Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 29: Perseverance

Fall seven times and stand up eight.

–Japanese Proverb

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry

Tale of The Musk Rat

Once upon a time
In a land far, far away
Where the forests were untamed
And animals had clans and kingdoms
There lived a young musk rat
Who loved his mother so much
And took good care of her
He would go hunting for fruits
And exotic vegetables from the forests
And brought them home to feed
The mother and himself

A particular day came
And he found a bed of vegetables
Growing by the side of a pool
He gathered them
And in all he brought home nine baskets
He was overjoyed that the vegetables would last
Longer than he expected
And so he handed it to his mother

But when the mother cooked the vegetables
The nine baskets shrunk to two baskets
When the musk rat discovered that he had only two baskets
Of warm vegetables he questioned
His mother and wasn’t satisfied with her answers
So he killed her out of his rage

Another day he went to the poolside
And lo, fresh vegetables blossomed
And he picked to his fill once again
Carrying the nine baskets home
He boiled the vegetables and it all shrunk again
To two baskets and it dawned on him
That vegetables are lighter when boiled
And that he had killed his mother in vain
And again out of anger
He killed himself too…

Anger and impatience are no man’s friend. We must learn to control them.

Categories
Love and Christianity Pastoral Poetry

You came as a Dream

You came as a Dream to me
This Dream has made me beautiful

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Poll

Please can you take this poll for me? It’s anonymous and I appreciate.

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
lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Even by Robin Bliss

Even when I walk,
In deaths dark shadow,
And the sun is hidden,
From my sight.
Yes.
When pestilence is near,
And people panic afraid.

Although fires rage.
Or the darkest night,
Has come upon me.
When illness nears,
And isolation is here,
Languishing
But.
With you, my beloved,
Close by my side.
I will not be afraid.
I will not be afraid.
Although the way,
Ahead is a mystery,
And changes happen.

I will not fear anything.
As long as you are near.
Your voice comforts me.
In my time of trouble.
Your touch is calming,
And my fears abate.

You are more precious,
Then all the gold to me.
Without you I’m nothing.
As I walk through the,
Deepest valleys,
I will fear not.
For you are always with me.
For we are one.
We are one.
My beloved.

Categories
education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Self Reflection 25: Diligence

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

_Martin Luther King Jr

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 21: Faith 2

Believing is seeing, not the other way round.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Stars Glitter for you

Stars glitter for you
When you look up the skies

Categories
Africa folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Beautiful Spring

Rainfall or shine, flowers and bird calls
Squirrels and trees, spring brightens all
Dwell in tree houses, sit out in beaches,
Live in the beauty within and without you

Categories
folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry

Galaxies

Galaxies shine,
Cloudy night they belong
Sea breeze play with waves

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

My Friend, the Free Wind

I like that I soak in the rain,
Catching water drops
That melt before my eyes
I play with Nature’s gifts,
Dancing with the wind,
My free, worthy friend!
Rejoicing when our pots fill
To embrace mother Nature’s bliss

Categories
culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 14: Courage

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Lao Tzu
Categories
culture/tradition education lifestyle Pastoral

The Magic in a Smile

A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear. Let me tell you a story of how my experience got me an intern position in a leading Nigerian bank. In 2010, I was privileged to sit for a recruitment test in my school. The test was supervised by representatives of Diamond Bank Nigeria PLC, now Access Bank Nigeria PLC, a major financial services provider, who were scouting for interns. About 2000 applicants were pre-selected from different departments. I remember that the first test was a written essay and as someone who enjoyed writing, I found it easy to navigate through. The next day, applicants were asked to check a shortlist pasted on the notice board. We were advised to wait for an open interview if our names appeared on the list. I was nervous, and wasn’t sure that I would make it as other applicants were as good as myself. Anyway, when I checked and saw that I was among the shortlisted 99 applicants, I knew that I had to face one more hurdle: the interview. At first I was happy that my essay was good enough. But there was no time to prepare for the interview, I could only adjust my shirt while observing myself from the hall window.

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Few hours later we were ushered into school auditorium. As it was an open interview, the academic faculty were invited to see our performance. It was a long wait for me, as my name fell somewhere between 50-60 in the list. I remember how I felt when my time finally came. As the interviewer walked over to me, my hands shook in fear. To contain this, I shoved my fingers into my trouser pockets,  but it wouldn’t stop! So I pulled them out and decided to face the panel. The interviewer observed my dressing and when he was close I smiled, nervously. He nodded and ticked something on his book. When he raised his head he asked me a question on math. Thankfully, I had experience teaching algebra. So I gave him an answer after solving the problem on paper.He disagreed with my first answer. I attempted the question again and again. I continued trying as he said no each time I gave a wrong answer. Luckily, I got the answer before my interview time could elapse. I thought as I took time to get the answer I wouldn’t make it to the last list. When I sat down, my seat mates offered me handshakes and said I answered the toughest question in the interview.   When the last candidate was interviewed it was past 7PM in the evening. It was then that the interviewer and his crew called out the names of successful candidates. 50 of 99 applicants made it through and I was one of them! It was an exciting and unforgettable moment for me. The interviewer congratulated us and explained why we were selected. First, we smiled. As providing good service and customer satisfaction are central to bank ethics; working with the public required patience, understanding and tolerance. Also some were selected for their persistence, appearance or determination.Few months later I received a message for me to report to Imo State Secretariat Mini branch, Owerri, Nigeria as Cash Services Representative. Indeed, smiles can create doors where they never existed and when knowledge fail, smiles give confidence to carry on.

***

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Pastoral Series

Thoughts: Friends Vs Foes 2

After watching this funny video I concluded that people are not always what they seem. Friends, colleagues and even family members may sabotage someone’s effort thereby becoming a hindrance to that person’s progress. Keep in mind that we can achieve progress when everyone in our boat is rowing with and not against us.

***

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Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature

Stay Safe

News of the spreading virus makes the headline each day. I think everyone can play a role to stop it. I’m impressed and grateful for the effort, resources and time our health and medical workers employ to contain the virus. I think bloggers should help by talking about it and sharing information about the virus on their blogs. I shared a video on this sometime ago.

Advice: Stay calm, panic can only cause unnecessary worry and stress. Make sure to follow health safety measures. We can always pray and have faith.

Stay safe everyone. Love ❤💚💜💙💛

#coronakindness

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Another visit to Ovim’s Hills

If you encounter tablelands and rocks, hills and valleys, waterfalls and streams, abundant trees and virgin forests, all set in one quiet countryside, you will agree that Ovim is really blessed. Ovim is situated on ancient hills, a beautiful place for camping and outdoor fun. Each time I visit I get healed by her beautiful ambience. Welcome again to my home, Ovim. I was on transit, so couldn’t captured images exactly. The grasses had turned brown and I noticed that some ponds had dried up. I saw school children play in the fields, near their school and heard birds sing from the cover of trees in the forest. Don’t take my word for it, visit Africa. Want a blog or website like this one? Then click here.

Categories
culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Music in me

They say you are the reason why they sing, I say you are the song in my heart.

Categories
culture/tradition education folklore Nature Pastoral Series

Muse: I choose you

I’ll choose you any day; today and tomorrow

Categories
culture/tradition lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 6: Watch and Pray

Never relax your guard: watch and pray.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 5: Be contented

There’s nothing wrong in helping, giving away roses, gifts and love. People may take these for granted, be contented to being the good person you are.

Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Remember

Remember the setting sun will rise,
Tomorrow will become yesterday
And life must definitely find a way

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral

First rain

First rain,
Strong wind,
We celebrate
The long wait,
And sniff the scent
Off the wet earth

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

Self Reflection 2: Love yourself

Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your happiness.

Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Thank you

I feel better today. I think the malaria and stress is gone. I’m ready to start work again. Can anyone recommend a good editor and publisher? I’ve a drama and some short stories I’m considering to publish.

Thank you for your likes and support.

💛💙💜💚❤

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry

Muse: Even Though…

Let me hold your hands, look into your eyes & sing,
For even though I fail sometimes, I love you still

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle

Happy New Month

Here’s to wish you all a fruitful month! Let’s march on to greater fruitfulness, open doors, good health and blessings.

❤💚💜💛💙

Categories
lifestyle Pastoral

Rusty ID

Earlier today, I found a rusty high school ID of me. I even dreamed to work for FBI as a little boy! 😀

All these while, I never knew I was the Batman. 😊

Categories
Africa folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

A Farmer’s Love song

I picked a pretty fruit
Which reminds me of you
Grey eyes and elegant

There are many fruits
But you are just exotic
A fine and pretty sight

You are an amazing fruit
Like the seed of Sunflower
Sweet to keep my days light

You have become my fruit
The sunshine after darkness
My best friend; humble and sweet

Categories
Nature Pastoral

Images from John Okereke

I met John at the University of Uyo, Nigeria. I wasn’t sure what his talent was then. I’m now. Follow him at @putinpicturesJohn is a jolly good fellow…

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

African Folklore

Folklore are tales, legends, superstitions of a particular ethnic population. In Igbo culture and other African societies, story telling is unique, such that it is a passage to transmit the tradition of a place from one generation to another. These tales convey the history, ancient messages and old knowledge. They teach morals and virtues to younger people. I’m privileged to remember some tales I was told by Grandma. I was very close to the older folk in the community and it seemed I learned a lot fast. I loved and still adore rural life. During school holidays, I travel with my aunt to stay with my Grandma (God rest their souls). I learned rodent hunting, swimming, wrestling and other kinds of play from boys of my age. Countryside life was one of simplicity and I enjoyed every moment.

Learn Igbo language here.

On one occasion, I recall traveling with my aunt and in the hurry forgot all my shorts save from the one I went on. As my Grandma had no boy and so couldn’t provide shorts I was made to wear skirts. It amuses me till this day when I remember this. I played with other kids in a red skirt! I was very little then, but coming from town I knew playing naked wasn’t my thing. So I went with skirts. My family still tease me. They call me Mr Piper, after the kilt-wearing Scottish wrestler and we laugh over it.

Most times, tales are told in the evening, after dinner. In extended and nuclear families, tales are normally told near a charcoal fire outside, preferably under the shed of a tree, on a moon light night. If the tale was to be heard by all, then it will be somewhere more open, like the village square. The story teller most times will be an elderly person. The little ones will sit still, listen and watch them. I guess this was the origin of my interest in story telling.

Mbe (Mbo), the Tortoise is the primary actor or villain in Igbo tales. He is portrayed as a shrewd person who cunningly gets what he wants and sometimes fails. According to my Grandma and my aunt, Alibo is the name of the Tortoise wife. I can’t remember the son’s name but this will not matter. There are other notable characters in African folklore. There is the dog, snake, boar, elephant, lion, crocodile, cricket, leopard and the rest. Mind you, the names one ethnic group give their characters may differ from another. I hope you continue to enjoy these tales.

Have a good night everyone.

Categories
Nature Pastoral Poetry

Muse: Thoughts of You

Nights may fall, crickets may call,
I sit alone, thinking of you

Categories
Nature Poetry

Muse: Promise

I’ll be far away,
Promise you wait for me

Categories
culture/tradition lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature

Take a Break

Do you feel overwhelmed by life’s stress? Then it’s time to take a break. Here are some recommended tips to stay relaxed:

1. Take a nap: It’s obvious that our body system is designed for rest. So enjoying some sleep is a good way to let off steam.

2. Water, Water and more Water : Water is life. The Earth and human body system is made up of water. So we can see the link between human beings and water. Some headache and stress can be fixed just by drinking a cup of water!

3. Exercise: Exercises are a great way to reduce stress. I remember that each morning I took a jog I tend to be proactive through the whole day.

4. Evening walks/Hangouts/Friends: Anytime I feel overwhelmed with work, I try to hangout with colleagues and friends. This normally takes place somewhere away from workplace or home.

5. Family: I’m a strong believer in the positive energy family can give. I know that families differ but if you really enjoy family time, you might find it comforting. I try to loosen up by talking to family members. We discuss warm memories and these memories are pleasant and gives a comforting feel.

6. Then I eat too: Hunger may cause stress to people. Trying to enjoy a well prepared and balanced meal can make one feel good. I’m a witness.

7. Music/Movies: Soft music can heal. Everyone have got songs that when it plays brings succour to them.

Take time to take care of yourself and to make yourself comfortable. You are the architect of your own well-being and comfort.

Categories
Africa education Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Building Bridges

What is better than bringing two worlds together,
Bringing life and earth over a body of water?

What is better than true friendship
When it blesses all with companionship?

What is better than the scent of the rain
When it brings the reign of droughts to an end?

What is better than the smiles of loved ones
When all times, good or sad, brings satisfaction?

What is better than love in your eyes
When it can bring us together?

Bridges serves people and communities
Once we walk through it, we connect two worlds and their aspirations

When we stay connected to this circle and bridge
Love enhances our compassion for others
If things fail to come together lightly
We may have forgotten that we belong to each other,
So think of building more bridges than walls,
For all dreams depends on a bridge or another

***

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Categories
Africa Nature Pastoral Poetry

Swift Breezes

Swift breezes welcome me to my hometown
My mind is at rest, for the love felt around
Palm trees are sentries, termites their soldiers
Cherries and mangoes throw fruits, sweet as sugar
Swift breezes blow through our quiet neighbourhood
I stand under tree shades, with my hands raised
When tree leaves struggle all about breezy Ovim
To enjoy mild acquaintance: my forever home!

***

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Categories
Poetry

400 + Followers!

Reflecting on my writing history I’ll say it hasn’t been easy. Writing from rural and semi urban Africa can be challenging; poor internet connection, little or no research resource and electricity issues. Despite all these, seeing your vote, like, comment, share or a new follower is an indicator that there’s progress.

For your support dear friends, I’ve got loads of thank you. I’m grateful. Your presence here fuels me. Thank you for being part of this African story.


Cheers and Love ❤

***

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

The Rainmaker’s Tales 2

Now it was tradition that young men
Cut wood in the neighboring forest
Before they are allowed to chose a maiden
There was no axe in the town and nearby hamlets
So young men did desperate things,

Mirtle was a young man, deformed in one hand,
Humbly dull, but very courageous
Youth of the hamlet, saw him as a weakling
And laughed for he was unfit for this great competition,
So they cared not to help him and such the men
Went deep into the heart of the green forest
Searching for wood, for there was no axe then,
Then appeared dwarves loitering about the wood,
Without food, water or warm clothing
Night came upon them each day
And they starved and want warmth
But no one cared or even looked at them
For the villagers loathed strangers
But not all, were bad mannered
Mirtle had compassion, though he was weak
And knew every night come gruesome
And that treacherous cold was her mistress
So Mirtle offered his food and warm cloths
To some of the weak and weary dwarves
Sharing with them till he had none left
So one night, the elder dwarf gave him a gift
Behold, it was a great axe!
And so Mirtle got some wood for a fair maid prize!
For his kindness to strangers who were in need

***

I had imagined and created this story to discuss compassion, love and kindness. It is even revealed that Abraham entertained angels without knowing it.

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

True Leadership

Earlier this evening, I overheard the women talk; my mother, aunts, some helpers and my little sister. From my room window, I heard their discussion on the funeral and all they did to make it a success. Usually I don’t eavesdrop on women chats but I couldn’t help but listen to this particular discussion. I admire their ability to make things light even with their busy schedules. They did all the cooking, cleaned the house and compound, washed everything, and served the visitors who came for the funeral. What actually got my attention was their discussion on how they successfully implemented their plan. I admire and appreciate these women and their ingenuity. I wonder what they could do if they were in political posts. I think they will make good leaders and that African lawmakers should encourage female politicians to take up more political posts.

I sit in my room, trying to overcome the stress from the past week. I bared my mind to different thoughts. It is heart warming seeing people work to make things happen for others. I am grateful to you all for your prayers and wishes. Family still remain the greatest positive energy ever!

I am re-reading a drama, Robin Hood I found in my father’s box. I think my mind needs some education. 🙂 Goodnight everyone. 😗

Categories
Africa folklore Nature Pastoral

Ide Stream

We took a walk through Ovim. I decided to show my friends around. Just after Ugwu Uwaoma, we saw the table mountain. From the distance, it looked magnificent.

Further ahead, we came across the stream Ide, with her tide gliding smoothly through the green forest. The stream is deep and some fish trapping go on. Looks can be deceptive, huh? The stream’s murky waters are not what it seem at closer look. We took several images and made a video.

An aunt informed me a python was killed yesterday, at a neighbour’s compound in Umukwu but I arrived late to investigate that.