless and she left with her dog.
Outside the hut, a lot went on. Many girls from my community brought water to fill our tanks. Few came into my room to help massage my body; pulling my legs and hands as they smeared shea butter, honey and other ointments all over me. I was still in pains when Fata walked in. Then I felt my heart dance to the moon. But I couldn’t hide my pain.
Fata, ah Fata! My secret crush. The girl that played the strings of my heart. Her colour was chocolate and she spoke softly. When she walked she looked like a graceful deer. She always held her head high like a proud peacock. Her pretty face was like soft roses. But I never had the courage to tell her how I felt. I still wonder how other boys did it, how they started conversations with girls.
“They are too proud!” I argued, as a flashback interrupted my thought. It was during the wrestling season in the village, just after the match between the legendary Mazi Agbareke, the Gorilla and cunny Mazi Kene, the Tiger. We were waiting for the next bout when we discovered a group of girls in the crowd, standing opposite to us. From our stand we imagined that the girls discussed about the boys as we watched them laugh and clap their hands.
“They must be musing over your big head.” Onu said, as he turned to look at me. The other boys slapped their thighs and laughed.
“Wait oo. Please can you all take a look at my head and Onu’s and decide for yourselves who should go home with the title of Isiuwa, alias world head?” I replied. More laughter followed. “These girls are scared of this drum you call head!” I said pointing at Onu’s head.
“Okay o. I may have a big head,” Onu admitted. “But it is not empty. I can talk to girls and they like me but you barely can stand them. You dream of a girl who doesn’t care if you exist.” With that, Onu won the fight and I decided to steer the conversation in another direction.
Now Fata’s sudden appearance in my room brought back my fears but I vowed to talk to her that evening.
Men, women, girls and boys gathered in my father’s compound to hear my story. Nearly everyone from the community sent an emissary. Gifts accompanied the visits too, for the Igbo people believed in onye aghala nwanne ya (do not abandon your own) philosophy.
My father with some men and hunting dogs formed a small search party to comb the surrounding forests. A score of younger men were asked to protect the village in their absence. The evening breeze gave way to night’s treacherous cover and thousands of singing crickets began their procession. It was usual to enjoy the night airs and listen to folklore but this evening things were not well.
My mother with the help of other women cooked for everyone that came. Yam and vegetable soup was prepared. A huge fire was made around the entrance to our compound to keep away Wild Dogs and Hyena. I heard Mama and her maids tore through the barn to fetch yams. The huge basket hovering over the charcoal fire in the kitchen was brought down. It was rare to see Mama take fish from that basket. I only recalled that she opened it during festive seasons like the New Yam Festival. I was aware that this basket kept most of Mama’s smoked fish and it was every child’s dream to steal a piece of tasty fish from it. Girls gathered Water-leaf, Spinach and Greens from the neighbouring gardens. Some of the visitors came with mats and was prepared to stay till daybreak.
That night I had another attack. It was midnight and everybody was settled for some sleep.
… To be continued…
Just call on my name, I’ll be there
To show you how much I care
I love to stare into your eyes
That’s my favourite place to be
I sit outside the house alone. It’s hot inside and few hours ago our house was filled with people who came to pay their last respect to my late sister. I’ve been busy, mentally and emotionally that I hardly had time for my physical self. People who knew me observed that I lost weight.
Three weeks and counting I’m still busy, on the road, to and fro the hospital she died in, paying medical bills, receiving visitors and other family errands, making arrangements for her burial which is fixed this Thursday, 20 February and my work. I recall my last discussions with my sister and how we all laughed over a joke. She is no more to share this life, no evening Bollywood or chats, no dinner or singing, no one to tease and no one to tell silly jokes. Indeed, life and its vain pursuits can be funny.
It’s human to feel pain, to feel sad and to be grateful for life. I’m consoled as a Christian and believe that my sister rests, perfectly in peace.
Good night everyone.
Memories flood my big head
But I find it joyful to say few
I count myself graced for your love
These images represent different African landscapes…
Can you identify the Sahara, Kalahari and veldt?
You are loved and admired
I am your biggest fan and friend
You are God’s gift and love to me
We don’t know what we miss or get when we make decisions concerning relationships. Sometimes what we seek might come packaged in disguise. Love is dynamic and may come in different shades.
If you love someone, do not hesitate to tell them.
Have a lovely night. Our love challenge continues tomorrow.
Your words become silent lyrics to my soul
When every evening we lay in each others arms
Letting our thoughts roar with the warm fire
Dreaming, resting by the fireside, away
From the world and her noisy hustle
The hair on your hands are like reeds
That flourish by the river side
Light chocolate is your skin colour
On your face the sun rise
Like vale-lands hidden by the high hills
The dark is pushed away when you wake
I laid my bones down to rest
An airy night, dark and quiet,
When a thought swept over me
I was still awake
When I heard it
I heard it screech
A cold voice, not far from me
I paused, listened
A neighbor coughed from the next flat and bothered it
So quietness stayed for a while
I kept mute to hear it speak…
‘Ihttttcchh, what a painful world,
A disturbed place, a confused one,
Less trees, lesser shrubs
Less green places for little fauns
Dark places, carbon profits
Hotter days and nights
And yet all they do is sit
To clamour for more wealth!’
I could feel her pain
I could almost touch it
I see myself in her shoes
And wonder what may become
Of this beautiful Earth
Dedicated to those who genuinely fight to keep the Earth from dying and to all trees and shrubs in the forests, that still sustain human life, everywhere, anywhere.
You make my heart merry
In my dreams I see your face
And wake to your beautiful smile
I received several messages from close friends, complaining of the way their friends or partners treat them. I tried to see reason from different angles so that I can make an impartial judgment. Being right is not a guarantee that people will treat you well, and returning people’s favours is not ideal too.
Well, we all know that people come in different sizes and shapes, so expecting them to treat you precisely the way you treat them will be like trying to feed grass to lions. Differences in lifestyle, personal/religious/economic background, culture, education, life experiences, and more contribute to different human behaviours. Heartbreaks and failed relationships are common because many started with the wrong mindset and direction.
It’s not about treating people the way they treat you. It recognises that you deserve better than the way they treat you and you value yourself well enough to walk away with your dignity and self-respect intact. People should stop investing in one-sided or fair-weather relationships and friendships. When people show you, they don’t value you, walk away. I’ve been there, severally! A broken company is better than a failed marriage or long term relationship!
No drama, no mind games, no guilt trips, no shaming, no abusive calls or texts, just a realisation that you deserve better and removing someone who treats you in less manner. You teach people how they treat you, and it’s you and only you that know your worth and value. Take your power back and stop giving your autonomy away to other people.
Have a great day. Our love challenge continues.
The swift surge of the evening air
Compares not to your amazing smile
Your glittering teeth, oh splendor of my soul
I don’t care what people say
I admire your soul, your drive
Your spirit and how you love me
I love you back, that’s what matters
Like graceful deer you walk,
The soft sound of your foot thrill me,
Thrills softly the drums of my heart