venerdì 19 gennaio 2007

POEMS AND ARTICLES IN ENGLISH

POEMS IN ENGLISH

Beyond eternity!

The lost years were those spent before meeting you,
loneliness, emptyness and boredom were the only components of my being,
the exasperated search for the sense of my life seemed everlasting,
nothing did I know that you are my secret code to start a new life.

My anger with my creator has been enormous,
The why for my penitence is still unanswered,
But in consolation I have you. ....... the only reason of my life,
little I knew that no reimbursement could overcome your love.

They will still have to invent the word to define what I feel for you,
nullity would qualify my existence in absence of you,
you are the only source of my happiness that I know,
and it would be better to ask me what I wouldn't do for you. .......... nothing.

I have already booked you in the skies for my next life,
I have asked my destiny to follow you from the very first day,
my angels will fight against any force that will try to interfere,
and I will abdicate to revive if my request won't be welcomed.

But I will try however to snatch you from the hands of God ,
I am very sure that He will be very angry with me,
But I believe He will understand because a human being is not created incomplete,
and I without You won't be other than a small fraction of a man!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu



A poem of solidarity with the relatives of those who lost their lives in the recent religious intolerance in Nigeria.

How much more blood..........?

They were convinced to be part of one nation,
This nation promised them democracy and freedom,
The freedom of religion was among them.

Many had been deceived in the past,
Many were afraid and skeptical about the promises,
But their extreme necessities offered them no choice.

Some saw their relatives shed their blood,
Some believed it would never happen again,
But their religion taught them to offer 'the other side of the cheek'.

They cried out to the world for help,
They begged their nation to protect them,
But only their murderers answered to their call.

Many anticipated these atrocities and asked for a demarcation,
Some had their fathers and grandfathers sacrifice their blood,
Blood destined to guarantee their freedom.........their lives.
 Some say they are brothers with their differences,
Some say real brother never deny you the family inheritance and the right to creat your own family,
Others say, however it is, enough is enough.

For some, it is one of those things,
For some, it is not the first and will not be the last,
For some, it is an everlasting grief .......end of every hope.

Some ask, how much more blood need to flow to touch the human feelings?
Some ask, has humanity really done enough to say never again?
Or will it always pass as "the coffin containing the unknown corpes...the trunk of wood"?

May their souls rest in peace!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu



A letter from home


My dearest son,

How are you doing? I hope fine. Your mother and I are doing ok, at least, we are still breathing. My walking-stick is no longer a remedy to my persistent waist-pains and rheumatism has become a permanent resident in your mother's body.
It has taken so long since we heard from you and we have been wondering what has gone wrong, because it is unlike you. We are even afraid not to recognize you again as the last picture you sent us is dated back to about 10 years, and your mother hardly sleep without taking a glimpse at it, every blessed night.
We are quite aware of the hardship in Italy but never immagined it as severe as to completely wipe us away from your mind. Our bad wishers have already started rejoicing, waiting for our last breath in order to forcefully take possession of our belongings and subsequently delete our surname from any further existence in this village. We are praying to God and hoping it will never happen, with your help.
My dear son, never make the mistake of trying to get "enough" to impress us or any other person, we will be contented to know that you are healthy and trying your best. Other good things will surely come your way, some day.
The second wife we found for you has decided to look for another husband, as the first one did. We owe them no blame. It does not matter to us anymore the origin of your wife, as long as you both will give us the long awaited grandchildren, and give you the freedom to know that you still have a home, this house.
Last christmas, Uche and Obi, your childhood friends, visited home from the USA and Britain respectively. They have both completed their buildings in the village and also bought many lands. They asked me if I had one to sell to them. The little wisdom I still possess helped me to bear their arrogance and insolence. It is nothing considered to the mockery attacks we have received so far from the villagers because of you, but that day, your mother cried bitterly.
For security purposes, we often go to sleep inside the church, but we were also attacked there by the bandits. The priest was mercilessly beaten up for the protection he gives to the villagers.
As the political elections approaches, all we hear is candidates "eliminating" candidates by all means, salaries not paid and public funds diverted for personal campaigns. A lot of people are afraid of what will be the outcome of the elections.
Well, my dear son, as everyday that passes brings us much nearer to our graves, your mother and I are still praying and hoping to live long enough to embrace you again, some day. But if you come after our Lord's call, we would like you to know that we had always loved you and not annoyed with you. Because we know quite well that if you ever had the minimum possibility, you wouldn't have denied us the little felicity that we had always desired.
May God almighty and our gods continue to bless and protect you!

Your dear father,



Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


The Heaven can wait!

Yes, I remember quite well
that the meeting was for today
a pact made from birth,
nothing to lose, to fear about,
I coundn’t wait to fly
to come and meet you up there
to ask you so many “why”.
All was ready and
I had only few breaths left,
but then I heard some voices
coming from Europe, from Rome
using new words and new terms
“another drop in the sea”
they say at six years
there should never be….
an appointment in the skies!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu

The Nigerian way……

Yes, it has come and gone
like a tropical cyclone,
claiming so many lives
and terrible destruction.

While many are in agony,
there are people jubilating,
those barking like dogs
will systematically be tamed.

They vowed for a fair one
but delivered the usual mess,
they called it democracy and
votes were deprived with guns.

The world is crying for us,
the usual miserable idiots,
and what can we say and do,
other than to continue singing….

“Nigeria we hail thee…..
come another four years
of dictatorship and degradation,
of poverty, misery and confusion!"

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


Dedicated to all those like me!

Have you been wondering how soon we celebrate Xmas these days?
Asking why a year should be made up of just 12 months and not thirteen?
Are you wishing now to find yourself in a place where Xmas isn't about spending money?
Don't worry, you are not alone.

Have you discovered to be a true liar after being unable to make it again this year?
Have you been working on the best lie to tell them...perhaps, "am renewing my parper"?
Has your cellular phone become your greatest enemy?
Don't worry, you are not alone.

Are you asking yourself why 00234 should have access to the country you live?
Have you been wondering why 'Western Union' should exist even in Nigeria?
Are you planning to abdicate your family membership for this period?
Don't worry, you are not alone.

Are you wishing to have had fewer friends, and so, make less gifts?
Are you wishing to be in a country where a fowl can still make a big feast?
Are your major thoughts now all about getting the december rent settled?
Don't worry, you are not alone.

Are you almost regrating leaving home in the first place?
Are you convinced to be the only one among an entire multitude of happy people?
Have you started thinking it might be 'something' sent from home?
Don't worry, you are not alone, we will make it next year!!!

Merry Xmas and a better new year to all!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


You owe me a favour..........

You that have heard from my voice, mind, heart, soul, .............
You that have seen me smile, laugh, agonize, cry and sober
You that have known what I like, dislike, hate, contempt...........
You that know that I trust you more among the other trusted ones.

You owe me a favour to tell them the life that I have lived
Now that my mouth is very weak to talk and my hand unable to write
Now that fortune has abandoned me and friends seems to be no more
Now that I have become an object of caricature and the symbol of failure.

You owe me a favour to tell the story of my battle with destiny
How today has become my dilemma and tomorrow an enigma
How I have seen my life dreams transformed into terrible nightmares
How my best has failed to be enough and my life expiring before time.

You owe me a favour now that I will come to be no more
Now that my days are very short and my nights sleeplessly endless
Now that my whole body is becoming cool, cold, colder and even more
Now that there are some true tears and a lot of crocodile tears......
Remember you owe me a favour to tell them who I truely was.

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


Remember me

Remember me
When it will seem to you as if the whole world has abandoned you
When you will feel equally alone in the midst of a multitude
When you will hardly express yourself and people will not understand
When your loneliness will tempt to take you far from the real world

Remember me
When you will need another hand but don't know whom to ask
That time when your legs will be unable to carry your body
That time when your relations and friends will try to disown you
When you will try to send SOS but nobody will come to your mind

Remember me
When alcohol and drugs will seem to be your only alternative
When you will have food but will lack the appetite to eat
When the sense of your life will often escape your mind
When you will start to doubt if it is necessary to continue to live

Remember me
The day you will have champagne but no one to toast with
The day you will have something to say but nobody to listen
The day you will need a mirror in order to talk to somebody
Remember me because I am and will always be there for you!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu

                                

YET ANOTHER SUMMER!


THE CLIMATE IS IRONICALLY SEEMING FRIENDLY TO US
THE SUN REFUSES TO DIVORCE FROM HIS FRIEND CALLED HUMIDITY
AND WE ARE TIRED OF RESPONDING: "WE ARE NOT USED TO IT"

THE SCHOOL DOORS ARE FINALLY SHUT FOR THE LONG VACCATION
STUDENTS ARE GRANTED THE LONG AWAITED AND MERITTED BREAK
WHILE SOME ARE RESTING, SOME CANNOT COPE WITHOUT A VACCATION JOB


OUR VARIOUS CITIES ARE ALREADY HALF DESERTED
AMAZING HOW WE CAN NOW DRIVE FREELY IN THE HISTORIC CENTERS
THE STREET-LIGHTS CAN NOW WAIT UNTIL 9pm TO BE SWITCHED ON


SOME SHOPS ALREADY HAVE ON THEM TAGGED "CHIUSO PER FERIE"
FACTORIES & INDUSTRIES WILL SOONER OR LATER JOIN IN THE YEARLY TRADITION
AND MOST OF US WILL BE "FORCED" TO KEEP AWAY FROM OUR WORKING PLACES

MANY OF US BELEIVE "HOLIDAY" IS A WHITE MAN'S INVENTION FOR THE RICH
SOME OF US, THOUGH, WILL USE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT HOME AND OTHER PLACES
WHILE SOME OF US WILL TRY TO DO EXTRA JOBS IN ORDER TO MAKE ENDS MEET

THE VERY BUSY PARENTS NOW HAVE NO 'ALIBI' NOT TAKING THEIR CHILDREN TO PARKS
OUR TRADITIONAL WEARS NOW HAVE SUPREMACY OVER THE TUTTLE-NECK SWEATERS
CHRISTENINGS, BIRTHDAYS AND WEDDINGS CANNOT WAIT TO BE CELEBRATED

WELL, LADIES & GENTLEMEN OF THE GROUP, I SINCERELY WISH AND HOPE THAT YOU
SUCCEED IN STEALING-OUT SOME LITTLE TIME IN GRABBING SOME  DESERVED REST AND
  RELAX.
AND, WHEREVER AND HOWEVER  YOU  WANNA DO IT...........MAY YOU ALL BE BLESSED
!!!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu



   EASTER WISHES

MANY A TIME WE ARE VERY ANGRY WITH OUR GOD FOR BEING POOR,
BUT WE FORGET THAT THERE ARE MANY  RICH PEOPLE WHO CANNOT EVEN GET UP FROM
THEIR HOSPITAL BEDS TO EAT.

WHEN WE ACCUSE OURSELVES FOR HAVING ACHIEVED LITTLE IN LIFE,
WE FORGET THAT MANY PEOPLE WISHED THEY HAD JUST LIVED UP TO OUR AGES,

WHEN WE ARE NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT WE ARE AND WHAT WE HAVE AND WANT TO BE LIKE
OTHER PEOPLE,
WE FORGET THAT THERE ARE MILLIONS WHO ARE WISHING TO BE OR TO HAVE EVEN 10%
OF WHAT WE HAVE.

MANY A TIME WE ARE UNABLE TO FORGIVE OTHER PEOPLE WHEN THEY OFFEND US,
BUT WE FORGET THAT OUR LORD FATHER SACRFICED HIS ONLY SON TO BE CRUCIFIED SO
THAT WE COULD BE FORGIVEN.


AS WE PONDER THROUGH THESE WORDS AND  IN THANKING OUR GOD FOR GIVING US LIFE
AND HELTH.......................
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MAY WE ALL HAVE A HAPPY EASTER !!!!


BLESSING SUNDAY OSUCHUKWU




ARTICLES IN ENGLISH



An open letter to all the African leaders.
Subject: 'South Africa 2010' - FIFA World cup

Your Excellencies, fellow Citizens,

I have the honour most respectfully to approach you all through the medium of this letter. I am a citizen of Africa residing in a country where football is not just considered an ordinary entertaining sport, but also a 'religion'. And my aged residence in this country, Italy, has inevitably transformed me from a simple fan, which I was in Africa, to a convinced believer of this universal faith. This my new status has certainly not made me to assume to know or to love football more than any other fan in any part of the African continent. Because, I'm quite aware that even as football might not be a 'religion' in Africa, undoubtedly, it is something more than an ordinary sport. And in a competition like the world cup, it is yet considered beyond whatever it is known to be. In this competition, the Africans find themselves compete with their western counterparts in a field where wealth, science and tecnology, are not the usual basic advantages with which they have always 'walked-over' on us, in other competitions. It is, indeed, a competition where the fundamental requirements are; talent, skill, human energy and hard work. Obviously, it does not seem to me as if any country or continent has any kind of monopoly over these natural characteristics, and infact, we too have them abbundantly in Africa.
Before I proceed in my appeal, I would sincerely like to thank all the countries, players and collaborators who represented Africa to the best of their abilities, I suppose, in the recently concluded 'Germany 2006'. I am quite sure that they did not just show up for the roll call, but may have tried, at least, to see if they could improve the African record so far...... perhaps, getting to the semifinals. Please permit me to say this, it does not seem to me as if any African country has ever gone to the world cup with the intention of winning it, and we have always convinced them, after every four years, not to be in a haste to touch this golden trophy. One of the advantages (or disanvantages) of living in Italy as a football fan is that of being surrounded by more than fifty million coaches, infact, in this country every citizen is a coach, proving to be better than the others. Among them, though, are the esperts who earn their living (in millions of Euro) by analysing football on the different organs of the mass-media, and I was terribly sad when one of the best of them gave his analyses on the African football, after our elimination from 'Germany 2006'. He said: "Africa has the skill, talents and the physical energy, but still lacks the psycology and the organization, necessary, to convince themselves that they can win the world cup." I was obbliged to hold back my rage when my own modest analyses also convinced me that he was right. Many European clubs today are able to sell as much tickets as they do also because of the presence of numerous African stars helping them to conquer all kinds of trophies, and the fact that most of these stars appears to be unrecognizable when they play for their respective countries makes one to quickly embrace the espert's analyses.
My dear leaders, 'South Africa 2010' should not be considered a single country's affair. It is an African affair. Normally, the best chance for any country to win such a competition is when it is hold in it's proper soil, and for the first time ever, it is coming to the African soil. So, as I am wishing South Africa all the best of luck not to let it go out of their country, I am so sure also that South Africa would rather prefer another African country to raise that cup to the air, than watching it escape the entire continent. Hence, I'm appealing to all of you, the African leaders, to put your hands together to ensure that the cup remains in our soil at least for four years after the 2010. For us Africans, home and abroad, it will be something more than a trophy.
In Africa, sports, and more precisely, football has always been one of the few symbols of unity amongnst the peoples, irrespective of their religion, race, etnic group or any other diversity whatsoever. Infact, after the FESTAC (festival of arts ancd culture held in Nigeria in 1977), African citizens are looking forward to renewing this essential point of reference in arts, tradition and culture, and there is no better opportunity in the immediate years ahead than 'South Africa 2010'. World cup is not just sports but also a world festival of arts and culture.
I will never forget when, in 1996, an unknown Ethiopian woman stopped me at one subway station in Rome and demanded for my nationality: "I am a Nigerian," I replied. And then she said: "Thank you all for the Olympics trophy, I felt very proud being an African. I received a bundle of praises, congratulations and respect from my Italian masters!" Or, will i ever disdain the great joy i derive when my Gabonese, Liberian or Ghananian friends rings me up to remind me of the match of Togo, Ivory coast, Tunisia, Angola, or of any other African nation. And organizing ourselves to watch such match together, believe me, has always assured me of a better African society, tomorrow: Africa without wars, Africa as a big village where brothers and sisters can live together in harmony.
Therefore, I am calling on you leaders and citizens of Africa to assist South Africa in any way you can to ensure a historic 2010, worthy of a great Continent. I am also praying you to assist each other in creating and training national teams that will be internationally competitive; the 'raw materials' are not scarce in any of our countries. The continental qualifying series, if made up of strong teams, will certainly help us to have very competitive squads able to contend for the trophy. One of the biggest mistakes we have made over the years is to think that such a big competition could be prepared within a short period of time. Infact, some countries engage their 'miraculous' coaches just a couple of months or even weeks before their departure for the competition, that is, after their qualification. An earlier engagement of such coaches is not deemed to be wise. We have valid African coaches and if given the necessary time and facilities, will surely do even better than their western colleagues. Unfortunately, often a time, the next-door native doctor is never regarded. Some of these western coaches are not even sitting on our benches because of their abilities, but because of the assumed 'prestige' they bring to their employers.
I am quite aware of the deteriorating economic and social situation of our countries in Africa which must have affected our performances in the past, but I am also confident that if the matter is seriously looked into by able heads, for the interest of the African citizens and African image, the problems will surely be sorted out. Perhaps, with a little and steady fund allocated for this purpose for the next four years. And a long time intensive programme has always been a key to success.
The A.U. has a very big role to play: 1) Security; It should try, unfailingly, to restore peace and order in any part of the continent where these two elements have ceased to reign. Also, It should use all the 'intelligence', political and diplomatic means available to curb any further eruption of these unnecessary and image-tarnishing conflicts. Someone's life in the streets of Africa should cease to worth less than the eventual few coins he has in his pocket. 2) Funds and Image-Making; It should start now to create a continental fund-raising campaign, necessary to assist the poorer countries amongst us. I am sure that all african citizens, home and abroad, will respond generously to such call of patriotic solidarity. Should also ensure that no country is left out in this historic festival. And be aware that a successful 'South Africa 2010' will surely attract the Olympic games to Africa.
Africa has a very rich package to offer to an average tourist, but yet, many western tourist don't know where, when and how to visit their places of interest in many parts of Africa. Undoubtedly, it will be an opportunity for many of them to visit not only South Africa, but some other African countries. Hence, it is vital for a continental body to look into the Image-making of our entire continent in order to promote tourism and, why not, to use the opportunity in renovating most of our cities that have degraded to quite unbearable levels. Roads and other facilities need to be built, or it might even be enough just to renovate or reactivate the ones that are already there. An average tourist is asking for nothing other than security, eletricity, water and clean environment, exactly the same things an average African has been asking for decades. And if you can guarantee these basic things in your respective countries, believe me, you will see the rest coming from your citizens and foreign investors.
Four years could seem four centuries to those who have never hosted it before. Four years would turn out to seem like four months to those who are preparing to host it. Some wealthy nations who have hosted it before confessed it seemed even less to them, as they could not meet up with time, notwithstanding their abundant facilities and funds. Therefore, Africa should start now to look for the black goat before the darkness comes!
Let me conclude this my appeal with a proverb often used in Italy, it says: "In the African jungle, the lion knows that when he wakes up in the morning, he should run faster than the antelope if he wants to eat that day. In the african jungle, the antelope knows that when he wakes up in the morning, he should run faster than the lion if he wants to survive that day. In the African jungle, when you wake up in the morning, it does not matter if you are the lion or the antelope, just start running!"

May you all remain blessed!!!

Long live Africa!!!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu
Rome-Italy



The rise and fall of the Igbos in culture, customs and traditions.

"The Igbos are traditionally village people, with a social system comprising hundreds of small clans and villages. Among them, it is the family, the village or clan union which has often provided help in illness or other misfortune, built schools, awarded scholarships to the intelligent children of the poor, built civic and health centres, and provided pipe-borne water and electricity in a country where state welfare services are still few, especially in the rural areas. A most practical people who can exist and manage even when times or conditions are bad, with little interest in metaphysical abstractions but an enormous appetite for life, the Igbos are malleable and tolerant towards all that is foreign and different despite their dualist moral code. Though they are reputed for a disquieting ideological bluntness, they are also affected with a certain malaise and doubt about the correctness of a particular line of action and in general are ready for an honourable compromise in order to preserve harmony."
Yes, I was lucky to be one of those who enjoyed, though for a very little period of time, being sheltered by this definition that encloses those fundamental values, as an Igbo. And it seemed to me that the Igbos were regenerated to symbolise what an African should look like in it's whole context; in culture, tradition and custom. To be referred as Igbo in any part of Nigeria and abroad was like a stereotype of intelligence, high morality and cultural values. When he talked, the others listened. When he acted, the others watched to learn.
Our kings and the elders were so much respected and they represented the most important organs of our society. They lived exemplary lives and their decisions were taken with fear of the almighty God, our gods and our ancestors. Every Igbo believed, and was proud, to belong firstly to his community before being part his own family. An Igbo wife was not cared for by her husband alone and an Igbo child was neither owned nor trained by his family, alone! The title of a 'servant' received from one's elders was more honourable to him than any majestic title brought home from elsewhere. The richness of a family was also weighed on these values.
This rise of the Igbos in culture could be dated in the era that reigned from the time the first Christian missionaries won their battle to stay, to the early years that followed the civil war. They might not have done all good to our customs and traditions but it is vital to say that the cleansing given to them, by these missionaries, was necessary to prepare us for the inevitable evolution of the world that was around the corner.
Infact, there have been excesses in the Igbo character as in that of the other people. The old evil customs of slavery, cannibalism, twin-murder, human sacrifice, trial by ordeal, witchcraft and fetishism, though were no monopolies of the Igbos, but unfortunately made up the negative part of the Igbo history.
In short, we were all proud to be Igbos and other tribes envied us a lot.
"Do anything to any Igbo but don't play with him about money. He can even kill his mother or sacrifice any part of his body in order to get it! You know, he can anticipate the rest of his life from seventy years to seventy days as long as he lives in money for sixty-nine days.
He will be the last person to see his brother progress. He prefers to remain the only child than to inherit some plots of his father's land with anyone. He laughs only when the others are crying and cries when he sees the others rejoicing". "Please brother, don't give him any money otherwise he will take it to the native doctor to perform rituals against you."
"Igboman? Have you ever seen any of them help the other to rise to his position? Help him to get nearer you and he will plan to get rid of you. An Igboman would ask: where's he from, Igbo?…….forget it, I don't want any problem."
Well, it is regrettably unbelievable but this has turned out to be the generic definition used to qualify an average Igbo, today. As I, and many others, will restlessly continue to struggle ourselves out of this umbrella, as we continue, rightly and helplessly, to try to convince others that we are different, I think it is important also to accept the fact that there has been a great decline in our being Igbos.
It is not just about money. The money issue has always been in our DNA. Infact, many people, including the Igbos themselves, attributes a Shylockian love of money to the Igbos, and jokes, that if an Igbo dies, take a penny near to his nose, if he doesn’t sneeze and get up, means that he's really dead. This has always accompanied us right from time and had been a convincing factor to those who traced our origin to the Jews. This love for money had been, in the past, an essential principle in making us the remarkable traders and business people that we are, today.
This love for money, accompanied with our expertise in many fields, has been transformed to something else…..money by all means possible and impossible, legally and illegally. Why has the life of a human being, of another Igbo, become a mere means of getting rich? Why has the Igbo culture disregarded all of our other values to that of money and fame?
For a moment I thought I could direct these questions to our respectable Kings, chiefs and elders, but someone told me they would all mockingly laugh at me. I was also told that the honourable title such as 'chief' is now for sale in Igboland. I also learnt that those with 'such monies', who could not buy them from their communities, still with morally principled leaders, could just go to another place and get those titles. After all, a chief should be a chief anywhere.
Our elders, today, takes bribe and watch a piece of land being deprived a poor person. They take bribe and watch a widow sent back to her fathers house in order to forcefully possess her late husbands properties. Our elders and chiefs do not give scholarships to our brilliant chaps anymore, rather they offer reliable links to 'make it', soonest. Most of our elders, today, are responsible for the complete elimination or miserable situations of the successful children of the others in our villages.
In Igboland, today, if you are not playing Christian songs 24 hours a day, you will be termed an evil person. Any road that has no church will be seen evil. But then, I was told that most evils come from those churches. I learnt that most evil doers do get their blessings from those religious leaders before going into action. The front chairs of the churches are reserved for those who financially run them…and churches, traditionally, don't for ask the source of any money…. And even if it knows, in the house of the Lord should be automatically blessed and cleansed!
One of the prime characteristics of an Igbo used to be in marriage. "For better and for worse" used to work perfectly even when the priest does not recommend it. Today, the wisest partner goes to the native doctor before the other. And sometimes, they surprisingly meet themselves there, for rituals! The Igbo family used to be the cultural and moral educator of our kids…..today, most of these families are held responsible for the degrading values of these Igbos of today and tomorrow……
Could go ahead for pages but don't want to get you too bored!
I would want to know what has happened to my dear Igboland. Why and what or who is more responsible? Is there any remedy to recuperate it or even part of it?

Your kind reflections, comments and contributions, positive or negative will highly be appreciated.

Kind regards to all.

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu



I AM NOT PROUD OF YOU

I had wished and hoped for the extension of 2006, but it was not possible. I tried not to welcome 2007, but couldn't stop the time. Well, you may consider me the strange type, but I had simply desired to see all my wishes of 2006 come true, before entering the new year. I had wished to see a new and a better Africa!
I prayed to see a new State of Africa where religion should cease to be an instrument for political propaganda and self oriented ambitions. In my wishes, I asked for a new Africa where disgusting refuse-dumps should cease to be the only supermarkets for numerous African children and families. I had begged 2006 to take along with it some phenomenons that have, over the years, crippled our entire continent: tribal and etnic disputes, civil wars, famine, diseases, bribery and corruption, etc. My wish was to see them share the same position with Slave trade in the negative part of the African history.
The passed year, however, tried to explain to me, with a very long list, what it did for a lot of African citizens and families. And concluded by saying that it offered the whole 365 days and various opportunities to our leaders in order to accomplish my wishes.
So, dear leaders, what happened? Were those days not enough to give Africans a new better state? Have you already forgotten that you promised all these, and even more? Or would you say to have lacked the facilities?
Your African children are running away from their father land every day in masses, they don't even know the destination of their exodus. Your children are often humiliated on arrival, when they arrive alive. In many cases they are being awaited by coffins and sea-divers.
Most of your 'Brains' and 'Hands' abroad cannot go back home and those at home don't want to stay any longer. Our children are still trekking the untarred and muddy roads of Africa on bare foot, with kilos of loads on their heads. To quench their thirst, many need to dig holes in search of some dirty water to drink.
Electricity has become a synonym of diamond in most parts of the continent. The doors of the primary schools in our continent have turned to be the Heaven's door.
Well, you may not believe it but, as you were celebrating the begining of the new year in your presidential lodges in Africa or abroad, many of your countrymen and women were unable to do so.......... .they have even started to be ashamed of their African origins.
Those in the refugee camps of Darfur bitterly expressed their anger, they did not want to toast with the only companions around, the vultures. The teenagers in Somalia refused to welcome the new year with big guns in their hands. The good people of Congo said to be tired with any kind of dispute between the rebels and the ruling faction. The poor Nigerians are tired of stealing what belongs to them, and even getting burnt with it. Our brothers and sisters, who have become a delicious prey for some unscrupulous human traffickers, complained of their confused state, as they roam along the coast of Libya. As I was awaiting for the countdown, I could hear the numerous voices of those languishing under the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean seas, wishing to have had the opportunity to remain in Africa.
Dear leaders, I and many other Africans are not proud of you!
However, I tried to repeat all my wishes of last year for my dear Africa. But this time, my main wish is for 2007 to open the minds, to shake the hearts and to aweken the conscience of the African leaders. To make them realize that if they start today to face these problems seriously, maybe, our grandchildren will be proud of them!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


DO NOT CRY FOR ME, FOR HIM..............

Some Nigerian shop-owners may accept to host a sealed can with my photo on it, for donations. Some may also say yes for my obituary poster to be pasted on their shop windows. It will be the time for the long awaited brotherhood and patriotism. Some will certainly be sorry, while some will barely demonstrate their astonishment to such a terrible and sudden news. Those who felt they were closer to me will try calling others for those late night meetings, normally held at four or more stages: the quarters where I lived; my well-wishers; my community; my state; my country, etc. A few of them who don't like wasting time will simply ask for the decided quota, and pay up. You know, they have to be ok with their conscience. After all, what else can one do for a death friend or relation, and it must have been my time, they will console themselves. Though, some will say: "But I saw him some days ago and he looked alright, he was even laughing with me!"

The elders will quickly recall to the most respected of our formidable traditions : "Whatever happens, his corpse MUST be taken home."
As I am not a popular person, it will not be an opportunity for anyone to enrich himself or accuse the other for doing so. In any case, the "unexpected" news will inevitably become talk of the town for a couple of days.
None will acknowledge being a spectator to my 'dyeing process' for quite a long time. They will not remember when I lost my house and begged everyone of them in vain for an accommodation. Surely, they will not remember when I lost my job and cried out bitterly for a help. They will not remember when my desperate situation was a 'pleasant' topic for their gossip. None will remember telling the others when he saw me coming out from the Caritas, and laughing over it. And how can they accept having used my miserable condition as the unit of measurement for their success.
None will accept having participated vividly to my untimely death. They will not know that I was assassinated and that they were among the assassins.
Nigerians are the most associated people in Italy, and maybe in the whole world, but yet, we lack a point of reference in times of difficulties. There are numerous Nigerian cultural associations in Italy and the highest project ever offered to their members is that of taking their corpse home when they die, apart from the occasional banquets and inevitable fights. None of them has ever thought of insuring their members in times of losing a job, losing a house, getting injured, etc. None of them has ever thought it wise to prepare their members for the fast approaching pensionable status, most of us will not be entitled to it, as ever being "autonomous" without paying the necessary taxes.
I refuse to accommodate the legendary intellectual superiority attributed to an average Nigerian when i look at the other communities in Italy.
The people of India, Bangladesh, China, and even other African countries are rarely jobless. They are always absorbed by the numerous Cooperatives they continue to put up day by day, and this gives them the opportunity to legally bring in many of their countrymen, yearly. In fact, I hardly see their people drown in the waters of Lampedusa.
Nigerians? We don't simply stop at preventing our brothers and friends from having the same job opportunity like us, but we even tail him to other places to deprive him of such opportunities.
The highest level of competition we know is that between us and the so called brothers or friends. We aspire to improve ourselves only when we notice their slight progress and relax again when their conditions are worse than ours.
No, do not cry for me! This is the final stage of the many deaths that has occurred to me and you only laughed at me at the other times.
Do not cry for me as I am certain of your fake tears! Do not go purposely to the "Station Terminal" to shed the tears that will turn out to be a mockery laughter when you get back home.
Do not cry for him today. Try to give him the necessary aids today and you will continue to smile and laugh with him tomorrow, if you really care! (Dedicated to a friend who lost his life in Rome, in the hustle for survival)

Are we still unripe?

Whenever any political election is coming up in any of the two countries I believe to belong to, I feel very frustrated and sometimes even more, especially now that it has to do with my native country. And I know not to be the only one. This my unconfortable state of mind is caused by the inability of most of us residing abraod to participate fully in the political lives of these countries we consider ours. In Italy, foreigners are not even allowed to participate at the administrative levels, no matter the number of years stayed.
I believe that the right to vote, being a civic right, is one of the most important of all rights ever, and for one to spend a great percentage his life span not having the opportunity to esersice it could somehow distabilize his sense of belonging.
We nigerians abroad are always obliged to accepting any leader, often not cherished by us, after each election without having any possibility to contest it democratically, by vote.
In the past, I had always envied those western counteries that extends this basic right to their citizens abroad, hoping that one day our democracy will also be able to give us this recognition.
Recently, I have noticed that many other countries have adhered to this nobel practice. These countries like Perù, Philippines, Senegal and even Gabon, with respect, are not to be considered of a superior civility compared to our Nigeria. But for now, we seem to be contented with those big titles like: the president or the secretary of this or that political party abroad, and often exchanging it for chieftancy titles that have become very rampant!
It is quite unfortunate that some of our respectable associations abroad (the Nigerian comunity, the Nidoe, etc.) have not seen this to be an important issue to battle on. Of course, it might not be a priority in a country with bundles and bundles of problems, but I believe that the earlier we start talking about it, the better for our children and the future emigrants.
This kind of active involvemente, could be, undoubtedly, an effective means of getting our people interested in the happenings at home, participating in them and reintegrating back into our societies there.

May God bless you all!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu



THE AFRICAN PRAYER

Oh God, may all glory, adoration and power be unto your holy name. Father, I thank you immensely for the kindness, love and mercy you have shown on us, your African children. Thank you, father, for the precious life you have spared us in these recent years.
You protected and safeguarded our lives, notwithstanding the armed robbers hungrily searching for them in our homes and on our roads, round the clock, every blessed year. You nourished the bodies and wetted the throats of the poor masses, notwithstanding the lack of food, water and the absence of money in their pockets.
You stood for us and prevented them from selling off our great continent, even as they have looted all our wealth, mercilessly exploited and shamefully embezzled our resources. You fatherly calmed the furious souls of those of us who couldn't bear it any longer and were tempted to violence.
Father, we always welcomed them with great joy, mistaking them to be what they said to be, our saviours. But they always turn out to be our nightmare, just weeks after their swearing-in.
We have deteriorated from half current to lanterns, from the occasional tap water to the mud. Our usual bad roads have turned out to be simply out of use. The young people who only had the problem of getting a job after their studies, now cannot even finish their studies for lack of funds. Father, while other continents were developing and advancing technologically, they decided that our own money should be kept adamant in the western banks, in their personal accounts. Parents are watching their children die for lack of food and water. People are watching relations die for lack of simple medical cares. Father, hell seems to have transferred to the earth, in Africa.
Often they come again! With different faces and different tongues, but we know their DNA is the same with the others.
Heavenly father, I beg thee on behalf of the perishing masses to take care of the disastrous situation. Give us the leaders that will not send the rest of us to the numerous mass graves located in the country, as they are already filled up.
Deliver us from the hands of our political tyrants and our democratic dictators, and give us the courage and the wisdom to erase the sense of 'patriotic orphan' that has come to reign in the soul of every African being.
All these I beg thee, through Christ our Lord, Amen.









Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


Shame on you!

Since the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa the entire world has come to know more about the sufferings and the problems encountered by the indigins of the Niger-delta. Infact, there have been demonstrations, conferences, awareness campaign and several boycotts by these international citizens, some of whom did not even know about the existence of Nigeria before then, in favour of these defenceless victims. Their cause became the cause of all those around the globe who are sensitive to anything that could be termed as social injustice. The results obtained by these mobilization might not yet or even never be evident and it might not even change the unscrupulous exploitation practiced in those areas. But, sometimes it is just enough to let people hear your voice, as a little african animal would say: “My shouting, yelling and desperation after my capture is not for my release, because i know it is impossible, but serves to let the people know about the injustice incured!”
The MEND came up with arms and voilence, kidnapping and extorting their victims for the same cause. Kidnap is considered one of the most dangerous crimes ever in any part of the world and the protagonist are always seen as monsters, never to be forgiven. But that was not in the case of the MEND. Their method gained them sympathy rather than hatred, even from their own victims.: they were officially refusing any negotiation for ransom; fixing the date of the release of their victims from the date of their capture; inviting the international press for the hand-over of these victims; treating them as they would treat their own elderly fathers and uncles and begging them for forgiveness on release, etc.
One of their victims once said, when asked about the treatment received: "You know the Africans respect the old people a lot. Every morning, they will come to greet us and assure us that nothing will happen to us. They were giving us mineral water and soft drinks, and probably consuming dirty waters themselves."
No one can justify kidnapping, being a severe crime, as a legal means for the pursuit of any objective, whatsoever. But it is also importante to observe that nobody has condemned them to such an extent as to consider them neither monsters nor very dangerous criminals. They undoubtedly represented that secret and unpronounced desires of so many nigerians who are today suffering the social injustices caused or related to petroleum in our country, without having the possibility or the courage to identify themselves in any kind of battle to fight them. Recently, those at the Aso Rock seemed to have noticed the presence of these angry individuals in the Niger-Delta area and are tempting to consider it a problem to be addressed. Maybe something positive may happen this time. Maybe because the world has known, they will no longer be shot at site, but invited to negotiate. And any kind of negotiation that will go to alleviate the sufferings of the poor masses is always considered something positive.
Now what has all this got to do with the kidnap of a 3 year old kid? Who are these monsters deliberately instigating the entire world to crucify them alive? Is there any part of Nigeria whose tradition sanctions or tolerates the use of a kid to purnish his father or mother?
Well, it was with greatest regret and aprehension that I followed, together with many others, the ordeal of the kidnapped kid in the hands of these criminals. It is also very painful and even more shameful to me when I read from the media something like: “The kidnappers are asking the father of the “British kid” to come and replace her.” No kid in any part of the globe should neither be a victim nor subjected to any kind of abuse, but the idiots responsible for the kidnapping of this “British kid” in order to get her “British father”, forgot or refused to acknowledge that the mother of the little girl is a nigerian and living with the whole family in Nigeria. They denied this kid her right to be their fellow citizen, as being also a nigerian kid! And that is another severe and unpardonable crime altogether.
However, I was a little bit relieved when I read that the MEND officially disclaimed any involvement in this horrible crime. To make this more credible, I think they should help in isolating these criminals in order to preserve their already argued reputation.
May God bless all those who helped in her release and a big shame on anyone involved in this terrible act!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


Evade you not!

When I think of Jesse Jackson in the past and Obama, today, running for the presidency of the United States, my mind automatically recalls the sacrifices and the battles encountered by people like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and many others who preferred to shed their blood so that this may happen.
Similarly, when I think of Condoleezza Rice as the U.S. secretary of States, spontaneously, I remember the black American woman who was ordered to stand up for a white woman in a public bus. She courageously refused, giving birth to a nation-wide riot that claimed so many lives and unjustly ceased the liberty of many other black people in that nation. They were all fighting for a just cause, for the entire race.
Most of the people indulged in those battles were doing it for the betterment of the future generations, without any personal or selfish ambitions. And today, undoubtedly, the benefits of that struggle is not only enjoyed by the blacks in the U.S., but also by so many others around the globe, directly or otherwise.
There are many western countries with a long time experience connected to the permanent inhabitation of immigrants in their territories, blacks in particular. This has made it possible, stage by stage, battle after battle, for these foreigners to acquire a full sense of belonging and citizenship in those countries, where the terms "stranger" and "integration" are no more offensively applied at random.
Italy is certainly not one of these countries! But one can neither deny the fact that things have also started to change here, very slowly indeed, but gradually becoming noticeable. Those of us who are at least 20yrs old in this country can easily remember the difficulties encountered and the frustrating status in which we were all obliged to mingle; no work permit was issued to anyone and if found working could even be arrested; foreigners, especially Nigerians, were not allowed to open any kind of business; travelling out of Italy was very limited even when one has his stay permit in order; and so many other limitations.
Some of us could not bear the situation and fled from Italy for 'better' places. Many tried but could not meet up with the visa requirements of their countries of interest and so were obliged to stay back, against their wish. While the rest made no attempt at all and simply accepted the situation as one of the surprise packages of destiny, hoping though that one day things might change for better.
I tried for the U.S. visa once and failed, but had the opportunity to relocate to one of the countries highly desired by Nigerians, the United Kingdom. As a matter of fact, I was visiting London almost every year but never had the intention again to abandon Italy.
My unpopular decision was a result of a long reflection: Nigerians and other Africans were no more coming to Italy for studies, but exclusively for work, except on very rare cases. They hadn't the opportunity to pass through any classroom block and so unable to grab the minimum to integrate in a society with a different language and culture. And those who read here helped in one way or the other to facilitate the already unwelcoming atmosphere for them, especially with the authorities.
The situation today has not changed so much with the regular massive inflow of our brothers and sisters coming to join us, but the system has changed a little bit, thanks also to many who are battling in so many ways to make it better.
Many Africans still consider Italy a transit station, a place to make up the necessary documents to enable them get to their dream destinations. And I am so much worried about the "Comunques" who are giving up the battle and whose aim, after grabbing the Italian citizenship, is to relocate to these other places. Many of them are making the usual mistake, thinking that our second generation born here will come to fight for our cause. That is not true because they will be so busy with their own battle: fighting to be recognised as the coloured citizens of this country. And that alone is not an easy battle, indeed.
However, it is more blessed to give than to receive, to create than to use. It is noble to be remembered as one of those who worked for the benefit of his people and not as a self-centered ambitious person.
If the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Australia, Holland and some others are better than Italy today, as regards to immigration laws, it is because the past generations of immigrants in those countries worked very hard towards it. Or are we so selfish as not to work so hard so that the future generations will be better than us? And besides, isn't time we start talking about ways to make our countries a better place so that we can start relocating back home? Yes, you may call me a dreamer, but am not the only one!
Some friends and relations quarrelled with me because of my reluctance in joining them in those better places, choosing to 'perish' miserably here. Anyway, I believe there is an indispensable role that has to be played by the first Nigerian and African immigrants in this country for the future generations to come. And if the foundation of any structure is not properly laid, it always tends to collapse! Only a little contribution from you and from other capable people can also make things change, so please reflect a little bit more before buying your one-way ticket out of Italy!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


A LETTER FROM HOME

My dearest son,
How are you doing? I hope fine. Your mother and I are doing ok, at least, we are still breathing. My walking-stick is no longer a remedy to my persistent waist-pains and rheumatism has become a permanent resident in your mother's body.
It has taken so long since we heard from you and we have been wondering what has gone wrong, because it is unlike you. We are even afraid not to recognize you again as the last picture you sent us is dated back to about 10 years, and your mother hardly sleep without taking a glimpse at it, every blessed night.
We are quite aware of the hardship in Italy but never immagined it as severe as to completely wipe us away from your mind. Our bad wishers have already started rejoicing, waiting for our last breath in order to forcefully take possession of our belongings and subsequently delete our surname from any further existence in this village. We are praying to God and hoping it will never happen, with your help.
My dear son, never make the mistake of trying to get "enough" to impress us or any other person, we will be contented to know that you are healthy and trying your best. Other good things will surely come your way, some day.
The second wife we found for you has decided to look for another husband, as the first one did. We owe them no blame. It does not matter to us anymore the origin of your wife, as long as you both will give us the long awaited grandchildren, and give you the freedom to know that you still have a home, this house.
Last christmas, Uche and Obi, your childhood friends, visited home from the USA and Britain respectively. They have both completed their buildings in the village and also bought many lands. They asked me if I had one to sell to them. The little wisdom I still possess helped me to bear their arrogance and insolence. It is nothing considered to the mockery attacks we have received so far from the villagers because of you, but that day, your mother cried bitterly.
For security purposes, we often go to sleep inside the church, but we were also attacked there by the bandits. The priest was mercilessly beaten up for the protection he gives to the villagers.
As the political elections approaches, all we hear is candidates "eliminating" candidates by all means, salaries not paid and public funds diverted for personal campaigns. A lot of people are afraid of what will be the outcome of the elections.
Well, my dear son, as everyday that passes brings us much nearer to our graves, your mother and I are still praying and hoping to live long enough to embrace you again, some day. But if you come after our Lord's call, we would like you to know that we had always loved you and not annoyed with you. Because we know quite well that if you ever had the minimum possibility, you wouldn't have denied us the little felicity that we had always desired.
May God almighty and our gods continue to bless and protect you!

Your dear father,

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


The Reply

My dear father,
I do hope that you are doing alright, together with Mama. While I thank you immensely for your letter, I would like you to know that I was particularly touched by your words. Honestly, I felt my eyes wet with tears.
Firstly, I have to sincerely apologize for my long silence, which did not absolutely mean disregard or disrespect towards you, or even worse, canceling you both from my mind. I had, on several occasions, picked up a pen to write you but had always ended up with my head placed on the desk and the pen dropping from my hand, very confused. I had never known how or where to start. And in situations like this, one thinks, mistakenly, that silence and or isolation would be the best solution.
Father, the greatest mistake I made was my inability to confide totally with you, considering you a stranger in my affairs. Also, it would have been ridiculous for someone living in Italy for almost thirty years to continue to lament about his precarious conditions, to someone who sacrificed his life and resources to finance his studies in Europe, to an old father and mother living in Africa. Papà, believe me; it has not been easy for me and for many other Nigerians in this country.
It seemed so simple then, come here, grab a degree and quickly return home! Our dear Nigeria was better and most students got the necessary funds from their parents. Some grabbed it and some were in the process when the same people who were sending the money started asking for it, our country was in a great mess. Here became a hell for many of us, in Italy, where students were not even permitted to work. From then on, it has always been battle after battle to try to survive here as Nigerians. We are the first generation of immigrants and so have to educate them on what it means to host a “permanent foreigner”. They never considered Nigeria a poor country and consequently conceived us very little opportunities.
Those of us who succeeded to grab the degree at that early stage and left did not encourage the others to do so, infact, almost all returned here. While our host country is asking us when to go back to our country, our dear nation continues to deny us a welcome home. A law here prohibits foreigners from working in the state institutions. Graduates are still washing plates and cars for years without any hope to see their lives changed for better, rather, it gets worse. Father, many of us are living in bondage!
Anyway, thanks a lot for your efforts to get me a wife, but do not bother any longer because our status here hardly guarantees one the present, not to talk about the future, I will do that when am ready. And thanks for understanding that a nice lady makes a good wife, independently of her origin.
I am very happy for my childhood friends, Uche and Obi, and quite sure they did not intend to disrespect you because they know quite well that no condition is permanent, and cannot change my destiny if God has money and success for me in my package.
My dear father, I may not be able to afford a flight ticket right away, but I promise you that as long as I live, no one will ever take away what belongs to us in that village, forcefully. And our surname will never cease to exist in my own time!
May the good Lord continue to protect you and Mama, hoping to embrace you both very soon!

Your dearest son,

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


The truth may help them....

We Africans, or more precisely Nigerians, have the cultural background where the strongness or strength of an individual is mostly measured by his capability to absorb all the eventual shocks, mishaps or natural disasters that may come across his way, without physical or mental consequences. You are simply laughed-at and mocked if the rate of your sensitivity is not as such to leave you psychologically unharmed when touched by one of those “downs” of life. Even in this third millennium, our unscrupulous society still considers it abnormal for one to get a simple counselling from a psychologist or psychiatrist in times of extreme difficulties. And who does, is automatically considered a “mad person” and consequently avoided, even by the closest friends and relations.
Our numerous churches and spiritual homes, over the years, have been playing this magnificent role of consoling these souls, ably giving them the necessary hopes to get along in life. They have tamed the shrew, revived the dying in spirit, converted the mind and the heart of the corrupt, disarmed the assassin and brought peace between persons and parties in dispute, consoled the widow, parented the lonely, etc. These marvellous achievements are never to be underrated. But there have also been exaggerations in some of them, in those that promises “MIRACLES” without thinking twice. Any modern Nigerian church without the word “miracle” in it's slogan simply does not want to exist or compete with the others. The misuse of this word in some of these churches has rendered some people slaves of their own problems, problems that might be alternatively solved.
I want to limit my reflection on the childless women who easily succumb to these long awaited “miracles” without doing enough to see if their problems could be scientifically treated. The head of any Nigerian woman desperately in search for a child is easily expropriated and used, she can even get to the level of trying her God. Some prematurely give the blame to someone in the family whom they believe hates them and has tied their womb with “juju”. In some cases, they only do the preliminary tests and give up, refusing to do the subsequent tests that could give remedy to their problems. In some other cases, the problem might be with their male partners who intotoly refuses to subject themselves to any kind of test, for personal pride. I have heard some men say to their partners: “If you are doubting my virility, then I will go to bed with another woman and let's bet if she doesn't give me a child within one year.” Very hard indeed for any woman to accept that!
Well, my point is that these “miracles” might be long awaiting in the studios and laboratories of some gynaecologist, urologist, sexologist o biologist, who by advising, rectifying or curing, with the right diagnosis, will be able to solve the problems. The process of bearing a child, especially for a woman, is time dependent and so need to be pursued within the possible biological cycle of that particular woman. Hence, time is not to be wasted, and who says God cannot also perform his miracles through medical doctors?
Our pastors and church leaders, in their noble duties, should try to help those affected with these problems in their churches, to realize that a black goat is better searched-for during the daytime! God once replied to a poor man who has been begging him for years to let him win the Italian lottery: “Ok, I am ready to let you win now, but my son you need to buy at least one ticket!”

May you all be blessed!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


As if we have not had enough!

A few days ago I heard from the television news a statement attributed to an important figure of the Italian politics, Hon. Fini: "America is not yet ready for a black president ........", referring to Barrack Obama . Initially, I believed to have mistaken Italy for America but my confirmation from a different newscast made me lose my appetite that evening. I must confess that my attempt to interpret that phrase practically knocked me out. My thoughts, inevitably, escaped my control to go through some part of the history of the blackman in America: the beginning and the permanence of slavery; the horrors and all the suffering encountered during their forceful journey and in various American plantations; their contributions in building the prosperous America we know today, in spite of all odds; the blood shedded in the past and presently, fighting many wars under the American flag. In fact, many of them lost their lives here in the historic attempt - successful - to save Italy during the Second World War. I thought of so many injustices and how many men and women they had to sacrifice in order to be granted the status of “full citizens”, but I also thought of all those whites who sacrificed their lives too, in support of the black people, to give birth to a better America, that nation that now seems to be a point of refference for advanced democracy, globally.
Is America to be considered a 'fair and just' nation today? I do not know, but I only know that there is an American (black father and white mother) who is running for the nomination for the next American presidential elections and I know what it means to be approved and supported by such an important party like the Democrats, to be represented for that kind of battle. I have had few opportunities to follow some of his electoral campaigns and I saw men and women of all colors in all locations, he even won in most of those states with majority of white people – leading the race as regards to the number of delegates. And, of course, both him and his supporters are beginning to believe that he is poised to win the nomination and even the presidential elections, why not.
Goodness! This dream that becomes a reality and this reality taking greater shape – has become unbearable to someone - not to a white American who may claim that position to be his birth right or for another white, but an Italian Politician. I learnt he later tried to retract his statement when someone pointed out that if Obama wins, could one day come to Italy for a state visit, and what will you say to him - and perhaps you could be covering an institutional position. Let's see: "For me, Italy does not recognize you because for us it is not yet time to have a black American president?" "No, you see, it doesn't sound good at all, my dear."
It is not enough for some people to exclude us totally from the political life of this country but so infamous also to try to influence other countries in order to exclude people like us.
Oh my God! So, when will it be the right time for me – a black Italian - or for someone like me? My goodness! I tried to calculate how many years that have passed since the beginning of slavery to the present day, and I began to think what I would never had wanted to think, that is, how many years that will still roll-on for blacks to even think of having such aspiration in Italy, another 400-500 years? I however tried to go ahead with my thoughts, but was once more knocked out at the first round by a very small obstacle i met on my way: "Immigrants right to vote"!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


Condemned to unfaithfulness, divorce,............

Most of us in this forum were already outside Nigeria in the era when being a Nigerian was like a synonymous of being intelligent, wise, well-to-do and above all, possessing the moral ethics worthy of representing our country and her citizens in any context, whatsoever. Those in this country, Italy, were highly respected by the citizens and the authorities, who were very careful not to offend a Nigerian, unlawfully, to avoid the usual authoritative and prompt intervention of our Embassy. There was this kind of guarantee for a fair treatment for those who broke the law and an absolute protection for the exemplary ones.
Along the way, this remarkable identity was strongly subjected to serious doubts because of questionable behaviors arising from some (very few) of our people: falsification and forgery, drug peddling and trafficking, prostitution and some other little crimes. These crimes were, of course, not monopolized by Nigerian immigrants alone, but they had a particular notoriousness as regards to other African immigrants of that time, an so were considered mainly Nigerian crimes. The oil-boom was no more and money was no longer remitted from home, students were in economic crises and that gave way for a generalization of the new “outlaw identity” attributed to every Nigerian then, and maybe up till today in many sectors. In fact, a lot of innocent Nigerians were unlawfully punished for the crimes and suspected crimes where other Nigerians were involved. As a Nigerian, the words from your mouth were already condemned even before you pronounced them, your passport and other documentation were considered fake even before they were presented to the unwelcoming operator on service. I remember some people who said things like: “Since they will consider my genuine papers to be fake, maybe they will consider the fake ones to be otherwise..” A good percentage of them – wrongly - became forgers when this abstract logic worked-out for them.
Anyway, this little preamble is for me to bring to the public awareness the ordeal and tribulation encountered by some of our brothers and sisters who desire to bring-in their lawful spouse to Italy. I've heard testimonies of friends and others who have been battling for years in order to obtain a visa for their wives or husbands to join them here. These are people who have been here for many years, studied and working, whom I know have no 'bills' to settle with the authorities of neither this country nor that of Nigeria. As if it were not enough, one of them who has become Italian citizen was asked to produce his 'stay permit' when he sent them his certificate of citizenship and his Italian passport. Testimonies of people who have gone to this Embassy in Lagos in search of this seldom visa would make one think of getting a wife or a husband here. As a matter of fact, some have decided to abandon their spouse for another already here, or at least, find another one beside them for the meantime......”after all man is not made of wood.”
I have tried to know why this kind of frustration and all I could get was: “Some Nigerians don't remember having used their names to bring-in someone before as their spouse (for business), and so there is a thorough control by the Italian embassy in Nigeria to eradicate this kind of crime.” There have been stories of peoples wives and husbands being molested and extorted in the process of this “thorough control”. One of them told me that what pained him most was when his wife said to him: “I thought you said to be in Europe, so how come my friend who got married to a Nigerian living in Germany got her own visa in about six months time, while we have been battling for this for about five years now?”
So, for how long must we continue to purify ourselves for the eventual crimes committed by other Nigerians? And for how long will a Nigerian continue to be punished for the eventual crime committed or yet to be committed by another Nigerian? My appeal goes to our authorities involved and to our various Nigerian associations and organizations in this country to sit on a round table with the Italian authorities to find responding solutions to this problem which I see as humiliating to any man or woman.

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu


Are we still unripe?

Whenever any political election is coming up in any of the two countries I believe to belong to, I feel very frustrated and sometimes even more, especially now that it has to do with my native country. And I know not to be the only one. This my unconfortable state of mind is caused by the inability of most of us residing abraod to participate fully in the political lives of these countries we consider ours. In Italy, foreigners are not even allowed to participate at the administrative levels, no matter the number of years stayed.
I believe that the right to vote, being a civic right, is one of the most important of all rights ever, and for one to spend a great percentage his life span not having the opportunity to esersice it could somehow distabilize his sense of belonging.
We nigerians abroad are always obliged to accepting any leader, often not cherished by us, after each election without having any possibility to contest it democratically, by vote.
In the past, I had always envied those western counteries that extends this basic right to their citizens abroad, hoping that one day our democracy will also be able to give us this recognition.
Recently, I have noticed that many other countries have adhered to this nobel practice. These countries like Perù, Philippines, Senegal and even Gabon, with respect, are not to be considered of a superior civility compared to our Nigeria. But for now, we seem to be contented with those big titles like: the president or the secretary of this or that political party abroad, and often exchanging it for chieftancy titles that have become very rampant!
It is quite unfortunate that some of our respectable associations abroad (the Nigerian comunity, the Nidoe, etc.) have not seen this to be an important issue to battle on. Of course, it might not be a priority in a country with bundles and bundles of problems, but I believe that the earlier we start talking about it, the better for our children and the future emigrants.
This kind of active involvemente, could be, undoubtedly, an effective means of getting our people interested in the happenings at home, participating in them and reintegrating back into our societies there.

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu

1 commento:

jinn ha detto...

I think it's wonderful what you are doing, blessing. You are prepared to stand in the gap for your people, sacrificing your time and resources. Just remember if the LORD ALMIGHTY is for you, who can be against you. The Lord looks for someone to stand in the Gap, men of God of old like Father Abraham and Moses stood in the gap for the people of Israel, and the LORD did the rest. The LORD will do your fight for you, just, be still and know.
May The Good LORD of Heaven richly bless you and the work you are doing. Amen.

Jinn
Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea