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Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems Poetry

Sunset in Ovim

I stand by these rocks and hills, ancient
To enjoy again a beautiful moment of sunset

I’ve a new song to sing each time I behold the sun set
A song sang by my father and his father’s father

A song that echo through the hills,
Like smoke dispersing from mills,
Ancient like mud where palm trees grow
Cherished by all people who till and sow
A song enjoyed while treading this blessed path
One that my father and his father’s went
I am glad to sing for my hometown,
To make sense of everything around,
To dance alongside happy leaves of cassava
Or to admire the beautiful butterfly larva

When the skies are blue with her painting
I hear the sweet voice of evening wind sing,
With her multitude of insects, bugs,
Wailing infants and barking dogs
Happy palm wine tappers sing this song
When they wait on raw wine that trickle into kegs
Vast clouds sail across the horizon
From those heights they sing along
I watch while the blessed sun set
Down the hills that kept my path
Now familiar faces greet ndeewo
I’m ready to hear a good story or two

I stand by these rocks and hills, ancient
To enjoy again a beautiful moment of sunset


I just saw a beautiful sunset here in Ovim. Normally I would take an image. But it’s much better to experience this than to word it.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love culture/tradition education folklore Nature nature poems Nigeria Pastoral Poetry

Poetale: The Nomad

When twilight came
I took a walk, for some air
And down the roadside I went.
There a young man stood
Bearded heavily unlike myself
Throwing corn seeds into his mouth
And grinding them with such relish
That his brown teeth showed off
He stood a little close to my fence
And I decided to go chat with him
He smiled when I came close
He doesn’t look like someone from here
Yes, I seen those tribal marks somewhere
He must be from the North,
Sannu!‘ I hailed
Sannuku!‘ he replied
Eying me carefully
‘Do you wanti some agwado?’
‘No thank you.’ I replied
I saw his garment flow up,
Sailing with the mild breeze
Like a kite on rampage
The dress leaned deep into his flesh
And his muscles exposed
Kai, do you speak Hausa?’ he asked
‘No, very poor in that regard,’ I answered
‘Okay oh,’ he turned to call his cattle
Then I realised he was a shepherd
I relaxed a bit, wearing a new smile
My new friend must have something
To tell me about his travels and animals
He saw my smile and grinned
‘Tell me about your best and worst times,
Of shepherding and your herd’
I started without thinking…
‘My best time is when my herd feed
On a valley full of healthy green grass’
He said in nearly perfect English
‘When the sun is high above the firmament
When cows give birth in the dead night
And when I hear my favourite calf moo,’
He closed his eyes to remember more
‘What about your worst moments?’
It seemed I shoved him back from his dream,
For he suddenly opened his red eyes
And shot a blazing stare at my mouth
‘Why are there wars in Africa?
Why men kill each other?
Why are streams dry
And oceans rising?’
He asked with a frown.
‘I was born into such society
That settle disputes with violence
There’s hate, tribalism and distrust
Tribe against tribe, people against people
And hate is substituted for love…’
He pulled a twig off the long grass
‘How can we live in a society without love,
Without faith and trust for one another?
Why fight and not dialogue to achieve peace?
Why bomb a land already stricken with drought?
And cause lack of food and drinking water?’
The air grew colder…
‘I tell you I have seen things. It is time to go home…’
He said painfully, holding his stick back
‘Well as for my worst moments
I see people suffer, Yes I have
For nothing sake, I hate to see children suffer
And people suffer for other people’s crimes and atrocities
It makes little sense to me but that is the world,
We love and live in. Injustice, inequality, intolerance, ignorance…’
I could see through his pain…
‘It is only love that can save us all,’
He said as his flock gathered together
Tssski-ing, he called them, making a clicking sound from his tongue,
Hanging his long stick and hat behind his back,
He waved heartily and marched off, leading his cattle away,
I realise that the world still have some beauty and good in it


Commentary.
Sannu… Hausa salute
Agwado… Corn in Hausa


The Hausa/Fulani is a tribe spread across West Africa and predominantly in present day Northern Nigeria. They are known for their unique culture, tradition, arts and food.

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?

Start blogging today.

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.

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Africa culture/tradition lifestyle

Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan Kareem my Muslim friends. Remember love is central to human co-existence.

Salam W’alaykum.

Start blogging today.

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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.

Start a blog here.

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.

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Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Series

Worries on the relaxed Lockdown in Nigeria

Now that government relaxed the sit at home order I may travel home so I can see my loved ones and pick some supplies. My movement is within my state, I’ll go no further than that. Everyone has been worried and could only connect via phone. But I’m worried that this relaxed lockdown may allow for inter state traveling. While some parts of the country are hotspots, other parts like my state and region reported little or no cases of the virus. I’m concerned that more infected persons may bring the virus down here.

Start a WordPress blog.

I decided not to write about Covid-19’s ugly situation in Northern Nigeria, particularly in Kano. There’s a lot of drama going on. Government officials with the virus, through normal meetings and socializing infected many followers who go on to spread the virus. Now the reported number of infected persons is on the rise. I shake my head whenever people say Covid-19 is a ‘big man disease‘, that it doesn’t affect the pauper on the streets. Whatever logic that gave rise to such conclusions, I’m yet decipher.

The Almajiri system practiced in the North has shown it’s ugly side once again. Northern governors are busy repatriating non indigenes back to their respective states but are we not ignorantly spreading the virus? I’m not an expert but I can suggest letting people be where they are until the coasts clear out. Repatriation may not be the best thing to do now for it can spread the virus further.

I hope that state borders are closed before this week runs out. One awful thing about Covid-19 is that it knows no rich or pauper.

Stay safe everyone.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Nature Pastoral Poetry

Niger River

image

Have you seen the snake river
That flow through the Savannah?
The sun ray may fall on it,
And her whiteness woo the eyes
Hippos and crocs love it,
River pythons dwell on it
A beckoning waterfall up the rocks
Where Mother Nature sing loudly,
Always as she wash her garments
On the clean waters of the falls
Onitsha feeds on the banks,
Lokoja dwells on the banks,
Forests gain life there too
At the lower plains of Mali
Sweet songs of the canoe man
Whistling heartily, on a quiet day
On thee, life-given river of the East
Falling leaves, descending upon
The glittering waters,
Green seaweeds cluster together
Painting a strange colour on the surface
But thee, Niger river may flow on
And on and always, through nations,
Washing shores of different lands,
Feeding her peoples with life,
Making your land strangely loving
And appreciative of what beauty
You are to mother Africa

Start a blog here.

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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.

Start your blogging experience here.

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.

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Africa education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Good morning Africa

Thank you for reminding me of your beauty Africa. #Africanimages

Start a stunning WordPress blog here.

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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.

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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.

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Africa education lifestyle

Update on CoronaVirus in Africa

This is heart wrenching, what began as a joke is gradually escalating. Nobody is laughing anymore. When I got the updates I knew that we still have a long way before calm.

Closing state borders is not enough. African countries are finding it extremely difficult to handle the scourge with their poor economic status. Now the real show is unfolding we need to take things more serious.

There are people going about their business every day. Kudos to the police for arresting those who disobey the order. But we must tread lightly, I also saw on social media, a boy who died from gunshot wounds in Delta state. There’s no need for excessive force. People are trying to survive. It’s hardtimes and we must apply human compassion before punishment. It might be hunger that drove such person(s) out at the first place. We were hungry before the advent of Covid-19, so let the security think before leaping.

This morning I saw several nomadic cobblers walk across my street. I’m sad that these set of people are not restrained from movement. Why are they wandering about to mend people’s footwears when we, the clients ain’t moving anywhere? If the government is asking everyone to sit at home this must apply to everybody, I mean everybody safe from food vendors. Anyone can spread this virus!

Stay safe everyone. My prayers to Africa, Europe, America and rest of the world. Everything will make sense soon, have faith.

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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Nostalgia: Traveling memories

I remember my first attempt at hunting. I was a little boy then and just arrived my hometown for holidays. It was fun and I was glad I went home. As a town boy I had little experience in hunting and general country life. Traveling home was a great way to get in touch with my culture and loved ones. My granny lived in the countryside. I was always excited to see her, she was the reason I went home then. She was kind, generous and thoughtful of others. She always spared me some fish from her food basket. I was her boy and always sit looking at her pretty face each time she made dinner. The memories of her soup still make me salivate. How I miss those days. I wish I could pen down the exact feelings but it can’t be expressed in that manner. It can only be felt. True happiness grow from simple and funny things.

School holidays was an opportunity for traveling. I enjoyed every bit of it. The excitement to pack, to watch the clouds ride past, to eat my hometown’s egusi biscuits, to play with many kids and dream of killing a lion in the forest was enough to drive me home. I always fantasized, I always imagined. I dreamed too. This must be the origin of my love for traveling. Most times we traveled through rail and other times by road. The roads then were much better and I love the feel of fresh wind against my face. I really loved traveling with my aunt to stay with granny (God rest their beautiful souls).

I remember hunting with my playmates. We could hunt, swim, fish, dance, play games, farm and climb trees. We even played in the rain. We hunted anything available, lizards, rats, flies, bugs, grasshoppers and ants. I as a person, had a soft spot for living things. I could collect and study them. As a kid I couldn’t keep my captive pets alive because they won’t eat the food I offered them. Well, I cried each time I lost an insect. My parents thought I would become a medical doctor, but I wasn’t destined for that. My curiosity was something else. I wasn’t good in fixing inanimate objects (fans and TeeVee sets) like my elder brothers but I was more interested in life itself.

There were stories told by my aunt and granny. I also learned of Biafra from old veterans. Most of my friends were the elderly. While I loved hanging out with them I learned a lot from their stories. I imagined life in the time of no civilization. My aunt was my favourite story teller. She acquainted me with tricks of Nnabe, the cunny Tortoise. She even told me I was the reincarnation of her father and wished I met him and I wish I did too. He was a great man indeed. He farmed great expanses of land and had big yam barns, diji, he was also a great hunter, dinta, he was stubborn and courageous. I learned he fought in Hitler’s War in Libya and modern day Israel. My mom still retells her favourite story of how he beat up a racist who always intimidated black soldiers. It’s a good laugh. Maybe I will tell it some day.

I remember with joy, how fast things go by, how I miss those good nomad days and how life has changed. But beautiful memories still flood my mind. I’m grateful to have them.

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Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Information on Covid-19 in Local Languages

This is Umukwu, Amune Ovim in Isuikwuato. An uncle sent this video to me yesterday. I’m happy to see this happen. Now that information about the virus is spread through local languages, I expect to see some change in attitude and willingness to observe social distancing. The video is in Igbo language. I think the same should be done in other parts of Nigeria, especially the North and other African nations as well. This way our rural populace will know about the virus and how it can be avoided. There’s an English version here. Kudos to all that organized this. Stay safe everyone.

Learn Igbo language.

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Africa education lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Covid-19 Update in Nigeria

The virus is still at large and people move about freely as usual. Some news agencies reveal frightening figures. I can’t confirm these figures yet. Most public places; markets, schools and religious places are open.

Please keep us in your prayers. For those without Africa we have you in our thoughts too. Stay safe everyone.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Homeland

I love you homeland

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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.

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Africa lifestyle Nature Uncategorized

All about Coronavirus

Nigeria recorded her first case of Coronavirus 2 days ago. I received this video from a friend in Italy.

Please share this video with loved ones.

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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.

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Africa education Nature Pastoral

Golden Savannah images

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Africa Nature Pastoral

Welcome to Akara

When I was growing up I was fascinated each time we traveled to the countryside. It was fun as I could query the roads with my eyes and count palm trees as we went.

Welcome to Akara, the biggest town in Isuikwuato. The name may sound familiar to Nigerians as it shares same pronunciation with the local name for bean cakes.

Akara junction is a melting pot for travelers. People traveling to places like Uturu, Ovim, Abiriba, Ohafia, Igbere, Arochukwu, Bende and other parts of Abia pass through this route. Many people from all parts of Nigeria live and do business here. The junction is known for her egusi biscuits (tasty melon seeds, crushed and smoked with pepper, oil, and other ingredients). Yummy!

It is also known for its bush meat and palm wine restaurants. Sometimes hunters display Nchi (Grasscutter) and Ele (Antelope) for sale. The surrounding bush and forests makes hunting a lucrative business. I am not a fan of hunting. I think the government should protect the forests or regulate hunting and logging businesses. It is common to see all kinds of exotic wild animals trapped, killed and sold as meat or raw materials. Also, large expanses of forest land is cleared annually for settlements and farmlands.

There are super markets and hotels to serve travelers. Hospitals and small factories are also sited in the vicinity. There’s a bank and a thriving market. One thing you must know about Isuikwuato people is: they are friendly and welcoming.

The first image was taken last week, on my way back to Aba. Reflecting on the nostalgia traveling brought, I still feel like an excited kid each time I pass through this junction.

Have a great holiday everyone.

Categories
Africa Nature Pastoral

In Ovim 2

Good morning. I promised to take some shots during my morning walk. I’m not a good photographer though.There’s a thick fog this morning. These kind of buildings are common in the village. It hasn’t been long since the mud house went out of fashion. With high rate of poverty, it’s hard to afford good housing in rural areas.In Africa it’s custom to say greetings to people you meet on the way. In Ovim we say Ndewo and Iboola as greeting. If you won’t greet, people might think you’re uncultured. So this is a tip: whenever you’re in Africa make sure you say hi to people.I saw some soldier ants on their early morning drill. These little guys are notorious. I recall my experience when I was living with my late granny. Each night I had to pour insecticides around our poultry cage to keep them away. They are known to hijack food stored in the house. They even steal livestock too! I caught the sun rising. You can see the hill top on the background. As the village is located on a valley, it’s easy to capture the surrounding hills from any location. If you go closer then you can find out how big the hill is. I’m not passing through that route today. Maybe some other time. Ovim is characterized by hills and valleys. There are many trees too. Most common is the palm which grow wild and in clusters. As the dusty harmattan wind gradually appear, green shrubs dry and turn brown.By the roadside there’s a pool. In the past, I’ve seen people drink from it. Some streams, ponds and rivers in Ovim are designated ‘no fishing zone.’ Older folk believe Ovim is situated on a rock. Further up the road there is Orie market. As we can see the stalls are empty because today is not a major market day. People from all over the state buy and sell here. There are bars where people go to drink local palm wine, beer or soft drinks. They also sell pepper soup. This is the entrance to our Eze’s home. Eze is a traditional ruler in Igboland. Igbo people are republicans and believe in equal rights and privileges. Igbo customs do not regard kingship much as it’s believed that all male is king in their homes.I’m going back to town today. See you all later.

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Africa Igbo culture Nature

In Ovim

I’m back to Ovim Isuikwuato, my hometown. It has been a long week for me, marking and grading students’ math exam. Coupled with the noisy neighbourhood, the stress nearly overwhelmed me. Thank God it’s Friday.

Now far away from work and town’s hustle bustle, I can feel myself heal. The surrounding hills – notably Ugwu Uwaoma, make this village cold at night and early morning. It’s hot sometimes but with the Harmattan wind there’s an unequal balance between cold and heat. The only problem here will be sunflies. Ach, little vampires and I, a fair skinned person attract them a lot. But I have learned some ways to keep them off: wearing long sleeves (not effective for they attack the face, neck and legs too), using insect repellent creams (these makes one sweaty) and a more traditional way – smearing scent leaf juice all over myself.

One reason I love this quiet countryside is that it inspires me a lot. Blue skies, wonderful sunset and sunrise, ancient rocks, magnificent waterfalls, exotic bird watching and observing manmade roads cockroach up breathtaking hills. I even imagine myself the sole monarch of numerous anthills and the wild forest. Aha, how lucky I would be! I’m grateful for all the beauty I see. I feel attached to the streams, rivers, waterfalls, hills, forests, wildlife and happy, peaceful people. I’m thrilled by simple things. There’s a full moon out here and a host of insect choir. It’s good to be home!

BTW, this image was taken during my last visit. As I arrived late this evening, it was too dark to take pictures. I’ll try to in the morning. Have a good night everyone.

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Africa culture/tradition Igbo culture Nature

Nature: Best Vacation

Nothing heals faster than Nature and this healing feeling is unexplainable. It’s something everyone should experience.

Most vacations should include moving away from hustle bustle and noisy streets of familiarity and town.

I can’t say what works for everyone but if you need inspiration or thinking space, I recommend travelling to the countryside, where serenity and Natural things abound.

I shot this video in hilly Ovim, my hometown. I’m so much in love with natural places and hope to spend more time in the countryside.

Have a beautiful weekend everyone.😊

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culture/tradition Igbo culture Uncategorized

Why you should visit Africa 3

From Nature reserves to rivers/lakes and from beautiful valleys to exotic wildlife, Africa has a lot to offer. Welcome to this edition of Why You Should Visit Africa brought to you by Oiroegbu.com

1. Adventure: If you really love nature and adventure, then you should visit Africa. There’s so much to do and participate in. You can join a hunting party. You can learn how to craft spears, arrows and bows and how to use them! You can hike on mountainous terrains and ride on the back of Ostriches and Camels. You can navigate streams and crawl through caves. You can learn to climb the Palm tree without ropes or even swim with harmless Pythons and huge cat fishes!

2. Culture/Tradition/People: Africa is blessed with diverse traditions. These cultures are something you are not familiar with unless you have already been to Africa. The mode of dressing, socializing, language, history and folklore are some things you won’t see elsewhere. There’s taboo, there’s voodoo. If you visit Africa, you will experience unique cultures.

3. African Food/Delicacies: African dishes can be mouth watering. Have you heard of kunu, burukutu, fura, mmai nkwu, ngwo, mqobothi? These drinks are local brew which will keep you wanting more. You can enjoy some Suya too, a delicacy you won’t forget in a hurry. If you love good food and happen to be in Africa, you will definitely get affordable treats.

4. Safari/Nature Reserves: This perhaps is the main reason people visit Africa. With beautiful landscapes, tourism/hospitality businesses are on the rise. There are countless numbers of game and nature reserves. Large expanses of forests and wildlife are protected by the government. This also translates to opportunities for researchers and academicians. Tourists can camp in the wild, travel with guides for Safari, have dinner while watching the sun set in Africa and enjoy the best of natural things.

5. Industry/Economic Opportunities: Africa has been tagged the land of hope. There are numerous opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. With abundant raw materials, arable land and warm climate, cheap and young human resources, Africa is a growing hub for foreign investment. There are coal and Crude oil in Nigeria, gold and diamonds in South Africa, uranium in Niger republic, Timber and Iron ore in Congo Kinshasa and many more.

6. Warm climate/Tranquility: Rural Africa is a great place to live and heal. For holidays, rural campings are good escape from noisy towns and cities. There are many cities in Africa though but if you would like to make the most of your time in Africa, camp for a while in the countryside, socialize with locals and learn a thing or two from them. You will fall in love if you visit Africa.

7. Music/Dance: African music is enjoyed all over world. Most African songs are energetic in style and rhythm. Have you seen a live performance by natives? African songs are soul lifting and crave for dance. If you need to let out steam and have fun, witness a live performance by an African band.

This is all for now. I will write more on why you should visit Africa some other time. It’s a good night from Africa.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Igbo culture Uncategorized

Sunset in Ovim

Yesterday I trekked to the market square. During my lonely trek I met old friends and distant relatives. As noted before, in Africa we place much value on family and friends.

My trek was short, because the market was just around the corner. I bought two pieces of dried meat from a vendor, one for myself and the other for a distant relative who I ran into. After several pleasantries were exchanged with people and observing the sudden change in evening breeze, I decided to leave. Night was on her way.

Nothing changed since I left. The sunflies still bother me and other fair skinned people. The flies disturb before and after sun rise. Sun light is their nemesis.

I’m laying down enjoying the quiet evening, listening to the crickets and bugs quiz themselves. From the background, I hear children play outside and smell of cooking in the community. My dinner will be Fufu and Egusi soup, haha! Fufu is uhm, we call it swallow. It’s made from Cassava.

There’s an image of sun set. Nothing compares to quiet places.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Igbo culture Nature Pastoral

A poem for Ovim, Isuikwuato

Morning wakes with the sun
Windy clouds, happy yawns
Quiet town, down the hill
Misty paths, birds sing
With the forest’s inhabitantsTall palm trees stand guard
From their branches, birds tweet
Squirrels look down in fright or excitement
Dropping oily snacks on trespassers
Forest pathways are hijacked by monkeys
Protesting when a group of boys trod byHappily, mornings start with simplicity
For Ovim; void of stressful traffic,
Human or machine, blesses the humble
Now weekends supply fresh palm beer,
And restates vows of friendship, of family
And of those who love their homeland***Good morning everyone. Ovim, Isuikwuato is my hometown. I have been here for two days and I really admire the scenario. It’s a quiet and inspiring place, a special retreat for me when working on a major writing project.

Categories
Africa Igbo culture Uncategorized

Muse: Homecoming

Nada o! O nada o! Nada o! I’m back o!
Kuje kusanar, go and tell them!
Bring my jug, bring me kola, bring a mat,
For justice will be done to Mama’s soup pot
I must lay under the mango tree tonight
To watch the stars glitter and hear the crickets sing
Ah… I’m glad! I’m happy! Ina murna!
Go and inform them, I’m back!
Tell me who slept on my bamboo bed in my absence?
Who won the Okpa village wrestling competition?

Did the hunters bring any quarry
Or some palm wine tapper’s brew?
I long to dip in the cold currents of Kpere
And swim with the shy fingerlings…
I missed the Waterfalls,
And her sound when her water fall!

I missed the Hawk’s call from the hills
When the sun shine in the hot noon
I missed you crazy masquerades
And faces that blessed my childhood

Where you deh Oyine Mama?
Where you deh Oyine Papa?
I’m happy to see you again!
When you look at me, Mama nawa
When you smile at me… Ina murna!
Come and hear my story
Come and dine with me
Celebrate with my joyful self
It’s good to be back home!

***
Nada o: I’m back in Hausa language of Nigeria.
Kuje kusanar: Go and inform them
Mama nawa: my mama
Ina murna: I’m happy
Where you deh Oyine Papa/Mama: where are you my father/mother

Categories
Africa Igbo culture Nature Poetry Uncategorized

Nigeria

In the morning, the sun rises
Above the horizons and cliffs
And on the smiling faces on the farms
Hope rises with the sun,
As the children roll out their bicycles
To the tanned fields of the hamlet
Followed by their pets, puppies and kittens

A proud cloud draws a huge smile
And on the clay the infants draw theirs
The men in groups of duties
Hunt in the forests almost barehanded
And when off duty, drink kaikai in the village square
The women make soup, pound yams
And brew the local gin for the men
The boys march through the Woods

In hopes of a catch on hidden traps
Tucked away, somewhere I know not
Monkeys dance on their paths
Mocking them that walk on two legs only
And the boys would laugh it off

The girls with all basket sizes
Giggle as they walk towards the streams
Now and then, a small rodent shake the bush
And all will race off the spot in fear
The toddlers are not left behind
They wail all day, as the dogs sleep
Pythons silently leave the roadsides
Once disturbed from their sun tanning exercise
Rivers lay here and there, rivulets, streams

Waterfalls and happy fishes
Lakes and huge Crocodiles lay undisturbed
There are coastlines and islands
There are hot beaches with lots of trees
Nature washes her garments on the Waterfalls
And we could hear her sing
The Hyenas laugh not too far away
And the kids retrace their straying steps
All birds twitter, this is their home
Now the Egrets move with their land bride-
The cattle, and all sweet green grasses
The hot lands remain like a painted scarf

A valley of enchantment at Mambilla
The life giving Benue river
A calm and cloudy seaport in Calabar
The snaky terrains of Udi hills
The serenity of Victoria Island
Ancient Kano town and her suya
A busy street in Pitakwa
The red muds of the East
The rich African culture

A lake somewhere up the Niger
Home of the lion and elephant
And all bush dwelling fauns
The sun would never leave here
The land of the waking sun
This is my love, Nigeria
And it’s morning
The Sun has risen
So has our hope

**

This piece was written in 2014 and made finalist to the AwaNaija 360 poetry contest.

Line 12 kaikai, a locally brewed gin.
Line 47 suya, spicy but tasty, skewered pieces of meat meshed in dried crushed groundnut, pepper, onion and other condiments. Predominately made by peoples of the Northern Nigeria.

Categories
Uncategorized

Unabhangigkeit Nigeria!

Today is October 1, 2019, doubling as the beginning of October and Nigeria’s Independence Day. This day in 1960 we became self governing when the Brits left. So †Unabhangigkeit Nigeria!

From the coasts of West Africa, I wish a Happy New Month to all my followers and to Nigerians I say Happy Independence Day!

As the year progress to its end. Resolve to look beyond the past. Learn from it and move on.

I will share a poem on Nigeria later today. Have a great day.

***

†Unabhangigkeit: German for Independence.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education Lessons from Experiences

Celebrating Talent: Damilola Ajayi

I thought about celebrating good and talented people. Here we go, the first person in the series!

Permit me to introduce this pretty, humble, enterprising young lady. She is Damilola Ajayi, from Ekiti state in Nigeria.

When I first met Dami in 2017, I wasn’t so sure of what to expect from her. As I was appointed the Principal Corps member, I coordinated and supervised the activities of other Corps members sent to work in Government Secondary School, Tudun Amba, Lafia in Nassarawa State. The programme is the National Youth Service (NYSC), initiated by the Federal Government of Nigeria for young graduates. That was how my contact with Dami began.

As new corps arrived, I was saddled with the responsibility of receiving and making them settle down. I particularly noticed that Dami appeared confused and lost (the same way I felt when I first arrived Workers Village, Tudun Amba. But hers was something else). I tried to convince her to stay, not knowing she had plans to redeploy to another state! Well, I gave her reasons not to and she decided to try the place! She actually finished her youth service in Lafia!

Long story cut short. I came to learn that she is multi talented. She is Godly, a motivational speaker, a singer and a fashion designer. She strives to make people happy (customers inclusive). This is to you Dami! oiroegbu.com celebrates you! Keep up the good work.

FYI, she designed all these dresses you see.

So if you need the services of a professional African seamstress, reach out to Dami. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria. I trust that she will give you the best.

Follow her to see more of her work:

Twitter: @havillahseams

Instagram: @havillahseams

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/havillahseams

Categories
Poetry

Musing: The Hills top

I stand at the top, savoring this freedom

Oh hear me, hear me sweet Freedom!

I see the happy white clouds sail away,

I see the black hawks circle above me,

I hear the sound of talking, of machines, of the wild, altogether!

I see mother Natures great painting tablet,

I see the town and her gay hustle bustle

Roof tops glittering, hundreds or more,

Across the plains, solitary roofs, grouped roofs,

Perfect mix of greeny hues beside them, patches of black,

And dots of silver, shining in the hot sun, riding fast away,

Cockcroaching through the cover of tree leaves below

Blowing smoke up the hill which fade off with the wind,

I see the smooth river, I reach out to touch it from the hill

It flowed in unison, running towards the hidden great rocks

Washing away falling tree logs and pulling lazy canoes along,

I see the tents of cattlemen generously sited at the forest lines

And sometimes, sometimes I thought I could smell their cooking

The hill top tells much of the world below,

But I am blessed with the feel of freedom it gave!

Categories
Poetry

Lafia

Lafia when I looked up I saw you, I saw life

I saw tomatoes squashed and gutted by the roadside

And some tall mallams washing their legs and hands, 

With their faces to the sun, preparing for the evening prayers, 


I raised my eyes further, towards the East

And lo, the route to home was trooping with people, 

People returning, craving for the comfort of their homes

I saw roads which bring hope and two different worlds together


I saw the rains that came with lightning and deafening thunder

In all I saw your peace and tranquility, the joy of a united people

The people are happy, at least they have bread, meat and liqour

Sell of oranges and sugar cane stalks litter everywhere

The cattle dung is special, the fragrance of grass in the morning

A sweet invitation to livestock, I see them lick their tongues

The sun gave different hues and shades, for the fine quiet city

Is set to have a nap, but wait not yet, not just yet! 

The nights awoke the other side of the city, it brought life! 

Men went to the inns around for burukutu, while the women cooked

Boys and girls played in the sand and the dogs watched lazily

In the heat of the nights, scorpions visit the open walls for fresh air

And rodents ran after each other, enjoying the freedom of the night

Lafia wakes up in the morning to buy cereals for breakfast

But sleeps late in the night when the darkness came fast

Commentary: 

Lafia is a town in Northern Nigeria where I did my one year National Youth Service. I miss the city and her little luxury it gave me.

Burukutu: strong beer

Categories
Poetry

The Hamlets’ songs

Tonight I write of a beautiful countryside

Nested in the forests, at the foot of hills in the East,

A quiet place that taught me the songs of Nature

And fed me with fruits fresh from all blooming trees!

*

In the morning, fine birds gather to build nests

Their strong choral concert disturb the neighborhood

Yet from the morning till the time the sun traveled home

They sang of strange places and gave noisy vibes

All we did was listen to their individual soft calls, which together was strong

*

The noon is given to the shouts of the children back from schools,

Back from the farms and far mills where palm oil is processed 

The dogs and cats played with the little ones under the tree sheds

And when the sun heat went milder, they came out to the sand

The cries of children rent the air, heralding the coming evening

*

And when the evening finally came upon the hamlet

The songs became the pestle that pounded the beans in the mortar

With mothers yelling at stubborn children who went awol on their chores,

The clangy noise of pot lids and the smell of locust bean soup

Welcomed the travelers and the moon which showed the hamlets footpath

*

Now the night brought a mischievous song for the mosquitoes loved the night

Mosquitoes whisper in the ears of the heavy sleepers and woke the little ones

But before the coming of these vampires, the evening songs were folklores,

The lessons taught children the need to respect the elders and to work hard

And in the huts were we sleep, we prepare for another song: a heavy snorers rap!

Categories
Poetry

Ina murna (I’m excited) 

The snaky road twisted, here and there

Passing pockets of forests tucked away,

And when it ended at the foot of Ugwu Uwaoma

I saw the palm trees lead a welcome song

At the foot of the hill a banner hung

Bearing Mama’s poster and details…

***

Now I stand before thee, oh great hill

The land of my grandfathers and my fathers’

For it gives great joy to see you always, beloved land

I taste of your warm waters in the streams that flow

I sing with the birds when they make their fine nests

Oh, the plum and mango fall in the evening

I hear the little happy children hustle for them

I stay awake to watch the stars that grace your nights

The children tell me of the day and moon light tales

When the days end, we gather to enjoy the cool evening breeze

To recall the events, old and fresh, good and sad

And to riddle on jokes and remember the joy of homecoming

***

Now I sit with the elders who tell how things changed

“Nna, you see in those days we eat raw grasses and fruits,

Now you amaze us with all these food that grow in can bellies”

“The pants we wore had much space for adjustments on the waist

I wonder why the new generation keep theirs below the loins!”

They smile, they love, and appreciate all that happen around them

Oh great land! Now granny will be laid to rest in you forever

I am confused, I am not sure I will find a better tale teller!

But I will try to put all she has said and taught to paper

My face is gloomy and delighted; I have come to you my land,

But I have come because I must my granny bury in you, my land!
**

Notes.

For my granny, Late Uluocha Chinyere Duruoha. I must say that this beautiful soul has impacts in me much than I can imagine. Her confidence, her peace, her strive for excellence and intelligence. Most important of all she has taught me the act of tale telling. I will miss her much. I have been motivated by the tales she told, even the ones she told of her husband who fought in World War 2 in Tripoli and the Middle East and about the Biafran war. She has a warm place for culture and tradition and enjoys others company. Adieu mama.

Rest in peace mama! Good night, my tale teller.

Ina murna: Hausa language for I am happy, excited or delighted. Normally used to express happiness or joy.

Ugwu Uwaoma: A hilly land located in Ovim, my hometown.

Categories
Poetry

December Tides


1

Tasty for the spoils of the dry month, we are

Dry air, dry waterhole, dry lips, dry paper

Moisture lost to the heat of the traveling sun

But our feet has got many options, wait or run

And today the breeze drives the wind to us

We savor, we enjoy, to you emissary we trust

You have come with the mighty Harmattan 

Your dry airs and heat has become our tan

2

Trees sway

With blur visions on sight

As a bonus for being alive

At the point of the year

Air so dry, with hot sun rays

You only bring us dry tidings 

Cracked foot, that hurt

But we the people of this land still loves you

Commentary: 

I have written this piece with Fampah Coyish, a poet from Ghana. The both countries of ours Ghana and Nigeria fall in West Africa, and enjoy the same weather and climate. We have written about December and her tide. I have written the first stanza and Fampah Coyish has got the second. 

Categories
Poetry

Sunrise in Enugu


Alas the sun rise above the clouds
Without the mild weather all seem hot

Above the hills, greened with vegetation

And roof tops, which brown is tanned
The clouds blue upon the long firmament

Draw very friendly and smiling apparitions

One that will definitely see the sun set

Birds fly, trees swoosh, the airs sing calmly
And in a poets mind, a story is being told…

 

Note: Enugu is the capital of present day Enugu state in Nigeria’s East. The city is characterized by muddy terrain, hills, green vegetation and welcoming traditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Poetry

Tudun Amba, Lafia

1

Sprawled across a fertile land,

On a hill overlooking a quiet river

Where the rains come once in a while

And when it does, it is a fine luxury

Trees stand, here and there

Occurring once upon a place

Grasses are seldom seen, the sand most often

The palmwine* taste absolutely sweet

But in the mug we see dead drunk bees

2

The skies are blue; original, authentic

The river, flooded with the big rains

Quiet are the calm nights, cold mostly

But the early morning belongs to the sun

The people like everyone else, smileful 

3

In the mornings, the children play on the sand

When there was no chores, or when all was boring

The noon; lazy, the sun bake away, tanning everyone

In the heat, everyone seek out a shed, a citadel

The evenings are mild, sometimes unnecessarily hot

Then scorpions will find their way out for some air

In the nights the dogs bark to disturb the peace

Making all wonder what they might have seen

And when these all merge, they produce a small village

One placed somewhere, where the moon shine bright

And the sun a steady member of the community!

Note: Tudun Amba is a suburb of the capital city of Lafia, Nasarawa state. I am currently residing in this ancient city of Northern Nigeria. The North of Nigeria is somewhat hotter than the South.

Palmwine: a tasty white African wine tapped from the Raffia palm and other special palm trees, consumed as a beverage or as alcohol when fermented. 

Categories
Uncategorized

Ina Murna

The song on my lips are ones of rejoicing and dancing
Come don’t mind the sand storm that bother our gathering

My voice is not enough to sing, come join me make merry
See the green fields and fine birds have no sorrow, no worries

Smile the whole world waits to hear your tale
Do not withhold it, let it out it is surely well

The wind of stress play with us in the mornings
But, kei! We have the sunless, heatless evenings!

We can stay on the field or under the Cashew tree
Wait now, listen; you mean everything to me

Sanjuma*

Commentary.
Initially I was trying to add more Hausa to the lyrics, but I am still learning the language and so far so good though. Perhaps some day I will be able to write an all out Hausa poem as I did for the Igbo. Another boost to the pen I humbly say! Have fun…

Ina murna: ‘I am happy’ in Hausa language. The Hausa is tribe of Northern Nigeria with several unique tradition and customs.

Sanjuma*: ‘Good bye’

Categories
Uncategorized

I am Nigeria

You have smiles on your face
Reminds me of my beloved siblings
No need to 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, we surely know
To you, all good things we gladly wish

Have you seen or heard the names we bear?
We are the people of God; Oluwa, Tamuno 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 moos behind the huts
Can you hear? How tasteful the milk, fetched this morning?
When the nights come, gather for some cream sauce
Don’t forget to visit; come once, come all, salaam alekun

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