Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love

Musical Africa: Talking Drum

The Talking Drum is peculiar to the Yoruba people of West Africa.

Musical Africa
You will agree with me that Africa is a musical continent. It’s full of sounds and songs. Every tribe and nation has a peculiar musical identity. As dressing and languages differ so do musical instruments. I will like to share a musical instrument common to the Yoruba people of West Africa.

The talking drum
The pitch of the talking drum is varied to mimic the tone patterns of speech. This is done by varying the tension placed on the drumhead: the opposing drum heads are connected by a common tension chord. The waist of the drum is held between the player’s arm and ribs, so that when squeezed the drumhead is tightened, producing a higher note than when it’s in its relaxed state; the pitch can be changed during a single beat, producing a warbling note. The drum can thus capture the pitch, volume, and rhythm of human speech, though not the qualities of vowels or consonants.

Categories
love reflection

Parenting

Power in words

This is a touching story. When I read it I felt very bad. It’s not imagined.


In South Africa, an 11 year old child committed suicide on his mother’s birthday as a birthday gift to his mother.

He left a letter saying, “On today’s special day, I want you to be the happiest ever. Everyday you used to say that happiness left your life the day I was born. You told me dad left because of me. So today, I want to change things. I want you to be very happy and live as if I never existed. You told me you’d never look at me with love but I always loved you and admire you as the best mom on earth. I hope one day you will think of me, I hope in heaven you will finally hold me and kiss me. The best gift I could give you is leaving your life as you’ve always told me you wished I was never born. I love you mom. Happy birthday”.

Please parents be careful of what you say to your kids. Words do cut so deep.

Categories
Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Muse reflection

Time

Make hay while it shines

This talent of mine…

This is one talent I find solace in. It’s an avenue to paint my heart on ink, to play with the soul of nature and record lovely and beautiful memories. In my mind I create a happy and peaceful world; where I live in fine images and thoughts. It’s safe from all manner of pollution. I guard this world jealously.

Each time I pick a pen to write, thousands of little word fairies cloud my mind. Sometimes it feels like magic and other times I’m just the squirrel jumping off the tree. Haha! I’m left to pick the deserving, to mine and enjoy this wealth. It’s really nice to have such a gift. It’s a blessing and I’m grateful for it. I hope every writer, budding and established can relate.

Time

This evening as I write I feel my eyes lazy, my thumbs almost numb but time strings surge forward consuming moments and events as it went. I’m cold but time won’t pause while I fall sick.

Tick tock,” says the clock, “I wait for no man.”

Time is like a moving train. Its seconds and minutes can never be recovered or reversed. Something becomes nothing with time, vice versa. Even nature’s acts have it’s way of working with time; dew can’t wait for the sun, frogs croak when it rains at night, the moon and fireflies light up dark skies and worms burrow when the sun shines. Everything plays its role with time.

Now time won’t mind the weak and lazy, nor those who refuse to work. It flies on, because it’s a pompous but precious commodity. I wish I could spend more of it creating. But if I do I may starve! So I must find a better job to make ends meet, to make income to buy important things like pen and paper. The stress and pressure is so awful but I really want a job related to my gift or turn my gift to work. Either way I could have fun while doing what I love most. I also hope many writers relate.

Epilogue

I do read something before I retire each night. By that I train my mind to make a record for reading time. Also when I read I allow my characters to interact with my real self and other characters from people’s books. In my mind, I can be anything. I can be the emperor, the nun, a horse rider, the little daffodil, a waterfall sometimes and even the stars and sunlight. I can assume any role and find joy playing it. Time is very precious. It’s nice to find some of it to study.

It was a long day for me. I hope that we will never give up on our gifts and learn to manage our time. Have a good night.

Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 29: Perseverance

Fall seven times and stand up eight.

–Japanese Proverb

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

Memories

You remind me of home, far away,
Fine memories I cherish each day

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore Nature Pastoral Series

Diary of a Village Boy: The Leopard Spirit 5

When I reached home that evening, it seemed like the whole world was turned upside down. I felt my head swell as the bee stings and sharp roots hurt my foot. By the side of my bamboo bed Nene and her dog sat, staring at me. She held my hand and squeezed softly. I saw her beautiful face through the moon light when she leaned over to kiss me. She was sobbing.

“Get well brother,” she said as she kissed my cheek. Ah! Nene seldom addressed me that way. I was always the big head or a naughty boy. I tried to smile at her but my pain won’t let me. I laid back speechless and she left with her dog.

Outside the hut, a lot went on. Many girls from my community brought water to fill our tanks. Few came into my room to help massage my body; pulling my legs and hands as they smeared shea butter, honey and other ointments all over me. I was still in pains when Fata walked in. Then I felt my heart dance to the moon. But I couldn’t hide my pain.

Fata, ah Fata! My secret crush. The girl that played the strings of my heart. Her colour was chocolate and she spoke softly. When she walked she looked like a graceful deer. She always held her head high like a proud peacock. Her pretty face was like soft roses. But I never had the courage to tell her how I felt. I still wonder how other boys did it, how they started conversations with girls.

“They are too proud!” I argued, as a flashback interrupted my thought. It was during the wrestling season in the village, just after the match between the legendary Mazi Agbareke, the Gorilla and cunny Mazi Kene, the Tiger. We were waiting for the next bout when we discovered a group of girls in the crowd, standing opposite to us. From our stand we imagined that the girls discussed about the boys as we watched them laugh and clap their hands.

“They must be musing over your big head.” Onu said, as he turned to look at me. The other boys slapped their thighs and laughed.

“Wait oo. Please can you all take a look at my head and Onu’s and decide for yourselves who should go home with the title of Isiuwa, alias world head?” I replied. More laughter followed. “These girls are scared of this drum you call head!” I said pointing at Onu’s head.

“Okay o. I may have a big head,” Onu admitted. “But it is not empty. I can talk to girls and they like me but you barely can stand them. You dream of a girl who doesn’t care if you exist.” With that, Onu won the fight and I decided to steer the conversation in another direction.

Now Fata’s sudden appearance in my room brought back my fears but I vowed to talk to her that evening.

********

Men, women, girls and boys gathered in my father’s compound to hear my story. Nearly everyone from the community sent an emissary. Gifts accompanied the visits too, for the Igbo people believed in onye aghala nwanne ya (do not abandon your own) philosophy.

My father with some men and hunting dogs formed a small search party to comb the surrounding forests. A score of younger men were asked to protect the village in their absence. The evening breeze gave way to night’s treacherous cover and thousands of singing crickets began their procession. It was usual to enjoy the night airs and listen to folklore but this evening things were not well.

My mother with the help of other women cooked for everyone that came. Yam and vegetable soup was prepared. A huge fire was made around the entrance to our compound to keep away Wild Dogs and Hyena. I heard Mama and her maids tore through the barn to fetch yams. The huge basket hovering over the charcoal fire in the kitchen was brought down. It was rare to see Mama take fish from that basket. I only recalled that she opened it during festive seasons like the New Yam Festival. I was aware that this basket kept most of Mama’s smoked fish and it was every child’s dream to steal a piece of tasty fish from it. Girls gathered Water-leaf, Spinach and Greens from the neighbouring gardens. Some of the visitors came with mats and was prepared to stay till daybreak.

That night I had another attack. It was midnight and everybody was settled for some sleep.

… To be continued…

***

Want a blog like this? Click here.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education Lessons from Experiences Series Uncategorized

Thoughts: Look Within

Africa is scarred by pangs of unemployment. Things drift from bad to worse. Things like good education, health care, clean water and equal opportunity, seem to run from our grasp. These things may have fallen apart. What is the remedy to fix this trend?

While African universities produce more graduates, the economy won’t be able to provide jobs to absorb them. Graduates now face the realities of unemployment.

It is time for young graduates to look within. It is time to use our ingenuity to solve our problems, to create jobs for ourselves. It is time to use our talents and skills to absolve ourselves from unemployment and become employers.

I will be documenting the opportunities that exist to explore/invest in Africa.

Categories
Uncategorized

Gods masterpiece, my inspiration

The clouds sing of Your Glory mighty One

The wind surf the mild waters of the ocean

Nature is just one of  Your Great masterpiece

The Earth is Your masterpiece

She spins up the space like a speck of dust

Which fall with the others when it is time

The snow melts down into the soil with time

She feeds the moisture starved grasses

With time we are left with lush greens!

See the sun set over the hills and greens,

Watch the little mistletoe grow on the garden

Let the wonders of our Gods creation unfold

For no one can ever be like Jehovah

 

Categories
Uncategorized

African desire

wpid-cameroon_rainforest_2.jpg

My land is green

Africa, my Africa

Together we win,

My humble desire

 

Your arms are long like the bamboo weed

The smoothness of the riverside air sooth it

The hornet, the weavers all spread your seed

And with joy, we come to you to inherit

 

Your moments are fun, beautiful, we are joyful

You are full of splendor, full of colorful butterflies

We wait to see the yam sprout, we are hopeful

With the coming rains, we plant our rice

 

But wait, soon the sun will shine here

Soon the sleepy forests will come alive

Soon I shall be traveling, here and there

And soon I shall see your pretty smiles

 

The greenness of this land know no bounds

(Remind me) that these colors I must never get used to

Let the quietness of my soul, of this great land

Paint many colors and let it all be sweet hues

 

I am surrounded by thousands of trees

Which danced for me  in the dewy morning

In the evenings crickets hide in the shrub leaves

Finally, in these I happily put my hopeful singing

 

Categories
Uncategorized

The African mist

1.
The mists still settle upon the hamlet
The hills, the vales and the green forests
All is treacherously hidden in it
One must tread very carefully, lest
You step on a stray scorpion or serpent
Or fall into a ditch or a fast flowing rivulet
The morning took the place of the night
And there, goes the beautiful African mist

2.
And when the African warriors chant
Singing the songs which frights the Wilds
I run up, to the hills to take a view
Hoping to catch a glimpse of the company
Up the solemn blue skies, the Hawks circle
Boys beat the bush with huge sticks
And men walk around with pepper stoves*
The women and girls stay behind,
Pounding, grinding, cooking and brewing

3.
As my eyes wake, I see the light
And now it rains again after the night
I stay humbly quiet
Listening to this blessedness
A roof pettering; so mild, so soft
Drums played by unseen hands
Up and down; the tempo went
With much silent innocence
For my young wings are not hurt…
I lay to observe this sweetness

Note:
Pepper Stoves: A collection of dried grass with pepperic condiments stucked into a metallic structure constructed to have small holes that can enable the passage of smoke; meant to be used as a trap for the rodents of the wild. When a rabbit hole is sighted these stoves are shoved into it, and lighted. The smoke is strong and can choke the inmates of the hole, forcing them out…

Categories
Uncategorized

Farewell

Farewell to thee city
It is time I move
I long to stay
But something else calls
I wish to play
But if I do, what shall I gain?
The clouds are grey
All is solemn
But despair not
I shall continue to write
To paint colors
To draw smiles on faces
To tell tales of inspiration
To do my best for mankind
To warm the hearts that love
To listen to the trees
To sing with the Wind
And foremost to love
But then forget not
My little efforts with desires
Of being with you
My strong rainy nights
My cricket room mates
The cold in the evenings
My window outpost
My blue eyed Clouds
The birds that twitter
The lullabies of the roof top
And the stories of my loved ones
I shall take a moment
To plead you to stay safe
And soonest, God willing I shall make
The ink and the pen my life

Godspeed to me
God stay with thee

Dear esteemed readers,
I am moving to another town, where I school. I shall try to post poems when I am free. I might be engaged with my academic books and the local radio.