Thursday, December 18, 2008

When Xmas Trips were fun...

As a kid of Igbo extraction, December and Xmas meant one thing- Time to travel back home(to the Village).
It was something I and my siblings looked forward to every year. In fact the worst punishment Mumsy could give you this period was to say “You are not traveling this December!”
Everyone wanted to travel so that meant everyone had to be on their best behaviour. No fighting, no lying, no stealing meat from the soup pot,:)

What was the big deal about traveling, you wonder?
It was a mix of so many things.

It was the fun road trip where we would stop at intervals for refreshments, especially at ORE and UMUNEDE. Ah!! There was this restaurant at UMUNEDE where we usually stopped for rice and stew. As a kid, UMUNEDE rice was special!lol! The trip would never be complete without UMUNEDE rice.

And there was the usual banana and groundnuts.
Dad would buy those huge bananas at ORE and we would stuff ourselves up with the sweet fruit and groundnuts as we traveled along.

There was also the fact that we would be seeing so many of our friends, cousins, relations who we hadn’t seen in a whole year. Friendships formed the previous year would be rekindled.

Then there were the bush adventures where we would go hunting for rabbits and birds. OB, a cousin of mine who lived in the Village usually led the expeditions. He was also the hunter. His ammunition was his home-made catapult and stones. The rest of us kids were there to pick stones for OB and carry the day’s spoils home.

Some other days, we would go to the bush not to hunt but to pluck fruits. Sour sops, Oranges, pear, Guava, Mangoes, which ever was in season, we plucked! The boys climbed while the girls stayed down and picked the fruits.

We would arrive home with our baskets of fruits and the adults would praise us:
“Eeeeh…Umuazi a! Unu anwaka o!”( Eeeeh…this kids…una try o!)

These bush adventures were the highlights of our holiday. We all wanted to be with the team. We would bribe OB with biscuits and sweets just to let us tag along on the bush trips. Not even the frightening tales he told us about the old woman who ate kids in the bush or the spirit of the forest that made children disappear deterred us from going. However we made sure to stick together always. I would never be caught in front or at the back. The middle was my place. The sounds of the forest disturbed me and there was also this bird that usually made an eerie sound “Cookuu, Kuru Cookuu” Christ! That sound put the shivers in me! Then, I didn’t know it was a bird, I always thought it was the spirit of the forest,lol! It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized it was a bird.

There was also the night time story telling round the fire.
Whenever we heard the Chant: “CHAKPI!” we would shout “WOO!” as we took our spots by the fire knowing it meant only one thing-Time for storytelling! Grandma’s tales of Mr. tortoise’s adventures was always interesting and she knew how to mimic the characters in her stories.
OB also told us stories at times. His stories were usually naughty like the story of Nwagadigboro who after poooing in the bush went to clean his behind on the Ukwa tree and the Ukwa fruit fell on him and killed him. There was also the story of the lazy slave who refused to cook and after his master cooked, he had to nerve to taste the food. Of cos the master beat him with the spoon!

Another highlight of our trip would be was the Visiting relatives and friends part.
We always tagged along with Mum and Dad anytime they went out because we were sure there was definitely going to be lots of rice and chicken and coke wherever we visited. Was this not the festive season? :) :)

Fine, we had to endure, the patting on the head and exclamations of “Ahhh! See how big you have grown… very soon we will be drinking your palmwine!”

All that didn’t matter when the steaming plates of Jollof rice and bottles of Coke/Fanta were placed in front of you. Kids and food!lol!

I also remember the Moonlight dance. ‘Egwu Onwa’, we called it.
There were quite a number kids in my family- Me and my siblings, my cousins, my Grandfather’s second wife’s kids. We formed a dance group and during the day, we would practice different cultural dances. The home based kids usually did the teaching.

After days of practice, we would finally begin our ‘Egwu Onwa’. At night when the moon came up. We would go from house to house singing and dancing. The boys had the task of beating the empty tins of Bournvita with sticks to provide melody for our songs. After dancing the owners of the house would give us a little token to show appreciation. It wasn’t so much the money but the fun and excitement we got from the experience. I remember the highest amount we ever got from our Egwu Onwa was Eleven Naira (N11). Is anyone laughing? N11 wasn’t small money then in the late eighties o! At least we each got Eighty kobo each,Money for Akara and Okpa, he he he:)

So you see, there were many things that made traveling to the Villa during Xmas as a kid plenty fun. As I grew older and wiser, a lot of these things lost their appeal :(
Eating UMUNEDE rice, Bananas and groundnuts during the road trip weren’t such a big deal anymore. Bush hunting and Fruit picking lost their allure. Visiting relatives became a bore. Egwu Onwa nko? Kai! Big, fine, city girl like me? No way,lol!

Ultimately traveling to the Villa became something I stopped looking forward to especially when I grew up to marriage age and was still single. The constant barrage of questions one faced from aunts and uncles were definitely not very pleasant.
“So when are you calling us?”
“When are we drinking your wine? Our throats are parched…blab la bla”

Give me a break y’all for God’s sakes!!!

It’s Xmas period again. Will I be traveling? Yes.
Am I looking forward to it? Not really.
Do I have to? No but I have to respect my parents wish. “You need to go home more so the young men will see you. You know as the Eze's daughter you have to marry from our place” Yeah right! *Eyes rolling*

So guys, this is likely to be my last post this year. I want to wish everyone of you, My Blog Family, my Blog enemies(lol) and my anon readers(yea I know all of you) a Glorious Xmas and wonderful new year 2009.

Santa princesa is in the house with plenty goodies for everyone who has been good this year. All those who have been celibate, raise your hands, Afrobabe…come on put that hand down!lol!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fake fake things everywhere!

This is not about bad publicity for Nigeria on my blog (Omo(detergent)no fit wash the dirty wey don stain that name already).

It’s about something that really really irks me to no end.
I'm talking about the fact that we Nigerians hate ourselves so much that we DELIBERATELY sell poison in the form of fake products, expired food products, adulterated stuff and all what not. All in the bid to make money!

This morning, I heard on the radio that some fake tin tomato brand in the market has caused the death of a number of people.

Some weeks back, it was some expired children teething medicine which claimed the lives of so many innocent children.

I ask why?!!!

Why is it that some people do not have any form of conscience at all? I mean, you know fully well that a product is hazardous to your consumers yet you still put it into the market just because of money.
Do they not understand the preciousness of life?

Do they not know that they are going to be answerable to God almighty for their deeds at the last day?

It’s crazy and sad that we have such devilish people in our midst.

May God continue to save us from them, Amen.
Talking about fake products in Naija…

I remember last Xmas, a supplier working with my company had given me a gift for Xmas- A carton of Eva bottled juice.

Na so I happy carry my Eva bottled juice go house.

I don dey imagine how I go put the drink for fridge…

How I go take enjoy my chilled Eva juice and Xmas cake,lol!

I even used the drink to do longathroat for my brother, :)

Anyway, fast forward to the day I wanted to enjoy my chilled Eva drink.

First thing I noticed was the cork.

It wasn’t the usual wooden cork. This one was rubber.

I shrugged it off thinking maybe the producers had changed the cork.

So I opened the drink. Annn…aaaa…No popping sound? The thing just open like say na bottle of water I open.

I started suspecting the drink...

But still, I was determined that nothing was coming between me and my chilled Eva drink,lol!

Na so I pour the thing inside glass

No bubbly, no nothing…Aannn…annn!!!

Afraid catch me o but I say na lie! Na me and dis drink today!

So I raised the glass to my mouth.

Kai!!! Chai!!! Ptwaaa!!!

I spat it out

Na Zobo this people carry pour inside bottle abi wetin?

The stuff had a horrid taste.

OMG!!! I was disappointed.

I had to open all the other bottles in the carton and pour away the contents while enduring my brother’s annoying laughter.

“He he he, you no drink your Eva juice again? He he he…”

The thing pain me no be small. Na so person for drink poison say im dey drink juice.

A note of warning to all those buying bottled drinks this Xmas especially Eva Juice.

Don’t buy those ones they sell on the road along Apongbon o! Make sure you buy from the importers/distributors or reputable supermarkets.

Bad people plenty!
Okay still on fake products in this our obodo Nigeria.

Wow! Am really in the mood for gist abi? lol!

This one is directed to my peeps in Lasgidi.

Have you noticed those guys selling Harpic toilet cleaner, Morning fresh liquid wash or Car wash in traffic?

You must have sha. Them plenty everywhere.

Those guys are major crooks o!

All those stuff they sell are big time Fake and adulterated products.

Sometimes you buy Harpic or Morning Fresh and you find that it is just Omo or bar soap dissolved in water.

My younger brother bought one of ‘em Liquid car wash they sell in traffic.

The poor boy emptied almost half of the fake car wash inside bucket of water yet the thing no gree foam.

This is a brand of car wash that usually requires you to use only a capful to one bucket of water o!

When I asked him how much he bought it. He replied “N200”

I laughed. “You see yourself? Something wey dem dey sell for N350 na im you buy for N200. You dey find cheap thing…now you do see am!”

Now, that is one way they trap their unsuspecting customers.

Ridiculously cheap prices!

This is where I blame the people who buy those fake things.

You know the market price of something is a lot higher that what you are been offered by those boys in traffic yet you still go ahead and buy thinking you had gotten a great bargain.

Ha ha ha…
Yes you have indeed gotten a great bargain of ‘Gbanjo’ (Fake) product!
Two days ago, I was in the car with my elder brother heading home and as usual we were stuck in traffic.
One Harpic seller passed by the car holding up his fake Harpic

“Madam, buy Harpic…”
I turned to my brother. “Bros, you know say all this Harpic wey them dey sell for Traffic na Fake?”
“How you take know?”
he asked.
“For one, the price of the small size Harpic in the supermarket is about N280- N300 but these guys can sell for as low as N100. Which kain Harpic be that one? Even the company price no be N100”
He didn’t quite believe me so I said “Oya just watch and see…Hey!” I beckoned to the Harpic guy.
He quickly ran to the car. I wound down the window.
“How much you dey sell your Harpic?”
“Madam, na N280”
“N280 ke! Some thing wey dem dey sell N120??”
“N120? For where? Madam, you know the price na…Na N280 for everywhere even for market. Oya pay N250

“Me I no pay any N250 0! Na N120 I get”
I made to wound up the window and he stopped me.
“Oya na how many you want buy?"
“Na one na! Na only one toilet I get”

“Okay bring money”
“Make I pay N120?”
“Yes, bring money”

He shoved the bottle of Harpic at me.
I thought quickly. This had been too easy. I didn’t want to buy and I had to get myself out of the situation fast. I no want make person pour spit for my face.

So I turned to my brother and mumbled some words to him. Then turned back to the guy at the window.
“Eh ya…sorry o…my husband talk say im don buy one yesterday…”
I hadn’t completed the sentence before the guy hissed and walked away.

My brother laughed. “So he agreed to sell for N120?”
“Didnt i tell you? ”

So to end this long post.
Lesson: Please be careful what you buy in this Naija cos plenty plenty fake thing full everywhere. It’s even worse when it’s something you are taking in like food or drugs.
So many have lost their lives this way.
Please be careful.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Monday, December 1, 2008


You know your case has become critical when…

…during family morning prayer, it’s your mum’s turn to pray and she goes:

“Father God, King of kings and lord of lords.
I commit my daughter, princesa into your hands.
Father, this year shall not pass her by.
Before the first quarter of next year, she must be in her husband’s house.
Dear God, she has to make a choice from all these guys hovering around.
Her mates are in their husband’s house and her case will never be different.
Give her a man to call her own, this we pray through Jesus Christ, our lord.

AMEN!!!!!(A very loud chorus from the rest of the family)

God dem don give me deadline o, come and show yourself, lol!

On a serious note now.

My friends, I want to ask these questions...

Do I have to marry a man just because he is asking for my hand?

Don't I have a right to desire certain qualities in the man i'll call my husband?

Why can't people understand this?

Why do I have to be called, "Choosy' because I want what I want?

Afterall, if I didnt meet the man's desires in his future wife, he wouldn't even propose to me.

Abeg...I believe I also have the right to what I desire.



On another note, today's the first day of December which means Xmas is only 24 days away,Yipee...yay...yay!!!!

Dear friends, as we prepare for the celebrations and Xmas activities, let us not forget the reason for the season which is the marking of Our Lord's coming.
This letter says it all.

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday.

Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I know that this year the celebration will be repeated.
During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.
It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago.
At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.
Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don't understand the meaning of the celebration. I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full ofdelicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, manybeautifully wrapped gifts.
But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation. The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face...and I wanted to be with them and share their table.
In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me.
Since I wasn't invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner. They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time.
To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long whitebeard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on thesofa and all the children ran to him, saying: "Santa Claus, Santa Claus" as if the party were in his honor!
At midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and do you know no-one hugged me. Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe,there was one for me.
What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one? I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left. Every year it gets worse. People only remember the gifts, the parties, toeat and drink, and nobody remembers me. I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life. I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you.
Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart. I want to share something with you. As many didn't invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party.
I'm still making thefinal I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for youand write your name with golden letters in my great guest book.
Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party. Those who don't answer the invite, will be left outside. Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part of my great party.
See you soon.

I Love you!