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
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
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
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
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.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nature

Plant Trees, Plant Hope

We can’t replace trees that are thousands of years old. But we can plant new ones; we can instill hope for our future generations.

Sad image

Sequel to my earlier post on uncontrolled bush burning, which destroys plant and animal habitats, I decided to write further on this sad image I stumbled upon.

Man and trees are life partners, but greed has caused one to harm the other. But there is hope. Even though we may be unable to take the world back to its original state, our little acts today can help it heal. The truth is, man is carried away by personal gain that he forgot the value of his own life.

The picture is from TJ Watts and explains a lot about human involvement in environmental degradation. It portrays how man is busy destroying the magnificence around him. By cutting down these trees, man is slowly strangling himself. It’s just a matter of time for nature to return ‘full’ hostilities to him.

Terrible consequences

It’s awful to realize that the world is not dying, but we are the ones killing it. It’s not very pleasant too when people cut down what they didn’t plant – for personal gains. This is not progress at all. Our actions aid the disasters that plague our environment. We are yet to witness more landslides, avalanches, tsunamis, and floods. But it’s time to change for good.

These forests support the lives of many organisms, including man. They give oxygen, food, shelter, and more. I am worried that whole histories are lost with these century-old trees. Thousands of stories are gone when trees are hewn down. What will take its place, a lifeless building?

I call on everyone to create awareness of this. Youth and environmental organizations must play an active role too. We need to include teaching conservation in our schools; children need to know how important it is to maintain the earth’s forests. For governmental agencies, 2021 will be the perfect time to begin implementing ecologically friendly policies starting from grassroots street and local councils. Let’s start the coming year with a resolution to end all manner of injustices, not only to man but to all members of his environment. A little deed can go a long way. We can never know.

In addition to protecting our forests, let’s plant trees; we instill hope for our future.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education

The Masquerades of Amune

Masquerades in Umukwu-Amune

Today was the Masquerade’s Day in Amune, Ovim. I was on a visit when I came across this masquerade band. In a situation, one comes across the masquerades face to face; it is crucial to ‘acknowledge or plead’ with them by calling out their names; if you desire not to be whipped. Sometimes you can offer them gifts to let you be. Masquerade floggings are traditional. To avoid those, one must stay as far as possible.

So I wrote the little poem below to talk about the sudden appearance of masquerades and the commotion they caused.

Threads hold fast upon your coat of colors
When the stage is set, you are the conqueror
All village folk flee from you, but older men sit
Gazing into space when men transform into spirits

Uniform dyes are of several displays
Dark green, brown, yellow, grey
The dust raised over the rooftops
Signals the onset of celebrations
Children hide, but hawks circle the sky

Many believe your arrival from ant holes
Others think you are ancient deities
Or spirits engaging the past and present
Reincarnated through the mortal man
Attending to the interests of the clan –
A place where hill dwellers call home

Categories
Africa reflection thoughts

A Big No To Wild Bush Burning

Home again

It’s a full moonlight tonight. The evening air is modest. We are all sitting outside, just in front of the house, discussing the day’s work. Some lay, rolling on mats spread close to one another. In between the lead tale teller’s story, distracting dialogues transpire, though as whispers. Incessant noises made by insects break the general stillness. The highlands bring down cold air. The hills continue to nourish the village with sleepy breeze. The moon stayed put, her glow however intact.

I’m drawn to nature’s beautiful lyrics, such that came from nocturnal insects and animals. Suddenly, from a distance, I observe a thick smoke rise. A massive fire accompanied it. In no time, soot started to descend upon the hamlet. I could smell the acrid smoke and realized at once why many insects hurried toward our gathering. They were running from the blaze. I’m pretty sure that the person who started this fire left it unattended. It could spread to large swaths of land, you know. It is awful that people still burn wild bushes without considering the impact of their actions. I can’t imagine those once happily vocalizing insects scampering for safety, away from the comfort of their dwellings. Unfortunately, many won’t make it out alive.

Well, several dangers accompany uncontrolled bush burning. We lose whole soil organisms, soil texture, and soil fertility. The earth’s vegetation cover is destroyed, leading to soil erosion. The air is polluted, and insects and animals’ habitats are destroyed. We still have a lot to do. We should certainly make an effort to save this planet. It’s worth trying.

Collective Responsibility

Back to my reality, I just had a loaf and half of the cassava flour (akpu) with tasty oha soup. I’m nearly heavy. My little cousin, alongside his sister, play with my stomach, saying a lot of strange things. Indeed, this traditional meal is the real deal. Some people may think differently – it’s not my favorite anyway. But this sudden smoke and fire took away a portion of my amusement.

While we gist, I’m absent-minded. I am profoundly reflecting on the best ways to encourage everyone to play a role in protecting our beautiful planet. We still have a long way to go in conserving our land, and indeed uncontrolled bush burning should be one thing prohibited.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love christmas love Love and Christianity

Oscar Wilde’s Selfish Giant: Seasons Greetings

I came home yesterday and saw my dad’s favorite Oscar Wilde book of tales. The selfish giant is my best of them all; there’s a big lesson in it. I’ve applied a minor revision to the original story.

The Selfish Giant

Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.

It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games to listen to them. “How happy we are here!” they cried to each other.

Decorative graphic of children in garden

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over, he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his castle. When he arrived, he saw the children playing in the garden.

“What are you doing here?” he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

“My garden is my garden,” said the Giant; “any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So he built a high wall all around it and put up a notice-board.

He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we were there,” they said to each other.

Then the Spring came, and all over the country, there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant, it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board, it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year-round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden and blew the chimney-pots down. “This is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours, he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

“I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,” said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; “I hope there will be a change in the weather.”

But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden, she gave none. “He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. “I believe the Spring has come at last,” said the Giant, and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see?

He saw the most beautiful sight. Through a little hole in the wall, the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see, there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner, it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The low tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up! Little boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could, but the boy was too tiny.

And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have been!” he said; “now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground forever and ever.” He was very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him, they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the park became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. “It is your garden now, little children,” said the Giant, and he took a great ax and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at noon, they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All-day long, they played, and in the evening, they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.

“But where is your little companion?” he said: “the boy I put into the tree.” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

“We don’t know,” answered the children; “he has gone away.”

“You must tell him to be sure and come here, to-morrow,” said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived and had never seen him before, and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend and often spoke of him. “How I would like to see him!” he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said, “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”

One winter morning, he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvelous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass and came near to the child. And when he came quite close, his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the images of two pins were on the little feet.

“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.”

“Nay!” answered the child, “but these are the wounds of Love.”

“Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

***

It’s the season of love, peace, and joy. From here, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Categories
Africa quotes

Quote on Resilience

The oak fought the wind and was broken; the willow bent when it must and survived.

– Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love

A Shepherd’s Song

Tut, tsi, tut, tsi,
Do you think I was talking to myself?
Haha, not in any way! I call on my sheep that way
So we bond, using this unique code
When they disperse over the pasture
I sit to play my guitar, a song hallelujah
Trembling fingers, dry in the noon sun,
The flavour of mountain dew on my lips,
Ha… lle… lu… Yah…
Lu… Yah, lu… Yah
Oh what view from the brook
How glad they peacefully graze
Ha… lle… lu… Yah…
Lu… Yah, lu… Yah
Oh, will you like to take a look
Of sheep scattered across the grass?

***

Nightfall
So retired
Pillow of silk
Open window,
Bright moon
Night of dreams,
A wish, a good night
A song hallelujah

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love

Quiet Night

A silent night from the inside
A noisy one out in the wild
Nighttime for cricket buzzing
Lullaby against a sleepy wind

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

Poem: When Tree Leaves Fall

Tree leaves dance when they fall, trembling quietly
Brown leaves, some dull in red and lighter green
All manoeuvre in the same direction of the wind
When bold leaves fall off the branches
They twist and sail through the wind
Some set up leisure, settling on the moist below
Sailing off, noiselessly to other stream banks
But those who fell on the ageless rocks
Clasped to the grasp of the fern
Idling patiently for the wind to free them
Tiny insects seeking nectar fly around the river greenery,
Slowly, the water finds its way through rocks
Rushing peacefully, polishing pebbles, shoving stray fish off
The air is icy cold, so is the beautiful waters of the stream
This dawning paints a modest, peaceful scenery,
One which waits quietly for the noisy bird cavalry

Categories
Africa leadership opinion reflection

Reflection: A King Without A Crown

A King Without A Crown

I used to take on a noble character whenever it comes to acting among my peers. I remember performing King Nebuchadnezzar in a high school drama class. It was sport hearing my classmates address me as the king. Nebu – the short-lived nickname that followed after wasn’t much fun. Please don’t listen to me; I enjoyed the attention. Haha!

Spending my holidays in the countryside was fun. I won’t forget my childhood moments and those who made them memorable. I recall not-so-cozy train rides to and fro the country, hunting rodents with my buddies, running an insect zoo (this is very personal to me), killing straying poisonous snakes and chipmunks that destroyed furniture in the house, swimming in shallow streams, and catching crabs, wrestling with other boys, numerous farm adventures, and more. These are stories to be told. It gives me extreme joy when I recall them. Hence, I’m grateful for the experience. I try to keep records of stories and lessons learned in my evolving blog. A lot has been written here and elsewhere, but sadly much is nearly or entirely forgotten. Well, I will work hard to put the pieces together.

More to Africa…

There’s a lot yet to be revealed about Africa. While many may choose to focus on the ills in African societies, many good things are going on in the continent.

I launched this blog to document my past and future nostalgic moments. I aim to promote the dignity of the African homeland and her rich heritage. Also, my blog seeks to persuade people to acknowledge their humble beginnings. It is the past that made us who we are today. As for me, my life experiences made me resilient and desirous of contributing to positive change.

My love for Africa goes beyond boundaries created by man and perceived primitive traditions. It saddens me to see such a beautiful continent wallow in poverty and deprivation. It is my dream to travel the length and breadth of the continent – to tell more stories. Indeed, storytelling is Africa’s foremost tradition because it unites us all, and everyone has a story.

It’s my wish to see much of the African hinterland, to fright lions with the Masai, swim in some of her greatest rivers, live with and learn the ways of local tribes, collate much tribal folklore and poetry from budding African talent, start a series about this beautiful land and spread the message of hope. Now, I won’t be needing a crown to continue to spread this hope and love to my people.

Suppose you didn’t play in the mud as I did while growing up; you may not understand how dear this is—good night from West Africa.

Categories
Africa politics quotes

Reflection on Responsibility

A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of – Nelson Mandela


Everyone has got a role to play in our society. Even the smallest can contribute to positive change. Often, people think that responsibility is only a leadership process; consequently, it is the leaders’ duty. I think otherwise. I believe that responsibility goes beyond being led. It’s a commitment to seeing things done right. A changed person who looks beyond the mirror called self seeks to make a difference in his community while transforming himself to be the good he seeks in others.

Suppose we could look beyond ourselves, imagine what the world could look like. Let’s be the change we seek. Let’s be the book that millions of children and youth read. Let our lives preach responsibility and love because everyone has got a role to play. If not at present, ultimately in the future.

This responsible change we seek begins with us. It’s in our hands to make our communities and the world a better place.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love ghana proverbs

Ashanti Proverb: When You Walk In Your Father’s Path

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him – Ashanti proverb


This excellent Ghanaian adage is self-explanatory. I’ll try to explain some salient points.

Generally, it’s an African believe that a child who goes nearer to his father grow up acting and speaking like him. Indeed, this is true in every society and even the animal world.

Father‘ here symbolises anyone who one observes or follow. For instance, if John, a Zimbabwean, is obsessed with American pop culture, he will end up dressing, talking and living like a pop star. In other words, we are influenced by who we look up to as role models and what we chose to feed our minds with.

A similar proverb talks about chicks watching and learning while the hen scratches and picks seeds from dirt. What do you think?

Categories
Africa Nature nature poems night poems

Night Poem: Peace

A tranquil evening is nature’s way
Of welcoming a weary shepherd,
Sundown – his thoughtful views heralds,
Memories in which trees fiercely dance
And soft grasses wait when birds fly home

Categories
Africa Muse Nature nature poems

Muse: Sunrise

Fortune may rise with the sunlight
For dawn, flourishing lovely dew,
Presents a distinct day for a new start
And to every man, equal odds to grow

Categories
Africa Isuikwuato Nigeria

My Hometown

One wakes to the call of Nature every day, with the sun ushering the day

Huhuhu-Lalala-kiki, all sort of songs welcome the sun’s golden streaks
Crickets quiz, wasps and bees buzz, snakes hiss away, the clock ticked
Familiar sounds echo, strong wind rushing through the high tree lines
Underneath the vegetation, silent waters flow, but we hear her soft current

On the hills of Ovim, where the butchers sell their quarry
Vultures and kites circle around the smoke which rose from a fire
Down the mountain, pretty girls giggle and walk toward the stream
Disturbed mambas drag through the dust to escape contact with them
Lazy millipedes fall from the treetops, the mud grabbing their oily bodies
Great winds surge through forests; shrubs twist in a native dance I knew
As the seeds of trees crack and fall into the calm and quiet waters of Kpere

Pots of wine rattle at the back of wagons, happily setting for the market
The smell of squashed fruit bless the blazing day, with smoked melon balls
Which tastes unique, the palm oil mills churn out fresh, sweet-smelling oil
And when you see the farmers yams, you will understand why they are happy

Now I have water – rainwater, plenty of it, on the farms, at home
When the rains fall, the heavy clouds turn to our village drum;
Drumming beats of fulfilment and joy and hope and profound love
On the trees, birds build many nests, singing out their hearts
The partridge call from the forests, the sounds echo,
The hawks circle the skies scouting for stray mice,
The woodpeckers work on their tree, minding their business
And yet they all combine to one event; one I behold daily


Commentary.
Isuikwuato is the name of my local government area. Ovim is my hometown. I consider it the most delightful place and a source of inspiration for me.

Hopefully, I will get some images of my hometown this holiday.

Categories
Africa ethiopia

Opinion: Ethiopia and Tigray 2

This senseless ‘war’ is far from being over, but the Ethiopian Supreme Leader is declaring victory.

As far as I know, war can take any twist. When one side thinks they have seen it all, the other side might just be preparing to unravel mayhem.

Thanks to Abiy’s refusal to dialogue with those he described as TPLF criminal elements, the war drags on. Abiy, the Ethiopian Federal leader is mindful that Tigrayan combatants are ready to fight till death. So his victory declaration is an obvious hoax. On the other hand, Gebremichael is tactical – retreating into the hilly terrain with his boys to continue defending their homeland. Let me digress for a while; at one time, both leaders wine and dine together. So what went wrong, will it be sheer greed or personal grudge?

I firmly believe Abiy could resolve this issue as he had the Eritrean border matter. With this war, Abiy has proved that he is an intolerant leader. TPLF, on the other hand, had withdrawn from direct brawls with Federal troops. They are slowly turning the conflict into a guerilla war. Abiy, a former military staff, must realise that guerilla warfare can go on prolonged.

Before now, Abiy was Ethiopia’s transformative leader, bringing significant reforms to the nation’s economy. Last year he was awarded the Peace Prize for his role in settling Ethiopian-Eritrean border issue. But this prejudice and intolerance for Tigray’s leadership downplay all his achievements.

That brought another question to my curios-self: was Abiy trying to encircle Tigray by making peace with Eritrea? I’m disappointed that he would let sentiments and grudge get the better of him. All African leaders need to take a lesson from Mandela’s life. Abiy should quickly summon the Tigrayan political leadership for dialogue. After all, they are his people, and he their leader.

To prove himself a good leader, he should listen to the yearnings of the Tigrayan people. Tigray is an Ethiopian federating unit and pro-Ethiopia. Suppose Tigray was Abiy’s tribe, would he use extreme force against them? The answer is glaring. I am thankful that the TPLF has not declared their independence. This shows that they still consider themselves Ethiopians. All they want is to be heard, and their demands met. Will that be too much for the Ethiopian Federal Government to hearken to?

Ethiopia has been an authority in African political, economic and cultural leadership. I’m not pleased with the ongoing war. It might destabilise the region and Ethiopia’s shaky economy. It is a bad thing for Abiy’s government, as he is praised for expanding Ethiopia’s economy, he will also be remembered for how he destroyed a portion of it in a few months. The war is not over yet. We don’t know what may come out of it. Well, Abiy’s youthful vision and commitment to Ethiopia’s general welfare is applaudable, but this brutal way of resolving issues won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Abiy should end the war by asking the TPLF for dialogue. Now that Federal soldiers are in control of Tigray’s capital city, he should ask the TPLF leaders to surface for discussion or does he have something to lose? He should ask the AU or UN to arrange one. If this unnecessary war continues, the blood of innocent children, women and men will haunt the two heady leaders. I support dialogue – a peaceful resolution, one that will involve all Ethiopians.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Eswatini

Someone There by Njabulo N.

Today I sit in a room clouded by darkness,
With pain dominating my body system,
Writing for a better tomorrow.
As the butterflies flood my tummy,
With the air breeze so sweet and calm.
I can see beauty deep inside my eyes.
Show me the sun that shines bright,
Bright more than a bulb in a closet,
To brighten my beautiful day.
I asked myself if there was someone there,
I’m alone, and I’m not lonely.
Found myself searching among the stars,
For beauty that lies in me,
Not knowing that the moon,
lighten the universe even when it is not full.
As the natural light brighten my beautiful day,
Triggering the beauty in me,
I no longer hide my true colors,
I no longer act robust and unaffected.

Someone there?

Do my words create a voice in your ears?
Do they trigger sense in your head?
My heart always speaks in volumes,
Yet the universe turns a deaf ear to it.
Memories are just tattoos in my heart,
The beauty of the tattoos is the pain endured,
Scars are a confession of beauty, survival, and strength.
Great things happen when there are fewer wars,
Great walls rise a soul to walk tall,
Even when it is cold,
With my eyes and mouth closed,
Silence becomes loud when I’m a listener.
Words are everything I need like basic needs,
Even when I bleed, it is the words that heal me.

Categories
Africa gratitude

Night Poem: Tranquility

A walk away from men
Silent songs on dry lips,
A cold evening, guitar strapped behind,
All explained, there a delighted quiet time

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love love love poems

Love Poem: Remind me of the sun

Your pretty face reminds me of the sun,
When she rose from the back of many hills
Dragging her gold blanket before farms
So if I am to paint this beautiful muse
I would imagine sunrise over wheat fields
And fast approaching evening when birds fly home

Categories
Africa Christianity happiness Inspiration/Motivation

True Happiness

December: Happy New Month

Hello Dear Friends,

I’m delighted to be writing to you. We’ve made it to 2020’s last month – December. We’re resilient, and hope with faith kept us. First, let me congratulate everyone on making it this far.

It’s a unique month, and I’m glad to see it. This short story below was taken from a Whatsapp group. It explores a man’s quest for happiness – acquisition of material wealth versus philanthropy.

This story got me thinking. I pray it does the same to everyone. I wish you the best this month and always.

With love ❤️,
Oke Iroegbu

Femi Otedola

When Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola in a telephone interview, was asked by the radio presenter, “Sir, what can you remember made you the happiest man in life?” Femi said: “I have gone through four stages of happiness in life, and finally I understood the meaning of true happiness.

The first stage was to accumulate wealth and means. But at this stage, I did not get the happiness I wanted. Then came the second stage of collecting valuables and items. But I realized that this thing’s effect is also temporary, and the luster of valuable things does not last long. Then came the third stage of getting big projects. That was when I was holding 95% of diesel supply in Nigeria and Africa. I was also the largest vessel owner in Africa and Asia. But even here, I did not get the happiness I had imagined. The fourth stage was when a friend of mine asked me to buy a wheelchair for some disabled children—just about 200 kids.

At the friend’s request, I immediately purchased the wheelchairs. But the friend insisted that I go with him and hand over the wheelchairs to the children. I got ready and went with him. There I gave these wheelchairs to these children with my own hands. I saw the strange glow of happiness on the faces of these children. I saw them all sitting on the wheelchairs, moving around and having fun. It was as if they had arrived at a picnic spot where they are sharing a jackpot winning. I felt REAL joy inside me.

When I decided to leave, one of the kids grabbed my legs. I tried to free my legs gently, but the child stared at my face and held my legs tightly. I bent down and asked the child, “Do you need something else?” The answer this child gave me not only made me happy but also changed my attitude to life completely. This child said: “I want to remember your face so that when I meet you in heaven, I will be able to recognize you and thank you once again.”

What would you be remembered for after you leave that office or place? Will anyone desire to see your face again where it all matters?

Categories
Africa hope Nature nature poems

Nature: Hope

We have seen vegetation crumble;
Even the greens of Sahara go south
Towing with it our life-giving earth
Spreading tentacles of drought
Upon man who knows only profits

I walked ahead of time
Beyond those warm blankets
Of trees and sunny forest,
Listening to Nature speak
With hope, I gladly seek

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love folklore Nature nature poems

The Rainmaker

When the green neighborhood dance to the call of the wild, one

Dark are the skies; darker even are the clouds which stalk the rain

The wind came swift and slow; rushing at times as petals of flowers dance

To the music of the coming rain; to lullabies that made heads bounce

And to the Forest people, to the clans that inhabit the wooded lands

A rainmaker was awake, perhaps trying his skills or yet just being mad!

***

The lightning draw bizarre images across the dark firmaments

Causing the trees to look like knights with forks on the footpath

Silhouettes of mud huts stood motionless in the fiery wind surge

Exposed to danger: the rainmakers ire, the villagers, try to hide

The day turns to night; seeking shelter is the new song for the hamlet

When the rainmakers strength leaves him or his tools* spent,

He lets the strong breezes to rest on the call of the wild one*

But they wait on they that had mastered the rain antics


Note: In Africa, some people are capable of making rainfall. Most of these people are traditional doctors; those referred to have access to the wisdom of ancient life and spirits.

Tools* the rainmaking tools of the rainmaker, which comprises natural things like leaves, herbs, and other concoctions.

Wild one*: the rainmaker and the wild one are the same person or can be the source of the rainmaker’s powers.

Categories
Africa Nature nature poems Nigeria night poems

Inspiration by Franklin Onuoha

In this lovely piece from Franklin, my Nigerian friend, I could hear the echo of my voice. Well written poem.

The sound of hooting owls

The chirping of the crickets at night

The calm breeze that massages my skin after a hectic day

The acrid smell of harmattan

The torrents of rain that make musicals beat on my roof

The euphonious dawn chorus of the morning birds

The roaring of the thunderstorm

The sun rays piercing through the windowpane

The various ways nature inspires me

Categories
Africa night poems

Night Poem: Shining Stars

Joy emerges as the cold evening mist,
Love as glowing stars across the firmaments
Dressing the night with glittering dots
To impress on all pleasant moments

Categories
Africa south Sudan

Country Profile: South Sudan (Soudan du Sud)

Africa’s Youngest Nation

The Republic of South Sudan got its independence in 2011, making it the most recent sovereign nation globally. It was formerly an autonomous region in the Republic of Sudan. Shortly a war broke out within the country as rival power groups battled the government.

In 2011 it was reported that South Sudan was at war with at least seven armed groups in 9 of its ten states, with tens of thousands displaced. The fighters accuse the government of plotting to stay in power indefinitely, not representing and supporting all tribal groups while neglecting development in rural areas.

Independence and Tribes

On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the 54th independent country in Africa, and since July 14, 2011, South Sudan is the 193rd member of the United Nations. In July 2011, South Sudan became the 54th country to join the African Union.

Dinka is the largest ethnic group, Nuer the second largest, the Zande the third-largest, and the Bari the fourth-largest of South Sudan’s ethnic groups. They are found in the Maridi, Yambio, and Tombura districts in the tropical rainforest belt of Western Equatoria, the Adio of Azande client in Yei, Central Equatoria, and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

National Parks and Conservation

South Sudan has a mainly rural and subsistence economy.

The country’s protected area of Bandingilo National Park hosts the second-largest wildlife migration in the world. Surveys have revealed that Boma National Park, west of the Ethiopian border, and the Sudd wetland and Southern National Park near the border with Congo, provided habitat for large populations of hartebeest, kob, topi, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, and lions.

South Sudan’s forest reserves also provided habitat for bongo, giant forest hogs, red river hogs, forest elephants, chimpanzees, and forest monkeys. Surveys began in 2005 by WCS in partnership with the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan government revealed significant, though diminished wildlife populations still exist. That, astonishingly, the massive migration of 1.3 million antelopes in the southeast is substantially intact.

Habitats in the country include grasslands, high-altitude plateaus and escarpments, wooded and grassy savannas, floodplains, and wetlands. Associated wildlife species include the endemic white-eared kob and Nile Lechwe and elephants, giraffes, common eland, giant eland, oryx, lions, African wild dogs, cape buffalo, and topi (locally called tiang). Little is known about the white-eared kob and tiang, both antelope types, whose magnificent migrations were legendary before the civil war. The Boma-Jonglei Landscape region encompasses Boma National Park, broad pasturelands and floodplains, Bandingilo National Park, and the Sudd, a vast area of swamp and seasonally flooded grasslands that includes the Zeraf Wildlife Reserve.

Capital city

Juba is the capital and largest city. The city is situated on the White Nile and also serves as the capital of Central Equatoria State. It is the newest capital city with a population of 525,953 in 2017.

Languages and Religion

The official language of South Sudan is English, but there are over 60 indigenous languages, most classified under the Nilo-Saharan Language family; collectively, they represent two of the first-order divisions of Nile Sudanic and Central Sudanic.

Religions followed by the South Sudanese include traditional indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam.

Natural Resources and Tourism

The economy of South Sudan is one of the most oil-dependent economies in the world. Despite being endowed with bountiful natural resources, including very fertile agricultural land and vast livestock, including millions of cattle, sheep, and goats. Political instability, poor governance, and corruption continue to hinder development in the world’s youngest country.

South Sudan exports timber to the international market. Some of the states with the best-known teak and natural trees for wood are Western Equatoria and Central Equatoria. There are teak plantations located at Kegulu; the other, oldest planted forest reserves are Kawale, Lijo, Loka West, and Nuni. Western Equatoria timber resources include scuba trees at Zamora.

One of the significant natural features of South Sudan is the River Nile, whose many tributaries have sources in the country. The region also contains many natural resources such as petroleum, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, and hydropower. The country’s economy, as in many other developing countries, is heavily dependent on agriculture. Some of the agricultural products include cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, and sesame.

South Sudan has the world’s second-largest animal migration. It, therefore, is considered the right place for ecotourism. Still, the lack of infrastructure for tourism and civil unrest are considered the challenges for the tourism industry in South Sudan.

Categories
Africa folklore Short story

Folklore: The Tortoise and the Rabbit

The Mischievous Tortoise

Do you ever wonder why Nnabe, the Tortoise, is always portrayed as a mischievous personality in tales? You are not alone. Sometimes I try to understand the nature of this fictitious character, how he reasons, and why he acts the way he does. I even ask why this animal was picked to serve as a villain, and still a wise person.

This folktale is widely told in West Africa. I remember hearing it severally. I have also listened to another version of the race between the Tortoise and the Dog. Now pay attention to the story, and I will like to read what morals you have learned. Ifochakpi! Waaa!!

The Tortoise and The Rabbit

Nnabe, the Tortoise, and the rabbit was chatting when the Tortoise suddenly declared, “I bet I can beat you in a race.” The rabbit was stunned for a minute. He wasn’t sure he heard his friend correctly. “Did you say something about a race?” He asked. The tortoise elaborated, “Yes, I challenge you to a race, and I want all the animals present to witness your defeat.”

This cracked up the rabbit; he started to laugh. “This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard,” he said. “It will take you many years to cover the distance I can run in one day. It is silly to race against you. Everyone knows that I will win.”

But the Tortoise won’t have that, he pleaded with the rabbit until he accepted to race, and a date was fixed for the race between the two.

The day of the race came, and several animals came to witness the start of the race. There were also several animals waiting at the finish line.

The race began, and the rabbit hurried away, eager to get the race over with. The rabbit still thought it was ridiculous to be competing against the slow Tortoise in a race. But what the rabbit didn’t know was that the Tortoise had positioned his cousins along the race path while he waited near the finish line.

As the rabbit turned the corner around the forest path, he saw the Tortoise walking ahead of him. “What?! This is impossible!” he exclaimed. “How did you get here?” he asked.

“Though I stroll when I run fast, I run so fast you don’t even see me pass you,” Tortoise relatives replied. “Impossible!” Muttered the rabbit as he ran ahead of that tortoise.

The rabbit started to run faster. As he turned another corner in the forest path, he again saw the Tortoise walking ahead of him. “How did you get in front of me again?” He asked.

“Though I stroll when I run fast, I run so fast you don’t even see me pass you? Tortoise’s relatives replied as he slowly walked along. “Impossible!” Muttered the rabbit as he ran past the Tortoise.

The rabbit started to run even faster. Again, he turned a corner and saw another Tortoise walking ahead of him. “Oh, no! This cannot be happening,” Thought the rabbit as he ran past that tortoise. He wasn’t going to stop to talk anymore. He tried to run even faster but he couldn’t because he was getting tired.

Then, as he turned the corner to run the last stretch of the race, he saw Tortoise walking across the finish line ahead of him. “Impossible! Impossible!!” He yelled, but the Tortoise was declared the winner of the race.

Categories
Africa Love and Christianity

The Fruits of Forgiveness are exceedingly sweet

Without forgiveness, love is not true

Letting go of the past is one of the hardest things to do in life. Forgiving people for their wrongdoings are even more challenging.

But what makes forgiveness such a fundamental virtue? For any man to go far in life, he has to inculcate the habit of forgiving. Indeed, people may cause unbearable suffering or pain to others but letting things go speeds up quick healing. The life history of Mandela is an excellent example. Bitterness prevails when there is no forgiveness. Grievance itself is a joy-killer; it seizes happiness whenever one gets to meet the offender and contributes to health problems!

Disappointment and grieving are part of life. Learning to live with them helps. One delightful thing about forgiveness is that it frees the soul. If you ever found yourself with an unforgiving attitude, it’s time to change because nothing lasts forever.

If you try to make people forgive you, and they won’t. Let go, forgive yourself, and move on.

Let go of everything today. It’s a sign of maturity and divinity. The fruits of forgiveness are exceedingly sweet.

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
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
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.