PROSE: The Fish And More…
I’m sure we have heard many of them. The pose you see in the pic is my best attempt at the Fish Pose or Matsyasana. It’s not an easy pose to do and I know I look funny (yes…some people laughed!). I can’t swim but I decided to represent a fish because I love fishes. In my dialect, fish is called Iyak. Mind you, I only prefer the edible and less bony fishes – not Bongafish… and certainly NOT the ones that can be poisonous if prepared wrongly – the Fugu Fish! I love them boiled, smoked, fried, roasted and stewed (think bole!). They say that fresh water fishes are more delicious than salt water fishes, but in this recession, who cares? Any type of fish that you manage to afford and see on your plate, just thank God for it! All na protein! We easily remember the chickens we devour at events but no one remembers the unsung heroes that also graced our plates – The Fishes! I have only tasted a smoked shark once… years ago. It was weird that I was eating a fish that loves the taste of human blood! Now that is one fish I don’t want to go near in the water! I’m sure that if the aquatic environment had armed and dangerous ‘area boys’, it is the sharks! Abeg, Mr. and Mrs. Shark, vex not, I don’t hate you. I know that God created you for a reason (best known to God), but please….maintain for your corner in the ocean of life! It is not surprising that the dictionary describes a ‘Shark’ as a dishonest person in business that gives bad advice and cheats people. A Loan Shark is a person who lends money at very high interest rates. See…even the dictionary doesn’t have good things to say about sharks!
Now…back to Fishes. In the symbol for the Zodiac Sign, Pisces, there are 2 fishes tied together and swimming in opposite directions. This expresses duality. In astrology, ‘Pisces’ is the Latin word for ‘Fishes’. Being a Piscean myself, one of the best compliments I have ever received is… (not fine girl! …Dignified, African, Colourful Fish!). Fishes mean different things to different people. For some, it means mermaid or mammywater spirit. A friend once told me that when his mother sees a fish in the dream, it means death. In the classic movie trilogy, the Godfather, when a person is said to be ‘Swimming with the fishes’, it means that the person has been murdered. In the movie, a package with a dead fish in it was sent to somebody to buttress this point. For me, fishes mean adaptation, which is quite admirable. According Wang Yanfang, there are 31,500 species of fishes. I love watching fishes swim and they always seem to know where they are going! The fastest fish in the world is the sailfish – 68 miles per hour! The swordfish swims at 40 miles per hour and the blue shark swims at 43 miles per hour. So far, the fastest recorded speed for human swimming is 5.342 miles per hour. In their aquatic environment, fishes have the choice to eat or be eaten, and the choice to sink or swim. In life, when we face any challenge, we have to make a choice. Do we sink deeper into the challenge, or swim out of the challenge? Sink or Swim. All of us have sunk in defeat at one point in life or the other, and we have also swum to victory. Whenever we sink in life – whether by choice or by circumstance, we feel like we are sinking alone and we need other experienced ‘fishes’ to uplift us and propel us in the right direction. Let us send some words of gratitude to such ‘fishes’ and help to uplift others who are sinking. However, when we choose to swim, we find that there are others swimming along with us…we are never swimming alone in the ocean of life. As we watch others swim, it should encourage us to swim better. For that reason, let us be like the fish that adapts to its aquatic life and swims gracefully and effortlessly to its chosen destination.
…Watch out in our next edition for the Lizard story
By Inemesit Umofia, Ph.D
Dr. (Miss) Inemesit Umofia is a graduate of the Rivers State University and the University of Port Harcourt. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Adult and Community Education as well as a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Community Development. She is also a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Rivers State Chapter and holds a certificate in Creative Writing from the Elechi Amadi School of Creative Writing. She has also undertaken creative writing workshops facilitated by Sefi Atta and Eghosa Imasuen. She is a one of the authors of ‘The Beggar’s Story and Other Tales’, which is a collection of short stories edited and published by the late Captain Elechi Amadi. Her poem ‘Shed a Tear’ written as a tribute to the late Captain Elechi Amadi has been featured in RivAna Magazine and ‘In a Blaze of Glory: Creative Tributes to Elechi Amadi’, which was edited by Adiyi Martin T. Bestman and Priye E. Iyalla-Amadi. Dr. Inemesit Umofia has co-authored publications in academic journals and her prose articles are published in Supreme Magazine. Her thought-provoking prose articles are published under the section, ‘Food for Thought’ and borders on highlighting life lessons in an educative and entertaining manner. She also posts thought-provoking articles on her blog, ‘Life’s angles’. She is an ardent believer in continuous self-empowerment, life-long learning, and development. She hails from Akwa Ibom State, and lives in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
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