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Africa education Nature Pastoral

Golden Savannah images

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Africa Nature Pastoral

Visit Africa: Benin in Images

Discover beautiful Benin in a few images💚💙

Categories
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.

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
Africa culture/tradition Uncategorized

Visit Africa: Cotonou

Have you heard of Cotonou?

Cotonou is a large port city on the south coast of Benin, in West Africa. At the eastern end of central Boulevard St. Michel is the huge Dantokpa Market, which features religious items and spices alongside everyday objects. To the southwest, the 19th-century Cotonou Cathedral has a striking red-and-white striped facade. Nearby, in the Haie Vive district, the Fondation Zinsou museum shows contemporary African art.

The languages spoken differ, French leading as the Lingua Franca. Some English is spoken too and a host of other native languages (Yoruba, Bariba, Fon etc). There are several industries in the city. As a port, fishing is one of the most common businesses. Where there’s a coastline there’s a beach, right? Cotonou boasts of several pharmaceutical, textile, leather and cosmetic companies too.

People from different countries call Cotonuo home and it has a low crime rate. To me, Cotonuo is one of West Africa’s finest. It has the sophistication of a small modern town and the feel of the sea is just a look away! Cotonou is an African town with a French touch. Wouldn’t you like to explore Africa? Visit Cotonuo in Benin Republic.

†Wikipedia

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture Nature

Why you should visit Africa

If you are in rural Africa, when the sun set you will be very lucky to witness events that you may never see elsewhere in the world!

The sun rise brings joy. Dew, Heavens water, congregate on the roof tops, tree leaves and grasses. The sun may stay for a while but can rise as early as 7AM. If you love to swim in rivers and streams, oh nice! Yes, the rivers are cool but beware of river dwelling creatures. It is best to go with a guide.

Don’t forget to go for Safari, my favorite of all! Though I have never gone for one, I have been to many zoos and gardens. I have that natural love for outdoor animal sighting. Can you believe me when I tell you I have faced a spotted Hyena and an African python? Yes I have, but the cage separated us! There’s many species here, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Python, Rhino, Crocodile (I really don’t like those), Hyena, Ape, Gators, Hippo, Deer, Hyena, Jackal, Wild dogs, Wolf, Boar, Cheetah, etc.

In some areas, the Earth is scantily clad with few shrubs and dust and in other areas there’s the lush green forest. There’s the Savannah, the Sahel, the Sudan and swampy areas. There’s abundant wildlife. If you love watching wild birds, Africa is your place. East, Southern and Central Africa is a jewel in this regard.

There’s the Sahara, the world’s largest sand desert, there’s the Kilimanjaro mountain, the River Niger, the Cape of Good Hope! Do you know Africans love spicy food as well? Maybe you should taste the suya, prepared by the roadside; skewered meat mixed with crushed groundnuts, pepper, oil and vegetables. Don’t forget to get yourself palmy when you visit West Africa!

There’s so much diversity, so much life, so much to see and reflect on! But don’t take my word for it. Plan a visit to Africa. It will be a lifetime experience!

Categories
Poetry

The Forest

1

You call to me, tonnes of sound whispering through the wind

Calling me, singing songs of the wild, emissary of Nature

You send the birds, they ‘caw-caw’, they fly the heavily blued cloud

They make the skies their tuft, everything in you: their leisure

2

Green trees, red flowers, purple feathers, all in perfect unison

You call to me, you Baobab, you Bee and Flamboyant, you Cheetah

I listen, I write, I dream of your call, I write and I listen again

The days run out, they run fast into the current of the river

3

From the wild palms, monkeys dance and display their weird talents

In your joyful reverie you laugh at their circus and happy lust

Each day they play, each day they lived and so each day went

You engage all, the blue clouds, buzzing bees and seeds that burst

4

Down below, beautiful, fine and awesome lives exist

Crickets and hoppers play about, worms race on the clay

In the quiet mornings the sun must rise to take off the mist

All day and night, their is your song, one we can not say

5

In the summer, the hot sun shimmer and shine all day

The blue skies are unperturbed, the alligators lay lazy

In the mid day, snake beat the traffic, they make quick hay

All and all, at the end, you have your occupants busy 

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Uncategorized

A muse: Sunset

Shadows
Fall behind the mud huts
They paint soulful images,
Like the web tent of a black widow
Hanging like a carefree skeleton
And the brown stains from hands
Old or fresh which design the walls

Silhouettes
Fall behind the palm trees
They draw strange figures,
One like the village masquerade
which dance heartily on happy festivals
The other like the mad man
who travelled all about the hamlet

The sun travel home after the days work
And all we have become is an airy evening

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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
Nature Uncategorized

Africa: Retelling the story

What if there was no love in me for you Africa…?

I shrug, I will not think of it…

I wonder which other songs are left for me to sing

I wonder what can give me much joy for a better future

And I thank God for this gift, for Africa, for the world

For the opportunity to tell how I feel about Gods perfect Nature

And what it means to me… my beautiful inspiration!

1.

Each time I wake from my slumber I see your beauty

I still see heart warming smiles and people around me

And the sweet torture of their warmth joyfully burns my heart

It feels so good to be part of it all, part of a blessed world

Imagine sleeping in the open air at the spying of the Wild dogs

Imagine running up the hills to fright the Lions with the Masai

Or to dance with the mischievous apes of the Savannah

And drink the sweet and fresh Mqobothi beer with the Zulu

2.

There is some warmth even in remembering you

In bearing your thoughts and dreams…

In my hopeful traveling of the lengths

And breadths of your landscape

Through ponds, forests, hills, vales, towns and hamlets

And my encounters with the good and the bad and the ugliest,

The wild, the tamed, the birds and the beasts…

The sweet romance of adventure itself

And my undying quest for knowledge…

3.

Sometimes I am like the Wild myself

And the Waterfalls and Ponds my fine siblings

What of the streams with reeds all over the surface

That conceals the dreaded Alligators in their element?

What of the python with her thousands of camouflage spots

Swimming in the deep rivers of the Niger and Orange?

What of the spotted Hyena with her ferocious eyes

And large head full of tattoos and curly hairs?

What of the songs from the thousands of forests dwellers

Who knew no other men, deity, world or hope?

What of many, many things I might not remember to remember

Just what of …

And what of me with everything strange about me

Writing, musing away to the tunes Nature gave me?

Knowing so well I belonged to a community, entertaining ourselves

Living together for life is for the living…

I am sorely in love, with you Africa

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Uncategorized

Ogbor Hill

She sprawled across the breadth of the land. She lay humbly
Like someone listening to the Ocarina of time
Wasting away to carefree and careless governments
Losing the charm it was once known for
And settling for lesser things and lesser people

Ogbor hills abbatoirs lay with blood of sheep, pigs and cattle
The river of the Waterside wash strange men’s nakedness
Cow dung, pig leftover feasts and human wastes
Graciously find their way into the fast flowing rivers

Ogbor hill lives peacefully, she co-exists well with others;
The mechanic, the merchandisers, the retail marketers
The manufacturers, industrialists and fabricators
The wood smith, the metal smith and the vulcanizer
The educators, the transporters and the market!

In the grim darkness of the nights
Came tiny illuminations from thousands of light bulbs
From the surrounding hills and falls of shanties and slums
Came noises of man, machine and animals
Each hussling to stay alive, each fighting to survive
Some weak, some low, some high and some strong

The Waterside, the gateway to the hills stay cool
Warming the over heating causes of the industries
And man and his numerous mad machines
Driving nature mad with unrelented determination

Roads scatter, tarred, untarred, patched, degraded
Yet men thrived and moved about their business
Some build on the small roads, some on the drainages
The great quietness of the day only comes at night
This humble city is full of queer whims and caprices

Up the hill lives another town with her own lifestyle
The tentacles of this little city spread like the war ants
Sprawling across the vales and the hills, consuming everywhere
The team of strange people conquer the lands
Spoiling, tilling, living, farming, working, building
A nice example of environmental degradation
A fine instance of industrial waste and global warming

The little town serve as a breathing space
Safe from the much hustle bustle of Enyimba city
Imagine awakening those moribund factories
Imagine more industrial and human waste
Imagine living in a city of wealth but a plenipotentiary of waste

Commentary.
Ogbor hill is a town, part of Aba in Abia state of Nigeria. It is known for her enterprise, people and industries. Many schools, crafts, factories, religious bodies, governmental agencies, private concerns and residencies call here home. I was born and brought up here. The common language if not the corrupted English is the Igbo language of the Eastern Nigeria.

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Uncategorized

Poetale: Drought Land, songs of Reality

There was a land, somewhere in Africa
Where the rain won’t come for a long time
The people are lean from walking distances
In search of streams or rivers
But sometimes they get no water
For Crocodiles lived in those rivers
And they were always hungry, always!
So the men went with local guns
While the women followed with baskets
The distance was long and stones cut their feet
The children most times while struggling to climb the hills
Fall and faint… Same with women and men
A trip to the water side will take till mid day
And what was the prize?
Muddy, eel infested water from the earth!

Then, the river thinned out like the men
The sun took her toil, sucking away the moist
Once again, the people stayed without water
And crops withered with each morning sun
The land was barren, the people too…
And so was there crops and animals

A week went without rain…
People packed to leave the land
But then a child yelled excitedly
Pointing towards a growing cloud
That fast approached the clan
Then came the sound of the rumbling clouds
A light shower and the whole town went joyful
Some rain, some lifes… Africa…
No one will say, when the rain will go AWOL next

Commentary:
Many had died because of no good drinking water. Infact this is one of the major causes of human deaths in Africa. As we know, water is life and anything short of clean water can pose a serious threat to human lives.
This poetale is intended to draw attention to Africa’s major problem: lack of potable water. Now the poetale might sound relaxing but the real facts on ground are troubling. Africa needs water, and Africa needs your help and prayers. #Supportafrica, #HelpAfrica today.

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Uncategorized

Okechukwu’s Haiku

The night came and went, but we are awake to Gods call
Though the night brought darkness and bricks of wall
To everyone, men and women, great or small
Yet the love of God wakes with us to perfect us all

Good morning from Africa!

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Uncategorized

When the rains go

The ponds will go dry
As the rains slowly go,
And the clouds very shy
For she will have none to woo

When the rains go to other lands
She carries her entourage of wind,
Throw into childrens eyes fine sand
And leave a handsome wreck behind

The weather grows hot in the evenings
And in the early mornings, the cold bite,
The dew hung like smoke in the morning
On the village centers vales and heights

But when the heavy rains go
The people complain even more,
But why I do care though
I am glad the mosquitoes go too!

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Uncategorized

Bulie Dikem: Abu Ekele nke sitere n’aka Oke’ Iroegbu

Bulie dikem!
Eze ndi eze niile
Chukwu nnam
Aka m di n’elu,
Chi oma m
Onye ike niile di n’aka
Unu kporo ya isi n’ala
Nani gi bu chi di ndu

Kedu ihe madu bu
Ma o buru na, ime ghi ya otu?
Anam enya gi ekele
Ndi Igbo kwenu, kelenu Chineke
N’ihi rue mgbe ebighebi, ka ebere ya di
Chukwu nnam ke amamihe
A gam eto gi, n’olu di iche iche
O ruru gi Eze eluigwe
Obi n’atom nini nini
O dighi onye di ka Chukwu
Onu m juru n’ekele
O gaghi ejum onu ikele gi
Gi mere ka ndu fodurum
Imeela

Commentary:
I have written this in Igbo language and below is the translation.

Title: Arise my Warrior: Psalms of Praise from Oke’ Iroegbu

Arise my warrior!
The king of Kings
God my father
My hands are up for You
My good God
The One who holds all power in His hands
Let the world bow before You
Only You are the Living God

What can a man be
If You didn’t make him so?
I give You the glory
Igbo people I salute you, Praise Jehovah
For His mercies endureth forever
God my father, the ever knowing
I worship You in different languages
You deserve it, King of Heaven
My heart rejoice, happily
No one like God
My mouth is full of praises
I can never be full of praising You
You that made me have life
Thank You

Learn Igbo language here.

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Uncategorized

Owerri

How I missed you beautiful city
The city that made me a man!
Oh, how lovely it is to walk your streets
Like Robin back from the gaols of France
But then the city wear a new look
Like a silver bracelet, shiny and comely
Upon the old things the new thrive
New Owerri and her cultured trees
And the people with their fine lives

The trees which I left as infants
Are now matured, bearing fruits
The roads are not so perfect,
The streets now bear gates
And men still scooped silt
From the waters that flowed east
There has been a tremendous growth
One unexplainable to me but cute
Strange architectural works of art
Here and there, they calmly litter,
The palms blossom by the city center
Overlooking the fast flowing river
See the lonely marble soldier
A sculpture depicting power
I missed the ever hot soup dinner
And the Hausa man who sold to me suya*
Now I am left to observe and wonder
For God has made here a blessed area

Commentary.
I lived in Owerri, capital of Imo State for a year when I did my Industrial Training with Diamondbank Nigeria PLC. Living without my family members taught me a lot about life, working professionally, chosing friends and managing my finances, time and self I came to realize I just became a man. Last week I was in Owerri, I could notice some changes which was actually sweet. I still love this city much…

Hausa: a tribe of Northern Nigeria.
Suya: delicious slices and pieces of meat, usually cow… grilled in the open air on sticks and meshed with onions, cabbages and grounded pepper.

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Uncategorized

Sun rising

Hail the sun rises from the East
From the back of the houses and hills
Up the skies, just above the green forests
On the faces of the glittering waters
And the rugged patches of the dusty earth

The sun rises upon all little hamlets
And on all busy streets of the towns,
On the faces glad to see another day
And on the farms which it paints gold
The land marvels at her power and strength
The trees besides the rushing river,
Swoosh happily to the airy romance
That has come with the sweet smell
Of a beautiful and brand new day

The sun rises with its warmth
The rooftops receive her’ heat
Pigeons call from their nests
The shimmer fall on the rivulets
And quiet ponds in the hamet,
A blessed and calm setting it paints
Across the hamlet and the forests
On the striding Lions and Elephants
And even on little lives as the busy ants

Hail the sun rises with all hopes
On the faces working on the rice farms
Upon the Ostriches that walk the Veldt
And the shiny waters of Niger River
And the gold city of Johannesburg
The sun rises, waking us all

Commentary
Good morning readers and poets. If you have been to Africa, then you can truly see what I see each morning I wake. Try a safari, watch the Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Rhinos, Hyenas, Antelopes, Wildebeest, Buffaloes, Eagles, Vultures, Civets, Boars, Hippos, Alligators, Elephants, Pythons, Co’diles etc feed and feel the wonders of mother Nature in a land of the sun. Africa is blessed with abundant sunshine.

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Umukwu: In Cold Mornings

It is a very cold morning
As dew descend upon this land
From those ancient hills
Standing like medieval knights
Protecting, shielding and guiding the hamlet
Quiet, queer and strange
But full of amazing life

When you feel the cold
Touched by the tip of a grass leave
On your way to the stream
Or on your way to the farm
Tucked away somewhere
Through windy pathways
Hidden in the green forest
The trick of Nature comes to you
The streams are very cold
Icing cold, it takes a huge heart
To plunge a fist in the waters

The shivering cold feasts on the flesh
Turning the skin to white colorings
Driving dry airs through the nose
And up the hills, one could hear sounds;
The cutting of palm fronds
The call of the wild
The wind brings sweet scents
Of wild sunflowers and marigold
And the cooking of my people
Though the cold be so a tyrant
It revives memories never to be lost
To a wild and country-loving boy

Umukwu is a hamlet located in Ovim, Isuikwuato in Nigeria. My mother is from here and I have spent some time living here. It is a very quiet place, save from the birds twittering and the buzzing of insects in the mornings. The hamlets is almost cut off by breath taking hills surrounding it, cold streams with big catfishes and crabs which are not to be killed; very fanciful tradition you might say. The people are homely, welcoming and very friendly; a typical feature of the Igbo ethnic group.

Categories
Nature

The Rising sun

The sun rises!
Giving her warmth
To all, rich and poor
Throwing her light
On the trees
That shade little fauns
The gloom is gone
The clouds are blue
And the birds are out
Playing and surfing the air
The weather is warm
And the heat is on

The sun rises
Our crops rejoice
The Golden Wheat, the Begonia
And the Date Palm
All reptiles start the tan
Sitting and crawling about
For the warmest place
There, the nights cold
Gone and fast forgotten
The dews all sucked up
And the happy grasshopper clan
Out for the days recreation

The sun rises
Pulling the heat with it
Drying the cocoa beans
And ripening the grape
Her yellow face glittering
Like a diamond
And the swift breezes seized
The grey haired monkeys
Enjoying the sudden drift
The twists of life
In the foggy tropical forests

The sun rises
Across the horizon
Above the nations
Falling on the backs
Of the farmers lodge
Painting a picture of Nature
Throwing a vast look
Of all Divine love
Could look like
And of a mother
Holding her little infant

The sun rises everywhere
It shines on the golf course
In the towns, cities
The little hamlets, villages
On the faces of people,
And all beasts
It shines on the streams
And the lakes
And the ever grinning Alligators

The sun rises
On our windows
Giving a touch of gold
As it falls on curtains
And waking all from slumber

Categories
Uncategorized

Nigeria

In the morning, the sun rises
Above the horizons and cliffs
And on the smiling faces on the farms
The 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 soups, 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 walks 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 shakes 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
As 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 hopes

For all who believe in peaceful coexistence and love.
Line 12 kaikai, a locally brewed gin.
Line 47 suya, delicious skewered pieces of meat meshed in dried crushed groundnut, pepper, onion and other condiments. Predominately made in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Oiroegbu Halls