….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
Sustain-Able is proud to support the works of Edenworld: A publishing firm determined to change lives and ReCreate the Nigerian literary world. Their Mission is to use the power of words to ReCreate our world and make it the Eden it should be. I am thrilled to be part of this important mission to give back an empowering voice to Nigeria. It is with great delight that I got to know Rayo Abe, whom I consider one of my most empowered Black female friends.
Interesting that when Rayo first met me she took some time to explain the meaning of her name to me. One’s name is also very important in the chinese culture, it carries with it 6000 years of cultural & ancestral history. When a chinese person explains the meaning of his/her name to a new friend, it is a sign of Genuine Trust. 🙂
Rayo describes herself in this way: “I’m a woman. And I’m a writer who has a love-hate relationship with writing. Writing is such a painful process for me but I cannot but write. Everyone who has art burning inside will understand that. I’m also a Nigerian. And an optimist who believes she can change the world but has been advised to start with herself (that sucks). I’m also a whole lot of other things depending on who you ask.
My full name is MOTUNRAYO. Pronounced MOE-TUNE-RAH-YOUR. It means ‘I HAVE FOUND JOY’. Most people shorten it to TUNRAYO, shorter form is RAYO, shortest form is AYO.
My second name is OMOLADE, means ‘CHILDREN ARE THE CROWN OF A HOME’,
My third name is ‘OLUBUSOLA’ meaning ‘GOD HAS ADDED TO MY WEALTH’.
Most Africans have at least three names, and sometimes even more. We place a lot of importance in names coz we believe it determines one’s destiny.
My family name, ABE, means ‘STRONG WILL’ in my native dialect.
Rayo is the CEO of Eden World publishing, founded in 1st Jan 2011, its all about Nigerian writers! “As an emerging writer, I know and have experienced firsthand how difficult it is to get our stories out there; how hard it is to get a platform to showcase our talent and make money from writing. Which is what led to the creation of EdenWorld, a company by writers for writers. EdenWorld is starting off as a magazine publishing company but will expand soon to book publishing, bookshops, library etc. It is our contribution to the Nigerian literary world and an opportunity for talented Nigerian writers to emerge out obscurity.” http://www.myedenworld.org
A few Excerpts from Rayo’s book “Mammy water”:
…. I was little more than a child when I saw mammy water. Even as young as I was then I was already betrothed. In fact, my wedding was just in a few weeks time. I’d never met my husband. In those days things were done differently. The father of the prospective groom approaches your father, sometimes without even the knowledge of the young man in question and sometimes on his behalf. Your father hears the request and passes it on to the family elders who then deliberate on the social and financial importance of the aspiring in-laws, put heads and minds together on whether to grant the request or not; whether to give out the preferred daughter or choose another female child from the family (in those days, family was much more than just a man and his wife and their children………
…….. Due to my mother and grandmother’s machinations, I was soon to be a bride and now my days were vacillating erratically, depending on my mother’s mood. She was torn between pride that her daughter was getting married and the bittersweet pain of watching her daughter grow into a woman so fast and the fear that she had not prepared me adequately for wifehood. She proceeded to spend all her time either yelling at me to grow up and learn fast or crying over me that I was too young for such responsibility or boasting to all and sundry about her soon to be married daughter. She was in her glory as the first wife of my father and the mother of the first daughter to marry in the home…………
…….I knew the river path like the back of my hand and our village was perfectly safe then, unlike in these present days, so I was in no danger and my mother was waiting with more recriminations on my arrival back. What girl would not sit and rest and maybe take a bath and dry off before retying her wrapper and finally filling the calabash? Which was exactly what I did!
It was as I put the full calabash on my head and turned to go that I saw her. The Mammy Water. Of course she was not in mammy water features then, if not I would have run screaming from the river ……….
……Her black hair was braided in the interlocking weave that cost so much to make because of the expertise and time it took. And it was also interspaced with beads! The ends of her hair hung down her shoulders and back with more beads twisted into the tips. She tied a colorful wrapper from above her breast in the manner of married women as opposed to the way unmarried girls tied theirs round the waist leaving their breasts bare. The wrapper reached down to her knees. There were beads round her neck, ankles and wrists and from the slight budge under her wrapper around her hips; I knew she also had on waist beads. And what beads! They seemed more like pearls than beads. It was as if they had moonlight trapped inside. They glowed with a kind of rare luminosity that made it seem as if the secret of the stars had been discovered and used to irradiate them from inside…….”