The Human Phenomenon: Case Study 1

Man is one: greatness and animal fused together. None of his acts is pure charity. None is pure bestiality.

Mariama Bâ – Senegalese novelist.

Many times, I’ve had to wonder why I was born human and not a bird, a fish or plant. I mean, why was I not ever consulted by what/whoever was in charge of creation before being molded in a form that I now find myself? Could it be that I lacked what was required to be born as something different or that I passed a test too well to not have been born a human being? What could it be? This question, which I’ve had the grace to resolve only as I grew in years and wisdom now have a conclusion in my heart: I am what I am; and to the fullest will I live out what I am. But if there comes a day I have a say in what form I would love to take (aside the human form), maybe, just maybe, I just might go for a far more simpler entity that has nothing to do with evil.

In any case, what was it that actually informed this out-of-place-thought turned post? Why have I suddenly found myself thinking humans, wanting to urge humans and more importantly, reminding humans how best to be humans? Kindly indulge me and read on.

Be Kind

I was raised to be kind—very kind, though not so stupid to not know when to be less kind. (NOTE: Less kind, not totally unkind). You see, kindness isn’t always about what we believe it to be: giving out money, food or other materials. No. Kindness goes beyond our deeds. Kindness stems from the deepest part of our heart, our essence. Kindness is love. And it doesn’t take much from us to be kind if we allow ourselves to be. I’m no saint and I dare not say that I’m kindness personified. But I’ve lived long enough to have an awareness that we— humans have constructed for ourselves a very unkind world where everybody lives for himself and yet, blames the world for being unkind.

One of my many personal experiences with humans and kindness:

Cab

In a four passenger cab one very sunny afternoon while awaiting the driver who had excused himself for his private business, a man came asking for either a token to buy water to drink or be given the water itself no matter how small. Normally, I don’t often hear people asking particularly for the things they needed, instead, they ask for money to buy them. So I thought it strange to hear such a two-fold request but nevertheless hoped that one of my co-passengers who actually had two bottles of water—one already half-empty—would be kind enough to help the thirsty man. But no, I was in for a shock. This other man, my co-passenger shooed the thirsty man away in the most condescending manner, brought out his half-empty bottle of water and emptied it all on hand rinsing! The other side of kindness huh? You’re very right, cruelty is what it’s called!

The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. 

Albert Schweitzer – German theologian and philosopher. 

With Love from Abuja

Abuja, the Capital city of Nigeria, is known for many things. Aside the fact that it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities that Nigeria boasts of, this ‘city of varieties’ remains the place to go when you’re NOT only interested in relieving stress but also in dire need of fine treats for body and soul. And not to also mention that just because you’ve decided to visit Abuja, you’re only a half ticket away from dining with the First Man in his very magnificent Aso Villa… (LOL!)

So, a while ago I visited this delightful city courtesy of the Association of Nigerian Authors’ 35th Anniversary International Convention – a four day event in celebration of Nigerian Authors, books and art. And you can guess that from the very moment I stepped into the city, all I wished was to stay for more than four days. If not for anything, at least to explore the very carefully planned city whose beautiful landscape I’ve only heard and read so much about. And so when it occurred to me that the program of event included an itinerary marked for the second day, I literally danced in the air and got my curiosity tools ready.

Buks

A fifteen minute drive from Garki, the main venue of the event was all it took to get to our first destination – the Writers’ Village at Mpape. And with the very large mass of land awaiting ultramodern residences for writers, well, let’s just say that the present and future days of Nigerian writers is glorious.

Eno

The second tour and my best experience of our two visits was to the Art & Crafts Village at Wuse. Here, there was much to feed the eyes on: baskets, raffia, sculptures, paintings, African textiles in different colourful shades of prints and patterns were all on display for sale and fancy. And since I wasn’t about to miss out of appreciating art the best way I could, I jumped to work without any caution. But I had barely started to click away when a familiar honk blared its signal to cart away its faithfuls, among whom I belonged.

Shop

Big

Panels

“But we just got here!” I heard a woman scream to the air. She had sat behind me in the bus and had boasted to buy the entire Crafts Village to everyone who cared to listen. We both exchanged sad glances and as if choreographed, marched together to the symphony of another impatient blare.

Later that evening, while in a company of a colleague who never takes anything serious to heart, I lend my frustrations a voice.

“You won’t believe that I had barely taken two pictures when that driver honked for us to leave!”

I could have guessed a not too comforting comment accompanied with a chuckle.

 “Take it easy dear friend. Count it all joy and part of your Abuja experience.”

 

P.S.

I haven’t quite gotten the hang of blogging, hence, the reason for a not-so-tidy page. Please do leave a comment if you have any tips or suggestions for an unrelenting art blogger.

Into The Wild I go

There’s always something refreshingly new about nature. And if you’re lucky—like I was today, you just might find that often, nature has more to reveal to you than anything you could ever possibly imagine. Earlier today, my wandering muse led my petite legs through a path into the wild, showing me layers and layers of beauty embedded in the most seemingly insignificant affairs of nature.

Foliage
Camouflage Affair

I wandered, learning from the tiniest insect whose survival depends on an insignificant twig, a rotten foliage in an inseparable union with the earth, a blossoming flower whose awaiting its pollinating suitors, a flowing stream underneath heaps of brown mud and sunbows radiating many shades of luminescence beauty.

Fallen
Brown Beauty

Then I found my lips parting in a whisper
How do I take part in all of these?
A rhetoric, Yes
But, No. Mother Nature gave an answer
Be careful what you ask for, human. For in this world, taking part means no turning back.
Then I smiled. And unto her I made a plea
Take me. Even deeper into the wild…

IMG_20170620_152841
Watercourse

Thursday. 12:45 Noon. Ibadan, Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

Entrée: The Gloss in my Name

Finally after many months of foot dragging, I’m officially here on the blogosphere to stay…Yay! And what better way to launch a blog than a quick introduction of oneself, right?

I shoot!

I go by the name Ifedolapo— a compound name which by default, allows for abridged versions of itself, therefore, often leaving me no choice than to explain its etymology.

The gloss

Basically, Ifedolapo is generated from few Yoruba words that mostly denote actions. But more importantly, the name itself is derived from two Yoruba words Ife and Dolapo, meaning ‘love’ and ‘to mix wealth’ respectively. Although a more glorified meaning of the name—which I like to use— would be ‘love mixes wealth together.’

More gloss…

As a bearer of such a symbolic name, I’ve discovered, over years of growing up, that my name succinctly summarizes who I am (and who I’d always be) —a being who loves varieties coming together to define life.

So yes, I’d say I’m a student in the school of thought that teaches ‘variety is the spice of life’ because there’s no truth truer than this.

It gets glossier…

Because I’m who I am and I find that each day should be lived fulfilling a purpose greater than oneself, I hope to share myself on this space as a humanist, photographer, writer, art collector, culture enthusiast and many things that define me.

Bless.