Tag Archive | African Proverbs

When You Agree…

In my place, there is a saying which states that ‘when you agree, your God agrees with you.1453474975377[1]

A blogversation that I had recently with an awesome blogger brought back this saying that my dad used ever so often back to my mind and I spent a little time dwelling on the thought of it’s meaning.

As a child whose parents used lots of proverbs to buttress a point, I never quite understood some of what they were trying to say to me then, but as time went on, these kernels of words planted have been germinating profusely and I find wisdom tucked inside them.

It is a common belief back in my place that each person has their own little ‘Chi’ or ‘God’, also perceived as a guardian Angel and that whatever limitations the person sets for themselves, that is equally where their God will set himself.

If you buy into the myopic view of a misguided person that you are not good enough, then you will remain so.

If you set limitations for yourself with all the usual excuses: because I am poor, black, brown, fe/male, tall, short, etc, you will not grow past your limitations. To grow past them you have to stop agreeing to the negative feedback of ‘You Can’t.’

‘What are you agreeing to?’

There is no disputing the fact that there are socio-economic challenges, gender limitations, race boundaries and all the conceivable ceilings out there that hinders us from breaking through the invisible barriers to our perceived success, but wait a minute.

What of the glass ceiling that you have placed on your own mind? No one else will break through it and free you other than yourself.

In as much as there are things we are unable to stop from happening, we have the will power to choose how we react to these things.

Do we remain victims of our own minds, or do we break free from the bounds of mind enslavement of whatever it is that we are agreeing to and become victors?

The choice is yours. What are you agreeing to? What ever it is, is what your God will agree to as well.

I shall leave these little quotes here for you to dwell on.

‘It is not what you are called, but what you answer to.’ African proverb

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.‘ Proverbs: 23.7

Be careful how you are talking to yourself, because you are listening.‘ Lisa M. Hayes

For the quotes challenge invitation, I thank Kaushal of Expressive Human for the invitation, and would like to invite the following awesome bloggers to participate in the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge.

No pressures at all to do so. 

The rules are:

  1. Post 3 Quotes on 3 consecutive days.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 3 other bloggers on each day of challenge.

Pancake Bunnykins

Sabiscuit

Commonsensegal

Running Scared…

You can call me a scaredy cat, but that’s all well and good 🙂1453376903686[1]

In my place, we have a saying that ‘the coward stands in his compound and points at the grave of the brave man.’

I remember a UK holiday visit to a haunted house with my family several years back.

Even though I knew that it was all make-believe, I still took my squad in with me, just in case any of those fanged Dracula’s got any ideas.

My squad would have Jackie Channed them out of their capes.

In any case, we all got the shivers and tickles, that I don’t quite know who ended up squawking and squealing more; me or my squad.

Then on the other hand, I always feel less scared about the situation of  things in life when my dear Himself is around me.

He is literally my solid rock of Gibraltar, even though there are days that he drives me mad and I feel like running him out of town 😉

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

The Daily Post Witness Protection.

Ubuntu…I am, because we are!

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Our sense of not feeling lost comes from our deep sentiments to have value and common acceptance as an individual. Nothing validates us like a sense of belonging; of being part of a bigger unit.

As humans, we all have this desire and craving for the care or that sense of feeling cared for, which when we receive it, nurtures our intrinsic being.

Knowing that I can come here and write without giving thought to prejudice, but to being myself, leaves me with warm fuzzy feeling. That I can traipse around and blog hop to visit others and later return to my own little domain to find little sticky notes all over the door of my blog, makes me realize that I have found my tribe.

Naturally, we all have tribes that we are born into by virtue of genetic pool and geographical placements.

Then, we have tribes that our driving passion, needs and experiences makes us seek out.

Blogging cum Writing is such a tribe. A unique, wholesome, heartwarming, dynamic tribe where even the most flagging of hearts can be revived and get a boost if they should keep an open mind, heart and seek out the welcoming hands within this tribe of ours.

As is normal, even in nuclear families, you will find those that do not particularly agree with each other, but like every symbiotic existence, we still need each other in order to thrive.

Therefore, for me to be, we all have to be. I am because we all are, irrespective of our differences, in brotherhood, we stand.

Let me leave you with a couple of African proverbs to ruminate on:

‘A bundle of firewood cannot be fastened with one hand.’ In essence, you cannot go the journey all by yourself. You look up to others for support, to teach you the way and to benefit of their experience.

‘A single tree cannot make a forest.’

‘A single string of bead can never jingle.’

My appreciations go to Random Ramblings who invited me a while ago to take part in the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge. My posting calendar has been a bit hectic hence the delay.

I would like to invite these following bloggers to participate in the challenge.

The rules are:

  1. Post 3 Quotes on 3 consecutive days.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 3 other bloggers on each day of challenge.

The Shivas Ponder

Anghulinghugetero

Christian Dequita

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR…

The year 2015 is practically a wrap. A big thank you

We made it through despite so much upheaval around the World, so many individual challenges that looked insurmountable, and if there is nothing else to say, the fact that we waded through it all, is a massive blessing and a huge reason to be thankful.

My gratitude challenge today is two pronged.

Foremost, I am truly thankful to God for so many things that I can’t begin to count but above all, the gift of life, the gift of family and the gift of friends.

I deeply appreciate the connections that I have made on this platform.

A lot of you have been winds in my wings and oxygen in my lungs.

Your words have decorated my heart in indescribable ways and I am grateful that I met you in this space.

I have received a whole bunch of award nominations from my good friends and I truly must appreciate them for the generosity of their hearts.

Please, let me apologize upfront if I missed out mentioning a nomination.

It is not a slight but an oversight, because it has grown in number (over 20 of them) and I truly didn’t want to inundate people with putting out an award post ever so often.

 

For the Epic Awesomeness Award, I thank Yinglan of This is Another Story, for this kind nomination. 

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For the Versatile Blogger Award nominations, my appreciations go to: iamabloggertoo, GharkepakwanEmma of Shut that negative noise offAmra of Perfect My DaysIzzyasabeeStar ScrollsKoolaidmoms

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To Sam of Starlit Octave , I say thank you for The Word Magician Award:

The nominations for Leibster Award comes from: Recharge Your Day. Sister EmmaPamela of K. PhoenixWaltyRebirth of Lisa, you warm thoughts are very encouraging. Thank you.

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For the Sisterhood of The World Bloggers, my appreciation goes to Inspiring MaxSusanJake of The Peasant Blog,

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Now I have a loyal Dragon to guard me from marauders and I say thank you to Kaushal of Expressive Human/Original ThoughtsAn Off beat bluestocking, for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. This made me smile.

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Chape, a heartfelt thank you for the Darts Awards/Premios Dardos

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Dear Joanne of Vellissima found my blog neat enough to nominate me for Real Neat Blog Award. Thank you my friend. 

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In my place, it is said that ‘the man who has human support is better than the one that has money.’ Money can buy you a lot but cannot warm your heart with it’s words.

So, to all of you, dear friends of mine, who have supported me by breathing life into my blogging journey, ‘may the Sun shine on your path and may the shadows fall behind.’

Thank you very much and do stay blessed.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

If Tomorrow Comes…personal

Recently, I had a chat with a friend and we spoke about passion. Since we had that chat, I have been mulling over bits and pieces of our conversation and chewing on the fat of things.Chase the vision

During our chat, she did not out-rightly deride my passion about writing and public speaking, but in her opinion, she thinks that it should be classified as a hobby, since I was not yet making pots of money from either.

In her eyes, I was not yet a serious writer because there is no World acclaimed bestseller title under my belt.

As far as she is concerned, I am writing just for the pleasure of writing. At this point I had my tongue in my cheek trying to rein myself in from saying the first thought that fleeted through my mind, which was @#$#$%$##%!

Calmly, I asked her how much pleasure she was deriving from her work?

If she was that ecstatic about it, why is it that she moans over her job every time we speak, wishing she had the funds to take a bold step away from the rat race bandwagon.

She had wished over a 1,000 times that she had the guts to pursue her desires to own an events management outfit, but like I had equally given myself the leeway of excuses in the past, she had a million reasons why she couldn’t get started in that direction.

I asked her what her plans were in the immediate, interim and long term, towards achieving her goal, but to my surprise, she had made absolutely no concrete plans in the realization of her dreams.

.And she calls me a dreamer!

Her hope is that tomorrow will come armed with all that she would require to achieve her dreams and build her castles in the passing wind.

I told her that ”Tomorrow will never come if we don’t get hold of today!”

I now cheekily told her that I am absolutely pleased with what I am doing at the moment and though I did not give her a detailed breakdown, I drew a sketchy idea of my writing prospects and aspirations which I believe will come to pass even if it delays.

In the meantime, I told her that I was willing to make certain sacrifices to achieve my dreams, since I had also learnt that some of the material expenses which we load on ourselves were absolutely unnecessary. We can live very well without some of these things for as long as is necessary.

I have heard tales and jokes of hungry artists/writers. I have heard about all the hard mental work endured for passion in return of peanuts.

Then again, I have heard and have experienced first hand, the irrefutable, bone deep pleasure that a true writer derives from answering their call and I then realize the true meaning of the morbid African proverb which says that”we cannot because of the fear of death avoid going to war, if that war means that we get to live the life that we deserve.”

In some ways, she was right that I am not yet making anything out of my vision and dreams.

Now, it is time to write the vision, take the vision and run with it.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

When They Came Calling…

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My growing years was in a community where visitors didn’t need to announce their intentions before paying a call. It was simply the way it was.

It was normal to see hundreds of honorary aunties and uncles floating through the doors of my parents house and my parents returned the same courtesy.

Ours was a calm, intellectual and laid-back University community where the evenings after work were spent by the gentlemen at the staff club or folks visiting each other.

They would talk and eager laughter would echo through the house while they ate garden eggs and alligator pepper. Bottles of beer accompanied these relaxing moments and they recounted their tales.

I grew up with extended family drifting in and out of our home and it was likewise in so many other homes that I knew. As a matter of fact, some extended family members were permanent members of the household.

Meals were always prepared in extra quantities so that unanticipated guests would have a warm plate of rice or whatever was available; and it was always enough.

It didn’t matter how tight the house was, there was always room for one more and it was almost tantamount to an abomination for your folks to have to make a special request before they could come calling.

That was the mentality of hospitality back then, but times are certainly changing.

However, it was still such a pleasure that when I went home in August, visitors were still floating in and out to see my mother and I am certainly grateful for them being there and helping to take her mind off things.

So, assuming that I come home and see a strange couple in my house eating a slice of cake in my living room, my primary concern would be to find out if they are menacing, especially since they are unknown.

How did they get in? Are my family okay and not under duress?

As long as everything is as it should be and that they didn’t break into my home, but were let in quietly, I will then settle down to know who they are and why they came calling.

Maybe they are just the new neighbours who came by to get acquainted and my husband is being very magnanimous with my freshly baked cake and my inquisitive self would love to get to know them a bit better.

You never know what story may be lurking in there in their midst.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

The Daily Post prompt unexpected guests.

You walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know sitting in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.

The Rolling Train Of Thoughts…

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It is very easy to sit down and dreamily wish for the niceties that life has to offer, but the bare truth is that those niceties come at a certain price. That price entails working smart and being less slothful.

Achieving most of our life’s goals emanates from our minds, which now transforms itself into the required energy.

So in essence, how we treat this powerhouse (our minds) that controls virtually everything that we are or we aspire to become really matters.

We have to choose daily, the seeds that we plant in our minds very wisely.

A weevil eaten seed is already faulty and is likely not to germinate into anything, much less giving any yield.

Our actions or in-actions emanates from our thoughts or lack of thoughts.

When we change our thinking, we change our lives.

If our thoughts are not working for us, it is time to switch into a better route of thinking.

As my people will ask with a proverb, “If you are building a house and a nail breaks, do you stop building or do you change the nail?”

As we plant the seeds of our thoughts wisely, may we hold onto belief, hope and grace to bring about increase and a bountiful yield.

This is applicable to everyone, irrespective of our religious or non-religious incline.

Thank you Vincent Wambua for inviting me to partake in the 3 quote challenge. Let me extend the invitation to other inspiring bloggers in the house.

Here are the rules:

  1. Post 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days
  2. Thank the person who nominated you
  3. Nominate 5 new bloggers each single day of the challenge.

Neveradullbling

Atomic Words

Tildy

Adriennea

Pam Witzemann

 

 

We Are Frowning Goats!…

In my young mind, when my grandma used Igbo (African) proverbs like ”no matter how much a goat frowned its face, its owner still had to take it to the market to sell’‘ I literally thought she was talking about her goats. Lifting mountains

She used to raise some goats that were either sold or killed to celebrate special occasions, and I recall looking at the faces of the goats with curious eyes to determine how they frowned.

It took maturity for it to dawn on me that the proverb was meant to address issues that we were either dodging to do or were difficult to do, yet they needed to be done.

Maybe, I should liken myself to the frowning goat in the proverb above.

For the past few days including today; though today has been super-charged busy for me, I have found every busy reason to dodge sitting down and working on my book.

I know that I could find half an hour to squeeze in yet…

Well, I say to myself, the book will not write itself lady!

Get moving! No matter how many excuses made it still has to get done right?

Like my people would also say; ”if the child likes, he should play pranks all day, his portion to weed at the farm will still wait for him.”

I am sure there are other frowning billy and nanny goats as well as pranksters like my dear self, who are using all the bucking tactics available to skirt around the needful 😉 ‘fess up to your misdeeds and lets get it rolling.

Once again, izzyasabee thank you for the invitation to take part in the three quote challenge which I have concluded and will be moving on to the next round of invitation from Vincent Wambua.

I call on these gems of my blogging World to join the fun.

Thomas Dohling

Kat blogs

SarahC

A Single Palm Frond Cannot Weave A Basket…

Honestly, I enjoy quotes because these short words tell succinctly, lessons that an entire book may be unable to tell. Thank you Chape for inviting me for a round of 3 quote challenge.

Events of the past couple of days have made me dwell so much more on thoughts of unity and prayer, because as we know very well that, in unity we stand, but in division we fall.Nelson Mandela

I remember when we were much younger and would get into squabbles with each other, my mother was the constant peace broker and she would use simple demonstrations to teach us certain things. Let me share one of them with you.

We had several old woven baskets which were used for storing spices or herbs in the house and she would fetch two of these baskets which were special handiwork of Nsukka tribeswomen – it’s weaving was not so intricate yet effective.

She loosened a bit of the frond at one end and asked each of us to pull at a strand, and the basket unraveled.

‘Can one palm frond make a basket?” She inquired.

”NO, Ma!” We answered in unison.

Comparing the unraveled basket and the one that stood intact, she asked us which one was useful in its state and we pointed at the one which was still intact.

You are one when you stand together and you would be of good use.” ”When you choose to unravel and stand alone, you serve no purpose to anyone and you are weakened because your frond can be bent and broken, while the fronds that are intact cannot be broken together.” She intoned.

Let us remember to band together in prayers, in wisdom, in strength and in positivity to be of good use.

On that note, I will leave you with these African proverbs:

”If you wish to go quickly you go alone, but if you wish to go far, you go together.”

”When trees stand together they make a forest.”

”When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”

”Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper.”

I would like to invite these awesome bloggers to participate in the quote challenge:

Dr Meg Sorick

anghulinghugotero

Maria Holm

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

 

Are you overlooking the Small Clay Pot?…

Learning to cook started at a young age for me; not that I remember being asked 😉 it was just the way things were. African proverbs 4

From assisting mother in the kitchen in preparation of all sorts, to going over during the holidays to help grandma prepare her classic agidi jollof/wrapped corn meal and oil bean flakes which we would also help her sell at the local market; commercial trading was also learnt in the bargain.

Naturally, as a young child and a bookworm, often, I would get distracted or sneak into the restroom to read a quick page of my fave of the moment and the quick page turned into several; meanwhile my absorbed mind has forgotten that I was meant to be watching the pot of beans and ensure that it didn’t burn.

Needless to say, it was usually the aroma of burnt offering that alerted my nostrils to the disaster on fire and mothers voice raised to power two exclaiming away “Hia! this child will not kill me!”

The burnt level of the beans knew many degrees and the instruction to wash that burnt pot until it was gleaming enough to show the reflection of your teeth was never a small task. It kept you on the straight and narrow corner of the kitchen for some good days 🙂

Yet mothers patience never gave up on us. She continued teaching and we continued attempting to kill her, but thankfully never succeeded and turned out to be responsible adults today.

Let me leave you with this African proverb:

“When you overlook the small clay pot, it will boil over and put off the firewood.”

This can be translated in so many ways, but a quick example is: when you overlook a small bad habit, it becomes a character trait.

Once again Oba thank you for extending this invite. I am enjoying it.

To participate in the 3 quote challenge, I would like to invite:

Obscurasomnia

Oneta

Tony Burgess

Good day and blessings.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

The lion