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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Tradition: Breaking the Kola nut

Onye wetara oji wetara ndu (Igbo)

He who brings Kola brings life…

Kola nut is a symbol of hospitality and friendship in Nigeria. While other food can be cooked the Kola nut needs no special preparation before presentation. It’s a bitter fruit of the Kola tree¶ grown all over tropical Africa.

In Igbo land, Kola nut is a cultural staple held in high esteem. It is sometimes referred to King of all foods. It is a sacrificial lobe revered, no child or woman is allowed to tamper or joke with it. Every piece of it is considered sacred and can’t be wasted or destroyed unless it’s spoilt.

Usually, the oldest man among the host audience is asked to bless the Kola nuts. He will take one of the nuts in his right hand and makes a blessing, prayer or toast using a proverb, e.g.

Ihe dï mma onye n’achö, ö ga-afü ya.’

‘What ever good he is looking for, he will see it.’

Generally Kola nut is presented in festivities, in ceremonies and primarily used to welcome visitors. They are offered with prayers of thanksgiving and supplication to Chineke. After prayers are said then Kola nut can be broken and shared in bits to visitors. Sometimes it’s served with garden eggs, bitter cola, alligator pepper, peanut butter and palm wine.

As mentioned before, it is the breaking that is the significant part of the ceremony. The more parts the Kola breaks up to, the more prosperity it gives to its presenter and visitors. Though there is one exception: if the nut yields only to two parts, it signifies no good as it signals that the presenter has a sinister motive behind the Kola. Because of that, Kola nuts with only two parts are avoided for this ceremony and therefore the purple/reddish coloured nuts, cola acuminata are preferred over its greyish counterpart, the cola nitida, as the latter one only breaks up in two. Four parts coincide with the four market days of the Igbo week. Five or more broken parts mean prosperity for the family. In some parts of Igboland, when the Kola breaks into six, a separate celebration is required and sometimes even including the slaughter of a goat.

There are many other rules surrounding the Kola nut ceremony. Kola nut should only be presented with two hands at the same time, and also as the Kola tree is associated with man, only men can climb and pluck the Kola tree.

Learn Igbo language here.

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¶ Don’t confuse the Bitter Cola with the Kola nut. They are quite different plants.
Chineke: God in Igbo language.
Nkwo, Eke, Afor, Orie: Market days in Igbo land.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral

Beautiful News

Honestly, there are beautiful news announced by nature out there. Focus on them, enjoy the beauty and nature around you.

Good morning and have a great day!

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Starry Night

Stars sing your herald
Cold night, crickets quiz
In quietness I lay alone

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Determination

Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction – Germany Kent.

Every mountain becomes a plain when you are determined. Determination is a tonic that keeps achievers/champions going; it’s a key element in enduring temporary setbacks and the achievement of ultimate success. No matter how life and indeed the year has been, be determined to make a difference. Life is like a marathon race, you must push yourself to the finishing line by fighting self-pity, depression, fear of the future and anxiety daily.

Good morning everyone. See you later.

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry

Psalm: Your Cymbal

I’m Your cymbal, the one who plays the bells,
None except You can make me appreciate life better

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Africa education lifestyle

Internet Fraud and Leadership

Short Intro: To be a Nigerian is hard enough; apart from the ravaging poverty, a lot of factors had contributed to this. I’m aware that many youth are involved in internet fraud which gives the nation and her people a bad name. I and my family members fell victim several times to them. The aim of this blog post is to show how to avoid falling victim to internet fraud drawing from personal experiences. These internet commando’s can outsmart even the most educated or enlightened person, so underestimating their abilities will be at the concerned peril. But let it be known that the greatest fraudsters are corrupt African leaders, those who steal from their people.

My interest in internet fraud stem from my research paper I wrote on Fraud Prevention and Management in Nigerian Commercial Banks during my studies at the University of Uyo, Nigeria and my work experience as a bank teller.

Link between Bad Leadership and Nigeria’s Internet Commando’s: Before I steer forward, permit me to introduce the chief cause of Nigeria’s woe: bad leadership. I hammer on this each time I’m opportuned to write on leadership. When career or academic opportunities are lesser than employable people, social vices will increase. Generally, the African society is challenged by unemployment which pushed many to vices like robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, human trafficking and ritualism, political thuggery, drug peddling and more. Consider the wealth Nigeria possesses then you can relate that this country has no business with poverty. If the head is bad then the body won’t fare better, that’s a fact. Imagine a situation where every youth have a good job after graduation and if not has access to financial services to start their own businesses. No one will have time to involve in dubious businesses. The major problem faced in Nigeria and Africa at large is bad leadership.

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How to avoid falling victim to internet fraud: If you are faced with sending or receiving money online or any kind of online money transaction, you need to pay great attention to details. This is the greatest way internet fraud are perpetrated. Most times we need to be critical to overcome these guys. Why would one be excited that an email or phone call says he won a lottery or scholarship when he didn’t even play or apply for that or someone says you’re selected for a job you knew nothing about or his/her father died and left huge pockets of money hidden somewhere for you? Let’s consider ways we can reduce this risk.

(1.) First, extra care is advised and there’s an emphasis on the extra. Don’t jump to enticing online offers which may require you to share personal information. If you trust people easily, then try to seek guidance from finance or security agencies before sharing your information with anyone. You’re not meant to share Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), Bank Account details, Passwords or Pass codes, Phone Numbers, addresses or Emails linked to financial properties etc. If your bank requires you to send special details, they can always ask you to visit their nearest branch. Generally banks won’t ask for more details online. Note that banks will normally communicate via custom email. For instance okeiroegbu@gmail.com can’t just be trusted as a bank staff. Banks will rather contact with such emails as okeiroegbu@gtbank.com.

(2.) Don’t click on links that you are unsure of. I received an email sometime ago: that I won an award from the Association of Nigerian Authors and I should click a link and update my details. I believed it and I was very happy. I didn’t think about being a member, I was just consumed with the award. I eventually updated my details on the link and afterwards couldn’t access my email anymore. I had to reach out to the President of the Association who luckily happened to be my social media friend and he confirmed it was a hoax! Scammers do research on their potential victims and may know what you do and what excites you! After much inconvenience contacting Google I was able to reclaim my email and thankfully I had no financial details linked to the email.

(3.) Reconsider buying from unknown online stores. May talk more about this later.

Where to report to: In cases involving Nigerians or West Africans, you can report to the Interpol but to expedite local action send reports to the following agencies. They are fast and furious in tracking down bad eggs.

– Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital. Address: Plot 301/302 Institution and Research, Cadastral District, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria. Www.efccnigeria.org

– Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), based in Abuja. Address: Plot 802 Constitution Avenue, Central Business District, Abuja, Nigeria. Www.icpc.gov.ng

A Shorter End: I’m a Nigerian and I love my country. Not all Nigerians are scammers, I’m sure you know many who are not. The same goes for other African countries and around the world. I believe in African youth and their potentials. Talents abound but lay waste or ingenuity used in bad ways, no thanks to bad leaders. In my humble opinion, to get to the root of internet fraud and other social vices, our leaders should be held accountable for not providing welfare and opportunities for youth.

Categories
culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Pastoral Poetry

Wilderness by Robin Bliss

Old Sol is low in the sky, drifting down
Resting in the meager filtered shade
On this hillock we can see the distant horizon
Before us stretches the limitless plane
Almost totally flat except for a Tor
Standing stark and naked ebony
Silhouetted against the brilliant firmament
Protruding towards the heavens,rocky and rugged
And the Red Gum lined dry watercourse
Snaking it’s way across the seemingly endless flats

The gray green of the Salt bush and Mulga
Seems unending and monotonous stretching forever
High up in the sky is an Eagle
Flying effortlessly in idle circles
Its eye on the ground, looking for prey
In the trees beside the dry bed are numerous
Galahs and other bird life, making a racket
In the riverbed metres beneath the hot sand
Is life giving water, surfacing as a occasional waterhole
This wild landscape, is not without it’s beauty

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There is something wonderful about being alone
In this wilderness, except for ones companions
Here we all feel this wild, wild call of nature
No phones, no TV, towns, cars, just us here
Us and this glorious, marvelous wild place
To contemplate and to experience the oneness
To alter, change our perspective on living
This call of the wild is a basic call
Going back to our ancient ancestors
A deep quiet, longing and urging

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral

Forgiveness

When you forgive people the greatest beneficiary is you. Yes, some pain is grave and some injuries are bloody, but no matter how gravely hurt you are, never forget that: Between you and your next level is a betrayal. Don’t worry if people finally understand you, release them, let go and let God.

The secret in forgiveness is to let go of everything and understand nothing.

Good and beautiful morning. Have a great day.

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Categories
Africa education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Madagascar’s Covid-19 Cure

It’s no more news that Madagascar found a cure for Covid-19 and that some African governments are reaching out to purchase some. I think that the WHO Madagascar office should work with these people to ensure that the cure is potent against Covid-19. Note that the cure was prepared from traditional herbs and Africa has a long history in curing ailments through use of herbs, barks, leaves, fruits and roots. This might just be the answer or direction the world seek. Support Africa.

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Africa education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Good morning Africa

Thank you for reminding me of your beauty Africa. #Africanimages

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Africa education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Self Reflection 30: Wisdom

Men should see you and marvel on how you do things. How you handle your time, money, friends and relationships and enemies, manage people and your lifestyle. Wisdom is a spirit. Wisdom giveth life to those that have it.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Amuse: Reason to Smile

smiley

I like to see you laugh
Turn around, watch my goofy face
Let me be the reason you smile
To make your pain go away
Let me see curves on your mouth
Dance to lyrics of my daydream
Call me naughty names if you would,
Call me a pigeon with one dark eye,
Call me Napoleon of famed animal farm,
Call me the Joker, with his goofy smiley,
Or anything that catch your fancy,
For I care only for your pretty smile
And the memories they bring to me

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Image from http://www.developersnippets.com
Categories
Africa folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral

African Sunrise

African sunrise. What is more beautiful?

Have fun with life. Enjoy simple things.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

First love

I still dream of you
I know you barely think of me

Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 29: Perseverance

Fall seven times and stand up eight.

–Japanese Proverb

Categories
Africa folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Reflection: Rainy Evening

I used to think I’m a rainmaker but there’s one heavy storm out there and I’m scared of it. A distraction for me though which I love. Recently, I worried so much about nothing. I wondered if the world will ever be the same again after Covid-19. But my faith will have no worry at all. So I’ll put that aside and try to mind the rain storm ravaging my community.

I know those noisy frogs will be happy and I hope the silly mosquitoes are washed away, far from this settlement. My neighbours whistling pines sing a high pitch tonight, the streets are flooded. I’m convinced reptiles will roam about.

I sit near to my window. I hear the storm roar and rooftops dance about. Usually sitting outside is fun but this evening rain is something else. I have had enough rain bath. Now I retire to watch the lightning battle with the wind and rain. Clouds rumble heavily, the lightning flash and then his cousin, thunder frighten me. It’s dark everywhere, so my curtain shows prints of their war. I’m amused.

Life is beautiful, life is sweet. I enjoy Divine Providence and what nature offer, the sweet spring water, the numerous fruits, wildlife, the annoying frog choir and watching babies smile at me.

As I publish this, the storm rage on, a combo of heavy black skies and monstrous wind. But my day is not yet over. Dinner is potatoes and beans. That’s my second love – good food. Gratitude is the best attitude. Good night everyone.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

Follower of the Month

Hello friends,

It’s a tough time, isn’t it? Hang on, things will make sense soon.

I just had this thought and reasoned it may be fun too. I’m going to write and dedicate a poem to a follower as a way of saying thank you. Since I can’t afford to give books, flowers or other gifts for now (hopefully I’ll in the near future), I decided to say my appreciation this way. I don’t want to pick randomly as I’ve so many followers in mind.

So I’m going to drop a trivia at the end of this blog post and whoever answers it first and correctly, of course, on the comment section will have their blog link and a customized poetic thank you from me published here next month. I’ll share it to all my social media handles. Let’s have fun and look to the bright side of life.

Thank you for being there. I appreciate you all. ❤😊😘

TRIVIA question: What do you think is the central theme of my blog?

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Weekend Wish

I give you this green heart 💚. It’s a symbol of life💚 and abundance💚, of contentment and gratitude for another fine day. That’s my wish for you this sunny beautiful African morning.

Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Just a Reminder

Reminder,
You are beautiful before they came
You are beautiful after they leave

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Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Lagos during Lockdown

This is Lagos during the Lockdown. Roads that once flow with heavy traffic is now empty. Stay safe everyone.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Poverty and Covid-19

This image says it all. All they have in rural Africa are hope, prayers and faith. Most of our leaders are little more than puppeteers.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry

Muse: Love first

Let your heartbeat be louder than your thoughts,
Let soft words to souls sorrowing, good tidings grant

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Two Poems: Together we watch day end and my Dancer

(1) TOGETHER WE WATCH DAY END

Baobab and Palm are shelters,
Glittering stars are my friends,
Waterfalls and Lions, my brothers
And together we watch day end.

(2) MY DANCER

I steal a glance when you dance
Memories of pouting lips haunt me
I dreamed of you and I once
But wished it away if we won’t be

Categories
folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry

Muse: When there was Love

When there was love
I saw blue clouds,
Clear like the sweet spring
Leaping in joyful bounds

Categories
Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 28: Humility

The way up is down. You don’t know how strong you are until you forgive someone who is not sorry for what he/she did or until you accept an apology that was never given. That is real strength.

Categories
Nature Pastoral Poetry

Golden Sands by Robin Bliss

The mystic ocean laps gently on the golden shore
The azure sky
The golden sands
The aqua sea
And the green grassy bank on which I sit
Captivates my mind
Fills it with joy and peace
I hear the sound of a guitar playing
And piano
Softly in the distance
As I sit in the shade of the palms
The sea birds calling
The waves gently lapping
Soft breeze moving in the palms
My troubled mind is calmed
Such s serene and lovely setting
All is well in my world
All is well

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Tradition: Ohafia War Dance (Ikpirikpi Ogu)

Intro: Ohafia is a town in Abia State in Nigeria, it consists of 26 communities with Elu as the ancestral capital. Many people have asked questions about Ohafia War Dance.

In the olden days, Ohafia was known for their bravery during tribal wars. At present, Ohafia is still known as land of warriors. It was said that they were as strong as Lions. They engaged in so many wars and never lost in any battle. During any battle, they made souvenirs of their victims’ heads which they cut off and take home leaving the lifeless bodies to indicate that the person was killed in battle. Till this present Ohafia is addressed as Mba Bu Ishi Acho Ishi* (carrying a head and yet looking for another). It was indeed land of great warriors.

Ohafia War Dance is popular called Ikpirikpi Ogu (a practice of beheading the enemies). Ohafia War Dance is a dance of victory by Ohafia warriors, which included chanting war songs during inter tribal wars and drumming after defeating their warriors. This dance was indeed incomplete without the presence of a human head because this was an indication that they have defeated their opponents. But in this present day of civilization, human heads are no longer featured in the dance.

Learn Igbo language and culture here.

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*Ishi: Ohafia’s dialect says Ishi instead of Isi, which is Central Igbo language meaning head.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry

Tale of The Musk Rat

Once upon a time
In a land far, far away
Where the forests were untamed
And animals had clans and kingdoms
There lived a young musk rat
Who loved his mother so much
And took good care of her
He would go hunting for fruits
And exotic vegetables from the forests
And brought them home to feed
The mother and himself

A particular day came
And he found a bed of vegetables
Growing by the side of a pool
He gathered them
And in all he brought home nine baskets
He was overjoyed that the vegetables would last
Longer than he expected
And so he handed it to his mother

But when the mother cooked the vegetables
The nine baskets shrunk to two baskets
When the musk rat discovered that he had only two baskets
Of warm vegetables he questioned
His mother and wasn’t satisfied with her answers
So he killed her out of his rage

Another day he went to the poolside
And lo, fresh vegetables blossomed
And he picked to his fill once again
Carrying the nine baskets home
He boiled the vegetables and it all shrunk again
To two baskets and it dawned on him
That vegetables are lighter when boiled
And that he had killed his mother in vain
And again out of anger
He killed himself too…

Anger and impatience are no man’s friend. We must learn to control them.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Simple Things

Remind me daily of how lucky we are;
Of green trees to climb and the free air
Of distant farmland stretching into sunrise
Of waterfalls and rocks that we hide & seek
And numerous pretty birds that we see

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Thoughts on Covid-19

Even with the breaking news of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Abia State, some still doubt the media and think that the news is a hoax. People can be stubborn you know, add ignorance and then you can imagine what it can birth.

The human nature is fraught to benefit at the expense of others. This pandemic has become a money spinner for some people. Now substandard products flood the market. Consumers will have to exercise extra care when selecting safety products (hand sanitizers and face masks).

Advice: Remember NOT to touch your face, especially the nostrils, eyes and mouth. Don’t touch walls, public railings, seats, generally things that are for public use or outside your home. This will include eating out, using public cutleries, handshakes, hugs, and other human intimacy. Use disinfectants and spirits always to clean surfaces, bought materials, and yourself.

I’m sure we will overcome this. We need to take care. Stay safe.

Categories
Africa education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Update on Covid-19: Abia State

Just got news that there are confirmed cases of the virus in my state.

People has not responded well to the call to sit at home. Businesses, parties, and social gatherings go on secretly. Starting from today, the police will be arresting anyone without a face mask in Abia State. I’m not sure if this Police command came late but the virus is here already. Arrest or no arrest, law enforcement agencies can spread it also.

I’m not scared and I don’t want anyone to be. We just need to be more careful. Stay home and be safe. My prayers and thoughts to everyone.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Motherland

Envelope me in your warm embrace
I’m safe, when I run to your open arms

Categories
folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Good Vibes

These – my good vibes I give, to you
My substance, my being, my happy self…

Categories
Love and Christianity Pastoral Poetry

You came as a Dream

You came as a Dream to me
This Dream has made me beautiful

Categories
lifestyle Poetry

Just Kids By Jasmine Scroggins

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Poll

Please can you take this poll for me? It’s anonymous and I appreciate.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Come, Watch the sunset

Come, it’s sunset
Let us ride towards it
Hold my hands
Watch the sleepy clouds

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Traveler

is.jpg

The traveler is like the sun
Traversing the length of Earth
Seeing people, and their cultures
The traveler is a blast of wind
Which blows hot and cold,
And dust is his glad companion
The traveler is like the compass
Searching for the North pole,
Seeking lands that come along
The traveler is a fancy diary,
Though lousy with books
Yet he is a place encyclopaedia

Image taken from http://www.wiautism.com

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

I’m a Shepherd

I’m a shepherd, living all by myself
Of course there are people all about
But none share my believes and thought
I dream away alone, such is my life

Early mornings are my quiet times
So I speak life to the day when I wake
Hoping to see my reflection on the lake
And to hear my flock play away on the field

The noon I sit to play my songs
Funny enough, flies and birds sing along
Sometimes the heavy lamb will horn
To raise hopes for the coming new born

When the evenings finally come
I’ll be walking down hill with the flock
To admire the sunset and my handiwork
The sun hiding behind the hills womb

I’m a shepherd, living all by myself
Of course there are people all about
But none share my believes and thought
I dream away alone, such is my life

Categories
Nature Pastoral Poetry

Made of Rhyme by David Thane Cornell

Nature is a pixie
Unworthy to be sung,
Can it be I’m sixty,
I who was so young?

Over generous hearted,
She heaped me full of years,
Careless if I carted
Bellylaughs or tears.

Though spring is hers for poets
With hopes too high to climb,
I’m strutting up the summit
On crutches made of rhyme.

© 2011