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FOR GOODNESS AND MERCY : MY DEITIES

My youngest sisters turned 14 yesterday, June 14th. This post is for them. An old post from my Facebook page.

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TWINS. EJIMA. IBEJI.

I’m thinking about my youngest sisters – Goodness and Mercy. Twins. I miss them and haven’t spoken to them in weeks. I’m thinking about them when my friend sends me a picture on BBM : Continue reading “FOR GOODNESS AND MERCY : MY DEITIES”

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EQUIANO’S TRAVELS (PART ONE)

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The University of Ibadan has been on strike for the past three weeks. And times like these are when you promise yourself that in your next life, if you mistakenly hear ‘NIGERIA’ while in your mother’s womb, you’ll choke yourself with umbilical cord…yes, someone actually tweeted that. Continue reading “EQUIANO’S TRAVELS (PART ONE)”

NNE NNE

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Between the earth and sky above, nothing can match a Grandmother’s love.

Continue reading “NNE NNE”

OMO IGBO

When Obianuju had first arrived Ibadan, she felt like she was thrown back to the 18th Century. Most houses were in a deplorable state and looked like they would collapse even if they were gently poked: the elderly; haggardly looking and unkempt. She tried to recall seeing such in Owerri, Umuahia or even Port Harcourt but there was no memory of such a sight. Her good friend, Bisi will later tell her of how the Westerners still had older natives because they were in no means, affected by the Biafran war.Another strange sight were the Hijab wearing ladies. Her only opinion of Hausas were the “aboki” men and mallams who sold petty items in the shacks along her street. For 3 months, She had refused to enter the same cab as any Hijab wearing girl and had missed an important test in the bid to board a cab that did not have a Hijab wearing lady as its passenger. Her fascination and irritation at the tribal marks that criss-crossed many faces made her question the sanity of the parents who had carried out such rituals in order to make their children unique. “Odiegwu!”. However, she wrote a paper about scarification and beautification; using her GES lecturers as case studies. 

She never understood the Yoruba delicacies however She would tell Nonye, her roommate “why on earth will someone call soup, stew and stew, soup. Arrgh”. She never understood why anyone will eat an egg with soup instead of a piece of meat. She noticed how they marveled when they saw her pot of soup and kept on reveling on her addition of seafood as well. In her mind, she pitied them and their lack of delicacies. Once when she had gotten to get her clothes from the line, a girl asked her if a snail and a periwinkle were the same thing. Immediately, Obianuju made up her mind not to fall in love with a yoruba boy. Marriage was not even an option.

She always hated it when her roommates assumed every light-skinned male or one with an “irregular” head was Igbo. What particularly annoyed her was when Ronke, another roommate,  had insinuated that the reason why Igbos added leaves to their soups was because they had no choice than to eat any kind of leaf during the Biafran war; but that was not the case and was particularly hilarious. She also hated the fact that Folake, her housemate, whilst giving a presentation in class, made a reference to Igbo drug sellers as “fake drug marketers”. Thank goodness, her lecturer immediately corrected Folake. She re-called screaming at her neighbour, “I don’t kneel or prostrate to greet, that doesn’t make me rude”.
Her friends all thought she was tribalistic but she thought otherwise, she was going through what her anthropology professor had called “culture shock” and was yet to recover. 

She had just eaten at the Tedder Hall cafeteria and proceeded to the counter to collect her change. It was at this moment that she lost her cool when the lady said “hmmm, Omo Igbo”. She immediately wished that UNN accepted her. That night, she  dreamed of UNN where she saw herself eating a big wrap of Okpa. 

Adriel

THE WEIGHT OF TRADITIONS

Here’s an interesting info-pic about different traditions celebrated by varying cultures around the world at Christmas… culled from : TheWannabeSaint.com.

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Let me talk about Christmas in my Country. Christmas in Nigeria is a family event, a time when lots of family members come together to celebrate and have fun. Most families, that live in cities, travel to the villages where their grandparents and older relatives live, especially those from the EAST, like me – the Igbos. it is always like an EXODUS. LOL!

Many different languages are spoken in Nigeria. In Hausa Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘barka dà Kirsìmatì’; in Yoruba it’s ‘E ku odun, e ku iye’dun’; in Fulani it’s ‘Jabbama be salla Kirismati’; in Igbo (Ibo) ‘E keresimesi Oma’ and it’s Edo it’s ‘Iselogbe’. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.

Many families will throw Christmas parties that will last all night long on Christmas Eve! Then, on Christmas Morning, they go to church to give thanks to God. Homes and streets are often decorated. Most homes will have an artificial Christmas tree.

Children love to play with firecrackers at Christmas. The church choir may visit the church congregation in their homes to sing Christmas carols to them. Christmas cards are sent to friends and family members. Presents are exchanged amongst family members and some families may take their children dressed in new outfits to see Santa Claus or FATHER CHRISTMAS.

In addition to serving turkey, a traditional Christmas meal in Nigeria may include beef, goat, sheep, ram or chicken. Other dishes might included pounded yam, jollof rice, fried rice, vegetable salad and some type of stew, LOTS OF RICE!

Traditions can be wonderful but they can also bring the heaviness of the past and a longing to live there. 

I recently finished my Christmas day calls & texts to family and friends. Some are doing well and others have had a rough 2013. Family members and friends separated by varying circumstances, including death, traditions once highly valued now gone, have a way of making this day dreadful instead of joyful. I spoke to someone this morning who began to cry while saying she would “be alright in a little bit.” I told her not to make this day anything other than what it was, a hard one, and if the mourning of what has been is needed to get to what is and what will be, then embrace this season of change. 

Traditions are wonderful and should be cherished but when they change or cease, as all things do, maybe the gifts of acceptance and letting go is what we need to unwrap this year.

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS BUDDIES. JESUS IS ALWAYS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON…

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