Sunday, April 09, 2006

Hotel Abuja

The Review supplement in Saturday's Guardian is a must-read for anyone interested in the arts. It looks at the arts through the prism of the written word - literature, essays, reviews etc. Nigerians have featured a fair bit in past editions, with people like Helon Habila, Helen Oyeyemi, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie popping up now and again. Imagine my excitement when I picked it up yesterday, and saw that the main article was about writer Jackie Kay's Abuja hotel reunion with her Nigerian father. My excitement was shortlived. As I read through the story, I cringed, and cowered. It was futile to hope that some thunder bolt would strike the paper before my eyes, to stop me reading it. I didn't want to continue reading it, but I had to. After all she was relaying a story about one of my kin, compatriot in nation and companion in spirit. Car crash reading.

Jackie, if you're reading this, I apologise. I'm not sure if I'm apologising for your father's Nigerianness or his Christianity. It seems you met with the very worst of both, and the combination is a very potent mix indeed. It's typically Nigerian to say, "You obviously have my genes. None of my children are dullards. Not one of them." And it is also overzealous self-regarding Christianity to make such a statement, "But if people were to know about you, they would lose their faith in God." What a load of claptrap. Jonathan has a high opinion of himself and the effect of his actions, thinking he's the arbiter of people's faith. I hope your experience hasn't put you off Nigeria forever. It is a (insert jingoistic adjective) country, and there are some sane Nigerians, and some sane Christians living in the country and elsehwhere. Honest. I'll introduce them to you - when I meeet them.

3 comments:

tori said...

wow. What a lunatic.

And, no offense, but living in the UK cant have helped her opinion of Nigerians. :wry grin:

Anyhoo, I hope we arent all raving lunatics in love with obese women [thank you, Monique, for Phat Girls] dancing around rooms and not understanding shoes go on the floor, and not on beds.

Ugh.

Olawunmi said...

MY GOD!!!!

what madness?

Soul said...

I know everyone seems to be saying this is madness...
But to me, this is just too bloody typical!.

I love Naija men, but as evidenced even from our parents generation.. many are largely irresponsible.
They make babies over here and run.

And then when confronted they act like it's the childs fault.

This guy probably even put on a show in order to scare the woman off.
What a bloody hypocrite!