DYSTOPIA 

​A concept once imagined

A theory once propounded 

An era that served as fodder 

For the world of media 
I wake up day after day

Unsure whether I am asleep or awake

Situations I once witnessed on screen alone 

Manifesting themselves around my vicinity 
Fiction becomes fact

Fact becomes reality 

Reality becomes happenings 

Happenings become now
Hope rests like a lily in the mire

Struggling for survival 

The cesspool of bleakness drowning it slowly 

Its petals waning from asphyxiation 
Alas not all is lost yet

Spores emanate from the dying lily

Spreading to little bits of fertile land

For in the face of darkness 

Little hope still reigns 

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The Cosmic Pyramid 

​First there is Nothing 

A total dark abyss of non existence 

A chasm of zeros and nonsense 

A blank canvas where ideas are made
Next comes Chaos

A sudden jolt of energy 

Concepts, meaning and manifestations erupt

Disorderly without purpose and direction 
Then Order is established 

A stoic system of formation 

The atoms arranged, the assembly organized 

A mindless strata erected
Design is made

As thought is used to enact logic

Intricacies and complexities interwoven with intent

A format built with purpose and direction 
Mind is the master

The overseer of all design and order 

The consciousness that powers the mortal coil 

That approves and alters at will
God the final phase 

The zenith of the cosmic pyramid 

That the mind endlessly strives to attain 

Until it falls short only to begin again from Nothing 

Genuine immortality 

​Immortality 

Human’s ultimate desire since the inception of time

The notion of existing perpetually 

Living and breathing continually 
Mortality 

A concept that haunts the mind on end 

The notion of fading away

Rotting and decaying day after day
The philosopher’s stone 

The fountain of youth 

Relics and myths pursued for ages

Time spent chasing the death cure

Only brings man closer to his departure 
For immortality is not about flesh

It is not about maintaining the mortal coil

Like every machine, the body will cease to function 

Because physical living is not the only option 
What do you accomplish 

On your brief time on earth

Were you a tool of change

Or an object of shame
Can you linger in memories 

After you are long gone? 

Ever living in the mind of people 

And not regarded as an essence of trouble 
Gandhi, King, Mandela 

All men of valor that we ever mention and respect 

For genuine immortality 

Is not about simply living

But about leaving a legacy

Meningitis: The Avoidable Plague

Compiled and submitted by Igbo Gabriel 


The Nigerian centre for disease control (NCDC) has raised an alarm in February over the outbreak of meningitis across north western (Zamfara state to be precise) Nigeria. It was recorded that as at 30th of March 2017, 282were confirmed dead while on the 4th of April, the death toll rose to 336 and as at April 7, 2017, it rose to 438. This predicament brings us into looking deep into what meningitis is all about. 

Meningitis from the word or it’s most affected region was coined from the ‘MENINGES’ which involves three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis occurs when the fluid surrounding the meninges becomes infected. It’s an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. 


There are several causes of meningitis such as pneumonia, irritation, drug allergies and some cancer related diseases. Apart from these cause which are mere, there are more serious and severe causes of this meningitis which are in two forms namely viral and bacterial infections. The most common of it is the viral infection. It has been discovered that it affects 10 to 15 percent of infants per year. It affects 85% of the entire population, but the most interesting thing about viral infection is that it only affects a small percentage of people and only a smaller percent with viral infection develop meningitis. It is also interesting to know that the viral infection can go away without treatment. 

Bacterial meningitis is more deadly and dangerous. It becomes chronic if left untreated and unattended for a significant amount of time. It affects about 5% of children and between 20 to 50% of adults which eventually leads to the death of the patient even when proper treatment is administered at the right time. Bacteria that cause meningitis can be found in the respiratory tract, sinuses and nasal cavity.  


Furthermore, meningitis can be transmitted through body fluid such as blood and body discharge. Symptoms ranging between viral and bacterial meningitis are similar but bacterial meningitis is more severe. Symptoms vary depending on the age which includes decreased appetite, irritability, sleepiness, lethargy, fever, stiff neck, seizure, photophobia(sensitivity to light), phonophobia(sensitivity to sound), nausea and headache. However bacterial meningitis is bound to develop suddenly and its symptoms may include altered mental status and nausea. 

Meningitis can be very deadly and lethal. This is the reason why it’s important to be medically alert at any time. Once any of the above symptoms are noticed, seek immediate medical diagnosis and treatment. One cannot deduce the presence of meningitis merely through feeling, a doctor is more suited to determine whether one has the disease or not. Meningitis may be deadly but ignorance is deadlier, one must not ignore their health until it’s chronic lest it becomes too late. 

However, meningitis can be complicated, as certain demographics are more vulnerable to the disease and this includes people with immune deficiency diseases that weaken the immune system like HIV, AIDS, organs or bone marrow transplants. Another set of people prone to meningitis are people living together in relatively small environments, which may include people living in dormitories, barracks, day care centers where people mingle constantly and have close body contact. Pregnant women are also at risk of contacting the disease as it can affect their unborn children and children under the age of 5 are also at a high risk of contacting viral meningitis. 


In a nutshell, having known about all these, diagnosis becomes necessary which gives rise to the question of how.  Doctors can perform a procedure known as lumbar puncture which involves the injection of a needle into the base of tof skull in order to extract some cerebro spinal fluid that can be tested in order to discover whether the patient has meningitis or not. 

To crown it all, treatment of meningitis is best determined early. Prevention is better than cure, hence ways of preventing the disease should be announced and widespread if not, this article would be incomplete. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ultimately paramount, which includes been aware of what goes into one’s mouth, what one puts on their body, the people one mingles with. For those who are prone or vulnerable to meningitis, they are advised to get adequate amount of rest, avoid vices like smoking, avoid contact with sick people and opt for vaccination as early as possible. Sadly the absence of the knowledge of vaccination is the chief reason for the rampant spread of the disease in the northern part of Nigeria.

 I hope you have been enlightened by this article. Share it and spread the word to as many people you know and together we can cull this plague efficiently.  

Life: The Ultimate Medium


There are two prominent sentences that are uttered in everyday life especially during crisis ‘Life is unfair’ and ‘Life is meaningless’. These two sentences are ubiquitous to the everyday man trying to make sense of his existence. To address the first statement ‘Life is unfair’, I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight its notion, ideally life owes no one anything but is merely a raging sea of randomness that sploshes and splashes to and fro occasionally effecting its contents either positively or negatively. An antelope in the Serengeti that gets devoured by a lioness, obviously wouldn’t have wanted to be eaten but alas it was and its death would be used to benefit the lioness and her cubs. In essence, we come into this world already in motion and expect situations to always go our way. We can’t control the laws of nature, all we can do is live in it and ensure as much as possible to do our best to make it conducive for ourselves. Stop grumbling about the unfairness of life and live in the moment because none of us knows when our end will come. Death is an inevitability for every organism, so why worry about it. Live in the now and make the best out of it. 


Concerning the second statement ‘Life is meaningless’ it can be argued that it is closer to the truth than expected. A person born into this world, that grows up without any ambition, simply eating, sleeping and breathing only before returning to the soil can be perceived to have lived a meaningless life. I will once again use a maritime metaphor by saying that life is like a raging sea of purposelessness which a sailor must traverse while searching for clues and adventure that would make him feel fulfilled and satisfied. Just like the sailor, we are all born into a chaotic world filled with ups and downs without any specific direction. You choose to decide what will make you feel fulfilled. You choose what makes sense and meaning to you. Whenever you feel downcast, that is merely a moment when you have struck an iceberg in the sea of purposelessness but with the right mettle and resolve, you can pull out of the iceberg and return to the sea in search of purpose. 


In a nutshell, life can be unfair and meaningless but with the right attitude and conviction you can find purpose and engage yourself meaningfully until we eventually run our course on this earth. So you are the one that determines where your life will go. Get up, stop complaining and take action. You might fail occasionally but as long as you are alive, you can always change your situation. Life is the ultimate medium and you are the catalyst capable of changing its effects on you. 

Watch “Kingsman: The Golden Circle Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers” on YouTube

Recently, the first trailer for the upcoming Kingsman: The Golden Circle was released. It rattled the bones and whetted my appetite with its visually satisfying cinematics and explosive action. The first movie was a surprise hit from the visionary mind of Matthew Vaughn, a master at blending action and comedy as seen in his other works like Stardust, X-Men: First Class and Kickass. This new trailer introduces a couple new A-list actors like Channing Tatum(21 Jump Street), Julianne Moore(Still Alice), Halle Berry(Monster’s Ball), Jeff Bridges(The Big Lebowski) and many more. The trailer showcases action and comedy reminiscent of the first movie and seems like it would continue its satirical deconstruction and parody of spy movie tropes. Kingsman is looking to be more expansive and franchise worthy. Hopefully we will get a nice and even better treat than the infamous church scene from the first movie. The movie comes out on the 22nd of September 2017. Remember manners maketh a man. 

A Tome of Poems: Mammon

MAMMON

For those that don’t have it, it is a big deal

For those that do, it’s a piece of paper

Its viewed as the primary source for joy and thrills

And a significant lack of it brews disaster.

The current god of the modern age

Its roots anchored within the hearts of mortal men

Its minted leaves places man in a mental bondage

Yet we chase it to no end.

You cannot serve God and mammon

View it as a means and not a destination

Death is an inevitability we share in common

Pursue not after only ostentation.