The Exodus

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Photo Credits: www.freehdw.com

Photo Credits: http://www.freehdw.com

Just as our forefathers did ages ago, ferried overseas, packed like sardines at the bottom of the ship, chained down like dogs, like cattle to the slaughter house, the abattoir, panicking like turkeys on thanksgiving, panicking from the uncertainty of what is to come, how the future makes all men uneasy! Heroes and cowards alike.

We take that bold step, move from our homeland to lands that we aren’t sure of, it almost seems like history is repeating itself-but not in the same order;

We aren’t chained down, we aren’t ferried via the sea, the great ocean, tossing and tumbling. No, we are flown over from what the Wright brothers had invented, a machine they were almost stoned for, accused of heresy for..

One thing is similar though, we are still packed like sardines, the gross majority of us, for even though we can afford the flight, we choose to take the cheapest seats , to be “cost effective ” and be cramped up in economy with other blacks who make up majority of its population. Does this mean that we still have inherent the tenets of slavery? Choosing to be cramped like grains of rice in a bag. Do we think about the reason “economy class ” was created? Do we wonder why any class was created at all, as we sit relatively comfortably in the belly of a metallic winged bird, or are we too concerned with our destination and our future, as we migrate over the vast oceans.

Just as it did our forefathers, life serves us a cup of anxiety- anxiety of what is to come. This is where the quest for knowledge has led us, quest for a good paying job, nice clothes, houses, exotic cars, quest for a better life, a life that we have to travel miles away from home to make and many believe that only through a Western education can we achieve our dreams.

How ironic is it that when our forefathers were taken from their villages and carried to this land that we journey to, this land we are so excited about, a land where some of us have bragged about visiting to our peers, and for some, even lied about visiting…did we ever stop and recall that they did it against their consent?

It wasn’t for a better life. Oh no! quite the opposite, subjected to harsh working conditions, like miners in a mine, the plantation fields were there offices. But we, being ‘modern and knowledgable’,do not see the similarity, we do not see that we are slaves to the system, our plantation fields being our 9 to 5 jobs, we are on the way to being entrapped in a rat race, an endless circle, never stopping till we die.

Nevertheless we journey, with grins on our faces, wishing the plane could go any faster, wishing we were there already!

But what about those who we have left behind? What about our peers who couldn’t afford the fare? Couldn’t afford economy class or any class for that matter? What would become of them? Do we even think about them? And if we do, are we even bothered? Are we concerned ? Do we care? Whatever happened to communal living? How our forefathers survived , thrived and lived ? Did we store our empathy away with it? In that dusty box under our beds.

Who should even feel empathic for who? Ofcourse we have left them, but are we really going to a better place? Whatever happened to those who were taken from the black continent all those years ago? Were they better than the ones who didn’t go? Of course the criteria for selection then was to be fit physically. Does this mean we aren’t fit? And if not, what is the criteria for selection now?

Perhaps we are getting it all wrong, perhaps we are the ones whom empathy should be shown. The potato admired and secretly envied his brothers, the ones who were selected from the baskets and taken to yonder, stories have sprung that they are taken to a better place , where they will be transformed, where they will be beautiful, where they will be golden fried, where they will be free…he envies them. Little does he know, a change of environment doesn’t always mean a better life, it doesn’t always mean success.

Success amazes me every time I think about her, like a woman of the night, she’s in bed with everyone who will have her, both those who leave and those who stay , she meets them anywhere and everywhere. She tells them all the same thing, she preaches to them, using her religion to captivate their minds, like a preacher during a Sunday sermon, she preaches her gospel of greatness, and makes them fall even deeper . Slowly, as they discover her wonders, their grip tightens, like a Python against the neck of a Chimpanzee. Drinking from her cup, they grow even more intoxicated with what she has to offer, many wander off, seeking other brides , impatient with her continuous teasing of the good life, but for few, who have sworn their hearts to her, they eventually pluck from her branches, and like bees , they continually hover around her flowers, hungering ever more for her nectar.

Thus, can’t we say, success is like a woman, who lives both here and abroad

Written by Obinna Obioma.

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Tribute to Mum

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sad-quotes-about-being-alone-hd-sad-boy-wallpaper-with-quotes-wallpaperDays were when innocence enveloped me like seeds in a pod for all that mattered was what you brought forth,

Without restrictions you allowed me cry wild and supported me with comfort and warmth I knew not,

God put me in your arms because He knew you will give me solace.

You raised me and taught me what was right and watched me rise,

As I grew and stuck like a glue and didn’t have a clue, you made me detach to see something new,

You tailored me to be who I am and desirable to many people

Now the time has come for me to reciprocate, death has asked you to follow and have left me with sorrow like sleepy hollow,

But thanks be to God that there’s no restriction in resurrection when death will be put to permanent sleep and confined in the deep while we leap.

This is the hope I have that even when I cry, I know it’s for a while ’cause though weeping may endure for a night, joy will surely come in the morning,

Continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord mum, till we meet to part no more.

With love, Custom Chris.

Written by Custom Chris

Photocredits; http://www.galleryhip.com

The Perfect Dress

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I went shopping with my sisters and within a couple of minutes they had found the dresses they wanted to get. I was the only one left, as usual. Were my stakes too high? Was I being too selective? I pondered as we moved from store to store. I could see the exasperation on their faces and I felt bad. Truth is, I hadn’t found the right one and I wasn’t going to settle. There had been times where I settled for the ‘available’ in the absence of the ‘desirable’ and ended up not using it. Settling never gave me fulfilment; it only left me with wasted resources and another dress I wasn’t going to wear.

We kept moving around for long frustrating hours, with sweat trickling down our faces as though we were under the rain, completely drenched, hungry and jaded.

Just at the point of giving up, I saw a dress in a store across the street. It was so gorgeous and appealing! I ran with a beaming smile towards it. It took a lot of self-control to stop myself from hugging it. I brought out my card to quickly pay for it when a thought came that I should try it on. I went humming into the dressing room. I wore the dress and saw how beautiful it was in the mirror. Oh wait! I hadn’t zipped it. My sister tried to help me zip it but it was too tight, I could barely breath with each attempt at zipping it. OMG! I was desperate for it to size me, you could clearly see the struggle. Tried all I could including tummy tucking, but it just wouldn’t close! It wasn’t the one for me, though it was the one I desperately wanted.

At this point I was ready to settle for any dress whether it was my color or size or whatever! I had lost hope.

I’ll pause there for a minute while I try to use this analogy in our relationships. Is there really a right one for us? Well, personally I feel there are many people in the world who can be the type we want. It’s just harder to find the one who fits us perfectly like a glove. Most times it’s really frustrating finding that one. Most people lack the patience and settle for any Dick, Harry or Maryjane that comes their way. Sometimes it could be a dress that is your size but a color that is your least favorite, or a dress that doesn’t even fit, yet we still settle. Struggling to make it work even though it’s obviously not working!

My sisters, though exhausted and hungry still tried to cheer me up, encouraging me not to settle for the dress that clearly didn’t fit. Was I too early or too late to meet the right one? I pondered as I walked away with my shoulders slumped.

Went to a couple more stores which all had lots of gorgeous dresses; but I was too hung up on the one I thought was the right one but couldn’t fit, that I failed to notice the beautiful dresses that beckoned to me, each unique its own way.

Pause again… Are there some people we are still hung up on? Perhaps exes or crushes that left us heartbroken? Ofcourse, there are people we can’t forget! How can you completely forget your first love? Even when you tell yourself you’ve moved on, your mind still brings the images of what you once had…even if it was just for a second. Not completely letting go of these exes puts a blindfold on our eyes that hinders us from seeing the other many possibilities God has in store for us. Sometimes we even find ourselves judging the next one based on the standards of the one we thought was right and perfect for us, thereby neglecting the uniqueness in the new one.

We finally gave up looking for my dress and started towards the parking lot when I spotted a tiny shop. A little voice within me told me to check it out. Doubts clouded my mind…What would this tiny shop have that the big stores didn’t? I told my sisters to go on as I took a peek into the shop. I did a quick sweep of the entire shop in one glance. Yep! I was right; there was nothing in it for me.

As though the shop owner read my mind, he told me to wait as he went searching for a dress he was sure I would love. I folded my hands, wondering how he was going to impress me. After a couple of seconds that seemed like hours, he brought out the dress. My jaw dropped in amazement. The dress was in all its glory as I wore it. It softly teased my body, fitting me in all the right places, the color was my favorite, and everything else was perfect! I wasn’t hungry or tired anymore. Finding the one was so worth the wait and stress! I left the shop with my well packed shopping bag and a huge grin playing across my face, so happy I didn’t settle.

The right one for you might just be in that place you look down upon, that tribe you dislike for no reason, that race that you would never want to be associated with… Don’t allow your prejudice or previous disappointments and setbacks stop you from meeting the right one and fulfilling the purpose God has for you. As the New Year opens up, be expectant in the great surprises God has stored up for you and surely your expectations will not be cut off! Ciao! 🙂

~M.

Photo credit: http://s.ericdress.com

Think-Thank Challenge, 2014

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think thank

We keep making new resolutions to become better people, to be more successful, to break free from habits and addictions, to be better spouses, to keep our relationships from shipwreck, become healthier, slimmer or fatter…at the end of the year, its either we have succeeded or we continue in the vicious cycle of being the same old us with new calendars.

The year is almost over, we have probably ticked off some items on our resolution list. However, some items still remain far from fulfilment. But does this mean it was a bad year entirely? Perhaps you may have lost your loved ones, or job, or some money, or properties… does this really mean 2014 was the worst year ever? Definitely not!

In this think-thank challenge, I want you to think of the good that happened, the answers to prayers you never said, the good breaks you had, the helpers you didn’t even know, the money you found in your pocket when you were broke, the properties you didn’t lose, the new ones you acquired, the weight you gained or lost, the love you found, the partner who remained true even when you were at your lowest, the items you ticked off your resolution list and prayer cards, the accident you survived, the robbery you scaled through alive, the hospital bed you got out from, the new kids you got, the marriage you celebrated, the graduation that became a reality, the struggles you overcame…write them down and know with no doubt that God has been way too good!

Most people don’t thank because they don’t think! Rather they are so short sighted as to only see the things that didn’t work out, the plans that failed, the darkness that lingered, the tears that they shed, the bad things that happened etc.

I’m challenging you to get a notepad and write out all the good things that happened in the year, think about the supposed bad things that later turned out for good. Put on your thinking cap that you may be able to have a thankful heart 🙂

If you think and can’t find any reason to be thankful (even for the free oxygen you’re breathing), only then can you say the year was a terrible year!

I want to use this opportunity to thank all my readers for being there and encouraging me. I also encourage you to keep giving feedbacks via the comment box. I believe 2015 holds a lot more in store for us and I pray we all crossover, amen. Keep reading, keep being inspired! I love you, but God loves you more!

Happy New Year!!!

© Mfon Etuk, 2014

Photos by Me

Photos by Me

Time Machine

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Photo Credits by www.ucg.org

Photo Credits by http://www.ucg.org

I crave for the past,

Like a lion in captivity,

Longing for the vast lands of the Serengeti

For the wind in his hair

While running for miles without restrictions Roaring , stamping his authority as king.

I long for the days of simplicity ,

When it was either black or white

When there were no complications ,

Like a beach, the ocean and land intersecting but not conquering each other – mutual respect,

I miss the mutual respects,

I miss when the world didn’t have grey,

When it was color blind,

When there were no colors…

How I envy dogs,

Color blind from the spectrum of the world,

From the discriminations and segregation.

I dream of a world where the continents haven’t been connected by trade and greed,

Transcending over the ages into commerce and integration but still having the tenets of its heritage of greed and trade.

I envy the ants , untainted from the world, their civilization still as it was eons ago

I’m lost in trying to understand their way of life, how could they survive without “modern economics and commerce ” the devils of this world

But yet they have existed , they have thrived, they have survived.

What does that say about their ” more evolved ” Homo sapiens brothers? ,

Related by the ecosystem who have “evolved”

But still find a way to disregard the most fundamental aim of evolution, “survival”

How are they different from the savage beasts of the wild? .

I am African but feel less and less African with every passing day,

Like a caterpillar slowly transforming into a completely different person ,

Transforming into a butterfly.

But does this mean that I’m changing for the better ?

For of course, I am more beautiful , more flamboyant , alluring , pleasing to the eye, easily acceptable to the world , a world whose benchmark for acceptance is vanity.

With my newly found “acceptance ” by the world I have completely been transformed ,

Leaving my “crude and ugly ” caterpillar form behind,

Abandoning my roots, my heritage , becoming less African with every passing day.

What is a tree without its roots I pray thee? What is a building without its foundation?

Change comes and sweeps me off my feet,

Like a mermaid , she sings enticing songs to my ear,

O sweet melody! making its way to my heart, swaying me away from who I truly am ,

Leading me to her, and like a mermaid , beautifully created, her smile eventually captures my heart for good but her claws drag me down to the depths of the sea, destroyed , forever lost … Not just to myself but to the world.

But is change bad? Can’t there be a good transition ?

Of course change is the most constant thing in the world.

With time as her sister, they are an unconquerable force ,

Resistance is futile either for bad or good, we must change,

I crave the days of the past, I envy when I was simple, raw, untainted ,I miss when I was me.

Written by Obinna Obioma

Photo Credits by Xanndy Van Obi Photography

Photo Credits by Xanndy Van Obi Photography

Unspoken

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Surrounded by people yet I feel so lonely

Like a cold blanket over me

I feel no warmth

My eyes are dampened

By the salty tears that keep trying to break free

I’m calling out and no one is answering

Not even the answering machine

Where are my friends when I need them?

Oh wait! There they are…

So why am I so alone?

I long for the peace that only you can give

The storms in my heart keep raging like a mighty tempest

I’m lost, cold and alone

No one understands me

Not even the closest to me…

I feel so empty

Like a barrel with no rum

Or a room with no one

My mind is going overboard

Trying to figure the figures that keep troubling me

Trying to fix the puzzle called life

Its so scrabbled, I need solitaire

Does any of this make sense?

Maybe not…

There’s always one thing after the other

School, work, money, marriage

Too much load, I need a carriage

Chasing after the wind

It’s like I’m chasing pavements

Help! I cry and no one is listening

Or have they got headphones on?

No, my cries are mere whispers

Too scared to turn to you

I feel you still hate me

What I did you can’t forgive

Oh, that’s the devil whispering

Depression cloaks me

Sadness encompasses me

The dark has come

I can’t even see the light

Not even a flash,

My life is a total wreckage

And they say this girl is damaged

People judging me from different degrees

When they don’t even own a law degree

I see them throwing the stones

When it was you who died and rose up before they rolled away the stone

My head is down, my knees are bent

I’m crying for help from the bottom of my heart

Cos I know I’m no Ben 10

It’s dark but I need the light

I’m listening to these sad songs

By other damaged people who feel my pain

It’s like the world is full of chains

People held captive by the need to love again

Eaten up by desires to succeed

Losing their joy in the pursuit of smoke

Yes Solomon said all is vanity

But I just felt it was because he was clothed in royalty

He didn’t feel the scourge of poverty

I can’t see you

But I know you’re there

Kinda like the air I breathe

Call it oxygen or carbon dioxide

Don’t leave me breathless

I’m no Shayne Ward

But I’ve got to hear your word

‘Say something, I’m giving up on you’

That’s the song I’m singing.

© Mfon Etuk, 2014.

Before the Big 30

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My darling,

I wanted to share a few of life’s most important lessons with you. You will have many significant people through your life, and a best friend. You do not need to be intimidated by your best friend, or your partner, mother or job for that matter. Trust those who show you the truth in them. We all need allies in life; but remember the benefit of the doubt is subjective, don’t give it to just anybody.

When fear threatens to cloud you, don’t let it. If fear is what pushes you to do something, make a decision DON’T DO IT, DON’T MAKE IT! If fear is the reason for putting something off, for procrastinating with an important decision, DO IT WITHOUT DELAY.

The success and happiness of your thirties is directly correlated to the decisions you make in your 20’s. People will always feel they know what’s good for you. Take the advice, nod, even mull it over, but in the end, do what YOUR HEART feels is right for YOU.

When faced with a decision, ask yourself three questions; is this the right decision? Is it for the right reasons? Is it the right time? If your answer is YES! YES! YES! You won’t go far wrong in life.

In everything you choose to do, be kind. Kindness is a rare commodity; it puts you and your interests behind that of the next person, not just in grand gestures, but even in the little things. It emanates from the heart, and is felt by those who cannot be fooled by insincerity. A shortcut to morality is the golden rule of life; ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ you’ll discover that this really is the start of wisdom and righteousness.

While we’re on the subject of morality, relationships will NEVER be clear, it isn’t the nature of things. But you can help yourself by doing an exercise; make 3 lists:

  1. What you ‘want’ in the man/woman you love
  2. What you would ‘like’ in the man/woman you love
  3. What you will not tolerate in any man/woman in your life.

And stick to this list…preferably the first list. Standards dictate who we let into our heart, who stays there, and who deserves to be there. The more you compromise with these lists, the longer it will take to find your soul mate.

While looking for him/her, never covet what another woman/man has. Let what is meant to be yours, come to you. This habit people have of running in packs isn’t all that healthy either, after all the saying goes ‘relationSHIPS sink when they have too many passengers. You don’t need to let everybody in. And while you’re at it, Jealousy sucks! Try being on the receiving end of it, you’ll understand how damaging it can be to any relationship. Spending a fun weekend with someone is not enough to know if you really like them. You only really get to know people in their reactions when things are not going their way, and over a prolonged period. Further down the line when you think it’s a done deal, it’s still NEVER going to be ok to have sex in your parents’ house, unless you’re married. Get over it!

There’s never going to come a time when you should stop feeding the child in you. It’s the part of you which will always experience the real beauty of life, afresh, every time. Don’t ever be afraid of your own company. For anyone to love being with you, you must first love being with yourself. Wear your hair EXACTLY as you please. Society will have to get used to it. When you are choosing clothes think about what this will tell people about you when you wear them…and always be true to who you are. Everything on the outside should be a further expression of what is on the inside. Save! Yes, now IS the right time to do so.

There will be rough times, and you must survive your own traumas, but don’t fall victim to your story. Heal. Release. Move on. Thrive! It’s your motivation which will dictate the results of ANY action.

Always try to come from a good place. It will show. My darling you’ll never stop learning, and, while education is a leveler, LIFE is the best teacher. Best case scenario, use both. Reading is a joy! Read! It’s never too late to learn to love books. But if the books you’re reading don’t make you a better person, you’re reading the wrong books. Quality of life is what you give to yourself. Not what your job or your relationship gives you. Decide what you love to do, and start doing it TODAY.

Thank me later. And have fun in this life cos you only live once(YOLO) after all!

Written by Nancy Ufia

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