Asa Finds A Friend

 

A bedtime story

Once upon a time there was a spider called Asa who needed a friend. She lived in a gorgeous web that glistened with the colours of the rainbow and hummed with the melodies of the wind. Every time she tried to find a friend: someone to come in, take a seat and drink some dew with her, they fled.

She invited the Feyi  the Fly as he buzzed past her home, “come let’s play, I have leaf-cards, I have a tray full of food.”

Feyi the fly scoffed, scowled and nearly growled, “be gone! spider, trapper of souls, killer of unwary fliers, I spit on your web & leaves& everything you own.” Then he flew away in a huff, leaving Asa in tears.

She invited Attah the Ant but he marched past her with a quarter cube of sugar balanced on his head, “I have work to do! So much work to do! The world is full of lazy people but there is so much to do!” He chanted without a break in stride, soon all Asa could see was his disappearing hindsides.

She invited the Ladybug. Sent her an invitation, hand spun, in a scented flower. “Next year maybe, or the one after that. I can’t find room on my schedule to sit with you and chat,” said the Ladybug as she lay soaking up the sun on a black and red polka dot mat with dark glasses on.

Asa was sad but she was also determined. She wrapped up her web and set out on a voyage. There must be someone who would want a friend just like she did. All she had to do was keep looking and seeking and believing, if she didnt give up, soon, she would find them!

She climbed up a tree and waited for a while, soon a dandelion blowball blew by and she hopped on. Up in the air she flew. Past farms and houses, bicycles and chickens too. Soon the blowball rested by a lake, Asa looked around and was in awe of all she saw: majestic dragon flies buzzing over the water, termites dancing, butterflies soaring overhead. In a corner under a large Udara tree, she saw a small old-looking web, she walked towards it and met an old grandma spider resting in its shade. The grandma spider’s name was Kaka and she was too old or frail to catch food or spin her web.

“I ll help with that. I can spin a big beautiful web and get you fresh food along with some honeydew.” Asa said with a skip in her step. She worked at it all day. Soon the web was done, Grandma Kaka was fed and sleeping soundly. Asa was bored again.

She walked to the lake and begin to spin then she saw the most amazing thing; a bug walking on the lake. “Wow, “she said when he came by, “how can you do that? It is impossible!”

Jakno the Jesus bug laughed. “Nothing is impossible, if you believe. I could teach you, if you want.” Asa wanted very much indeed.

Soon they were strutting up and down the pond. Jakno taught her to water-walk, water-skate, water-dance too. She had the most glorious time. Soon it was time to go back home.

“I am glad I met you Jakno,” Asa said with a smile.

“Me too, beautiful Asa,” Jakno replied.

So Asa came to live by the pond with Gradma Kaka, water-skating and playing with the Jesus bug Jakno. She found family and she found a friend because she didn’t give up and she kept on trying. If you go to the pond today, you can see  two of them, skating, playing and dancing in the sun.

Advertisements

Other

When the rocks gathered,I was a diamond
When the diamonds gathered I was a flaw
When the flaws gathered I was human
When the humans gathered I was African
When the Africans gathered I was poor
When the poor gathered I was ugly
When the ugly gathered I was lame
When the lame gathered I was dull
When the dull gathered I became rock
Chalk, and I taught. I showed them what they could do, have, be. Together we learnt and built and grew. Now they are no longer dull and I am no longer rock. We are all diamonds glistening in the sun.

A Show Fit For A King

In Kundeve, there was a King called Wazobiadi. King Wazobiadi loved his people, and his people loved him. Every year, King Wazobiadi would throw a party for his entire kingdom. At the party, people would perform. The best performance would win a bag of gold, a mansion and a royal blessing.

Every one wanted to win! So, before the party the town was a beehive of preparation. Singers sang. Dancers danced, spinning round till they fell, in dizzy heaps. Jugglers, threw balls into the air till they were rainbows of colour. Everywhere, people practised hard to give a show fit for a king.

Except, in Sade’s house. Sade’s house was at the outskirts of the kingdom. It was small, with mud walls and a leaky roof. In rain, it dripped buckets of water, in Hammartan, it blew in bellows of dust. Sade lived there with Grandmother Akon.

One day Grandma Akon gave Sade a surprise– a flute. “Play it, Sade. May your music bring healing, and happiness everywhere you go.” She said.

Sade loved playing the flute. He played it in the morning on the way to the bush. He played it on his way to the stream. He played the flute everywhere he went.

Everyday, they would wake up early to gather sticks for sale and fruits for food. They would walk many miles through the forest. In the evening they would return to their hut, sweaty tired and hungry.

One day, Sade saw a Canary looking sad. “Canary, why are you so sad?”

“Because I can’t find red berries for my chicks,” said Canary.

” I know were you can get juicy delicious red berries,” Sade said, and he led Canary to berries Grandma had seen earlier.

“Thank you very much!” The Canary said, plucking them for her chicks.

Another day, Sade saw Monkey trying to scratch his back. “Hello, Mr Monkey, can I help?”

“Please!” Monkey said, “I am itching like I hugged a bag of fleas, and I can’t reach the spot!”

Sade got a stick and helped scratch Monkey’s back.

“Thank you Sade,” Monkey said with a smile of relief.

On his way home, Sade saw squirrels sulking by the stream.

” Sade, look! The wind blew our blue beach ball across the stream. We can’t swim. Can you help us? Please.”

Sade swam across the stream and got the ball, for the squirrels. The squirrels were overjoyed. They danced and cheered, wriggling their bushy tails and somersaulting in the air.

“Thank you Sade!” They chorused.

“You are welcome. Have a great day,” Sade said.

On his way, he saw Elephant thrashing about with a coconut covering his face.

“Wait!” Sade said.”Let me help you.”

“Please, my eyes are on fire. I can’t see.” Elephant said, sobbing.

“Calm down. I am leading you to the stream where we can wash this off.”

Sade led Elephant to the stream and rinsed the coconut pulp off his eyes.

“Thank you. This is so kind of you,” Elephant said.

“You are welcome,” Sade replied.

*

* *

A week to the King’s party, Grandma Akon and Sade were formally invited to the ball.

“Grandma Akon,”said Sade ,”Can I present something before the king?”

Grandma Akon laughed. “My darling, what would ‘you’ present before the king?”

“I’ll play my flute.” Sade replied. His eyes were closing and his voice floated in the dark hut.”If I win, I would take you away from here Grandma. We will have a mansion and a bag of gold. Imagine that, Grandma. We would never sleep hungry again.”

“Indeed, but you need to do something very special to win. You need to do something the king has never seen before,” said Grandma Akon.

Sade lay on his mat on the cold, hard floor thinking about what Grandma Akon said. There has to be a way, he thought. He fell asleep thinking about this.

The next morning, He woke smiling.
“Grandma! I have an idea! I will get my friends to join me. My show will be colourful and different.” He said.

“Good idea,”Grandma Akon said patting his head. “Who will be members your team?”

“I will ask the canary to sing, the monkey to drum, the squirrels to dance and the elephant to carry us there.”

“Very well.” Grandma Akon said. “You should go at once.” So, he dashed off.

Sade went to the forest and talked to his friends: Canary,Monkey,Elephant and the squirrels. He told them about the King’s party and asked them to be a part of his team.

“Canary, you will sing. Monkey, you will drum. Elephant, you’ll carry us there. Squirrels, you will dance,juggle and somersault.”

Everyone agreed. So Sade taught them a forgotten Kundeve song his Grandma “We Are Better Together”. He played his flute and they practised. They practised everyday until the big day.

On the big day, the town was festooned with gold and silver ballons and colourful ribbons. Many wonderful dances and songs were performed singly. Sade and his friends were the only group performance. With smiles on their faces, they sang, danced and drummed before King Wazobiadi with their whole hearts. When they finished, the king stood up and clapped saying “Bravo! Bravo! Do it again!”

So they did. They won that year’s show. Sade was given a bag of gold and the king’s blessing. When they asked him where he wanted his mansion, guess what he said?

He said, “I want it near Grandma’s hut, close to my friends, in case they ever need my help again.”

“You are a very wise boy,” the King said. “It will be done at once.”

And it was. The king built a sprawling mansion for Sade and Grandma Akon. His friends Canary, Monkey, Elephant and the squirrels had special spots in its gardens. In the evenings the melody of their music would fill the air. And anyone that listened hard would hear :

We are better together,
We are stronger together,
One for all, all for one,
We are one!

 

Ten Times To Totally Write For Free (& A Million Not To)

Everyone knows I am a #NoFreeWriting Ambassador. I believe you should get paid for your work, your intellectual property, your blood and tears. It took a while for me to navigate the literary landscape and arrive at my current position. I don’t regret the days I wrote for free or was swindled of work but I like where I am now and I am not going back.

So why in the world am I still considering writing for free? It is wrong. It is exploitative. It is thoroughly discouraging the emergence of talent and the development of the craft. Yes it is, but sometimes writing for free can be a good thing. Here are ten occasions you should write for free and feel absolutely no guilt.

1. Your Private Diary/ Journal/Blog

Everything seems to be documented in the public domain these days with social media being the preferred means of sharing experiences, thoughts and feelings. Some things are however too controversial, painful, raw or private for the whole world to see. Writing in a journal or diary can help you:

gather your thoughts without any performance pressure

experiment with style and form

leave a record for yourself and posterity

dabble and brainstorm.

Whatever your reasons, this is one time where you should not feel guilty about time spent versus money-made. Who knows? Your journal could even be optioned and published someday.

2. Your Public Blog/Website/Project

It can be hard to churn out content data after day without any compensation or remuneration. All the hard work that goes into creating work just ignored like a kitten fart. But don’t despair. Writing for your personal blog might not pay immediately but it can be immensely rewarding. It can grow your readership and fans; help you understand your work better; serve as clips for future jobs; be a 24-hour advert to head hunters, agents, editors and publishers; and if you are lucky, advertisers who like what you do can support you. Then Boom! You are the next Linda Ikeji

3. For The Blogs Of Friends/Family

Good writing is hard. It is valuable: made from blood, sweat and tears. It can be frustrating to create without any tangible value received in return but writing for family and friends is different. Just the way you would share your food, home or money with them you can also gladly and proudly lend your words to boost their site or blog without any guilt. Think of it as having each other’s back. Hopefully, it will be a mutually beneficial experience where you get more readers, they get more traffic and everyone gains. Even if it doesn’t work that way, it will be another deposit in your love bank and writers need all the love they get.

4. For a Cause You Care About

Some of the most needy causes are some of the most overlooked. Editors will often commission features that have been flogged to death while important topics languish from neglect. That is where you come in. You can ride in on your white horse (or pink or green or black) and save the day. With your words you can help create awareness for important neglected topics like: mental health, autism, poverty, child’s rights, the environment, wild life and more. With your pen/pad/laptop you can save the world one piece/poem at a time. No one might pay you but that is what heroes love for. And writers are heroes. Yup, that is what you are.

5.For Church/Mosque/Shrine/Temple

If you have been saved, then the least you can do is to save someone else. If you belong to any place that provides nourishment and salvation, eternal life and peace then you shouldn’t let worldly things like money stop you from being a blessing. Many religious publications struggle to find good content. That content can be difference between who is reached and who is unreached. So the next time you come across a tweet asking for help that you give in this domain please give it a thought.

6. For a Fun Free Project You Believe in

Many people charge writers to submit; sell their work and don’t give them a penny back; rogues and robbers. That isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about projects that collate writing by people you believe in, charities you support, topics that fascinate you or all three for that matter. Like the anthology call for writers of your demographic by that passionate broke editor that will edit you till you shine or that mad call for stories with sex in the air. Anything, quirky, genuine and fun that matters to you? Write for yourself, no one can afford you anyway.

7. For a Byline

A byline is a place that has published your work in the past. Now, you don’t need to have written for over a day to know that non-paying places outnumber the paying about 1000 to 1, and it gets worse if you write fiction, or poetry, or write from sub-Saharan Africa or are a new, unknown writer.The problem is, when a writing job — that scarce precious resource– does come, the first thing they will look at is your byline. Where have you been published before? Who else has liked your work? And believe it or not, something is (mostly) better than nothing. So when you have an offer to write for a place that will improve your writing credentials, consider it.

Side note: do this with an eye on the clock. Besides, you only need to do it once for it to count.

8. For Growth & Opportunity 

Every 1000 years (just kidding) there comes a chance to work with a talented editor, a gifted translator, a revered mentor, a dream team that will make you more than you could be on your own; but they have no money. They however value your work and want to make it the best it can be. Take it. Think of it as trade by batter or training or ‘getting your work out in the world’. Such opportunities are few in today’s world, recognize that and act accordingly.

9. When You Want To

You are a writer, a creator, a god. And it is the right of every god to do as they please (within limits).  So, if the fancy strikes you, to share your divinity with mortality, then by all means do so. Grace this world with your light and love and language. Bequeath it your goodness. Gift it your unique, inimitable voice. After all, time is running out and you only get one chance on this orb.

10. For eXpOSuRe

I don’t know where this word came from but I know exposure can make you fall ill and catch a cold (Saint face).

Anyway, this means writing for a publication/site/company/blog/individual that solicited your magic for a paying concern but somehow managed to ‘have no budget for writers’. Really? (Yes, dem pleeeeenty) I have said a lot about how I feel about this. In summary: giving your blood and sweat over to a merchant to hawk, profit and not pay you is a no; the promise that you will get eXpOSuRe is a scam. A gamble, that your name on their site will magically pay your rent or school fees or grocery bill. We all know that (almost) never happens. But if the spirit has spoken to you, the burning bush has called your name, you have seen the fleece and you think it is the right thing to do,or you believe the hype will be worth it, your gut says go, your head doesn’t say no; then flourish.

 

So there it is folks. All the reasons to sit over a blank page bleeding without a dime in sight. The one million reasons not to? Ah. You have to like this and share it and follow the blog so you don’t miss it when it is out. That is the currency here, beloved, you can call it SaintCoin.

*****
Thank you for reading this. Do you ever write for free? Did I miss anything? You are welcome to comment.

This blog is kept alive by your generous donations and tireless support.

Please do not hesitate to share this, reblog, part-post, excerpt and pass it along on Telegram/WhatsApp etc.

We value your input and presence. All this is wasted without you.

 

Lessons From Bitcoin, Tulip Mania & The Nigerian Stock Market

 

Everyone wants more money: beggars, students, thieves, workers, billionaires—everyone. Money determines the choices available to you, the places you can live and the things you can or cannot do. So humans are always trying to get more money, more resources. Economists call it the law of unlimited wants. Humans always want more and our want is insatiable.

To get more money, we do a variety of things: we work, we steal, we beg. But more honourably, and sometimes more successfully, we invest. Investments have the ability to change people’s financial futures and lift them out of poverty. Businesses providing goods and services have done this for the longest time, but the paradigm has shifted to show that that the most important investments are those that require your time or supervision, the ones where your money works for you.

Enter real estate, commodities, the stock market, forex trading and most recently, cryptocurrencies. These investment avenues offer a return that does not depend on your time or effort, but invest in the right one at the right time and you will be rich—or at least richer—than you would have been without the investment. Great idea, except when such investments fail: when the real estate market crashes, when the forex trade does not yield, when the price of a commodity (e.g. crude oil) plummets, and when a cryptocurrency’s value crashes.


Read the full article on Global Voices, here

https://globalvoices.org/2018/03/09/what-bitcoin-tulip-mania-and-the-nigerian-stock-market-have-in-common/