Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

January 25, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 10:00 am
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Hallos!
@Hl_Blue, shared Green Nation I with us all last year, a government of plants, a story of feuds and a fierce will to surmount survival. A fierce will to be king of a world that we’re a part of but oblivious to.
 
Welcome to Green Nation II which is so much more!

 

...Gang Green Gang...

 
Fear was not an emotion familiar to us. Our kindred community had survived the ravages of countless adversities to emerge as the fourth largest tribe in the Plant Kingdom. We could look back on our historical wars with green pride. But this… this was… different. Not the end of life, but the end of life as we knew it.
 
For three days the sun could not shine through. The column of invaders, who ironically derived their name from our family, continued to move slowly overhead, obliterating everything remotely edible in its path. In their millions they fell at intervals to devour, no, ravage and rape anything in the likeness of a plant. Stems, barks, and shallow roots disappeared in seconds. It was enough to sway the resolve of our figurehead ruler, the Bamboo. Yes, sway was the word, for we the Grass did not shake. Let Mother Nature howl and curse and rage. We would sway, bend, dance in the storm even, but we would never break, shake or be felled.
 
When the multi-mile horde was exhausted and sated, they decided to move on. They behaved like us because they fed on us. They had no ruler, but they advanced without breaking rank. When one decided it was time to move on, everyone decided at the same time. And after the action was taken, no one knew who had initiated it. No one would even care either way. This was no monarchy as with the Oaks or the four-footed simpletons who wandered by from time to time. Together we faced our issues, and together we had always overcome. Until now…
 
The landscape looked almost as deserted as the Sahara which lay just to the North. No, it was not the grasshopper horde that gave us major concern. It was the Sand to the north, the Sahara. Rumors of its approach had chilled the stems of even the most perennial among our tribe. Would we ever wake up from a catastrophe as huge as the barren Sand? The attempts we had made to bolster our defenses against the encroaching Sand had just suffered a most terrible setback – The grasshopper horde. Why we had neglected to focus on climate alteration efforts we had no idea. Wind control was not a fully developed weapon in our arsenal because we never imagined we would ever need to be so drastic as to sweep away a grasshopper horde with column dimensions in miles. The timing of their invasion, at the beginning of the Harmattan season, was as awful as it could get. The last tears of the preceding twin daughter of Climate, the Wet Season, had fallen just last week. We would not see Wet for the next eight full moons. Harmattan would be our Tyrannical Guide to sure extinction.
 
Perhaps the Grass actually needed a Benevolent Master. This abominable thought was silently whispered and even made possible just because of the humbling news of the utter devastation of our North American cousins, the LongStems of the Great Prairie. Their pride before such disgraceful disaster was a silent lesson to us that perhaps in the evolving world, we the Grass might be forced to adopt outlandish survival ideas. We would need to sway really low to conquer.
 
Behavior modification was our forte. We commanded the mobile neighbors to do our bidding in the annihilation of our pretender plant species. Plants would not easily yield to our forceful persuasions so we were left with the four-footed and six-legged creatures that came to derive sustenance from us. From the ants to the elephants, we ruled their minds and made them think they were in control whereas they were not. When our spores penetrated the heads of the ants, they would feel the sudden need for shade, hobbling over to the nearest leafy enemy to take shelter while our spores overloaded their miniscule imaginations with hallucinatory images of endless rivers of sugar and honey. They happily died with their mandibles securely fastened in a death grip on the undersides of the leaves of our competitors. Even the windstorm would not knock them off this vice-like hold. When our spores matured, the rich nutrients of the ant carcass would be ample food, until we could exert direct parasitic influence on those dregs of plant society known as the Leaf.
 
The boastful thoughts of our domination were necessary for our morale and the clear thinking needed to surmount our present challenge. So we continued to reminisce, turning our collective consciousness to the largest moving land animals – The Elephants. The introduction of a few tannins into their diet converted them to the most loyal of subjects. So gullible were these beasts! They immediately obeyed our instructions to push down the tall trees providing shade for our leafy pretenders to high plant society. The high dehydration rate resulting from exposure to the Sun meant only the true plants would survive, ensuring perpetuation of the Order of the Grass without competition from the Leaf. Did the elephants realize they could cool themselves under the shade of the very trees they pushed down? No! They believed what we told them and threw dust and clods of earth over their backs instead, helping propagate our spores while imagining they were cooling themselves. Yes, when the Grass fought, the elephants suffered.
 
But for the present trial we would need to hunt fairer game. The Buffalo came by in their search for food. Would they be able to serve a purpose superior to what we had commanded from others? One particular member of their species appeared restless and eager to be leader. His surefootedness did not subtract from our open disgust at his ignorant quest for competition. When would these walking creatures, one and all, realize that world domination would only be achieved by the species that most demonstrated its unity of mind and purpose sans competition?! Surefoot had engaged the head of his buffalo clan, Widowmaker, in a fight almost to the death over a fair cow-buffalo who showed no signs of caring about the outcome. The fight was brief. The Widowmaker retained his position as head of the flock, while banishment was decreed for Surefoot with no possibility of return or parole. Who made these barbaric rules?!
 
We watched the spectacle of the wandering young bull with interest, sensing that Mother Nature was about to slip us a message through this unfolding scene. Somehow we could not see Surefoot fitting into any of our plans as yet. But we noticed some new actors on our stage. We had not seen their kind before. They walked on two legs and made sounds like the clap of thunder, sounds at which birds took to flight and herds of buffalo and giraffes turned to flee. Even the elephants tacitly acknowledged their power. So these were the humans we had heard so many stories of, the very same humans whose cultivation and settlement activities had brought the LongStems of the Great American Prairie to naught. They appeared arrogant, irreverent, and aware of their surroundings. They walked as though they owned the whole world. We could not see any physical signs that these weak creatures were the perpetrators of all the heinous deeds that had been ascribed to them by the silent whispers and rumors borne by the wind to our collective ears. Apparently, they ruled the world by some superior intelligence and their flagrant disregard for nature.
 
The plot thickened. Surefoot was being challenged by the two-legged demon intruders. Thunder sounded in abnormally quick succession from these two humans as Surefoot charged madly at one of them unswervingly. The human was tossed sky-high on Surefoot’s horns and did not survive. His partner was forced to flee while Surefoot continued his mad flight of fear and survival far off into the distance.
 
The lesson was obvious. We had found the new mental slaves for catering to our needs in the new dispensation. Not the buffalo. Those dumb beasts knew nothing compared to the gods of thunder. The humans would do a good job. We would teach them what to do. They would study us. They would find out what we needed. They would reseed and replant us. They would churn the soil to soften it for our roots. Even hostile environments would be made hospitable. We would make them believe their future as a species, nay the whole planet as a whole, depended massively on our survival. And survive we would, as we had for countless millennia before now. After all, we remained the Grass of Green Nation.
 
 
Notes
 
Pretender – one who aspires to an office above his/her perceived status
 
 
@HL_Blue shares his art here. Please visit.
 
 

 

Gift & Curse January 17, 2012

The year has put on new clothes.
ThatDarkBetty and thatAfroSays, we bid you enjoy her fashions.

 

Enter @Osizurunkle

Art has long since provided us a means to appreciate, understand and interpret our surroundings and circumstances, a form of social commentary.

 

The tradition continues:
@afromysterics, @CavalierSlim, @xoAFRO

One painting, slightly different perceptions;

 
 
 

THE GIFT & CURSE
(Kindly allow the images to load, also preferably viewed on a PC)
 
 
Section 1

 

 

@afromysterics:

Some of the key players in the matter; GEJ intentions unclear, wearing what seems to be a joker’s mask

IMF (can you see their logo?), a head seeming to come forth from the logo, whispering, appearing to give orders to Okonjo; who is listening. Eyes closed, appearing to be blind to the suffering of her people, her environment…

The child, representative of the people, crying in anguish because of the future he/they see(s)…bleak

Can you see the logos of two major oil companies?

 

@CavalierSlim:

NOI with the star where her heart should be, signifying her good intentions.

GEJ with the mask, putting on a strangely brave face in the presence of turmoil and chaos

The masses, crying and angry, bewildered by the actions of the government, unable to comprehend a seemingly futuristic action…ignorance, the bane of the ordinary man. (as seen by the sad face beside NOI and the dumb-looking man, holding up the placard, respectively)

A cacophony of violence and diverse interests, fighting for the soul of Nigeria, while its innate strength lies dormant and weakened (signified by the sad horse)

 

 

 

Section 2

 

 

@afromysterics:

Crude- a source of joy and pain,a gift & curse since 1956

The Coat of ‘Alms’ (begging for attention)

 

 

 

Section 3

 

 

@afromysterics:

Fela…Afrobeat

He was a prophet in his own right. His music; the soundtrack of the current agitation.

(This section of the piece also expresses religious conflicts between Islam and Christianity, the murder carried out in the name of God…)

 

@CavalierSlim:

The timeless conflict that religion inevitably concocts, causing the death of so many and setting the nation on edge. An explosive situation, literally. All happening, with fela’s music remains the soundtrack in the quest for freedom and equity.

 

 

 

Section 4

 

 

A bomb. 2015; the predicted expiration date of the entity called NGR, an eye; watching…

 

 

 

Section 5

 

 

TUC, NLC, Save Nigeria, Enough is Enough, people protesting for a return to N65, fists representative of the Occupy Nigeria movement.

 

 

 

Section 6

 

 

@afromysterics:

A phone,megaphones, guns, social networking sites and the war being waged on the internet…the people being given a voice of sorts, an avenue to vent/vocalize their thoughts…

The ‘I-better-pass-my-neighbor ‘ generator powering all this…’NEPA’

 

@CavalierSlim:

Twitter and facebook…the chief culprits through which propaganda is spread from every angle, setting a technology-savvy generation on fire, seeing only half-truths and shadows…they need light…figuratively and literally.

 

 

 

The piece in full

 

 

@afrosays:

Ha!
 
They go to church, they ask, “Give us a prophecy!”
 
They have stopped coming to visit me, their clothes are too clean for my mats and their noses are too urban, too stilted for the modest smell of nature.
 
Every year, they hear the same things over and over again:
 
This is your year of breakthrough! This is your year of renewed anointing!
 
How are they so blind that they cannot see the play of hands? How are they so carried away that they are not aware that the year listens to no man’s speculations?
 
The year listens to their actions, individually; the year listens to the consequence of these gathering drops in the ocean. The year is the resultant wave, riding on the combined ripples of their decisions, their activities, although some ripples are weightier than others.
 
Sha,
 
Whether they come to consult me or not, the charcoal would talk about them.  Spiritual Amebo[0].
 
Whether they seek the truth or not, in black gold it is evident. Spiritual Gbeborun[0].
 
I see,
 
The circles are distorted and the ripples dance before me, telling a story that is not altogether hidden from you if you cared to open your eyes.
 
Mmmm,
 
Shey you want to know where it starts? Is it not in the center of it all? Look at that beast of burden, enjoying himself on a bed of flowers…
 
 Him brother no see palmi[1] drink but him no go give am. Palmwine sef dey, ‘Gorodom[2]’ dey. Them talk say na oyel[3] money, say na for all of us, why them dey laugh and we dey cry?
 
Fela, he talked about it all and his words ring true today, as true as they rang back then, in rhythm with the sound of the beads that shook on the jiggling waists of his dancers. Abami…
 
Archbishop na enjoyment, Pope na enjoyment, Imam na gbaladun[4]… Our people too dey fear… Our leaders them be bad people… Suffering and smiling
 
Shey you see the next ripple? Look above the center, it is the consequence of the activities of the leaders that we elected, it is the consequence of our own choices…
 
My people dey suffer: Bomb dey blow, we leaders no hear! We dey cry, we leaders no hear! Oga president no see our face, na joke joke masquerade him use take cover face! Madam minister no see hear our cry, na oyinbo dey give am advice! Bomb dey blow! Man dey cry!
 
And the ripples after? Just above?
 
Suffer dey but we must talk! Enough is enough, We must to save Nigeria! Whether court talk say make we no cry, na as e pain us we go cry! Whether Labour talk say make we quiet small, na as e pain us, we go shout! Enough is Enough!
 
My people, the charcoal dust swirls, observe the whorls. The voice of the people is their armament. Look at the final ripples, the voice of the multitude, the cry of the people…
 
Bullhorn na we grenade launcher! All ojoro[5] must die by fire! Thunder must to strike all the cabal them! No be our money?  No be our oyel? Twitter soldier man, Facebook air marshall, Broadcaster-in-chief, General street protester, all of we come together. We no fit use all our salary enter molue[6] go work; we no fit put all our sweat inside one twenty-five leetah[7] jerry can, pour am for moto. NEPA no dey, PHCN talk say make we buy candle but Mama Bomboy talk say candle don cost. Our voice na we gun! Our shout na we shakabula[8]!
 
Enough is Enough!
 
 
 
Words employed

  1. Amebo/Gbeborun – Gossip/ Eavesdropper
  2. Palmi – Palm Wine
  3. Gorodum – Oil drums
  4. Oyel – Crude oil
  5. Gbaladun – Enjoyment
  6. Ojoro – Corruption
  7. Molue – Dilapidated mass transit bus
  8. Leetah – Litre
  9. Shakabula – Double barreled Pump action rifle.

 
 

The piece is titled Gift & Curse and done with charcoal on pastel by Laolu Senbanjo

Go to www.laolusenbanjo.com to see more of the artist’s work and follow the handle @afromysterics on twitter, also like laolu senbanjo on facebook.

 

 
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