Tag Archive | poverty

Greener Pastures…

Image result for images of palm tree plantations

Hazy eyes’ peered through the glass, gazing at acres of palm trees disappear as they sped past. The bleak look in them grew with each mile covered, widening the gap between her and home, between the known and unknown.

They told her that she is heading for better things; for greener pastures. They told her that she’s the only hope for the family, they told her many things…

Yes, Akunnia wanted to help the family. Indeed, she truly wanted to be a saving grace. Yet, she couldn’t stop the incessant trickle of hot tears and the lump in her throat from getting bigger with each speed bump the van took as it gradually wound its way away from the dusty paths of her village to the big city.

How did greener pastures leave her feeling like a chattel used to repay family debts to a grouchy tradesman well-known for his poor treatment of others? The weight of her looming situation sat heavy on her slight sixteen-year shoulders.

 

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Some Day…

Little stabs of jealousy struck Cody as he stood at the corner and watched Josh and Sam cycle their latest acquisition around the neighbourhood park with such glee,

He envied how they always got the latest and best toys and momentarily, he felt sad and angry that poverty kept his mama from buying any of such things for him. He was tired of their scrounging for food, for hand-me-downs and their broken television.

From past experience, he knew not to ask them if he could join them because they would only laugh and make fun of him. Last time when they were flying a kite and he came closer to watch, Sam made fun of his ill-fitting clothes and oversized trainers and he had walked away red in the face and ashamed.

He really wanted to fit in and he was tired of feeling out of place, but what could a ten-year old do? Maybe if his dad hadn’t died, they wouldn’t be so poor with his mother juggling several jobs. He hoped mama was right in saying that things would get better some day.

© Jacqueline

Thank you, Dorothy, for the photo prompt and PJ for hosting.

 

Posts That Caught My Interest – 2

I recognize that a lot of bloggers – except few – bother to follow a link to read reblogs and now and again, I stumble on posts that I find myself nodding along in agreement as I read them and wish to share.

I offer these few. I found sense, laughter, reflection and inspiration. Do take a peek. I am disabling the comment button to encourage you to visit the blog sites.Image result for images of sharing

Healing properties of lemon

From homeless to Harvard graduate

Time for us all to bloom

Forgetting to be grateful

Crippling effect of poverty

Thank you for stopping by and do have a great weekend.

Jacqueline

The Visa Photo…


‘You have to look relaxed and smile Nkeonyelu. Abi, you don’t want them to give you the visa?’

‘I hear that they look at people’s picture to decide who they will allow to go abroad o.’

‘Aha! That’s a better pose.’

‘Oya, Patrick snap it like that,’ Nkeonyelu’s mother’s insisted.

Make sure she looks beautiful o!’

‘Can you believe it? You, my daughter, will be going to Germany.’ Her ceaseless excited chatter attracted the eyes of other customers.

Nkeonyelu was not as enthused as her mother.  Patrick’s busy photo studio was the best that the little town had and not far from it, was another shop where her heart lay.

Secretly in her mind, she wished the visa officer would look at her picture and dislike it.

She silently prayed that they would deny her the visa to join her unknown husband.

It was marriage by proxy and the past few month’s following the ties, she has nursed an unhappy heart.

Her secret love for Ekendili only seemed to burgeon more with each passing day, but she knew that her family would never welcome the suit of the poor cobbler when a golden opportunity has been handed to them right on a platter of arranged marriage.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Inlinkz

In response to the FFAW photo prompt above. Thank you, Uday for the picture and Priceless Joy for this enchanting story platform.

Quick glossary:

Abi – Don’t you?

Oya – Quickly

The Bill…Friday Fiction In Five Sentences.

She counts the coins over and over again.

It would barely be enough to purchase meaningful grocery.

‘Dear Lord, where will the next meal for the babies come from?’ She wonders in despair.

Hearing a shuffle of feet and a rap on the door.

She rises wearily to check who it is, but there is no one at the door, just a little note wedged into the space under the door, with a 50 dollar bill nicely folded inside.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

The Feast…

Beggar

With hungry eyes and gnarled knuckles,

He begged!

Please could you spare me something?

But they hurried along!

No one cared to look,

They were in a rush and too busy!

ζ

In abject poverty and clad in rags,

She groveled!

Hunger had punctured holes in her innards,

She cried out for help!

But no one cared to hear.

They were too ashamed to cast her a glance!

ζ

Flea bitten worn blankets,

Torn cartons for bed,

Under the stormy weather,

It’s bitterly cold!

ζ

Looking in at the warm and shiny windows,

Where laughter and food overflowed,

Into plates, leftovers to the trash,

Thrown away to go to waste!

ζ

He scurries over,

Digging for leftovers,

And a feast did he find.

With tears in his eyes,

As he gobbles grungy droppings,

That were several days over!

ζ

He is thankful for the offerings,

Shared with his stray companions,

A lame dog that no one wanted again,

And a one-eyed cat,

His companions at the garbage table!

ζ

Sir? Could you spare me a piece of bread? Please?

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Please don’t throw away food, someone out there is dying from hunger.

”If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”- Mother Theresa

”No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

”A heart that gives, gathers.” – Tao Te Ching

DAY 3

Jennifer at INK and QUILL has invited me to participate in 5 day photo story challenge.

Challenge Guidelines:

Post a picture each day, for five consecutive days. Attach a story to your image.

*can be fiction / non-fiction
*poem / short paragraph
*each day nominates another blogger

I invite Kay Morris, my fabulous blogger friend  , to join the photo story challenge. I look forward to reading from you if you choose to participate. Enjoy 🙂

Its always a Hustle….a short story (Pt. 3)

The Hustle Part 1

The Hustle Part 2

”Hia!” ”Is this not where I hung the shirt?” Ikem queries the silent night. His brand new blue second-hand T shirt with the Chelsea logo was gone! Could it have been carried by the breeze? ”Ah! Ah!” ”I just washed and put it out here not too long ago to dry in the light harmattan breeze!”

His other frayed shirt is hanging and flapping in the wind as if in mockery of his thoughts. He knows in his heart that one of those crooked eyed boys in the neighbourhood has pilfered the new one! ”Maybe it is Jude that took it o.” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” he bangs on the Jude’s door, to no response.

This reaffirms his decision to go home to the village for Christmas in a couple of weeks and proceed to Onitsha with his cousin Chuks.From the look of things Chuks seems to be doing well at Onitsha.” ”I will join him and start afresh from there.” ”I am tired of this place!”

”So what am I going to wear for tomorrow’s event now?”

He had just walked out of the dingy common bathroom of their quarters bare-bottomed feet; the sling of his worn-out slippers had finally died a natural death on his trek back home after a hectic days hustle.

It was dark in the neighbourhood. ”O boy, these NEPA boys have dismantled and collected the wires o”, says his neighbour Jude, seated on a heap of cement blocks outside, enjoying the nights fresh air. Their light connections are haphazardly and illegally done, coupled with their inability to settle the NEPA officials with something for the weekend.

Child naming ceremony

Child naming ceremony

Ikem chooses not to let such things bother him right now. He is moving to higher grounds in a few weeks time, besides he had purchased quite an assortment of apparels including two new sandals and sneakers that he will launch over Christmas in the village.

As a matter of fact, if fate continues smiling the way it has been these last couple of weeks, ”I might even consider buying a G.S.M torch light phone and a few items to take to Mama and Nwanneka.’‘ ”It is almost my turn to collect the accumulated funds from ‘Isusu’.”

He felt happier than he had in a long while as he quickly washes and hangs his shirt to drain before he retires for the night. Tomorrow will be a good day, he whistles as he goes along. Papa Emma’s is having the child dedication of his twins, and surely the celebration will be followed by several plates of rice and meat coupled with free drinks to go around.

Party Jollof rice with plantain and moin-moin

Party Jollof rice with plantain and moi-moi

He plans to join them to go to church. He has not been to church for so many months. It was tiring attending church services that were fast turning into fashion parades, whilst he had nothing fashionable to wear. It always made him feel ashamed.

Now! The new Tshirt he planned to showcase tomorrow has disappeared. “Thank God I didn’t wash the Chinos jeans as well.” ”I will just have to wear something else!” He muses to himself.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Links to the earlier series are at the top of the page. Thank you

Quick Glossary for words that you might not know:

Child dedication: Child dedication is a symbolic ceremony undertaken by Christian parents soon after the birth of a child. This rite is intended to be a public statement by the parents that they will train their children in the Christian faith.

Chuks: A shortened form of an Igbo name given to boys which could be derived from Chukwuka, God is greater, Chukwuemeka, God has done so well, Chukwudi, God lives, Chukwuebuka, God is very big etc

Isusu: An informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings for the enablement of kith and kin ventures.

Harmattan: Harmattan is a cold-dry and dusty trade wind, that blows over the West African subcontinent, from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter).

Hia! Just an exclamation like Oh dear!

Moi-Moi: Nigerian steamed bean cakes made from a mixture of washed, peeled black-eyed peas, onions and fresh ground peppers (usually a combination of bell peppers and chili or scotch bonnet). A very protein-rich food that is a staple in Nigeria

NEPA: National Electric Power Authority was an organization formerly governing the use of electricity in Nigeria now replaced by PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria).

Nwanneka: An indigenous Igbo name given to a girl and it means: ”my siblings are supreme or very important.”

Onitsha: A city with one of the largest commercial markets in West Africa. It is situated on the river port on the eastern bank of the Niger river in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria.

To settle: The act of adjusting or determining disputes between persons without pursuing the matter through the formal process. In this case, it is giving something under the table to the officials.

I found a lot of treasures in the neighbours backyards this past week. Will share just a few. Do take a peek.

 Ten anxiety antidotes from Chris the Story reading Ape: a lot of people do suffer anxiety attacks and it is not something to pooh-pooh at.

When silence is a virtue from Oba’s blog: we all need to keep quiet sometime and listen from within

Who am I by Amy Lou blogs :

A delicious looking platter from Lynz Real Cooking

International friendship blogging forum: You might be interested in joining.

The right way to grieve by Debbie Carroll Is there a right or wrong way to grieve?

A lovely quote found at Haddon Musings Do take a peek 🙂

Why a watched pot never boils from Blabberwockying. You need to read it to find out why.

Italian vegetable soup: Another warm platter for cold nights from What’s for dinner Moms.

Yes my voice will be heard: I fell in love with this poem found on Kay Morris blog.

Raging Joy Crusher: This thought-filled post from PamWitzemann speaks in very loud volumes.

Breast cancer awareness month: Early detection is key, have you done it!

It’s a weekend folks! Enjoy! Be happy and kind regards.