Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore Igbo culture

The Importance of Folklore In Igboland (Uru akụkọ ifo baara n’ala Igbo)

The Igbo Storytelling Tradition

Before the coming of the white man, the Igbo cultural society educated themselves through folktales. Storytelling was a revered tradition used to pass the wisdom of ancestors to the younger generation. It is assumed that anyone who can tell a good story is wise.

The Igbo people believe in a supernatural being called Chi, who created the world. They believe in the reincarnation of souls, and that life goes beyond the physical. One remarkable thing about African storytelling culture is the use of non-living, animal and spirit characters. Chief among the characters is Nnabe, the shrewd Tortoise.

Folklore and storytelling generally are an essential part of African culture—folktales were used to teach the youth and little children about life’s virtues and vices. Just like proverbs, it is common to teach using stories which generally end with morals. This allows the listening audience to make choices from the various human characters portrayed in the tales. So the importance of storytelling and the folklore can not be overemphasised.

I compiled a list of the significance of folklore in Igboland in both English and Igbo language.

The Importance of Folklore in Igboland

1. Folktales are used to teach children about their tradition, taboo and believe of the Igbo.

2. It is used to instruct and raise a child in good character by demonstrating the benefits and consequences in virtues and vices.

3. It teaches that stealing, greed, pride and disrespect is terrible.

4. It teaches the need to keep good company and relationships.

5. It teaches the difference between evil and good.

6. It is used to raise a child to be reasonable, polite, humble, respectful and compassionate.

Uru akụkọ ifo baara ndị Igbo

1. E ji akụkọ ifo akụziri ụmụaka ihe gbasara omenala Igbo, nsọ ala na nkwenye ndị Igbo.

2. E ji ya eme ka ụmụaka mara na arụrụala adịghị mma.

3. Ọ na-enye aka ka ụmụaka mata na oke ọchịchọ, ohi na anyaukwu adịghịmma.

4. O na-enye aka ịme ka ụmụaka mata ezi mmekọrịta mmadụ na ibe ya ọkachasị n’ezinaụlọ.

5. Ọ na-akụziri ụmụaka ihe dị mma na ihe dị njọ mee ka ha gbaara ihe dị njọ ọsọ.

6. E ji ya enye ọzụzụ nke ga-enye aka ka nwata too n’ụzọ dị mma.

Categories
compassion quotes

Quote for The Week: Kindness

A true selfless act always sparks another – without fail ~ Klaus

Categories
Foreign Poems

Life’s Flow by Robin Bliss

Going with the flow of life
Or
Rather starting to do so
Just as water flows naturally
To form runnels, streamlets
To join the rivers which
Also, flow to meet the ocean
So our life’s flow onwards
Never backward
To join the great sea of eternity
The marvelous oneness of which
We are all part intrinsically
To accept all of what is
Stopping fussing and fighting
What we cannot alter
Flowing effortlessly forwards
Into the oneness of life
Things will not always go
The way we want them to
People may have different views
That’s all okay there just opinions
Different colors life’s picture
All are precious
For all are one

Categories
human rights

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day. To celebrate this icon I decided to post some of his quotes.

1. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

2. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

3. The time is always right to do what is right.

4. A riot is the language of the unheard.

5. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies. Our friends’ silence ends.

6. Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty we are free at last.

7. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

8. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

9. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

10. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Categories
hope inspiration Inspiration/Motivation

You are Your Thoughts

Know that whatever you will become is a function of your thoughts. We are what we think. With our thoughts, we make our world. What you picture in your mind, your mind will accomplish for you.

Consider the image above. While the world saw a cat, the cat saw himself a Lion! We could be greater if we can guide/guard our thoughts.

Resist low thinking, self-pity, self-comparison and depression. Be positive. Equate thoughts of failure with success, miserliness with wealthiness, pain with joy, hopelessness with hope, strife with peace and hate with love. Be determined to control your thoughts.

Think big and achieve big!

Categories
Africa proverbs

African Proverb: On The Chameleon

Proverb: A chameleon that wants to survive from the burning bush must abandon the majestic walk of its ancestors.

Origin: When there’s a fire in the bush, all living things around there fly, crawl, run for dear lives. Even the slowest among them will make a drastic effort to escape the fire.

Chameleons are slow-walking reptiles with teeth attached to the edge of the jaw. Many species come in different colors and can change colors at will. They are adapted to climbing, live in warm habitats that occur in Africa and Mediterranean Europe. Their tails are short and curled. Indeed, these characteristics make them seem ‘majestic’.

Meaning: The proverb translates to doing things differently to survive, dropping pride, or whatever to achieve a purpose. If you want to make a difference in life, you must change the ordinary ways of doing things. Sometimes tough times can alter convention.

Categories
Pastoral

Reflection and Short Poem on Global Warming

Global Warming Is Real

If you are in West Africa, you will notice that the harmattan winds didn’t blow this past year. Growing up, it was the norm to witness dry and intense storms that blow morning, noon and evening. Then exposed body parts will turn white unless you used a particular type of oil pomade. Lips will crack up under the heavy gusts that blow, and if you try to lick them up, you cause more harm. Hands shiver and the flu is common. If one happened to get bruised, it would take the whole harmattan season to heal. There was no rainfall, but the eyes are always wet. Grasses and trees turn brown. The earth becomes red mud. This was the harmattan season I grew up knowing. This was the harmattan season I looked up to see, but last year none of those events happened.

On my way back to my hometown during the yuletide, I couldn’t help but notice that many things remained the same. Early January there was a huge shower, and I wonder what is going on. Global warming is real, and we are living in it. The human race needs to figure a way to do things right. I hope that the harmattan wind blows again.

Times

Twist and turns
Solitary anthill
Drying wetland

Over the hills sunset
Clouds foam, fold away
Summer and winter
Times reverse and reset

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love

Night Poem: A Shepherd’s Dream

The distant twinkling stars are his friends,
The sweet, mild breeze his companion,
Day may end with sleep full of pleasant dreams

Categories
love poems night poems Poetry

Hurricane by Nicole Coventry

I read this excellent piece, and I fell in love with it. I should share it with you. This is from Nicole Coventry’s poetry book The Chaos of Letting Go.

I had mistaken you
For the sea

For sunshine
And soft sand

But you ended up
Being the hurricane

That destroyed me

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love love poems

Quote on Love

Affection to loved ones is half the journey; the rest is learning to recognize the pain of others.

Categories
inspiration Inspiration/Motivation love love poems

Muse: Morning Poem

As the golden day breaks,
It gave scented fog of hope
When the lovely sun of joy rise

So ina murna – I’m delighted,

When you look at me each morning
To share this unerring, loving smile
To admit that you love me like bread loves butter

Categories
Christianity

Poem: Let Dry Bones Receive Life

Heed my call, dear wind
Listen and let your strength
On every dry land and life
Gather turf, swoop down
Upon the vale and hills
Let my voice echo down valley
Provoke dry bones to receive life
Let it be quiet upon the still fogs
Early when night battled dawn
Let this life-giver wind restore all
Lost and bless men one more time

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love

Video: Meet the Hyena Men of Northern Nigeria

Some men possess magical abilities to control wild animals. Watch the Hyena men from the rural parts of Northern Nigeria perform in the streets of Lagos. These men mastered this roadside circus from a tender age.

I’ve caught a glimpse of their live-action once. I confirm that their performances are phenomenal and not for the faint-hearted. As nomads, they live and move about with dangerous animals like the spotted hyenas, crocodiles and alligators, monitors, cobras, pythons, baboons and other species.

Video: Real Wild

Categories
Africa African Music

Video: Umqobothi by Yvonne Chaka Chaka

It’s Friday! What better way to spend the sunny weekend but to enjoy the refreshing African magic beer?

Observe the excitement on the faces of laborers when they remember home and the waiting beer.

Categories
inspiration Inspiration/Motivation quotes

Quote: Dream The Impossible

Nature loves the courageous. Dream the impossible and the world will not grind you under; it will lift you.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love

Poem: Listen To Nature

Pace alongside cassava stalks
On a bright, sunny day,
Let the wind blow hot air
When masquerades stomp

Hear the hawk call out
Watch her float up the sky,
Stay off from the untamed bush
Urge the wind to wait till sunset

Nudge the funny crabs away
Soak in the ecstatic springs
Drink her life-giving waters
See how joyful its waters leap!

Wade in quiet creeks
Watch fish schools nearby
Listen to the fussy forest
Touch the heartbeat of nature

Gather for bowls of hot codfish soup,
Take a deep breath, grab a spoon
When the stars gather to watch
Relax with some folk music and tale

Categories
compassion kindness quotes

Quote on Compassion

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it – Edith Wharton

Categories
hope quotes

Quote on Hope

When I got enough confidence, the stage was gone. When I was sure of losing, I won. When I needed people the most, they left me. When I learnt to dry my tears, I found a shoulder to cry on. When I mastered the skill of hating, someone started loving me to the core of the heart and while waiting for light for hours when I felt asleep, the sun came out – Sophia Loren.

Categories
opinion thoughts virtues

Thought for the Week: Patience and Perseverance

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear, and obstacles vanish – John Quincy Adams

These two virtues make the difference between success and failure, between accomplishment and disappointment. If one can adopt them then he/she can conquer the world. Ponder over this.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nigeria

Many Tongues, One People

I wrote this poem on January 2, 2017, upon my return from Northern Nigeria. Before this, I have always viewed people from other tribes suspiciously. This is because of the bitterness and rivalry amongst Nigeria’s tribes. But having had experience living in several parts of Nigeria, things took a spin, and I started seeing the humanity in everyone.

I schooled in the South, in the riverine region. I have been to the West for seminars conducted by my fellowship and then served in the National Youth Service Corps in Lafia, Northern Nigeria. Through my stay in all parts, I have witnessed humanity and looked beyond tribalism. I have learned not to judge people by their tribes. I still believe in my mantra: whether a Northerner or Southerner, black or white, farmer or banker, leader or follower: we are the same and should have equal opportunity to succeed in life.

This poem below reminds me of my friends and how they tried to make me feel at home during my stay away from my land. I have edited some of the lines, and still, the message remains intact.

Nigeria should rise above hate and tribalism. We can do better with good leadership.

You have smiles on your face
Reminds me of my beloved siblings
I need not see you thru your race
You are you; one, unique and winning

Igbo kwenu! Kedu, olee, how do you do?
Come in, have a sit, taste this dish
You come in peace, I surely know
So to you, good things I gladly wish

Have you seen or heard the names we bear?
We are the people of God; Oluwa, Tamuno, Abasi and Chukwu
We are unique; our food and the dress we wear
We say ‘oshe‘ which mean the same as my ‘kwongo

Kei! Listen, my cattle moo behind the huts
Can you hear it? Do you like to taste this morning’s milk?
When the nights come, gather for some cream sauce
Don’t forget; come once, come all, salaam walekum

I can be Berom or Mumuye; I can be Efik or Igala
Don’t seek first my race before meeting me
I am Ijaw or Bini; I am Hausa, I am Ibibio and Idoma
So don’t judge me because I was born a tribe to be

I am Nigeria.


Note:

Kwenu, kedu, olee: Igbo greetings.

Oluwa, Tamuno, Abasi, Chukwu: Names of God in Yoruba, Ijawa, Ibibio and Igbo respectively.

Oshe, kwongo: Yoruba and Isuikwuato ways of saying thank you.

Kei: exclamation used by cattle rearers.

Salaam walekum: Arabic greeting meaning peace be unto you. The northerners who are predominantly Muslims use this.

Berom, Mumuye, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ijaw, Edo, Bini, Ibibio, Idoma, Efik, Igala, etc: Nigerian Tribes. There are more 250 of them.

Categories
Africa leadership

Video: The African Problem


We have to decide on who we give the future of this continent to because the people in charge now, the old ones, ain’t got a clue on what they are doing.

In the video above, this smart entrepreneur believes that the problem of Africa is the African way of thinking. I concur that most African leaders do not like competition. The truth is Africa needs leaders who are dynamic and growth oriented, those who accept criticism and listens to their people. To progress; we must get rid of the mentality of putting others down to be at the top.
Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love

Far Away

My heart dances & lives to laugh,
Under this beautiful moonshine,
With my troubadour & cheerful strength,
This heart remains in my hometown
Even as dreams live in another country
I follow these dreams far away
To return to this heart someday

Categories
inspiration love

When Tree Leaves Drop

When tree leaves drop
That’s nature trying to teach a man,
A lesson on the audacity of hope –
Reason to live, trust and love again

Categories
Africa

Happy New Year 2021

A new year is like a blank book, and the pen is in our hands. It is a chance to write a beautiful story for ourselves. Happy New Year.

It’s midnight West African Time, and January 1st, 2021, is finally here. Let me start by wishing you that is reading a Happy New Year.


Amid the fireworks, I stare up the still-dark skies. Everybody is celebrating the new year. It’s beautiful up the hill, not only for the pretty colors from fireworks but the floating fog that masks the moon momentarily. Some clouds are darker than others, yet the stars glitter even in the darkness. This new year is favorable and optimistic despite all that happened last year; that’s the cloud’s clear message.

Uwaoma hill stood like the giant it was. A titanic towering over the valley and her inhabitants. I’m familiar with the community that surrounds me. The beautiful colors displayed from exploding fireworks remind me of my childhood. The skies tell stories, stirring, nostalgic feelings. I touch the skies with my hands raised. As a religious person, I feel and worship the presence of a Supreme God. Indeed, the new year is a time of gratitude and reverence.

My small village is usually quiet, but tonight it’s a different story. Everybody seems to be awake to partake in the new year welcoming. I meet people on my way back from the crossover service. It’s pleasing to greet and wish every passerby: a Happy New Year.

To you, my followers, and colleagues, I hope you have a fulfilling new year. I thank you for your likes and comments. I am grateful to have your support. Let’s do more this new year.