Tag Archives: Nigeria

Interview with Ogaga Ifowodo: ‘For me, to truly admire a poet, I’ve to be envious of him or her’ on The Nation

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What book or books have had the greatest impact on you and why?

Too many to list! Certainly, all the books I mentioned in the answer to the first question. And, naturally, the Bible, which was mandatory reading, in English and Isoko, before evening prayers in our house (for being, I believe, arguably the most irrefutable evidence of writing as creation, as magic, the bringing into existence of that which did not previously exist); Karl Marx and Frederick Engels’ The Communist Manifesto (for my induction into the dialectical mode of reasoning and critical vigilance by way of the famous call for “a ruthless criticism of everything existing”); Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (for what everybody knows and also being the first novel from which I would, as a 14-year-old, memorise whole passages); Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (for being one of the most devastating unmasking of colonialism’s pretence to a civilizing mission and of Europe as the actual heart of darkness); Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks (for an extraordinarily poignant interpretation of the violence, brutal realities, complexity and complexes of colonialism as a form of imperialism); Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (the title says it all); Toni Morrison’s Beloved (for its feat of posing a moral-philosophical question on both sides of slavery, the slave’s and the slave-master’s, while remaining focused on the unspeakable horror of slavery as well as the slave’s irrepressible quest for freedom); Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (which fuses the history of Native-American and African-American experience of genocide and slavery and sublimates it into a narrative of healing through the re-territorialisation of the United States, her vision already beginning to be realised and partly awakening the overt racist white supremacy policies and attitudes of the Donald Trump government); Walcott’s Omeros (which is literally an enactment of healing as self-discovery, as reconciliation with and acceptance of one’s home and identity, however gruesome and unflattering its history, and for doing so with rigorous attention to form); Edward Said’s Orientalism (a seminal study of the ideological framework of the West’s misrepresentation of non-white peoples and cultures through its attitudes to the Orient or the East; written more from the literary/philological perspective, it is arguably the founding work of postcolonial studies); C.L.R. James’s The Black Jacobins (which shows so powerfully how Toussaint Louverture’s slave revolution of 1791-1804 led to the emergence of Haiti as the first black republic and, quite as important, fulfilled the heady promise of liberté, egalité, fraternité of the French Revolution of 1789 that inspired it by moving the former from the narrow Jacobinism of the overthrow of an imperial monarchy to a universal humanism); Nelson Mandela’s The Long Walk to Freedom (for bequeathing to us the unforgettable life and mind of one of the world’s greatest moral and political figures as well as a personal history of the anti-apartheid struggle); Sigmund Freud’s The Ego and the Id, Civilization and Its Discontents and Moses and Monotheism for a depth psychology of the mind, psychoanalytical interpretation of the conflicts, mostly produced by cultural and religious injunctions, between the individual and society and the trauma and repression that ensue from that (though not a book I should also like to mention his essay “Against the Pleasure Principle”); Cathy Caruth’s Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History, which was a massive help to me at the dissertation stage of my doctoral studies when using psychoanalysis as an analytic concept for the understanding of (post)colonialism as a trauma needing to be acknowledged and worked through by formerly colonized societies, as Frantz Fanon had famously prescribed in Black Skin, White Masks); Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, earlier mentioned (which delineates the proximate and ultimate causes of the unequal development of peoples and regions of the world and conclusively locates the ultimate cause in geography, not racial difference); My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit whose great-great-grandfather was a founding Zionist (which is a devastating critique of Israel’s genocide and colonialism in Palestine); Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion (which humorously but scientifically wages war against the obfuscations of Biblical literalists and their ingrained resistance to biology, to science, and knowledge); Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory: An Introduction and Satya Mohanty’s Literary Theory and the Claims of History (which very helpfully unpacked the obscurantism of postmodernism as a radical theory aimed at deconstructing the totalitarian structure of power and did so brilliantly at first but unwittingly ended up becoming what it criticised), etc., but I guess I have to stop!

Continue reading at https://thenationonlineng.net/for-me-to-truly-admire-a-poet-ive-to-be-envious-of-him-or-her/

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Nigerian Shiites to Hold Major Rallies Friday on AllAfrica

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“The illegal state of Israel had unleashed terror on the innocent but strong-hearted people of Palestine for the past 60 years, killing unarmed men, women and children, demolishing their houses and placing thousands in illegal detention and torture. All these are taking place before the very eyes of the world but for reasons best known to them, the international community is simply looking the other way as this state terrorism is taking place with what could best be described as genocide against the people of Palestine.”

Continue reading at http://allafrica.com/stories/201706230042.html

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Nigeria: Thousands gather in solidarity with Palestine by Rafiu Ajakaye

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Tens of thousands of mostly Muslim Nigerians gathered Monday to commemorate the Al-Aqsa Day, with calls on the United Nations to ensure that resolutions to ensure justice for Palestinians are implemented. Organized by Muslim Awareness International (MAI), a prominent civic group, Al-Aqsa Day is commemorated in Nigeria on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabiul Awwal to show solidarity with the Palestinian people… Adelaja Odukoya, an activist who teaches comparative politics at the country’s University of Lagos, said the injustices against Palestinians persist because of the complicity of the global powers.

“The UN was founded on the slogan of self-determination, but that slogan has remained empty in regard to the Palestinian crisis. What is playing out in the crisis is the hegemony of the U.S as reflected in the non-implementation of several UN resolutions, especially resolution 242 and others,” Odukoya said. “Israeli policies in Palestine amount to genocide because the livelihood of the Palestinian is left at the mercy of Israel…”

Continue reading at http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ijv/2016/11/israel-palestine-what-has-caused-crisis-and-how-can-we-bring-end-to-it

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Shi’ites hold Quds day in Zakzaky’s absence on Daily Trust

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 Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also know as Shi’ites will on Friday hold their annual Quds day marches in 24 states of the federation in the absence of their leader, Shiekh Ibrahim Zakzaky ,who has been in detention since December, 2015 after a clash occurred between his members and the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff. A statement by the President of the Media Forum of the Movement, Ibrahim Musa, called on all people of conscience to join in commemorating the annual event by lending a voice to the oppressed people of Palestine and condemn the Israeli atrocities on them… He lament that “all these are taking place before the very eyes of the world but for reasons best known to them, the international community is simply looking the other way as this state terrorism is taking place with what could best be described as genocide against the people of Palestine.”

Continue reading at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/shi-ites-hold-quds-day-in-zakzaky-s-absence/153319.html

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