Tag Archives: Ebola

#WQWWC – Unity

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It seems that the Universe always connives (positively) to celebrate with me personally. What better time to talk about Unity than now?

Two days ago we had the movie premiere for 93 Days at The Rock Cathedral. A gripping story of sacrifice, fight and victory against the spread of Ebola in Nigeria and it was tagged #Collaboration.

This week’s #WQWWC is on Unity and so I will try to capture the collaborative efforts in my poem. Let me know what you think about it.

wqwwc-unity1

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

Liar! Liar!! Pants on Fire

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At last…I’m smiling at the thoughts going on in Folakemi’s mind. You see, I had promised her based on one of my Freedom Friday to talk about lies and how I handled a case.

As a child (I’m sure most children were like this …I don’t know about ‘nowadays-children’ o!), and growing up and surrounded by many family members whom I loved dearly, many things I was told I believed. Especially when I was made a promise by an older person. Don’t get me wrong, I knew right from wrong and so didn’t fall into the category of gullible young girls who listened and believed every story. But I had an Uncle whom my Dad calls “*Wayo Imeh”. I thought that was his name and in my innocence I addressed him as such in his absence. Until a day, he called me to wish me happy birthday and made a promise to buy me some gift (I can’t even remember what he promised, but you see I never forgot either). Whilst still on the call, he asked to talk with Dad and he enquired who it was I was talking to and I answered “Uncle Wayo Imeh”. I got a sharp rebuke and scolding from the earpiece.

“Who are you calling “Wayo Imeh”?

Innocently I replied, “You, Uncle.”

“Idi afe asong? Meaning Are you okay? Is that my name?!

“Yes, that’s what Daddy usually calls you”, I replied feeling sober and upset he had said that to me on my birthday, when I had done no wrong. After all, I added ‘Uncle’ to his name. Oh, the thoughts on a child’s mind…LOL.

After I had handed the phone to my father, I went to ask my mum what was Uncle’s name and to my shock she simply said “Imeh”. Did I let it rest? No! I needed to know why Daddy and other elderly people called him “Wayo Imeh or Imeh Wayo” so I prodded her on and she replied because he plays a lot of “Wayo” and the name stuck. Did Uncle live up to his name, yes as he didn’t give me my present (till date) and some other promises he didn’t keep. I felt really bad because as a child, I expected adults to be truthful.

*Wayo means deceit

*Imeh means Patience

FAST FORWARD…to modern times
My help had celebrated her birthday and we got her a cake so she’d feel our appreciation. I asked her to take some to her family (brother and wife with child) in Lagos whom she said resided in Agege. I live in Lekki axis, so it’s quite a distance. While discussing with my King if to let her go there or not, I had my doubts if she would return same day and she said she would. To help facilitate this, we allowed her leave early on the said day. By 6pm, she wasn’t back so I started calling her and she didn’t pick my calls. After a while, about 8pm or so, I called her again and she picked and I asked where she was, thinking she was probably held up in traffic. Only to be told “Aunty, I’m not coming back today, I’m helping my brother’s wife and she says I should stay.”
Yeah! The picture in your head does not add up to the real picture of how mad I was. And to think that she didn’t even have the courtesy to call and tell me this and ask for permission to do that. I gave her an ultimatum, if she didn’t return, not to bother. Something told me she wasn’t at her brother’s place. Case in point, she had wrapped 2 big chunks of cake differently and when I asked why she didn’t put them together since they were going to the same place, she replied that the wrapping foil wouldn’t go round. See story o!!! I indulged her.

Well 🙂 she got back from Agege in less than 2 hours wink wink I didn’t say much but she heard VOLUMES from my silence. And in the morning, we had the AIDS, Protection and Abstinence discussion, as before now we had had the Pregnancy and Ebola discussion. I’m sure I made your day Folakemi LOL

A time to be

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The Bible states in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” this is one of the really powerful lines that sets me thinking about time and how when it is gone, it is gone forever. Knowing this, how do I maximize my time profitably? Well, this is one of those moments I let random thoughts flow in my head as I try to ease off.

Recently, West Africa has been plagued on many fronts by different forms of challenges – wars, rumours of wars, insurgency, kidnappings, health-care challenges etc. and now EVD aka EBOLA. One wonders, what time it is. In spite of these many struggles, suffice to say we have had great moments in our different countries, homes and families. In Nigeria, amidst every ‘trouble’, we always find a way to see the fun in all things.

With the advent of Ebola, people are becoming more well-behaved as they no longer shove you when trying to get into the bus, all those unnecessary hanging of hands behind you when you are settling in into your seat, has reduced or stopped. No one knows who is carrying what, despite all the information about how one gets infected. Nobody wants to die young. As a matter of fact, the fear of Ebola is the beginning of cleanliness. But did we have to get to this point to become hygienic in our dealings? Just a rhetorical question, you don’t need to answer.

Beyond the ‘false’ sanity in Lagos right now (those who know Lagos, know that the “rush” is what makes them thrive…it’s the adrenaline that keeps them pumping and brings action), there is the issue of nonchalance creeping in gently. As everyone seems to be watching their back and their neighbour’s touch or cough. Hmmm. I’m all out for following the proper procedure to avoid further spread of Ebola, yet it seem we are losing the last thread of humanity we had in us. It’s somewhat a vicious cycle I know, but I’ll only ask that while we keep clean, maintain our distance, don’t drain your heart of love, life or laughter. Enjoy every moment with family and loved ones, educate them on how to keep safe and maintain hygiene (even after Ebola has been sent packing), cause together we will overcome this scourge.

This is a time to be …(fill in the blanks), what do you think?

© 2014 Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.