To life!

Posts Tagged ‘Say You’re One of Them

The recent killings in Northern Nigeria is reminiscent, to a smaller degree, of the Igbo killings prior to the Biafran War. Then, as now, it was sparked by politics dominated by ethnic affiliations. Sure, the perpretators insist it has nothing to do with ethnicity, but it is difficult to accept that when southerners in the north are incinerated after a southerner wins the elections. Not all northerners are engaged in the horrific images rolling through the internet, thankfully. Unfortunately, writers have shown what happens when prejudice takes over reason.  

When Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun came out, there were those who wished she hadn’t resurrected the past. It’s over and done with, the critics wailed. Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them was dismissed as useless. One wishes it were less than authentic. The stomach-turning events are all the more unbearable because they are narrated from the point of view of children.

It is a sad fact that history is considered worthy only when it’s on CNN or ABC’s World News, not when an African tries to tell his story. Often, the detractors are none other than fellow Africans who would rather forget. But we need to learn about history if only to give us pause when we find ourselves sliding down the same muddy slope. Africa needs the wise of the continent to use their words to force people to examine their world. Let’s read, learn and prevent another era of Luxurious Hearses rumbling towards the south with decomposing cargo, and of retaliation from the south. And for goodness sake, you leaders who claim to love your countries so, when you lose elections, just make a graceful exit, will you?