When we were ignorant…

Out of the blue, I started to reflect on my primary education through to high school and how educators taught about Africa, and what was available in school books. 

Africa was a homogeneous “country” instead of a continent that comprised a multitude of countries, cultures, and ethnicities rich in socio-economic, religious, and health maintenance beliefs.  Back then, “Africans” (everyone was an African and not a citizen of a specific country) were savages with bones through their noses and scantily clad or half-naked women instead of a region marked by kingdoms, scholars, dynasties, complex civilizations, and lasting gifts to world knowledge.  Africa was dark, the land of Tarzan, King Kong, pygmies, apes, and the breeding ground for popular world-wide racist attitudes.  “Go back to Africa” is a phrase that many African-Americans of a certain age heard incessantly by people who were raised in ignorance and misplaced privilege based on white skin. 

Anyway, I will figure out why these thoughts entered my world while I thought about how to introduce you to Nzekwe Favour-bell, a contributor to aadunas summer 2016 issue.

Nzekwe Favour-bell (photo provided)

Favour-bell hails from Nigeria and brings a critical voice to the genre of fiction. Maybe his work and country triggered my thoughts. Dunno…especially since he illuminates the diverse richness of Nigerian culture and adds his embryonic voice to the expanding and strong literary scene in his country.

Nonetheless, here is the opening to his story, “Dead End:

I rub my chin.  It is the third time I do this. I am becoming drowsy and light headed. I need to go home right now despite beckoning calls from my playmates.  I will ignore them I decide. I put my head on the pale orange desk in front of me. I listen to my pulse.  It reverberates against the nape of my neck, my head has this reoccurring thud, thud, thud!!! It rings louder.  Doors are jammed, a crowd in stampede.  Girls are chattering and laughing wildly. I am in a stadium where the spectators chant “Ola!!! Ola!!!” that rises and drifts across the four directions of the wind. Then it is my first day in the museum and I am on a roller coaster.  Its wheels round. I am wheezing alongside the rushing gust of wind. Without hesitation, I grab the legs of the desk for support. Someone taps me. These girls wouldn’t let me be.  I hiss inwardly but contrastingly I see a warmer face which suddenly turns cold, alarmed. I guess.


“Yes,” I reply wearingly.

“Then you should go home.”

His words pumps adrenaline into my system, but it is short lived because as I lift myself up, I fall back again.

Finish reading this story when we launch aaduna's summer issue…coming at you soon!

And please stay mindful of the contemporary illusions, misconceptions, distortions and falsehoods regarding cultures and ethnicities that may be different from yours. Years from now, we do not want our children and others throughout the world to regard our global generation as ignorant. 

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aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.

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