Posted in Bismark's Corner, Sightings & Places, Uncategorized

Sightings & Places – Prince Peter takes us to Bénin Republic

Some like me are yet to set foot on the soils of Bénin Republic. Thankfully, Prince Peter offered to takes us on an adventure, somewhere in Cotonou called ‘Possotomè’. He tells us about this fountain of life located in the village that has sort of become symbolic to the people. Also an interesting trip to a sacred forest. Enjoy his narration and the accompanying visuals.

I’m sure there are only 60% of people living in Bénin Republic who actually know where the Possotomè mineral water is gotten from.
So, I had the opportunity to visit the great Possotomè village (most of y’all never knew there was a village named after the water, until now.) with its wonderful river. Lac Aheme.
The factory producing the mineral water is right in the village. Using the natural water, gotten from the lake and other places, the water then undergoes a wonderful process, turning it into the best and most used mineral water in Bénin Republic.


Now, the best part is this; the people of Possotomè village, believe the water is supernatural. What I mean by supernatural is this; the water is said to heal the sick and do many other wonderful things.
Look at the picture above again… Are you seeing the tap there? Yes, when you’re sick, just go and take a wonderful bath under the big tap (I won’t call it a shower) and you’re healed, or drink from a water tower, located in the village.

Another thing is this. It is believed that there’s a hippopotamus in the very middle of the Lac- river. That’s it up there in the picture. No one dares crosses to the middle. While travelling there, you’ll see a hotel built on/around the river.
Right after there, going forward, that’s where the hippo lives. All hail the great hippo!!

The Mineral water gotten from the Lac- river here in Bénin Republic is one of the best and one of its kind. I don’t think any mineral water will ever beat it, even in 20 years!

The Sacred Forest of Kpassè:
We walked for 5 minutes from; where we stayed, to the forest. The weather was really bad. It looked like it was going to rain, anytime soon. Finally, we got there and tour commenced.
The sacred forest, does not have the word ‘sacred’ for nothing. It’s sacred because it houses the King of Kpassé and other creatures.
The king of Kpassè, on the run from the enemy in the 16th century, went into the forest to seek refuge. He wanted to be protected from the enemy and this, was a good place.
Take a look at the following pictures.

This is an iroko tree, which was said to be 400 years. The king of Kpassè, after fleeing from the enemy, wanted to live forever and get protection from evil. This, made him disappear into the tree. Legend has it that the king grants the wishes of his subjects and other people, who comes with a problem.
Make your wish and kiss the tree. Boom! Your wish is granted.

The above picture shows a man, playing with snakes. Lovely creatures, right? No, they’re not. People in this part of the country believes in the power of the snake. The snakes are not harmful as its said. Legend has it that when one snake is killed, dangerous things will befall the village and if possible, the entire country.
So please, don’t go about killing snakes anyhow. One, might be a prince.

This is The temple of the Snake. This temple is for the snakes and those who’ve been initiated alone. They go in there, to pray to the snakes and ask for anything which the snake(s) grants. The snakes in there are all loyal to their Queen (if indeed there’s any) and oversee things going on in the village/town.

This is Legba with his long penis. Legba is the god that takes care of the villages and towns in the country. He also is the god of “fertility”. Women around the world, who are barren and believes in the power of this god, comes to him with gifts and then prays for whatever they came for.
Legba is one of the good gods of Bénin, till date.
The people of ancient Kpassé, made a route through the forest to the kings palace, so that he can get inside and take whatsoever it wants.
An oracle, was made for the king, next to the iroko tree he entered. While going there, your shoes should be removed otherwise, you face the wrath of the king.
The people still ask when he’ll come out. He says, he’d live there till eternity.
Well, let’s believe he still lives there and grants wishes.

P.S: Benin republic, is one of the countries in the world that believes strongly in voodoo powers. Respect the dead!
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Posted in Bismark's Corner, Cave View, Uncategorized

On Shaky Foundations – Written by Matty Marope

Today I specially acknowledge the kids of parents who engaged in physical abuse. You never really do grow from that. When other kids have memories of being scolded for running without their shoes on, you have little flashbacks of fists, belts, kicks, insults and rage. These memories come randomly when you are giggling with your friends over jokes about this or that,when you are blushing over compliments given to you and even when having sex-anytime! These morsels of memories come with an after-taste of distrust, over-trust &misplaced compassion and love from the bitter drink named emotional abuse.

Your brain tends to shatter, reality becomes skew and a sense of compassion to you dabbles between hiding from everyone or overly loving everyone from afar and close. That needle on the scale is never really balanced. And when it seems to dabble on a certain number it still never really settles and re-calibrating means therapy and therapy means picking scabs of the past,applying balm and bandaging wounds as a sign of healing-always painful but it works until the next disease.

You hang on to anything as a shield. You can even hide in a tinned shack with a toxic lover who also has their own scars and wild perspective to life but just as long as he looks like or has the physical capability to shield you should the need arise, your version of love means being physically ready to protect yourself. You watch for cues in tone, habits and touches to know when you should be prepared to be disregarded for another. And even when you know, you stand still, disappointed at your lack of movement, longing for more affection and hateful that instead of being physically challenged and being ready for it, you are now emotionally contending and there is little else you can do-its like trying to run under water-physically tiring,mentally shattering and emotionally exhausting.

Your version of educational fulfilment means a fear of completion and success because again you didn’t fight for this and it somehow feels like even the best you have so far (even when its better than most else’s) is too meagre to be presented to the world. Being at work dabbles between being too nice and liberal to being cagey. You have the opportunity to seek mentorship and friendship but if at the first sign of ‘hello’ you see cues for unwillingness, distrust,disinterest – you bail when it could have just been that person being too busy at the moment or having a hard time in their life or with their health at that moment. Or it truly could’ve been that they have no interest in helping you and that they do want to see you fail but because you don’t have the emotional capacity to handle rejection without tearing up and begging like you are being beaten and then fixing things like you are bandaging scars, you let go of everything and wait anxiously.

These are wounds religion can’t seem to fix because it preaches submission,being humble and kneeling-the same positions your saw your battered parent being in and your other battering parent playing God and striking at every turn, sometimes fixing things a little before striking again.

On most days when things are lovely; you do so well. On horrible days, you try to at least stand when your feet even when they are wobbly. On all days; you are beautiful, you are the sunshine and the moon and we were and are still here-all of us. I acknowledge you, I am you and we kids are alright.

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