The Igbo: An excerpt from Chinua Achebe’s “The Education of a British Protected Child”

Happy Sunday everyone and may your day be filled with lots of love. So today is dedicated to the arts, and in my bid to keep the work of great African literary icons alive,  I would like to share an excerpt from a book that I read this summer, Chinua Achebe’s book “The Education of a British Protected Child.” Just a brief background and culled from Amazon:

The Education of a British Protected Child is a collection of essays by the late great Nigerian literary Icon Chinua Achebe where the author gives us a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria and inhabiting its “middle ground,” recalling both his happy memories of reading novels in secondary school and the harsher truths of colonial rule. In “Spelling Our Proper Name,”for example, Achebe considers the African-American diaspora, meeting and reading Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, and learning what it means not to know “from whence he came.” The complex politics and history of Africa figure in “What Is Nigeria to Me?,” “Africa’s Tarnished Name,” and “Politics and Politicians of Language in African Literature.” And Achebe’s extraordinary family life comes into view in “My Dad and Me” and “My Daughters,” where we observe the effect of Christian missionaries on his father and witness the culture shock of raising “brown” children in America. Charmingly personal, intellectually disciplined, and steadfastly wise, The Education of a British-Protected Child is an indispensable addition to the remarkable Achebe oeuvre

The Igbo by Chinua Achebe
The Igbo are not starry-eyed about the world.
Their poetry does not celebrate romantic love.
They have a proverb…in which a woman is supposed to say that she does not insist that she be loved by her husband as long as he puts out yams for lunch every afternoon.
What a drab outlook for the woman!But wait, how does the man fare?
An old villager once told me “My favorite soup is egusi.” So I ordered my wife never to give me egusi soups in this house.
And so she makes egusi soup every evening!
This is then the picture: The woman forgoes love for lunch; the man tells a lie for his supper!

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