Sunday 13 August 2023



I was thinking this morning.... As an African, there are many foreign practices I struggle to understand. One of such is the giving of flowers. Flowers are often seen as a symbol of love and affection, and when someone is given a bouquet, it's a sign that they are loved and appreciated.

Nevertheless, as youths, we did try out giving of flowers in our apprentice days of 'toasting' a girl in Warri by plucking an hibiscus flower on our way to visiting a babe. The bright red showy flowers of the hibiscus 🌺 was our symbol of love.

From experience, we soon learnt that rather than flowers that withers within hours, Africans appreciated gifts that add value such as money, food or even a souvenir that is long lasting.

Fast forward 25 years. When I first realised that the popular Nigerian drink Zobo was made from dry hibiscus flower, I was immediately put off, despite the drink being rich in antioxidants and aids detoxification. It took me a while to summon up courage to drink the juice made from our love flower, but I finally did years later. The taste? Not bad, I will say, particularly when prepared with ginger.

Acquiring a taste for Zobo gave me a whole new view of the practice of giving of flowers. Why should you give out flowers that can't be eaten when you can process the flower and give out as Zobo? No dulling!

Early last week, the Nigeria Women Football team were narrowly edged out of the Women's World Cup by England after a hard fought match. The ladies did Nigeria proud just like their basketball counterparts, D'Tigress that won their fourth consecutive FIBA Women's Afrobasket title, with mostly local players and first ever female coach. While many were saying, give them their flowers, I said they deserved more than flowers. Give them every dollar due and rather than flowers, give them their Zobo.

If you have achieved anything remarkable, and want to ginger yourself up, you need not wait for anyone to give you your flowers. Do one better, give yourself a chilled Zobo with a tint of ginger. Self appreciation is not pride (Ephesians 5:29).

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

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