Categories
Africa education culture/tradition

African Wonders 4: The Pharos of Alexandria

The Pharos of Alexandria was a lighthouse completed in about 280 BC and was used to warn ships of the rocks surrounding the port of Alexandria, Egypt. The building measured over 110 metres to the top. During the day polished bronzed mirrors reflected the sunlight, and at night a fire burned that could be seen up to 50 kilometres away. A spiral ramp led from the ground to the top.

The gigantic lighthouse was a real survivor – it stood for over 1,500 years and survived being buffeted by massive waves and countless earthquakes.

It was built by a man called Sostratus who, in order to get the credit for this Wonder of the World, sneakily carved his name into the stone, and plastered over it. On top of the plaster he carved a dedication to the ruler of Egypt. In time, the plaster wore away and his own dedication, ‘Sostratus of Cnidos, son of Dexiphanes, to the saviour god’s, for sailors’, was left permanently displayed.

In 1994, an archaeologist located huge masonry blocks believed to be from the lighthouse, which was toppled by an earthquake in the 1300s.

Categories
Muse Nature Pastoral Poetry Short story

The Crow and The Rabbit

A Crow was sitting on a tree
Doing nothing all day.
A small Rabbit saw the Crow,
And asked him, ‘Can I also sit like you
And do nothing all day long?’
The Crow answered: ‘Sure, why not.’
So, the Rabbit sat on the ground
Below the Crow, and rested.
All of a sudden a Fox appeared,
Jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the short poem is: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Categories
Nature Africa History

African Wonders 3: The Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt is both the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one still around today. It was built for King Khufu who died in about 2465BC and is said to have taken thousands of men 20 years to construct. According to Herodotus, an Ancient Greek historian, 100,000 men laboured on the pyramid, though archeologists now think the number is more likely to have been about 20,000 men.

The finished pyramid was 147 metres high, which made it the tallest structure made by man for over 4,000 years. It contains 2,300,000 blocks of stone each weighing over 2.25 tonnes. When it was built, the steps seen now were originally capped with pure white limestone that must have shone brilliantly in the desert sun. Sadly, over the centuries the limestone capping was stripped off and now the pyramid is only 138 metres tall.

It’s a titanic, one you would love to see!

Categories
human rights Inspiration/Motivation Poetry

Sohana’s Little Poem

She hears the sun cry.
Only a sky full of pain.
Her mind becomes crowded,
and she remembers her country.


Sohana penned these words for her #Rohingya friends.

v/@unicefbd #TeamEurope #EUSolidarity #StrongerTogether

https://t.co/ekPp1DBUd3

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love folklore Pastoral

The Man Who Never Lied

Hi everyone! How was your day? I have a story to share. So bring your seats and mats to the fireplace, listen attentively and may the nightingales sing us a lullaby when we retire to bed.


Once upon a time there lived a wise man by the name of Mamad. He never lied. All the people in the land, even the ones who lived twenty days away, knew about him.

The king heard about Mamad and ordered his subjects to bring him to the palace. He looked at the wise man and asked:

” Mamad, is it true, that you have never lied?”

” It’s true.”

“And you will never lie in your life?”

” I’m sure in that.”

“Okay, tell the truth, but be careful! The lie is cunning and it gets on your tongue easily.”

Several days passed and the king called Mamad once again. There was a big crowd: the king was about to go hunting. The king held his horse by the mane, his left foot was already on the stirrup. He ordered Mamad:

“Go to my summer palace and tell the queen I will be with her for lunch. Tell her to prepare a big feast. You will have lunch with me then.”

Mamad bowed down and went to the queen. Then the king laughed and said:

“We won’t go hunting and now Mamad will lie to the queen. Tomorrow we will laugh on his behalf.”

But the wise Mamad went to the palace and said:

“Maybe you should prepare a big feast for lunch tomorrow, and maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe the king will come by noon, and maybe he won’t.”

“Tell me will he come, or won’t he?” – asked the queen.

“I don’t know weather he put his right foot on the stirrup, or he put his left foot on the ground after I left.”

Everybody waited for the king. He came the next day and said to the queen:

“The wise Mamad, who never lies, lied to you yesterday.”

But the queen told him about the words of Mamad. And the king realized, that the wise man never lies, and says only that, which he saw with his own eyes.

Categories
Muse Poetry

Muse: Town

I came to town
Where nights are cold
And stray cats walk it,
Where playing street children
Kick oval leather around
But return hungry to mothers,
I see glittering stars
Shine from afar
Nothing lights night better
I see men in huge cars
Puff smoke into air
Through engines and mouths
I detest their folly sport,
Smell of over spiced food
Cause me sneezing bouts
I came to town again
Where little makes sense to me

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love love poems

Let me By Elizabeth Amarachukwu Okafor

Let me lead you this way
I found thorns with honey just for you
Wishes I stroll you farther, for the intense of my instinct is all warming

While along, I was going to tell you,
But every passing sunrise, my words are rolled back to breathing you

My fume is reluctant, craving you as
oil
Just this path, Just this way
I’ll unravel my thoughts.

Categories
Africa Nature

African Wonders 2: Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert in North Africa is big – very big! It covers a third of the whole continent, measuring 8.6 million square kilometres. It is almost the same size as the USA. It is the largest hot desert in the world. The highest temperature ever recorded there was 58 °C. In a single day, the temperature can range from below freezing to 50 °C. These extremes of hot and cold combined with the dry, dusty winds make the Sahara a place where few plants and animals can survive.

The Sahara is very hot, but it isn’t the heat that makes it qualify as a desert. It is the lack of rain. The average rainfall in the Sahara is less than 8 centimetres a year (London’s average rainfall is about 60 centimetres).

The desert stretches from the shores of Morocco to those of Djibouti and it’s not a place you like to go without a gallon of water!

Categories
Africa Nature

African Wonders 1: Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe earns the title of the biggest waterfall in the world. It is 1708 metres across and it drops between 90 and 107 metres into the Zambezi Gorge. An average of 9.2 million litres of water cascades over the edge of the falls every second at peak seasons.

Because Victoria Falls is so wide, the water drops in a vast curtain. The thunder of the spray when it hits the gorge below is incredibly loud. Local people call the falls ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya‘, which means ‘the snake that thunders,’ and for many people the place has magical qualities.

The first European to see the falls was the explorer David Livingstone in 1855. An island in the river is named Livingstone Island in his honour.

The lake is a tourist attraction.

Categories
Poetry politics

Dear Politician

Dear Politician,

I write to you with a sad heart
Somewhere in my being I grieve
My blue ink run fast on paper
Like red from men on the streets
I wonder why you look elsewhere
Sipping your tea with disgust
While this nation fall apart!

Trust is a rare commodity
We gave all to you when we let you in
But you are now stronger than the people,
The same people who crowned you king

I remember your warm smiles
And the moustache I so admired
Now we lost faith, we no longer believe
In you and all you stand to represent

You attend grande parties
Your minions extort from people
You dance your merry heart away
Oblivious of this nation’s pain

Mothers lend you their children
They march away with pride
News reveal they are MIA or KIA
Another dream aborted while they slept

The police is not our friend
When young men are wasted
If one’s struggles finally yields good
You become automatic target

The voice of young men cry out
The blood of men wasted on the field
The sorrowful tears of mothers
This won’t prick your conscience

Listen carefully, we protest for our rights
We want to live
And we deserve some respect at least

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems Poetry

Three Colours of Love by Njabulo N

Good evening. Today I will share with you THREE COLOURS OF L♡VE poem.

In one’s lifetime one may experience only three kinds of love:

1. You love at a young age and let everything go down the drain because of stupid things
2. You fall in love and along the journey you get hurt, lied to and damaged
3. You fall in love without noticing, and you end up rising in it because of your joy and happiness

I hope you will enjoy reading the poem, if you experience any challenges as you are reading, I’m here to help out.

Enjoy the rest of your evening.

Thank You – Njabulo N.


You fall in love at a tender age,
Hoping to be loved much better tomorrow,
More than you were loved today and yesterday.
That blinds your eyes and mind,
Not noticing that you are growing apart,
Then you decide to call it quit over silly things.
Look at you now with so much regrets,
Written all over your skin and face,
Tears and heartbreak of a fragile human being.
You think that was not love.
It was love, a true one,
For what you know love to be.
It was not that deep like an ocean,
You were still young,
You were blinded by fairy tales and fantasies,
That happened in your head,
As you watched love performances.

Colour of love
You are not as hard as I had imagined you to be.
You fell in love,
You made yourself vulnerable and you got hurt,
I’m pretty sure you learnt your lesson,
You are now strong as a tortoise shell.
Fact that you passed all this,
Great pain, damage, lies and betrayal.
You have grown,
You know what you love about love,
You know what you don’t love about love.
Since you can’t read people’s mind,
You are now cautious, careful, closed and considerate,
Because you own a fragile loving heart.
This love taught you so many things,
Look at yourself,
You now know what you want and what you don’t.

The third colour of love,
Beware of the love that comes blindly,
Without any warming as it creeps on you silently.
This is the love that always get you,
You can paint the walls red,
But all that will be washed out.
Now you started to care about that person,
Without even trying to let it slide.
You don’t allow yourself to get lost in their eyes daily,
That is when you see beauty in their imperfections,
Not hiding even a single thing from them.
Look, you even want to get married to them,
Have a family together,
You thank the universe for them,
You just love them,
Without hiding your emotions

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems night poems

Distract me with love – Poetry

Tell me an amusing story
One that drives sorrows away
Laugh at me or with me
Sing a song, hum a slow lullaby
Pull my ears and call me names
Let’s ride on a train to Utopia
Grab my hands let’s elope
To fields wild as a writer’s mind
Call my name, bring me back to you
Hold my hands, tell me long stories
Distract me from a sick world
Remind me only of your love

Categories
love poems nature poems night poems Pastoral Poetry

Thoughts – Poetry

I’m memories away from you
Yet you live just in my heart
I look up the skies to see your face,
And each star glitter with your smile
I’m left with memories of us, so blessed


It’s been 15 years already and I continue to miss your love and care. For DSc Nduka Iroegbu, my father.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love

Sonnet: The Storm is Over

How winds have howled! How all small life lay low, Trembling in the face of awesome pow’r!…

Sonnet: The Storm is Over
Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love

The Village

Once the sun rise, life regains its joy
More birds glide up the pretty skies
Fast rodents play in the shrub nearby
As smoke rise from long chimneys

Little children leave for school,
Fathers spend the day in farms,
Mothers gather materials for food
Everyone has got a role to play

Squirrels hide in tree branches
Throwing several nuts at passersby
The forests beyond the clan wakes
To savour beauty of sunny summer

Small villages are world of their own
Tranquil, beautiful and full of life
Sunrise warms the soil for seeds sown
And gives hope to contented people

Categories
human rights opinion politics reflection thoughts

Opinion: Eurasia & Nagorno-Karabakh 2

Is enough not enough?

Civilian casualties

In peaceful times, it is easier for the victor to reconcile with the vanquished.

It’s ten days already and I kept wondering why these two governments prefer to use force over dialogue. I regret that the Armenian political leadership failed to engage the Azeri in peaceful talks when they had the upper hand (after winning the 90’s war and occupying western Azerbaijan). If they had acted on that maybe we would have some peace.

Nagorno-Karabakh is officially Azeri territory, but settled by ethnic Armenians. Let’s look at a scenario where the Armenian Government used the occupation period to rally and hold a referendum for the breakaway state. Let’s assume further that they did attempt to make peace with Azerbaijan while rallying regional and international support for a plebiscite. Azerbaijan would either say yes or no. If no, then something could be done to pacify them. Give back some occupied territories (not Nagorno-Karabakh) or agree to grant the territory a greater autonomy under Azerbaijan. If the Azeri accepted, then all this stress will be long forgotten. The two countries have legitimate claims but can only find a solution by consensus.

Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh and some Azeri areas are under heavy shelling. Two neighbours constantly exchanging fire as both record military and civilian casualties. News agencies play videos of destroyed homes, offices and farms. Few months ago these people, now victims of war suffered from Covid-19 pandemic. Now that the impact is gradually reducing, a war greets them.

It’s in every human nature to want freedom from where they feel marginalized, threatened and subdued. In fact, many places still seek self governing status. Denying that leads to rebellion and conflict. This happened in Biafra – Nigeria’s bloody war and is still happening in Ambazonia – Southern Cameroons.

Role of External Influences

It’s obvious that each side has a cheerleader and also has a national ‘pride’ to protect. So it hurts some pride to want to cease hostilities first. My anger is that innocent people bear the brunt of the war. What a waste of resources and lives in these hard times.

Turkey has openly pledged support for Azeri forces, while the Russians are committed to Armenia where it has a military base. Greece (recall the territorial issues with Turkey) supports Armenia. It now seems like an unfolding ethno-religious war. Syrian mercenaries are fighting alongside Azeri forces. If care is not taken, this may escalate into a full scale regional war. This time, Turkey, Greece, Iran and Russia will be drawn into a direct conflict with each other.

Since Nagorno-Karabakh is the bone of contention, why not administer a joint plebiscite on the territory with international agencies as observers? Excuse me, but you can’t force a cat to be a dog. Whoever anyone chose to be, well let them be!

Role of the United Nations

I have a couple of questions to ask the UN, the warring nations and humanity in general. The first is for the United Nations: should we continue to look away while people die in this meaningless war? To conflicting nations: Hasn’t the Corona virus done enough harm to your people and economy already? And now to everyone: Does it occur to you that some nations are trying to use a regional or global conflict to resuscitate its economy or influence? It may not make much sense until it does. Time will tell.

The United Nations needs to wake up before it’s too late. I don’t know how the protocols work but the UN can mobilise a peacekeeping force to help broker a ceasefire, create a buffer zone and return all parties to the negotiation table. Why do we always wait for the last minute to act?

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love night poems

Two Poems: Nature Sings To Me and Once The Little Tiddlers by Peniel Gifted

1. NATURE SINGS TO ME

Nature sings to me
In the most melodious tune of joy
Tickling happiness into the shattered lonely me.

Nature sings to me
To make me feel like a king
Tune of everlasting peace
In my ears, it ring
And truly, I know I’m really blessed.

Nature sings to me
And I cross over the worries
Of the uncertain realities
Casting away the giggling joy
of the shadowy calamities.

2. ONCE THE LITTLE TIDDLERS

We were once the little tiddlers
Roaring high with our whimpering mouth
Pleading to the moon, mama must be awake!

We played with beautiful toys and patterns
We played with every man and woman
We played with everything that made us happy.

How so innocent we were
With our coat of many colours
Fun everywhere, here and there.

Those were good old days
When men be babies
The awesome gloom’s wonders, They’ve never gazed.

Now babies be men
Broaching so hard in the tangled race
Can we go back to the good old days?
Oh no! We must surely set the pace.

Categories
Africa Nigeria

Soldier Ants

No one wants an army of ants patrolling around his front door or garden. But talk of an endless stream of army ants? That doesn’t sound so good.

I saw a file of soldier ants (ólú-mba in Igbo language) yesterday night. I never imagined they would mobilize to a greater force. The following morning I witnessed the army ‘arrest’ a big mamba and some insects. In one raid they can strip a garden of living things. In West African soldier ants dwell in the forests and rarely come in contact with human beings.

I’m impressed with the teamwork portrayed by army ants. It’s hard to break through a fortified line so when they descend on a prey it’s harder to escape. They march through cold nights and sun heat, building shelters to reduce any weather impact. When they go for a night raid they take sleeping rodents and insects by surprise. I’ve seen them construct bridges with tree leaves, sticks, sand and stones. Soldier ants are very intelligent and their leadership structure sound and competent. In fact, every ant has got a role to play and each has mastered its role! I’m particularly weary of ants with the biggest heads.

When they march it’s swift like a fast flowing stream, drowning unsuspecting grasshoppers, bugs, worms, spiders, lizards, snakes, livestock and every life. The unfortunate victims are killed, stripped of flesh and then transported in pieces. Soldier ants are highly organized flesh eaters. They can take on any living thing and there are reports of attacks on vulnerable humans. It’s advised to avoid them.

To keep these ants away: apply insect repellent dusts or petroluem products like crude oil or gas. Ash also can help keep them away.

Indeed, no insect has such organizational ability like the soldier ant.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nigeria reflection

Nostalgia: Hills I Call Home

I sit outside my granny’s house, clad in blankets and a pillow. It was a rainy day and a very cold one. The cold extended into the evening and early night. The village is surrounded by streams and hills and this must have contributed to the extreme weather. I left town a few hours ago but the rain caught up with me.

One good thing about this place is it’s hilly countryside – it’s nested in-between ancient hills and surrounded by forests. So morning is a beautiful sight to behold. I remember how scared I was to walk through the path blanketed by tree branches. Trees stuck out their branches, covering the roadside and sunlight. During night time, I mistake those branches as ghostly fingers waiting to grab their victim.

One time I missed falling millipedes as they lost their grip and fell from tree branches. I won’t forget the funny scenario displayed by a friend when a pair of millipedes fell into his shirt. I have witnessed a monitor lizard slain. I also have seen several rodents and snakes disturb the bush. I have seen an owl hunt in the moonlight and soldier ants visit frequently. The hills are their playground. Even now as a young man I feel indifferent towards the hills and her numerous inhabitants. I am suspicious of any movement near the bush path.

Back to my lonely reflection: I feel welcomed by insect zithering. They sing a disturbing lullaby. Sometimes I wish them away. There’s no frog in the vicinity, thankfully. A crazy frog choir would have been worse. Some insects stroll into my room. Crickets hide in cracks. Moths marry my torch-light, sun-flies drive me crazy during the day, wasps and bigger moths buzz about, investigating the lamps around the house and other light craving insects play out their hearts. Indeed, insects are a restless bunch. I know a lot of them but not their names. My favourite is the handsome lady bird.

The cold hands of night grip this tranquil village. It’s very dark out here safe for few stars, which are dots imposed upon the dark sky. I’m familiar with this hilly climate.

Now lightning take images of the clouds and grassland. I see tree skeletons with each flash but the hills are invincible without much illumination. It seems it will rain again. It’s good to be home.

Categories
Poetry

Lumberer’s Faith – Poetry


Many walk this path, many never return the same
Before sunset, the town gets filled-up with tired men
Those who found providence in wood
Returning hands weak and worn-out,
Overtaken by life’s numerous good
For faith waits to guide to paths
Where hope as lush forests
flourish

Categories
opinion politics thoughts

Opinion: Eurasia & Nagorno-Karabakh

The drums of war has been beating since the beginning of this year.

Eurasia

‘When it starts, it will be over there. Eurasia* may introduce the world to a global conflict.’

Those were my words as I sat watching BBC’s global news. Before the news on Nagorno-Karabakh, I had always predicted that a future global war may start from Eurasia. I will share my opinion after reflecting on the events that happened this year.

And I’m not talking about Corona virus or the upcoming US presidential election. Of course, 2020 will always be associated with the deadly Covid-19 pandemic which took the world by surprise and drew attention away from many things. While the world was distracted something else kept on brewing behind the curtain.

If you follow global news you may agree with me that the political tensions flaring up in Eurasia is not ordinary. Well Africa, known for violent political clashes is enjoying ‘some peace’ when compared to Eurasia. There’s an ongoing battle for political and economic control in Asia. Nationalist feelings is on its zenith and countries are disinterested in reaching an agreement through dialogue. It is now necessary to engage in military drills and showcase hardware to intimidate others. What an unnecessary show off of military strength in times when many economies are crumbling or struggling.

Eurasia is boiling hot, old rivalries and wounds scratched open. Consider the territorial dispute between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus over drilling rights in the Mediterranean. Iran is at the background though quiet at the meantime but protecting it’s interests. Syria and Yemen hasn’t really gotten over their wars. Israel is weary of Hezbollah and Hamas. Let’s look at Pakistan and India over Kashmir and internal issues in Afghanistan and Iraq. Consider also the Chinese aggression over the South China sea, and the Indian, Taiwanese, Japanese borders and currently the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In the past, nationalist feelings and movements preceded dangerous events. Such was with the years preceding WW1 and WW2. While the leading world governments look elsewhere and show indifference to the collective responsibility to protect fundamental human rights, rogue nations grow morale to intimidate their citizens, political opponents and bully other nations. This further encourage barbaric misadventures of territorial expansion and resource grabbing.

This is not good for humanity and not good for the world.

Nagorno-Karabakh

I kept wondering why the forces want a conflict in Eurasia. Many questions float through my mind. With the world’s current position, one conflict can trigger a bigger global war. Some nations make a lot of money through sales of military hardware and weapons. Will I say they are innocent or guilty for the rising tension?

How unfortunate it is for Armenia and Azerbaijan to allow their armies to be drawn to this crave, this madness for a senseless war. These are trying times indeed and any discerning leader should be weary of that. The drums of war kept beating since the beginning of this year. It has drawn two Eurasian nations to its dance floor.

I hope this two beautiful brothers find a peaceful way to settle without hurling bombs at each other and that things do not get out of hand.

Time will tell.


*Eurasia: Subcontinent comprising of large portions of Europe and Asia linked by history and culture. In this blog post I am referring to both continents with more emphasis on Asia.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nigeria

Happy Independence Day Nigeria!

On this day 60 year’s ago Nigeria got her independence. Things may not be right at the moment but our hope and faith will prevail. We shall rise above tribalism, intolerance, hatred and indiscipline.

Let’s celebrate Nigeria, the giant of Africa with her beautiful images.