It was a pleasure to be asked to address so many different women this morning at the launch if the Magazine entitled "U Are Not Alone" by Wonderfully Made Woman.
A magazine full of women's stories of hope. Collated together to bring hope and a feeling of can do to others.
A problem shared is a problem halved. We all have stories to tell. Some happy ones and some not so happy. However, we can all and actually do find inspiration in hearing the stories of others. Through listening to others we often find that we have much in common and secretly admire.
This is my point: let us not admire in secret and actually reach out and let 'her' know that you admire what she has said, or done. You will feel a deep happiness to see and know you made another woman, a sister happy.
Even if you are jealous, that's ok. This means you secretly have admiration and that's ok. Speak it and learn how to. Do not allow jealousy to turn to hatred, because that is unhealthy.
Quote of the day: Admire and Aspire.
Dr Erinma Bell MBE DL JP
I recently attended the Africa Peace Symposium in London. The theme was 'Peace and Brotherhood', I was glad to be asked as a female to be asked to address the attendees.
When asked to perform the 'Act of Libation' at the Spirit of Windrush Service of Celebration and Thanks giving held at Manchester Cathedral on 31st October, I questioned why me?
Is this not a performance which is normally carried out by men?
However, I recalled the many libation ceremonies which I had witnessed when living in Nigeria. Whilst most were done by men, there were some which were performed by women. Being from a maternal tribal clan, I had seen this act of libation done be women. Normally the eldest person in the family or gathering would be asked to perform. If this was a woman then she (normally a Chieftess) would be asked to perform the act or, if she chose to, the Chieftess could request a male from the clan to perform the act. With this in mind I felt comfortable to perform the act of libation at the Manchester Cathedral event. Secondly, 31st October is the day before 'All Saint's Day' - a time to remember those around the world who have done good.
The ceremonial act was performed with a prepared list of names which I read out in remembrance of deceased persons. Traditionally back home (Nigeria) the names of our immediate ancestors would be called. However, for internal community political reasons (politics with a small 'p') a list of names was provided.
Therefore, when asked on the 13th of December to perform again, the 'Act of Libation' again, I definitely made up my mind to educate those present on what his act actually means in practice. The event was held at Christ Church, Moss Side and entitle "The Spirit of Windrush"; A service of celebration and thanksgiving for the Windrush Generation and their descendants.
We begin all celebrations and acts by calling the names of our ancestors, asking them to be with us as we perform our ceremony, whether, death, birth, wedding, new yam festival or even birthdays. The act of libation is to call on our ancestors for their spiritual guidance, knowledge and wisdom. If not for our immediate ancestors of mother, father, grand-parents etc we would not exist here today. We, therefore, have to pay reverence to them and in so doing share something of the physical world with those of the spirit world - eg: fruit, food, drink. Their names are called as a way of keeping their spirit alive within our daily lives. We also name our children and grand-children after the living or those past, again so that each and every time we call the name, we remember the person and, we are keep the spirit alive!