igbo

We do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of men. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, you have to pretend that you’re not, especially in public otherwise you will 'emasculate’ him.’

But what if we questioned the premise itself– why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man? What if we decide to simply dispose of that word? And I don’t think there’s an English word I despise more than 'emasculation.’

— 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, TedxEuston (x)

All of the truth. She’s incredible!

Looking to learn your language? (UPDATED!!)

The following are good  free online language  resources for learning different languages spoken in West Africa. Feel free to add on to the list if you know of another resource to help people.

Yoruba

Yorùbá Yé Mi

UPenn Yoruba Vocabulary

I Love Languages- Yoruba

My Languages- Yoruba

University of Georgia- Yoruba

LearnYoruba.com

Yoruba- Basic Course/ Tapes

Hausa

Rapport Hausa Course

Headstart Hausa Course

UCLA Hausa Resources

Byki Hausa Vocabulary List

UPenn Hausa Vocabulary

Boston University Hausa Resources

I Love Languages- Hausa

Hausa Tapes

Hausa- Basic Course

Wolof

UCLA Wolof Resources

UPenn Wolof Vocabulary

Boston University Wolof Resources

LAAF Wolof Lessons

Indiana University Wolof Folktales and Songs

Indiana University Wolof Lessons

Twi

UPenn Twi Vocabulary

Akan Pronunciation Game (helps you learn the tones)

Some Vocabulary 

Twi Tapes

Peace Corps Twi

Indiana University Twi Folktales and Songs

Indiana University Twi Lessons

Igbo

UPenn Igbo Vocabulary

Igbo Net

Some Igbo Vocabulary 

I Love Languages- Igbo

Igbo- Basic Course

Mandinka

LAAF Mandinka lessons

Bambara 

LAAF Bambara lessons

Peace Corps Bambara

Indiana University Bambara Lessons

Indiana University Folktales and Songs in Bambara

Mooré

LAAF Mooré lessons

Mooré Tapes

Mooré Basic Course

Fula(ni)/ Pulaar

Fula- Basic Course

Ewe

Some Vocabulary 

Ewe Greetings and Basics

Bade

University of California Bade

Bole

University of California Bole

Duwai

University of California Duwai

Karekare

University of California Karekare

Maka

University of California Maka

Ngamo

University of California Ngamo

Ngizim

University of California Ngizim

Miya

University of California Miya

I added some additional websites as well as languages. Also I would like to state that is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list of all of the languages of west Africa. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of languages and I cannot find resources for them all. I will keep adding to this list.

…my point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe…I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.
—  Chimamanda Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun)
8

My Father’s Traditional Wedding

So I disappeared for a few days because I went back home to Aba to attend my father’s wedding. At 70 years old, I guess it is never too late to find some sort of happiness. Having been single for goodness knows how long and over a decade of coming home to a dark (we literally have no electricity at home) and empty house, I’m so happy that things will be a bit different. Everyone danced in the rain, both the young and old and everything smelt of sweat, palm-wine and firewood. My father wanted a small affair and was a bit grumpy that it turned into a full out celebration, but who could help that??!

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

Barbie who? Nigeria’s Queens of Africa dolls take on US toymaker Mattel

With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed when he could not find a black doll for his niece.

The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and, with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business.

Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses a month.

“I like it,” says Ifunanya Odiah, five, struggling to contain her excitement as she inspects one of Okoya’s dolls in a Lagos shopping mall. “It’s black, like me.”

Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba are represented in the Queens of Africa range, highlighting the growing sophistication of consumers – and the need to tailor products to local tastes. [x]

GUYS I AM JUST SO EXCITED AT THE THOUGHT OF DOLLS WITH GELES AND WRAPPERS I JUST CAN’T. I MIGHT CRY

In November of 1929, thousands of Igbo women congregated at the Native Administration centers in Calabar and Owerri as well as smaller towns to protest both the warrant chiefs and the taxes on the market women.  Using the traditional practice of censoring men through all night song and dance ridicule (often called “sitting on a man”), the women chanted and danced, and in some locations forced warrant chiefs to resign their positions.  The women also attacked European owned stores and Barclays Bank and broke into prisons and released prisoners.  They also attacked Native Courts run by colonial officials, burning many of them to the ground. Colonial Police and troops were called in.  They fired into the crowds that had gathered at Calabar and Owerri, killing more than 50 women and wounding over 50 others.  During the two month “war” at least 25,000 Igbo women were involved in protests against British officials.

The Aba Women’s war prompted colonial authorities to drop their plans to impose a tax on the market women, and to curb the power of the warrant chiefs.  The women’s uprising is seen as the first major challenge to British authority in Nigeria and West Africa during the colonial period.

— 

Source

My mothers!

Aba Women’s riot of 1929

3

Jewish community of Nigeria

Top:  Magen David - surrounded by 12 lengths of chain and with 12 stones on top, symbolizing the unity of the Jewish People - in the compound of Sar Habakkuk Nwafor, in Kubwa, near the capital; Abuja, Nigeria.


Middle:  Studying Parashat HaShavua in Owerri in Imo State.  

Bottom:  Sar Habakkuk Nwafor demonstrating to these students how to wear tefilin.

Learn about the Nigerian-Igbo Jewish community here.

Also, watch this trailer for the documentary ‘Reemerging: Jews of Nigeria’ here

 
Pictures from Rabbi Howard Gorin.