Tag Archives: Igbo

A different kind of job.

 

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Taking some time out of my day to make Tot an Igbo educational book.

He already has Mbido Igbo 1 but it’s such a shambolic book; cheap paper, pictures not clear, just terrible. I can’t believe it’s the same book we used in Primary 1. The quality nowadays is just plain awful.

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Surprisingly it photographs clearer than it actually is. But can you see the drawings on the next page bleeding through? AND CAN YOU SEE ‘O, OMO’? Are these people for real?!

Anyway, I can’t do much worse. At least mine is already on coloured paper. Much more interesting for a toddler.

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And I intend to include MODERN contraptions which this book still lacks (no mobile phones for instance). I mean for chrissakes, this is the fourth edition made in 2008 and they’re still counting in kobo. Where will any Nigerian child find kobo these days? Just make them count stones or udara fruits or mangoes or something.

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Maybe I’ll put it up when it’s done. I’m giving myself 30 minutes a day till it’s finished. My time’s expired now since I blogged instead. Back to writing for me.

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!

Eze comes to London!

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I had to wait until This Boy was down for his nap before I could risk opening the package that these came in and taking a photo.

You see, it’s his birthday next week and This Boy loves books. If he had caught me, eh, I would have spent the rest of today reading and re-reading them until I was coughing up dust with every word.

I am so excited! I ordered them from a website called Amamife – ‘Knowledge’, how apt – which I have since nicknamed Ngwa-Ngwa because of their super fast delivery.

I also found some Pacesetters books Africabookcentre.com, which is great. I can finally finish my collection. At £5.70 they are more expensive than I used to buy them on Pacesetters.com (at £4.40) but the latter website – as of yesterday – has simply disappeared, so I’ll have to pay the higher price. Every Igbo bone in my body aches at the thought.

Back to the Eze books, I can’t wait to see This Boy’s face next week. Right now, mine looks like this:

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