Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Culture and Language - Intro

I love being a Nigerian, i love our diverse cultures and languages and i love the Yoruba language. Its a beautiful and rich language, and i am certainly biased as the Yoruba language is the only Nigerian language i am familiar with. The reason is my mum is Yoruba and i have lived in Lagos all my life. It's a pity really that i don't speak another Nigerian language, because i have been blessed with a natural affinity for learning languages. Put me in a new place for a few months and i will have began to pick up the language, so i repeat , what a waste, that i never lived anywhere else in Nigeria apart from Lagos. It is my consolation though, that my pidgin english is quite good ( i believe it counts as a language for the people from south-south) because i have friends from that side!

I have an academic mother, who also happens to be born in Ile Ife, the cradle of Yoruba civilisation, ( go figure), so my growing up years were steeped in the yoruba culture and language. Also my mum is the kind of person who normally punctuates her Yoruba sentences with *Owe, and of course Owes usually came with lessons about the context of the said proverbs. If you have been reading this blog for sometime you would know that my granny was also our baby sitter during our growing up years, and she spoke no English,only her native dialect, so invariably, i also spoke the Ife dialect very well as i kid, although now i only understand it, i can't speak it anymore, but there are some words in the Yoruba language i understand deeply because of the knowledge of my mum's dialect, win- win!

 All these factors, have contributed to my having a really good knowledge of the language and its is something i am so thankful  for. I however regret not knowing anything about my dad's language, i would have loved to speak it too, but my dad himself never bothered to teach us his language since he spoke Yoruba too and you know children usually gravitate towards the language of the mum.

On a kinda off topic, i would like to debunk the myth that speaking two or more languages to a child will hinder his/her ability to speak both languages well. IT IS NOT TRUE, see an article about it here. I am a living proof, if you met me you wouldn't even be able to tell i understood a word of the Yoruba language, but i  speak read and write the language fluently and those ** amins easy, i can do them in my sleep.

This post was supposed to be a prelude to a song i want to translate, but i am yapping about this because it saddens my heart, every time i meet children who live in Nigeria and can't speak their local dialect, i believe a person's language and culture are a huge part of who they are. Its a shame really, and the usual excuse most parent's give is that they do not want the child's English to be impeded, or the most annoying excuse in my  opinion is when parents say learning a local dialect is not important because the world has now become a global village, i ask people like that what it will hurt if the kid can speak many languages...

A child can learn more than one language simultaneously, i can't say it often enough. I speak Yoruba to my son a lot and he understands everything i say even though he responds in english most of the time.Also he always asks me to tell me what diffrent objects and things her in yoruba, sometimes he gets it right and sometimes he misses it up  which is really cute. Recently pointed to his eyes and announced 'this is imu'***

I just read a post written sometime ago by relentless, apparently more and more people are realising this is a problem and for this i am glad.
What is everyone's take on this language issue or am i the only one who feels weird when my paternal family are speaking my supposed native language and i don't understand a word of it?

* Yoruba Proverbs
** Tone marks

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You are so Faithful by Bob Fitts

This is a blast from the past, it used to be my one of my favourite worship songs back in the days, i love Bob Fitts and his music

You are so Faithful By Bob Fitts

Verse 1:
Like the sun that rises everyday,
You are so faithful. Lord, You are faithful.
Like the rain that You send,
And every breath that I breathe,
You are so faithful, Lord

Verse 2:
Like the rose that comes alive every spring,
You are so faithful. Lord, You are faithful.
Like the life that You give,
to every beat of my heart,
You are so faithful, Lord.

Bridge :
I see the cross and the price You had to pay,
I see the blood that washed my sins away.

In the midst of the storm
through the wind and the waves,
You'll still be faithful, You'll still be faithful,
When the stars refuse to shine and time is no more,
You'll still be faithful,

" Therefore, know that the lord your God, he is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love him and keep his commandments;  Deuteronomy 7: 9

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Something worth leaving behind

I have not been inspired to write lately or should i say i have had tons of things whirling in my head, but i have been unable to put them down, because life has been a little too overwhelming for now. Today is a good day however, i have been listening to some country music and inspiration has come. In the spirit of this post done by Myne Whitman, this is my own version in country music to inspire you too. I am sharing this song by Country musician Lee Ann Womack. She is famous for the hit song I hope you dance. This is another one of her songs that i absolutely love, its called Something worth leaving behind...

Lyrics of Something worth living behind

Hey Monalisa, who was Leonardo?
Was he Andy Warhol?
Were you Marilyn Monroe
Hey Mozart, what kind of name is Amadeus
It's kinda like Elvis
You gotta die to be famous
I may not go down in history
I just want someone to remember me

I'll probably never hold a brush
that paints a masterpiece
Probably never find a pen
that writes a symphony
But if I will love then I will find
That I have touched another life
And that's something
Something worth leaving behind

Hey Midas you say you have the magic touch
But even all that shiny stuff
Someday is gonna turn to dust
Hey Jesus it must have been some Sunday morning
In a blaze of glory
We're still tellin' your story
I may not go down in history
I just want someone to remember me

I'll probably never dream a dream
and watch it turn to gold
I know I'll never lose my life
to save another soul
But, if I will love then I will find
That I have touched another life
And that's something
Something worth leaving behind

Hey baby see the future that we're building
Our love lives on in the lives of our children
And that's something
Something worth leaving behind.

Don't you just love Country Music :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ouch :(

I would have had a restful weekend, but for this persistent toothache that just started out of the blues and would not go away no matter what i tried. Oh wait.... i have never had toothache, i have been blessed with super teeth.. seriously, i break almost all the rules of dental hygiene and i have never even had a tooth kidding,my teeth are awesome, not as white as i would like them to be, but they are straight,strong with no crooked tooth any where, thank you very much!, its indeed a blessing cos, my kid sister (well not a kid at all, i just happen to be older) who obeys pretty much every rule because she is a goody-two-shoes dental hygiene rules, has had her teeth filled severally, she has even removed two of her teeth, i think.. the poor darling, seems i am one of the lucky ones in the family that got this wonderful gene from my mum's side. Evidence is the fact that Mama (my maternal grandmother) still has all her teeth at 90, also my mum has to be the greatest sweet tooth i know but she still has perfectly healthy teeth.

Everything i have written above is true, and since this is real life and not some movie script, there has to be a down side ( y'all know that, right?) i also took after my mum in another way. Wisdom teeth show up very late in their late i mean very, my mum grew her last one when she was 51 read that correctly. I remember her being feverish,complaining of headaches and i also remember her saying that if i had married in my early twenties, we would have had a situation where grandma and grand child were both teething at the same time ...what a funny thought.

Except its not funny, i am 34 years old and i have no wisdom teeth yet, i just started sprouting the first one this weekend and and it wasn't fun dealing with the pain. There is this horrible persistent throbbing pain on the affected side, i can't even attempt to chew with that side, and i can't have the offending tooth 'filled' or 'pulled out' to stop the pain awful, and how much paracetamol is too much in a day?. I called my mother to get a sympathetic support of a fellow sufferer and maybe some advise, trust my mum with her strange home remedies ( according to my mum, Partminger leaves and Eucalyptus oil should be a cure for almost every ailment known to man). i just said 'okay mum, thanks  i have heard', i couldn't even argue. Hubby just tried to make me as comfortable as possible over the weekend, not questioning my strange unusual condition.

I feel much better today, my gum is not as swollen plus the pearly white is peeping out a little (praise the lord! ) but i can still feel the ever so slight throb in my left jaw, no wonder babies develop tempretaure, throw up and are generally cranky, when they are teething, its not even a joke. You mean, i have three more upcoming episodes of this sort of pain in the future? oh just kill me now ..ugh!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I want more of you

Here is a  beautiful song by Sinach, this is my favourite of all her songs, its a superb song and i love it :)


I want more of you 
I want more of you Jesus 
Cause the more I know you 
The more I want to know you
Jesus More of you

You make my life so beautiful
As you are, you have made me here on earth
There’s nothing greater than this 
That is why I love you for evermore

More of you 
More of you 
More of you 
Jesus more of you

Happy Sunday!
He must increase, and i must decrease John 3:30

Friday, November 11, 2011

Traffic can be spiritual too ...seriously?

I recently did a post about our film industry, and i mentioned our general belief that all problems is can be spiritual. One thing is certain about us Nigerians, we believe very much in the spiritual, let me rephrase, we believe every thing stems from  the spiritual, it evades every aspect of our lives, one of the symptoms would be how seriously we take going to church or mosque or get my drift..., i just have to talk about my mum at this junction..

My mum is like the typical Nigerian christian, she is an ardent church goer, BUT she is ALWAYS in church, always, especially for prayers meetings and vigils. This just started happening in recent years, my mummy was a banker for over 20 years before she retired, after the retirement, she  took up church as her new career (at least that is the joke in my family now), my mum just ignores us when we say stuff like that, or she gives us the 'you guys are just too young and foolish to understand' speech. Not only that, there are some conversations i have with my mum,we talk about about things that have happen to me or stuff that are going on in my life and after she gives her opinion, my reaction is to roll my eyes..'mum everything is not spiritual '   Don't get me wrong, i believe very much in the spiritual and i go to church too, a lot, but mum's church attendance tops the combo of all four of us , all church going kids too, at least that is what it looks like our side of the story and we are sticking to it .. Its obvious that this is not a case of boredom, cos my mum is a very busy woman, she can create work for herself even when there is none,, she genuinely believes she has to do this. I once asked a friend's mum, who behaves exactly like my mum, about this thing with mothers and church and she said *''you must safe guard the things, wey you  keep for ground'' ....I think she spoke in pidgin english so i could understand the real context of what she was know English language has its limitations..makes sense but i can't subscribe to that way of life,..maybe when i am a grand ma, just maybe..

that was a digression...sorry.. the real post is about an incident that happened in traffic. You know how it is in Lagos, there are some certain times you can expect traffic.

  • Fridays
  • Day before a public holiday
  • When it rains
  • The whole of December (with the exception of after Christmas when most Igbos have gone to the village)
  • There is also traffic that occurs because of reasons like demented bus drivers, bad roads, insane tanker drivers, accidents, but i digress.

 Finally there is traffic without a reason, at least not a reason you can see. I was in one of such traffics a while ago, actually, i am always caught in traffic whenever i take that route, and it seems there is no reason for it, or rather there is, in my opinion that route has in abundance, a rare specie of impatient and selfish Lagos drivers, that's all and that explanation makes perfect sense to me. We were in traffic again one day, when one man asked loudly for every one to hear in reference to the usual traffic ** abi won ri nkan sile ni bi yi ni ? ...say what???,unbelievable, that was my joke for week, you mean our problems with traffic is also spiritual???...naija i hail o! .I have never heard that before, that unexplainable traffic equals spiritual traffic..but as they say, we learn everyday.

In conclusion,  today we have learnt about the mystery of mothers and church going,  and we have also learnt how traffic can be are very welcome ;)

* You have keep your children/grandchildren safe from spiritual harm/attacks
** Was something buried on this road ( something refers to a charm or what have you  )

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ko ma si (nobody like you) by Lara George

I love this lady and her music, i really do. I am featuring another song of hers today, its called Ko ma si .Its a delicious fusion of the Yoruba and English language, its a beautiful song, i love it,what's not to love?... Lyrics are below and since the song has some parts in Yoruba, translation is also below in italics {again i will do my best to translate without losing the meaning}..i hate translating!


Verse 1:
Ko ma si, ko ma si o, 

There is none x2
ko ma si eni ti o dabi re Oba mi o
There is no one like you my king
Iberu ko si, ko si fun mi o

There is no fear, no fear in me
Nitori iwo nikan soso l’oba mi,

Because you alone are my king 
 l’ojo gbogbo
For all time ( or eternity if you like)

There’s nobody like you Lord
There’s nobody like our God
There’s nobody like You Lord,
Like You Lord, like our God

Verse 2:
Igbati, igbati o

When x2
Igbati omije ba n bo o , mo mo ‘pe iwo l’abo o

When tears overwhelm me, i know you are my refuge
Iberu ko si, ko si fun mi o

There is no fear, no fear in me
Nitori iwo nikan soso l’oba mi
Because you alone are my king 
L’ojo gbogobo
For all time 

When i searched the highest mountains
Looked for you in deepest valley
Searched the rivers small and shallow 
Deep and wide o, broad and narrow
I realized there is no one like you
In the earth and in the skies too
Ko ma si, ko si no-one like you
Nobody, nobody o

Repeat chorus

So i lift your name up higher, higher
Celebrate you louder, louder
Lift your name up higher
I’ll sing it louder and shout it higher, higher , higher
Lift your name up higher, higher
Celebrate you louder, louder
Lift your name up higher
I’ll sing it louder and shout it higher, higher, higher

Hope everyone is enjoying their extended weekend...blessings!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our Film industry - Nollywood

I am not that biased when i say Nigerians are truly unique, both in the good and the bad ways, we are indeed very different and interesting people....i have a few things i have observed about us that i would like to write about, but i have just been lazy uninspired, i will set it off with this collection below, i have had it for years, its totally plagraised, except that  i reedited it a bit and  added a  few more details, also my comments/thoughts are below in Italics.....  I wish i knew who compiled this list so i can give them credit. Its too funny and so true. Below are the lessons that Nollywood ( our film industry ) has taught us:  

Disclaimer : This post is written tongue in cheek and is just for laughs!

1. Every problem you have is a spiritual one.
We know how we roll in Nigeria, 'home trouble' and being followed is normal 

2. In every romance movie, someone must die.
I wonder why that is the pattern ?

3. It is possible to hit a person without actually touching them
We watched chinese films for so long we actually became like them

4. Anyone who gets hit by a car dies immediately.
They might as well get going/dying, the doctors will most likely be on strike anyway 

5. Poisoned food always tastes better.
Same with buka food, all those nutritious germs nah!

6. The best way to make money is by visiting a 'Babalawo' / joining a
cult / sleeping with rich men.
Unbelievable, they forgot politics!!!

7. One of a pair of twins (identical or not) is born evil.
C'est la vie!

8. There is never an end to your suffering, except death!
Aint that the truth!  * Ojo iku lojo isinmi 

9. With a pastor ... all things are possible.
With prayer and much fasting too

10. A movie can be titled anything... such as:

*The boy is mine,
* Face me, I face you
*Two rats,
My people una dey creative sha!!

Nollywood Hustlers can be a title too!

11. A movie has not been made if at least one actor/actress has not-
'shelled', twisted his/her lips to speak wrong phonetics'.
Oyinbo is not their father's language, they tried...

12. You are in love... you want to take your girl out, the best place
you take her to is...

*Mr. Biggs/Tantalizers: where you'll most probably see an ex while
feeding each other.
I personally don't know why lovers feeding each other is considered romantic, we probably got that from the stone age

They have to be eating chicken, its always the drum stick or Ice cream 
Yep it has to be only those food items 

*The beach: where it is imperative that you ride a donkey and carry her
Yeah yeah, really inspires romance 

*Or the best: take her to buy some new ugly clothes.
New ugly clothes ...lmao

13. An Igbo movie has been made if:

* You visit a Dibia (Babalawo)
* A fleet of cars is shown off at regular intervals for a total of half
of the movie time.
* Kanayo 'O' Kanayo is in the movie. Pete Edochie is there too!
So now you know how to spot an igbo are welcome ;)

* To get rich it is mandatory you join a cult
Again they left out joining our Senators to get rich quick

14. Gun shots and knock-outs sound the same!
Who are they kidding, knockouts all the way

15. Sometimes the title has absolutely nothing to do with the movie and
other times, once you read the title and see the poster you know it
all!!! (Also the soundtrack gives you a headache because it just
narrates the whole story repeatedly - so much for suspense and

16. A love story has not been produced if it does not have one or two of
the following actresses-

* Stella Damascus
* Stephanie Okereke
* Genevieve Nnaji
* Omotola Jolade
* Rita Dominic
This makes sense people, those are the babes now..

17. The police are extremely 'efficient' unlike their counterparts in
real life.
That's because they are acting ..duh!

18. An actress can wear the same hairdo for more than a year and even in
longer flashbacks.
Yep..that always makes me want to tear my hair out (pun intended)

19. It is permissible to wear very dark shades at night!
How else are you gonna know the bad guy uh?

20. When you are shot in the chest, it really doesn't matter; your head
will be bandaged! Same for your legs!
All join, wound na wound 

21. When advertising a movie, you really should shout because... people
are deaf?
They are advertising from Idumota or Iweka road, what did you expect? 

22. When you are extremely poor, you will still be able to afford-a
beautiful house, very good furniture, T.V., nice clothes, but you won't
be able to send your kids to school.
School fees are expensive now ..ha!

23. Most especially in Yoruba movies, your gateman must be inefficient
and comical. He MUST dress like a freak, be rude to all your visitors
and never mind his business.
Conclusion: all the gate men must be smoking something 

24. The bad guy always dies or gets caught by none other than the
police- LOL!!!!
LMAO..oh, so that is how it is supposed to work..

25. At the end of a three hour movie you'll be reminded that THIS IS
Na today, there will also be part three !

26. An actor must also sweat profusely when crying.
Is it beans to fake tears? 

27. An actor announces his death as he slowly dies- “You killed me” “I’m dying” “I’m dead”
You might not be convinced by the acting , hence the announcement

28. In a case where a person is on his death bed, he/she must cough till they die.
I have always wondered about that ..does anyone know? anyone???

29. Every ghost must wear a white cloth and have powdered unevenly distributed on their face.
They never saw 'Ghost' by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore..sad

30. And finally, it does not matter the type of movie, Romance, Thriller, Horror, it does not the end, you will always see ...TO GOD BE THE GLORY...
I personally prefer "we are nothing but pencil in the hands of the creator" ..samish but more creative if you catch my drift ;)

So here is the list,did i leave any out?

* Yoruba Language meaning the day one dies is the day of rest 


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