My Alcoholic Acquaintance

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Oshari rented the air immediately he came to where I sat with friends on February 2 2019, at Seaside Road, Oyigbo, Rivers State. I did not know him prior to this day.

The man I later learnt was born in 1954 was not drunk but alcohol had taken a toll on him. He was garrulous and talked different things at the same time. He was oddly funny, although to my irritation. I managed him as others did.

He was proud of his ‘Isoko’ root and repeated ‘Isoko’ virtually in all talks. He said he was an itinerant: he had travelled to virtually all the towns across Nigeria. He explained villages that were receptive and others that were uncivil.

Oshari was full of proverbs. One of his proverbs was, “Clothe is the beauty of women, but when they pull their clothe, they are Juju.” Our gathering comprising of men and women laughed. The discerning minds amongst us got his message and it was deep.

Many of us were later exhausted and moved out. I was left alone with Oshari. He lectured me using his native intelligence. He was brain and I learnt traditions and cultures of different peoples. He lectured me of Egbesu and I was pleased because I loved aboriginal spiritualities so much.

At a point, Oshari said that he needed to drink Kai-kai – local gin. I signaled a boy who sold varieties of local stuffs to give Oshari N100 worth of thing. Oshari did not wait for the boy to bring his request to where we sat; he joined the boy in his shop.

Later, Oshari came back with putrefying cigarette odour and Kai-kai around him. He was calm now. For few minutes he did not talk unlike him; he was relaxed in a plastic chair he sat on. After, he whispered in a low tone, “Kai-kai dey chak!” He stood up and left without a word. He did not stagger. He was mien. As he was leaving I pondered over the type of message the Kai-kai was registering in him and regretted I would be missing him concerning his crude but not rude talks of different things at the same time.

©Odimegwu Onwumere; Feb. 3 2019.

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Connect To The Divine Nature

BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: Some times we get bored, not that we wished to, but for circumstances around us, around our work place, home and sundry. However, the best ways to surmount boredom is to strengthen your Divine Nature by summoning yourself to the spiritual path, not religious path. Strengthen your Being to be strong in permanent positivities without evil. Always unfold your own paths in lieu of telling stories of how wealthy your beloved ones are. You have to do this by persisting always to overcome those things that bore you and initiate yourself into the Mysteries of direct seeing and hearing of opportunities that would benefit you. There is no way you can move if you cannot see or hear in the directions of explorations. Mind you! Death is not only when one stops breathing, some persons eyes are already closed and the only thing they see is darkness, hence they cannot define their true self. I urge you to enter into the realm of light so that you could transcend the realm of ignorance, so that you could be able to achieve Inner Light, to be liberated from the circle of blind saints. The time is now! If you are Igbo, explore your route and root.
-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant.

My Ideal Lady

By Odimegwu Onwumere

I was attracted to fleshy, aesthetic black and busty ladies as a young man. Albeit, don’t misconstrue me: I was not into women.

Mercy Johnson (A renowned Nigerian Actress)

Those who knew me would attest to this. Reading and writing took that period of my life when I was supposed to voyage in the sea of exploration of women.

But giving an example of the type of ladies that I liked, was Mercy Johnson. Then-again, in truth, there was something about Johnson’s characterisation on TV, which words have eluded me, to explain.

Her type was the bomb in my subconscious eyes. Conversely, beyond attraction, my fantasy then seems ridiculous today that I cannot be around any lady simple because she is pretty. What I saw then and called attraction, many things attract me today.

They are beyond people with university degrees, money, height, beauty and so many others. Then, I was much engulfed in the power of a glance.

Although, love begins when two persons are attracted to each. But love also disappears when the same persons disbelieve each other after the attraction.

This is the reason we most often do not return attraction to what attract us. Those beauty, bustiness, aesthetic black could disappear in my eyes with someone with a slender grasp on grammar, with sexy look without brains, with religious mindset without spirituality, with God without an atom of Godliness, with University management degrees without a knowledge of how to mange a home, and so on.

If I had come closer to a person of Mercy Johnson’s nature-given ‘wherewithal’ then, maybe, I would have been lost to some quantifiable, external beauty, but not having something deep down and something absolute.

It is better to love when certain undefinable something directs you. Let magnetism be the power that attracts you in a relationship, not some fantasy like I had when I was a young man.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. E-mail: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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Something Dirty

BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: Many things in this world seem dirty but are very potent. Like the saying goes, S*X IS DIRTY, yet… Who can avoid it? Even the cooked beans we eat looks like feaces yet it is one potent sources of protein. The Bible Jesus spat on the ground, then moulded some sand and placed on a blind’s eyes. The act looks dirty. But it was the only potent ways to heal the blind by him. There was the case of some one who was asked to jump seven times in the water. It looks dirty. But what happened? The afflicted was healed. Many things in this world look dirty but they are very potent. So, stop looking at the Igbo deities and shrines from the dirty aspect. Mind you, Jesus was born in the sheep’s tent when many were asking if anything good will come from Nazareth. Today, he is Supreme to his followers. The Igbo cultures and traditions and spirituality have had many good things come out of them. In them the Universal Intelligence is reverenced the natural way. No artificiality that has modernised the paths to be connected in the spirit.
-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State.

Herdsboy Suckling Cow’s Breast

BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: Riding on my bike along the Enugu-PH Expressway within the Obuzor, Asa area recently, I could not behold the sight of a small Fulani herds-boy hitting, pressing and licking the breast of his cow. I had heard of such but thought it was one of the denigrating stories always heard from persons who are not from a certain tribe till that day. Buttressing this point, some other tribes would say that Ndigbo love money so much, as if those pointing the accusing fingers on the Igbo burn their own money and sleep in the bed year in and year out. This is one of such flying denigrating stories often heard against a people. When I saw the boy, I was frozen in amazement. I tried to console myself believing it was the Fulani culture to drink or lick the breast of a living and moving cow. I cannot imagine the Igbo licking the breast of their goats or dogs or pigs all in the name of culture. I have not heard of this in Igbo land no matter the hunger. Not even during the period of ethnic cleansing launched on Biafra by the Nigerian forces between 1967-70 that the Igbo could do that. I’m not sure of the health benefits of licking cow’s breast but really sure of the eyesore and mind-sore. I cannot imagine a people that blatantly do scenes with their cows, with owls, with bats, with cats, and others like when a sane person is sleeping with a woman. I freeze cold while in the boiling water. I feel irritated doing this press and would be awestruck conducting a research on this because it is so irritating that some persons could dress up as cows.
-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant. He publishes the http://www.ooreporters.com

My Journey To “Award of Great Achievement”

By Odimegwu Onwumere

My people in Oyigbo, Rivers State, celebrated my journalism achievements. The date was May 6 2018. The venue was D’ Truth Lounge, Union Street.

The organizers of the event had taken me uninformed. It was a surprise to me. I was barely notified of the ceremonial five or thereabouts hours to the kick-off.

Mr. Casmir Ogaraku and Lady Geraldine Chukwu deemed it wise that they put up the event in service of my Pan African Re/insurance Award 2018, which I received in Namibia on April 9, 2018.

Ogaraku and Chukwu’s insight was that in a safe and sane environment, the government ought to have celebrated me, given that I won the overall of the awards across Africa, organized by Continental Reinsurance Plc. But since the government was yet to do so, they, my beloved ones had to celebrate me.

Anyways, according to a press release by Continental Re within the period of the awards titled “Winners of 2018 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards Announced”, it read, “Odimegwu Onwuwere, a journalist with Nigeria’s Africa Prime News has bagged the Pan African Journalist of the Year Award for the 2018 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards sponsored by Continental Reinsurance
.
“His winning article titled “Africa emerging new frontier in the reinsurance markets” investigates how foreign insurers that once rebuked Africa due to economic instability are now swarming for businesses on the continent because the sector is becoming alluring and dynamic due to unswerving GDP growth…”

Being the third edition of the journalism awards, “It received 61 entrants from 15 English and French speaking countries including: Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Mauritius and Zambia for Anglophones; Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo for Francophones,” stated the release.

Conversely, at the celebration in Oyigbo, D’ Truth Lounge, Air Cas Service LTD, and Oya Industries LTD, gave me “Award of Great Achievement”. It is an honour that a prophet is recognized at home.

Before this time, friends and well-wishers had celebrated with me as the 2018 Pan African Re/insurance Award winner. Many media platforms like the revered ThisDay Newspapers gave my winning a wide coverage. The news was also awash online. Friends and well-wishers and my family members on social media escalated the news.

My experience in Swakopmund, (the place for the awards) this coastal city in Namibia, west of the capital, Windhoek, was a relish. Haboured in one of the best hotels in the country known as Strand, the sandy beaches around the hotel made my nearly one week stay in the city fascinating.

I was made to understand that Swakopmund faces the Atlantic Ocean. According to history, it was “Established by German colonialists in 1892, the city’s colonial landmarks include the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the Mole, an old sea wall. Next to the lighthouse, the Swakopmund Museum documents Namibian history. Inland, the elegant Swakopmund Railway Station, now a hotel, also dates to the colonial era.”

Desert takes a vast land of the city. There were calls for duty among the authorities. Hardly were there potholes on the roads. Their vehicles are not like Nigerians. Their vehicles are majorly German.

Namibia is about two hours from South Africa, and Nigeria to South Africa is about six hours. There was no direct flight from Nigeria to Namibia, occasioned by lack of Nigerian Carrier.

It was SA Express aircraft. And I took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), located in Lagos State. History says, “MMIA is the major airport serving the entire state. The airport was initially built during World War II and is named after Murtala Muhammed, the 4th military ruler of Nigeria.”

At this airport, those that checked my papers were beggarly. Officials that were supposed to mind their various posts begged. “Anything for me?” they begged.

This habit was not the same in South Africa where I first landed to connect another aircraft to Namibia after hours. In Namibia and South Africa, no officials at the immigration units begged for money. They concentrated on their work.

While the MMIA was overcrowded by officials and the environment oozed with putrefying smell, O. R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa, was well organized. History says, “It is a major international airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa, near the city of Johannesburg and, to a lesser extent, the executive capital Pretoria.” The same was applicable to the airport in Swakopmund.

Many experiences were gathered on my journey To “Award of Great Achievement.” I can’t thank Coss Williams enough for his advise at the earlier stage of my career. My parents and family have always been around.

I thank Elsie, Cess, Eniola of Continental Re, and Nike of The Punch Newspapers, Nigeria, who guided the way I travelled to Namibia. I thank my friends on social media who amplified my triumph. Ogaraku and Chukwu and Chukwudi Nlewem are not left behind. I thank all of you.

-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Media Consultant who has won many journalism awards; he is based in Rivers State, and can be reached via: apoet_25@yahoo.com