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Adichie, Akwaeke and Area Scatter

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By Onyeka Nwelue

I chose this title, because of the beauty of it. I was far away in Port of Spain, when a couple kept regaling me with tales of a young writer, like food, who is related to them and was in Trinidad & Tobago. Just before I arrived. We were at the beach. They took me to the beach; so the waves made me not listen attentively. They talked about this writer for a long time. How their book would shake the world. I was intrigued. The name of the writer is: Akwaeke Emezi.


My interest was piqued. I have been warned not to write this piece by a few friends – who are writers, but I have been to prison in Rwanda, for ‘publicly insulting’ President Kagame, so I think I can now write about anything. Whether I get away with it, is what I do not know. But, let me go straight to the point.


I lived in India for a larger part of my life. Off and on. I spent time with the hijras. Let me explain what Hijra means for those who don’t know: a person whose gender identity is neither male nor female, typically a person who was assigned male at birth but whose gender expression is female. There are lots of them in South Asia. What drew me to Akwaeke, was their article on ogbanje and not even the story their ‘relatives’ in Trinidad told me. I began to wonder about this version of the ogbanje spirit and how it is different from what I grew up in Ezeoke Nsu, hearing. Our neighbour then, had had children thrice and when the last one who is still there today, arrived, my mother went over to help give her a mark. She stayed. She is the only child of her parents. Every ogbanje child I know, is an only child. As my grandmother and other sorcerers and sorceresses told me, ogbanje children do not have siblings. They never allow children come into the homes where they exist.  So, their version mesmerized me and I love the way they write. Beautifully. I began to wonder also, if the Igbo cosmology that I encountered in my anthropology practice is different. I belong to the dibia caste in Igbo caste system – which I strongly uphold to – and my mother’s cousin, Akuzzor Anozia is the Chief Priestess of the Oguta Lake Goddess. She is famous. She has even met Wole Soyinka in Lagos. I dragged her to come meet him. She has been featured on BBC. They call her Ezenwanyi Ogbuide, but what I read later almost dismantled what I know from the roots.

I have always, also talked about Ms Adichie’s power and success. Someone used the word ‘bourgeois’ to describe her and I think that is totally off-key. Ms Adichie belongs to an Upper Class family and in Igbo land, Adichie is a diala name. Many Igbo people pretentiously say they do not practice caste system. We all do. Myself, not needing to sound modest, I know this, because if you don’t force an Upper Class person to speak, they will not speak. What Ms Adichie represents is bigger than what we see. When you attain her height, you do not need to bother about anyone hating you. I was at Abantu Literature Festival in Soweto, when she appeared there in 2018. Her session was a filled up hall. When she disappeared, after taking pictures with people, I spoke to people who told me how they don’t like her, because she is transphobic. Again, I was at Jaipur Literature Festival in India and spoke to some people who called her a Prima Donna and a certain diplomat at the Indian Deputy High Commission then, had called me, about her visa, as she was meant to travel to India. I would be a Prima Donna if I got all she’s worked for.  Not only that: a certain Norwegian diplomat told a story, which I don’t remember, because as long as I know myself, I have no qualms with Ms Adichie, but he said something. The idea that she is transphobic is strange to me, because I know she is quite accommodating of gay people, but I will tell you why I find this fascinating.

I am dragging Area Scatter into this narrative. He was a cross-dresser. Before Bobrisky became famous, there was an Igbo instrumentalist and cross-dresser, living in the East of Nigeria, called Area Scatter. From the 70s to early 80s, Area Scatter braided, did make-up and wore beautiful fabrics and walked around in heels, playing music in homes of the upper class. Suddenly, Area Scatter disappeared. Never to be seen. Nobody knows what happened. The question is: what happened to Area Scatter? Was he killed by transphobes?

We fear what we don’t understand. People have told me to my face: “You look scary.” My rings, my clothes, my hair and sometimes, I paint my nails. Some will tell me: “I used to be scared of you until I came closer.” Perhaps, I might have solved one problem or another for them, before they stop being scared of me. No matter how scary you look, once you help people, they forgive you.

We can’t cancel Ms Adichie because we say she is transphobic. We can’t cancel Emezi because they are ogbanje. I am even proud of Ms Adichie that she can boldly speak her mind. Her power aside, we all have the things we hate and things we like. Like me, I hate marriage and I think married people are weaklings – people who can’t stand alone – always looking for people to sleep with every night, cook for them, love them and kill them. And Ms Adichie is married; she can’t find my disgust for marriage disturbing, can she? I also don’t like children and she loves children. She can’t also go about lamenting that because I don’t like children, I should be cancelled. Emezi has a cat and I am allergic to animals. What is it then that we Igbos say: egbe bere, ugo ebere, nke si na-ibe ya know e bere, nku kwa kwa ya. (The kite and the eagle should share the roost. Whichever that attempts to deprive the other should loose its feathers.)

Tolerance and acceptance are things we lack as writers, no matter how intellectual and pseudo-intelligent we try to appear. Writers are still humans. Who will share your secrets and demean you, which is why I wouldn’t share a clique with them.

What is the point of my rambling? That we should not crucify Ms Adichie for not understanding trans-people and to not crucify Akwaeke for not understanding the Igbo cosmology; a traditionalist like me and a worshipper of Ogbuide and a practitioner of Voodoo like me, do not understand their portrayal of the Ogbanje spirit. Maybe they need to teach me more of this new dimension.

  • Nwelue, film maker and writer, sent this piece from the United States

The Nation

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Social media reactions after Funny Face rendered an apology to baby mama and family

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Social media is currently buzzing following the news that Funny Face has remorsefully apologized to his baby mama, Ama Vanessa he some time ago without mincing words insulted.


A few hours ago, comic actor Funny Face via a lengthy post on social media has rendered an apology to Ama Vanessa, her mother, father, other family members and Ghanaians.

According to the post, the comedian he seeks the mercy and forgiveness of his baby mama, and parents over the words he used against them when the issue popped on online.

Knowing well he’s made a big mistake, Funny Face stated that he is ready to accept all blame and faults of the family; thus ready to carry the cross of public backlash and insults.

The father of twins further indicated that is because of the twin baby girls that have made him apologize and come back for them.

He loved them so much, he said; “Let’s build the family, even though we are angry at each other, the beautiful kids don’t deserve this”, a part of his post reads.

READ THE FULL POST OF FUNNY FACE BELOW;

Funny Face apology post
Funny Face apology post

READ ALSO: Vanessa, I’m truly sorry – Funny Face finally apologizes to baby mama

Following this, some netizens have reacted. Ghpage has accumulated reactions after Funny Face rendered an apology to baby mama and family, Read below;

Teye Akwerteh: “This guy is just like the corrupt Akuffo Addo…… he can NEVER be trusted”.

Jamez Moni: “The harm has already been caused . Better go delete those videos and also the bloggers pay them to delete it all . A Fool at Forty ?”.

Aisha Ibrahim: “Kwasia boy you want to chop her again so that you will foolisly write it on Facebook”.

Vida Amankwa: “Madness paaani ,if this girl return to this mad man paaaa ,she will be the useless girl I have ever come across”.

Magdalene Potakey: “Vanessa father came down because of u ,now u Dey fear????…u see say the father be hardcore…if his father was not a tough man ,u won’t apologize”.

Sha Rhee Pha: “He’s planning on giving her number 4 since she just gave birth to number 3. It’s a trap sister”.

Abena Chrystal: “Go to their home and kneel down to beg the lady’s mom more especially. God used that family to wipe your one minute shame and blessed you with 3 beautiful girls”.

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Hardcore fan gets haircut with Davido’s face on his head

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A die-hard fan of a popular singer, Davido Adeleke, has celebrated his favorite with a haircut of his face on his head.


davido


This is coming following the DMW Records boss’ birthday some days ago.

With the help of a fantastic barber and a lot of carving the fan is able to achieve the face of the singer on the back of his head.

Fan gets haircut with Davido’s face on his head

This is not the first time someone will get a haircut in Davido’s honor. We have also had women, including a female celebrity tattoo his name on their chests.

Just recently, an artist took to a massive wall on his street and drew a photo of Omo Baba Olowo.

Previous articleLady caught on camera stealing bone straight hair worth 200k in Lagos (Video)

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Nigeria Recovers Stolen 600-year-old Ife Terracotta

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A 600-year-old Ife Terracotta which was smuggled out of the country in 2019 has been recovered by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Terracotta was formally received by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, from his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, in the company of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr. Harry van Dijk.

While receiving the artefact in his office in Abuja on Thursday, Alhaji Mohammed said the return of the stolen Ife Terracotta marks a milestone in Nigeria’s efforts at pursuing the return of the country’s antiquities.

“It gives me profound joy to receive this very important antiquity, an Ife Terracotta, which is dated to be at least 600 years old. I am even more delighted that our efforts at pursuing the return of Nigerian antiquities, which we launched last November, have started yielding fruits,” he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture said the government’s resolve to seek the repatriation of the nation’s timeless and priceless artefacts was strengthened by President Muhammadu Buhari’s marching order for Nigeria to tap into tourism and other fields, where Nigeria has comparative advantages, in order to generate income for the nation and secure jobs for our youths.

“One way of generating income for the country is if our cultural properties are exhibited around the world to a fee-paying audience, on the basis of the proper agreement that acknowledges us as owners and confers the right benefits on us. But this is not possible for as long as most of them adorn the museums and private collections of others, who describe them as their properties,” he said.

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