Tag Archives: Africa

Nature as God

A sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

William Wordsworth

I am always astounded, amazed and left breathless when I reflect on nature. Nature creates nurtures and sustains all of us. It continuously gives of itself and requests nothing in return. Nature was here before us and will be after we have left the scene.

My amazement for nature soared to a new height today when I came across certain plants that have characters that are beyond belief. From the tree that blooms once every hundred years to another that can store up to 100,000 liters of water in its trunk. These plants show up a side of nature little considered. And that is its ability to endure.

The baobab : There are 9 known species, of these 6 are native to Madagascar, 2 are native to mainland Africa and the Arabian peninsula and 1 is native to Australia. Now comes the fun part. They are known to grow as high as 30 meters and have trunk diameters as much as 11 meters.  The largest known baobab tree today has a circumference of 34m at chest level. They store water in their trunk and because of drought conditions can store as much as 100,000L (26000 US gallons) of water. That is slightly above the volume of water in a standard 20ft by 30ft by 5ft swimming pool. As of 2010 the potential international market for consumer products made from seeds or dried fruit powder from this tree was put at 1billion dollars per year.

The Madagascar Palm: Surprisingly only discovered in 2008. It is known to die after fruiting. What is even more amazing is the fact that it flowers only once every 100 years. Interestingly there are fewer than 100 Madagascar palms in existence today.

The Night Blooming Cereus: It is known to flower after a year’s growth, but to catch a glimpse of its flower has always been tricky. This is because it only blooms at night.

There are so many other interesting plants that nature has sustained and nurtured over the millennia. From the Venus fly trap to the Sheep-eating plant, from the Chinese bamboo( which takes 5 years to germinate and when it does it grows up to 90m in 5 months) to the kurinji plant that blooms once every 12 years. The list is endless.

All of them evidence of nature’s ability to spawn rare beauties that we may never fully comprehend. Why then is it so difficult to relate with nature in a mutually beneficial way, when all it does is give without counting the cost.

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My Perfect Country

I want to tell you about my country a place where I love so much and in telling you about my country, I want to make you jealous enough; to want to be my fellow countryman/woman.

I am from a country where the definition of egalitarian society is lived not merely chanted, a country where social equality is our mantra for living. In my country there is no disparity between the rich and the poor because everybody has enough, there is no section for the elite and another for the commoner because everybody is an elite.

In my country, seeking for political office is not for self aggrandizement but to make a difference in the polity. Our government is kind and provides for the citizens what they need in terms of social amenities, social welfare, health benefits to the vulnerable and others. We know the entitlements of our political office holders in my country and there is no bickering about what a member of parliament earns or which political office holder is entitled to a severance package and all such nonsense. In my country politics is not a pensionable career path.

In my country elections are free and fair, as a matter of fact the just concluded general elections were declared as such by international observers. We don’t engage in violence during elections and fraud is not found in our electoral practices. In my country it is “one man one vote” and “your vote always counts”.

My country is a major crude oil producer and so we don’t lack petrol for our cars or cooking gas for our kitchens. Aviation fuel is never in short supply and airlines have taken cognizance of that to reduce airfares both within and outside the country. Our refineries are working at optimum capacity and so we don’t export crude oil to import refined products. That is not my country.

In the oil producing areas in my country it is like heaven on earth. The oil companies give a new meaning to corporate social responsibility. There are no oil spillages and the ecological environment is adequately maintained. Indigenes are placed on scholarships from primary to tertiary education at the expense of these companies and even after graduation they are given preferential treatment in employment into these companies. The communities have state of the art health facilities and schools among other things provided by these companies that make billions of dollars from these communities.

In my country all the roads are tarred, not just roads in the nation’s capital. There are functional and strategically placed street lights on the roads, traffic lights are at every intersection and no one dares run a red light because we are a cultured people. When you are driving on the roads in my country, you will not see refuse heaps anywhere as the refuse trucks pass every morning to collect refuse from our homes and every last Saturday of the month we have the environmental sanitation where we clean our environments not just our homes.

In my country we don’t know what is called workers strike, neither do we understand when you say workers are  owed salaries for work done ,for the last couple of months. Salaries are paid as at when due and allowances are increased based on the countries inflation rate even before workers conceive of the notion for salary increase. Because of this there is no labor union in my country because the efficiency of the system has rendered the union redundant. In my country we truly exemplify the fact that government exists for the people and not the people for government.

In my country Lady Justice does not tie her eyes with a scarf; she pays attention to see that nobody dupes another of justice and that none will lay false claims. She is vigilant and proactive going after those who go against the charter of existence (constitution) with vengeance. For these reasons and more we enjoy her with her eyes wide open. Everybody is afraid of her even judges do not give rulings based on sentiments or the potential for personal gain. In my country if you are corrupt justice will take its course irrespective of who you are or whose interests you represent. There are no sacred cows or goats for Lady Justice.

In my country you never see elected officials travel in a convoy of dozens of cars or go for international gatherings with an over bloated list of delegates and aides. The most an elected official gets is a two car convoy and security escort and even that is for the top echelon of officials. Last Sunday I even saw my State governor come to church with just a car and his security detail. That is my country

In my country people take responsibility for their actions and don’t pass the blame to another person. When there is a failure in government somebody speaks up on the why and how and takes responsibility for it. Because of this we don’t waste money investigating crimes because the culprit always owns up to the crime.

In my country there are no ethnic differences, no north or south, no Muslim or Christian. In my country there is only the competent and the efficient where leadership or service is by competence not by zoning or who or where you represent. In my countries’ charter of existence there is no anti-developmental phrase like federal character or pro-criminal clause like immunity from prosecution for elected officials.

My country is awesome and I invite you to join me in celebrating my country Nigeria, giant of Africa and largest black nation on earth.