Thought For Today

63 views
Skip to first unread message

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
May 27, 2023, 7:37:21 AM5/27/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
The efforts to stop the inauguration of the Nigeria President-Elect, Bola Tinubu is a waste of time and energy.

It is also an unnecessary clout chasing by the lawyers and the so called activists.

Writing to Embassies and all those others is unnecessary, what are those written to supposed to do? The point now is, what does the law in Nigeria say about the situation. The law in Nigeria says that the President-elect can be sworn-In while the petitions challenging his election can go on and that if the petitioners were able to prove their cases, that the person inaugurated as President will leave office.

More over, conventionally, what has been the practice with regard to the matter under reference? Since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic governance, the practice have been to swear in the President-elect while the petitions challenging the elections were ongoing.

So now, why all these hooplas?

Thanks.

-Chidi Anthony Opara (CAO)


--
Chidi Anthony Opara is a Poet, IIM Professional Fellow, MIT Chief Data Officer Ambassador and Editorial Adviser at News Updates (https://updatesonnews.substack.com)

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
May 28, 2023, 4:35:13 AM5/28/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
The principle of parallax(basically, where one stand determines what one sees)should apply in all situations.

Perspectives may sound brilliant, but that doesn't necessarily make them right.

Justice is too important to be served on the platter of legal orthodoxies. 

Those who serve justice (they are humans anyway), should painstakingly ponder all avenues through which justice can be served. 

The important thing is that justice should be served in the interest of the over all well being of the society.

Thanks for your time.

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
May 29, 2023, 9:30:37 AM5/29/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
Nigeria's opposition elements are quick to throw up alleged non adherence to a certain rule which they say prescribes that election results should be uploaded to the election umpire's website at the voting locations immediately after voting as evidence that the person announced as the winner is not the actual winner. 

While not conceding that any rules were broken, it is also important to ask if rules are supposed to be cast on stone? 

Aren't there supposed to be flexibility in rules, even in natural(God's)rules? 

God created humans to walk as a rule for example, but aren't humans flying on air and sailing on water? Is God angry with that modification of the rule of nature?

Didn't Christ(most of the opposition elements are Christians)raise Lazarus from death against the rule of nature, etc?

If election results were not uploaded to the server in real time due to technical problems, should that necessarily invalidate the results?

A critic have to be broad minded to be credible and credibility is of essence in this sphere.

By the way, how come that anyone who does not see things from the perspectives of Nigeria's opposition elements (operating mainly on social media), even the administrators of justice, are labeled "supporters of evil'?

Thank you all for your time.

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
May 30, 2023, 6:32:30 AM5/30/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
The outgone Nigeria administration removed fuel subsidy by budgeting for it only up till June 30th 2023.

Meanwhile, fuel subsidy would affect the new private mega Refinery which would employ Nigerians, pay tax to the Nigerian government and in which the Nigerian government have interest.

Fuel could be subsidized in other ways. 

Investors, for example, can be asked to build refineries in Nigeria and get crude oil supplies at a subsidized rate over a decided period of time.

Thank you.

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
Jun 3, 2023, 3:09:43 AM6/3/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
In democracy,(majority of)the people bargain for and get the leadership they want.

The bargaining is the presentation of manifestos and the acceptance of same, resulting in the leader being elected. Disputes in this regard are to be settled by the Court.

In the specific case of fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria, the newly inaugurated President during the election campaign repeatedly stated that "fuel subsidy has to go".

So, it can reasonably be said that the people bargained for and got the removal of Fuel Subsidy. 

It can only be otherwise if the Court rule that the President was not duly elected.

Thank you all for your time.

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
Jun 10, 2023, 3:18:51 AM6/10/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
Prayer, although powerful, is not the most powerful tool, righteousness is. 

"Prayer of the righteous"?

Prayer is prayer. At the point of prayer, there is realization of the Supremacy of God and all he represents(righteousness).

Answers to prayers are predicated on the mercy of God not on righteousness.

If an unrighteous prays and the Ocean of love, mercy and grace(God) decides to show mercy, that prayer will be answered, restitution would be made and that unrighteous would become righteous.

Thanks.

Oluwatoyin Adepoju

unread,
Jun 10, 2023, 7:38:21 AM6/10/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Amen

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/usaafricadialogue/CABTLsgifQBBiiO9T1ceYe79RQOMsHUJDyiV6Ct005f%2BM0VMZSw%40mail.gmail.com.

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
Jun 13, 2023, 8:26:34 AM6/13/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
It is 65 years this year since the publication of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" in 1958, a good literary work no doubt. There are however a few questions:

(1)Why was Unoka the flutist who was said to handle the flute with dexterity, producing pleasant notes that made the people happy presented as a failure? Does this connect with the Igbo philosophy of "Ezi aha ka ego"(translated in English to "good name is better than wealth")?

(2)Why was Okonkwo, a radical cultural activist also presented as a failure and his docile kinsman Obierika presented as a hero? This belies the Igbo philosophy of "a brave son rather than a cowardly one, even if the brave son die young".

(3)Why were the enormous influences of the womenfolk in Igboland as recorded in the activities of Umuada(daughters)and Ndi Ndom(wives)not highlighted?

Oluwatoyin Adepoju

unread,
Jun 13, 2023, 10:48:53 AM6/13/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
I dont recall if Unoka was presented as a failure but he was a man living ahead of the time where he could have been economically successful.

He was successful as a great flutist but since his services were not required on a regular basis and his payment at those times could not cover the intervals and he did not want to farm, so he was often broke and  in debt.

It would take the colonial encounter, the creation of Nigeria and the expansion of her economy and social complexity for an entertainer such as Unoko to achieve economic viability.

Today, singers and comedians are doing very well in Nigeria but its less likely to have been so in Unoka's time.

Unoka, Okonwo's father, if I recall correctly, is contrasted with Okonkwo by his own son, who strives not to be like him, and wonders why one of his sons seems to share his father's contemplative character.

I dont think Okonwo was presented as a failure. Okonwo and Ezeulu in Arrow of God are at the centre of Achebe's genius as an ironic narrative philosopher.

Both characters may be understood as projecting the Igbo expression, ''where one thing stands, another stands beside it'', a principle of the complementary of opposites, of relationships between constancy and flexibility.

They are both strong, unyielding men, great achievers. But did they discern correctly when to yield or not to yield?

Both of them were defeated by their approach to historical forces greater than themselves, forces that perhaps were better addressed through a degree of compromise.

Perhaps only Achebe can fully answer the last question. Female foregrounding Igbo novels had to wait for other writers, but Achebe seems to have moved in that direction with his short story Girls at War.

thanks
toyin










--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.

Harrow, Kenneth

unread,
Jun 13, 2023, 11:43:03 AM6/13/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Unoka was weak and lazy. He borrowed and appeared in a miserable light.
Okonkwo’s patriarchal machismo was ultimately a sign of his rigidity and inability to adapt to new times.
The story was about the men, the adoption, the sacrifice, the takeover by christians and then whites. The struggle of the men to deal with the change was the story; one chapter had a wife telling a tale.

My answers are intended to capture the sense of the novel in the 1950s and how we came to teach it in the 70s and 80s. Chidi’s questions reflect our times; and in a sense we can’t help projecting our times back into a novel of the past.
We wouldn’t have used the wording “cultural hero” back then.
Achebe was a humanist, a great figure who did not want to put his characters into absolute frames of black and white, good and evil etc, but humanized okonkwo who was a great wrestler and fighter, but a poor model for a husband and father, especially father; and as i said, someone who couldn’t bend.

He was achebe’s answer to the european views of africans as simple tools of their societies or cultures, not thinking, feeling human beings like the europeans. And most of all, achebe wanted to validate igbo culture, so we could learn to value it. For that he needed a flawed protagonist, a flawed hero, who could embody the values but also the weaknesses of a culture that overvalued manliness and strength.

I remember oedipus whose hubris, too, led to his downfall. His hubris was not his own personal failure but that of his culture that would enable him to rise up and become king, but who couldn’t see his own weaknesses. Like okonkwo.
Ken

From: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Oluwatoyin Adepoju <ovde...@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 10:47:47 AM
To: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Thought For Today
 

Oluwatoyin Adepoju

unread,
Jun 13, 2023, 11:55:18 AM6/13/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Why do you think Unoka was weak and lazy

On Tue, Jun 13, 2023 at 4:46 PM Oluwatoyin Adepoju <ovde...@gmail.com> wrote:
Thanks Ken 
What exactly was Oedipus hubris

I’ve not been able to get it or understand why it’s seen as a great play

Oluwatoyin Adepoju

unread,
Jun 13, 2023, 11:55:23 AM6/13/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Thanks Ken 
What exactly was Oedipus hubris

I’ve not been able to get it or understand why it’s seen as a great play
On Tue, Jun 13, 2023 at 4:43 PM Harrow, Kenneth <har...@msu.edu> wrote:

Harrow, Kenneth

unread,
Jun 13, 2023, 12:59:30 PM6/13/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
hi toyin
i am not inclined to go to the shelf and pull down TFA, a book i taught o so many times in the past. it is like etched on my brain!
it isn't that i think unoka was weak; it is that he was portrayed that way. he made his powerful son grind his teeth with his weasely ways of rationalizing his non-payment of his debts, a sign of bluster without substance. his son was a man of few words, but powerful actions....
achebe was a bit simplistic there, but the idea was they were opposites.
unoka played the flute, a weak instrument, compared with the powerful drummers who accompanied okonkwo when he wrestled, etc.
i think arrow of god was actually a better, more sophisticated novel, but tfa marked the world of african literature like no other novel. (and this guy did not win the novel prize!!!!! the most influential of all african novelists. oh well)

oedipus's hubris, his pride, blinded from seeing how the very thing he was fleeing, his fate, was what he was rushing toward. he could outwit the sphinx, but at the crossroad, where he meets his father, he cannot conceive that the prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother was being carried out. and so, he killed a man old enough to be his father—and who was his father—and married a woman old enough to be his mother, and who turned out to be his mother. he thought he was too smart for the prophecy of his fate to occur.
he was blind to his fate, as was okonkwo. and at the end, oedipus takes his mother's brooches, and sticks the pins into his eyes, to complete the blinding that fate had dictated would be his.

it has the greatness of a pure and perfect statement.
and one, by no coincidence, in which freud say our human predicament, our relations with our progenitors, is encapsulated.
and the language is unforgettable.
its words could be said to be palm wine with which the painfulness of the story can be swallowed....
if nothing else, okonkwo certainly appeared like an oepidus figure, but it goes even further when he kills his own (adopted) son, ikimafuna, whose fate dooms okonkwo. his hubris.
ken



kenneth harrow

professor emeritus

dept of english

michigan state university

517 803-8839

har...@msu.edu


Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 11:46 AM

Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth

unread,
Jun 13, 2023, 12:59:30 PM6/13/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
In things fall apart  a masqurade is known as Egwugwu wheras in yoruba  it is egungun 
In things fall apart  medicine  is ogwu in yoruba  it is ogun. There  are other parallels i noticed.
a judge  was planning to visit Africa but on reading things fall apart  he felt there was no need to visit  Africa.he concluded  that Africans  can sort themselves  out!
--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue+subscribe@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialogue+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.

Oluwatoyin Adepoju

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 2:23:50 AM6/14/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Thanks Ken for that careful analysis 

Much food for thought 

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 8:12:45 AM6/14/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com

Oluwatoyin,
Presentation of the Unoka character nuances failure.

Is the economic yardstick the only index for measuring success? 

Are people not economically wealthy necessarily unsuccessful?

Was playing the flute so well and thereby producing music that made the people happy not success?

Should the success of artistic productions be measured only by the monetary gain made therefrom?

Ken,
If Unoka was lazy and weak, how come he played the flute from morning until late in the night, producing music that kept his society happy?

The flute, a weak instrument compared to the drum?

How did you come about this assessment? How do you define "weak" in the context of the situation under reference?

The drum and the flute play complementary roles in the production of music. By the way, the legendary Fela and Manu Dibango mainly played the saxophone(modern flute) for example and got their renown from that.

Finally, we should always bear in mind that Chinua Achebe was human and wrote "Things Fall Apart"when he was in his 20s in the 1950s.
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue+subscribe@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialogue+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue+subscribe@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialogue+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/usaafricadialogue/CAGBtzfPc-R3hRrObhajx5XPY8-gpQ%3D8M6p-XyjCgXPOB9otHbg%40mail.gmail.com.

Harrow, Kenneth

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 8:24:04 AM6/14/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Hi chidi,
I was trying to convey what the novel seemed to be saying. Not my own thoughts on what weakness might mean. There is a certain ambivalence about the characters, or some anyway, that achebe catches. The issue of what unoka “really” was might miss the point that this is a novel, not a biography or ethnography.
Ken

From: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA <chidi...@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 6:41:51 AM

To: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Thought For Today
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/usaafricadialogue/CABTLsgiLzKC9jootyMFQ3pOjCoi7zi1rTUMpPaS9kyeOhYof_Q%40mail.gmail.com.

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 10:00:32 AM6/14/23
to USA African Dialogue Series
"Chicken Republic", a Nigeria based eatery have been providing employment for the people and of course paying taxes to the government.

Two young men sought employment to man the gate in one of "Chicken Republic"'s outlets, they were employed and paid to do that. 

On one occasion due to youthful exuberance, they got carried away, left their duty post to dance for customers.

The "Chicken Republic" management relieved them of their employment.

At this point, what a reasonable elder and/or leader(spiritual or temporal) would have done would have been to rebuke the young men and plead with the "Chicken Republic" management to pardon and reabsorb them.

"Apostle" Chinyere Chibuzo, the "General Overseer" of "Omega Power Ministry (OPM)" one of the numerous Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria, also known as "Daddy OPM",  rather used the situation to curry publicity. He nicknamed the young men "Happy Boys" or something like that, awarded them "full scholarship", flew them to Cyprus and abandoned them.

When they reacted in that same juvenile delinquent manner that got them into trouble at "Chicken Republic", "Daddy OPM" placed a curse on them.

The question is, before now, how many of the public officers who have been plundering the commonwealth of the people of Nigeria, how many of the kidnappers, bandits, etc, who have been making life miserable for the people have "Daddy OPM" cursed and by the way, how efficacious are the curses of these self proclaimed men and women of God?

Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 10:00:37 AM6/14/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Ken,
I am asking questions about fictional characters and situations created by a creative writer. I am fully conscious of that fact that the work under reference is a novel.

-CAO.


On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, Harrow, Kenneth <har...@msu.edu> wrote:
Hi chidi,
I was trying to convey what the novel seemed to be saying. Not my own thoughts on what weakness might mean. There is a certain ambivalence about the characters, or some anyway, that achebe catches. The issue of what unoka “really” was might miss the point that this is a novel, not a biography or ethnography.
Ken


Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 6:41:51 AM

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue+subscribe@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialogue+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.

Harrow, Kenneth

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 12:42:47 PM6/14/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Hi chidi, well, as i said at the outset, i don’t want to go back and pull the book off the shelf, so i am going by my memory of it. My impression is simply that achebe created this portrait of unoka as weak, in contrast with okonkwo. That he put marks of his debts on the wall to respond to one creditor, i will have to pay off those others before i get to you. This to indicate his moral failures; in contrast with his hardworking son who said “yes” to his chi, and succeeded in life.
The flute and drum were continued markers of this difference. And most of all, it fit with my broader understanding of the goal of the novel, which was to create, in okonkwo, a human figure, great in some ways, but very flawed. I took it that achebe was fed up with one-dimensional characters that typified european fiction-graham green or joyce cary, notably—and wanted to show that igbos had a rich culture, as seen in the novel largely in the speech, the proverbs, and the multiform characters. Most important of course was okonkwo and his sons, but that troubled relation was prefigured in his own relation with his father.
Weakness—strength. The latter was seen in masculinity; and that made him unbending, and stood for those in his culture who failed to bend when they sacrificed ikemefuna.
So, not bending, they broke, and “things fell apart.” The survivors, the pliable obierinka, mourned the loss.

That’s what i remember. If i were to make my response more convincing, i’d have to go back to that shelf, open that well-worn volume, and find the passages to support my claims. But….this is just us chatting, not at war over weakness and strength.
The novel has stayed with us lo these many many years. It is truly a major marker for all of african literature.

A little hard to find an equivalent in francophone lit. There was Une vie de boy, l’enfant noir, and une aventure ambiguë. You need all three of those together to begin to get the impact of TFA
Ken

From: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Chidi Anthony Opara, FIIM, CDOA <chidi...@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 9:43:31 AM
To: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/usaafricadialogue/CABTLsggEW3JvziG2N2ADLC34YfhTtHbTbzDB6Ecb9U2k%2BeepOg%40mail.gmail.com.

Cornelius Hamelberg

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 4:38:33 PM6/14/23
to USA Africa Dialogue Series

I come in peace and love: SHALOM  


Re - “I took it that achebe was fed up with one-dimensional characters that typified european fiction-graham green or joyce cary, notably” ( Professor Kenneth Harrow )


Graham Greene????


Really


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?


No matter, just lump them all together! 

 

What saith Ken about “ The Heart of the Matter “ ?


 One-dimensional characters ? Scobie


 No moral complexity?


Of course, no war between  the good and /or the only ugly evil?


Our Man in Havana?


As if I didn’t have a clue


I thought that for good measure  you would have thrown in Conrad and you good friend

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul FRAS TC 


Directly into the cannibal stew 


Can it be true that one of the only reasons why  Graham Greene was never awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature was  that  he  was alleged to be more deeply anti-American than deeply anti--Something else….




Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 6:41:51 AM
To: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Thought For Today
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.


--
Chidi Anthony Opara is a Poet, IIM Professional Fellow, MIT Chief Data Officer Ambassador and Editorial Adviser at News Updates (https://updatesonnews.substack.com)

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfric...@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDial...@googlegroups.com
Current archives at http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "USA Africa Dialogue Series" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to usaafricadialo...@googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/usaafricadialogue/SN7PR12MB843618388BA62BB6E744FD84DA5AA%40SN7PR12MB8436.namprd12.prod.outlook.com.


--
Chidi Anthony Opara is a Poet, IIM Professional Fellow, MIT Chief Data Officer Ambassador and Editorial Adviser at News Updates (https://updatesonnews.substack.com)

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin

Harrow, Kenneth

unread,
Jun 14, 2023, 6:00:09 PM6/14/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Hi cornelius, i was referring to the portrayal of africans by colonial european authors. Greene sets Heart of the Matter in Sierra Leone, but africans or scoundrels or servants. Scobie is the european protagonist. I don’t know greene all that well; was only trying to summarize achebe’s feelings about how africans were portrayed in european literature. Mr. johnson is perhaps a better example.
Ken

From: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Cornelius Hamelberg <cornelius...@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 4:21:43 PM
To: USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>

Cornelius Hamelberg

unread,
Jun 15, 2023, 4:07:56 AM6/15/23
to USA Africa Dialogue Series

SHALOM!


I had thought that you were being deliberately provocative.


 Just for fun.


On the other hand, unlike Scobie, Mr Greene, a lapsed Catholic, was perhaps guilty of un-American activity, but not necessarily for salvation.


BTW, in my humble opinion, for Mr Johnson’s sake Joyce Cary 

Should be tried posthumously and almost hanged ( like Salman Rushdie) .

Just kidding. I almost wrote “Salam Rushdie” Like the fatwa on poor Rushdie.

They would have loved  to make some salami out of him.

Your good friend Sir Vidia described the death fatwa  as “an extreme form of literary criticism” .

I suppose that must at least have endeared him ( Sir Vidia) to you.


Then the  headline could have been ,” Cary posthumously resurrected and  hanged. For Crimes Against Humanity.” The sort of crimes that should get Adepoju  praying that humanism will overcome. Amor Vincit Omnia? Too late, what would PEN Int. been able to do about  it? Sanctions? Bring Cray back to life?


Thinking associatively about the above, three  things come to mind:


¤ The Islamic Revolution in Iran generated a spate of anti-Shia propaganda  issuing from some of the Sunni publishing houses from which you were liable to read this kind of intention attributed to the leader of the Iranian Revolution: “When as a conqueror I arrive in Saudi Arabia, I will dig up these two idols, Abu Bakr and Umar and hang them


¤ In 1991, when I finally visited/ made ziyaret to the Al-Hussain Mosque in Cairo

where a blessed hair of Imam Husayn - alaihi salaam , the Prince of Martyrs is housed 

at exactly the same time that I stood at the foot of his mausoleum a man ,his head wrapped in a green turban, signs of hardship, signs of  travel and desert dust written all over his forehead, came bursting in and addressing the Prince of Martyrs, as if he could hear him, I think it must have been in perfect Arabic :” Ya Aba Abdillah ! I have travelled hundreds of miles to come and see you!”


And then threw himself down at the feet of the mausoleum in prostration !


¤ The Sayyidina Ḥusayn Mosque // "Gemma Sayyidina Husayn" as it is known, is where the Sufis meet every Thursday evening. I was there on eight successive Thursday evenings. A person is not Cornelius Ignoramus by accident. Here's what a little ignorance can cause. On my second Thursday evening visit, I almost got into a fight with the beer seller that had his stall opposite the mosque. That evening, it was about 41 degrees hot, to date, the hottest I have ever experienced, and had ordered a cold bottle of Halal Beer, to cool my thirst. It was the very first time that I had ever sipped “Halal Beer”  and lo - it tasted exactly like a Czech Pilsner Urquell @the usual  7.5 % al-cohol-ic content. So I almost got hold of the quite perplexed halal beer seller by the scruff of his neck  - almost - and told him, "Aki, I asked for HALAL BEER, not for Al-COHOL - what the hell - do you want me to turn up at the mosque, DRUNK? He protested   - But I gave you halal  Beer ! 


It was after my second sip that I began to understand that halal beer tastes just like normal beer - and later on, the hypocrisy of those who consume so-called “halal bacon” 

Harrow, Kenneth

unread,
Jun 15, 2023, 3:15:59 PM6/15/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
hi cornelius
this all has to take us back to colonial days. 1940s 1950s; how europeans depicted others, or Others. be they sherpas or incas, indians or "natives." sometimes comic, sometime foolishly imitative of europeans.
sanders of the river.
and indeed mr. johnson.

we've all know variations of this: even shakespeare's others—othello, the noble savage type, or shylock, now his name infamous.
hard to know how to parse all this.
if you want to defend naipaul, explain the characters in Bend in the River, without embarrassment. i can't quite come to that. some scenes in that novel were truly reprehensible.

but how do deal with prejudices or stereotypes with an even temperament? even the ancient greeks had their fools or others. and even achebe, in TFA, has his mr. smiths and mr. jones who are also stereotypes.

adichie is famous for her ted talk about how her roommate had a stereotyped vision of africans. but adichie's vision of the roommate also reinforced african views of the american/european view of africans. her roommate is another stereotype.

the "solution" becomes renaming; insteadof gypsies call them "rom"; instead of bushmen say "khoisan," until it turns out khoisan is also pejorative; instead of slave use enslaved person. etc. and so the problem is solved.
except that the new term simply means the same thing as the old term, until the context itself has changed.

thus i am out of tune with our times.
ken


kenneth harrow

professor emeritus

dept of english

michigan state university

517 803-8839

har...@msu.edu

Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 10:05 PM

Biko Agozino

unread,
Jun 15, 2023, 8:44:31 PM6/15/23
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com

Cornelius Hamelberg

unread,
Jun 15, 2023, 9:23:59 PM6/15/23