Design a site like this with
Get started

Día de los muertos!

Dear Enne,

On the second day of November every year, many people around the world consciously or unconsciously invest a lot into celebrating the dead. Depending on whom you ask, it may be called Día de [los] muertos or All Souls’ Day or Halloween. Although all three events are centered on a similar theme, the essence of these must be clearly understood and distinguished.

Día de los muertos

This ancient tradition believed to have originated in Mexico holds a very deep meaning and has probably influenced how many people in Latin America regard their deceased loved ones. According to this tradition, it is believed that the gates between the realm of the dead and the living is open from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November every year.

This is usually a way of reuniting the dead with their living loved ones and also a window for the living to give food and encouragement to their dead who must complete the difficult journey of the road to eternity. It is also believed that the dead who do not have anyone to offer them food, prayers, or their thoughts will soon be forgotten in all dimensions.


Recorded to have originated from a Celtic tradition which involved wearing costumes of animal heads, and scary appendages in a bid to ward off the ghosts of the dead who were believed to have entered earth on the 31st of October. With the conquest of the Roman empire and the rise of Christianity, this festival transformed into what was called All Hallows Eve. This directly translates to the Eve before the celebration of all the saints and martyrs of the church celebrated on the 1st of November every year.

All Souls’ Day

Photo by David Dibert on

Similar to the Mexican tradition, the Catholic church set aside the 2nd of November as well to offer prayers for the souls of all the dead as a way of atonement and remission for their sins. These prayers, it is believed, will shorten the days of suffering for the dead, and also give them hope in their torments.

These said, one this day, as we celebrate all those whom we have lost over the years – friends, family members, and loved ones, let us make toasts to the memories that we have of them and pray that they reach the place where they feel no pain, no sorrow. When they were with us, they would probably have done all they could to keep pain and sorrow far from us.

However, even as we remember them, let us also make another toast to the people whom we never became in this life, those selves we will never become, those stars the world would never see on account of our fears & insecurities, pessimism & self-esteem, or love & devotion. We also make cheers to those who we can still be, but probably won’t. We should reflect on these real people too because they are invaluable to who we have become and who we will be.

Feliz día de los muertos!


Chibuikem Chrysogonus Nwagwu



Racism through the Eyes of the Immigrant

Dear Enne,

It’s been a while since I wrote, and I must say that just like the urge to keep writing grows, so does the urge not to write. Sadly! I have continued to be inspired by the Likes previous posts have received and new followers I got 😍.

As a student migrant to Europe, I learn daily from personal experience and by proxy about race and class. Just as Chimamanda Adichie said, until I moved to Europe, I, too was never black. This is because back home, we are about 97% African, so we never think about being black. Black was just a colour for objects, but we definitely had white people.

However, here in Europe, while walking on the street and I see another black person, I feel the urge to acknowledge our shared ‘blackness’. Often, the same is the case for the other person as we mostly end up smiling at each other or giving a nod of brotherhood to one another.

Now, when I think of it, could that be a sign of racism too? – Why do I feel obliged to smile or nod at another black person but not at the white?

Photo by Brett Sayles on

Maybe that act is a way of saying: “I understand your struggles” or “I value you” or “You are not alone in this foreign land”. In that shared space and without words, our shared ‘blackness’ feels like home in a way that words cannot describe.

I also think about how back home, we complain about the less than 5% white (or foreign) population taking up too much space in our job market, whereas, as an immigrant myself now, I want to be integrated into the European system. Maybe the foreigners in Africa also just want to be integrated too, instead, when we see them, we are reminded of the slavery of our forefathers.

I was in a group with a person from Latin America and we used to joke about what constitutes racism and who can be racist. We concluded that Africans and Latin Americans cannot be called racist even to themselves. Thinking about it now, we were completely wrong.

Racism is not a historic concept as to say all those who were subject to colonization or slave trade are absolved from it. Racism is many things in the present day and whites face racial segregation in Africa just as Africans do in Latin America or Asia.

The institutions of society may have a role to play regarding policies that allow equality and equity, but individuals themselves are the most culpable based on habits they pick up unconsciously from social media, through their parents, or movies.

In my next post, I would share some reactions I received when I shared this with friends and colleagues.


Chibuikem Chrysogonus Nwagwu


Dear Enne,

The days have grown longer for me and my night is almost non-existent. This is both a result of the daylight schedule here and because my work schedule is littered with successive deadlines. To this end, I may need to write less between now and the first week of June😪.

On the 22nd of this month, around the world, countries, groups, and individuals carry out some activities to mark Earth Day 2022🌍. I am thrilled by the celebrations, workshops, and events held. I am even more amazed at how much is being done to preserve our shared planet on all levels. Although these efforts seem negligible compared to the degree of damage already done, it is rewarding to see the courage young people especially have taken to attempt to create a more sustainable world for their future and the future of those to come.

For me, every day is Earth Day because every day is potentially a day farther away from the climate goals. The urgency cannot be explained more than the things we see firsthand. The rising cases of water scarcity, droughts, heatwaves, less snow in the Northern hemisphere, strangulation of water creatures, and pressure on terrestrial species to migrate or die.

Although some may argue that the earth has seen these cycles in the past, they must be reminded to study the data and observe that the levels we experience are highly unprecedented throughout the history of the world.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

As some researchers have said, truly we live in the age of humankind, the Anthropocene. The activities of humans have appeared to be in constant conflict with other aspects of nature. With the new drive towards more sustainable practices, one can almost argue that man is tending to give nature its rightful place at the center of all life activities. Could this lead to a new geological epoch in the future?

Until I write again, I hope you also commit to some climate action. In case you are wondering what can be done, here is a very limited list of some things to consider:

  • Join a climate change, organization
  • Volunteer, for climate action in your community or start one
  • Avoid single-use plastics as much as possible
  • Sort and prepare your waste for proper waste management (even if you are not sure your municipality or local council would handle them appropriately, at least you would have done your part)
  • Use public transport or try car sharing when traveling to far places
  • Walk or cycle for short distances (turns out e-scooters aren’t as sustainable as we thought, so maybe also avoid that)
  • Avoid wasting food and water
  • Plant trees
  • Enlighten others around you

The little things count!!!


Chibuikem Chrysogonus Nwagwu


Dear Enne,

This past week has been very silent and solemn in many parts of the world. This has happened as a build-up to the Easter celebration and also for the Muslim brethren, as a continuation of the fast. Although some cities are empty, one can argue it is more a result of holidaymakers heading to the major attractions or preferring to stay indoors than anything religious. Whatever be the case, it is a special period that helps us create fond memories or reminisce old ones.

It is often said that memories are what we are made of and they are the only things that remain after we bite the dust. If we are made of memories, what are memories made of?

Wikipedia says “memory is the faculty of the brain by which data or information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action”

It is the memories and bonds that make it hard to lose a dear one or to be apart from them. Sometimes we even fear that the memories will fade away in the long run, and it does. Regardless of how many anniversaries we hold or how much stuff about them we collect, with time, the memories only become flashes from the past.

These flashes could come as a result of a conversation, a picture, a song, a fragrance, virtually anything. They can be very strong or weak also. Sometimes, you can really feel their presence through those tangible or intangible perceptions.

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on

During special seasons like this, we take photographs, receive special items from people, or collect some items that connect us to somewhere we miss dearly. While this is equally a useful way of creating and preserving the moment, we must not do this without actually taking in the whole joy of the present. We must not be external to the memory we preserve.

This is because, in the end, we do not regret not taking enough pictures with the ones we loved or saving the ceramic vase we received from them. Rather, we regret not hugging a lot tighter, not enjoying enough moments with them, or not being completely present when with them.

This season, I hope that you take the time to create new fond memories with those you love (and take some pictures for sure) and that you take some time to also give a toast to the ones that are not able to celebrate with you. In truth, they are with you in a special way as you go around with all your memories.


Chibuikem Chrysogonus Nwagwu