Categories
animals folklore night poems Pastoral

Night Poem: Shepherd’s Song

Shiny stars, still evening,
Smooth, breezy companion,
A shepherd’s lonely hymn

Categories
Africa proverbs

African Proverb: Evil Company

If you choose to make friends with a pig, you must be prepared to live in the mud.

The kind of friends we keep affect us and sometimes we are not aware of this. The pig here represents a dirty animal that loves to wallow in the mud. This is an anglicised version of the saying: Show me, your friend, and I’ll tell you who you are.

It is said in the Scriptures that “Evil company corrupts good manners.”

Categories
Africa African Music

Brenda Fassie

Video of Wedding Day By Brenda Fassie – my favorite pick.


Brenda Nokuzola Fassie was a South African anti-apartheid Afropop singer, songwriter, dancer, and activist. Affectionately called MaBrrr by her fans, she was sometimes described as the “Queen of African Pop,” the “Madonna of The Townships,” or The Black Madonna. Her bold stage antics earned a reputation for “outrageousness.”

She was born in Langa, Cape Town, on the 3rd of November 1964 as the youngest of nine children. She was named after American singer Brenda Lee. Her father died when she was two, and with the help of her mother, a pianist, she started earning money by singing for tourists.

When she was 16 years old in 1981, she received a visit by Koloi Lebona. As a result, she left Cape Town for Soweto, Johannesburg, to seek her fortune as a singer. Fassie first joined the vocal group Joy (filling in for one of the members on maternity leave) and later became the lead singer for a township music group called Brenda and the Big Dudes. She had a son, Bongani, in 1985 with a fellow Big Dudes musician. She married Nhlanhla Mbambo in 1989 but divorced in 1991. Around this time, she became addicted to cocaine, and her career suffered. With very outspoken views and frequent visits to the more impoverished townships of Johannesburg and songs about life in the townships, she enjoyed tremendous popularity. Known best for her songs “Weekend Special” and “Too Late for Mama,” she was dubbed “The Madonna of the Townships” by Time magazine in 2001. In 1995, she was discovered in a hotel with the body of her female lover, Poppie Sihlahla, who had died of an apparent overdose. Fassie underwent rehabilitation and got her career back on track. However, she still had drug problems and returned to drug rehabilitation clinics about 30 times in her life. From 1996 she released several solo albums, including Now Is the Time, Memeza (1997), and Nomakanjani. Most of her albums became multi-platinum sellers in South Africa; Memeza was the best-selling album in South Africa in 1998.

On 26 April 2004, Fassie collapsed at her home in Buccleuch, Gauteng, and was admitted into a Sunninghill hospital. The press was told that she had suffered cardiac arrest but later reported that she had slipped into a coma brought on by an asthma attack. The post-mortem report revealed that she had taken an overdose of cocaine on the night of her collapse, which caused her coma. She stopped breathing and suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen. Fassie was visited in the hospital by Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, and Thabo Mbeki, and her condition was front-page news in South African papers. She died aged 39 on 9 May 2004 in the hospital without returning to consciousness after her life support machines were turned off. Her family, including her long-term partner, were at her side when she died.

Fassie has won five South African Music Awards: Best Female Artist and Song of the Year in 1999, Best-selling Release of the Decade and Best Song of the Decade in 2004, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. She has also won three Kora Awards: Most promising Female Artist of Africa and Best Female Artist of Africa in 1996, and the Jury Special Award in 2001. She was voted 17th in the Top 100 Great South Africans. Her son Bongani “Bongz” Fassie performed “I’m So Sorry,” a song dedicated to his mother, on the 2005 Academy Award-winning movie Tsotsi. In March 2006, a life-size bronze sculpture of Fassie by artist Angus Taylor was installed outside Bassline, a music venue in Johannesburg.

Categories
Africa opinion quotes virtues

Quote: On Happiness

Happiness is contagious; spread it.

It is a direction and not a place. Spread it as you go. 🙂

Categories
Africa animals Nigeria

Video: Pangolin Conservation in Nigeria

Meet the bold Nigerians who are fighting to protect the worlds most trafficked mammal.

Credit: Natgeowild

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love folklore

Wild Woods Tale: Summer Returns

When summer finally came, a lot had changed
The last snow melted, and the sad land woke
Grasses started growing, covering the outer earth
So those who burrow scrambled out from the dust
Soft airs and tidings surround the mountainside
Sending sweet emissaries around the valley below
Vines, myrrhs, mistletoes, and pines sprout happily
In the morning, the sunshine will not glitter on ice,
Instead, the heat grew, and the wood inhabitants felt it
First, the Squirrels thought the world was going crazy
And their cousins, the burrow rats, seconded them
‘The frog choir will soon resume,’ a brown Cricket observed
‘And if they do, I am going to go crazy!’ a Sparrow replied
‘Not if they played on a softer note at least.’
A Linnet added to the conversation
‘No way, they have all got bass! Male, female all bass!!’
A sad Bee, which sat on the tip of a tree leaf, answered
Now, fresh grass brought the Deers and mountain goats
At the Otherside across the rocky land, the Stream flowed
Leaps of water, joyful that her prisoner had let her free
‘Crap! I mean, did anyone notice that the cats are back?’
Some stray mice broke the niches silence
‘They have our land smeared with urine, them Bobcats!’
‘Yes, they think it is their fatherland. Well, we better hide.’
Now the wolf pack had no cold anymore
So they stalked the earth with more ease
Picking trails of rodents through the thick woods
The Mountain stood, usually a still, motionless figure
One that kept some admirers intrigued
As the ice melted, water trickled down to the land
And the wildwood fauna felt sad for her
For they believed she was weeping at her loss
‘She has been like this since the Ice King left,’
The soft-voiced black and white Pigeons sang
‘She is heartbroken! Why will the Ice King be so cruel?
He even took her icy cloak and see, how she is naked!’
A duck said, closing the eyes of her young with feathers
‘I think she looks pretty amazing, so much joy in pain
No one cares much enough, and I think she needs a hug.’
A tortoise with a colossal shell opined
‘No, she needs a gift,’’ the Wolf pack alpha barked
‘She is the worst person I ever met!’ he added
The other animals had to retreat to their home

Categories
art

Image: Hope

Dreams do come to pass; we only need to believe to see.

#Hope #Resilience #Believe #Faith

Categories
Australia Foreign Poems nature poems night poems

A Night Walk in The Forest by Robin Bliss

The darkness gently enfolds us
Rugged up against the cold air
“Stay together”, says our leader
“We don’t want anyone to get lost”
Entering the dark mysterious woodland
Torches lighting up the way
“Look over to your right”, she instructs
Her beam focuses on a bird
Asleep perched high up.

A Boobook Owl flies silently across
Our path gazing quietly at us
Its large eyes shining brightly
And peacefully flies into the night
Our lights catch a pair of possums
Feeding on the Eucalyptus leaves

I like how the moonlight creates
Silvered open areas and shadows
Dark black and eerie to me
I imagine fairy folk dancing
In the open patches to a strange tune

My attention is directed to a Koala
Slowly climbing out on a limb
It calmly stops and reaches for
A bunch of leaves and starts to munch

Bats fly in the sky above us
A large moth flutters in the lights
This is a beautiful and serene place

The moonbeams are like searchlights
Between and through the foliage
More sleeping birds and possums

Looking upwards and seeing
The starlit sky beyond the foliage
The moons rays slanting bright
The moths and bats are engaged
In a deadly battle as they flutter by

The night air is icy cold to hands and face
We hear a crashing in the shrubs nearby
The lights catching Kangaroos bounding away
Disappearing into the surrounding darkness

All to soon the walk is over
All agreeing that it was worth it
Going into the cold night air
It’s time to return to our cabins
Thanking our guide we go
Saying goodnight to all

Categories
Africa Inspiration/Motivation Muse

Shine Forth

Let your light shine; the whole of providence is cheering. It’s your day to excel, to exceed, and outshine your past achievements.

Arise and Shine! 🌄🌻

Categories
Christianity ODM

Put The Glass Down

It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on. To heal your wound, you need to stop touching it.

A professor entered his classroom with a glass of water. He raised the glass of water. Everyone in the room expected the half entry or half full question. Instead, to everyone’s surprise, the professor smiled and inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” The answers called out for the range from 8 Oz to 15 Oz.

“I need to weigh it to know how much exactly it weighs. But the question, I want you to answer is – what if I held the glass up for a minute?” asked the professor.

“Nothing,” the students answered unanimously.

“But what if I hold it for an hour?” asked the professor.”

“Your arms will start aching,” answered one of the students.

“You are right! But what if I held it up for a whole day?” The professor asked further.

“Your arms will feel numb, your muscles get stressed, and it may even, get paralysed,” ventured another student,

“You are right! exclaimed the professor. “So what should I do to avoid the pain?” asked the professor.

“Keep the glass down,” answered a student.

“Exactly!” said the professor. He continued “In all the cases the weight of the glass remains the same. But, the longer I held it up, the heavier it becomes. The stress and worries in life are like a glass of water. If you think about them for a while, nothing happens. Think about them for longer; they will start hurting. Think about them for even longer; you will feel stress and be paralysed.”

The problems of life do not cease till death! But, it would be best if one did not carry the stress long enough that it begins to ache and paralyse one’s life.

It is essential to let go of your stress! Let go of that worry and anger against those who hurt you! Let go of bitterness and unforgiveness.

Story culled from ODM.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love love poems nature poems

Love Poem – How Lucky I’m

The fragrance of undying love –
Sweet perfume from the lavender
I sit, I admire you from the fireside,
I realize how lucky I am to have you

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

Night Poem: Dark Night

Thick fog lay siege, blinding the stars,
Now clouds black with looming night
Grant the moon to lead the journey
As the soft wind sang a languid tune

Categories
education leadership opinion politics thoughts

I Gained My Freedom

Freedom sometimes does not come free.

Gained My Right of Way

Reminiscing on my primary school days, I would say I didn’t have much interest in the games provided for school kids. I was not too fond of the swing. I had no joy in rocking back and forth on a piece of the metal seat and rusty chains. The merry-go-round was my worst nightmare! I threw up each time I swiveled in it. While other kids were having fun, I had to look for a way to make myself happy. I decided to play with ants, grasshoppers, and any living thing that I saw in the grass. I studied insects and even took them home. My school term reports fondly read: “Always playing with living objects…” On one occasion, I recall causing a commotion in class when some of my pet ants escaped from their matchbox cage.

I started high school at a very young age. Most of my classmates were much older. So I was relatively puny, and this made me an easy target for bullying. As an introvert, it wasn’t easy to relay my experiences to my parents and teachers. Again I tried to focus on playing with living things and avoided much interaction with people. I wasn’t the only puny student in class then. The bullies always had us on their menu. Each time I saw a boy or girl bullied, I felt it could be me, and indeed, I became the next target. This feeling made me want to end all sorts of intimidation and oppression around me.

In high schools there are cliques, you know the big boys and the little boys. There’s always a kind of cabal and groups of interests. When a school kid joins a group, even if it’s the losers, he is less likely to experience bullying. I made friends with some little boys, but that didn’t stop the bullying completely.

One day, I stood talking to a friend when a boy gripped my neck from the back. He was trying to choke me. I broke free during the struggle. The boy messed up my school uniform. The stained and rumpled uniform got me furious, but the boy couldn’t apologize as he always thought I would run away. He pushed me twice, and I never can say where the courage came from – I landed the first blow!

“Oh my!” My mind started, “You’re dead!” I’m not used to fighting, but I knew if I don’t fight, this guy could kill me. Didn’t he attempt that when he grabbed my neck? I was in a self-defense situation. Memories of what I suffered in the hands of bullies flooded my mind; this pushed me to fight harder. Luckily, we were separated and punished by older students. In a few weeks, I walked the school compound with such boldness that all the bullies avoided me. The boy I fought eventually said hi after some months, and we became friends. Even though I took the worst hits that day, I managed to gain my freedom, and since then, no one dared bully me nor my friends.

We don’t need physical strength to fight for or defend other people’s rights. We need to be bold, to speak up, and stand-up, even if it means walking alone on thorns to get things right.

Now I’m a youth; I still keep this attitude with me. I can’t and won’t allow oppression, intimidation, or victimization whatsoever and wherever.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love animals Nature nature poems

Nature Poem: The Butterfly

Sunflower rests under the tree shade
Blushing over the fate of a butterfly,
With strange but colourful stripes,
One that kept all nature wondering

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love love poems night poems

Night Poem: Sounds of Water

Your love is a balm to my heart
Like an elixir, it refreshes my spirit
For each time I lay beside waters quiet,
Streaks of golden sunlight retreat
When sounds of water splash – a dulcet

Categories
Africa ethiopia war

Opinion: Ethiopia and Tigray

I believe dialogue is the best way forward.

Let me start by saying that no government, because of her privilege of power, should exercise extreme force, especially where there are options for dialogue.

I remember reading about the events that took place before the Nigerian war. The Federal Government of Nigeria and Biafran authorities were summoned to Accra to find common ground. Though the crisis still happened, there were initial negotiations and talks. If not for heady leaders, the violence could have been avoided.

In the Ethiopian case, that’s different. Tigray rebels took an army base located in their region; this is the exact reason for the federal government to start bombing. The Tigrayan authorities have expressed interest in dialogue, but the central government won’t have that.

Ethiopia is gradually slipping into civil war, and the central government denies this because it has the upper hand. I’m yet to see why it’s essential to use aerial bombardment when he had rejected calls for dialogue. Interestingly, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the peace prize in 2019 for his role in restoring peace along Ethiopia’s border with Eritrean. If he genuinely is a peacemaker as he seems, I wonder why he is bent to use force in Tigray. Tigray is 6% of the total Ethiopian population, and the landmass is one of the smallest. Abiy has clearly shown his resentment over Tigray’s leadership. He has started a humanitarian crisis and should be held responsible. Why would he reject calls for dialogue? The African Union and all democracies should ask him why he turned off the internet in the region—no more mincing of words.

Local militiamen from the Amhara region alongside the federal military now participate in the onslaught against Tigray. What makes the central government think that these militiamen won’t band up against it in the future?

What is currently happening in Tigray is a massacre, typical of Africa’s power-drunk leader’s who think that force is a better option than dialogue. It could happen to Zambia or Mali, or Bangladesh. The number of internally displaced people continues to rise each day, and Ethiopia’s neighbors are receiving refugees as this senseless violence rage on. Innocent people bear the brunt; more civilians are killed daily. The African Union should act before Ethiopia’s heady leaders destroy this beautiful African nation.

Categories
Africa animals

Africa’s Strongest: The African Dung Beetle

Prepare to be amazed by what you are about to read. I decided to write about this excellent weightlifting beetle because of the sheer strength it demonstrates.

Yeah, the dung beetle feeds off other animal waste, and it’s common to see them roll it across the countryside with such force that one can’t help but wonder.

Have you ever seen one work on cattle dung? They are fast and love to mind their business unless you want to steal their meal.

Many may be disgusted by their menu preference. I mean, it’s a free world, and someone needs to take out the dung. They do us a lot of favor. By burying and consuming dung, they improve nutrient recycling and soil structure. Mind you; these incredible creatures dig and bury dung a hundred times their size, and this happens without machines! They also disperse seeds present in animal dung. So when you encounter a dung-rolling beetle, you should give it the right of way.

A dung beetle is not only the world’s strongest insect but also the strongest animal on the planet compared to body weight. They can pull 1,141 times their body weight. This is the equivalent of an average person pulling six double-decker buses full of people. Now that’s some good muscle work! 💪

Categories
Africa Nature tourism

Video: Responsible Tourism

We must educate everyone on responsible tourism.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love nature poems Nigeria Poetry

Two Poems: Fly and Babies by Peniel Gifted

FLY

Fly little bird
Through this sky of whites
I want to watch
The green wings, flapping.

Fly high, even higher
Like the bar-headed goose
Your bod- blithe
As I kiss the Jasmine
Hugging from the sky.

BABIES

With them I sit-
The people of
Rainbow raiment.

They tune in
Jillion tunes
Sketching a heart
Just for me.

A trice without
Them is a blain in my globule
For they are
Honey bunches I can’t do without.

Categories
nature poems night poems

Autumn

Autumn plays a game of colours
Warm are painted trees and land
Sweet are songs from her lovely birds
With those two, she gave benevolently

Categories
quotes

Muse: Be Kind

Is it not said that sweet fragrances cling to the palms of those who distribute roses? Be Kind.

Categories
Africa Nigeria politics

Opinion: Leadership and Hypocrisy

No change at all

Nothing changes here. Even the nationwide protest that took many young lives didn’t solve much. I wonder what can change the mind of our leaders if the death of protesters won’t.

Each time I travel through this blessed state – I see nothing new; it’s heartbreaking that amid plenty, we can boast of nothing. I sleep most times on public transit, but today will be different. I decided to see what the so-called best governor in Nigeria is doing, so I carefully secured a seat close to the window to get a better view. The roads, as usual, are in a state of disrepair and an apparent death trap for commuters. Unworthy road vehicles still blast dangerous fumes as they ply about. At a point, raggedy road safety officials look on hungrily. There’s an environmental protection agency, but they are available when it involves their fee drive.

Apart from the tender palm tree shoots, nothing new emerges here. And lest I forget, it’s only in Nigeria that roads and bridges are built over a decade, and teachers owed salaries beyond a year in government guise that there’s no money. In Nigeria, these are tools of politics and propaganda. The tools aim to keep the masses under the leader. These wicked leaders forget that the populace pays schooling fees, rent, rate, and feed too. The worst is that as the cost of living rises, even the (seldom paid) salaries remain constant and in some cases reduced. Some leaders and their cabinet are wrong economists, and I wonder if they have qualified advisers at all. Do you see why there’s a regular increase in out-of-school children and a high unemployment rate? Is this not very shameful?

Sometimes I wonder what spurs the Nigerian leader on. How can one preach a corrupt-free society when the same is the head of corruption?

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is to ask people not to eat toad while one goes behind the scene to relish a dish made from toad.

I know that the people that run our government receive their salaries and benefits when due. But civil servants’ and retirees’ wages and pensions are withheld, some up to 20 months. No one can live in calm in such a situation. The most affected are medical professionals, and those in the education sector. I’m particularly pained that many pensioners die in pursuit of their entitlements. The only ones living above average are the government because they feed fat from the public purse.

These leaders take the commoners as toothless bulldogs that can only bark. Yes, the youth might have slept for years, but they are now interested in their nation’s governing process. Maybe another revolutionary protest will bring back our leader’s reasoning and make them act on much-needed reforms. I hope it won’t get to that point.

Categories
lullaby nature poems Poetry

Poem – Little Carnival

Long train of soldier ants
Aboard the swerving tree
Several spiky leaves float
When swarms of bees
And flies waltz in sunlight,
Beautiful birds tweet
This little carnival was about
The milk from a leaking coconut

Categories
quotes

Quotes on Fear

Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small. Ruth Gendler.

FEAR is False Expression Appearing Real.

Categories
Foreign Poems Nature nature poems

Sitting by Robin Bliss

Sitting on this grassy knoll,
Overlooking the vastness
Of the vast open sea and
A strip of aureate colored sand
Hearing the gulls calling mournfully
Seeing the breakers endlessly
Crashing against the shore
In the distance are islets
Dark blue against the sky
Beyond them, the boundless ocean
Feeling quite relaxed and mellow
Feeling at peace and calm
Here calmness and harmony is found
Relaxing my troubled mind
Gazing at the aquamarine and
Sapphire colored waters
And the rugged brown boulders
With the white frothing brine
It is delightful to be here
At this moment in time
All is well

Categories
love Poetry

Muse: Stars within

We dream of stars without, while a galaxy glitter within.

Categories
Africa love Love and Christianity love poems

What is Love?

Love is a tiny seed that grows silently and evolves into a tree. It’s green leaves, and strong branches give succor to all that run to its shelter. It’s kind and compassionate.

Love knows no religion or tribe. It does not shame or get jealous. It dreams and, like birds, soar above all. It is humility and unselfishness – an umbrella that accepts all races and creeds.

Love brings hope and positivity. It may be the little green butterfly flying about the treetop. Her soft wings gladden the soul and bring happiness to the beholder. With the wind, it floats as the fragile cottonseed to faraway places.

Love tolerates and corrects; true love is unconditional and lives forever. It creates and reproduces. It respects and adores, and sees the best in everything. Love builds bridges and colors the world in peace.

Love is a story of perseverance and resiliency. It is a sunset over the African countryside, the beginning and the end of the day.

All life is capable of love. When one looks within, that’s the first call of love.

Categories
Africa night poems Poetry

Night Poem: Call

Ever heard birds call out
To the fast-falling night
Across the glossy horizon
As the setting sun sink?
Ever waited for sunset
To bring in pots,
Take out warm mats
And wait for moonlight?
Slowly night falls here
So ends the noisy day

Categories
Africa

Africa’s Deadliest Mammals

Hippopotamuses have a deadly reputation. They can be huge, weighing up to 3,628 kilograms, and, though they live primarily on plants, they can be very aggressive. They are territorial and will fiercely protect their young. Hippos can use their enormous jaws to turn over small boats, which they mistake for crocodiles. With their sharp 30 centimeter long teeth, they can easily bite a man in two.

Another mammal with a fearsome reputation is the lion. Lions are powerful animals, capable of breaking the necks of wildebeests with a single blow of one of their massive paws. An adult lion is strong enough to drag a carcass twice as heavy as itself.

Lions will only attack humans when food is scarce or injured and cannot hunt faster prey. The deadliest lion struck in Tanzania in 2004. This one lion killed 35 people, and it is thought he did this due to toothache discomfort.

Wild elephants have a far better reputation and are considered peaceful animals that look after each other and rarely attack humans. However, a male elephant can behave aggressively when looking for a mate, and female elephants will attack when their calf is threatened.

Whole herds of elephants have been known to stampede when they feel threatened or anxious. When this happens, people can be crushed under their enormous feet or gored by their long tusks.

Categories
Africa education proverbs

African Proverb: A Smooth Sea…

A smooth sea does not make a skillful sailor.

Background: The proverb is originally from Namibia.

Significance: Life is like the sea: sometimes we get a gentle sea. But a peaceful sea never made a great sailor. Parents who always shield their child from challenging situations will, in the end, have an idiot of a child. Sometimes the way to show love is not by saving people from troubles all the time but by allowing them to go through it to learn from it. Every great person is a product of challenging circumstances. The purest gold had to go through the hottest fire. Of course, it`s not to say that everyone who goes through tough times comes out strong or skilled. We know some don`t. That is to say that it`s not what happens to you but what you do with what happens to you that makes the difference. And so as someone has said, “when life puts you in tough situations, don’t say “why me?” say “try me.” Be adaptable!

Categories
Africa night poems Poetry

Night Poem – Starry Night

One night, two flasks,
A room full of mild wind,
A grey paw-licking cat,
And a naughty parrot
A story rising off the kettle
As it goes on with its whistle
Two tablespoons of sugar,
Lettuce, beans, and cucumber,
A very confused dinner
Bat parade,
Early night, coming cold
A gust of breezy wind
But man and pawns gather
To watch the sky full of stars

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love love poems

Muse: Song in my Heart

You are the song in my heart
The moments I crave within

Categories
Africa proverbs

African Proverb: However black a cow is…

However black a cow is, the milk is always white – Gambian Proverb


Background

Traditionally, Gambia is an agrarian society. The country which falls in a fertile valley keeps a lot of farm animals, cattle being the predominant livestock. Senegal borders the state, from the north down to the south. Senegambia, a short-lived confederation was attempted by the neighbours. The river Gambia runs the length of the smallest inland West African nation.

Significance

Outward appearance doesn’t always expose someone’s character. Indeed, looks can mislead, and if we go by that, we will have things twisted.

Categories
love poems night poems Poetry

Muse: Rendezvous

I’ll wait,
By the stream path
Where road parts

Gather beneath
The baobab
Where all life began

Categories
love Nature Poetry

Hibiscus with Elizabeth Amarachukwu Okafor

Red petals, green tan
Three singing hornets
And a happy, happy sun
Hovering above the scent

Marrying my words with yours is so good a hibiscus.
Scenting every phrase with juice

Categories
Africa folklore Igbo culture Short story

Folklore: Tortoise and The Spirits 1

Growing up

Growing up was fun. School holidays took me to the countryside, where I was acquainted with folklore life. I have done strange but funny things like wearing a girl’s skirt to play with other toddlers (that’s a story for another day), returning to bury a dead crab in the stream, attempted to raise spiders, frogs, hoppers, caterpillars, and a sickly squirrel. Oh, I also tried to grow wild rice on crushed rock.

I remember some tales vividly and struggle to recollect others. The simple stories I still remember, but the longer ones have significant parts of it forgotten.

Now I want to tell a simple version of a story I was told when I was a child. It makes more sense to me now whenever I reminisce about the words, how I miss those days and stories.

If you don’t mind, you can sit with me and listen to this tale. Life is a circle, and stories take us all around it. It’s a cold night and a young one for that.

The Tortoise and The Spirits: The Magical Drum

One day, the tortoise was walking along a forest path when he came across a palm tree with plenty of palm kernel fruits. The tortoise was hungry, and the fruits looked juicy and ripe to eat if only he could reach one of them. He got hold of a long stick and successfully shook some of the fruits of the tree. Unfortunately, before he could pick up these fruits from the ground, they rolled into a hole. He nodded more fruits off the tree, but the same thing happened.

The tortoise then decided to follow the fallen fruits and find them wherever they fell. So he went into the hole, but no one could not find any of the fruits. The fruits must have rolled further down the hole, he thought, so he continued down the hole, walking for hours until he dropped right out of the cave into what appeared to be a village square. The tortoise had stepped down to the spirit world.

As he looked around, he found a spirit happily chewing on one of his palm kernels, the very last palm kernel. The tortoise exclaimed! “Those are my palm kernels; you have to give them back.” The spirit apologized; he did not know that the fruits belonged to the tortoise but promised to tortoise a unique drum in exchange.

The spirit led the tortoise into a building where there were several rows of drums along the wall and asked the tortoise to pick anyone. There were drums of all sizes, but the tortoise picked a small drum that would be easy to carry since he had a long walk ahead.

When the tortoise returned to the forest, he stopped to rest under a tree. While resting, he picked up his new drumstick and beat the drum with it. To his astonishment, a feast appeared before him. There was a sample of every food that he liked. He ate until he was utterly stuffed, then he slept under the tree, for he was too full to continue his trip.

The following morning, he woke up, picked up his drum, and went to his house. Once there, he sent a message out to all the other animals to come to his house. When all the animals were gathered, the tortoise beat his drum, and a vast feast appeared. Everyone was delighted, and they all ate and partied until they were all exhausted.

The following day, every animal was at the tortoise’s house again. The tortoise beat his drum, a feast appeared, and they all ate. They did this every day. Very soon, the tortoise got tired of hitting the drum and appointed the elephant as his official drum beater. However, when the elephant beat the small drum, the drum brake. And there was no feast.

The tortoise would have to return to the spirit world to get a new drum, and he immediately set off on this journey. Fortunately, he could remember the exact spot where the palm tree stood. When he got there, he picked up a stick and shook some palm kernels off the tree. The palm kernels fell to the ground and just lay there. The tortoise picked up every one of them and threw them down the hole that led to the spirit world. Then he went after them.

When he arrived in the spirit world, he found the same spirit at the same spot. “You again,” he exclaimed. “You have eaten my palm kernels; you have to give them back.” Here are your palm kernels.” The spirit said. He had not eaten them as he had just arrived and was only picking them up. The tortoise counted the palm kernels and insisted that some were missing and accused the spirit of lying. He demanded compensation for the missing palm kernels. The spirit again offered to give him a particular drum.

This time, the tortoise pick the giant drum he could find. He needed a drum big enough for the elephant, and the bigger the drum would also produce more food. It took the tortoise several days to drag the big drum back to the surface so that he was exhausted and hungry.

He picked up his new drum stick and beat the drum. Instead of food, a thousand whips appeared. The tortoise, alarmed, started to run to his house, but the lashes followed him and whipped him all the way home.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition opinion quotes thoughts

Quote: Life Is A Circle

Life is a circle, and stories take us all around it.

© Oke Iroegbu

Categories
Africa Nature

Colours of Nature

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf becomes a flower.

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

I stand beautiful – Poetry

Memories fade, distanced more
Yet apart we wade, off
Tears are part of the roles
And distrust has become one too
Your words still cut through
I’m assured that love went wrong
I was rock but you made me gold
So I offer this little flower token
In appreciation to your absentia love
I always stand beautiful
Love made me wonderful

Categories
Africa Inspiration/Motivation

Deshauna Barber

Resilience is key to success. A resilient person through series of failures, disappointments and tough experiences build character and important virtues like confidence, patience, and empathy.

Watch Deshauna discuss how being resilient molded her into what she became today. She has a simple message for us: Never give up. 💚

Credit: Goalcast