The Otula Ite is burnt, some part charred, yet it is the part we fought over. Your value is not in what you look like; it is in what you are inside which is unique in the whole wide world.
When I see the Otula Ite now and how it is often neglected, etc, I understand clearly that our value is not in how people see us. We are inherently valuable – we need to own it and live like we believe it.
It does not matter where Otula Ite was produced, in the cozy kitchens of Abuja or in the village huts of anywhere, it is the most interesting part of the meal (for adherents like me). Our circumstances do not necessarily define us if we know what we are, where we are headed, and what we want in this life.
Our trials like the burning pot may be the critical element that makes us truly beautiful. A while ago, I asked myself what I would love to change in my past if I had the power to go back in time. I did a mental journey that took me on a journey from about when I was 7 years old to sometime in the the early 2000s.
I bemoaned a lot of things. I could change some of the things that were done to me like the error that saw me starting primary school later than I should or remaining a science student. Then I also encountered a lot of the things I did and decisions I made that are not stellar in nature. Tempting to change those I must confess. However, after a thorough consideration of everything, my decision was to pass in the reordering of the past – everything I had faced, the storms, trials and failings have been the fire that has made me who I am today my own Otula Ite and I would not trade this life for an easier one. How would I have become more purposeful, more determined to do & live right, kinder, more empathetic, more trusting in God if I had not gone through fire?
Of course, like the burning pot, no trial or hardship is pleasurable, but the result is always great when you have been molded by it. Who told you it would have been better otherwise? Otula Ite’s ultimate lesson for me is that ‘it is going to be ok & great’.
Yeah, whether you call it Ofe Ucha, Kanzo, Iken Ite or Bottom Pot the lesson like my friend Gabriel Ijequay succinctly puts it is ‘Never say die’.