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Inspire. Motivate. Laugh. Love….. Your Guilty Pleasure. ♥


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A Different Order of Reality

Chinua Achebe Post-it

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

The “father of modern African writing”, Chinua Achebe (born Albert Chínụálụmọ̀gụ̀ Àchèbé), best known to the world as the amazing writer of Things Fall Apart, passed away on Friday 22 March, 2013, after a brief illness, at the age of 82. He was born and raised in the Igbo town of Ogidi, Nigeria and began writing as a university student. Soon after graduation, he did a bit of teaching and then he worked for the National Broadcasting Corporation, a faction of the British Broadcasting Company and later helped create the Voice of Nigeria network.

Achebe was not just the writer of such amazing novels as No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987), but also penned poetry, essays, short stories and even children’s books, all based in his native land, Nigeria. What I think most people first fell in love with in his writing was that he painted a real and beautiful picture of Nigeria and Africa, to a world that, up to that point, had been largely ignorant to the reality of what it was like to be African and in Africa.

Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela

Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela

Some of his stories were set in the Nigeria before independence from British colonial rule, and so they allowed a view into what it was like living in a time when Nigeria didn’t belong to the Nigerians. This included themes revolving around the conflict felt by Nigerians in a time of both traditional African culture and invasive Western values, the bloody civil wars that plagued Nigeria and the pain felt by the Ibo nation of South-Eastern Nigeria from the brutality of military dictators from other Nigerian ethnic groups.

Things Fall Apart was his first novel, published in 1958, and has since sold millions of copies and been translated into over 50 languages. It was the most widely read book in modern African literature, and like most of his subsequent works, this is set in the Ibo countryside and is most loved for its detailed descriptions of the Ibo life, culture and traditions. It went on to become a classic of world literature, something which was virtually unheard of in African literary circles.

Chinua Achebe 2008, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Chinua Achebe 2008, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

In 1998, Nadine Gordimer hailed Achebe as “a novelist who makes you laugh and then catch your breath in horror – a writer who has no illusions but is not disillusioned. From his writing, Achebe became more than just a writer, but also a political activist. He was noted for aiming his criticisms, not only at British colonial rule, but also at African leadership and the citizens who tolerated their corruption and dictatorship.

He has spent most of his adult life living in exile in the United States of America, working as a University Professor, but came back to Nigeria briefly, to be involved in the politics of the independence and rejoining the of the region of Biafra from Nigeria. He soon became frustrated with the levels of corruption and decided to take himself out of the equation, then a car accident left him disabled, so he moved back to the US.Chinua Achebe Post-it2

His most recent work was There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, which is a memoir of the new nation that was Biafra, told from Biafra’s cultural ambassador. It tells of the Nigerian civil war (The Biafran War) during which Achebe was a roving cultural ambassador able to observer the full horror. It was soon after this that he moved back to the US and has since maintained somewhat of a silence on the events of the war, aside from an interview with Transition magazine, only referring to it through his poetry.

He is most remembered for his unique style of writing, which showed his keen satire, his heavy reliance on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs and oratory.

The literary world has lost a great mind and an even better writer.

RIP Chinua Achebe.

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Body Beautiful

There are few artistic expressions that can really move me.

1. Music… A beautiful song (and voice) can take me from 0 to 100 in all different directions and leave me sitting on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro at sunset.

2. Literature… The way the simple arrangement of words can turn something ordinary into something extraordinary never ceases to amaze and enthral me. I love the written word. I love the spoken word. I love words in languages I cannot, as of yet, understand. I love words. Period.

3. Photography… When done right, a picture really does speak a million words. It can take your breath away and mesmerise you, and you can’t even explain why that is. Some pictures make you want to just stare at them for hours and just that, is enough to make you smile.

 

So anywho… Just felt like sharing some pics specifically relating to the human body and spirit, that have recently caught my attention and my imagination.

* I apologize in advance for not being able to cite all the creators, I have come across these pics at the most random of moments and in a myriad of places, so I have not been able to do due diligence in this regard.

 

 

 


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INKED

I’ve had my mind set on getting “tatted up”, as they say in the cool circles, for a while now, but never had the time, the design and the money to go through with it. So now the time has finally come. I have searched through the mounds of ideas in my mind (realising in the process that I might end up the subject of my parents’ over-tattooed nightmares), isolated the favourites, gotten the money together and I’m ready.

But there is always a lot to consider when you are making the decision to get a tattoo. As tempting as it is to just ignore all these considerations, you might want to give them a glance over.

First, is your family and friends, and their opinion of your decision. For some people, this is a pretty big thing and they might have some pretty strong reactions to your choice.

Second, is your boss and co-workers if not clients. This might be a pretty big one, especially if you work or you ever plan on working, as it might become an issue in the industry or company of your choice. A tattoo might be the thing standing in your way of getting your dream job, as there are some industries that just won’t accept this type of thing. In such a situation, you might want to place your tattoo in an area of your body where it can be hidden when the need arises.

Third, is how many you will get, where you will get them, and where you will draw the line. From what I’ve heard, the process or the having of the tattoo can become addictive to some people and it’ll help when you need to make sure you don’t go too far to decide beforehand where you will stop.

Fourth, and it think this might apply to just me, but can a young black girl get a tattoo and still be accepted by, say, a conservative black mother in law? Will she see me as a wild, crazy whore leading her darling son into hell?

Hahahaha…Well all this nonsense aside, tattoos are still an art form, one which, when you do it right, turns out to look pretty amazing.

Here are a few ideas for the ladies:

      

             

             

             

             

     

– @MS_Mandi