Monday, October 27, 2014

Agri-CULTURE and the Significance to the Birthday Celebration

Hello there, it's been a while I know. Nothing deliberate but just how the times feel... but hey you can still find interesting articles here if you scan through and I get comments you leave on here so drop one. Thanks!

Alright, so yesterday was Pelumi (Ella)'s birthday celebration. She is my first child and daughter, Ada as the Igbos call it. She clocked 7 and we went to church to celebrate with her friends over there. I harvested the first yam in our garden (also the one we planted first) when I returned from the church ( I left early with the brother before the service finished) while she was still there with her cousins. So when she got back, the following conversation ensued:

Me: Happy birthday again dear. Hope you enjoyed the time with your friends in church? And here, come see the yam that we agreed will be harvested on your birthday.

 Pelumi: I did, thanks mum! The yam is big o!

Me: Yes, it is...and look at those other smaller two tubers from the same mound.

Pelumi: But Mum, why didn't you wait for me to come back?

Me: I'm sorry dear, I should have waited...I'll make it up to you, we will harvest the second one together on Saturday.

Pelumi: (smiles) Ok Mum, thanks!

Me: We will make pounded yam with it ehn? (smiles)

Pelumi: hmmm...yes...nice

I then went on to explain to her how she has grown from that little baby (pointing to a picture on the wall of her as a baby) because of the food she has been eating and how the food comes from the soil. I will take time to explain how the fishes and the animals (like cow and chicken) also feed from the food grown in water or land...and the connection...the food chain. It is important that our children do not associate farming or cultivation with poverty, illiteracy, filth, shame, lack of culture, lower class (status).

Though this sort of conversation never happened with me and my mum but the cultural elements of land cultivation was learned from her very early in my life even though I was born and raised in the city and never really even visited the village (can count the number of visits i made till date on my fingers). I didn't lose this culture which was a huge part of my growing up years rather I have somewhat gotten hold of it as an adult and now utilizing my modern understanding to pass it down to the next generation. Thank you mum! You were the most practically intelligent being I know....I learned from you.

I will define Agri-CULTURE as the way of life of a people which involves nurturing the earth in order for it to yield to them and noursih them (growth). It is a very fundamental and important aspect of our cultuure as Nigerians and Africans. I remember many years s a teenager whenever we visit Lagos (the big city with people of class...ish) and we hear teenagers and adults asking whether yam grew on trees, many people thought it was cool as it showed how much aje-butterish you were. What it really showed is how much DISCONNECTED from the source (earth) such one is. How can one continue to consume food day in day out without understanding where it comes from and how it happens. It is this food that provides nourishment for our bodies to grow healthily and thus provide the framework for our minds and spirits to flourish. You were considered 'aje-pako' (nowadays Nigerian comedians who grew up in villages will deny this label and make fun of those considered so in their bland jokes which many so-called classy people will laugh at) if you knew that yam was a root tuber not just from reading Agric text but having actually cultivated the plant.

The focus of our education since inception has been largely theorized rather than practical and as such even the most practical of all subjects - Agricultural Science - is being taught theoretically and the examinations are also theory-based. It reveals how much disconnection from source (earth) is being perpetuated in the name of 'formal' education. Well, again I guess it comes down to each one of us raising children in this generation to correct this anomaly pending the time our education sector in this clime is overhauled and made to fit our nature and our environment.

I have been somewhat fortunate (call it good to have ample space of land in the houses I have stayed in to plant a garden. Maybe because I am a farmer and see the opportunities where others may only see weed. In our garden presently we planted Bitter leaf, Okro, Ugwu, Spinach, Ewedu, Turmeric (recently planted), Tomatoes, Curry, Sweet potatoes. Coco-yam and water leaf grew by themselves as a weed but left to grow as a plant. I also have Aloe Vera and flowers in pots. As much as I love the time out to interact with the soil and plants, much more important for me is the creation of the physical reality of Agric science to my children. Not just cartoon images or pictures in a text but to see physically and to touch and feel those plants. And then to watch them grow from seed to giant plants which are later harvested, cooked and eaten like the yam...the whole cycle. This is practical education which every child should not be disadvantaged to experience however little....even if just in a flower pot! It enables them to understand where the food really comes from so they do not get caught up in praying for manna to fall from heaven like the Chinese saying "Don't depend on heaven for food but on your own two hands carrying the load". It also enables them to understand the need to care for the earth and not to mistreat, pollute, waste and abuse it through chemical spraying, litter and cementing everywhere...with a knowing that it is their source!

Wole Soyinka, the most visible icon of erudition in Nigeria always tells about his hunting adventures which I bet he still indulges in till date. Yet this man is a Nobel Laureate (one of the highest Western stamp of erudition in different fields)!!! I have not heard any comedian relate their jokes to this man's seemingly 'awkward' passion and indulgence...or have you?

Do you remember these songs:

I am a farmer in my country
Everybody knows me well
If you loook me up and down
You will know that is true
(sanda lilly sanda lilly, 
sanda lilly sanda lilly 
sanda lilly sanda lilly 
sanda lillysanda lilly)


Ise Agbe ni ise ile wa,
Eni ko sise, ama ja’le.
Iwe kiko, lai si oko,

                   (English translation:)
                               Agriculture is out ancestral occupation,
                              He who does not work, will steal.
                              Education, without hoe (agricultural practices),
                              IS NOT COMPLETE! IS NOT COMPLETE!!!

Lastly, the principle of sowing and reaping, which essentially is what agriculture is about, is what this world is built upon. We lost meaningful development and progress when we started believing and preaching/motivating each other in believing that you can reap where you didn’t sow, by accepting and acknowledging capitalistic mindsets helped by early religious indoctrination. 

These are the subtle messages I passed to Pelumi on her 7the birthday. She has a lot to learn.....little by little.

I AM A FARMER by nature..... of the earth and of the heart!! Yep, that's me right there with the yam.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Making of the 'Slave', the Lord and the Faith

I recognize the Sun in the sky, but this a different world. I cannot hear the whispering of the trees, I do not understand the language the land is speaking. The water is not at peace, it tastes of anger and confusion. The air is filled with death, absolute fear and organized violence. The fact I survived I thank my Ancestors.

Not everyone made it; I still hear the screams inside my mind. When I close my eyes, I see death, human mess and people descending into madness. I had to disconnect from my feelings to survive in my own head. No one is the same after you witness the suffering and pain, you start to realize when a man or woman is taken, that they probably will not be returned back.

I do not understand what the group of thieves are saying; I look at their expressions on their faces. They make sounds; I check their gestures to avoid the violence. I understand the universal language of fear. This is not the place that you look for someone`s better nature. This is an organized operation, they are trying to break our will to fight, I am a warrior, and I choose my battles and await my chance.

I am a prisoner of war. I have been stolen from my homeland. I am the property of no one; they chain me to restrain me. Our village was not prepared, we were outnumbered, and we had no disagreement with them. Our nature is not to start a battle without any reason. We are a tribe; we describe what we see in our own language. We are a kingdom of hundreds, not thousands we had to face in war. When I spoke to others on the journey, I realized our lands was conquered one tribe at a time.

As I stand on the raised platform, I hear men with skin of many colours making patterns of different sounds. I hear people raise their voice and bidding in different languages, then the people are pulled by chains away. It is clear we are being sold, what the future holds, I do not know. I will try to escape at every opportunity. I will do what I need to do to be free, however I am not sure who is my enemy, I know those that brought me here are not the real masters.

Everyone can see in my eyes I will run if you take off these chains. I have no way to communicate with these new people. They keep making this same sound and then looking at me to respond, with time I understand that this is the name they are going to call me.

It is all about the pain that is used to persuade me to do whatever they say. I began to learn their language for my survival. There are not many of us here; they are watching our ways and trying to understand us. I feel like an animal that is being studied for ways to break me.

My intelligence is not required in this place; they measure our intelligence by how well we speak their language. Where I come from it is based on the individuals understanding. We measure the control over your emotions, the wisdom you can raise from deep within our minds and the understanding we have of the energies that created our environment.

I am forced to mate with women I do not have feelings for. It is the strongest male matched to the strongest women. They want out children to be more productive. They have given up on totally breaking us, we have seen too much, we will never trust them, the future generations they will have from birth to mold and accept they are slaves.

I have come to understand that the sound by which they call my Christian name. It comes from a book that tells story of a man who died to save the world as we have sinned by having relations with before marriage. They speak of a God that loves us all, that sees everything and if you are good you can live in his house in Heaven. If we do not follow his ways we will be punished in hell forever. This God is a vengeful god as well as merciful god to those who follow his laws. The book is the word of this God.

As captives our traditions are now deemed of this devil we have not heard of. We as well as our children are punished from practicing our ways. They want our children to become Christian and lose the connection to us and our Ancestors ways.

I have received many beatings to encourage me to change my ways, however no one can convince me, this God loves us in slavery. He seems to reserve his mercy for the ones who holds us captive. No matter how evil they are this God does not punished them.

As regards to he who died to save the world, I wish he was travelling on the boat that brought us. I wished he could have saved the Ill and pregnant women as they were thrown into the sea. When it comes down to slaves, it seems this God and Jesus lets everyone have their way. I still do not understand why no women energies are mentioned.

When it comes to heaven and hell its sounds like life on the plantation, where the more you are obedient to slave master the closer you are to the comforts of his heavenly house and further away from the hell hole in the ground.

The land owner is the lord we worship and he sees everything we are doing badly; we are regarded as evil and of the devil when we speak against him. The better you work as a slave, follow the rules, watch what you say, the better are your chances of getting into heaven on the plantation.

If you challenge the lord of the land, the hole in the ground will be your destination, this sounds like hell to me according to that story.

I fear for my descendent as they will have wiped out all traces of me. Our children will not know our cultures or our languages. They will be telling stories of people in the bible and not those from our village. We had no one in our village called John or Matthew.

The connection to their Ancestors will be lost with all their understandings. They will believe Jesus is their saviour forgetting how their Ancestors were slaughtered.

How they could be born in sin when we were forced to do this by those who introduced the religion, they have taught this type of belief to the children as a mental insurance.

This religion puts your focus in man, whilst those from our land have a relationship with women and nature. The slave master chose this religion as it suited their purpose.

They now have established themselves as the lords on their plantations; they can foster the love from within many of their slaves and make them willing to report on those who are non Christians.

They have been taught to reject all other traditions as evil and attack those who dare to question their lord. It takes many generations to create this hate and fear of your original family. They will even call those who speak of their ancestors as devil worshipers and followers of Satan.

No condition is forever, I know that things will eventually change; the power of the Ancestors is never sleeping. Within each group of children, there will be one who they can see through the shame. They will always challenge and question why people are suffering.

Deep within their minds they will be able to access the knowledge from the depth inside their soul. They will able to speak of things remembered from their past lives. The restrictions on their minds that other people do not want them to find will cease to hold them back as they grow older.

There will always be those prepared to sell another person`s consciousness for profit, they will use fear and intimidation to stop the persons search for answers. They will use people`s natural desire to understand the element of creation within to themselves to exploit them and make that money which cannot be transported to any god.

This is not about skin colour; all the big religions had a hand in this trade. No one can claim total innocence as regards to slavery.

One day I hope that all the truth becomes available for all to see, that mankind can return to a higher standards. To own another person is the embodiment of evil in all forms, I hope my descendents are mentally free to return to their Ancestors.

Picture quote: "I will never give up. I will always keep running. Nobody owns me. They may have captured my body, however my mind and my spirit still belongs to me. I have not been broken. I still believe in me and my ancestors. I was stolen from my land of birth, the thief has not convinced me that they are the owner, no matter how muchthey have tried. I fear for my descendants as they will not want them to follow our ways. I am a warrior not a slave, never a slave."

 Article via Ancestral Essence facebook page.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The menace of the Boko Haram terror

Question for all Nigerians:
Who is safe from the terror of Boko Haram??
A Southerner? A Northerner? A Christian? A Muslim? A traditional worshipper? A soldier? A child? An adult? A student? Market women?
Here is a post written in honour of one of the victims of the Bomb blast at the Jos terminal market which happened on the 20th of May 2014.

One of the victims of last Tuesday’s twin bomb blasts at the Terminal Market, Jos, Plateau State, Lydia Komolafe, had in weeks preceding her untimely death lamented the incessant loss of lives to the Boko Haram insurgency. This she did in a series of tweets.

On May 19, two days before the Tuesday attack, Komolafe prayed for a brighter and rewarding week. This was expressed in the post she penned on her Twitter page which read, “This week, I shall be satisfied with favour.”

Sadly, this was not to be as Komolafe was one of the seven students of the Medical Laboratory Science Department of the University of Jos, who lost their lives in the bombing.

Meanwhile, a cursory look at her Twitter timeline and the activities therein revealed that she was indeed philosophical as she was clearly not apolitical, as evident in her posts.

In some other tweets, the late undergraduate spoke as she had the slightest premonition that she may become a victim, herself.

She posed a rhetorical question in a tweet, “Hmm, now we don’t know if our parents or siblings are safe in the park, church, mosque, market, and schools. The airports are not left out. I forgot, Aso Rock, isn’t left out either.

“They (Boko Haram) go wherever they want! It’s a fight against Nigeria, and Nigerians are helpless. Because they didn’t curb it at first, terrorism has grown so wild!,”

She also enjoined Nigerians against the belief that insurgency is only a “northern problem.”

At various times, the late Komolafe indicted the Federal Government for allowing the insurgency to fester and expressed concerns that Nigerians were no longer safe in motor parks.

For instance, when a second bomb went off in Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on May 1, Komolafe, expressed deep concerns over the violence and called for prayers to end the extremism.

Her tweet at the time read, “Pray for Nigeria, Nigerians can’t sleep! We are not even secured in the midst of road blocks! This has got to stop!! Who’s going to be our ‘Avatar’ in this nation?”

Arguing that terrorism had indeed “grown so wild” in Nigeria as it had become a daily occurrence, Komolafe accused the Federal Government of playing the ethnic and political card with the insurgency from the outset.

Her thought-provoking tweets in this regard read, “They ignored the red flag for terrorism when it started earlier in Jos and Kaduna. Nobody cared. They called it all kind of names. They called it religion, ethnic, political. We suffered in silence. They shut us up! Now it’s coming closer ‘home,’ the seat of government and everyone is crying wolf!

“If only we had curbed it earlier! They left it to our governors to fight it; they brought soldiers who molested us! Nobody cared! I’m not being insensitive; I’m just saying if we had saved the cup of milk from falling, we wouldn’t have been worrying about the spill now.”

Komolafe urged Nigerians to refrain from actions and inactions capable of brewing acts of terrorism. Treating members of other religions, ethnic and political groups, she argued, was capable of breeding terrorist actions.

“Boko Haram started like a joke, we prayed, cast and bound, we did nothing! The citizens kept pointing fingers at the government! Calling it different things! We thought it will vanish. Or maybe, since it started in the north it would remain there. As long as it didn’t go down south, they didn’t care.

“They tagged it a northern syndrome. Little did they know that it wasn’t going to be restricted for long! Today there’s a blast, tomorrow nobody cares. Fighting terrorism isn’t only for the government, it’s for us too! What we say, what we preach how we live, reflects if we are terrorists or not,” another post read.

Komolafe, who was a passionate fan of Chelsea Football Club of London, during her life-time also lent a voice to the ongoing global campaign demanding the release of the abducted Chibok girls.

“With one voice, let’s speak against terrorism. I’m not calling for protests or any of that sort! The moment you hold hate in your heart, you’re giving room to hateful thoughts that could lead to terrorism. Nigeria will get past all this! So help us God!”

Often, she expressed her thoughts and views with the hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls.

Her words, “Nobody should be punished for going to school! There’s no basis to this kidnap! Our hearts are bleeding. Please bring them alive! May the angels protect them wherever they may be.”

Meanwhile, tributes have been pouring in for the late student. One of her close friends, Zion Abiodun, described her as a “Yoruba girl who loved the North like anything.”

“I am trying to stop the tears, but it’s difficult. I have never cried for anyone this much, just can’t hold the tears. I need to wake up from this dream,” Abiodun added in a tribute to her on Twitter.

Culled from the facebook timeline of Temidayo Ahanmisi (Via Oluwamuyiwa Mayor Adesua)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator's Speech

This speech wasn't made by a world politician or leader but by comic actor Charlie Chaplin. Spoken in the film 'The Great Dictator' which was released in 1940 as an anti-Nazi comedy. The content of the speech is still as compelling today as it was 74 years ago.

The Speech
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other's misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost....

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. .....
Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The War on Men Through the Degradation of Woman

Hello there! Hope your weekend was relaxing and peaceful? Mine was.

I had read this article by Jada Pinkett-Smith some time last year and it resonated deeply with me; I purposed to share it on here. She wrote a series of articles on her Facebook page in defense of her daughter Willow who chose to cut her hair low, a decision which was harshly criticized. She shared knowledge on how the degradation of women has resulted in problems for both sexes.I forgot about it till today when I read something similar from Temidayo, a dear sister and friend. It's a call to get back to our true selves, a call to attune to Mother Nature rather than destroying everyone and everything egotistically. It's a call to find balance and truly complement one another rather than look down on or look up to a particular gender. It's a call to find the woman and in turn the man, both lost in the world....

I do hope you find the articles inspiring enough to share with your male and female friends alike. May we as young mothers and fathers raise men and women who restore the much needed balance in the world.....

Guest Post

Jada Pinkett-Smith: “The War on Men Through the Degradation of Woman”
How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eyes of an incomplete woman?
The woman who has been stripped of Goddess recognition and diminished to a big ass and full breast for physical comfort only?

The woman who has been silenced so she may forget her spiritual essence because her words stir too much thought outside of the pleasure space. The woman who has been diminished to covering all that rots inside of her with weaves and red bottom shoes?
I am sure the men, who restructured our societies from cultures that honored woman, had no idea of the outcome. They had no idea that eventually, even men would render themselves empty and longing for meaning, depth and connection.

There is a deep sadness when I witness a man that can’t recognize the emptiness he feels when he objectifies himself as a bank and truly believes he can buy love with things and status. It is painful to witness the betrayal when a woman takes him up on that offer.
He doesn’t recognize that the [creation] of a half woman has contributed to his repressed anger and frustration of feeling he is not enough. He then may love no woman or keep many half women as his prize.

He doesn’t recognize that it’s his submersion in the imbalanced warrior culture, where violence is the means of getting respect and power, as the reason he can break the face of the woman who bore him four children.
When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul.

Power and control will NEVER outweigh love.
May we all find our way.

Temidayo Ahanmisi: "A call to honour women, A call to raise men"
I have seen two aberrations to good sense under the sun...two statements to the Universe that wound the soul of womanhood...

- A mother who after bearing 4 daughters, 3 of whom are now teenagers...bears a son last and changes her name to "Mummy <the boy's name>.

I refuse to call her this, despite her subtle insistence. It is my personal protest on behalf of the silent daughters...and indeed of what our world has lost by degrading herself so.

- A female toddler in diapers, yet babbling without speech, born to Muslim parents...wearing a hijab (head and shoulder covering), the hapless child constantly tugging at the imposition to her human dignity.

To the one who pulls out a camera to snap a picture of the "cutie" I say: "Stop. This is a disgrace. An aberration to our African nature such as this can never be cute."

I don't care whether God or Man said otherwise. It is a damn shame.

Dear Nigerian Mother...we have come into a new age.
The power to change our world is in your hands. No one is standing by, waiting to lift our daughters up. They must stand abreast with the world to count.

The power to stop the rapes, the pillaging, the beatings and maltreatments from the men they will encounter as they journey starts in your homes.

The power to make men good lies with you. The power to get the Nigerian man away from the folds of the woman's thighs and send him out with courage to face the world with dignity, grace and confidence is with you.

If the Nigerian woman is not empowered, it is because the Nigerian woman refused to empower the Nigerian girl.

If the girl is weak, the boy is emasculated even before he is a man.

Look around you and see what the brothers of our daughters are turning into.

Wake up. It's morning.

About the authors

Temidayo Ahanmisi is a young, dynamic and passionate Nigerian. A liberated mind, she is an inspiration to the young generation who clamour for change within the black man's homeland. She lives in Nigeria.

Jada Koren Pinkett Smith is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Inconvenient Truths (Part 2)

It’s a puzzle and we must be able to piece the parts together by our own selves. The knowledge of self is the key to the box in which our development and evolution is trapped. This is the reason why every attempt is made to strip the slave of his IDENTITY – language, name, culture, spirituality, dressing, music, etc. And a new identity stamped on him/her against their will. Remember Kunta Kinte in the movie ‘Roots’? He was renamed ‘Toby Waller’ which he rejected. He made several attempts to run and when he was recaptured during the last of his four escape attempts, the slave catchers gave him a choice: he would be castrated or have his right foot cut off. He chose to have his foot cut off, and the men cut off the front half of his right foot. Kunta resigned himself to his fate eventually but never forgot who he was or where he came from [Wikipedia]. Have you heard of the term ‘drapetomania’ before? Ok, so now you can add a new word to your vocabulary.  Drapetomania is simply a mental illness that caused black slaves to flee captivity. It was described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851. I guess that was what Kunta and many other slaves who attempted to give their lives more dignity than be wretched subjugated beings of others suffered from. No, how on earth could they think they deserve to live free like their masters. It’s unthinkable for him to be self-determined even now!!!!

I take this excerpt from Wikipedia
“In Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race, Cartwright points out that the Bible calls for a slave to be submissive to his master, and by doing so, the slave will have no desire to run away.
If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity's will, by trying to make the negro anything else than "the submissive knee-bender" (which the Almighty declared he should be), by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro; or if he abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life, the negro will run away; but if he keeps him in the position that we learn from the Scriptures he was intended to occupy, that is, the position of submission; and if his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his hearing towards him, without condescension, and at the same time ministers to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away.

Cartwright described the disorder – which, he said, was "unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers" – in a paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana[2]:291 that was widely reprinted.

He stated that the malady was a consequence of masters who "made themselves too familiar with [slaves], treating them as equals".

If treated kindly, well fed and clothed, with fuel enough to keep a small fire burning all night--separated into families, each family having its own house--not permitted to run about at night to visit their neighbors, to receive visits or use intoxicating liquors, and not overworked or exposed too much to the weather, they are very easily governed--more so than any other people in the world. If any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy. They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children to prevent and cure them from running away.”

The Inconvenient Truths (Part 1)

This is not about Al Gore’s campaign on global warming. This is about the truth that we as Africans are not comfortable bringing up or discussing. It’s the no-go are in our society. It’s the unquestionable, unspeakable aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, the truth is the truth. It never changes. It never dies. In order for us to liberate ourselves we must embrace the truth that we have been avoiding; the truth about what we really feel; the truth about who we really are; the truth about what we really think. The truth about who or what we really love. And only the truth is capable of setting a people/person free from the baggage and deceits carried over from generations to generations.

This is about how our enslavers and colonizers (and subsequently neocolonialists who have been taught the trade via the divide and conquer strategy) wants us to forget who we were so we will not know what we still can be. John Henrik Clarke says “When you want to lose a people from history, you first destroy their self-confidence and historical memory. This is the basis of our dilemma”. I know it will sound like a broken record to some ears but we must understand the place of these historical events in context of our lives.

Monday, January 6, 2014

How I worshipped on the first Sunday of the year (2014)

On Sunday, the first in the year 2014 (feeling hip with my Nigerian sense of cliché), I felt I needed to get some inspiration to kick start the year and to bolster enough strength for the academic term for the kids as well as for work and family. So, off to the beach I went. The vastness of the ocean and the carefree manner in which the waves rose and fell – they always repeat the pattern (I wonder how many eternities the energy of the water has done this for) – reminded me I was part of something much larger than myself. The sky and the water blended together in a whitish hue, there was no distinction between them save for the oscillation of the water body.

A few other folks were also there – families, horse riders, the business owners, sellers of artifacts and wooden jewelries, and a priestess who came to ‘wash’ the heads of people who made supplications with outstretched hands and fervent expressions to the one who inhabits the vast waters.

Yes, I love the time at the beach. I went alone this time, the children were away on holiday and the hubby wasn’t well enough to make the trip down. I needed nature to uplift my spirits and not feel trapped in thoughts simply because I am physically in a particular geographical location on planet earth. The waves reminded me I need no permission to think and the ocean of how immense my (our) mind(s) is. I took it all in letting the waters caress my legs and hands and the cool breeze my hair, face and body. The sand felt clean and pure, having being daily bathed by the salt water. I again affirmed that the best things in life are free – no chains, no bars. Nature is enough inspiration in herself!

Afterwards, I went to the Nike arts gallery just few metres from the beach and fed my eyes and spirit with a wide array of incredibly beautiful art works. I learnt (from an artist there) that she – Nike – is the largest collector of arts in Nigeria. I again connected to the boundless minds from which the arts emanated. Feeling free and uplifted, I headed straight home after buying a few items (a magazine and a CD on the art of gele-tying).

How’s that for worship on the first Sunday of the year? Mind sharing where and how you worshipped?


 “Every day look at a beautiful picture, read a beautiful poem, listen to some beautiful music, and if possible, say some reasonable thing.” ~ Goethe

"Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh

" Waves are inspiring not just because they rise and fall, but because each time they fall, they never fail to rise again." ~ Unknown

As I Began to Love Myself

It's a new year and we are already settling into it after the excitement of the festivities. I am starting on the love note. I came across this poem by Charlie Chaplin on his 70th birthday. The message is uplifting and I thought I should share with my friends.

I quote him (Charlie) "You need Power, only when you want to do something harmful otherwise LOVE is enough to get everything done."

Let love flow from within you to your world...

As I Began to Love Myself by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since, I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!