Time is on My Side

Ms. Irma Thomas’ voice does something to the tear glands in my eyes, the heartbeat in my chest, the bottomless pit in my stomach, and the tiny-weeny hairs on my legs, I tell you.

She’s incredible! She’s the queen,  no questions necessary! I feel all these feelings, Good God!

Sing to me, mummy!

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Rebirth

'Longing in Silence by Aricadia

‘Longing in Silence’ by Aricadia

It is always hard-
cutting strong, karmic cords.
It’s like a birth experience;
isn’t it why we sometimes
cry in fetal positions?

In truth,
one is birthing oneself,
and conjoining different pieces
into one self.

Art and music help,
writing included.
Patience and hope are necessary

because the ‘umbilical’ cord
that attaches one to the past,
to the old self,
always fall and seals off by itself,
gradually,
the pain leaves,
maybe even slowly,
and the memories and lessons are left.

Talking About the Way We Talk

margaret garcia

Painted by Margaret Garcia


I am beginning to dislike talking. 🤷🏽‍♀️ I don’t get irritated all the time, but yes, I do most times. I can bear hearing people talk, nicely, for hours and hours on end, as long as my input is not necessarily required, and if it is, not for very long. It is a weird thing to confess but it is true.

My solar return chart says my Mercury, Mars, and North Node are in the 12th house, and this feeling may or may not be related to that, but the hard sounds that we make when we talk, as humans in general (me included), are getting very hard on my ears, especially when we say unkind things. It makes my ears bleed. Although there’s never any blood, 😫  it feels that way. I wish we would speak softly more.

On the other hand, I enjoy music. I can’t survive for the next 12 hours without listening to lyrics and beats. I would get very uncomfortable.  

I listen to all kinds of artistes- Fela, Freddie, Sinatra, Michael, Nina, Amy, several others, for hours on end, and of course, some of these artistes are more soft-spoken than others. It’s interesting how beautiful even yelling becomes when it is done musically. I don’t ever get tired of listening to music. As a matter of fact, as soon as I stop listening to music, I get very stressed. It takes me about a minute to adjust to regular sounds.

I don’t dislike singing along either- I enjoy it! I sometimes get carried away at work.  I’m seated in front of my desktop, working and all, but I’m not really there. I’m somewhere else dancing away while doing my work, efficiently too. It’s amazing!

So, ladies and gentlemen, humankind, I would like to propose a change to the way that we talk! I am so excited; I hope you would be too!

Drum roll
😋
Drum roll
😋
Applause here
😋
Applause there
😋
Drum roll
😙
You probably already know what I’m about to propose.
😃

Let’s not talk; let’s sing! 

You know, speak rhythmically, even in our day-to-day conversations.

‘HeLlo, DiD yOu HaVe A GoOd NiGhT?’, la-la-la-la-la, and stuff. It’d be amazing! Imagine how beautiful it would be to speak rhythmically, and even quarrel rhythmically. ‘WeLl,  yOu, HuRt Me VeRy MuCh’ and stuff.

I’ll give you a minute to picture it. Go on.

1

It’d be more difficult to say something unkind because you would have to sing it. Ha! *sinister chuckle 😈*

I hope someone takes me seriously and this becomes possible sometime in the future. It’s 2019. By the year 2219, I (in whatever form I will be) would be pretty disappointed if we still speak the way we do.

Already, I know that we will use words less in the future. With the emergence of emojis and signs and stuff, and the vast reduction in the use of unnecessarily lengthy and vague words, it’d be interesting to see what’s next, as far as language is concerned.

It was pretty normal to say something like ‘wherefore hast thou made all men…’ in the past, but it’s reserved for theatre performances now. I will not be surprised if the way we speak now is even diluted further in the future.

On a more-serious note, I’m trying to picture how talking rhythmically would work in classrooms, if we were to start today, all of us. I teach Yorùbá language on YouTube, and it’d be super hard to try to teach the language rhythmically. Maybe we can reserve the way we talk now for certain functions, like teaching languages and presidential speeches, but speak rhythmically when addressing our children or co-workers and giving speeches. I’d love to give or hear a rhythmic speech.

This could work! It would be good for us and for mother nature, and for my eardrums. *Tsk* 😄

On Social & Political Consciousness in Nigeria: Jí, Má Sùn!

DrummersandDancersByYusufGrillo

“Drummers and Dancers” by Yusuf Grillo

I was watching a movie again yesterday, although I had watched it about three or four times already, from the beginning till the end. It is a Christian movie, a Mount Zion movie, no surprise, since I tend to watch movies that fall in those categories once in a while, especially for the sense of familiarity that they offer. I watched a lot of them as a child, and I don’t mind having one play in the background when I’m getting work done on my laptop. As an adult though, I can now see that a lot of critical thinking was/still is not invested in the drafting and production of these movies, and I have addressed that here. I clicked on the tab that the movie was running on and got hooked.

The storyline involves a man, an accountant, who does not get paid for months because he refused to illegally alter the authenticity of certain documents. His boss talks down to him in the office, and worse still, his landlord talks down to him at home since he is unable to pay his rent. Basically, his state of living is terribly toxic. It turns out to be a test; his boss wanted to promote him to a higher position and wanted to assess his credibility and loyalty to the company. Prayer is very good; believing in God’s ability to care for us in our times of challenges and trials, faith, is important too. However, I observed the scenes from a different perspective yesterday and I kept thinking “there is no way this is normal”.

Where was the Human Resources department? Where was the union? Why does a workplace injustice have to be countered with fasting and prayer, and passivity? In a socially-conscious society, a movie about someone not getting paid for months will not be brushed off by a “it was just a prank” attempt to normalize it. There are Christians and non-Christians who do not get paid what was agreed in their contracts in lower-level positions in Nigeria, who do not have the luxury of basic workplace benefits and live from hand to mouth. Many of them even work in none-office settings. Why is the answer to that problem “let’s pray about it”? The whole thing had to be a comedy.

Nigerians tend to not be conscious of the things that they see, hear, and sense, in the general society and in politics, especially in relation to how they affect them as individuals and people. Songs like Codeine Diet, and others that fall into that genre, that praise the use of hard drugs, engagement in online scamming, and the objectification of women, tend to be more popular than the ones that preach critical thinking, the probing of politicians, mutual respect between men and women, and the importance of education.

Fela was a very socially and politically conscious individual, and those who are obsessed with the idea of being the next him do not even understand what that means at its very core. Go and ask anyone who actually lived with him about what was done to thieves after hearings were held and judgements were passed in Kalakuta court. Fela hated theft of any kind with passion. 

Movies in which people, 99.9% of the time, women, are beaten black and blue by their spouses with no repercussions, bosses demand to have sex with their staff in exchange for job security, orphans and poor children roam the streets because there is no national child-care plan for them and their irresponsible/physically-impaired/late parents cannot take care of them, animals are unnecessarily tortured and abused, differently-abled/physically-impaired persons are made fun of, people are sacrificed for money in occult rituals, and so on, are still being made, with little or no attention to the central problems in the movies, or proposals on how to counter them, except that the characters/victims become better at some point or someone gets vindicated.

Ironically, one of the popular slangs in Nigeria now is “jí, má sùn”, a Yorùbá sentence that translates to “wake up, don’t sleep”. As opposed to waking up and being more conscious individuals, a lot of the youth and adults are waking up, but to higher and deeper levels of ignorance, mob mentality, and stupidity. It’s quite irritating, and it’s a crying shame.

Sun-Child

Sun Child

You’re quite eccentric,
aren’t you, sun-child?
This minute, you’re wild,
moments later, you’re mild,
something changes about the previous way
in which you smiled,
as if you have a switch with which
you control your lights.
It used to make me cry,
now I’m somewhat beguiled.

No one can make you the sun
they want you to be,
there’s more to you
than anyone can see,
you’re true to yourself
and that’s awesome by me,
and even if you turn red or green
or the colour of the sea,
as long as you are happy
and as long as you are free,
I would still be proud of you,
do you hear, sun-child?

Uranian Love

Roses are not always red,
but Twitter-Bird has remained blue.
If you do not love me,
someone else can always do.

Is “Agolo” by Angelique Kidjo a Yoruba Song?

No, she’s not speaking Yoruba in the song, it’s Fon gbe, but the Fon people of Benin are of Yoruba descent, so any Yoruba person would understand the lyrics. “Igbadoun foun ayé”, for instance, sounds a lot like “ìgbádùn fún ayé”, which transliterates to “enjoyment for the world”.

This video used to scare me as a kid, I knew there was something different about it and I was right; it’s a beautiful, rich, deity song.

“Ago lo” in Fon language means “move out/make room/excuse” and it is used to welcome/announce the descension of a voodoo spirit. It is not “agolo” as in “tin”. If you know what “ago ya” is in Yoruba, it’s similar. The song is a celebration of Mother Earth. It is a song of hope and a call to the good powers of nature; a call to Aidahouédo, the great rainbow loa/snake, the messenger of love and tenderness. Ayida Wedo [same spirit, different spelling, Yoruba people should know what it means now- something like “the one who transforms/turns into something else to (or ‘so she can’) swim in the river”] was highly honoured in this video, and the dances you see are sacred, spiritual, Yoruba/Fon dances.

Morio orio 
Ola djou monké n’lo (3x)
Ola djou monké
Ola djou monké n’lo
[Benin deity chant/prayer. I don’t know what it means, but I’m pretty sure ‘Olajumoke nlo’ is wrong. Olajumoke nlo ibo? Olajumoke isn’t going anywhere.]

Eman tché foya lénin [don’t be afraid today/now]
Ifé foun gbogbo ayé [love be to the world]
Eman tché gbagbé ifé [don’t forget love]
Ifé foun ilé baba wa [love for our Fatherland]
Ifé ayé ilé [love be to the world]
Igbadoun foun ayé [enjoyment be to the world]

Agolo agolo agolo agolo (*welcoming/praying to the spirit* )
____________
“Agolo”, Angélique Kidjo, 1994

Floor-Her and Flaw-Her [Flora My Flawa]

I was listening to Davido’s Flora My Flawa, and I heard the line that messed me up for about five good minutes. At first, I was listening to Adekunle Gold’s Ire. My autoplay was on, and when Ire was done, several videos were automatically played till it got to Flora My Flawa. What in the world does “if nothing lasts forever o, me and you go be nothing forever o” mean?

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

The mind game in that sentence is intense. The first part of that sentence has been strategically placed to distract the listener.

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

It means:
i. You and I will be nothing, and we will be nothing forever, since “nothing lasts forever”.

However, a person who might be more trusting of sweet words- a person who can be easily cajoled- would think it means:
ii. You and I will last forever; we will be like “nothing”, since “nothing lasts forever”.

It’s crazy how that sentence could mean two or more things at once. I could expand on what a third meaning would be, but I’d rather not. Mercury is in retrograde, and since Mercury is dominant in my chart- it’s the ruler, trying hard to make myself over-analyze anything at this time could drive me crazy. At least, Uranus is not in retrograde. Phew!

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

It’s one of those “make whatever you wish of it” sentences. It’s quite interesting.

On a lighter note, look at the poster for the song below.

davido-flora-my-flawa-article

That cupid looks like its up to no good; like he’s about to ruin someone’s life. He looks like mischief itself to me. See how red the tongue is too; Oluwa, saanu fun wa. It’s probably so red as a result of sucking life and happiness out of innocent ladies.

Also, is that a stud earring? Chai. May the forces keep us safe from the deceptions of the Yoruba demons that continue to break hearts, ruin souls and waste lives.

Ki oju ma ribi, gbogbo ara logun re; stay cautious and alert in your dealings with sweet-tongued men, especially Yoruba demons. Whenever you are being toasted [wooed], listen to each word attentively. Don’t let them make you giggle your wisdom, knowledge and understanding away. Don’t let them cunningly collect your Saturday from you and give you Sunday in exchange. Ire o.

Saying “you and I will be something forever” would have made me less uneasy about the song, by the way.  No, I’m I’m kidding. It’s a nice song, and my criticism is just banter. I’ll dance to it again for sure. Whenever it gets to the “if nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever” line, I’ll just pretend like it doesn’t bother me, even if I begin to shake visibly as a result of my skepticism.