OHNE DICH KEIN MICH

Es lebe die Vielfalt
Hymne der Natur
Ohne jung kein alt
Jedem Inhalt vielerlei Gestalt
Jenseits der Zensur

Die Menschen, die wir nicht begreifen
Verhelfen uns am Schnellsten zum Weiterreifen
Durch Reibung, Herausfordern und Schleifen

Alles, was Du nicht bist
Freue Dich, daß jemand anders es ist
Das schöne Leben hat sich aufgeteilt
Über unzählige Miriaden in aller Welt.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

NACHTBOTE

Die tote Stille deutet darauf hin
Daß es irgendwann ist
Zwischen Mitternacht und Morgenstund
Irgendwo in der Mitte –

In der Stille wenden sich zu mir
Seelenklare Gedanken
Ruhige Vermutungen
Mit der Bitte
Sie ernst zu nehmen
Nicht wieder zu vergessen
Wenn mein Kopf das Kissen erneut berührt und
Ich morgenfrüh diese Stunde vergesse
In der ein Traum mich weckte
Für ein paar Minuten in der Nacht.

Baby schlummert, Mutter ruht
Nachbarn träumen, draußen ist’s still
Jetzt lege ich mich auch schlafen
Und die ganze Welt wird still.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

HUMAN HEART

Santa and Satan are spelled with the same letters.
I just noticed it, please don’t crucify me.
Just know there’s a thin line between the two.
Sometimes when you think you’re looking out through a window, you’re actually looking at a mirror.

Saw this picture and liked it.
Something is buried in your heart and it could be anything. It’s probably everything.
Some pains will stay forever – well, probably not forever. Until you change and forgive and let go. Or until you die, I mean really die. Even when you forget, still you feel the pain and don’t know why. And then you remember – but you still don’t know why you took that first wrong step into the future.

But when you look at the serpent well, sometimes it seems as if it’s rising up to strike or writhing in treachery and deception. And sometimes it feels as if it’s begging for help and crying for forgiveness and looking for redemption. But some unsuspecting fool will pass by and think they’re looking at a heart. But you know better. You know you’re looking at a warning.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

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FIGHT NIGHT

FIGHT NIGHT

It takes courage to step into the ring and fight an opponent. If you doubt me, try it.

Well I grew up doing Karate and Taekwondo. But I last competed when I was 17 or 18. I stopped training for more than 20 years. A few years ago, I realized that I missed it badly – training and sparring. I decided to start keeping fit again. There was no Taekwondo club near me, so I joined a boxing and Thai-Boxing/Kick-boxing Club near my house (Challange Club Sachsenhausen).

When it came to Thai- or Kick-boxing I could hold my own a little. But I was woeful at Boxing and got regularly and properly beaten during training and sparring. But I liked the exercise of it and the fun of it, and it helped me gradually regain a little of my condition and stamina and get somewhat back into shape. I also gradually got a little better at Boxing, although really Taekwondo is still my natural fighting art.

Anyway, 6 weeks ago, Udo the manager of Challenge Club asked me if I would be interested in fighting (Boxing) at the next Fight Night. I was like, “Hello. I’m 44. My fighting days are long over. Besides that, I’ve never been in a Boxing fight before.” But then I thought about it and said “Why Not? Might be fun.” and I agreed, and I henceforth upped my training schedule.

And then, just when I thought I was in some sort of shape, in the week of the fight, disaster struck. I came down with the flu. 3 days! It knocked me down until the day right before the fight. I couldn’t work, couldn’t train, nothing! Had to go see the doctor. My goodness. I almost called off the fight, but I told myself to wait until the morning of the fight and see how I felt.

When I woke up that morning, I felt weak but a bit better – it’s incredible how much muscle mass and stamina you can lose from just 3 days of illness. But I decided, “My man, you grew up fighting. Just go into the ring and fight, full stop. No excuses.” I know the jitters before a fight. I know the nervousness. I know everything. They are my friends. When I feel them, I know I am in good company. So, really, I was good. No shaking.

But I knew nothing about my opponent, not his name or age or size or if he fought right- or left-handed. I just heard he weighed 100kg (I weigh 95kg), so that was OK. Well, I got to the venue (Challenge Club Offenbach), our stats were on the wall in the dressing room. I saw he was 22 years old. I was like, Okay now. Half my age and probably twice as strong and fit. No yawah. When you enter trouble, enter it with open eyes, strongly and without fear.

So I warmed up in the dressing room with my coach Manuel “Manu” Moreno, an ex-professional and the best Coach in the world. You hear his voice in the video throughout the fight, calming talking me through. And my friend and former junior world champion in Muay-Thai Ibra Senghor came into the dressing room and gave me some tips (PS – you can catch both of them in the video of my song Music Makes Me High which I did I think 2 years ago now https://youtu.be/hFjzvqCb-Po ). My pal Marlin was also in the crowd, rooting from ringside, and that meant a lot to me.

(Btw: Coach Manu, 60 years and still going strong, also fought an exhibition-style Oldies Fight later that night and showed the crowd that he’s still got the moves and the boxing intelligence).

Anyways, next issue: I was told the fight would be without head gear. Got into the ring and saw the big young man wearing head gear. Hm. That’s a disadvantage to me, because he can take my punches and keep on fighting as if nothing happened (which indeed happened) – he would just re-arrange his head gear and keep on boxing; but if he hammers my head I’m sure gonna feel it. Ibra was like, “Well, you have to hit the front of his face, and his nose, ‘cause he won’t feel anything else.” And he kept on shouting it throughout the fight.

It was a nice feeling, though, to be in the ring again in a proper fight (not sparring or training etc – because a real fight is SOMETHING ELSE, believe me). I felt all of my 44 years 😂. I have to think twice before I try this again. Boxing is a young man’s sport.

But I did come through. After the fight, I felt a great respect for my opponent because I know what it takes to decide to fight. And he did it and fought bravely. It takes courage to step into a ring and fight an opponent – any kind of ring in any field of Endeavour in life. If you doubt me, try it. 😉
One thing is for sure, though. I’ll never let myself fall out of shape again.

– Che

THE GOLDEN CALF

The golden calf of modern times is racism, dressed in nationalism and tribalism, burnished by religion. And we are all dancing around it.

The modern day biblical Aarons of today agitate and invite their people to bring all their wounded or selfish volitions and angers, throw them together into one terrifying heap and build it up into a shiny mock-sacrificial lamb statue of false beauty whose enticing radiation attracts spirits of like weakness.

Then they continually polish it, dance around it and sing sickly sweet warm songs of vicious ire and malicious fire to it; and all the while they keep on feeding it with their volitions and angers and hatred, and increasing its size. They praise and dance around their worship of their own selves and their hatred of others.

But Moses is true humanity on the Mountain-top, lonely and few, who make the effort to climb to connection to the commandments of self-conquest and selfless love. Watching the madness going on down in the valley of human soul – the madness that has engulfed the entire earth, all the continents and nations and peoples. Division is the only thing that still unites humankind.

Moses is true humanity on the Mountain-top of human nobility, lonely, clarified and few, watching the madness in the valley, and wondering if there is still any hope or still any point at all in sharing with these crazy ones the knowledge and the conviction which they carry deeply imprinted upon the inner soul-pages of their calmly flaming spirit. Love thy neighbour, as thyself.

It’s been repeated for so long, that it almost sounds like a childlike joke now. But some still believe. And I guess the children shall inherit the earth.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

MEETING ORLANDO JULIUS

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Back in 2008 when I used to work partly in Nigeria, partly in Ghana and partly in Equatorial Guinea, the late great Sir Maliki Showman – the wonderful man who taught me how to play the saxophone (that’s a tale I’ll tell another day) – told me that if I ever had the chance , I should pay a visit to and say Hello to the pioneer of Afrobeat music and one of the greatest living Nigerian saxophonists of all time, Orlando Julius, who had at that time temporarily moved from Nigeria to the Ghanaian countryside, to a quiet village on the outskirts of Accra.

So one weekend in Accra, I chartered a Taxi and drove over, where I met the maestro himself, Orlando Julius Ekemode, and his incredibly gracious and beautiful wife and dancer, Latoya Aduke Ekemode. I have seldom experienced greater hospitality than they showered to me on that day. They took me as their son, we ate together, drank together and the great man regaled me with funny and touching and inspiring tales from the good old days of Nigerian music long before I was born – just like his friend Maliki Showman always used to do too.

Finally Orlando brought out his tenor sax and asked me to unpack mine which I had brought along. And after I showed him how far Sir Maliki had already brought me as at that time, Orlando Julius proceeded to lovingly show me new tricks on the Tenor sax and to expand my knowledge of the instrument and of African and Jazz music, like a father would. These are precious memories I‘ll never forget.

And last night, in Frankfurt, more than a decade later, and many years after the death of my friend and teacher Maliki Showman, it was such a joy for me to see Orlando Julius and his wife Latoya and his whole band again on stage, slamming out one great old hit after another. At 74 he is still going strong and the tunes are still as irresistible as ever.

To crown it all, they saw me in the crowd and they remembered. Latoya told the crowd how I had come to visit them in Ghana years ago. And then Orlando asked me to dance with them on stage. New precious memories. Great great people.

Highlife, Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz – they all originate from okdschool African Music… and Orlando Julius remains among the greatest of all time.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

NEO-AFRICANISM

Nigeria has not yet had a Nigerian President. South Africa has had many Presidents, but only Nelson Mandela was a South African President. The others, before and after him, white and black, have all been just sectional leaders. Africa has had very very few AFRICAN leaders-of-state, Pan-African heads of government. Selfless father-figures and servants who are a father to all and a mother to all, regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation.

Why? Because it is not easy. It is not easy to place loyalty to high ideals above loyalty to tribe, religion, family and every thing else. When people come campaigning for votes and popularity, and they claim they will be „President of everybody“, „there will be no sacred cows“, they will be „everybody‘s friend and nobody‘s friend“, „everybody will be equal under the law“, they will rise above „tribalism and religious chauvinism“, they will not favour „their side above any other side“, etc etc etc…

Look at them carefully or just wait for it. In time, they have almost always turned out to be just a Big Fraud.
Why? Because it is not easy. Deep in their heart, everyone loves their ethnic nationality, their religion, their spiritual philosophy, their origin. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It is normal and healthy. The question is: WHO loves the Truth and Justice MORE than he or she loves ANY OTHER THING? That is the Point. Who, above loving his tribe or faith, loves the progress of the Whole more than any other thing.

Not everybody is born to be a leader at the highest levels. Many are good enough to be administrators or guides or governors at lower- and mid-levels of groupings. But at the highest levels, only those human beings should qualify who have made the transition from healthy love of self to healthy love for all.

It is not easy. It requires honest and painful soul-searching. It requires self-unmasking experiencing. It requires self-conquest. It requires, not self-abnegation (for you cannot deny who you are, and anyone who denies who he or she is, is a liar or is still in the process of finding himself). It requires Ennoblement and Maturity. It requires elevation into Selfless Love.

These are the new kinds of leaders we need in Africa now and in the future. These are the people we should look for and encourage, instead of discouraging them. These are the people we should begin to awaken within our own souls. These are the Neo-Africans.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE CHANGING JOURNEY

I know how it feels to die, having done so twice in this earthlife. The third time, I guess, will be the last.

In everything, I’ve learned that life comes and goes, like the leaves of a tree, like the steps of a journey, like the chapters of a book, in phases, steps and stages. And the most important recognition of all was this: Don‘t live in the past.

You can never be again the person you once were, nor do you need to. When you wonder – „What happened to me?“ – you miss the point. You are on a journey, a journey of inner development; a journey of character and personality growth; a journey of spiritual maturing. This is the real journey of life.

On this journey, you will pass through many phases of personality, different characteristics of character, you will be different people at different times.

Have the courage to become the new – and when it has grown old, have the courage again to shed it, leave it behind and move seekingly towards the new New. Do not be enticed by outward gains to stay in the old; nor pressured by difficulties to abandon the present or the New. Go your way with integrity, dignity and trust, because Vanity and Indolence are the true enemies on the journey of life.

You will be born many times, and die many times. And the past will be as a Dream. Just like a new born baby cannot remember it’s former earth-lives, so will you even within one earth-life sometimes die and wonder „What happened to me?“

Life happened to you, my friend. Like a train going from station to station, you are journeying from one state of being to another. It might be an upward journey or a downward journey – the choice is yours.

Just remember, what ever you do: Do not live in the past – no matter how good or bad it was. Like a boxer in a fight, sitting in the corner between rounds, you cannot go back and correct a bad round, but you can get up and fight the next one better.

Like a boxer in a fight, sitting in the corner between rounds, you cannot go back and hold on to the last good round you fought. Then you were fresh, now you‘re tired. Then you were strong, now you‘re injured. But you‘ve grown too, in knowledge and experience. So, get up and go into the next round – and give your best.

One good thing about life: it is not boxing. It is greater. Your best rounds are the rounds in which you give not darkness, but Love.

Che Chi-di Chukwu-meri-je.

DISTANCE

I have a longing for intimacy
Not satisfied by sex
A craving for voyeurism
Not quenched by porn
A yearning for universal entanglement
Not gratified by orgies
And a need for intense borderlessness
Not staked by perversity
What is it?

I have an itch for mystification
Not calmed by lying
A desire for friction
Not stilled by confrontation
A propensity for destruction
Not quelled by murder
And a burning for escape
Not silenced by suicide
What is it?

It’s like I am separated from myself
And watch myself through a window
And everything that I do
Is actually being done by my shadow
While I wait for something real
Really really real.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

EXERTION IS SELF-PRESERVATION

Sometimes you have to be humble
And accept help when you’re down
But sometimes you have to be proud
And reject help, and help yourself

The first will save you in an emergency
And steady you for one day
The second will prepare you for eternity
And save you from extinction

Adversity is the friend of development
Challenge is the wake up call of genius
Obstacles are the partner of survival
Life’s true wish is to awaken us

Our time in this world will end one day
Father Sun and Mother Earth
Were just a temporary bridge God built
To teach us how to walk.

Endless Aid is a silent Killer
It is worse than AIDS and worse than Ebola
If you want God’s help along the way
First you have to be walking upon the way

The way of search and of exertion
For exertion alone brings self-preservation
Not help, not aid, not running away
Because you can’t run away from yourself.

Humility and pride are not mutually exclusive
This pride is not the synonym of vanity
For when you become too proud to take it
You humble yourself and learn how to make it.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije