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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Women in Nigerian History

I have been doing some reading and research on particular Nigerian culture. People now resident in 'Edo' state to be precise. And it has shown me some things I knew had to be there. I can't make a full post now because I don't have notes, I lost my library card and I can't get another till..bla blah. So far I have to make do it with what I got out of it and I've been trying to write a story.

Anyways the point of this particular post is the fact that most Africans, or let me narrow it down to Nigerians, don't know where they come from, they never bothered to look at the past which has begun to affect their present way of thinking. One day we were in the sitting room, having a laugh. Then one of my uncles asked me, if Jesus Christ was for culture or against culture. He was for culture, I replied, but apparently the missionaries got it all wrong. And then a discussion ensued, between my uncles in their 40s/50s and I. Everyone agreed that the Missionaries approach was wrong and they were then used as mules for Colonialism. But one of my Uncles argued that we didn't have a good way of life..really, so in the long run it was all good, women were oppressed and what not. This was were I had to interject sharply. From my research on the tribes in present-day Edo state, Women held positions of power, they were chiefs, they chose their own way of life. The penalties of raping a woman was exile e.t.c Women were held in high esteem, it was hard to witness the loss of one woman to another tribe (in marriage). My Uncle was stunned.

If people don't take the time to understand or learn about the past, how is the quality of our present or future life going to get better. We need to educate ourselves.

2 comments:

eccentricyoruba said...

Anyways the point of this particular post is the fact that most Africans, or let me narrow it down to Nigerians, don't know where they come from, they never bothered to look at the past which has begun to affect their present way of thinking.

THIS! I'm baffled as to how Nigerians don't know about their history and seeming don't care. We seem to have no problem absorbing the extremely watered-down colonised version of our history. It gets alarming sometimes.

I'm also amazed that we're having the most ridiculous arguments when it comes to the sort of lives our ancestors lived. Asking questions such as 'did our ancestors build tall buildings?' or 'did our ancestors know what love is?' or 'weren't women in the olden days subjugated?' So ridiculous. We also seem content in portraying our ancestors in the basest of ways.

I seriously believe that if our African ancestors were as stupid, wild and foolish as we like to portray them, we wouldn't even be standing here today. The fact that we're alive and breathing shows that those who came before us did some things right.

I hope you share what you've read on the history of women in present day Edo. That's the kind of stuff I love; sharing histories!

GamineGirlie said...

One would think that people would be keen on seeking out their roots, but many are more enthusiastic about justifying colonialism and the slave trade, in the light of 'We sold ourselves'

Hopefully, those of us who understand the need to bring all this to the light, would surely even if slowly reach people and get them thinking on these things.

I will definitely share what I've read. Just some 'technical' issues at the moment, There will be a post up asap.