Covid-19: Why Cup Of Tea is Medicinal- EkineSHALOM OLALEYEEveryone loves to drink tea especially medicinal ones and that is exactly whatSandra Ekine, author of Cup Of Tea, anthology of 60 poems expressed especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.felt like life was paused and the essence of life was snatched away but how people handled it was medicinal for survival.In a book that spanned four years of intellectual efforts, Ekine said, ‘Our connections and relationships was one thing she noticed were all deprived of in 2020.“As human beings we need connections and are all connected one way or the other no matter where we are in the world. Covid-19 showed us that and threatened us with it. For me, everything that happened made me realise the need to make sure that we do not lose that connection, the reason we thrive.“This is when I decided to compile my pieces. I realised that each time people read some of my pieces, they connected with the words and could relate it to so many different issues and experiences which were not necessarily what I was thinking of at the time I wrote it while others immediately got the message and would share with me either their thoughts or feelings about the subject of the piece”.
She added that by compiling old pieces (the past), writing new ones (the present) and publishing them in the book, she strengthened the connection while looking forward to the future with hope regardless of everything going on around.“That is the whole purpose and concept behind the poetry journal, Cup of Tea and I really do hope that it shines through for the reader with each turn of the page” she said.ReviewsThe book launcher Prof Adedeji Adekunle (SAN) said that the book was an anthology of 60 poems spanning over four years, cataloguing the author’s life experience in various facets of her life.Adekunle said that however, unlike traditional poems which deal mainly with very abstract concepts and probably very complex style.“What I find striking about Cup of Tea is the easy to read vocabulary and the flow leaving the reader not only with a firm grasp of the ideas and thoughts but also giving that reader room for deep reflection.“So line by line powerful images of abstract concepts like love, faith, hope, friendship, loss and perhaps not so abstract concepts.”Such as corruption, governance, poverty, conflict, gender relations, equality, girl and women empowerment, COVID-19 and inclusion leap out as each page is turned, leaving indelible impressions on the mind of the reader”.The book reviewer for 2017,Mrs. Habiba Alkali-Nur said that the book, a profound collection of thoughts was brought to life by Ekine.”Ekine’s poetic anthology emerges from a deep and reflective space.”It is complex yet flows with the ease of familiarity; abstract yet it inspires a deep reflection within its reader”.Twenty eighteen reviewer, Anthony Abu, said that the collection of poems speak to the issues of love between two lovers, infatuation, nostalgia, joy.And the 2019 reviewer, Mr Akonte Ekine,said that he commended the author/ poet for putting her series of thoughts on paper over a period of time.Ekine said that Cup of Tea is medicinal and this compilation of poems is probably a contribution to the voices crying on series of issues affecting the country from culture through religion and our collective attitude. He said that she took her time to speak on issues ranging from the girl child, child abuse to nation building.The reviewer for 2020, Mrs Kesiena Aiwemhemnle said 2020 has been undeniably one of the most difficult year for many and the world at large.“In 2020, we experienced COVID-19 pandemic and in Nigeria, the ENDSARS protest.The author portrayed these two major issues in poems in this book. These poems titled: ‘This is not a drill’, and ‘Nigeria’s call obeyed?’ were very heavy.In ‘Nigeria’s call obeyed?’ She intelligently uses the national anthem and the national pledge to portray her message.”Whilst reading, you understand that everything that happened on the day of the protest which ended up in a massacre was a complete disregard of the national anthem” Aiwemhemnle said.