Prevalent Issues in Nigeria.

It was a sunny afternoon and someone had ruined my day when I decided to excuse myself to let out some steam because I do not find it necessary to exchange words with people who do not know when or when not to speak. This day for an unusual reason aroused my interest towards the prevalent issues that have been existing in this country even before my generation, although I am not one to indulge myself in political discussions and I do not want to sound critical of the Nigerian government because I am just a neutral fellow who believes in the good of the land.

Two important issues faced in Nigeria are Corruption and unemployment. Corruption has eaten deep like a cankerworm in Nigeria such that the very obvious ones claim to be the very innocent ones and that is what amazes me; when you have been cut red-handed but still deny being the one in the act.

“Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency.”

-Unknown.

A thirsty man must quench his thirst by all means regardless of whom he has to trample upon to get even as small as a drop of water. Corruption is now resting at the foundation of Nigeria’s growth, a country positioned as 144th out of 177 countries measured in Corruption Perception Index. I remember during the start period of recession, people kept complaining about how everything was falling apart whereas there were others spending billions like pure water. Apart from the government eating more than a thief, our fellow citizens are also a part of this problem as you have traders selling sub-standard products or tripling prices so as to get double their profits while the pockets of their buyers are squeezed dry.

Regarding unemployment, it is really saddening to see young people who have spent part of their lives working hard to gain a degree roam the streets of Lagos and other states in Nigeria. People who are gainfully employed or are opportune to have a steady source of income claim that there is enough opportunity for everyone out there. Not that I do not agree but the fact is how many paying jobs can actually feed a family in Nigeria? The fault is not entirely on the government but also schools who fail to teach their students vocational skills that will make them worthy of a quality job.

Many Nigerian graduates did not learn good skills during their studies. They were busy reading only textbooks without knowing the applications of what they read.

 -The Nigerian Observer.

With this understanding that no matter how bad the issues get in Nigeria, there are people who make the best out of it so I say to myself, “why can’t I be part of the few enjoying wealth despite the state of the nation?” No matter how condescending the situation of Nigeria is, there are avenues created by private organisations or individuals to create opportunities for each class of its citizens such as SAED, an entrepreneurship avenue for Nigerian youths to learn one or more skills that will improve their chances out there in the labor market among others. As for Corruption being eradicated, it will take years as long as the stubborn flies keep going back to their shit.

Therefore, Nigeria is where it is today because of the government and its people because I believe if we can all rewire our mentalities and channel our goals and positivity towards the growth of this country without self-ambitions and satisfaction of selfish desires, this great country will finally attain the heights faster than it would in say 50 years. Photo Credit: Bibiana Ossai.

Bibiana Ossai ©

Health Benefits of Oha soup.

If you are a vegetarian or not, this Igbo soup is absolutely meant for you. It is sweet, nutritious and very easy to make. Oha soup is common in the eastern part of Nigeria and is known for how good it is in enhacing skin radiance and body health.

The ingredients needed in making this soup are the most important components of the soup, they are Oha leaves (as required), Cocao yam (15 to 20 medium sizes) or egusi seed (1 or 2 cups), Chicken, assorted, beef, goat meat, turkey, dry fish or mangala
Maggi (seasoning) 2 to 4 cubes, Crayfish (2 cups), handful of Uziza leaves ( although this is optional), 1 big Stock fish head, Palm oil 15 to 20 centilitres
0.2 cup of ofor or achi as an alternative thickener), Ogiri, salt and pepper to taste.

After getting the ingredients, the next process is to prepare the soup: Wash the cocoyam thoroughly with water to remove dirt and sand, then place in a pot, pour enough water to cover the cocoyam and boil until very tender. Peel off the brown back and pound with mortar and pestle. Blend your fresh pepper with crayfish and keep aside for later use. Pluck off the Uha leaves from the stem, wash it the same way you wash vegetable leaves then use kitchen knife to slice inti the size you want. The next step is to wash your meat clean, steam it with the necessary ingredients for few minutes until it is as soft as the way you desire it to be, while the meat is cooking add hot water into the bowl containing the dry fish and stock fish and allow to boil until tender. Add more (but small quantity of water into the pot of the cooked meat, red oil, blended crayfish and pepper, maggi and salt. Leave to boil; the soup will have taste even though it is watery then add the pounded coco yam or ground egusi (your choice) to serve as thickner. Also, add ogiri at this point. Stir and allow to melt before adding Uziza leaves and Oha leaves. Stir again and leave to boil for another 5 minutes.

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Photo Credit: Ifeyinwa Nzeka/Food musings.

Your Oha soup is ready to be served with any kind of swallow (eba, wheat, semovita or fufu). Do not miss out on this very delicious Igbo soup and considering it is a new month, make it your February healthy African soup. For detailed information, visit http://allnigerianfoods.com/uha-soup or http://www.nigerianfoodtv.com/2013/12/how-to-cook-oha-soup-ora-ofe-oha-ora.html?m=1

Bibiana Ossai © 2016.

Becoming Somebody II.

“We Will Rise” is a CNN film that showcases young women overcoming incredible odds to change their lives and do extraordinary things in their society. It is a mission by Michelle Obama, America’s first lady with the help of other strong women like CNN’s Isha Sesay, Meryl Streep and Freida Pointo. We Will Rise is one of the most compelling film-documentary that I watched in the last days of year 2016 and it made me realise that despite the fact Nigeria is evolving in so many great ways, there are a lot to be done to improve eradicate educational discrimination in some parts of the country.

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ARTXLAGOS: Expose on African Culture.

ArtxLagos an International Art Fair was able to unite Africa in one building as it was the first of its kind in West Africa. The event took place in Civic Centre located at Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island Lagos on the 4th to 6th of November, 2016. Art xLagos featured the works of 65 African artists from various African countries with 14 exhibitors. The three-day event saw artists, patrons, collectors and lovers of art from all works of life. It also saw over “30 local and International speakers delivering talks and conversations on the unwavering growth of African art in the global art scene and how African creative economy can lead to the rise of reshaping the African narrative” http://www.artxlagos.com

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My Love for Yam Potage.

You know how there is one person that lightens up your mood or the feeling you get when you see your favorite thing, that is exactly what Yam potage means to me. For so long I had people ask me “Why Yam Pottage? Why do you love it so much?” until recently when I sat down to ask myself the same questions and I realized, we had come a long way through difficult times or days when I had to survive in school or a new environment; just to lay more emphasis on this, I am very selective when it comes to my food so I would rather make the food or have someone I trust do it and back in Secondary School when I was in the hostel, the food was scary and just by the sight of it, I always lost my appetite, anyways has God will have it, the hostel matron opened the doors of her kitchen for me to prepare Yam potage whenever I found it difficult to manage the hostel food.

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Herbal Drink.

A glowing beautiful melanin or white skin, a healthy human system – danger to sickness and diseases, have you ever wondered just like me how both the poor and rich of the African society are able to stay in good health? I mean, you find both the rich and poor on the same level due to good health. What is the secret you may ask? It is simply leaves, that is, leaves used in making local herbs to be drank, eaten or rubbed by Africans to sustain good health.

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GOD IN AFRICA.

 This is an ode to God in the various common African languages ranging from Igbo to Spanish. God has been merciful upon Africa just like the Israelites in the bible so…

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WE: where lives matter.

Black or white matters like the human chromosome X and Y
The fruit of primary colors combination is one secondary color,
Just the way the mating of the human chromosome creates one fetus.

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The Power of the African Culture with Simi.

In an interview held in a two-room, well-conditioned office with Afro-pop and Afro-soul singer, Simisola Ogunleye born in Ondo State, she described herself as simple, honest, creative, happy and a hustler.

When asked about what growing up felt like, she tried to paint a vivid picture of her childhood days by stating that she was a tomboy, spoilt, lived a comfortable life and grew up in a broken marriage. Simisola Ogunleye, famously known as ‘Simi’ made mention of the fact that she has never been to her hometown but the Nigerian culture influences the genre of music that she is into, as most of the lyrics of her songs are in pidgin and the application of certain vocal infection to give her listeners a ‘homely feeling’ when her songs are being played.

Continue reading “The Power of the African Culture with Simi.”