People who see don’t see much

People throng malls to admire the beautiful architecture but on their way there ignore the beautiful works of nature. See how people flood Dubai to chechout a huge aquarium? Many of these people are from coastal cities.
A lot of people don’t notice the many shades of green a Mango tree has in rainy season. Nobody notices the Hibiscus, or the little flowers on the Paw-Paw tree. Or the blueish-green of that fly before they swipe it off of their fruit.
The people who see don’t see much.
The blue in the sky that subtly fades here and there. The combination of colours from everywhere.
I was born and bred in Festac town. 24-Road is flanked on each side by these stretched out trees of tiny green leaves with blood-red flowers. I don’t know if they’re still there but back then I seemed to be the only one who noticed them. Plus the neck problem I developed from staring up at the stars too much. Nature is that captivating. But I guess many who see don’t see much.
In Ilorin, Tanke, Oke-Odo, before it lost its natural beauty, i would go for a walk in the bush and take pictures of grasshoppers, flowers, leaves and even the winding footpath. They all were beautiful. To me; to my neighbours I was hiding something in the bushes. That simply explained my regular visits. Every six-o-five in the evenings I would step out to watch the sunset that lasted till around six forty-something. I remember, this one time, a neighbour stepped out the yard, saw me staring at the sunset and she asked me what I was looking at. Apparently an orange sun spilling its colour on the sides of grey clouds was not impressive enough. The people who see don’t see much.

During Geological field trips I took more photos of the wild than the rock samples we went in search of. As a result, i was often at the back of the line. I usually then wondered how someone would just walk past a huge tree covered with ferns or a stream with pebbles in it and not say out loud “that is beautiful!”. How is it possible to walk for hours through a forest and see nothing worthy of note? How come the people who see don’t see much?

It would be too bad if a few seconds to dying one realises they haven’t seen much.

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Unbelievable facts about Nigeria

I’m a proud Nigerian, though some folks give us a bad image which  makes the rest of us feel totally irked sometimes but hey, when i see how much that beautiful place has achieved even in ancient times, I can’t help but feel proud again. Do checkout these amazing facts about my country!
And nope, they’re not fabricated, you look it up yourself. I type that with a big grin across my face.

 

 

1. Ile-Ife, in present day Osun State, west of the country, was paved as early as 1000AD, with decorations that originated from Ancient America suggesting there might have been contact between the Yorubas and the Ancient Americans half a millenium before Columbus ‘discovered’ America. The origin of the pavement is explained in a popular story: according to Yoruba mythology, Queen Oluwo ordered the construction of the pavement when her robes were muddied in the dirt.

I guess they couldn’t wait for the washing machine.

 

2. The Niger Delta in the southernmost part of Nigeria is home to sixty percent (60%) of Nigeria’s mangrove forests. Nigeria’s mangrove forests are the largest in Africa and third largest in the world.

 

3. Nigeria is home to seven percent (7%) of the total languages spoken on earth. One particular state alone, Taraba state, in the north, has more languages than 30 African countries! We talk alot. And we talk alot in alot of languages

 

4. The Anambra waxbill, a small bird of many beautiful colours, is found only in Southern Nigeria and nowhere else on earth. It is known with certainty from only five reported sightings!

 now whadayaknow!

 

5. Sarki Abdullah Burja of Kano (ruled 1438-1452 AD), the 18th ruler of Ancient Kano, created the first Golden Age in Northern Nigeria and ushered in a period of great prosperity. During his reign, Hausa became the biggest indigenous language spoken in Africa after Swahili. He is on the list of 50 Greatest Africans in Robin Walker’s book, “When We Ruled”.

 

6. Sungbo’s Eredo, a 160 km rampart equipped with guard houses and moats, is reputed to be the largest single pre-colonial monument in Africa. It is located in present-day Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. 

when it was built a millennium ago, it required more earth to be moved during construction than that used for building the Pyramid of Giza. Dayuum!

 

 

7. Africa’s oldest known boat is The Dufuna canoe which was discovered in Dufuna village, Yobe state, by a Fulani Herdsman in May 1987, as he dug a well. Carbon dating tests from European and American laboratories indicate that the canoe is over 8,000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the world.

The discovery of the canoe has completely changed accepted theories of the history and sophistication of marine technology in Africa.

 

8. The Jos Plateau Indigobird, a small reddish-brown bird, is found nowhere else on the planet but Plateau state, Nigeria.

it mimicks the trilling song and calls of the Rock Firefinch.

 

9. Sarki Muhammad Kanta The Great of Kebbi, was the only ruler who resisted control by Songhai, West Africa’s greatest empire at that time. He founded and ruled the Hausa city-state of Kebbi around 1600 A.D and built Surame its capital, a planned city which was almost impossible to penetrate during war. UNESCO actualy describes Surame as “one of the wonders of human history, creativity and ingenuity”, and probably the most massive stone-walled constructions in West Africa. He is listed in Robin Walker’s 50 Greatest Africans.

That looks formidable enough!

 

10. The Walls of Benin, in present day Edo State, are one of the longest ancient earthworks in the world. They enclose 6500 square kilometers of community lands that connected about 500 communities. At over 16000km long. The Great Wall of China is about 21,000km long. It was estimated that earliest construction began in 800 AD and continued into the mid-1400s

 

 

11. The Yoruba tribe has the highest rate of twin births in the world. Igbo-Ora, a little town in Oyo state, has been nicknamed Twin capital of the World because of its unusually high rate of twins that is put as high as 158 twins per 1000 births.

Whoa!

 

Don’t forget what country we’re talking about here. Nigeria!

Alright, let’s move on… 

 

12. The Niger Delta (the second largest delta on earth, remember?), has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world.

13. According to the World Resources Institute, Nigeria is home to 4,715 different types of plant species, and over 550 species of breeding birds and mammals, making it one of the most ecologically vibrant places of the planet.

 

 

Now is that amazing or what?? Makes me wanna visit. Oh, wait, I live there.

 

 

 

 

Sources: Nairaland, Birdlife.org, metmuseum.org, ilike2learn.com, Wikipedia, whenweruled.com

Photos: Google

A Trip In All Its Colors

I was covering this removal service at a funeral home with dignitaries all around. Though there were tears flowing freely, i was concentrated on my work. I had to. I wasn’t  trying to, i was just not moved. As i filmed i recalled the numerous occassions i’ve been told that i have a strong heart, a heart of stone, though i don’t accept the latter. There were people there, i noticed, who were obviously exaggerating the anguish. I guess it happens in every funeral but I had never seen it before. We moved on from there to the church and more or less the same scenerios repeated themselves. At the court though, where the casket holding the deceased was draped in the nation’s colors (He was a prominent individual), there was this man who seemed scared of the camera. He threw occasional glances at me and then at the camera, acting like my camera was one of those with hidden firing devices. Too many movies i presumed, or maybe the gathering was just too eerie for him. Or maybe he was aware of all his wrongs. I learnt he is a senator. It ended well for all of us, no one got shot and we were set to go to the hometown of the deceased, some two hours away.

I got a sweet looking car; air conditioning, classical music, and lots of small chops with drinks and sweets. All the stuff to give one indigestion, flatulance and occassional need for the bathroom, any bathroom. But at that moment I didn’t care and I lived like a saudi prince., without the gold. It was a  Luxury car ride that i planned to enjoy to the fullest. And I was enjoying it for about thirty minutes into the trip when the car decided to have a flat tire. I didn’t think anything of it, infact i welcomed it. The longer we were on the road the longer this experience would last.

The driver got out the car, got out a pair of gloves, which we all joked about, gloves for changing a tyre, in Africa! It was funny and i too had never seen it until then. The only thing that could ruin the amusement was if there was an earthquake that tore up the Ritcher Scale, or judgment day came upon us, but what he said next was equally jaw-dropping. He said he didn’t have a Jack. We were on the highway in the middle of nowhere with little or no phone reception. The only car on the road. And how the heck did he remember to have a glove without a jack?
“What are the gloves for?” I asked hypothetically. The answer was a resounding silence.

So we had to wait there for the next vehicle going our way. I got back in the car, to my treats. A vehicle will turn up soon and if not soon, well there’s plenty to eat and drink. Some thirty minutes, four motorcycles and two trailers later we had to forfiet the luxury car and hang on to the pickup that pulled over without a jack but with enough space at the open air back. Quickly things turned from Saudi Arabia to Sudan. The sun smilled beamed down on us as we went past the country side that would have been better appreciated from the inside of a car. We past a school in about a split second. We weren’t that fast, the school was that small. The sign that read ‘school’ seemed to take a longer time to pass by.  We past by the Rubber tree plantation where America gets most of its rubber. We crossed a bridge over a river called St John. Now that was wierd for I was expecting a name like Gbangajulu or something african like that. Finally we got to our destination and I had to fix my face that the wind had rearranged during the trip. I was just in time to cover the actual burial. And we moved on from there to a hall where the food was more than the air. Everyone had forgotten why they were there as a mad rush for food began. That part I still haven’t figured out cos it was there in surplus and there was no need for the rush. That still didn’t stop the shoving and name-calling. It showed there and then that people actually came for the food.
People were acting deranged but suddenly subtle as it got to their turn.
All that past and our car got there in one piece. I quickly got in like someone who’d been stuck in a lion’s cage and had found an exit.

We had to stop to help some people going our way. Too many people. So now the car was so packed that this guy had his elbow on my crotch. And just as i got comfy enough to doze off then came a bump i could swear wasn’t there before. It was as if i was viewing the universe in all of its colors. The rest of the trip is a blur.

Long time coming

I have never been away from blogging for this long. Over one month! i know i was surely missed. No? i wasn’t? Well, i thought…
Anyway, in the time i was AWOL, i have been in and out of four countries. Seen life from a different perspective. Learnt to relate with people with a more careful approach. Learnt to read in-between the lines, to take nuances seriously. Learnt to shut my blow-hole and turn down offers for a free meal, especially from a woman. And i’ve seen that fashion means different things to different people. Its like different country different sense. Fashion Police needs to see what i’ve seen.
I’ve seen beautiful lands, warm people. I’ve seen a whole nation bask in its visionlessness.

Though i miss my country, i’m not in a hurry to get back to her. i do not intend to talk about the happenings there, not the terrorism and certainly not the politicking. But mehn! i can’t wait to be with my family. They are more precious than i first imagined.

I’m so glad to be blogging again. Still surprised to find i got more visitors in my absence. I’m hoping my experiences haven’t removed something from me though.

The Blood Sea

In November of 2012, Tourists at the world-famous Bondi Beach, Australia, freaked out abit after a ‘rare natural phenomenon’ turned the water at the sea blood-red. Bondi was among several popular beaches in and around Sydney, which was closed because a huge algae bloom transformed the sea into a body of blood. Sort of like a glimpse into what Moses did in Egypt. Also sort of like what the bible said would happen in the last days…

“The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died ..” Revelation 16:3

The explanation for the phenomenon though was that it is caused when algae flourishes and large groups of the miniscule plants, which can appear in various colours, gather together often with this kind of spectacular results. Algae is known to give the sea its blue-green colouration as well. But red?!
The water was said to have an appearance like it had a coating of tomato-sauce or red oil. A whole lot of algae to make it that thick if you ask me.
Large numbers of fish were believed to have died from the effects of the algae even as i thought fish loved algae. i guess too much of everything…

Was this Algae or was this Angel pouring out his bowl?

there's a really brave man!

there’s a really brave man! Me, i’ll be running on water in the opposite direction

The Dogon Tribe

Lastnight i decided to play the nice spouse by helping to warm the stew. Nobody send me work o. So while i waited for some simmering i sort to relax and settled to watch a documentary on the Dogon people of Mali. It was and still is an interesting and indeed shocking series of clips. Its about a remote tribe in Mali that somehow have immense knowledge of the cosmos. The Dogon Tribe has an incredibly advanced and accurate knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.
So captivating was the documentary that i forgot the stew. And of course, it got reduced to a small portion of its original volume with carbon all around.
Long story short, madam decided we have Yam and Stew(the same stew) for breakfast. i knew she only wanted me to taste my hand work.

But i’m not here to gist you about my family matters.

THE DOGON

The Dogon are an ethnic group living in the central plateau region of the West African country of Mali. Researchers investigating these people have reported that they seem to possess advanced astronomical knowledge, the nature and source of which have subsequently become embroiled in controversy.

 The Dogon people live in the Homburi Mountains near Timbuktu. At the center of their religious teachings is knowledge about a star that is invisible to the eye and so difficult to observe, even through a telescope, that no photographs were taken of it until 1970.
Scientists, Griaule and Dieterlen, who have spent a lot of time with this tribe in a bid to understand them were puzzled and prefaced their analysis with the disclaimer, “The problem of knowing how, with no instruments at their disposal, men could know the movements and certain characteristics of virtually invisible stars has not been settled, nor even posed.”

In 1976, the book “The Sirius Mystery” by Robert K. G. Temple says that the Dogon’s system reveals precise knowledge of cosmological facts only known by the development of modern astronomy, since they appear to know, from Griaule and Dieterlen’s account, that Sirius is part of a binary star system, whose second star, Sirius B, a white dwarf, is however completely invisible to the human eye (just as Digitaria has the smallest grain known to the Dogon) and that it takes 50 years to complete its orbit. The existence of Sirius B had only been inferred to exist through mathematical calculations undertaken in 1844. The Dogon knew of another star in the Sirius system, Emme Ya, or a star “larger than Sirius B but lighter and dim in magnitude.” In 1995, gravitational studies indeed showed the possible presence of a brown dwarf star orbiting around Sirius (a Sirius-C) with a six-year orbital period.
They have four calendars, for the Sun, Moon, Sirius, and Venus, and have long known that planets orbit the sun. Something we just learnt in school.

When asked how they got all this information, The Dogon say they received their knowledge from visitors to the earth from another star system. The Dogon talk about Nommo – amphibian deities that arrived in a spaceship. They interacted with the people who assembled in large numbers around the lake that was created around the ship. The Nommos are also called Masters of the Water, the Monitors, and the Teachers.

Their (Dogon) mythology which is a complex system of knowledge is known only by a number of the Dogon priests. Such carefully guarded secrets would not be divulged to strangers easily. If the star “Emme Ya” (Sirius C) is eventually discovered in the Sirius system, this would give considerably weight to the Dogon’s story. Until then, fingers crossed.

Back to my stew, i’ve been forced to eat it with rice again o. This is unfair.

of the ‘Mysterious Healing pool’ in Enugu

By now, news of the healing river that was discovered in Nachi Oji, Enugu state is all over the place. Its even been named ‘Orimiri Jordan’ meaning River Jordan..River Jordan?? *sigh..and as expected, it has become some sort of Pilgrimage spot attracting people from all over the east and indeed, Nigeria. It is also nicknamed the ‘Pool of Bethsaida’. Na wa o.

The height of our superstitions must shock even the Greeks.

Well, according to the fulani herdsmen who discovered it, on their way back from taking their cattle grazing, hopefully, they beheld an area they had earlier passed covered with water. An elderly man, who’s said to be the oldest man in the community insisted that the pool appears every 20 or 30 years and that this pool was first noticed in 1971.

Now the issue on ground is that various diseases are said to have been cured at the pool. Plenty testimonies plus true, plus lie are being given as Nigerians struggle to immerse themselves in it.

Its no miracle lake though, i want to believe i’m not the only one who believes this. A knowledge of Geography or Geology will tell you that this is just another natural phenomenon. There’s most likely a fissure(crack) that acts as a conduit for the passage of water in and out to the surface. Think about that before you start to pack your bags.

Get this, sometime in May 2007, a glacial lake in southern Chile, 100 feet deep and covering an area around five acres disappeared. Located in Bernardo O’Higgins Park, in the southern Andes mountains, the lake is (was) rarely visited and didn’t even have a name. When Chilean forestry officials arrived, they were surprised to find nothing more than “chunks of ice on the dry lake-bed and an enormous fissure” where the unnamed lake had once been.
For some lakes, rapidly appearing or disappearing is part of a natural process. The lake in Chile did not exist 30 years ago. Some lakes, including many in Alaska and Florida’s Lake Jackson, USA, go through a similar process regularly, disappearing and reappearing during certain seasons, or from year-to-year or decade-to-decade. Could be global warming or some other phenomenon. But its no miracle.

people carrying cans to tap from the miracle water. brisk business for okada men.

people carrying cans to tap from the miracle water. brisk business for okada men.

Many bodies of water undergo natural cycles of disappearance and reappearance. And people around the world attribute this to miracles.

Amazed people in the Russian village of
Bolotnikovo looked on as the Beloye Lake that disappeared overnight in the spring of 2005 reappeared in 2006.
A tractor driver from the village suggested, and many villagers supported the theory that extraterrestrials that stole water from the lake. They often observed some reddish light resembling a searchlight that originated from the area where the lake used to be.
Researchers studying the history of the region also say there is some mystery about vanishing of the lake. They add that the Beloye Lake first disappeared several centuries ago.

Several industrial disasters have also made lakes disappear or appear. Lake Peigneur in Louisiana, USA, represents one of the most infamous of these cases. It was only 11 feet deep at its deepest point but spread across 1,300 acres. On November 21, 1980, a violent whirlpool developed where an oil rig had been in operation and the lake simply disappeared. It was later discovered that a miscalculation had caused the drilling team to work in the wrong spot. Maybe true, maybe not.

Vanishing bodies of water being a mystery doesn’t make it a miracle.