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UPDATED ‘ABOUT BLOGGER’ – Tola Adenle

November 7, 2014

About Blogger/About Emotan

By the way, this is the same ‘Me’ as the one in the ‘Profile’. TOLA.

I am a wife, mother of four, grandmother of six, dragged to blogging by one of her kids but has been helped by all. This blog is the result of a monster error on my old blog, emotanafricana.com.   You started a new blog due to a mistake on another blog? Yeah, because I could not sort the error out.

https://emotan.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/the-clan_new.jpg

The Clan, Xmas 2011.

Eons ago before all of the above and before the Information Age, I was born at Iju, a small town in Southwestern Nigeria’s Ondo State where I spent my first twelve years of life in bucolic surroundings among zillions of siblings, cousins, close and distant relations many of whom I would not realize the relationships till well into adulthood.  My father planted cocoa and while I hated farm work, I have fond memories of those times: when the first of cocoa pods started ripening which meant the beginning of school’s “third term” – towards September which meant farm work only on Saturdays!

xmasesModern uses for aso oke

From top, then left, and right: Xmas 2009, 2010 – also to mark 40th wedding anniversary & Xmas 2011

XMAS aso oke plus buba

Xmas 2013 clad in Xmas colors

I must have eaten tons of the cocoa beans at harvest times; we also loved to eat the dried ones; the taste of high-grade dark organic chocolate to which I still treat myself reminds me of that long ago dried cocoa bean taste.  When the work of cotton harvesting was a little behind us – my father planted a little of a few cash crops apart from the main cocoa farm – Easter, with all those beautiful hymns, was at hand.  You would not be wrong to guess I was a chorister.  While I might have hated farm work, I cannot remember actually hating to go to the farm as much because the farm ensured that we were never ones to be sent away for school fees even during the pre-Awolowo free education era when tuition was paid from the day one stepped into school.

At the village school, I loved the ordered and orderly environment: the hand-washing bowls – and towels – at the entrance to each class – Nigeria takes foreign grants and aids for such this oil boom era – the paths demarcated with rocks that are white-washed by the school boys, the school farm where groundnuts (peanuts) were planted and at harvest time, each kid got to take home what would be up to 2 lbs each, AND the flowers – crotons, bougainvilleas, rose perinwinkle, marigolds and bachelor’s button.  I also loved school, especially after discovering the world of books in the last year of elementary school, thanks to an older sister who was already in, perhaps, Nigeria’s second best-known girls’ school – St. Anne’s – who passed down  Jane Eyre.  The day of learning about a world I could not imagine, and an abiding interest in the novel form and writing, had begun.

ASO OKE ID 2

Xmas 2013

I cannot figure it out to this day how or why because even though I hated the never-ending cycle of farm work, I do enjoy the hard work of gardening that goes into producing an environment that replicates (a little bit) my early life of seeing wild flowers on the way to the farm and in the farm.  There are few sights prettier than when our little cotton patches came to life clad in a sea of yellow flowers. The white buds of cotton amidst a field of dried out stalks and leaves in January were probably pretty but sights of them reminded me of the work of harvesting which left one itching that lay around the calendar corner.

That early life shaped who I am.

When my family lived in arid Las Vegas for several years, I would step out of the house and smell moisture so pungent on the very rare occasions when it rained and would announce assuredly and gleefully to my Significant Other who understood not such: “the rain’s going to fall; take that from a farmer’s daughter”, and it would within 24 hours!

Still about where I come from, I have been a teacher both at elementary and secondary (high) schools; a secretary at  British Petroleum, Lagos and the University of Ife, Nigeria – now Obafemi Awolowo University in the late 60s, and at the World Bank in the 70s; the designation at The Bank was a bit of a stretch, though as I was more of a go-fer who worked for food and my college tuition running errands around The Bank’s growing empire in several Washington, D.C. buildings apart from the Headquarters while spouse attended grad school.  There were also two babies who needed to be fed and nurtured!

I cut my journalism teeth at the Ibadan-based government-owned The Daily Sketch first as a National Service Youth Corper and then as a features writer before editing the Women Affairs pages. In July 1977, I founded Emotan, A Woman’s Magazine which I published and edited till 1985 before it was rested. I also edited technical material for a consulting firm at Vegas during the exile [Babangida] years.

croton_plant_by_kitteh_pawz-d53x6am

A croton deviant – kitteh-pawz.deviantart.com

This is an ad-free blog except when I have a charity to promote.  I even pay a little amount to wordpress.com to keep ads out.  It is a leisurely hobby I graduated into to store my old newspaper weekly essays and now that I’ve used most of what I’d like to share beyond the Nigerian borders in the old blog, I work at this as I did for emotanafricana.com really hard – to keep the brain busy as well as to continue to have a ready outlet to share my thoughts on my favorite subjects.

I keep my blogs clean as regards’ readers’ comments; I take out those that are not. As I’m no fence sitter, I make my stands on issues very clear in the responses to most comments or the additions through lead-ins to posted essays not written by me.

In addition to publishing my own essays, I use a few contributions of those sent to me and in addition, I post stories from the web that I enjoy and would like to share. In all, my old blog has not less than 40% of the 1500+ postings I had in 3 1/2 years written by me. Pardon my being the one saying so –  not bad for an Info Highway Student Learner [BUT] whose driver’s license application stands no chance of ever being granted. Reason: I look out of the Beetle to change lanes not realizing the vehicles the kids and a few middle age drive have devices that show behind and surrounding vehicular activities right INSIDE their vehicles!

As can be noted, I love Yoruba’s Aṣọ Òkè, and I particularly love the very old ones of which I’m a lucky owner of a few.  In fact, the run-away winner of attracting the most views on emotanafricana.com was Yoruba Engagement Aṣọ Òkè which had more than 10,000 – ten thousand – and the category still continues to attract scores of views weekly even after the blog has gone to shelf.

Aso Oke is from the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria where my roots run deep in more than one state.  There are many pictures of me wearing various styles and weaves of the textile on the old blog.  Yoruba’s Aṣọ Òkè has many sub-categories in the old blog, including the three great Classics – Sányán, Àlàárì & Ẹtù. As can also be noted, I am no gèlè  (head tie)  specialist; I just run them around my head whichever way, and off I go.  In Yorubaland these days, there are “artists” outside event centers who, for a fee, would turn my type into stars!

To know more ABOUT me – what I’ve done, et cetera, please check out: emotanafricana.com. Welcome aboard if you are just discovering me, and to my old friends, thanks for taking my blogging to enjoyable heights for me.

TOLA ADENLE Ibadan, Nigeria, Thursday, September 9, 2014.

UPDATED:  November 7, 2014.

Check out my rested blog for more essays on Sports, Politics, Health, et cetera:   https://emotanafricana.com/

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2014.  10:a.m. [GMT]

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17 Comments on “UPDATED ‘ABOUT BLOGGER’ – Tola Adenle”

  1. looneybitch Says:

    Great read. I came across your blogs via another Blogger….you commented on their one…and so I clicked and there you were. I shall return another time and read more… fascinating stuff…. long may oyu continue.

    Like

    Reply

  2. Naijamum Says:

    Mama, where have you been all my life? Very pleased to meet you, I can already imagine how I will be when I grow older, like you but maybe better at ‘gele’ tying. Please let me help with the gele in your profile picture, or maybe we should leave it be, after all it was what led me to your blog. E ku Ise ma.

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    • emotanglobal Says:

      Dear Naijamum,

      You do flatter me which I accept whole-heartedly! I know, my gele artistry – rather a lack of it – may be too late to mend but if we do run into each other at socials, it would be a great pleasure to have you give me a make-over and a photograph would record The Event!

      And thanks for following my blog.

      My regards,
      TOLA.

      Like

      Reply

    • emotanglobal Says:

      Dear Naijamum,

      You do flatter me which I accept whole-heartedly and I must say I do like your style – writing style, I mean!

      I know, my gele artistry – rather a lack of it – may be too late to mend but if we do run into each other at socials where my gele would stand out like a sore thumb, it would be a great pleasure to have you give me a make-over and a photograph would record The Event!

      And thanks for following my blog.

      My regards,
      TOLA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  3. Rookienotes Says:

    You look so fabulous! You inspire me to take good care of myself. And your family seems delightful!

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  4. folakemiodoaje Says:

    That’s good to know re Ondo State markets and charges are very reasonable too.

    How I wish I could say the same of the New Market at OAU campus when I needed to ‘go’ during my last visit there.

    Many thanks, FO

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    • emotanglobal Says:

      Dear Fola,

      I’m sure other states, esp. in Southwestern Nigeria, seem to be copying the Ondo template – from what I’ve seen around a few places. I hope I do not sound parochial!

      My thanks, and sincere regards,
      TOLA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  5. folakemiodoaje Says:

    Mrs Adenle – this is incredible! You should write an autobiography off it.

    Whao, I enjoyed every aspect of this piece: the farm work, that’s incredible – the cocoa beans story is relatable. I loved to lick the juice off fresh ones andthe dried ones were just, as you said it, so much I am drooling! Memories.

    You didn’t talk about palm oil?

    And your Aso Oke gele is just perfect as they were, that is called K’ẹlẹnu ṣọnu )

    I especially loved your narrative of the village school – the hand washing bowl at the entrance of the classrooms? I suppose the idea was to teach school pupils the importance of hygiene at school and the hope that the habit would stay with them while at home (abi?). This is new to me. The practice had long been shelved when I started school in the late 70s. Pity though. See how much Nigeria spent recently to teach the same habit to school children when Ebola fear struck?

    And love, love your sense of humour – looking out of the window to change lanes? Oh Mama! Ribs cracking.

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories.

    Kindest regards,
    FO

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    • emotanglobal Says:

      Dear Fola,

      A million thanks for this: the encouraging words, the goodwill, the compliments …

      1. I’ll go back when time permits to add the palm oil story because that’s a whole big item but just a hint here: harvest was during August/September or thereabout. The rains were on and we used to have to make zillions of trips each day to get water from a little lake which we were warned had AT LEAST a python in its belly. We’d rush in, draw the water and actually took to our heels carrying the tin of water on our heads. Farm work, though hard, always had a few hidden pleasures, and with palm oil harvest was getting to eat yams cooked in the raw stuff; can’t recall the taste but it used to be heavenly!

      Yes, the hand-washing was to teach hygienic habits which was taken so seriously back then that there were school songs to remind you of consequences of forgetting to do so. I still remember the words of one of such:

      L’ori atan ni mo ti wa/Nko wẹ’wọ, nko wẹ’sẹ/fun mi l’aiye lẹkan ṣoṣo/k’emi le ko ba ọ!

      The UN international hand-washing day celebration is now big in Nigeria to teach people the importance of hygienic practices; it is a day in October but in spite of this awareness, I have not seen any school where what we had in the early 50s to when I left elementary school in 1958 is practised.

      Dear readers, K’ẹlẹnu ṣọnu is something like shh- or in “4-letter word” lingo: keep your mouth shut [about my lack of capability to tie gele properly!]

      Sincere regards,
      TOLA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • folakemiodoaje Says:

        Looking forward to reading about your palm oil processing experience. Sometimes my mother allowed my sister and I to cook esuru (round yam, different from others as you can pound this one) in boiling palm oil. This was a treat and heavenly delicious.

        Regarding hand washing day, that’s a fantastic initiative but I am looking forward to a day when it becomes criminal offence not to have toilet sufficient enough for inhabitants of households/ market places and offices, and this will hopefully go along with doing the needful after toilet visits.

        Like

      • emotanglobal Says:

        Thanks, Fola.

        Now, eating esuru drenched in oil would be almost a sin but we only live once!

        The markets built in Ondo State cities and towns by the present government have toilets and water to flush it. I know because we lived at Akure in 2011/2012 and I went to the markets regularly and my spouse always needed to use the place. Even though I never entered one, he had high praises. The costs were – p– N10.00 & Big job N20.00. A person in charge of ensuring cleanliness was always around.

        There are miniature versions of the huge beautiful markets that are at Akure and other cities in the towns; at least there’s one at Iju.

        All the markets are decent and clean.

        Regards,
        TOLA.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Femi Aborisade Says:

    Yours is a resourceful and productive life, focused, dedicated and committed to worthy and positive ideals!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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