The Ember Months

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The ‘ember months are here…Aye, but not gone

This is the period known as the ‘ember’ months in Nigeria. The period of September-December of every year.  It is the period Nigerians believe strange things happen.

The highways suddenly become blood thirsty as fatalities increase; spiritual attacks are the upsurge; accidents and strange things begin to happen to citizens; fear reigns; people pray fervently. Then every Nigerian becomes a ‘prayer warrior’ especially those who want to travel during the Christmas and New Year festive season.

I have already seen one fatality. My neighbour in my residence, who runs a computer school, left for home two weeks ago, after a hard days work. One hour later, a friend called him to tell him that his office is on fire. He drove frantically to the place only to see what he had laboured for, for over 15 years, being consumed by flames. His office with up to 75 computer systems, was completely destroyed by fire. Nothing was salvaged. All gone with flames. The ‘ember’ months are here. We were old the fire started in a nearby church (of all places) and spread to the computer centre.

The fire service in my country is a disaster. When you send them a distress call, they always arrive after your property has burnt down. It was tales of woe by my neighbour. His wife wept profusely. Their source of daily bread is gone.

‘Did you back your office with insurance cover?’ I asked him.

‘No,’ he replied.

What a disaster. How can an entrepreneur with such a facility worth close to a million US dollars not insure his property. Insurance practitioners have a lot of work to do in my country.

The fear of ‘ember’ has thickened in my country, Nigeria. Any such thing or seasonal fear in your country, tell us the story. In my next instalment, I will conclude my story of woes about the ‘ember’ months of Nigeria.

(27 November 2013)


Eric Okeke is a CSR specialist and strategist in brand marketing and mobilizing support for corporate and social issues. He is the brand storyteller, writer, speaker, author and media consultant, with training in chemistry, marketing and business journalism. As a business writer and speaker, he has recorded a good career in media consulting and journalism which he started at The Guardian, Lagos.

Eric’s communications niche is storytelling which he is now using to empower professionals and improve business returns in Nigeria. Email him at, ericokeke@gmail.com, ericosamba@yahoo.com Tel +234 803 301 4609; +234 817 301 4609.

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