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During the Blackout

By Sereba Agiobu-Kemmer
26 March 2022   |   4:05 am
The Black-out, is not a reference to the vagaries of “NEPA” but rather to the Lenten period.

The Black-out, is not a reference to the vagaries of “NEPA” but rather to the Lenten period.

Ash Wednesday signifies the beginning of lent, which ends in the Resurrection Day.

Abstiness from all indulgencies begins on Ash Wednesday in the olden days, especially in the Catholic community, prayer and fasting is a religious observance that you’ll find the adherent going to church with their rosaries and prayer books to meditate. The inside of the church is a gloomy atmosphere, the altar is devoid of any floral decoration. The atmosphere is mournful.

The Apothecary: This brings memories of great grandmother Ma Joana in the 1950’s. She was quite a towering figure, jovial with us kids. At that time she used to give us bunches of fragrant African lavender and honeysuckle flowers. Drying plants, flowers and herbs to use in various formulations, either medicinal, cosmetic, culinary formulation. These were contained in mason jars in olive oil, always olive oil. She was a very knowledgeable lady, who freely and treated people with various ailments, free of charge. She was a wealthy woman, I guess this was her own way of giving back to the community. She spoke in the Portuguese language and Yoruba (Anago.) Alas she passed away too soon in the 1950’s. But she left a legacy with her own daughter my maternal grandmother who lived into 1980’s and her grand-daughter my mum and aunts. They all learnt the arts.

Perpetual: during this period they take advantage of the dry weather, to prepare everlasting bouquets. So bridal bouquets in those days must include some everlasting bunch. By the time lent is over, dry flower arrangements have been prepared ready for the Easter celebrations. Some traditions don’t die but are carried on.