Why do we pray? How do we pray? Where do we pray? When do we pray? Who do we pray to? For whom do we pray? Should we pray! Can I pray! Will you pray! When we seem lost in thoughts, we pray. When we cry and no one feels our pain, we pray. When misery comes calling with hoplessness, we pray. When words are evasive and we stutter, we pray. When feelings, emotions and heart are trampled on, we pray. When we doubt the course of life, we pray. When things Fade away,we pray. When we see the grip of death, we pray. Who prays for the poor? Who prays for the orphan! Who prays for the destitute? Who prays for the widow/widower! Who prays for the elderly? Who prays for the sick!
While updating a post, I experienced this exhilarating feeling that comes from being able to make corrections and adjustments on the go! Many thought that the introduction of mobile phones in Nigeria was going to be unrealistic; after all the country has so many things on its to-do list and a lot of failed projects under its belt. Project infinity you might call it. Yes, that’s the sad truth.
Sometime in 2001 though (against all the skeptics), mobile phones were introduced and the monopoly of a single service provider evaporated! POOF!!! And now, with such a small amount it is available to everyone and it is no longer a luxury. The good news is that bloggers like me can rejoice in the fact that our readers can view posts anywhere in as much as we too can write them on the go! Gone are the days of desktop computers…
Yaay for cheap mobile devices! Just how did we survive before their invention?
In the background, printers, scanners and all sorts of electronic equipment were whirling and to top it all, my wall clock was ticking annoyingly. All destroying my concentration. Just a few days ago, my Boss told me that I should be grateful that I had an office at least! I felt the office served to button me in!! “Ten minutes more!” he shouted from my doorway momentarily. His face was a mass of twitching muscles, all of them working erratically and my life was ruled by the ticking of the clock. I was operating on caffeine, I had ulcer and migraines, I was jumpy from lack of sleep and now an insomniac and yet, all I heard was everyone telling me I had to be a Success, bring my A-game! Well, I am fed up!
Have you ever felt like this, like a tightly coiled ball about to explode in less than the time it took to tie and ignite you and that no one understands? Hmmm… you see, the road to success is not paved with cobblestones and I know you have heard that several times. Okay, tune out your surroundings and absorb these points-
LIST YOUR GOALS: You have a lot of things you want to do with your life but take a minute to make them even more real- write them on paper!
PLAN YOUR TIME: I bet you have been to several seminars on goal orientation and they all tell you to plan your time. Well then, I echo it. Plan your time wisely and carefully too.
HAVE A GAME PLAN: Which one of these goals is most pressing? Okay, number them in the order of importance. Create another page with bullets that show how you can get them done.
HAVE A PIGGY BANK: “Huh!” That’s right, you heard me. It means save, save every last kobo. That lollipop you denied yourself today might mean a registered company name tomorrow. You better believe it!
JOIN A NETWORK OF LIKE MINDS: They will keep you on track when they talk of their achievements and everything else. They might even need your help when they get stuck and this sharpens your skills and broadens your knowledge base. There is no shortage of this on the internet, an example which is LinkedIn.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH AND MORE RESEARCH: This cannot be overemphasized. I’d say it is the lifeblood of that goal you have in mind. Fact is, you need to get your facts straight. Besides, knowing what others have done on the subject is to your advantage in that you can figure out what will give you an edge over your competition.
This is perhaps not in any manual,
DON’T SKIMP ON FOOD AND SLEEP: This is perhaps the most important thing I have written so far. The truth is that adequate rest and a balanced meal will help you more than you know. If you do, well… Warning: your brain and/or body will shut down!!!
So, you can be the sweet wife, loving mother, delightful daughter and indispensable (I use this lightly) worker. Just go for it!
Absolutely everyone must have asked this question in the past few weeks. Again, is this a biological weapon or a MISTAKEN epidemic? This virus is ravaging West Africa so badly that mortuaries have gone past their limit leading to corpses being dumped in the streets of some cities! Quarantine centres are springing up every day and still we ask- is there a cure?
Named after the Ebola river where it first occurred some many years ago (1976), Ebola has killed so many people and unfortunately this deadly virus with no known cure currently ravages West Africa. With the hope that is so common in this part of the world, reports have it that bitter kola can kill this virus. This is unfounded. Then came the salt consumption and bathing story. This rumour has circulated so much that some were reported as hospitalised due to excessive salt consumption!
Notably, the WHO and governments of various countries have come up with facts about Ebola and tips with which to care for ourselves. Good hygiene is imperative if we are to survive. A good hand sanitizer would come in handy at this time. Rodents should be driven far away from residential homes. Even though it seems as if there is little to be thankful for, this virus is not airborne. However, an experimental vaccine exists in a very small quantity. Sadly though, we cannot say for sure when this vaccine would be available for the use of the masses.
The question now is- when is a state of emergency going to be declared? Since the virus spreads through body fluids- sweat, urine, saliva, semen- it would seem wise that Nigeria’s commercial nerve come under this restriction to slow down the spread of this disease. Since touch also spreads it, it would be a wise course of action since public transportation in the state is a woeful story and passengers without their own means of transportation become even more at risk!
So what then is the cure? Is there even a cure or was Ebola released to reduce the population of West Africa?
As I sat adjacent the television, I had a clear view of everything that was going on around me and although I had Salamatu Sule in my sights, heard the words others spoke, my heart was pained in my chest. Over and over, the words rang in my head ‘I am leaving for Lagos’ like a distant church bell beckoning the parishioners to worship. Whew! The ANA chairman (Abuja chapter) Edwin Eriata Oribhabor was leaving thereby dropping the reins of leadership and his mantle of responsibility.
Nevertheless, we had a good time at the reading aptly tagged ‘100TPC caucus meeting’ since all those in attendance were performance poets featured at the One hundred Thousand Poets for Change and Societal Upliftment. We assembled in a garden-like setting, dispelling formality and ordered cold drinks to quench our thirst and oil our throats in reparation of the reading. I tapped my feet to the beat of the music from the speakers that surrounded us and sipped my chapman slowly. The tall glass regal with an umbrella and signature cucumber winked at me.
Never mind that I am light-skinned; the melanin in our skin cannot be hidden and Gladys W. Russel gave us her best in ‘Bronze Silhouette’ and even the cover attests to the fact that we are black-skinned people proud of our heritage. The words written from Russel’s thatch speak to the innermost feelings of our being as it is touching, reflective and searing hot in various places. Kenneth Azahan kicked off the reading with ‘Freedom- a gift divine’. With its power to make and unmake, freedom obligates us to love, help and share. Using ‘How can we?’ Damilola Olaniyi re-echoed Russel’s question touching the injustices so prevalent all around; from suffering to gunmen to nature. Yes indeed, how can we look on all these and smile away our tears? In truth how can we if we are not thick skinned?! Samuel Nze who has an aptitude for Naija language read ‘Let men aspire’, a poem that ends like a prayer.
In her soft, musical voice, Salamatu Sule read ‘I fear for the time’ in a sombre way because indeed the poem made us pay attention stating what may occur since fear and distrust is all that we hear and truly man is born to worry and fear. One needs to read this poem and allow it to sink in. A friend of the house who was driven by curiosity to see what we were about and who was an attendee at the 100TPC, Joyce Agbo read out ‘Last man standing’ to us from page 40. Make some noise as I call him read out ‘One brotherhood’ and using the poem, he pointed out that we are one universe, one body and soul. He smiled his signature gap-toothed grin as we all hooted make some noise. Did I forget already? His name is Kriston Kama.
Obinna Nwali directed our attention to ‘Soul and I’ on page 13 reading the lengthiest poem- four pages long. Towards the end it became a call and response and ended on this beautiful note one in all with all of the whole. I have come to find that Bash Amuneni has a love for poems that question and standing tall in his dark-coloured jacket he delivered ‘Be still’, and of course that poem ends with a question: is all of this a farce that we play Or is it just a game of cards? One of the organisers of that wonderful event that we all enjoyed, Wilson Okibe, was in attendance. He read out ‘Endless divining’ and at the end of it, we all intoned Peace is my lot, none can take it from me.
Given a chance to doddle on paper, I would easily pick Eriata Oribhabor as someone to dissect. I mean write about. If you wonder why that is so, you will have to schedule an appointment to see him to discover for yourself why I would make him a subject of my writings. He started ‘We stumble’ three times and of course he read it as if he wrote it. His throaty voice held me captive to the lines he read. DCP Emmanuel Ojukwu read ‘Who will be messiah’ like a high chief. The truth is no one wants to bell the cat for in the end, when the cards do fall in place, you find that you’re alone and so our country is left just as it is-in a deplorable state since we fail to take action. An actor and entertainer Zubairu Atta joined us briefly and with ‘Gender Tones’ he kept the pace of his day. But this politician left with this introduction before we could absorb his essence.
Louisa Ibhase must be over six feet and she intimidated me with her build (a little, I’m tall too). Opening at random, she stumbled on this beautiful piece ‘Like burnished bronze’ which made me think deep. It sounded so much like the typical Nigerian… nothing at all for you. I thought we were set to round up but then we welcomed yet another friend Raymond Tonton who made us all nod and listen intently as he rapped ‘The city’ telling us with those lines that with our hands, we breakdown our city. If the ruling class provide bullets, must we shoot guns?
After all was said and done, we reminisced about our poetry recitals and all the things we needed to work on. The floor was open for suggestions and comments. We were encouraged to do our bit for society through words. Scenic locations like Bwari Dam in Wushafa LGA was mentioned and although the dam provides water for FCT, it lacks water which is as ironical as the oil producing community in Bayelsa state ‘Oloibiri’ who has been raped and plundered only to be left empty and barren. We talked, encouraged one another, planned the next poetry meet and talked some more. The truth is a painting if well interpreted can overthrow the government. All in attendance enjoyed the ambience of the lounge and I remembered to finish my drink and munch the cucumber. We ended the evening on a fine note and concluded by snapping a lot of pictures. It was indeed a fitting farewell to Oribhabor, our Naija language promoter!