Beauty of the Iroko

Iroko Tree: Linda DV [Flickr]
What an elder sees seated, a child cannot see even if he climbs an Iroko tree
- Nollywood’s most used adage

All tall men amongst us are at home with the name, iroko. It is not necessary to see the tree to know the height it represents. Iroko, fitting metaphor for sky reaching, heaven tending.

The lizard that lives high up in iroko tree does not hear the lions roar. — Botswana Proverb

The proverbial lizard has attained a great height. Although he was not meat enough for the king of the jungle, at such altitude not even the roar of the lion and all his pride will disturb his joyous mute.

How did the lizard attain such tremendous height? He crawled, the best he can up the very trunk of the mighty sky scraper.

We live by hope, but a reed never becomes an Iroko tree by dreaming. — Nigerian Proverb

We must therefore work, the best we can, to arrive at the top of the iroko. Not to prove our elders wrong, for we still we not see what they saw, but maybe to discover new vistas: to see what even they will not see if they choose to remain on their seats.

Iroko is pregnant with meanings. On this day, it brings to mind two of it’s kind to mind.

Two of our own who celebrate their birthday today.


Ikeagu Celestina. A woman, an iroko, one of the ‘us’ at LUMEN Press.


Ikeagu George, a man. A brother, a fresh injection into our blood stream. Joseph is full of words for him, his bunky.

This article was supposed to be about the iroko. It is surprising to end as a birthday post after all.

Well, surprises are best when they come last. So here’s one more: There’s something about black that adds to the beauty of the iroko.

Iroko trees are only found in Africa

We have the best in our stock.

LUMEN Press. Enlightening our World!

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