Words emerge on my heart’s scape the road from the mind to the hand is too far what appears on the sheets are remnants of a feast no orderings can render: Bald wonder of the roofed town Basking under a heavy literary crown I fall under the spell of all you do so well How … Continue reading For Servio, a birthday poem by S. V. Agema
This is awesome news for Niyi Osundare’s fans: he has a new book out in January 2022. Yaaaaay! Titled Green: Sighs of our Ailing Planet, the collection is an urgent collection of necessity born out of the poet’s need to speak to issues that plague the world. The overview of the book on Barnes and Noble notes that it “is a critical pastoral of poems concerning the environment aroudn the world, from place to place…a book relevant and hopeful for people to stop and reflect on the endangered beauty of all of nature.”
Northwestern Nigeria is bedevilled with several challenges, most popularly, as the media shows Boko Haram. There are, however, several other challenges including issues of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), education, health, to mention a few. Several organisations are joining forces to help tackle the issues, working with the government at the federal, state and local levels to make life better for the people in these areas. In this light, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new project, the improved Sustainability of Integrated WASH Services (iWASH) in Abuja on the 15th of July, 2021 to support government efforts in WASH. The two-year $2 million dollar project is earmarked to help restore/rehabilitate existing water points and build new solar-powered boreholes, build toilets and hand-washing stations, and install an innovative new online remote surveillance system known as PumpView.
Continue reading “USAID Launches iWASH Project to Improve Sanitation and Reduce Waterborne Diseases in Northwest Nigeria”
The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (2019) notes that at least forty per cent of Nigerians (translated to about 83 million citizens) live below the poverty line. Most of these numbers stay in rural areas. This tale of poverty seems only to get worse by the day. Indeed, the 2019 figures have currently grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current economic hardships, among other harsh realities of life. One of the more popular ways of trying to escape this poverty cycle for many families is migration either from rural areas to urban areas or from Nigeria to foreign countries. People are desperate and thus seek what sustenance they can to make life better. Many become house helps in the cities or try to find their way through any means possible. This narrative often ends in people being maltreated in the city or trafficked within or outside of the country. Daisy Odey in a safe underestimation of this notes in a recent Aljazeera article that beautifully captures this societal issue there are hundreds of underage girls work as domestic help in cities across Nigeria. It is the narrative of these people that Emeka Ukwuaba focuses on.
These portraits slowly smudge the smiles that lit the streetswhere our fathers loved, lived and thrived. Violence is fueled on sensible and senseless plainsIn the name of brazen gods and a common God called peaceGuns blaze while cutlasses fly in the air cutting down destiniesHerdsmen hide under false pretences to raise fights as farmers riseDying … Continue reading ON THE BRINK (A Poem) by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema
I just read a blog post by my cousin, Mimi titled ‘Drink Air.‘ and it brought memories. In summary, the term ‘drink air’ is from a Tiv expression, ‘ma ahumbe.’ It is a literal translation. In our context, it is a term that was popularised by her mom, my aunt Mbatomun and my Dadi, Mr. Charles Ayede. A third person who we lost early on was our Auntie, Pat Iorpuu. They would be deliberate and just make time out for us to go out, take aimless drives around town or anywhere, or long walks. Sometimes, it would even be a celebration because — no good reason. Just, live. There was that time in the village, Christmas 2009, when we went to the village with Dadi and a battalion of several families to just enjoy our tradition, acculturate and have fun. Truly, it was one of the best Christmases ever and I hope to replicate this some day, if Fanen does not beat me to it.
But, on the issue of drinking air, we were talking of this on our group chat and Ngodoo, my big cos, reminded me of one time, about sixteen years or so ago, when Dadi got us to go on a road trip with him from Makurdi to Obudu, in Cross River, a four to five hour trip, to get ‘bamboo.’