I had no support other than that of my late father who made sure that i had every test book i needed even if it means borrowing; He gave in all he had and was always in support of my educational quest but his financial limitations derailed my hope and also my chances of becoming One because there was other person I could turn to for help but yet i continued writing. My early days Were hard because unlike now i have constant electricity and could write and store my work on my phone, laptop, Facebook and wordpress, back then at Home i read with lantern as there was no electricity, be it as it May i was never deterred by number of times i lost my work i always start afresh with new topic and views;many times i worked on my autobiagraphy. I also worked on novel called beauty of the inner strength , i work on Many articles and lost almost all of Them ; without adequate help and encouragement the possibilty of me becoming a good writer was fast diminishing and i blame no One for it.
if wishes were horses beggers would ride indeed, How-ever my hope came alive The moment i Found the platforms through which i could write, save, and share my works, irrespective of how bad it is with an open mind of being corrected, guided, and helped;. Hence my passion is been revitalized by your Reading of my work , liking , sharing and commenting on WORDPRESS; Facebook and other platforms It’s of great joy that at last my works is been read all over the world which was not possible decades ago because i am of belief that ** unshared knowlage is a wasted knowlage; **Because my passion lingers i am of believeI still i Could achive my childhood Dream of becoming a Well known writer with or without your help by inspiriring those in same situation whose unheared and unsheared knwolage Can change Our world for good only if they never give up.
…(written by Chukwuaku uju.)
Being Away Too Long Is No One Else Loss But Ours!!
It was a beautiful tuesday morning in December, the chilly harmattan wind blew across the compound which was agog with activities. Everyone was outside,some exchanging greetings, some brushing their teeths while others sat on the wooden bench discussing the day’s festivities.
It was our village house and everyone was around including extended relations who came on a condolence visit for the demise of my late father. I do not like brushing my teeth at the sink when ever I visit rather I enjoy standing by the corner of the house to wash my face and do my brushing in other to see everyone that came greeting and also to percieve the smell of the morning dew on the sand. And because it was harmattan period it feels different taste and smells better than any other season of the year.
……Good morning I heard a thick voice from a distance . I hope every one is around, the voice asked my elder sister who was busy sweeping the compound with Aziza ( Aziza… a sweeping gadget made of palm fronds) commonly used in the Eastern region of Nigeria.
I came to tell you people that Our inlaws are coming today, i have informed the umunna and ndiome before now but deemed it necesaary to come and remind everyone to be present.(umunna means kinsmen while ndiome means women)..
On hearing his voice, I quickly went inside to avoid his long greetings and stories because I already realised who it was. I went to to ask my mother about the man whom I know nothing about. Mma m i called her, Dee monday said that we should all come to his house this evening that his daughter is getting married.! Has he any daughter let alone one about getting married??? I asked in bewilderment.
Oh okwa obu di tata ka Ndi ogo ya na abia*** she said in Igbo ignoring my question.(Oh yes it’s true that it’s today that his in-laws are coming)
Does he have a grownup girl? I only know about the small ones I met recently I continued . Yes he has two grown up girls from his first wife, but because it’s been long you people visited home you wouldn’t know them and they barely visit home too.
…. ok that’s good I said.
Having been away for so long, i have never had the opportunity to witness the giving away of a girl in marriage so I was very eager to grace the occasion and participate in one of my people’s oldest practiced tradition. With two of my elder brothers around with better knowledge of the tradition, I was more secured and interested, it wasn’t long before we all gathered at this my uncle’s compound, both the in-laws and kinsmen, the men were inside the sitting room and the women were at the backyard as tradition demanded.
There were jokes and exchange of pleasantries from both sides, shaking of hands,laughter and the rest, when all were seated then the real business begun.
The visitors ( in-laws ) introduced themselves and the stated the reason for their visit 😁, they were questioned and challenged immediately by one of my uncles to repeat their intentions once more for clarification to the amusement of everyone and behold the father of the groom irrespective of his age stood up at the request of my young uncle and repeated himself.
The oldest of my kinsman welcomed him and told him that we heard him clearly the first time but needed to hear him say it again .
Having presented their initial drinks and kolanuts it was necessary that before we would accept them as tradition demands we must first call our daughter to ask her if she is aware of their visit and if she is willing and interested in marrying the said young man, and it will be done in the presence of the visitors and her kinsmen.
This in particular I never knew of. Thank God for my presence today I said in my heart)
Unfortunately the groom was represented by his father and kinsmen as he could not be there due to some personal reasons. I was asked to go call our sister for the traditional right of justification by questioning.
I stood up even though I had never met her nor knew what she looked like, I couldn’t thwart my kinsmen’s request. I went outside to call her, behold there stood two beautiful ladies, I told them that I was asked to call Nneoma and she quickly came forward and slightly bent to greet me. Good evening sir, I came to the house the other day but you were not around I met only mommy. I am nneoma she said.
Wooow so I have a beautiful sister like you I did not know of, where have you been, with laughter and smiles in our faces, we embraced each other and she said I will come to the house after and I said you better do, ***You are needed inside *** I said to her.
And the rest was history as the video reveals.
I learnt a lot about our marriage rights and tradition that day, the procedures , requirements and so on. I realized that it’s something that is handed down from generation to generation , in other words we are the custodian of our cultures.
Just like I sat and watched my kinsmen perform the necessary rights of which they once learned from their fathers and past generations, time shall come when I will be the one performing the rights and younger ones will be by the side watching but HOW WOULD I HAVE KNOWN THE RIGHT AND TRADITION IF I DO NOT VISIT HOME OR WITNESS ONE MYSELF ?
Nevertheless I could have walk past Nneoma on the road any day without knowing that she is indeed my blood relation one of the reasons I said Being away for too long is no one’s loss but Ours*
……There are huge benefits in visiting Home.
Siting on a couch with my legs spread across my bed this morning while looking out of the transparent window as the gentle breeze flows in; wouldn’t have been helpful enough to remind me of the concept of life; the victories;mistakes;accomplishments of the past ; as well as the fears and challenges of the present..It was a another bright morning with a nice weather; at 17* Celsius partly cloudy with 20% chances of rain..I reminisced on the person I have become for the past 3decades while sipping my cup of coffee.
The memories of my recent visit to Africa (motherland) descended on me like the eaves of early morning dew; It was a an extraordinary feelings which had the hairs on my body erected; As I closed my eyes while having a second sip of the coffee with a smile on my face I Remembered how exited my families were at seeing me first in a decade since my quest for greener pastures separated us. The hug by my immediate younger brother at the mortala Mohammed airport when he came to pick me up; the dance I had with my mother on same day after we got home; the feelings of joy in the air all had my eyes closed in sweet memories; i decided to have another sip of the coffee, as more flashbacks kept me in gleeful mode; I took a deep breath as I put my left foot across the right one due to little pains I felt on my knees. I could still hear my door being opened and my niece of 3yrs bashing in saying..****uncle uncle uncle; Chibuike beat me., and I would reply him with ^^^^ sorry…after which he would jump straight on the bed with numerous questions 😂 which I enjoyed answering. Also the drive with my brother on the street of Lagos and Owerri; the atmospheres;hives and energy on the street; people living happily irrespective of the harsh economic conditions indeed was nothing but a sign of motivation to me.
Having not visited my home town for the past decade; It was the best part of my experience ; I remembered attending the kindred meetings and having my voice heard for the first time; the native delicious delicacies prepared for me by my mother was priceless; also hearing my father offer prayers to Gods and the ancestors of our land with kolanuts and Gin always made my day blissful. visitors trooping in and out of our compound every time of the day and merriments and festivities that came along with December celebrations were quite wonderful; Also the excitement of watching a masquerade dance in a neighboring village reminded me of the good old days; not mentioning community’s football championship that were played every evening at community secondary school which was a five minute walk from my village added a flavor of sweetness to my mind, it was indeed a journey down the memory lane which I exchanged in search of greener pastures in whiteman’s land, (a necessary evil indeed ),As I console my self. Suddenly I felt little eaves of rain On my body as I opened my eyes and realized it has started raining already, with my cup of coffee emptied I decided to sit down properly and had my legs taken down from my bed;unable to continue with my flashbacks my heart began pondering fast with question. ***what is life all about for Africans in diaspora?***and the main reasons behind their migration. Yes many would come to a conclusion of the seek of greener pastures in terms of financial well being; jobs/employment which constitutes 90% reasons for Africans abandoning their continent for Europe; whereas the remaining 10% would be attributed to unrest and wars in African continent.; whatever your views maybe; one cannot be wrong in such conclusions because I am a victim of such judgment and guilty of such viewpoints; But that does not in any aspects take away our values;purposes;rationality;of the quest in first place; For many Africans in diaspora are lost in the process; Especially those integrated into the system in relation to residence permits.; Many has denied their origins; disassociate from and reject their culture; some has refused to visits and invest back home irrespective of their circumstances here in foreign land of which many live with out LIFE.*** Until We Africans in diaspora Realize that Are more to life than financial wellness; and understand that LIFE is what happens to us when we are busy doing and thinking about something else*** We would never have a lifetime we aspire and proud of.
Yes we all want a better life but let us not in the process of seeking a better life deny our self the least things that makes our lives blissful and worth living. My trip to Africa may not have solved my present challenges and fears But Rather has helped reshape my view on the purpose of our quest for greener pastures which doesn’t not solely exist in quest for financial wellness..There are things money can’t buy and there are feelings one cannot accord to him/herself when living in another mans land irrespective of how integrated one feels. For there is no greater feelings like being in a place you truly belongs.Home will always be home
We were discusing as usaul when all of a sudden her voice changed; her face hardned and i could sense the Anger; pain; and seriouness in her heart. At first i took it for a joke but she continued, and instead of a normal conversation, she started yelling ;then i decided to take a Deep breathe to understand what ever message she was trying to convey . She has been My Friend for a while, and i have seen her angry so many times but the tone of her voice and the Look on her face this time was something else; I got Up from where i was laying on My bed and sat Down with smiles on My face graudaully changing to seriouness too. Then she paused. Our eyes glued to each other, I could see litle tears she was trying to withhold from falling, then i started to feel bad for not taking her serious initially.; I said to her; ok continue without Knowing that the reaon she paused was to summoned Courage in other to finish what she started.
Her Words…….No No No. You Dont understand, I am tired of You or other people calling me a WHITE person even when My color is Black; My parents are Black and african. Really i am tired of You asking me if i know what it feels to live Out of the SYSTEM when i know how My parents suffered to migrate from East Africa to Europe three decades ago. Just because i was børn and raised here does not mean i am exempted from Daily disdanful comments and attitude by the System and people of this country. Ok. Good. I am fluent in the Danish language Yes but i should.;Just like any child børn and raised in the country be it Dansk or immigrant; for the fact i enroled from Kindergarten to high school is enough to be fluent in the language. I Said ok….But she continued. Do You know how many times i have been turned Down from a good paying job Just because of My color?;Even when the job was aproved on Telephone interview but only to be denied at the very end. Do You know how frustrated i feel when people told me they thought i was White person Due to the way i speak on Telephone? Do You know how it feels to be raised outside your race; country, culture, and people? Do You how bad i feel when i am Not seen as an Eriterain or Black person Even when am Black? Do You know how Strange it feels when You visit your country and was seen as turist instead of Citizen? Do You know how bad it hurts not to have same equal opportunities as every other Kid even in the country You were born and raised?! I was silent; not surprise at her recountings having lived in Europe almost a decade,judging from My own experiences, i could recall some of her facts; but i was knocked out when she drew the last stroke that broke the carmel’s back by saying.! Do You know what it feels like not to be accepted by the people of Your own color and country of your parents and at the same time not accepted by the country of Your birth??🙁😭 it was then the tears she had been trying to withhold started to fall from her eyes.;. It was only then i realized that though she and other of her likes børn and raised in europe by immigrants Parents dough May have a Better future than immigrants like myself that were børn and raised in africa.; but that does not take away their everyday battles such as Racism and rejections. Their struggle to be accepted fully into the country they were børn and raised or even the country of their Heritage.❤️.Its true..No paradise without Hell…only then i reslized How Lucky i am to have a place i truely belong and accepted…..Africa My fatherland❤️..
Written by…chukwu. Aku
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