Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How I Cook Ogbono Soup with Okro

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Ogbono is a taboo for Asaba people, according to my dad. My dad was a traditional man, though a Christian, and I loved that he kept us grounded to our culture. The story goes that back in the days, Asaba people could eat whatever they liked including Ogbono. Most of them followed traditional religion, and were worshippers of Onishe, a river goddess.

Onishe treasured purity, and her color was white, which meant that all her followers only came to her shrine wearing akwa ocha. On a certain day, a man ate Ogbono, unknowningly stained his clothes and still came to worship. Onishe was not happy, and banned the drawy soup ingredient since it made her worshippers sloppy and dirty. Since then, a lot of people discarded it from the menu.

We grew up in Enugu, but my parents, from their own parents, were used to not cooking or eating Ogbono. My mum made her okro soup with enough okro and vegetable to thicken the sauce. So ogbono was not something I was used to until I went to boarding house, where without it, our soups would have become rivers of water with oil floating on top. Of course I exaggerate, but you get the idea.

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Blogger Lily Johnson Releases Two Singles

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Fellow blogger, Lily Johnson (real names - Ivera-Lilian Uzoamaka Ozomma-Jonn) started her journey into music in secondary school - Queen's School, Enugu - where she was known in the school choir for her rather deep Alto, and in the school for her musical performances.

Lily Johnson shares her thoughts and opinions on women issues on her blog I Am ...Lily Johnson, and also has a collection of short stories 'In Blood and Soul published by WSIC Ebooks Ltd.

Lily Johnson says she is inspired by the works of Tracy Chapman, Onyeka Onwenu, Anita Baker, The late Tina Onwudiwe, Toni Braxton, and Aretha Franklin. She is currently working on her debut album and her singles ‘Playboy’ and ‘Kilode’ are currently enjoying airplay on radio stations across the country. You can listen to them below and check out the artwork for her singles.

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Transatlantic Sweethearts by TJ Benson

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"I’am standing on the Nicon Hilton hotel now, on top of the parapet roof overlooking Abuja skyline…” Stephanie Nwuba babbled hurriedly fighting the chill that came with increase in altitude as she looked for the best position to place the mobile phone on her hand. She had just closed from work and was hence wearing only a silk purple blouse and a skirt, no match for the lingering harmattan cold. “Where are you?”

“I’m on the top of the Chrysler building…” came the muffled male voice on the other end of the line. “I’m guessing you just came back from work?”

“How did you know?” she squealed. “You’re not back are you?”

“No!” he chuckles. “Its to 12 over here and since the time difference between Nigeria and Newyork is 6 hours, I guessed it would be about 6…right?”

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