Thursday 7 March 2024

Ebedi Fellows Mentor Olivet Students

By

Blessed Adjekpagbon
(Ebedi Fellow, 2024)

The current set of the Writers at the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Iseyin, Nigeria on Monday, 12th February 2024 visited the Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo to mentor some of the students in the area of creative arts.

The four Fellows standing behind the Principal 
and some of the senior students of the school

The Writers made up of three Writers from Nigeria and one from Ghana were well received by the Principal of the school, Mrs. Bukola Dosumu.

It was a very engaging and fulfilling event for the students as they listened with rapt attention to the writers.

Some of the subjects taught included:  the fundamentals of writing good drama, prose, poetry and script writing for screen plays.

At the end of the event, the students were full of gratitude to the visiting writers, and wished for another mentoring workshop in the school.

During the concluding session, the Writers equally applauded the school's management for what they considered to be the school's high standard of education and ambiance.

Some of the facilities that impressed the writers included the school's special building for visual arts, a standard laboratory, well stocked and spacious library, two big football pitches, spacious classrooms, a large staff room and a neat administrative building.

The visitors were also impressed by the 1000 capacity school hall as well as the general neatness of the students and the environment.

The school Principal thanked the Writers for their visit which she believed will greatly enrich creative writing among the students.

She also appreciated the books donated to the school Library through the visiting writers by the Patron of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Dr. Wale Okediran.

The Ebedi International Writers Residency is a free facility for Writers in need of a conducive environment to complete their ongoing works.

Since its establishment in 2010, it has hosted about 300 Writers from 12 African Countries. 

                                                                                 END

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Before Thinking Of Climbing Ebedi Hill, Read This

By Blessed Adjekpagbon   

Left to right: Blessed Adjekpagbon, Adeniran
Abdbasit Adeyemi
and Abdurahman Muhammed
There is a magnificent hill standing like the rock of Gibraltar behind Ebedi International Writers Residency in Iseyin town, Oyo State, South - West, Nigeria. No Ebedi Fellow had ever climbed the tough hill to its crest before. 

Hence, on the 27th of January 2024, at about 11:30am, three fellows namely. Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga, Adeyemi Basit and Abdulrahman Muhammed Abu - Yamam, that are the current fellows of the 2024 First Edition programme of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, decided to tread on it to the peak. But only one of the fellows succeeded in reaching the top as the other two fizzled out just before getting to the middle of the highest peak among the four peaks that adorns the hill. We were accompanied by the young security staff of the residency, whose name is Mr. Gideon Shadrach. He is the only person who ventured to climb with me from where the two others capitulated. 

Gideon Shadrach and Blessed
Adjekpagbon on top of  Ebedi Hill

The hill is very long. It lies latitudinally on the north - eastern side toward the western area of the town. Its length is approximately five to six miles from the Writers Residency axis down towards the western part of the town. It has four peaks projecting on its lengthy topography. The height is approximately up to that of a 30 to 40 storey building. It is far higher than the tower of the Murtalar Muhammed's lnternational Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. The tower is like a David or an ant standing beside Goliath, when compared to the
Ebedi Hill in focus. I have been to the last floor of the international airport tower before, in 1998, when one of my friends was the Chief Security Officer of the SSS (State Security Service), Murtalar lnternational Airport in the days of yore. 

As for the hill, you cannot see the roof of any building in Ebedi Writers Residency and its immediate environment, except a scanty sight of trees below while at its peak. At the mid-section of the hill,  all the roofs in Ebedi looked very tiny like the cups of sardine. After that level, they become invisible to the eyes like when an airplane gets to an altitude in the sky and you can no longer see the houses on the ground well, or at all. That is on the Southern part of the northern hill.. Its surface is inhabited by shrubs and fairly big and medium height trees, whose roots holds firmly into the rocky laced soil. The bottom part of it is the steepest and pretty difficult to climb to a little bit before the midsection. From the midsection, the surface is gravitationally much better to climb with steady climb and less energy consuming to the crest. Some stubborn trees that were disobedient to the command of some powerful winds, were crushed down at different areas of the hill; as there is a common traditional saying that, "When the wind blows, all trees must bow. Any tree that disrespects the commanding strides of a powerful wind, will be crushed down."

 However, the northern part of the hill is embodied with a huge presence of swamp and a large river. From my assessment as a semi - skilled geographer, l observed that the northern part of the hill is highly dangerous to descend to view the base where the mangroove swamp is. It is the source and epic centre of ferocious misty winds that usually travel from the alluvium swamp to the crest, before descending its velocity to the southern side of the hill. This upward climb of the wind from the northern part of the hill and its downward plunge to the southern part of it, is the reason the southern part is cosy nearly all day long. That is why any occupant of the residency can hear the touching of the wind on the sliding windows. It sometimes make curtains to go airborne like birds in nuptial flight. When you happen to be a fellow at the residency, don't be frightened when you hear the glasses of the sliding windows slightly shaking, it is the handiwork of the cool travelling winds from the northern section of the hill, tapping on the windows, to keep reminding you to write and make sure you complete your target writing project, before the duration of your stay gets exhausted. 

Nonetheless, centuries of denudation of the northern part of the hill's topography by wind erosion, has created adverse effect on it, and makes it very steep unlike the southern side which is less dangerous to climb without hill climbing or mountaineering tools. From my observation, it is very rare to see any of the natives climbing or descending from the hill. This could be because of its frightening view from below. It is abundantly populated by trees, and tends to make someone think there could be wild animals living on it.

During my ascent and descent with others aforementioned, we saw no animal on it. Only birds kept chirping at some points, as if to question our audacity of coming to their abode.

                                                        END

Wednesday 10 January 2024

Apostle Ephraim celebrates 61st birthday, looks forward to successful Easter convention


 

Written by Blessed Mudiaga Adjekpagbon

 Apostle Ephraim Uwamarin
The General Overseer of Fountain of Salvation Ministry, Apostle Ephraim Uwamarin who clocked 61 years on Thursday 4 January 2024 expresses his gratitude to God for giving him and his family good health and peace while marking the remarkable day in his life span so far.
In a chat with Bulkybon News, he posited that "I thank God for keeping me and my family healthy to celebrate my 61st year on earth. The greatest thank anyone should give to God is for being alive any day one wakes up "
When asked how he still keep looking fit and smart like an under - thirty Super Eagles striker, despite his advancing age, he said: "I do exercise a lot. I usually engage in long walks everyday, to be in good shape."
However, he pointed that "Even though the call to serve as a vessel to win souls is not an easy task, God is always there as my supporter to overcome challenges, as long as l am doing what the Holy Spirit direct me to do."
While smiling and laughing from time to time, in his usual friendly manner during the chat, he said he is looking forwarded to a successful Easter convention, billed to take place from March 29 to April 1, 2024. He therefore expect those truly looking for salvation to attend the event. He frowns at the rate many nowadays so-called messengers of God have been placing more emphasis on material acquisition at the detriment of true salvation over the years in the Nigerian society.
Nonetheless, he says "Though it is not sin to be materially successful in the right ways, salvation is supreme to all material things. I therefore urge everyone looking for true salvation of his / her soul, to attend the forthcoming Easter convention, that will take place at our worship centre; Fountain of Salvation Ministry, 11, Aladelola Street, Off Ikosi Road, Ketu, Lagos."
In his concluding remark, the very jovial but frank messenger of God emphasized the need for the well - to - do members in any gospel - oriented congregation of God's disciples, to make it a habit of assisting the less privileged among them. According to him, "This will help to reduce the burdens hindering many from truly serving God in spirit and truth."
Those that are familiar with the Apostle's way of life for over twenty years, could testify about his kindness of assisting widows and other needy folks in his congregation, as God provides. He does not make a public show of how he has been assisting those in need, to attract crowd as many crowd-mongering so-called men of God are known for.

                                                                      END

                                  

Thursday 14 December 2023

Absurdities of modern time situations

 

Book: A Vase of Shrubs
Author: 
Victor Bruce
Publisher: 
Oracle Books Limited, Lagos, Nigeria
Reviewer: 
Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga

A Vase of Shrubs, Victor Bruce's first collection of short stories is woven around the themes of prostitution, illiteracy, frustration, greed, poverty, fear, corruption and environmental uncleanliness in the Nigerian and African society at large. It is an attempt at exploring the gloomy sides of human nature that calls forth upsetting glimpses into a violent world no further than a twist of the imagination.

It is written in a unique narrative style defying the logicality of analogies, defying systems of thought that tend to force men into intellectual conventionality. The author hopes however, that it could bring a positive change if men could microscopically examine and turn our past and present failures into tomorrow's gains.  The first story in the collection titled When Pearls Are Gone, is a reflection of the sufferings many orphans and widows go through after the demise of their bread winners. Killing fellow human beings for money rituals and its consequences are the central concern of the story. A consanguine who is supposed to take care of his late brother's child, ironically used the child to perform rituals for money making. But at last, nemesis caught up with him as indicated in the following statement by a character in the story; "Chief has been put in jail." Lady Maggi muttered. "And likely to spend the rest of his life there," she concluded as Iya Ibeji rolled over into a lengthy six hour sleep.

Birth Certificate for Visa, is a very interesting story that could make any lover of humour laugh to the extent of cracking his or her ribs. The craze for certificate possession by every Tom, Dick and Harry in the society nowadays is the focal point of the story. A stack illiterate who cannot read and write, let alone express herself in standard simple English, had wanted to travel outside the country for greener pastures, was duped of her hard earned money by a con man who gave her a birth certificate as visa to travel with. Hear Bruce in one of the following paragraphs in the story; "Although having no previous knowledge of it, she had asked about Bolaji's mission. When Mariam said that he had only just stopped by to say hello, she knew she was not telling the truth... With this revelation, Mariam rushed for her box, reached for the envelope and gave it to Mrs. Rebecca to confirm if actually it is a visa... Mrs. Rebecca unfolded the paper and the first underlined statement that made contact with her eyes was, "Birth Certificate."

Another funny but very good lesson-teaching piece for those who are always in the habit of hoarding fuel, is the story titled Nemesis of A fuel Hoarder. It is very saddening that after the multiple petroleum pipes explosion fire outbreaks that has made many people lose their lives in our society, some people are still engaging in the act of hoarding fuel and breaking petroleum pipelines to scoop fuel. The most annoying part of it is that when there is a fire outbreak caused by the activities of the notorious fuel hoarders, many innocent people are made victims of the condemnable act.  And in most cases, those involved in the act of pipelines vandalism are drunkards and irresponsible people who use their frustration to hurt other hard working and law-abiding citizens living in the society, as depicted by Kendo, the central character in the story. The incessant electric power outage is not helping matters too, as people tend to keep fuel in their houses to run their generator sets. 

Death and The Drama of a Night is a metaphorical representation of the hardship facing many Nigerian graduates these days, striving without getting employed to earn a living after all the stressful and frustrating learning conditions and years spent in the Nigerian University system, to earn a degree. It is also a portrayal of the short life span of modern days people compared to the good old days when our predecessors live up to a very ripe age before joining their ancestors.
Other stories in the book that are thought provoking include Just A Nightmare; A Grandless Gift; Sammy; Station View Hotel; A forgiving Woman; Heaven is not Deceived; and Pots of Atonement. The stories each, has one societal ill or the other they condemn, such as robbery, prostitution, infidelity, and environmental uncleanliness among other numerous ills in Africa. The beauty of the stories lies in the fact that, for every evil or corrupt act committed by any character in the stories, there is always a punishment for it at the end of the day. The stories are very engaging and could make any reasonable person involved in any of the condemnable acts, to have a change of attitude, bearing in mind that if he or she does not desist or repent, the nemesis that befell the perpetrators of such acts in the stories, could also one day happen to him or her. With A Vase of Shrubs, Victor Bruce has proven himself as not only a good poet and musician, but also an entertaining story teller for positive change in the society.
     

END

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Christmas Sales Bonanza: Final Divine Assurance invites general public to new sales centre

 

Mr. Frank George, Branch Manager of Final Divine Assurance speaks about the edible items available at his company's sales centre. In this interview with Bulkybon News, he gives insight on his company's services and location:


Qst: Please, could you introduce yourself?

Ans: l am Frank George, the Branch Manager of Final Divine Assurance new sales centre. We deal on various edible products for public good health.

Qst The public would like to know the type of products your company deal on. Could you mention the varieties of products you have in stock?

Ans: Semovita, spaghetti, flour, sugar, noodles, poundo yam flour, vegetable oil and a host of others in very large quantities.

Qst: Who are your target customers?

Ans: The general public is our focus. I am using this opportunity to invite everyone to come and patronize us as we are going nearer to Christmas.

Qst: What edge do you think you have over other sales outlets that are doing similar business with you? 

Ans: Our price is not too expensive. Our products are also fresh supplies from manufacturers, not old stock.

Qst: Where is your location? Is it easily accessible? 

Ans: Our location is easily accessible because it is sited along Ikorodu Road, Kosofe, near Mile 12, Ketu, Lagos. There is parking space for customers to drive in and load their goods without harassment by anybody.

Qst: Do you have the logistics and capacity to supply your stock to high class hotels, especially those in Lagos that buy large quantities?

Ans: We negotiate the customer base and make arrangement for the customer to pay for the transportation cost.

Qst: Apart from hotels, boarding schools also depend on the type of products you sell. Is your company already supplying them? If no, is there any plan to make them patronize you?

Ans: We have some schools and hotels we are already supplying. But that does not mean we cannot expand our supply chain to others.

Qst: Various business outfits use different methods to retain their existing customers. Some give discount to those who buy large quantities. Does your company give discount to big buyers? 

Ans We give discount too.

Qst: Towards Christmas period, some companies give out hamper to customers and include interesting books in them, such as those published by Bulkybon Publications Company, as their own way of promoting reading culture among Nigerians. Is your company among those doing so, or are you going to join the league of those adding books to hampers this season? 

Ans: lt depends on the value we place on any customer. We can give one or two things, but not hamper.

Qst: You have multimillion naira worth of goods in your stock. Many modern sales outlets like yours use blogs and social media to promote their name and  available brands. Have you been using the internet to promote your company's image and services? 

Ans: We already have, but if there is any other platform that can project us like yours (Bulkybon News), we will key into it.

Qst: Can customers order and pay online for products? And do you have the logistics to deliver items ordered by customers such as high class hotels or boarding schools in areas like Victoria Island and Lekki which Bulkybon (Digital Marketing / Publicity Company) could recommend your services to?

Ans: Yes. Customers can pay online. We will get a vehicle and negotiate with the customer to get the goods delivered safely.

Qst: What are the challenges you are facing in your business? 

Ans: No challenges.

Qst: What is your favourite meal, and how do you usually spend your relaxation time.

Ans: "Eba" is my favourite meal with "ofu onugbo" (bitter leaf soup). I use my free time to watch sports, especially football. 

                                                                     End

NOTE Bulkybon specializes in news dissemination, corporate / brand image promotion, digital marketing, researching, contents writing, editing and publishing/publicity.

WhatsApp: +2348059265333

Direct call: +2348067538922

 

Saturday 20 May 2023

Love is full of sighs

 


Book title: Eclipse Of The Heart

Author: Matthias Pantaleon

Publisher: Jones Walker Publishers, Nigeria

Pages: 66

Year of publication; 2012 (Revised edition 2023)

Reviewer: Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga

 

"Eclipse Of The Heart" is a collection of poems written by an enterprising playwright,  Matthias Pantaleon, who is still expanding his coast in the production of creative literary works in the committee of global writers' circles.

Having known the author as a dashing bloke with a caring heart over the years, it is not surprising to read his humanitarian, insightful and deep - seated love for justice, equality and fairness  expressed in this amorous poetry volume.

The 66-page collection contains two sections namely "Book One" and "Book Two." The first section is made up of 25 poems, likewise the second section, and makes a total of 50 titles in its contents.

Some of the poems in the first section includes "Eclipse Of The Heart," "My Darling," "Tall Drink," "In The City Of Crows And Kites," "You Must Love Me Equally," "Unhurt Yourself," "You Come First," "When A Woman Loves A Man," and so on and so forth.  The second section poems includes the following titles: "I Think Dearly Of You," "Your Mascara Says lt All," "Keep Your Distance," "Someone Like You," "The Lesser Of Two Evils," "I Am Not Yours," "A Woman's Truth," "It Is Hard To Love Eve," "lrrational Love," "Bitter - Sweet Memories" etcetera.

The pieces generally borders on the business and politics of love - whether authentic, fake, obsession, worries and challenges in the relationships between males and females. The author paints different intriguing imaginative natural pictures with the power of love among humans, by likening the emotional phenomenon to the natural rhythms of the winds, waves, rivers, springs, oceans, sky, mountains, moon, sun, stars and whatever you could think of in the universal ecosystem. This creates both mental and psychological images about different experiences many folks have passed through or are still passing through in their relationships with their spouses or lovers. 

Hence, the reader is reminded about William Shakespeare's play titled "Romeo and Juliet," wherein a character says "...Love is a smoke full of sighs..." There are both lovely and bitter sighs in the field of love as humans are not perfect beings. There should however, be a limit of enduring pains and deceits in any relationship between humans, seems to be the hallmarks of some of the poems.

For instance, in a two - stanza poem titled "My Darling" in the collection, the poet expresses his love for his self - known lover in the lines thus:

"If you are reading this

Do not smile just yet

This kid misses you with

A frown and a brow

 

If you feel sad reading this

Do not frown just yet

This kid loves you with

A smile and a mile"

This shows the poet is tenderly inclined to loving an Eve's daughter, whether  as a child born by a woman, or a child that cares for his sister or girlfriend, in as much a biblical verse says: "Go ye and multiply.

Moreover, the poet goes prescriptive in what makes a woman a true lover and comforter of a responsible  man, by using a poem titled "When A Woman Loves A Man" to express his emotions thus:

"When a woman loves a man

She recites the grace twice

Spend the night in his shirt

Because it smells like him

 

When a woman loves a man

She protects him with flight of butterflies

At home, with soothing melodies

Of singing canary and whistling cockatiels

 

When a woman loves a man

She becomes her guardian angel

Nothing dare come between 

Her weakness goes in unison with her strength

 

When a woman loves a man

She makes supplication on his behalf

Her spirit watches over him

Through mud and ashes

 

When a woman loves a man

She teaches him the way of peace

Trust in his judgement like

It is the equal of her soul"

 

By and large, the poems are written in blank and free verses infused with highly arresting figures of speech, internal rhymes and scansion that makes the reader nod at intervals, while digesting the rich philosophical thoughts of the poet, about what love truly is, and what is not to be done in the name of love. It is a volume every matured mind should read. The diction is simple but deep with poetic messages for any discerning mind to grasp. This makes reading the collection worthwhile. It is devoid of obscurantism that most times hinder readers from comprehending the messages in the works of some poets globally.

The author has other published books, and also have some manuscripts in his kitty waiting for publication.  One of his popular books is a work titled "Journey To The Unknown." He is a journalist and member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos chapter, Nigeria.

 

Ebedi Fellows Mentor Olivet Students

By Blessed Adjekpagbon (Ebedi Fellow, 2024) The current set of the Writers at the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Iseyin, Nigeria...