THE KOINONIA AND SOCIAL RENAINSANCE

Koinonia is a Greek word which means “fellowship”. Mwaki is the Swahili equivalent of Koinonia. The essence of the Koinonia or Mwaki is the gathering of the tribe around the communal fire. Mwaki is a system where no one person is left out in the cold. In the Koinonia it is one for all and all for one. It was in Koinonia condition The Holy Spirit descended on the apostles of Christ in the Christian History book of The Acts. It is high time this ideal is realize in our contemporary human community.

There is nothing that distresses me more than to see the principle of Ego (every man for himself and God for every man) being enacted in a family or group. This seem to be very rampant amongst urban dwellers, and it makes me feel like an alien amongst people I call family and friends. Maybe I am the alien afteral, since I have spent greater part of my growing up days among pastoral folks, and in the countrysides.

Pastoral folks are special walk of men. They are so transparent, you could see their bigger-than-ego hearts beating within their breasts. It is evident that their blood is so red is shows golden, as it courses through their vein. They are the kinda Good People that makes a great Nation, those pastoral folks. In their communities, everyone is his brother’s keeper. Everyone lives for everyone, and they look up to God, who looks back down at them with pleasure. They care for the children, and the children are humble and obedient to the parents. In those communities, there is respect for age and gender. Everyone knows there place in the family, in the community, in the world and in the great system of things. There is affinity to nature- the trees, the grasses, the animals, and elementals are respected and accorded their spaces. There is little wonder that the sun shines brighter, and the climate is clement. The grasses are green, the birds sings more melodiously in pastoral settings. The Roses never forget to be red, and the Violets are blue as one would expect. The children go to school; trees are their books, the Muses are their tutors. They take notes on the tablets of their hearts. Those folk live beyond the primordial curse of three-score-and-years of Man’s allotted life span. The life of rural folks is an enviable life. I am sure the creator- whether God or Nature, intends for man to live this way- In a Koinonia.

But life begins to get nasty, brutish and short in the urbanity. in the concrete jungles of the urbane cities, there are no communities only gangs, and roaming bandits. There are no families, though people live together or near each other. A mother and child are mere familiar strangers, who strive for what they can get of the bread won by the struggling father. The competition is never a healthy one. Urbane people resort to abusing each other- fathers raping daughters, children beating up their mothers, siblings bullying each other. The life is Brutish. People take to abusing substances to help them cope with the brutishness they have foisted upon themselves. Parents divorce or a spouse walks away, abandoning the familia. The vestiges of family values are used up like toilet papers and never restored. Nobody cares to care if there is a God, or heaven. Their pastors who were ordained to forster the Pastoral living principles are wolves in sheep clothing. They are so steeped in ego that all thing bright and beautiful Like God, and poetry, are crowded out. In their search for meaning, they make bling-blings and resort to hard metals for music. The life is nasty. Children runaway from home, their pet animals soon become strays and road kills. There is no time to greet a neighbour and ask after his or her health and the well-being of the other’s family most don’t ever get to know who their neighbours are. Their short attention span is fully concentrated on the haters and beefs. The life is shortened.

I have been inculcated with a different set of values- the Mwaki. I have held on tenaciously to the tenets of The Koinonia . I know the world will need it someday. Then will I be able to share. I think that time has come. The time for social reform, and intellectual renaissance. We have lived the dark life for far too long that we don’t know what it is like to walk in the light. It time the light is come.

TIPS FOR NEW FICTION AUTHORS

If you are dipping your toes into the sometimes-tumultuous waters of fiction writing for the first time, you might be feeling a bit daunted right now. But there are certain rules and guidelines to follow that can help you keep your writing both focused and engaging (and, therefore, more publishable). Here are our top eight guidelines for beginning fiction writers:

Know your audience. Beginners sometimes want to appeal to the widest audience possible and so try to write for everyone. As a result, they let their work run off in too many directions and end up with a muddled mess of a story. But you can’t please everyone—a story that appeals to city-dwelling twenty-somethings won’t necessarily catch the fancy of a middle-aged man from the suburbs. Once you accept that, you can focus all of your energy on writing for the readers who will appreciate your hard work that much more.

Here’s a tip: Once you’ve decided who your audience is (specific gender, age group, etc.), reread your story with that audience in mind to make sure your focus is consistent. Remove any elements that could potentially cause any friction (unless that’s your goal!).

Know your genre. This goes hand in hand with knowing your audience. There are key elements that fans of certain genres will expect to find when they start reading your work. More often than not, genres can be divided further into subgenres that accommodate very specific motivations and plotlines. Keep it consistent. It is possible to write a successful cross-genre story, but you don’t want to mix it up too much. A supernatural romantic thriller, for example, could end up alienating fans of all three genres.

Create real characters. Make your characters human—give them nervous tics, phobias, a funny way of messing up clichés. Some of the most memorable stories have three-dimensional characters that readers can feel strongly about in some way. For example: A heroine who has to overcome her deep-seated fears before she can get what she wants is much more appealing than one who just breezes through without struggle. The former’s conflict is relatable (who isn’t held back by their fears?), therefore her victory will be that much more satisfying.

The same logic applies to antagonists. Why do we love to hate Othello’s Iago? Because his actions come from emotions we all know we’re capable of feeling: jealousy, insecurity, etc.

Just like you, characters should evolve over time. Everything that happens in your story affects them in some way. The changes to their progress (or lack thereof) can be significant or minute, but they must occur. Place your character in situations that force him or her to make difficult choices, mistakes, etc. You can decide whether the character should make the “right” or “wrong” decisions, but any character not evolving on some level is static and that will take away from your story’s momentum.

Show, don’t tell. Beginners often make the mistake of explaining what is happening instead of simply showing the reader. Think of it as the difference between watching a movie and having a friend describe a movie to you.

Rather than having the narrator mention that one character spent the night in jail for egging a neighbor’s car, give the reader the play-by-play of the character laughing gleefully while throwing the eggs (underhand, of course, because they were on the bowling team). Then show them crying to the point of hiccups when the cops slap on the handcuffs. This will paint a much more vivid picture for your readers and, therefore, make the story more enjoyable.

Want to take it one step further? Include a scene showing the neighbor using the character’s mailbox for batting practice—that gives your egg-throwing hero motivation, which adds to what we talked about in Rule #3.

Stick to the main plot. Beginners often get caught up in subplots they find interesting, but don’t serve to propel the characters forward in any real way. Your story isn’t a well-cast ensemble sitcom. Focus diligently on one main plotline, and if you do decide to add subplot elements to your story, make sure they relate to the main story and help propel your character to his or her inevitable end.

Let your scenes play out. Don’t cheat your readers by trying to wrap up every scene too quickly. Events in real life don’t often end neatly; chances are neither will events in your story. Instead, let the falling action of each scene sow the seeds of the following scene’s rising action. Propel your audience through to the next plot point—make them want to keep reading.

If you are going for suspense, cliffhangers are a plus. But there is a big difference between a cliffhanger and an abrupt, unnatural close, so make your choices carefully.

Learn the art of conflict. Creating a powerful conflict and weaving it tightly throughout the story is a tricky thing to master, and can take years of practice. The catharsis that a reader will experience at the resolution, however, is worth the struggle. Conflict is what makes us interested in outcome. And your conflict must affect your characters in a way that forces them to act and grow as a result. A story with a weak conflict that leaves the characters exactly as they were at the start won’t be satisfying; your story won’t make a lasting impression.

Here’s a tip: The best way to learn how to write conflict is by reading it. The next time you’re reading a short story or novel, take note of how the author presents the main conflict and the specific ways in which the characters react to it.

Revise your story. Revising is an important part of any writer’s process, but there is much debate as to the best approach. Some writers like to finish the whole piece before starting any major rewrites. Only when the work is completed are they able to assess the story as a whole and recognize its flaws. Others prefer to rewrite as they write, finding it easier to tighten the laces as they go. A revision early in the story can clear the path for engaging plot points down the line that wouldn’t have been possible had things been written differently. Try both methods so you can feel out which one works best for you.

From Writer’s Relief staff: HUFFPOST BOOKS

WAITING FOR RELEASE

WAITING FOR RELEASE

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

There is a song in my heart
It is a heart song yet unsung
The world, my release await
But the Song Birds, they sing my song.

There is a love in my heart
It is a sweet love not yet shown
The world, my affection await
But The Muses, this love they’ve known.

There is beauty in my heart
It is a beauty none yet has seen
The world, my display await
But Graces, this beauty have seen.

There is a dance in my heart
It’s a dance I cannot unlearn
The world, my performance wait
But little fairies, this dance learn.

There is a joy in my heart
It is such great joy yet unknown
The world, my expression wait
But in rapture, my joy is known.

ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Until at the breaking of bread
It never for once dawn on us
That truth it was that walked with us
Our souls dwelt on the road we tread

On the lonely road to emmaus
When our broken hearts burned
For the doubt that was come on us
Of how can a body be made bread

Light dawned on the way to Emmaus
And we come to the journey’s end
For who walked with us is the Christos.
The Truth is why we never reached the bend.

THE NYMPH OF SPRING

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

I’m a passerby, a lone wayfarer
Passing by Eden, i saw this flower
A beauteous blossom, and i stopped to peep
O’oer the fence of the Angels’ keep

I’ll pluck this flower, to see her color
I’ll hold this flower, to sniff her odor
But ‘midst fawns, faunas, and nary a sprig
Repose this picture-perfect Nymph of Spring

To breathe in her sensual aura, i make haste
Hurrying to suckle of her dripping necter
But i must first paint this beautous spectre.
With shimmering colours from my heart’s’pallette.

WORD OF MOUTH FAME

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Not by might of arms
Neither by faith nor by sight
Shall The Poet prevail

But by Word of Mouth
Shall The Poet bake his own bread
And build her bridges

By sheer Word of Mouth
Shall The Poet make omellettes
Without breaking eggs.

By mere Word of Mouth
The Poet will move mountains
And wither fig trees

The Muse empowers Poets
And they go about doing good
With mere Word of Mouth

There is no more fame
To the craft of poetry
Than mere Words of Mouth.

WE MUST SET FORTH AT DAWN

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

We must set forth at dawn
But not before the first light is shown.

We must set forth at dawn
But not before the cock had crown.

We must set forth at dawn
But not before the mist is over, blown

We must set forth at dawn
But not before the path is known.

We must set forth at dawn
But not before we’re sure the day is our own.

We must set forth at dawn
But not before the veil of dark is drawn.

We really must set forth at dawn
But not before it is the break of true dawn.

May 8, 2011

A REGENERATION

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

If the dampening cold hand of death
At last smothered this flickering flame,
The troubled wind you must not blame
But God who decides a man’s health.

If an unseen hand plucked the fruit
From this lone tree Two Angels guard,
Let my seed fall upon your ground;
From your core will new life come forth.

If my own world ends tomorrow,
There’ll be nothing to fear or fret
About: love or hate, life or death;
Since where I go, I do not know.

Spare me tears, daughters of the earth,
Be sure to perpetuate my name.
I have lived life and I am game
The player lives on in your heart.

All you jolly-good men of earth,
In heaven’s happy hunting ground,
We’ll meet again to drink a round
To Sun’s failing sight by the hearth.

IF THERE BE THORNS

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Like a buzzing bumble bee, I come as bard,
Seeking the nectar, oozing from your core.

Let the pricks and thorn be your guard
But mine it is to crave, to love and care.

I’ll plunder your throve and Pot of Gold
For no creed or norm does a villain care.

Yet I’ll be cuddling you like a budding flower
And on you expend much love and care.

BLACK HOLE

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

I have been waiting; waiting all my life
In hope that things, on their own, will turn up.
So much the content of the endless strife
Till I decided to help turn things up.

I took a pick, and I grabbed a spade;
One thought spurred me on to the escapade-
That’s, ‘’I dig my grave, if I dig not deep’’-
And so started I to dig, and digging deep.

How deep I dug myself in, I’m not sure.
Silver linings, gold dusts, a hidden treasure,
I had hope to find as fortune, by the feat
Before I reach the abysmal six feet.

My efforts only gained me a molehill,
Having dug myself into a black hole.

WAITING FOR DAWN

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Yes! My hands are soiled,
But not with blood or loot;
I fight corruption.

Yes! My heart is crook,
But it is not yet broken;
I still keep the faith.

Yes! My belly aches,
But not with gut indulgence;
I hunger for truth.

Yes! My eyes shed tears,
But these tears could have been blood;
I’ve seen injustice.

Yes! My tongue has failed,
But I have not compromised;
I yet speak the truth.

Yes! I stand alone,
But I have a firm foothold;
I stand for justice.

Yes! It is night,
But a new dawn soon will broke,
I then shall see light.

Yes! There are no stars,
But it’s the night’s darkest hour;
I wait for the dawn.

NEITHER THIS NOR THAT

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

I have seen the God
That is neither this nor that
Of things that exists

I have seen the God
That is neither who nor which
Neither where nor when

I have seen the God
That is neither man nor beast
Neither has nation

I have seen the God
That is neither good nor bad
Neither wise nor bane

I have seen the God
That is neither weak nor strong
Neither great nor small

I have seen the God
That is neither fine nor crude
Neither smart nor dumb

I have seen the God
That is neither bright nor dull
Neither sharp nor blunt

I have seen the God
That is neither light nor dark
Neither black nor white

I have seen the God
That is neither fat nor thin
Neither tall nor short

I have seen the God
That has no gender or race
Nor has religion

I have seen the God
That Man seeks and has not found
The God is I AM.

GOD IS MY NEIGHBOUR

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Think that orphaned child,
Hungry, waiting at your gate
God is not far off.           

Think that poor widow,
Homeless, at the street corner
God is nearer-by.

In those teary eyes,
Not in outer-space, we’ll find
The God that we seek.

AND MAN MADE GOD…

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

A lot of things are made for one purpose,
Like day time that is made good for working,
And night time too which is made for sleeping
With the object of affection, i suppose

A lot of things are made good, and to be shared
Like summer, spring and winter, with goodwill
On Christmas and Eid with thanksgiving
And love and joy and peace, as God preferred

A lot of things are made by a Good God,
All things bright and beautiful, great and small.
The vulture’s screech and the hyena’s howl;
Things that seem hideous also are for Good.

Some things are actually made wonderful
Like beasts and trees, and distant skies; all things
But Man, whose myths and legends born of thoughts
Made things, even God, grotesque and fearful.

The Block

I write what I like; penning words as they come
And what I do is write between the lines.
This is the reason why I am lonesome;
Nobody wants to read between the lines.

I tread the path, leading to The Inside,
But the traffic of thoughts clogs the entrance:
Shading the light that flows from the outside,
Bathing me in a gloomy ambient trance.

With words, I contend in an endless strife
But all the fuss was ‘Storm In a Tea Cup’
So much the troubles with which life is rife;
Much ado, yet blighted by a hiccup.

The Inspiration

And I like tea too, do not forget that.
Every sip of tea is an inspiration.
The Food of The Gods, is food for thought:
Elixir for those in my profession.

The Bane

This kinda bitch of a writer’s shrewd wife,
Nagging sloth, that would not let me write,
Has been the bane of every pundit’s life.
A companion that makes a man contrite.

Block Head is the name of this writer’s wife.
I married her when I divorced The Muse.
The naggard is my mistress for life.
I’ll live, if I do not soon blow a fuse.

I AM NO MESSIAH

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

I am no messiah,
But I could use water turned wine
To make me heart merry.

I am no messiah,
But I can bear a heavy cross
Only if it is a Solid Gold Crucifix.

I am no messiah,
But I can carry the world on my shoulder
Only for the gain of the whole world.

I am no messiah,
But let men sing my hosanna,
I like to be entertained.

I am no messiah,
But I won’t save me self from Pilate
If I would be proclaimed ‘King of The Jews’.

I am no messiah,
But I can drink of any bitter cup
If, and only if it overflows with Extra Stout.

I am no messiah,
So I’d pass the cup of vinegar.
Give that cup to those who perish.

HEALING

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

onions make us cry
out of pain, or pleasure, we’re wont to cry

ginger make us high
to get off the low-low, we get high

sex gets our groove on
and onion is ginger for sexual healing

Not only the poet lied

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Not only the poet lied

…preachers lied
…pundits lied
…prophets lied
…The custodians lied

Not only the poet lied

…Papers lied
…TV lied
…Radio lied
…grape vine lied
Internet lied
The media lied

Not only the poet lied

…professors lied
…reporters lied
…doctors lied
…Nurses lied
…Engineers lied
…Lawyers lied
…Actors lied
…The experts lied

Not only the poet lied

…sovereign lied
…governors lied
…senators lied
…chairmen lied
The government lied

Not only the poet lied

The unborn lied
The living lied
The dying lied
The dead lied
All of life lied
 
Not only the poet lied

I lied
you lied
he lied
she lied
they lied
we all lied

we all had lain
on our bed
as we had made our bed

FEAR, FLIGHT, FIGHT

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Trust what your First Instinct says to you;
Your First Instinct is always right,
It never tells you the wrong thing.

If your First Instinct says to you
FEAR! Then you would do well to tremble;
After all, fear is the beginning of wisdom.

If your First Instinct says to you
FLY! Then beat it and take to your heels;
Run like you gat legs of fly-wheels.

If your First Instinct says to you
FIGHT! Then stand your firm ground,
And draw a battle line in the sand.

I once ignored my First Instinct.
I feared when i should stand and fight.
I fled in the face of challenges that daunts.

Now see what i landed into;
Up to my eyes in deep water loo,
Caught in furious fast-flowing goo.

I’d soon sink down and drown
If i don’t start kicking as soon
As my First Instinct say to me ‘swim’!

FAME

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Who wants to be a millionaire?
Come on and mount this hot seat;
If your ass don’t get burn-out here,
You will be a millionaire yet.

Who wants to be in the lime-lights?
Go on and climb the stage to fame;
If you don’t get blinded by the lights,
You will be spared the boos and shame.

Who wants to be a bachelor?
Do away with acquired Master’s.
If you’d do yourself a favour,
Do not commit to Eve’s daughters.

Who wants to be a Poet Laureate?
On both ends, must your candle burn;
If you don’t sooner lose the light,
Of Nobel’s fame, you’ll have your turn.

Who wants to be the last virgin…?
keep legs crossed and pants zipped;
Stay focussed and don’t imagine
Giving in to passion when gripped.

SILENCE IS FOOL’S GOLD

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

Silence is nought but Fool’s Gold.
Speech is corruptible silver.
But on truth, we will not lose our hold.

Corruption is a high tower;
The nefarious takes refuge there.
Against this bastion, we wage war.

And when we shall break through,
We will raise one voice
In a cacophonous cry of UHURU.

MENDING HEARTS

By Okiri Christopher Raphael

There is not enough love in the world
To fit in the palm of a man’s hand
There ain’t that much lovers in the world
To count on the fingers of a girl’s hand
Mending a heart is a chore too hard
You will find out when you understand
Neither stitches wrought with needle
Nor thread expertly spurn in a spindle
Can mend a heart in need of mending Only a true heart, never demanding

FAITH, REASON AND ILLUMINATI

Illuminati is a Renaissance term for “the enlightened”. The people who have left the allegorical cave of the Dark Ages of ignorance, and are now following The Light- are the Illuminati.

Lume is latin for light. The word “luminous” (full of Light) is English, borrowed from the Latin. To be illuminated is to be in the light- to be enlightened, illuminated, not in the dark, but in the light (spotlight, limelight etc)

Like the Holy Scriptures say “if ye are the children of Light, then walk in the light. For ye were sometime darkness but now are ye light in the ‘Kyrios’- (Lord) “walk as Children of Light.” Our Lord did say that “… I am the Way The Truth and THE LIGHT”.

To be illuminated, therefore, is to be in the light. We could safely say we are enlightened because we walk in the light. We follow the light, we follow The Kyrios. The Bright Morning Star, the harbinger of greater illumination.

If ye are in Christ, therefore, Little Children, ye are ‘Illuminati’. The truth is always a hard nut to crack, but if one has got a strong head, cracking The Truth is a cinch. The only fear of condescending to crack open that nut of truth is the thought of what people think of your overtures.

I know of great many Good Christian folks, My Dear Mother inclusive, who will be among the firsts to cast stones at me if I told them that Jesus was not a Christian but an Illuminated One; and that he never founded a religion, but fostered Illuminati Principles. But I am not going to say that openly. I will not offend people’s beliefs, not my Ignorant-By-choice Mother’s Belief. She is a worthy example of a Good Faithful Christian. Talking about Faith and Truth, it will be an exercise in futility if reason is not considered in the discourse.

Faith, I hear, is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen. What I take away from this aphorism is what comes to the glaring light that truth metaphorically walks a tight rope between faith and Reason. Now, that is quiet a stunt great many will fail at. Now that the stunt will fail, not if the tight rope snaps, but if faith or reason should shift grounds. Now this may seem a little sticky, but it is all we have to chew on if faith is sandwiched between “evidence and “substance”.

If the truth is blindfolded, we can still be confident that the tight-rope stunt will succeed unless there is a foul play from one or the twain of Faith and Reason.

SMELLY SOCKS AND BOMB-MAKING

That remarkable Friday, I chose to attend the Jumat service, out of curiosity. The Mullah exhorted me to take off my shoes. No, siree! I wasn’t gonna do that. I am aware of the deleterious effect of taking my boots off in a crowded place like a Mosque on a Friday. My socks stink and the noisome smell is definitely haram. I don’t want a “fatwa” shrieking mob coming down on me, thinking I was some sort of terrorist to be polluting the holy place with bio-hazards.

I offered to keep my shoes on and go make my salat in the women’s section at the back. His twin brows went up, forming two perfect question marks, his face looked flushed, and his untidy beard was twitching the eyes were glazing over. I saw a storm coming fast at me, then I took the cue for my “shoe-off or exit”. I’ve shown that I was Boko-inclined, and an unwanted guest in that holy ground. I started to take off my boots, when it hit me to go say my prayers in the next mosque.

He was still glaring darkly at me when I took leave of him, making an excuse to go perform my ablution, and wash my dick again as his bitter looks had made me pee my Jeans. For a parting shot, I said “Shalom Aleikem”, which is Jewish lingo for “salaam Aleikum”. I am not a trouble maker my nature, bet that brotha Mullah just pissed me off. But I’m cool. I have my goat on leash.

In here is a moral lesson for Christians, Jews, and People of The Book: your smelly socks will come in handy in reprisal counter-offensive against those bombing the shit out of you in the North, Middle-East, and Everywhere. But don’t take this advice, good people, Just keep turning the other cheeks, until the morons tire and leave you in piece. Shalom!

LAGOS ALSO HAVE SEX AND AGE

Her age wrinkles are bellied by the generous dabbing of the Mary Kayish powder compact; the dark rings of her weary eyes are hidden under shadowy mascaras; and the uncompromising set of her hardlined mouth is effectively softened by a rouge lipstick smear. Lagos is a woman way past her prime. The impeccable, genteel, visage of this stylish hag, as seen on billboards and on TV, is a sham. She has a rotten core. Lagos wasn’t born this way, but a lot can happen in a one’s life to make or mar a one’s personality. Rumours have it that she is the bastard sister of Charles Dicken’s London. Like her sister, she’d been born in a Western Mega-City, but unlike her sister, who’d moved up North to live in a Modern Welfare State, she’d gone down South, driven by economic necessity to eke out a living in the in the slums. She had to deal with a hoard of some 17 million hustlers, turning tricks. And doing good too.

You wouldn’t blame Lagos. She didn’t chose This life, This Life chose her. What more can you expect of a child abandoned by her parents to fend for herself before she reached the ripe maiden age of “Sweet Teen”. Nobody really cared for her. Forster parents and stewards, with whom she’d lived in her formative years, had subjected her to far too much unutterable experiences. It is perhaps decent to say she’s been serially fucked, gang-raped, and robbed. She had cut her teeth on sevitude- not exactly a Cinderella kinda servitude, no! there’s no happy ever-after in her story. She’d grown up the realization that she could make money and get by, opening her legs and giving up her succulent blossoms to whoever has cash to pay. And she get paid in blank cheques for abuse by Money-Miss-Road Aristos; and in hard currencies for “sucking” up to foreigners. Lagos has a deep enough ditch to accommodate all sizes and shape. One deep ditch, and a pit she is, this Lagos.

Yes, Lagos is a whore. Isn’t “Strange Woman” a christian Euphemism for “Whore”? In Proverbs 23 verse 27 it is written that: “for a whore is a deep ditch: and strange woman is a narrow pit.” Lagos has not always been a “Strange Woman”, at least, we all have sundry knowledge of Lagos. I, and a few who fondly call her Lasgidi, had even had carnal knowledge of her, and are still doing. I don’t think we will stop anytime soon; we always come back to her. Lagos The Whore has got that pull, that irresistible attraction for us all- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; The Poor, The poorer, and The Poorest.

Spare me your moral uppity, Lagos isn’t exactly a proverbs 31 woman, she is The Whore of proverbs 23 who “lies in wait for her prey”. Sometimes, she sits at the door of her house on “New Grub Street”, like a dragon that guards a treasure trove, calling out to the gullible JJC saying “stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant”. It is her hustle. She has her oga to settle, who also has an oga to settle who also settles other ogas, all the way up to the Oliver Twisted Political agberus who holds the whole city in fiefdom. There is a cabal which run things in the gutter of a city we call home, where the Hustle is actually a battle of survival, where Money and Bullshit work together better than one alone.

Well, to my mind, if Lagos don’t change her ways (as if she can change) and get converted to a Proverbs 31 Woman, she may fall into ruins like ancient Rome, and only attract tourist and oglers. There seems to be hope for Lagos in Proverb 31 which goes, in verse 11: “the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil”. Talking about “spoil”. Her slogan always is “Eko ‘ni baje o!”

RIDING WITH A DOPED SEDUCTRESS

Said she liked the way I chew. I said “thank you”. Little did I know that, by that humble acknowledgment of her compliment, I was helping open a can of warm conversation. The red lip-sticked beauty seemed to have mastered the fine art of conversation. She was practically serenading me with that husky pillow-talky voice. Her voice, combined with the smoky, glazed squinting looks of her eyes, was a sexy turn-on for me. She was a soothing company, otherwise the frequency at which she mention Gala, man, and manhood should have rubbed me the other way.

It was 4:23 pm, it rained miserably on Victoria Island. We were sitting there in the half-filled LagBus for Obalende, at Eko Hotel round-about. It was way past my lunch time; I had left home that morning on empty save for the inevitable cuppa, before I dashed. The Lunch Meet with Frankie and co, I was hurrying to (jumping buses, dodging okadas, wearing out my the soles of my dress-shoes on the pavements) was over. I arrived late and missed the small chops and chapman and mineral waters. So I was just nibbling on Gala (packaged, doughy excuse for sausage roll) and that siren was watching me eat and bb. I liked the way she was looking across the seat at me. I won’t mind that nice face watch me jack-off. It is an inspiring heart-shaped face.

So we got talking, or she got talking, as I was really having a blue mood. We, rather she, talked about lotsa things. Her sentences were laced with so much innuendos, one could mistake her for a poet. Maybe she is, they way we took naturally to each other.

“Do you eat a lot ‘Gala’ sausage” she asked

“No, but when I need to grab a bite on the go, it comes handy”.

“Eating on the go-go, I prefer banana. Wow, nothing, I mean nothing in God’s good earth beats banana with lots of jeeeez. Lorda mercy, I need some right now. It’s expensive to buy on the Island. You know. Is it cheap in your end of downtown?. I feel weak with hunger, but Gala can’t do nothing for me…”

“Uh?”

“…you would think Gala, being shaped like that (pointing at the half-eaten Gala on my laps) would make a man strong. But give me banana, I will suck up to you for more.” She laughed, flashing a perfect set of white teeth, ringed by the big round “O” of her sensual red lips, her head tilting back. She has a beautiful neck from which a gold pendant hung on a thin neck-chain of gold. Her chain complemented the gold stud in her nose. I don’t know what gave me the idea, but I checked, and voila! She was wearing gold anklets too. I am sure she wore a thin gold gigida too. I was loving it more and more that time.

She bought two cans of Coca Cola and gave me one with sisterly advice to avoid artificially sweetened drinks; that it was a shame they removed the coke content from Coca Cola; to drink more Alomo Bitters- good for men, real men, works nearly as good as viagra. She never opened her own can of coke. I finished mine before we got to Obalende. It was yakety-yak all the way. But I can’t complain at all. Need I mention that she was sniffing, and dabbing at the dripping mucus from her nose all the way. The dot of drool at the corner of her mouth could have been painted there. I remember her saying she needed to smoke badly. Asked if I smoked. “Good for you. tobacco kills you for real. Smoke weed. it could save your life”. I was checking my notes- mental notes of the locations of the nearest, cheapest motel or brothel in Oshodi where I was headed, where i was sure she’ll be willing to come along.

We got to Obalende. The bus stopped to discharge all passengers. I missed my chance to get her contact. I am sure I didn’t impress her much, she would have volunteered it. It was rainy still, she dashed under a guys umbrella, and I found my head under a extra-plus-size, elderly lady’s umbrella. I should get my own umbrella next time. Because I became more miserable, being drenched in the pouring rain, hungry and horny too. Now this go-slow at Iyana- Iworo is getting on my already frayed nerves.

NEW GUIDE TO SAFE ABORTION BY WHO

It is in the reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) has purportedly issued specified guidelines for making abortion safe.

The following is the news as reported by Madu Onuorah et al; in The Guardian online news resource.

WHO issues safe abortion guidelines.

‘How to reduce cross-infections’

WORRIED about the rising cases of unsafe abortions due to unwanted pregnancies especially in developing nations such as Nigeria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released technical and policy guidance on the issue for health systems.

The WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research yesterday said it updated its first publication in 2003 in view of the need for evidence-based best practices for providing safe abortion care in order to protect the health of women.

According to the WHO, despite advances in health technologies, an estimated 22 million abortions continue to be performed unsafely each year, resulting in the death of an estimated 47 000 women and disabilities for an additional five million women.

The WHO document: “Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems,” noted that almost every one of these deaths and disabilities could have been prevented through sexuality education, family planning, and the provision of safe, legal induced abortion and care for complications of abortion.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said that improved hand hygiene practice would boost reduction in the high rate of cross-infections.

He stressed the significance for change in behaviour and attitude in the general population towards visible and invisible germs which prompt illness.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a national hand hygiene event, Chukwu who was represented by the Head, Family Health department, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale said that global hand hygiene efforts reduce associated infection and patient safety.

Chukwu noted that the theme: ‘Promoting hand hygiene, protecting national health and improving productivity,’ was a strategic direction towards qualitative, accessible and affordable healthcare.

http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/

COURT NULLIFIES JONATHAN’S ELECTION, THREATENS EDO POLLS

A recent ruling by the Federal High Court in Abuja against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and six others over the use of transparent ballot boxes has invalidated the election of President Goodluck Jonathan and the entire 2011 general election, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting is reporting.

In a judgment that has possible far reaching political implications for the current political dispensation, the court also threatens the conduct of the governorship election in Edo State scheduled for next month.

Ruling in a case instituted by Beddings Holdings Limited against INEC, Attahiru Jega, its chairman, the Registrar of Patents, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and four companies, Justice Adamu Bello declared that the electoral body used the transparent ballot boxes illegally without the consent of the valid patent owner.

Having established Beddings Holding Limited’s ownership of the patent rights to transparent ballot boxes and that they were used without the company’s permission, the court ruled that “any action or actions whatsoever and howsoever taken or purported to have been taken by the defendants relating to the said products without the prior and express license, consent, authority and/or approval of the plaintiff is unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful and is therefore Null and Void.”

Also, significantly, the court placed a perpetual injunction on anyone from using the transparent and collapsible ballot boxes without the consent, license or authority of the patent owner, thus putting the upcoming governorship election in Edo State in jeopardy.

Beddings holdings Limited instituted the case in January, 2011 shortly before the general elections alleging that the electoral body was planning to infringe on it patent rights on transparent ballot boxes.

The company took the action after INEC sought for bids for the supply of transparent ballot boxes for use during the polls.

Bedding Holdings told the court that it wrote the commission to inform it that it holds the patent rights to both collapsible and transparent ballot boxes in Nigeria and that its consent or license was required before they could be used for the elections.

However, the electoral body went ahead and awarded the contract for the supply of the ballot boxes to three companies. The firms are Emchai Limited, Tambco United Limited and Anowat Project and Resources Limited. The three companies and the attorney general are the other defendants in the suit by Bedding Holdings.

Subsequently INEC sought and got approval of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for the purchase of the ballot boxes.

The President presented the commission’s request to FEC through a memo dated November 15, 2010 in which he sought the council’s approval “for the award of contract for the supply of 150,000 units of Collapsible Transparent Ballot Boxes with pre-numbered security seals at N13, 000.00 each for the conduct of the 2011 General Elections, in favour of Messrs Emchai Limited, in the sum of N1, 950,000,000.00.”

In the memo, the president noted that the same company got the award of the contract for the supply of 300,000 collapsible transparent ballot boxes which were used for the 2007 election by INEC.

He went further to state that “Emchai Limited has the patent to its design and specifications” and that the commission decided to adopt the direct procurement method in the award of the contract to it “in order to maintain standardisation.”

After FEC approved the award of the contract, Bedding wrote a letter to the President dated November 25, 2010 wherein it informed him that is was the bona fide owner of the patent rights on collapsible transparent ballot boxes and that Emchai Limited and INEC had led him to misrepresent the facts put to FEC.

The company told the court that it got no response from the president.

Investigations show that, indeed the registrar of patents, a department in the ministry of commerce and industry, did issue Bedding Holdings a certificate of registration of patent rights No. RP 12994 and a certificate of industrial design rights No. RD 5946 for transparent ballot boxes on January 12, 1998. Again on November 7, 2006 the registrar of patents, which is now under the ministry of trade and investments, issued Bedding Holdings certificates of registration of patent right (No. RP 16642) and registration of industrial design (No. RD 13841) for an invention names electronic collapsible transparent ballot boxes.

However, the registrar of patent went ahead to issue the same patents to other companies without first invalidating the right of Bedding Holding. On October 14, 2010, it registered and issued a certificate of industrial design rights (No. NG/RD/2010/702) for the same invention, which it renamed Tambco ballot box, to Tambco United Nigeria Limited.

On the same day, the registrar equally issued a certificate of registration of industrial design (No. NG/RD/2010/708) for what it renamed collapsible transparent ballot boxes to Anowat Project and Resources Limited.

Interestingly, the two patents were issues to the companies in October, 2010 the month that INEC called for bids for the supply of transparent ballot boxes.

In its originating summons, Bedding Holdings asked the court to answer four questions and grant seven reliefs. The questions and prayers before the court were to determine and declare that its patent rights over both transparent ballot boxes and electronic collapsible ballot boxes subsist and that the others were illegally issued.

The company also sought a declaration that actions taken by the all the defendants relating to the ballot boxes without its consent, license or authority be declared unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful and therefore Null and Void.

In his judgment, Justice Adamu Bello observed that although all the parties were served with all the processes of the court, only the attorney general of the federation reacted through a memorandum of conditional appearance in which he asked its name to be struck out from the suit.

Agreeing that the attorney general had a basis for the request, the trial judge struck out his name from the suit.

Justice Bello observed that INEC, the Registrar of Patents and the other defendants did not file any processes before the court or make any appearance in spite of evidence that they were served.

He stated that he granted an order of substituted service on the three companies involved when the bailiff reported to the court that the addresses given to INEC by them were found to be either fake or nonexistent. The processes were then pasted on the notice boards of the federal high court, Abuja and the federal high courts in Lagos, Minna and Port Harcourt, the judicial jurisdiction of the firms.

The judge declared that “in the absence of any counter affidavit to controvert the plaintiff’s averments in the affidavit in support of the originating summons, those averments are deemed to be true.”

In his ruling, Justice Bello averred that the distinguishing features of the patents granted Bedding Holdings are that its boxes are transparent and collapsible and that its possesses exclusive rights over any ballot boxes with these specifications.

The judge also determined that the Registrar of Patents erroneously issued patent and design rights to Emchai Limited over Envopac Ballot Boxes in August 2006 instead of and Envoseal, a security plastic coated metal bolt seal, a situation which allowed it bid for supply of transparent ballot boxes.

Justice Bello therefore ruled that the plaintiff’s patent claims supersedes any other subsequently given, thereby rendering others patents issued on transparent or collapsible ballot boxes after Bedding Holdings’ null and void.

However, the two most significant declarations in the ruling are the voiding of all actions taken by the defendants concerning the transparent ballot boxes without the consent or authorisation of the plaintiff and the perpetual injunction restraining anybody from further using the transparent ballot boxes for any purpose without the consent or authorisation of Bedding Holdings.

The import of this is that the 2011 general elections which were conducted using collapsible ballot boxes have been voided while the Edo State governorship election slated for July can also not go on unless with the consent of Bedding Holding.

However, INEC dismissed the claim of Beddings Holding when our reporter sought the commission’s reaction to the court ruling and its implications for the last general elections.

Kayode Idowu, the commission’s spokesman claimed that the electoral body did not use the transparent ballot boxes referred to in the judgment for the 2011 election. He said therefore that the judgment could not in any way affect the 2011 election or the upcoming Edo polls.

Idowu also stated that the commission never knew of the court case until judgment was delivered, inferring that it was not served. He recalled that Bedding Holding had previously taken the electoral body to court in 2010 but hurriedly withdrew it only to institute the latest one.

Contrary to Idowu’s claims, however, court papers obtained by icirnigeria.org showthatINEC was, indeed, served all the court papers by the bailiff. The document shows that the legal the commission and its chairman were separately served in February 2011.

Besides, it is also not true that INEC did not use transparent boxes in the last elections. Apart from the fact that pictorial evidence abound of the commission’s use of transparent ballot boxes, the president’s memo and the approval of FEC were for the supply of transparent ballot boxes for the conduct of the 2011 election.

The Registrar of Patents in the commercial law unit of the ministry of trade and investments, who is in charge of patents and trademarks was unavailable for comments. Her secretary told our reporter that she was  away from the office and that she would not be able to speak on the matter as she resumed work only last March.

Also, Edet Oti, head of the legal team in the unit who was said to be conversant with the Bedding Holding case who was also away in Lagos declined speaking on the matter. He told our reporter that he could not speak unless he got permission from the registrar and that that would take over a week.

However, a source in the Registrar’s office who knows about the case informed recollected that Bedding Holding did write a letter to the office complaining of the issuance of another patent for transparent ballot boxes to another firm.

The source said that a tribunal in the office sat on the petition and ruled against Bedding Holding. According to the source, a decision was given to grant all the companies what he termed “concurrent patent rights.”

Explaining why patents were issued to the other companies only following INEC’s calls for bids for the supply of transparent ballot boxes, the source said that it was done because of the timeframe for the elections and to meet the commission’s requirements.

“We did that as a matter of public policy because of the exigency of time because INEC appealed to us that it had a time frame. So we had to meet INEC’s requirements because it said that only one company would not be able to supply the number of ballot boxes it required for the 2011 elections.”

Although INEC does not regard the ruling as posing any threat to the coming elections in Edo State, an Abuja based lawyer, Abdul Mahmud, observed that “if there is an injunctive relief barring INEC from using the boxes because patent rights belong to Bedding, INEC would have to discharge that relief aspect of the judgment.

Another lawyer, however, said that because of the declaratory nature of the reliefs granted bedding, “The ruling cannot be stayed by a court of first instance and the appellate court, meaning that INEC cannot use thepatented product for any election while any appeal lasts”

June 20th, 2012 by zebbook

Follow this link for more:

http://omojuwa.com accessed, June 20, 2012