Onyinye OyedeleFriday, December 1, 2006
Ontario, Canada



t is that special season again when hearts and souls of many far and wide connect for a single cause---to celebrate the birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ. A historic tradition of the church and a strong foundation of Christianity. As we join millions in this celebration, may we truly know and understand the purpose of the precious gift given to us at Christmas. I celebrate this season with you, presenting some Christmas poems and some old time classic meal memories.

(Poems: It is Christmas, His birthday and Where is the true light?).

Classic delicacies: Jollof rice, Akara and Moi-Moi).

For those traveling, I wish you safe journey, pleasant memories and good health. God bless you all.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

It is Christmas

It is not all about stopping and shopping,
It is about stopping and caring.
It is not about stuffing and getting
It is about sharing and giving.
It is Christmas, what are you stopping and doing?

It is not about new dresses and shoes
It is about new dreams and souls.
It is not about parties and dinners
It is about passion and divinity
It is Christmas, which virtues are you wearing?

It is Christmas………..Hearts are open
It is Christmas………….Homes are open
It is Christmas…………Halleluyah Halleluyah.

(Copyright, Onyinye Oyedele, 2006)

His Birthday

It is His birthday
But you did not invite Him
It is His special day
But He has got no place to call His own
How would you feel, if you were in His shoes?

It is His birthday
But you have invited only your friends
It is His big day
But He gets no attention
How would you feel, if you were in His shoes

It is His birthday
And you do not know much about Him
It is His stage but you have got all eyes on you.
Do you care about Him or what He likes?
It is Christmas……….do you know the Christ?

(Copyright, Onyinye Oyedele, 2006)


The streets and roofs are shining and sparkling
The walls and trees are glittering and stunning
The night is alive and the lights are awake
But where is the true light that shines in our heart?

The shops and malls are filled with lights
The office and towers sparkle and dazzle
A drive at night feels like day with all the lights
But where is the true light that shines in our hearts?

The light that tells me to love my neighbour
The light that tells me to stop the hatred
The light that leads me to lend a hand
The light that shines in the darkest heart
The light that drives the gun away
That is the light that should shine today
When will you light up your heart?

(Copyright, Onyinye Oyedele, 2006)


Jollof Rice

Christmas is a special time for families when at least you get to eat together and also enjoy some old time classic meals. My fondest memories are those in the village when we had "Battalion waki"! That is the family was so large that the pots used for cooking were huge and so many plates lined up to be filled each mealtime. Cooking was never done by one individual. All the aunties and moms put their "kitchen practical" skills together and always brought out the best. While the dads and uncles concentrated on slaughtering the goats, cows and chicken, and the roasting/ removing important parts for pepper soup. There was always something about Christmas day jollof rice (also called "red rice" or "orange rice" by some kids). Tomatoes (Plums and puree) and red pepper being the major ingredients giving it that red effect. In the village setting , cooking with firewood also gives it an irresistible and unforgettable taste. Thanks to our mums and aunties, I am sure most of us have the best memories of the numerous amounts of plates of jollof rice you have eaten each Christmas.


Another classic meal is Akara----fried beans cake. This is made from brown or white beans, washed, peeled and blended into a thick paste with red pepper and onions. It is then fried in little balls. It is a favourite breakfast delicacy any time of the year and most especially when the family gets together. It is also a warm meal on a cold winter Saturday morning! There are a couple of things that go hand in hand with our precious akara----Pap(Ogi/Akamu), custard and the "irreplaceable" garri (rich /poor man's food). You can also make it trendy by having "akara sandwich".

Moi Moi

The all time favourite associate of jollof rice is "moi moi". It is also made from beans, but it is steam cooked. The beans is washed, peeled and blended with onions, tomato and red pepper. The paste in this case is much lighter than the one for akara. Vegetable or palm oil, corn beef and hard boiled eggs or boiled fish are some other things that can be added before pouring the paste into foil cones or plastic containers with lids for steam cooking.

Moi moi is also good for breakfast and goes hand in hand with Pap (Ogi/Akamu) , custard and our old time friend ---garri. But a lot of rice dishes have moi moi as a side attachment. Most parties always provide moi moi to go along with Jollof rice and it is truly a delight especially when cooked in traditional green leaves! It adds a unique and exotic taste to the classic moi moi.

Make your meal times extra special this season and enjoy the taste of our old time classic meals.