Growing up in my village in Nigeria, my friends and I had a favorite game. We called it Asesebhor — “Are we there yet?”
It was a game of trust. You picked a playmate to lead you to an undisclosed spot. You’d close your eyes and, like a blind mendicant, rest both of your hands on his shoulders as he walked.
“Asesebhor?” you would keep asking. “Are we there yet?” To which he would respond, “Eiyeh” — “No.”
Others whom you passed would play along, chanting and hailing, without revealing your path or destination. When your guide stopped moving, you had arrived.… Seguir leyendo »
I grew up under my grandfather’s ancient pear tree in the Nigerian village of Uwessan. The tree’s roots were massive and its leaves shielded us from hot tropical sun while we played soccer. Elders also used it as shade while drinking palm wine and telling hunting tales in the evening. We sometimes climbed a low branch to set wire-traps and catch birds. When a dead branch broke off, it became firewood. Most important, the tree was a major cash crop for my grandfather, who sold its fruits to traders from far away.
Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian writer who died last week, was a similarly rich resource for an entire generation of Nigerians.… Seguir leyendo »