August

The first time I heard the phrase “August visitor” I was quite young and it set me a-wondering… first off, we were not in the month of August so, why would my Mum refer to the person who came around as an “August visitor”? Secondly, the person who Momma referred to was someone we got to see now and then so why the use of the phrase?… Well, it’s taken me years but I’ve come to understand that the phrase is used to describe an unexpected but very welcome visitor.

What got me on this line of thought yesterday is the fact that July had come to an end and it was ushering in a special month for me – special because August is full of special memories for me so much so that it seems August is my very personal December… or January.

So, the day dawned bright and beautiful and ushered with it memories from the day I birthed our 2nd son, Oloche. I remember it like it was yesterday… I remember being in the hospital 3 days before his delivery… A foley catheter had been inserted to induce delivery and so with fingers crossed, the countdown began… the 29th of July came and went… so did the 30th and 31st… That big bundle of a miracle came strolling in on the 1st of August 2013 and so continued the wonderful journey of motherhood… Today, he is 5 and oh my, my heart is full of gratitude.

Oloche

I’ll take us back a bit… 15 years ago, as a jambite in the University, I met an amazing lady who has come to be a dear, dear sister. She celebrates her birthday every 16th August and 2 years ago, on the 1st of August, she gave birth to a little prince charming (Yeah I know, some friendships are sealed in heaven😎😊).

My dear friend Kc and her son, Sammy

The gist continues… 20-something years ago, my Mother’s brother’s wife (I am Nigerian😋) gave birth to a chubby little princess who was all red when I first laid eyes on her… it was instant love (That happens when you’ve pleaded with your Mom for a sister all your own and it hasn’t happened and you’re stuck in the middle of two boys 🙍🙍). Well, this miracle happened in the month of August – the 23rd and to me, that was my miracle of the little sister I had always wanted… she’s 20-something now and keeps making me a really proud and greatful big sister.

My ‘baby’ sister😍

Finally, 2 years ago, I was heavily pregnant around this time… the end of the gist is this: Our littlest miracle -Enenche came on the 30th of August 2016. B and I always joke about how we have one son who ‘opens’ and another who ‘shuts’ the month of August.

Enenche, Circa 2017

So, you see, the month of August is not just any month for me. It’s a month where I get to recount God’s faithfulness time and again… not just to me but to those so dear to my heart.

To my sons Salem and Sammy, Happy, Happy Birthday! To you dear reader, may this month usher in a newness for you which will birth memories worth remembering and being thankful for…

P.S:
Did I mention that August means respected and Impressive? Well it does! Do have an excellent August.

I love you all.

Zara Obaa

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Random Thoughts

“I wonder what time it is?”… I reach for my phone and check the time. “…Thank you Lord for a brand new day…”  Go warm water…wake the boys…bathe them… Almost like clock work, this is how most of my mornings begin…

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Photo Credit : pixabay.com

Obaa… a good book… a verse… social media… food… Echo… friends… smiles… laughter… hysterical… anger… calm… quiet…. Oloche….memories… my Mum… special woman… soft spots… beauty… quotable quotes… cries… Enenche… my siblings… fond memories… silliness… photos… games… play hard… excercise… warm… hot… cold… December… dreams… happy…Ideas… Time Out With Zara… my birthday… Thirty something :):):)… where did the time go?… Christmas… Sleep in… ponder… my Saviour… Love, wide as the ocean… 2018… what’s next?

Just in case you’re wondering what’s going on… 😁😁😁 There’s no cause for alarm. It’s just amazing to me how the mind works and how the heart ‘carries’ all it does. Sometimes,  it’s as though I’m thinking of a gazillion and one things (yeah, right?) and they are all inter-related.

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Photo Credit : pixabay.com

What then do I do with all these thoughts? Keep them I guess… for at the end of the day,  I am the sum of all my thoughts put together. The one thing I’m going to do though is to keep them true… pure… noble… just… of good report… I sure will try… God helping me.

Well, it’s a Monday morning and I’d like to put all these thoughts coming at me to good use… Do have a great week.

Zara Obaa.

P.s
The Echo in the second paragraph is a noun i.e, the name of a person… my son. It should not be taken as an echo ???

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For The Love Of Abacha (African Salad)

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It had been years when we last met. Our friendship began back in the University-2003… This was 2017. We had not seen for a long, long time and suddenly, here she was. She came down for a visit… we quickly began catching up on old times. Sharing laughter, remembering incidents that happened back in school and telling ourselves how young and foolish we had been?. Days later, Nana said she had plans to prepare Abacha for dinner. I was like ‘say what?’ She had poked my interest… “Babe, where did that skill come from?” She begins another gist of an aspect of her service year in Imo State where she learnt the fine art of eating and preparing Abacha. Me, I go ‘Issokay, just keep a plate for me to try it out”. She did and I enjoyed every spoon I chewed and swallowed. Need I tell you how I learnt to prepare Abacha before Nana left? Or is it how I have become an advocate for the establishment of the Ministry of Abacha???… You see ehn, this my gist is going an interesting way…

My friend Nana is a Gombe girl from North Eastern Nigeria. Abacha is a very Igbo meal from the Eastern parts of our great country and Nana did ‘discover’ it and liked it enough to learn it. It didn’t stop there. She has spread the goodness of Abacha and I a Middle belter who has never really experienced the Eastern parts of our country has come to appreciate this fine and healthy meal (and trust me, after eating a plate of Abacha, your appreciation for Igbo people will increase???). There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from a plate of Abacha. If you’re presently raising your brows and going ‘hunh’, do come along with me…

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The fine flakes of the cassava which come in different shapes and sizes tell me that though we (Nigerians) may all be of different shapes, sizes or even colors, we are all hewn from one stone- the One who made us all.

I do not know what uba is. I have no idea where it comes from or how it was gotten but the flavor and taste it brings to the Abacha mix makes me want to keep going for more. Same with us as a people. We are as unique as uba is.

Palm oil does the job of binding all ingredients in Abacha together. We need some palm oil upon us as a nation. Just so we can be bound together in unity.

Don’t even let me start on the smoked fish and pomo, garden egg and the leaves of course, not forgetting utazi whose bitterness says “not everytime sweet, sometimes bitter too” and then pepper, crayfish and some seasoning… hmmm, all of these are stand alone ingredients which are not so nice on their own but when they are all put together in the Abacha mix… reminds me of the saying “united we stand, divided we fall”… Nigeria has a long way to go but if only we’ll let ourselves come together like Abacha, , we’ll get there faster… For me though, one thing I have learnt from eating Abacha is this: tolerance is key… if we do want to rise above our varied differences as nation and forge ahead, then we have got to learn to tolerate all of our differences… I also do look forward to Nana’s next visit. I might just be learning something new…;)

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How I Met Your Daddy

Dear Son(s),
Knowing well that the day draws near when you’ll be asking me how I met your dad, I decided to put it in writing just so you’d always have the narrative with you and hopefully pass it on to your own children…? so, here goes…

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

It was a windy december night in the ancient town of Zaria- December 9th 2005 precisely. Aunty Degirl’s wedding was to take place the following day, so as you can imagine, Mama’s house was full. I was to be a bridesmaid and so I was looking forward to slaying in my new bridal dress(It was actually a skirt with a sleeveless top- grey, if memory serves me right). I and another bridesmaid had been told that we’d be taking the groomsmen to their sleeping quarters whenever they arrived earlier in the day, so we thought they’d show up by seven-ish but they didn’t. Time went by quickly as we were busy doing a gazillion and one things(seriously?), I got exhausted and by the time I checked my time, it was 11pm. What!!! We told ourselves they had probably done another arrangement for themselves so we found ourselves a nice little corner(better called space) in the sitting room and started snoring away (yes oh, the sleep of a tired woman can be like that?).

About a minute later (you know how it is when you just closed your eyes and someone wakes you up 30 mins later, it would seem you’d only shut your eyes for a minute), I hear my Mum saying ‘Eli, ku tashi ku kai su, sun itso'( Elizabeth, wake up and take them- the groomsmen- they’re here). I was grudgingly waking up when I felt the full light of a torch on my face??? with the words “the girl na fine girl oh… Make nobody toast her. Na my own be this!” In my mind I was like “biko, who is this one????” And I was fuming but since my Mum was there, (before Mrs. Yaro will think university has wiped off all my home training), I quietly got up and off we went… The guy didn’t leave me alone. He kept on talking the entire way to the guest house… And my face was a mixture of anger, irritation and disbelief at his confidence and corkiness… To cut a long story short son, that was the beginning of a beautiful story and like your Dad will say, look where all my shakara has brought me- right into his house.
Why I’m sharing this with you today is because I learnt from your Dad never to write off a person from the first meeting. I’ve also learnt never to flash light on someone just waking up from a deep sleep at night???. So son(s), whatever you do, whenever you meet Miss. Right, never ever flash a light in her face! She might just be another Zara???

I love you muchos son(you can always get other details whenever you want to…

Your Mama,
Zara??????

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When Silence Is Bliss

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It’s 6pm-ish. B just stepped out with the boys – all three of them… The house is quiet, more of silent but somewhere in my mind, I’m dancing to a tune that is oh so mine… Oh the bliss… Moments like this are all mine. Mine to dream away… Mine to enjoy… Mine to…do whatever it is I want to do. So, I pick up my phone and type away…nothing in particular. Just to ‘pen’ down a note, an ode to silence? No, rather, a “Thank You Lord.” For children, who keep my home ‘alive’. For B,? (yep, that’s Mr. Obaa), for a gazillion reasons. For silence, it spurs my creativity. For the cool weather, it makes me think of tea. For tea, it warms my insides and reminds me to be thankful for warmth ???. For… Oh well, the Obaa clan is back… Back to being Mommy to my 3 amazing generals and as always, being Zara…

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Much Ado About Expectations

Circa 2009. That’s me walking down the aisle

I remember walking down the aisle and I remember thinking: “I hope our cake is ready?” (? What were you thinking?)… Thing was, while preparing for our wedding, we had made an order for our cake and somehow, till the wedding morning, I did not hear from the baker, not from my lack of trying to reach her though. So, there I was, wondering what I’d do if the cake didn’t turn up while thinking up all sorts of things to say to the baker… The cake did come… I met it as I was dancing into the reception venue and I was not happy. Now, question is, why am I sharing this? It’s because I got thinking about life and the people in mine and it hit me how most times we have expectations from people or events or things and when they don’t work out the way we think they should or ought to, we are dissapointed. Now, is it wrong to expect things from people or events or things? My immediate answer is no. However, I add to that, it depends on what it is you’re expecting. I share another story…

Photo Source: Samsung Gallery

The year was Circa 2002. I was with a friend and I was upset with him. I had expected him to act in a certain way and when he didn’t, I got upset… He was talking with me and he asked why I was being so upset about the whole thing and I answered saying “because I expected so and so and so from you” and he goes “Elizabeth(that’s my other name), that’s the problem right there. Do not be so expectant of me because I can fail you.” That stopped me in my tracks but over the years, it has turned out to be wise counsel. We live our lives expecting so much – we expect people to think or act a certain way, to speak in a certain manner and when they don’t, the next thing that follows is anger. I’ve come to understand too that sometimes, our expectations become a burden on those we love and who love us and can even put a strain on our relationships. So, when dealing with people, one thing to always have in mind is we are human and yes, we can fail. I do not speak for the millions of people out there. I speak for me. I am human and yes, I can fail people – I have failed people. So bearing this in mind, I have learnt and I’m still learning to trust God where my relationship with people is concerned for I well know that people may fail me, things may fail me, but the Almighty God – ElRoi – The One who sees ALL things will never fail.

Selah,
ZaraObaa

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