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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry

Amuse: African Ostrich

1.
To you my feathery friend I write
In greying fields your fur I sight
Dangling by your sides are wings,
A tall neck, from which you may sing

2.
Caw caw, caw caw are your favourite words
The wind is your friend, the soil your playground,
The shrub is home, to it you rest when weary,
Your legs are strong, your claws even deadly

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3.
Evenings are for your quick runaways
You send stray rodents scampering away
I am not ashamed of your beautiful bald head
But you my fluffy friend, you are an amazing bird

4.
In the morning your scent fill the farmyard
You stand taller than scarecrows in our land

To have you here, beautiful and tall bird
Is a queer muse, but one of absolute good

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry

Love knows no colour

Love knows no pink, no blue, no colour; it knows no creed, no silence, no mumblings, no religion or association. It will learn nothing that brings shame or pain or hurt to others and one’s environment.

Love preys on no one, it knows no greed and no self. Like fresh leaves falling quietly away from the mother tree, love spreads gifts of kindness and compassion wherever it goes.

Love someone genuinely today.

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education Nigeria opinion reflection Series

Amnesty Int’l Letter: Children’s Day 2020

Dear Okechukwu,

I wish a happy Children’s Day to all the children in your life.

But as I write to you today, my heart goes out to all the children detained in Northeast Nigeria and caught up in endless violence at the hands of Boko Haram and the Nigerian military.

They were taken away from their families and had their childhood revoked – they were forced to become child soldiers and child wives, subjected to atrocious violence. They were detained unlawfully, often with adults, in grossly inhumane conditions. They were ill-treated and tortured.

And now, as they attempt to recover, hundreds of schools remain closed – 75% of children in Borno State are out of school.

We’re launching a report on the toll of Nigeria’s Northeast conflict on children today.

Nigeria must swiftly reverse its course and bring redress to children in the Northeast.

Kind wishes,
E. I.
Campaigner, Amnesty International Nigeria

***

I received this heart breaking email from Amnesty International Nigeria. As I read through, it dawned on me that there’s little or nothing to celebrate today. Bad leadership, political unrest, insurgency, religious crisis and poverty contributed to issues faced by children today. I always mention bad leadership because it is at the centre of it all.

It’s frightening when I look at reported cases of abuse (and what about unreported cases?) Children rights are abused on daily basis. Even as we celebrate their day, many will go to bed without food, many will never attend school in their lifetime, many may never have the chance to live (a normal life). What is really going on?

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Is it not awful that in today’s civilized world which had conquered diseases, deserts and drought, that children rights are taken lightly? They have become main victims of forced labour, teenage pregnancy, sexual/physical abuse, trafficking, child soldiers etc. I hope that things change for good.

I dedicate the poem below to children, all over the world. I echo what many may never have the chance to ask for:

Give me books and a pen,
Promise me nothing but education
Teach me words or to count one to three
And I’ll paint the world for you to see

Today being Children’s Day, I wish that every child has access to quality education, that every child live in a world free of economic, religious, political, or sociocultural discrimination and finally that we all put children’s rights first and contribute towards their happiness, peace and progress.

Good night.

Categories
Africa haiku Nature Poetry

Haiku: Happy Hawk

Happy hawk surf,
King of blue clouds, wind
While silence look on

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Africa culture/tradition folklore Nature Pastoral Series

Diaries of a Village Boy: The Leopard Spirit 9

Papa came back looking exhausted and defeated. He hung a tied piece of wrapper across his left shoulder and chewed slowly on bitter cola. He held a yellow palm frond in his left palm as he walked into our compound.

From my room I watched him march straight to his hut without speaking to anyone. He didn’t even answer Mama’s greeting. Something must be the problem and I was determined to find out sooner or later.

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Three nights ago I overheard Mama and Papa speak about the new priest that was sent by the Mission to our hamlet. Papa had intentions to speak to him to see if he could help liberate me from the spirit. They said the white man was stout with an iconic moustache. He was very tall and wore large eye glasses. Some children and indeed the villagers reasoned he had special powers for he talked back with authority and rude confidence at the Chief. Those who had met him thought he spoke through his nose and that he barely breath when he spoke. My friends who went with their fathers to welcome him said he spoke something like shuprishupri and they pitied their fathers who could only nod and gesticulate when he spoke to them. They swore he was a good actor full of humour. Sometimes some of the children will try to mimic his speaking style, ridicule his manners and then laugh away at their stupid selves.

Papa went to welcome him as the eldest in his clan. He should have taken me as his first son as others did but he felt I was not fully recovered. I thought Papa wouldn’t let us close to missionaries so that we won’t get corrupted by their ways. He had deliberately stopped us from attending church services too. But why would he seek help from those he abhorred? I shrugged. I knew one day I’ll meet the white man, and see if I can use his ways to free myself from this bondage.

***

One dibia suggested taking me to a forest for a week-long deliverance but my father refused saying that he won’t let me out of his sight. Mama has protested even before my father took the decision. I was indifferent, if no one wanted me to possess a Leopard spirit then why not do the needful to break the link?

The dibia had even adviced Papa to leave me this way, on grounds my powers may prove useful some day. I remember Papa shout, “Tufiakwa! Chukwu amamkwe!!

To be continued…

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Pastoral

Africa Day 2020 (Images)

Happy Africa Day!

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Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

You’re my Style

I know beautiful words are healing to the soul, but I write not because words are beauty but for your beautiful self. So I want you to sit back and enjoy this rhyme, this African style. Everyone has got a style, loving you by beautiful words is my style.

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

A Kind Story 2

I received this story from a friend and thought I should share with you.

Folake, a primary school teacher, was transferred to a different school and immediately appointed as a class teacher of a class five class.

On her first day in her class, she noticed that a boy named Kola was different from the rest of the pupils because he was always lonely, out of place, dirty and never used to do homework. Folake also realized that most pupils in the class had a negative attitude towards him.

Folake decided to investigate and find out the problem. She decided to review the file containing the records for Kola. She was very surprised by what she found out.

Kola’s class one teacher wrote and said “Kola is a good pupil with a ready laugh. He does his homework neatly and has many friends”.

The class two teacher wrote, Kola is a good pupil with a ready laugh. He does his homework neatly but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle”

The class three teacher wrote, “his mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest”.

The class four teacher wrote, “Kola is withdrawn.He doesn’t do his homework and has very few friends”.

By now teacher Folake had known where the problem was, and she was very ashamed of herself. And from that day onwards she decided to pay much attention on Kola and to assist him as much as possible.

Towards the end of the year, the pupils in the class decided to bring presents to teacher Folake. All the pupils in the class brought expensive presents which were wrapped in coloured paper except Kola. His present was wrapped clumsily in old pieces of newspaper. The rest of the pupils laughed at him when they saw what he brought.

Folake felt great pain as she opened the present that Kola had brought, she found an old bottle of perfume which was a quarter full and an old bracelet which had several beads missing. To stifle the laughter from the pupils, teacher Folake exclaimed “this bracelet is very beautiful” and wore it. She also took the bottle of perfume, tapped it on her wrist and put it on.

In the evening, when the rest of the pupils were going home, Kola deliberately remained behind, and when he was sure that all the pupils had left, he went to see teacher Folake. He entered her office, and summoning enough courage he said to her, “Teacher, today you smelled the way my mum used to”. When Kola left, Folake locked herself in the office and cried for more than an hour.

The following year, Kola wrote a letter to teacher Folake. He told her that she was the best teacher that he ever had in his life.

Six years later, he wrote another letter, he told her that he had finished secondary school and he was the best in his class. He added that “she was still the best teacher he ever had in his life”.

Eight years later, he wrote another letter. He told her that he had completed his bachelor’s degree in medicine was now a doctor. He added that she was still “The best teacher he ever had in his life”.

The following year, he wrote another letter. He told her that he had found a girl and was going to get married. He explained that his father had died one year earlier, and was wondering whether Folake would accept to attend the wedding and sit in the place reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course Folake accepted and during the wedding, she was putting on the same bracelet with several beads missing and she was also putting on the same perfume that Kola remembered his mother was putting on the day she died.

Now l ask a question, have you ever helped someone you don’t like? Can you do good just to help someone get up even when they cannot pay you back when they are not there?

LESSON: Any kindness you do to someone lasts forever! Touch a life in your school, places of worship your immediate environment, community, or anywhere today!

Dedicated to all who have the special opportunity to touch lives.

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition Nature Pastoral Poetry

Namaqualand, Beautiful Namibia

I see light fell from the sky
On the wind I heard a sigh…Image @ChristurtleboyesStart a blog here.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Waterfall

Listen to Nature sing from waterfalls,
She thrash her garments upon rocks
And wash them with her soft palms
She sends soft waters crashing into the pool
Watching the blue skies as her fingers work
When the water descend they form
Fine curtains of white mist
As the water touch the pool below
It changes into bubbling green
Loose soil cling to Water lilies & Fern roots
Slowly falling water push crabs to their burrows
Echoing nature’s still song till evening

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Since I met you

Many times I told myself that love is but a lie
It comes into a life and leaves without a trace
But since I met you, I feel more ambience;
The way you make me do things I do,
The way you smile and cherish life so

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

If I do love you

If I do love you
I would make me a green hut at your gates
Drum and call upon your name
I would of your virtues write long poems
Sing them in the dead of the night
So it sounds among the ancient hills
With Echo, the talkative spirit of the air

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

Love’s Silhouette

wpid-gb.jpg
We have our silhouette against sun rise,
When we stand, staring in our grey eyes,
Yet the sun may bear witness to this tryst

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

African childhood Memories

I long for my childhood days in rural Africa,
To fill my lungs with morning air descending from hills
And to till farmland that stretch into sunset

Golden sunrise always kept everyone speechless
And when birds welcome the day with choruses
Sweet breezes gather to battle the sun warmth
Infants may resume their wailing culture
And somewhere up, away from the hamlet
Hawks and Eagles surf the blue wild skies
Little birds build their nests on Palm Trees
Filling quiet neighbourhood with joyful cries
Down by the riverside a school of silver fish swim
Scattering when a breadfruit plunge into the stream

After the morning chores
The boys move on to the green field
Sheltered and surrounded by big trees
From the pitch we pick team mates
And set up goal posts with bamboo
Now our football was unripe oranges or grapes
And when the game start our little legs race off,
Up and down the field, while monkeys watch from trees
I gladly remember the taste of Egusi biscuits,
The numerous fruits that grow on trees near home
And tasty Oha vegetable soup prepared by granny
Now the ancient hills and green trees are my brothers
I climb the guava and mango trees with bare hands
And race up those hills upon the evening tide
Waterfalls are my hideout when in mischief,
The streams my pool where I still my soul
The night is full of dreams, full of starry nights,
I retire with other kids to eat my warm soup
Listening as fire lick the wood outside, slowly
Dinner brings the day close to an end but not yet
As a generous story may be told
My favourite being a tale of the Giraffe
And how he ate the sickly moon half

I long for my childhood days in rural Africa still
To watch the sunset behind hills I call home

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

Sing with me

Sing with me
Let’s talk lyrics only known to poetry,
Dance with me
Let’s swirl upon night’s quiet rhythm.

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Seeker

image

I see a golden ray
Giving light from afar
Up the lonely road
Near the cliffs edge
Where leaves fall in circles,
Caring about nothing
As they fall, happily
And the skies not seen
But a streak of sun light
Filing through waving trees
Now and then,
Rodents of tall trees,
Curious about the passerby
Rush through tree branches
Enjoying her damp dark nest
Which envelope the forest,
Playing, hide and seek,
Wondering what passerby’s seek,
Yet the road is quiet
Crafted from a thousand layers
Of fallen leaves piled up
One against another.
Amidst, yellow leaves care not,
If it falls, and lays on a red leaf.
But this is life’s green circle
Life may die to live!

But all through this I seek the way,
Through my land and her forest,
Blessed, yet seeking to see another land

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Back home

Well, the morning bus was fast enough. Now, I’m here again, Ovim my beautiful home!

I noticed new additions to the garden, date palms, groundnuts, turmeric, plantains, cane sugar, grapes, pawpaw, oranges, guava, coconut, sour sops, tomatoes, mangoes, yams, cocoyams and more. My aunt had turned this small garden to a demonstration farm.

My fluffy friend won’t recognize me or come any closer even though I raised him. I learned his companion was prepared for Easter. I pity his lonesomeness.

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I’ll settle to this welcome offering of mangoes while they prepare lunch. These mangoes can sale for a lot of money in town but it’s free here.It’s good to be home but I won’t stay long. Traveling may be restricted in coming days.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Another Evening Storm with the Rainmaker

… And there’s another rainstorm brewing over this town tonight. Out in the cold street, light bulbs glow here and there, but meshed in grim embrace of darkness itself. I feel the wind lick the skin on my forearm when I hold the curtain to see the rainstorm. There’s a strange but sweet smell, of caked dust mixing with the rain.

My door is thrown ajar, my curtains sail like a mast on a Pirate ship. I lay on the bed, dreams are not so far off.

A Little More Prodding, Dear Rain…‘ You won’t understand, of course. I’ve a special connection with the rain. Now I hear the host of Heaven, rain gathering from afar. Crashing into the glass windows and throwing my neighbours’ household into frenzy. Rooftops are the rain’s crazy drum and she plays on them softly.

Listen, Dear Rain… Go On, Pound The Earth, Beat Your Drums...’ Aha! A call from an Aunt confirms that it rains Cats and Dogs in Ovim, my hometown and as I said earlier on I’m preparing to travel home tomorrow. Can’t you see? The rain is cleaning up the streets and roads, here and home for my return. Haha, I read meanings too deep but this is me, simple things thrill me. But honestly, I do think that I’m a rain maker.

Good night everyone.

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

Muse: Thoughts

Nothing gives me exceptional hope
But thoughts of coming home to you

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

Reflection: African Dream

I reflect and dream of you Africa, and hope to see Peace, Equality and Freedom work for you and for all…

…and to travel through many African countryside, to smell coffee grown in a valley in an Ethiopian village, to dance with the Masai and roar boldly with Serengeti Lions when they call the sunrise. I admire the sunset and smiling familiar faces; to ride Ostriches and race Cheetahs; to sit with children when our routine moonlight tales are told, to hear the Zambian Hyena howl at night. I’ll see young Igbo men wrestle in sheer display of beautiful African culture in my hometown, swim through white waters of Oko’pia, and watch Africa’s potentials harnessed properly by leaders.

…to listen when elders speak as they share their wisdom, and prayers, to love, for love is central to human existence and to this evenings reflection. Love brings peace, grants equality and freedom. Love is blind to my skin colour and lets me dine with all men irrespective of religion, creed, tribe, nation, and economic or political interests.

Finally while I end this reflection and if I do marry, I’ll hold my child high as Simba was held. She will see her people’s wealth of land and life. She will learn her African values, speak her fathers languages, learn to wear her beads, braid her hair and love all human kind; dark or fair, living in vales or hills or in towns or hamlets, or where it shines, snow or rain.

Good night.

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Categories
Africa folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

Dream of Sunset

I dream of sailing with the sunset,
To listen while wild winds whistle,
And watch silver clouds gather over me

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Tradition: Breaking the Kola nut

Onye wetara oji wetara ndu (Igbo)

He who brings Kola brings life…

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

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

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

Ihe dï mma onye n’achö, ö ga-afü ya.’

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

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

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

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

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****

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****

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

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Starry Night

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

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Categories
Africa education lifestyle

Internet Fraud and Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Amuse: Reason to Smile

smiley

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

***

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

African Sunrise

African sunrise. What is more beautiful?

Have fun with life. Enjoy simple things.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

First love

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

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Lagos during Lockdown

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

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Two Poems: Together we watch day end and my Dancer

(1) TOGETHER WE WATCH DAY END

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

(2) MY DANCER

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

Categories
folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry

Muse: When there was Love

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

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Tradition: Ohafia War Dance (Ikpirikpi Ogu)

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

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

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

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***

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

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Thoughts on Covid-19

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

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

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

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

Categories
Africa education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Update on Covid-19: Abia State

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

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

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

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Motherland

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

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Come, Watch the sunset

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

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture lifestyle

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Published in 1958, its story chronicles pre-colonial life in the south-eastern part of Nigeria and the arrival of the Europeans during the late nineteenth century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. In 1962, Achebe’s debut novel was first published in the UK by William Heinemann Ltd. Things Fall Apart was the first work published in Heinemann’s African Writers Series.The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo (“Ibo” in the novel) man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia. The work is split into three parts, with the first describing his family, personal history, and the customs and society of the Igbo, and the second and third sections introducing the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on Okonkwo, his family and wider Igbo community.

Learn Igbo language here.

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

What’s in a name?

A name indicates a person, place or thing. It may reflect why a person bear it. For instance, one can say Akpan, the first born or Judy, the mechanic. So a name can serve as a trait, feature or attribute.

In African culture, people name their children after circumstances they passed through, events they evidenced or situations they find themselves in.

In the Igbo culture for instance, a tribe predominantly known to love and worship Chukwu, Chi or Chineke (God) value is placed on names linked to God’s name. So most Igbo names are attached to God. If you are familiar with Chinua Achebe’s and Chimamanda Adichie’s literature you will agree that there’s rich display of cultural names in African literary works. Names like Okechukwu, Uchechukwu, Chima, Chioma, Ekechukwu, Ikechukwu, Ogochukwu, Chidinma, Chukwuebuka, Chukwuemeka etc bear names of God and then what He did or a character of Him.

My name, Okechukwu means ‘My share from God‘. A typical Igbo name, suggesting that I am the share of God’s goodness in my family. Isn’t that beautiful?

Let’s look at the name Uchechukwu. Uche mean thoughts, wisdom or understanding depending on the usage. Chukwu, Chi and Chineke, as I mentioned before means God. So the name can go like this: Uchechi, Uchechineke and so on. But the most used is Uchechukwu which can be shortened to Uche or Uc meaning The Thought(s) of God. It can also be said to mean the will of God. There are variants in the name too. Uchennam means my Father’s will. As Nna in Igbo mean Father.

Consider another name, Obinna, Obinnaya or even Obichukwu (the Father’s/God’s heart/mind). This name is common in the East of Nigeria. Just like the biblical David who was tagged a man after God’s heart so is the name Obinna or Obichukwu or Obieze (King’s Heart). Amaka means Beautiful and Ebube is Glory.

Let us consider this name Chukwuemeka. Chukwu means God and Emeka translates to ‘has done it‘. So joining the two literally we have God has done it.Let’s talk about Chika or Chukwuka. A name translated to God is the Greatest! Also Chukwubuikem, a beautiful name which means God is my strength. Consider the name Chukwuebuka. Translated to God is the biggest or strongest.

Learn Igbo language and culture here.

You may want to adopt a Nigerian name for yourself. Stay safe everyone.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Draw the sun

summer-sun-wallpapers-1024x768

Draw the sun and paint your dreams

Believe in the little you do, hope for the best

Connect to your mind, live your dream!

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Dawn

**

A slope of rounded hills
Black against the horizon
Threatening the sun with its fierce thrust
With thin clouds streaking across the sky

**

The clouds underbellies glow reddish hue
The morning warmth fighting the heady moon
Wide plains stretched, savannah grass paradise
Sometimes lonely trees stand with the yellow grass

Ancient, raw, the scattered lights slowly gather together
The city below, and the hills standing guard like a soldier
Listen now, the Tsetse may disturb mornings peace
But the heat will come soon with her perfect grease
The road are shaded by thick groves of Eucalyptus and Vines
And the human settlement; houses, huts are all intertwined

Smell of ripe fruit romance the market ways
Tomatoes gutted, grapes squashed on the clay
And when the hills let the sun quietly rise above them
It was gold- unexplainable, like the lifecycle of a worm

Again, like the humble Queen risen from a sleep
Came the sun from the lands of the unknown deep
Smiling at the ones she had left to her solitary slumber
She leaves all, fauna, flora to a graceful wonder

Now there is light, the brown Earth bright
And on all things old, the sun shines her gold

Categories
Africa lifestyle

My Facebook Poll on Covid-19

Recently I set up a pool for my Facebook friends. Though response was low I still got a reasonable answer.

Out of 49 viewers/votes, 84% voted NO to the question on the image and 16% voted YES. I reached out to the YES voters to ask them for reasons for their choice. Some admitted they chose YES by mistake (and since they can’t undo the vote let it be) and others have mixed feelings. As it is said, majority carries the vote. Clearly, 84% is more than a half of the total voting sample and from YES answers, no tangible evidence exist that government is doing well in that regard. These are people’s opinion.

Conclusion: The Nigerian government (state and federal), are not doing enough to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and general welfare of people during the quarantine.