Tonight during story time take a trip to the heart of Africa.
new friends including a clutter of cats otherwise known as The City
Heroes. Follow a pair of jungle ants as they rescue their friend from a
raging storm. Tag along with a country boy as he hunts wild birds to
prepare a feast for his father’s arrival. Understand the true meaning of
mercy and charity when a stranger is caught stealing eggs from a
farmer. Help a baby named Thomas find his way home after he strays from
his father’s boat. Follow Blaize and his newfound canine friend
Thatcher as they thwart a group of kidnappers in Blaize and the Master
illustrated pictures help tell all six stories including The City
Heroes, The Jungle Ants, The Country Boy, Stranger on the Farm, Baby
Thomas and Blaize and the Master of Enchantment. Encounter adventures
beyond your wildest dreams, learn about the beautiful country of
Nigeria, and see how easy and how fun it is to learn about a new culture
in the heart of Africa.
The City Heroes and other stories from the Heart of Africa
by Nigerian writer Omoruyi Uwuigiaren is a perfect introduction for
young readers to learn about the African experience. Suitable for middle
grade readers, the stories within the collection contain messages and
themes about forgiveness, charity, redemption and loyalty all from a
decidedly African perspective.
The Outside World
night was as dead as a doornail and Lady Tranquility took her seat in
the neighborhood. Dag, a frustrated cat in the pool of old age, had
nothing better to do than lie on the rooftop of a bungalow that was
begging for renovation. The cat gazed at the beautiful earth that spread
before him as if it were a balance sheet under the nose of a shrewd
Dag was not
alone. Other cats that had also known misfortune lay around the old
cat like a pasture clothed with flocks. Dag cleared his throat and
said, “I have no passion for living any more. How can we exist without
“That is for the next world!” said Fred as he scratched his hindquarter.
his head and yawning, Pork said, “It is impossible to walk through
life without enemies. It may be better to live in isolation. But I have
yet to see an isolated man who is happy.”
sighed as if the hands of impossibility had challenged him. “Did I
tell you my master has not fed me for two nights?” he asked his
“No, but I have heard that bedtime story before,” said Pork as he sighed then turned away.
“I will never forget what that old man did to me,” said Dag as he shook his head.
“I have never seen you in this mood,” said Pork. “Tell us, what did he do to you?”
nights ago I chased a rat into his kitchen. The little devil
disappeared into a hole in the wall, which was near my master’s soup
pot. I wanted to leave the kitchen, but I knew that as soon as I’d gone,
the rat would come out of the hole and devour the soup. So I stayed
back to keep vigil over the old man’s meal and possibly snuff the life
out of the foolish rat if he ventured out of hiding. As I lay silently
in the corner, hoping I would take care of the unfortunate soul if the
opportunity presented itself, I heard a squeak and was not disappointed
when I raised my head and saw the rat. It was heading towards the soup
pot on the table. Seeing that the rat was too close to the pot, I
pounced.” Dag paused and fought gallantly to hold back his tears. “But I
missed the little devil and fell on the pot, and the soup poured out.
The rat, happy with my fate, squeaked and disappeared through a little
opening on the window frame.” Dag heaved at the indignity of his
“It was silly of the rat to mock you,” Pork reacted.
continued. “The disturbance almost presented me with a meal, it’s
true. But before I had even a taste of the soup my master, an old dwarf
of a man, rushed into the kitchen and pointed his torch in the
direction of the chaos. He found me at the center of the mess and was
disappointed. His face went red with rage because he thought I was
trying to feast on his soup. This might have been true if I’d had the
opportunity, but before I could blink, he grabbed the broomstick by the
doorpost and gave me the beating of my life. When I finally broke free
of his angry grip, I fled from the kitchen. That night I slept on a
mango tree by the old fence in his compound.”
countenance fell. “Anybody in your master’s shoes would have done the
same. Don’t get me wrong; I do not mean that you were at fault. You had
good intentions, but your master did not understand. Well, such is
life! And don’t blame yourself, because mistakes make our world go
round. Like every cat, your duty is to get rid of the rats. But that
was not your night, Dag, and apparently your master could not
understand why such a deed was committed under his roof.”
“I doubt if he will ever trust me again,” Dag said sadly. “I have not been myself since he chased me out of the house.”
be drowned by your misfortune. And don’t expect too much from people.
Let it go, Dag. The only thing that is constant in life is change.
Besides, you are not the only one with a sad story. Fred told me that
his master’s new wife doesn’t like him,” Pork said. He looked at Fred,
who frowned as if he had not tasted a befitting meal for a while.
“That’s too bad,” said Dag.
Fred spoke in his kindest voice: “Every cat knows how important it is to be loved by the master and his family.”
coughed a bit and said, “So true! At my age, I have no business with
people who do not love me. But as long as I get my meals, I’m okay.”
“I understand you, Dag. But what happened to me was a miserable experience. My master’s wife is a witch!” Fred disclosed.
Pork was alarmed. “Ah, that’s a horrible suspicion.”
“I know what I am saying. I cannot count the number of times that she threw me from the balcony,” Fred replied.
“What?” Dag mused. “You mean she threw you from the second story of the building?”
Fred nodded. “Yes! The last time she did it, I fell on top of a car and fractured my leg.”
“So that’s why we didn’t see you for a few weeks,” Dag said with a frown.
“I had to stay away to avoid embarrassing questions,” Fred replied.
“Was your master aware of her treachery?” Pork asked.
“No!” Fred replied.
“That’s where you went wrong. If I were you, I would have disgraced his wife before him,” Pork boasted.
Fred drew his haunches into a tight ball as the stars began to
disappear from the bare chest of the sky.
“Good question… I would make sure he saw me as soon as he returned home,” Pork replied.
tried it several times. But the woman always locked me out. My master
never once set his large, innocent eyes on me,” Fred said.
cleared his throat as if an idea had flown into his head. “I wonder
when all this will end. If we are not beaten, then we are killed without
guilt or mercy, like an antelope that strays into the den of a deadly
do not foresee any end to our tragedies because the people do not care
about us. They seem to be swimming in a strange pool. They are selfish
and self-centered. To be optimistic, our victory might be in the next
world,” Fred declared.
disagreed with them: “We are not all suffering. Blaize has a good
master and he is doing well.” He looked about. “I wonder why the little
soul is not here. Maybe he is under the spell of sleep. Of course that
is what to expect when the going is good.”
would a rich cat venture into such a humble neighborhood to find his
meal? Blaize told me he has the luxury of feasting on the same fare as
his master, whose heart flows with the milk of human kindness,” Fred
a strange movement from behind alarmed them. “Who is that?” Dag
inquired. He cast a weak glance at the darkness that wrapped itself
around the silent night.
“Who do you think?” said a tiny voice, laughing.
Blaize advanced grinning from ear to ear, his tail held high and the tip curled forward. “Good evening, guys?” he greeted.
it’s you!” Dag smiled and thrust his face forward, as if trying to spy
a thief on a cold night. “I didn’t know that you would be here
tonight. And what is it that you’ve brought with you?”
roasted fish—for you guys,” Blaize replied and dropped the meal before
them. A ray of hope flushed over their faces. Pork smiled like a man
under the spell of liquor. “Fish from you, Blaize?” He moved a few steps
closer and smelled the fish. “It smells like the gate of heaven!” he
said. Then he looked at Dag and Fred and said, “What are we waiting
And all three cats feasted as if there were no tomorrow.
“The stars have disappeared,” Blaize observed. “Let’s make it snappy; I am afraid it may rain tonight.”
“Rain is good,” said Pork. “It washes the dust away.” Then he returned to the meal.
was apologetic: “The fish seems not enough for you guys. Perhaps you
will need to find something else to eat in the neighborhood.”
neighborhood is for all of us,” Dag said, chewing noisily. The joy of
all three cats almost reached the high heaven as they licked their
mouths and the meal settled well in their bellies.
“Thanks, Blaize,” said Pork. “What a lovely way to begin the evening.”
“What are friends for?” said the fortunate Blaize. “I would give more if I had my way.”
“Now, let’s see what we can get in the neighborhood,” Dag suggested.
Enthusiastic Fred agreed. “Not a bad idea!”
Blaize led the way down the bungalow’s rainspout, and one after the other, they disappeared into the warm hands of the darkness.
Barrier can be spiritual or physical. Whatever it may be, it hinders anyone from reaching a set goal. This significantly shut doors of opportunity. Remaining in bondage is inevitable if there is no liberation.“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folks, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.” (John 5: 2-3). It is good to be in control and be free from every device of the enemy. To be liberated, you must scale every height and establish a healthy relationship with God.“Come and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool,” (Isaiah 1:18).Barriers only manifest when we turn away from God and embrace Satan. The works of Satan are numerous. Anyone who manifests them is lost (Galatians 5:19-21).
However, evil covenants, unfulfilled vows and curses are enough to make a man taste misfortune all the rest of his life. The story of the inhabitants of Gibeon in the book of Joshua was frustrating. For fear of getting killed, they made a covenant to become servants. (Joshua 9:1-27) You cannot have such a mentality and enjoy your life. The best you will become is a poor soul living at the mercy of others. It is God’s will that all men be saved. But for your life to be crisis free, you must be hindrance free. Only genuine connectivity to God can send your enemies to blazes.“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all,” (Psalms 34:19).
Have you got the message? Will you confess and forsake your sins right now and give your life to Jesus Christ? Ask God to forgive you. There is hope for someone like you!
Written by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren
Omoruyi Uwuigiaren's writing achievements include nine articles, sixty-five cartoons, and nine books published under his own name. Ruyi not only writes, he publishes books for children. The Vanguard newspapers, the Publicist International, Moronic Ox, TownCrier Times and other literary journals have published his works.