White Jesus, brown Mami Wata

I remember how betrayed I was when I found out that Jesus might not have looked like he did in the popular ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ film. He did not have piercing blue eyes. He did not have blonde hair.

In fact, if he was alive now he might be in a detention centre, arrested on terrorist charges for fitting the profile (Arab-looking, visibly vocal with loyal following). It’s a good thing he walked on water because with that profile, nobody would let him near a plane – at least not without some serious body cavity searching (“What’s that barrel for? You wanna turn water into wine? I’m sorry sir, Imma have to search you. Spread ‘em.”)

Recently on doing a bit of light reading for a short story, I discovered that our popular image of Mami Wata was not only done by  German painter in 1926, but is based on a chromolithograph of Samoan snake-charmer.

Hear me out before you start crossing yourself, screaming ‘Obara Jesus’ or singing All Other Gods Are Sinking Sand.  I can understand that Christianity is an imported religion and so should reflect imagery from where it came from (even if it doesn’t really), but isn’t it a bit….pathetic…that even in African traditional religions, modern images of deities that are revered, that have been revered perhaps by our fathers and their  fathers etc, cannot even be found to have originated from them? Yes, this Mami Wata is close enough but no cigar. 

I wonder how much this contributes to people’s religious self-esteem in Nigeria if on either side nowadays, God has no physical  resemblance to you. I wonder if this translates to self-esteem in other areas; if your god is represented as blue-eyed and blond-haired or straight-nosed and wavy- haired, could it mean that you view anyone with these set of characteristics as closer to God somehow? And where does that place you with your flat nose and kinky hair and dark skin?

I suppose the Catholic church is ‘trying’ in this regard since we have some black saints but it’s telling in other ways that I couldn’t find women amongst them. If you know of any black women saints, let me know.

(Remember to show this blog post to your garri vendor in the market because you’ll get a discount.)

In other news: Jesu Kristi onye ebere, what is this? I tried to find an image for the goddess Idemmili (who is often mistaken for Mami Wata) and this came up.

Where do I begin? The girl’s brown underthings with sexy hint of bum-crack? The boy’s noticeable lack of poster originality?  By picking my jaw off the floor?

His name is Gentle O. I can’t tell you what his music is like as all the links don’t play but it must be true that when God closes a door, he opens a window – he is from Chinua Achebe’s hometown.

Gentle O, carry go, nothing do you!

6 thoughts on “White Jesus, brown Mami Wata

  1. Many will be surprised soon when they learn MamiWata isnt a woman but an Androgyn and very very loyal to GOD who created Him:Her as Angel but theres difference between rebelling against True GOD who create single handedly create universe and rebelling against a moron who claim to be god or son of god but none have seen MamiWata before but just apparation of digital projection avatar of MamiWata who actually a Living Sun but hold tight ….MamiWata(Barbelo) will make a physical appearance soon and there will be gnashing of teeth for followers of Antichrists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s