….Of boredom, bitter leaf and brains



Two news items prompted this post.

I was obviously bored. Lazily scrolling past previous Whatsapp messages on my phone, I came across an online video (I really don’t know how old it was) advertising bitter leaf capsules. Obviously, it wasn’t manufactured in Nigeria or anywhere near Africa. That Africans had for thousands of years used vernonia amygdalina  to maintain a healthy lifestyle; and that the ingredients for the capsule were obtained from the tropical regions of Africa, was graciously acknowledged. According to research, bitter leaf can prevent cancer, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and heart attack. It can reduce bad cholesterol and is helpful in weight control.

Now while I have little love for ‘ofe olugbu’ (please don’t hate me and – yes, I am from that part of the world that uses an ‘L’, not an ‘N’ to spell it, so no apologies), I do wonder if it will be to my benefit to foster a good relationship with this herb (ugh…the bitterness though). I also cannot help but be baffled at how it seems virtually impossible for us to develop or promote or spotlight ‘our own’. ‘Olugbu’ has gone international and the hype did not come from us! A rather naughty friend of mine asked why his brothers/sisters in the East were still dying from diabetes and high blood pressure and cancer.

Another message on my phone reminded me that tomorrow is World Brain Day (never knew there was one) WBD certainly does not celebrate the brightest among us. Instead it has been set aside to increase public awareness and promote advocacy related to brain health. This year, it’s attention is on Parkinson’s Disease – a disease that affects brain function and movement; and is suffered by at least 7 million people in the world. Mohammed Ali struggling with words readily comes to my mind here.

Oh shucks, I guess I was too late in posting…….it’s World Brain Day already!

Ogonna Kanu, writes in from Lagos

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