Her African Prince

RM 1
It was this time last year, he came into her life.
He was the man of her dreams (really, she daydreamed about this man).
Here he was sitting beside her. She didn’t want to say the wrong things so she remained quiet.
Lord, I feel so lucky right now, she thought.
Did he feel the same way?
Lord, I didn’t know you created guys like this.
He was holding her hand and stealing quick glances at her to try to understand what was going on in her mind.
He wasn’t saying anything. She was quiet as well.

He finally said, “You are not looking at me. Are you shy?” She replied “no” and looked into his eyes. He was tired, she could see it in his eyes, his flight was delayed for four hours before he finally arrived.

She wondered what those four hours were like for him at the airport?
She wondered if he thought that it was a bad omen or something?
Here she was sitting side by side with the man of her dreams.
His eyes drenched with sleep, she wanted him to rest a little before they head out for dinner.

 She made the first move, she rested her head.
He copied her.
He didn’t know she wasn’t really sleeping, she just wanted her tired man to rest a little after a long trip.

As he rested.
She thought, am I really attracted to this guy?
She pushed that thought out of her mind quickly. She liked everything about this man.
He texts her first thing in the morning to wish her a wonderful day, then he would text her at noon to remind her to pray, and he would call her at night to pray with her.
On the weekends, they did more praying.

She was on cloud nine.
This was the man of her dreams, she was certain that everything would fall into place.

He finally woke up and got ready for dinner.
He did most of the talking.
She was still too scared to talk.
She could hear her mother’s voice in her head saying “don’t run off the man with your big mouth.”She laughed at his jokes, giving him all the back channels to assure him she was equally interested.

After the dinner.
They went back to his hotel, he suggested they sit by the fireplace to talk.
He held her hand, leading the way. She didn’t tell him that was her first real date.
She didn’t tell him, she was extremely nervous not to chase him away with her insecurities.
He had it all. He was photogenic, educated and crazy about God.
She didn’t tell him, she was already planning the wedding.

The fireplace was so romantic. She wanted to put her head on his shoulders and sleep without talking, but he wanted to talk. So they talked. Well, he did most of the talking.
The next day, the tides turned. He was gone, never to return.

The morale of the story: Someone will hurt you at some point in your love journey, but you gotta get up and try!!!
The Sun will shine again!!
Don’t give up on love!

Photo Credit: Google

An african and a radio.

I remember back in secondary school when the only phone I had was a Visafone mobile without a camera or music player, which subjected to only one source of information known as ‘radio’. the funny thing is I was accustomed to it because no matter how boring or archaic it seemed, I found a friend in it. Humans and technology have become inseparable because it serves as the platform through which humans can learn about themselves and their environment. But before technological evolution took place in Africa, africans were totally dependent on the traditional sources of information such as television, newspaper, magazine and radio.

The distinct medium among the other information sources then and now is the ‘Radio’ simply because it served as a companion and friend for Africans, also it added volume to the african environment. Radio was an information source that broke/breaks across all classes of people in the african continent.

In order to value the power of radio in lives of Africans, I asked some to share their opinions on what radio means to them and if the radio is becoming extinct as a result of technological advancement and western culture because as you know, someway, Africa is slowly becoming a part of the westernised world.

According to Dauntless, as an african, “radio is a mode of communication that is easily accessible to all in different languages taking into consideration the fact that Africa, let alone Nigeria in specifics is a nation of diverse languages. Radio is important to the extent that an average person walking on the road carries a radio no matter the size or form. Technological advancement has been able to improve and re-shape the radio”

Stop and think for a second about what it is that binds you and a radio together. The world is evolving and Africa is beginning to accept and exploit technology as well as the western cultures but “a tree that continues to grow cannot be separated from its root”.

Photo Credit: Gallofoto via Shutterstock.

Bibiana Ossai © 2016.

Stove Top Goat Meat and Tripe Pepper Soup

wp-1464210544967.jpg

What’s pepper soup? It’s pretty much a spicy soup seasoned and cooked with different herbs spices and seasonings. The best kinds are really the ones which have been marinated with the spices; hence you’re able to taste the spices in the meat 🙂

I don’t know a person who completely hates pepper soup. In fact it is known cure some stages of the flu…

I like this version of pepper soup because of it’s use of ginger which is medicinal. I remember being little and in my mother’s kitchen, my mother used to let me have some meat stock when I showed any sign of being ill. The meat stock; which is different from pepper soup would also help me feel better. I guess it was because I needed fluids to feel better at that time.

One of my favorite things to order from a local restaurant would be pepper soup. Goat meat pepper soup; precisely. Then the addition of the tripe and intestines always made it worth while; especially if the restaurateur is a good cook. Everyone seems to have their own version of pepper soup, but this recipe is my favorite. The basic pepper soup ingredients would be the calabash nutmeg, uda, and the uyayak pod(I’ll explain in a later post). Whatever combinations of these spices that seem right to you will work just great! You could also add ginger or even garlic. Food is versatile…

For this recipe, you could use offals, just make sure you cook them n a separate pot. All you have to do is, put it in a pot with water and it bring to a roaring boil; then drain and rinse before adding it to the pot of cooking pepper soup.

Continue reading “Stove Top Goat Meat and Tripe Pepper Soup”

Music and Culture: On keeping it African

Is it just me? Or you can as well tell when a song is African, based on the contents of music such as the sound, rhythm, beat, language or lyrics, costume, setting and values displayed through music, which can also be considered elements of culture. Music and Culture are similar, although it is a different ball game to keep it African. It is also very essential to have an understanding of the two basic concepts.

The power of music and culture influences a person’s mood and speech and interrelationship among the various ethnic groups and religious groups that exist in Africa. Through music, the various cultures have been brought together to unite and enhance the relationship that thrives in the African continent.

In a chat with an African artist, Yemi Alade whose recent album covers the entirety of Africa, she gave her own perspective on how music and culture are intertwined and can be kept African:

“Music and culture are the core of any society, music is necessary for almost all occasions and is definitely ‘soul food’ while cultural values guide us in the way we carry ourselves. Culture is most times a binding factor rather than a divider and the employment of African accessories is what makes and keeps music African”.

To promote the beauty of Africa, musicians, entertainers and artistes have all been able to imbibe the various elements of culture into the contents of their own music. Just the way culture has impact on every single aspect of some people’s lives, music has its own impact on some aspects of people’s lives.

Despite the westernised nature of the african music industry, there are still many other musicians as well as entertainers that are sticking to the path of staying African in the industry and their music.

Photo Credit: Emeka Photography.

Bibiana Ossai © 2016.

The Evolution Of Medicine and The Kitchen

A few weeks ago, I asked my Facebook friends some questions about herbs, medicine and the kitchen. Hopefully this post will be a little insightful as to why we practice traditional medicine. Anyway, I was ill and I spoke to my friend about taking anything I can to give me some relief until I could get some medicine. She came with the garlic, ginger and green tea gist. I went for it, but I still felt ill. All that happened was me going peepee like every 2ominutes. See me see green tea and garlic o. I decided to go for a more “regular” medical treatment and lo and behold I felt better. Now that experience got me curious about traditional medicine.

Now some people cook what we call “Agbo” in their houses for times when they are ill and as a detox. This practice is known to be carried out in the whole of Africa by certain Africans who believe in it’s potency. Listen, I do believe in some practices. Like the use of bitter leaf extract to curb some stages of impotency in men. I know, I know, I’m not a man sha, but I have seen cases where it worked. I have also heard of a bitter leaf mixture used in making bath soap; and this is locally used to cure different stages of acne and sun burn.

image
bitter leaf plant

Before I continue, here are some responses I got in answer to my question about Agbo mixtures

“I remember someone telling my momma to give me rice water to drink because I had diarrhea ….when I was much more younger and boiled lemon grass(dogonyaro) for severe malaria”… Racheal Ezechi

“Well, my father is a medical Doctor Who dabbled into traditional medicine, as well. When we were younger, I remember he used to boil pawpaw leaves, mango tree barks, lemon grass, dogonyaro (I don’t know it’s scientific name) leaves – I can’t remember if I missed anything – all in one pot, he’d build a small hut out of plantain leaves and crouch in it as the pot boiled, inhaling the vapor for just a few minutes. The water from the boiling would be sieved and stored in the refrigerator. He said a glass of it twice a day was enough to treat malaria, thus, he prepared ogwu iba.”(Malaria medicine) Alexander Ilouno
“Lemon grass, dongoyaro (neem) leaf, pawpaw leaf, mango leaf, orange leaf. Boil together for fever or malaria. This I personally do and It’s  been working for me. Maryam Meemee Musa
image
Dogonyaro(Neem) leaves
“Sour sop leaves is used to knock down sugar levels. Wash like you would wash bitter leaves and sieve…only the juice is consumed 3-4times a day. It’s good to freshly prepare the juice each time. It easy and its not time consuming.” Obiageli Abor Elfrida
“Sour sop leaves are sophisticated leaves and shrinks cancerous cells. The leaves, the fruit too. Heard the seed and bark do one kind correct job. It also rids your body of free radicals. That I know. We planted a tree in my house by force” Ibitola Olatunji
image
Leaves from a Soup sop tree
image
Sour sop fruit in the basket

Although a lot of people swore by these local and herbal remedies Chal Ya says other wise. She did say she has seen people suffer from liver sclerosis due to the use of herbal medicine. As for me, I’m too much of a scaredy cat to drink any concoctions 🙂

The kitchen is not just a place for food. We mix all sorts in our kitchen. From local medicine to local body lotions made from palm kernel and shea butter. Before the arrival of the “White man’ s” medicine, these methods worked for our ancestors. Alot of people still use these methods; some don’t…I remember seeing some dry herbs hanging from my grand mother’s kitchen. I don’t know what she used it for when she boiled them, but it was this “liquidy” thing that she poured into a cup and sipped slowly. I was quite little, I didn’t even know to ask what it was 🙂

In some rural areas the kitchens are built outside the main house and in the wee hours of the morning, or sometime through the night, you would see gigantic pots sitting in the kitchens and covered with plantain leaves. In those pots, some herbs are left to simmer and steep through the night for a potent herbal concoction to heal different types of ailments.

image
google image of a strong iron pot

I have only tried the ginger and garlic thing for cold. And there is the honey and green tea mixture for cough. But that’s as far as I have gone with these mixtures. please comment and let us know how herbal medicine has been of any benefit or not to you.

WORLD UNWAVERING ICON- NELSON MANDELA

An icon of peace, compassion and courage. An inspiration for the whole world. A crusader who was not ashamed to work day and night to abolish apartheid and all the injustices that came with it. Nelson Mandela was a historical figure or rather a perfect name to describe him is a transformational figure. Transformers are known well by how they plan; they carry their vision to chart the course, and also they have the skills to execute their plans. And to be transformational what Nelson Mandela was, is to have the courage of one’s total conviction, to sacrifice, to risk life and to lay everything you value and matters in your life on the line.

History of South Africa                                                                                                                     Let’s take a walk in the history and remind ourselves how was the situation in South Africa back then. Apartheid, which also means apartness reflected a violently repressive policy structured to ensure that white people, who approximately comprised 20% of the population of South Africa, would continue to settle and dominate the country. Racial discrimination in South Africa has had deep roots in the society since 1788 even though the policy of apartheid began officially in 1948. Since time in memorial, some laws and regulations set apart or separated the white settlers and the native Africans. This separation led the Africans to settle in specific areas which later were known as their homelands. The government that took in 1948 led the first campaign that majored on openly racist telling the whites to unite. So, there are some policies in the name of apartheid that were set by the ruling government and these are:
⦁ Prohibition of mixed marriages Act, which banned marriages between Europeans and Africans
⦁ The Population Registration Act, which categorized South African by race
⦁ The Group Areas Act. Now, this was the main core of Apatheism.

This Act marked areas of land for different racial groups. It also made it illegal for people to live in areas which they were not allocated. Thousands of South Africans were uprooted and moved into racially segregated neighborhoods in reserves where they were supposed to settle. The situation went far such that even black workers who were working on the white residents were required to use different public means of transportation, post offices, restaurants, schools, separate doors, benches and even counters.

nelson 2.png
History Made by Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela came in this era. He was a young man who found his country in a messed up state. Because of that, he spent more than 40 years in the struggle of the racial regime which is well known as apartheid. 27 of the years he spent in prison. In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected the 1st black president of South Africa in multiracial and in a democratic election.

⦁ Nelson Mandela was an icon of resistance and perseverance, having spent 27 years in prison and still fighting for the freedom after his release in 1990.
⦁ He was an icon or a symbol of peace, having presided over the transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy and having pursued a plan of national reconciliation.
⦁ In 1999 when Nelson Mandela retired from the office of the president, he remained a loyal champion for peace and social justice in his country and around the whole world.
⦁ He also initiated some organizations example, the Influential Nelson Mandela Foundation, and The Elders; it is an independent group of public figures devoted to addressing global problems and easing human sufferings.
⦁ In the year 2002, Nelson Mandela became a vocal advocate of HIV and AIDS awareness and treatment agenda in a culture which the epidemic had brought in stigma and ignorance.

Nelson Mandela died in 2013. But it is right to say that he is not gone. He transformed South Africa from the ashes. He just left the earth, but his important call for freedom and fairness is still heard among-st the winds and the rains and in the hearts of the people all over the world. He changed the way of the history. What a man!