So here I was minding my business, writing and whatnot when a message pings PING! in my mailbox. I open it to find a strange name, someone I do not know:
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!
Today, a rather unusual thing happened to me.
This thing has not happened since…since…I cannot remember since when. Maybe since I was pregnant over two years ago.
I fell asleep in the afternoon.
Now a lot of you know that I am like the energiser bunny in a lot of ways; I am fluffy, pink and quite animated. But what you do not know is that I tend to have a mistrust of people who sleep in the afternoons – certain European countries for a start, then anyone who is not a child, pregnant, old, infirm or on holiday. Or anyone called Adam who has a surname.
And so it was that when I awakened from my unexpected slumber, the first thing I did was run my hands around my body in a panic, knowing God’s penchant for nicking ribs and creating whole adults out of them. The latter part of this caused me to be especially distressed; everything has its season and it is not mine to be in bloom.
I went off on a tangent at this point as my brain pondered whether such a progeny would come into being with all faculties intact – you know, in that weird space between sleeping and waking in which you believe you’re some sort of genius. But as my brain began to hurt, I came to my senses. The cause of my deep sleep was not down to godly pilfering. It was because of fufu.
You see, I made too much food for Hubs and Tot and even though what was left was barely a fistful, it was still enough – with the sun so high in the sky – to knock me out for at least forty minutes. And now I have woken up to an email from an editor whose italicised words have told me exactly what he thinks of me missing meetings. OMC!
Fufu has no place in the modern world, seriously.
I am not sure why Hubs sent me this video but apparently according to him it is ‘not about Flavour. Just watch it’. So I did.
I am still not sure what to think.