So I finished my exams and stumbled upon this

By the middle of nineteenth century these English-educated Hindus set about reforming Hinduism from within. Their goal was to make Hinduism more respectable in the eyes of the Europeans by doing away with those features of Hinduism that Europeans considered superstitious and backward. The various schools of reformed Hinduism they established in every part of India took a very dim view of image-worship, caste hierarchies and the worship of devadasis. Thus, from the middle of the nineteenth-century and well into the twentieth, Westernized Indians themselves were very active in abolishing the tradition of the devadasis.

 

I swear, you could literally replace this phenomenon with the Igbo narrative.
Observe:

By the middle of nineteenth century these English-educated Igbos set about reforming Igbo Culture from within. Their goal was to make Igbo Culture more respectable in the eyes of the Europeans by doing away with those features of Igbo Culture that Europeans considered superstitious and backward. The various schools of reformed Igbo Culture they established in every part of Igbo land took a very dim view of [Igbo Cultural Element], [Igbo Cultural Feature] and [Igbo Cultural Practice]. Thus, from the middle of the nineteenth-century and well into the twentieth, Westernized Igbos themselves were very active in abolishing the tradition of [Insert Any Non-Western Approved Aspect of Igbo Culture].

The above is an excerpt from something I’m reading about India and the effects of European colonisation. Not surprisingly, this narrative is repeated over and over and over again whenever I read about any society that came into contact with Europeans. Basically, the standard shizzle was to get the “Natives” to go about destroying their own culture in order to suck up to the Europeans because they (Europeans) decided that European culture was the best and the most superior, and the Natives (Insert ANY group of non-Europeans here) were daft enough to listen to, tolerate, and encourage the European foolishness.

Same old story of colonialism. No matter where in the world you take it, the above paragraph still holds true. The only thing that is varies is the degree to which the “Natives” managed to erase their culture before they came back to their senses.

If you look at the East Asian countries, it only happened to a very small degree so culturally, they have been able to mostly recover from European brainwashing.

If you look at African countries, it’s almost a fucking lost cause, and when you look at the FRANCOPHONE countries…. well you might as well not even bother looking because there sure as hell isn’t anything to look for. The francophone African countries have traded and sold their culture and languages lock stock and barrel to the French. It’s a done deal, there’s no recovering. Ever.

The English speaking countries, particularly Nigeria the Beloved, still have some hope at least, but it dwindles daily thanks to the masses of mentally conditioned Nigerians that roam about in our country. Nigerians that are convinced that everything about their culture, even harmless artwork is fetish, devilish, diabolical, evil, etc etc. So what must they think of the fact HD XXX awaits at this useful site, porn-hd xxx and others? The same Nigerians that have been made so afraid of their culture by stupid European ideas about Christianity that they now see witches and wizards everywhere, even to the point where they harm innocent children in the wave of their overzealousness.

Frankly, I think that Nigerians go overboard to the point of mental delusion with the whole Christianity thing (particularly the Mount Zion, mountain of fire, Jewish-referencing, promise land spouting set) because they feel they empty culturally.

Now how can a group of people with such rich cultures feel empty culturally? And what has this got to do with religion? Let me explain.

Nigerians (at least most of us in the Southern half) embraced Christianity. Unfortunately, the people that they learned Christianity from were a group of small-minded pricks* who taught them that anything even remotely connected to their culture was evil and should be shunned. (Lol, shun the non-believer). These idiots even went so far as to force new converts to take Israeli-European names like Joshua, Joseph, Mary, etc. As if our own names were not good enough, leading to the current situation of Nigerians with stupid-as-fuck-English/European/Israeli names e.g. Polycarp. Really? You really want your child to be known as Polycarp? What the fuck happened to good old Ekpeyong???? (Don’t even get me started about the olodo of a woman that punished her daughter with the name “Queen Elizabeth”) And even when they no longer explicitly forced us to change our names, the drama mellowed into an ungodly proliferation of Chi- and Chukwu- names. [If I had one kobo for every Igbo person who has a Chi or a Chukwu in their name, Bill Gates wouldn’t be able to tell me shit]

(Note, Europeans got to name their children a whole variety of European names that had nothing to do with Christianity and were even sometimes PAGAN names – Diana for example – but nobody ever told them that if the name wasn’t Christian they couldn’t have it, yet Nigerians were forced to give up our own names and answer theirs)

But I disgress.

Back to what I was saying. These “Christians” in Nigeria do have cultures, very rich, amazing, varied, super cool cultures, but they are AFRAID to embrace them because they feel that by doing so they are somehow aligning themselves with the devil. The problem is, humans NEED culture. We really do. We need to feel like we belong to a group and that group has certain norms, rituals, and habits that set it apart and we belong to it. This is the first problem these people face.

The second problem they face arises when they try to solve the first problem. Okay, they’ve rejected their original culture after pronouncing it evil (in other words, they have shunned the non-believer. – I’m sorry, I just had to), they might as well replace the old culture with the new culture right??

WRONG!!!!

Pretty quickly after reading the Bible, these new Nigerian Christians realized that their new religion had nothing to do with them whatsoever. First of all, there are no Black people in the Bible (except the Ethiopian dude, the Egyptians [a group upon whom Europeans have successfully cast racial aspersions], and POSSIBLY the Queen of Sheba]. Even then, the only other time that Black people MIGHT possibly be mentioned in the Bible, it is insinuated that they are cursed (Ham and all his peepshow drama).

Second, Christianity is whiter than white bread. To this day, the Jesus that is brought out at the special Vatican ceremonies has blond hair and blue eyes, something the average Nigerian can never aspire to. Also, if you think about it in the context of 19th century Nigerians being introduced to Christianity, they were basically being asked to worship a white man. (Yeah, I know, Jesus isn’t white, but the point is, 90% of the representation of Jesus out there IS white). All the gods they had worshipped until that point were Black people like themselves, and suddenly they were being asked to venerate this White man and by association, elevate these White people above themselves.

Third, they were forced or encouraged to adopt European cultural practices along with their religion which only had significance and meaning for Europeans but not for Nigerians. In other words, the awkwardness of these new cultural practices only served to further point out the disparity between the new religion/culture and the worshippers. For example, Most Igbo Christians wear a WHITE DRESS to get married, yet in Igbo culture, White is the colour of MOURNING, SPIRITS, and THE DEAD (which is why all those Igbo masks usually have White faces because they represent spirits or the ancestors who are dead). Contradiction much?

Basically, Nigerian Christians who reject their culture and try to embrace European/Judeo-Christian culture quickly find that they do not belong and that they never belonged. As a result they try to draw parallels between their original culture and their new religions to comfort themselves in and convince themselves into thinking that somehow they have a connection with this other religion/culture when in reality the new religion is telling them that nothing about them is good enough unless they denounce their own culture and achievements as inferior and praise that of the colonizer as superior.

This is precisely the reason why some Igbo people have deluded themselves into thinking that Igbos are the lost tribe of the Jews and all what not. *rolls eyes*

Igbo Christians who would like to feel some connection to their culture but are too afraid that by doing so they might be committing “fetish” acts make themselves feel better by seeking out any similarities between Igbo culture and Jewish culture and then reading far too much meaning into it.

e.g.

Some Igbos think we are Jews because:

Traditionally, once every couple of years, the most beautiful girl and boy in the town/wherever is chosen and then tied up and dragged around the town and everyone lays hands on them to transfer their sins into them and then they are dragged through the dust to a cliff until they either die or are thrown over the edge as a sacrifice to take away the sins of the whole people. (Obviously we don’t do this anymore)

In the Bible, there is a similar practice using a goat or a ram or some other creature.

The Kingdom of Nri from which the Igbo nation was founded is ruled by Kings who simultaenously serve as Priests. (Never mind the fact that these priests serve Ani, Anyanwu, and a host of other gods o!)
-The Jews had Priests and made a big deal about it.

Igbos perceive themselves to be persecuted by other ethnic groups for no reason.
-The Jews were persecuted.

Igbos are generally industrious and thrive wherever they are.
-The Jews can be similarly described.

Christian Igbos believe themselves to be the chosen people of God (what justification they have beyond a healthy dose of narcissism to make this claim I do not know, but hey, every civilization claims at least once that THEY are the chosen people of God(s) so hey.)
The Jews claim to be the chosen people of God.

The really amusing thing, is that I could draw parallels between Igbo culture and almost any other culture in the world if I tried hard enough.

e.g.

Before Christianity, Igbos bathed together at the streams or under waterfalls, men and women – mixed bathing
Mixed bathing at onsens (hot springs) used to be (and still is to a degree) a huge part of Japanese culture

Igbo people had round fans (among other designs)
Japanese people had round fans (among other designs)

Igbo people fought with bows and arrows, swords, and halberds (among other weapons)
Japanese people fought with bows and arrows, swords, and halberds (among other weapons)

Igbo people worshipped multiple gods
Japanese people worshipped multiple gods

Igbo people believed in Mermaids
Japanese people believed in Mermaids

Igbo people kneel and bow their heads when greeting with respect
Japanese people bow their heads and occasionally perform kneeling bows when greeting with respect

Igbo and Japanese have extremely similar word composition rules

Igbo and Chinese (which is the root of Japanese) are both tonal.

Does this mean Igbo people are really a lost group of Japanese people that wandered off?

You tell me.

It goes on and on.

The problem is, all these things are merely coincidences. They don’t change the fact that The Igbos are not Jews, that the Bible is not about Igbos or even any Africans except for the aforementioned or any Asians except for the Three Wise Men from the East. It certainly isn’t about Native Americans or about South Americans or Aborigines. It doesn’t change the fact that for the most part, the people who ARE mentioned in the Bible do not feel any kinship with those of us who are struggling to feel among. Go and ask Ethiopians who were even actually legitimately mentioned in the Bible about the kind of discrimination they suffer in Israel.

This is not just a problem that Igbos have. It is a problem that everyone who was ever colonized by Europeans shares. And all people are doing is COMPENSATING. People compensate for the rejection they feel (I mean they feel rejected by the their religion in some way because it’s obviously not about them) by claiming Jesus was Black, Buddha was Black, Krishna was Black, Onye nwanu na onye nwanne was Black.

No. Jesus was never Black and no amount of claiming is going to make him so. Buddha wasn’t either and neither was Krishna or Mohammed or anyone else. If you need something to cling to, God put you on this earth in a beautiful culture. Celebrate that. Religion and culture are two separate entities but unfortunately, it’s very difficult to transmit religion without transmitting culture, which is why Christians tend to behave like Europeans or Jews (to a lesser degree) and Muslims tend to behave like Arabs. All you’re doing is stroking the egos of these cultures and telling them that they are indeed superior to you.

I understand if you’re Christian and want to remain so. (Hey, I’m Christian and this is what I believe) but that should not cause you to denounce your culture as fetish or evil. Things like that get on my damn nerves because people just take religion and use it as license to go crazy. Also, if all those people in Nigeria were comfortable with both their cultures and their religions and found a way to acheive harmony and balance between the two, they wouldn’t have the need to constantly roam about binding and casting everything in sight, and they would also open their minds to seeing the beauty all around them instead of longing for someone else’s culture that can never be theirs. (No Igbo people, not even if you sneak into the Vatican with an eraser and a biro, you still will not be mentioned in the Bible. Get the fuck over it. You were born Igbo, it’s as good as any other. Same goes for if you’re Yoruba. You are not from Saudi Arabia and will NEVER be.)

Finally, one more thing that has pissed me off no end, is this idea that Odinani or Ifa are “juju” or “fetish” or “paganism”.

No. All religion is an expression of man’s desire to seek God in whatever aspect of God that may be. Just as Buddhism and Hinduism are legitimate religions, so too are Odinani and Ifa. And just as Ganesha, Krishna, Kali, Shiva and co are legitimate aspects of God, so too are Anyanwu, Ani, Sango, Olokun and co. And our religions should not be treated with any less respect simply because they recognize the aspects of God separately. There are lots of Nigerians that treat followers of traditional religions like lepers and it is fucking annoying. Your religion is not THE ONLY right way. How fucking conceited do you have to be to think that you have salvation on lock down?

Yeah, so I wrote this post to say that I finished my finals on Friday and now I’m free to sleep, draw, write, blog, and watch all the Inuyasha I want. Sorry, it got kinda long. My bad.




There are 39 comments

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  1. Azazel

    Mehn Sugarbelly I tire for ur case honestly..
    I understand that u are passionate about what u write about, but honestly u can like to be posting “links” or even “facts” to back up some of these ur statements..
    @ If you look at African countries, it’s almost a fucking lost cause, and when you look at the FRANCOPHONE countries…. well you might as well not even bother looking because there sure as hell isn’t anything to look for. The francophone African countries have traded and sold their culture and languages lock stock and barrel to the French. It’s a done deal, there’s no recovering. Ever

    My camerounian friends have their own cultures and Idk what would make u make such allegations without showin proof to back up anything..
    Honestly, am telling u it bothers me. I hate when ppl say stuff without backin up with even a small ounce of “facts”. *sigh*.
    U realise that u could claim almost anything and nobody would challenge u because most ppl are to lazy to “FACT CHECK”.

  2. sugabelly

    @Azazel: There is not a scientific study just lying conveniently there on every topic in this world. If you want a study, why don’t you do one?

    This is a blog. It’s not like I’m claiming that everything I say is holy and the gospel and that you should take it at face value.

    This blog reflects my own personal take on things. I discuss things that interest me and if they interest you too then you can go investigate further. I’m not a news reporting machine. Sure I try to do research before I post so that I know I’m not just talking out of my ass, but for people to constantly disturb me for studies, journal reports, scientific essays etc is ridiculous.

    First of all, many of these issues have not even been studied officially or scientifically, second, many of these issues are social issues so there are no official reports on them.

    There are no scientific studies on Dominican attitudes to race, yet everybody knows that most Dominicans hate anything to do with Black people especially Haitians. Do I need to show you a university journal including the page number to say this?

    Seriously yo. People need to stop asking me for empirical evidence as if I’m presenting a university dissertation. When I have evidence readily available and it’s not too bothersome, I’ll toss it in here once in a while. What I blog about is true to the best of my knowledge but if you doubt me (and you should- it’s healthy to) then you’re more than welcome to go find out for yourself. Don’t take my word for it.

    I’m blogging. Nothing more, nothing less. If the topic interests you and you’d like to get to the bottom of it beyond casual discussion, there’s always Google Scholar: Stand on the Shoulders of Giants.

  3. Azazel

    Seen and yes u have a point.. It’s not like it’s a lecture or anything..
    But come on, @ least u can try to have some “legitimacy” to the things you claim.
    Not that your obligated to prove what u say, but at least try..
    U claim that francophone nations in africa have no culture and am letting you know that your wronger than hell itself. Like come on, small things like this. That is how some poor college student who is to lazy to do research will see all dat u are writing and then go use it in their research paper.

    @ least u admit that it’s true to the best of your knowledge.. because it was starting to worry me.. U should probably start adding disclaimers then. That way people know if they are getting full truths, half truths, or full out lies..
    No offence to u sugarbelly.. I just detest ppl presenting stuff when they have no basis to prove that what they are saying is true..
    hence why my blog is conveniently named Truth don die.. lol

  4. sugabelly

    @Azazel: But I did NOT say that Francophone countries have no culture.

    I said that Francophone countries sold traded their culture lock stock and barrel to the French.

    Meaning that yes, Francophone countries have their original cultures, but they venerate all things French over their own.

    I never said that Francophone countries didn’t have their own culture. I said looking in Francophone countries for expressions of indigenous countries wasn’t worth the effort because most of the people in Francophone countries are too busy doing their best to be as French as possible.

  5. sugabelly

    And any university student that uses my blog in their research paper is unserious and deserves to fail.

    How many times do professors tell you. Do NOT use Wikipedia. Do NOT use non-academic sources.

    I have no pity for the olodo that cites my blog as their reference for their paper. Unless their paper is specifically about my blog or about Nigerian bloggers.

  6. sugabelly

    And as far as legitimacy goes, I do fact check everything I write, so what I write is generally true 98% of the time. OF COURSE such things vary on an individual basis and I’m ready to give anyone that, but I generally don’t quote sources because then it begins to feel as though I’m writing a term paper and not a post on my personal blog.

    When people ask, I try to get them sources, but at the same time, sometimes I feel like I’m being badgered and then it takes the fun out of blogging.

    I hope you can see what I mean. I do not and never expect anyone to take everything I say as the gospel truth with no argument so when I find out I’m expected to provide a complete rundown of sources it’s a bit disconcerting, probably because I don’t keep a list somewhere of all the information I read up on or research just in case I do a blog post about it in future.

    I blog as I go, and I blog randomly about random stuff. As you can see tonight, this post wasn’t even supposed to happen. I just wanted to say I’d finished my exams and then I saw the Indian thing and then I started typing and ended up with this post.

    So yeah, constantly citing sources takes the fun out of blogging. I will TRY, but please don’t expect it all the time because the moment I start feeling like I’m writing a paper for school is the moment I stop blogging.

  7. F and M

    I couldn’t agree more with this post… The point about white and the wedding/mourning contradiction is quite interesting, though… Never thought of it.

    It’s funny to see how venerated European culture is over ours, even down to this “yellow pawpaw” syndrome of finding lighter skin more attractive but that would be a whole new blog post… This reminds me of the post about people being ashamed to speak their language abroad, which I have also found is the case with yoruba people… Honestly, one could talk about this issue for days… In short, you are spot on.

  8. All4Naija

    @Sugabelly,wonder shall never end. I think there are things good about our culture but they don’t have anything to do with being a Christian. The idea that Christianity has taken everything from our culture is not a proven fact here. There are people still bearing their traditional names who are Christians. On the other hand there are a lot of things bad about our culture and so do others yet the Christianity so called has brought so sanity to our society than destroy it.The human behaviour is the major issue and that every human being wil always have the instinct to do whatever he /she likes.Accusing Christianity because Moutain of Fire and other obssesed churches in Nigeria are acting obtuse does not mean Christianity is the cause of their action…

  9. eccentricyoruba

    so many excellent points! 1st, yay you’re finished with your exams! my courtesan discoveries will be heading your way soon!

    2nd, i don’t believe that Francophone African countries have lost their cultures. i mean Benin is the ONLY African country in which MOST people actually worship their traditional gods. it has a high percentage of people who identify as animists.

    3rd, i believe the East Asians have also suffered from white worship though they were not completely colonised. for example, have we forgotten about Lou Jing already? half-white children are worshipped in places such as China and Korea. at least in Japan, there is Crystal Kay, Jero and Thelma Aoyama who are BlAsians. also generally Europeans/white Americans are regarded with respect by Asians because of all they have supposedly accomplished. i remember watching a video once in Japanese class that our teacher had chosen for us and in that video some Japanese dude was explaining that Japanese people have a complex for anything Western and my Chinese friends were shaking their heads asking our teacher why Japanese people want to be like foreigners. and i was just in my head thinking that worship for white people is a global phenomenon. though i personally do not believe their level is too bad as most East Asian put themselves first then Caucasian next while in African cases, we have some of us putting white people first and themselves last. and just to mention another movie i watched where this Korean boy had a schoolboy crush on the black daughter of his white teacher and brought her home to his birthday party. i particularly remember what one of his Korean friends said; ‘…she is not even blonde’. that’s telling, it like ‘if you choose to be with a foreigner, at least let her be blonde’. the movie was a commentary on prejudice and discrimination in Korea.

    4th, Japanese langauge is not of Chinese origin. it is the Japanese writing system that is of Chinese origin. just like Korean, ancient Japanese were speaking their language but were not writing until they learnt writing from the Chinese and subsequently formed their own writing systems . which is why Japanese has kanji (which is Chinese), katakana and hiragana (which are authentically Japanese) and the Koreans have hangul (authentically Korean) and hanja (which is Chinese).

    finally, this post is excellent and i’m happy to see your views on religion. i guess it’s pretty standard because religion is a fundamental part of culture and this is the very reason why when people convert they are encouraged to change their names, dress differently, perhaps eat differently etc. and i wonder why this post did not have the controversial disclaimer. oh and you should have completed the Inuyasha episodes by now…

  10. Gin

    First of all the stolen recipe of Jolof rice that Nigerians now claim is their own is taken from a rice dependent Francophone country which is also a rallying point for Africans in the diaspora trying to find a strong cultural root, this would be Senegal, so it would be unfair to talk about nations selling out when southern, especially southeastern Nigeria is worse off.

    Christianity was picked up so strongly because of the violent state of late 19th century Igboland. There were large groups discriminated against in Igboland, e.g the Osu, who saw comfort in churches. To be honest at the time Igbo religion and culture was much more violent than the Christianity missionaries practiced, there’s no arguing that, you even gave an example. Since we’re comparing Africans with Europeans, the majority of Africans do not worship the sun just like the majority of Britons do not worship stones in stonehenge and practice other druid rituals anymore. Europeans are not perfect, Britain, who colonised Nigeria have received, has received worse cultural and ethnic cleansing, by their neighbours and themselves, although you can argue that the new cultures a group received when they weren’t completely wiped off of the face of the earth was already similar to theirs, but try and make an Irish man trade potatoes for croissants.

    Your handling of the “Jewish” and Igbo link shows that you do not really trust Africans to handle their own history or trace their own root, Israel-Igbo link is less crazy than the Africa-Fiji link theory, but of course they wear grass skirts and the present native occupants are at first glance obviously black, so thats true right? Your “Some Igbos think we are Jews because” list isn’t an accurate description of what Israel-Igbo theorists put up as ample evidence and it shows that you had already made up your mind before reading up on the theory, if you even read up at all. The theory has been in published writing since the late 1700’s and has been backed up by people who have lived closer to pure Igbo culture and their level of understanding of Igbo culture is what all of us can only dream of having one day, plus they have also done more to conserve it. You only need to look at an Israeli (or asking one would be helpful) to know that these peoples ancestors are of some kind of African descent, I do not agree that all Igbo groups have been where they have been for over 30,00 years, sorry, there’s no evidence for it (yet).

    I hope the post did not come out hostile, jus’ picking at somethings.

  11. Gin

    P.S Nri is not the founding city of the Igbo nation and neither is it the dwelling place of the Proto-Igbo people. Igbo peoples origin cannot be summarised into one city.

  12. Myne Whitman

    I think Gin and ECY have basically said most of what I had in mind. While I sometimes feel like your quoted paragraph below, I would desist from the sweeping and misleading generalizations in the main body of your post. Keep writing though…

    “The English speaking countries, particularly Nigeria the Beloved, still have some hope at least, but it dwindles daily thanks to the masses of mentally conditioned Nigerians that roam about in our country. Nigerians that are convinced that everything about their culture, even harmless artwork is fetish, devilish, diabolical, evil, etc etc. The same Nigerians that have been made so afraid of their culture by stupid European ideas about Christianity that they now see witches and wizards everywhere, even to the point where they harm innocent children in the wave of their overzealousness.”

  13. L-VII

    I love this post and I could not agree more. I recall asking my Igbo friend what the traditional child naming rites in Igbo land, dude proceeded to describe a ‘christening’ I guess Yoruba people are just as bad!

  14. sugabelly

    @Leggy: actually yes, we should embrace our culture (Alusi included). Do you know why? Because Nigerians are hypocrites.

    Most Nigerians would allow their young impressionable children to watch the Disney cartoon Hercules (a cartoon about a “PAGAN” Greek god and a host of other “PAGAN” Greek gods and goddesses and spirits), yet if I were to make a cartoon about the exploits of Anyanwu and Idemili, I can PROMISE you that there will be a huge faction of Nigerian Christians (most likely Igbo) that will denounce my cartoon as devilish and refuse to allow their children to watch it.

    Meanwhile the same people allow their children to watch Disney cartoons that are all about magic and fairies and goodness knows what.

    Hypocrisy much?

  15. enigmaticone

    In your response to Azazel, you stated that 98% of what you spew is true. How did you arrive at that figure? Is it true because you wrote it? or because you plaigiarised some other person’s article/work/opinions etc and pass it off as your own? That you wake up one day and read a few books (in a biased fashion) then decide that it is gospel shows your desperate lack of intelligence and inability to form your own opinions and ideas. When you make such sweeping generalisations about nations, cultures and a people, it leaves me utterly gobsmacked, but to boast about its veracity as though your comments/opinions had undergone some sort of stringent scrutiny, leaves me beyond perplexed.
    Do yourself a whole lot of good by thanking your colonial masters for documenting and writing your history however (in)accurate and SHUT UP! Stop using whatever small and simple knowledge you’ve gained to start talking about issues you can’t even begin to claim to understand.
    I am certain that even the English themselves have refrained from wearing ball dresses that make you unable to breathe, ridiculous wigs (that only judges wear now)have embraced democracy and the queen has become a mere figure head with no real powers,tan their skin to be darker which was solely reserved for those who were ‘common’ and worked under harsh conditions… i could go on. What i am trying to say to you is that culture is not static, it evolves and the even moreso with technology and globalisation hence the reason why the term post modernism exists today, its result being a fusion of cultures – hardly any culture is pure today, (not even the western one you believe we all want to copy)each one of them is tainted by one or the other, however deep or shallow.
    The fact that you are not in some mud hut in Nri or a ‘courtesan’ is because of migration and the like. If you’d prefer to live like your anscestors did, by all means go ahead. There is nothing stopping you from renouncing your xtian faith and acquiring a ‘chi’ probably carved out from the tree that will be behind your mud hut. History is there for us to always remember and not for us to revert to old ways. And even if we tried, it is near impossible to do so. I doubt you will be happy to kill your twins should you be blessed with a pair for the sake of preserving culture.
    And as for religion, i think it is important that you understand that if your ibo ancestors promoted their faith and belief and had even an iota of Daniel’s unwavering faith (in the bible where he was thrown in the lion’s den for worshipping God and not King Darius)then perhaps, they would not have thrown away their faith and names because some foreigner asked them to – they should have been prepared to die for their beliefs. Obviously they did not put up a big fight, it shows how highly they regarded their ‘chi’ (the one you so desperately want to represent you).
    And regardig the Ibo jews, it is not something to be dismissed so whimsically I say so because years back, Benjamin Netanyahu sent an envoy to Nigeria to investigate this claim – you only need to go onto you tube (which i know you will) to see Ibos who are practiscing jews, they live in the hinterlands of ‘nna’ land and everywhere else, and have yet to step one foot out of nigeria. This does not automatically mean all Ibo’s are jews, and to simplify it with the japanese comaprison is to insult the true Ibo jews who can trace their history and lineage to a point where they can link their jewish connection/heritage.

    The most shocking aspect of your write up is your last paragraph were you seem to have had a lucid moment which led you to provide a very insightful, sensible and measured arguement in defence of other faiths that are unfairly treated; explainig that the aim is to seek God by whichever means (a point of which i totally agree with).
    My advice, Less propaganda, more insight. And if i were you, i will take Azazel’s advise and back up your declarations/statements/opinions/arguements etc.

  16. sugabelly

    Okay Enigmaticone, I’m done. I totally understand if you don’t agree with me. I totally understand if you think every word out of my mouth is bullshit, but I will not tolerate you accusing me of plagiarism.

    That I will not stand for. I’ve put up with a lot of your bullshit for a really long time but I’m done. I’m done playing nice with you.

    Fuck you. I don’t know what your obsession is but I’m tired of accommodating you. This is your last comment on this blog. I fact check everything I write and I always link back if I am not the originator of the writing or at least I always say “I found this on the Internet” or “I was browsing when I came across this” indicating that the writing in question is not my own.

    And, whenever someone points out something I have written that is factually inaccurate, I thank them and change it or write an update to the post to point out the correction.

    I don’t care what else you have to say but don’t you DARE accuse me of plagiarising anybody’s writing. I write the way I write because I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen. If you have a problem with that then get your head out of your ass and deal with it.

    I cannot believe the nerve of you. Plagiarism! Are you fucking kidding me? Have you lost your fucking mind? You are like my idiot principal in Loyola that asked me where I copied the poem I published in the school newspaper from. The stupid man refused to believe I wrote it even though I had spent years in that school getting into trouble for writing inappropriate poetry.

    No, I’ve had enough. I really have. I have had enough. Fuck it, I do NOT have to put up with your bullshit and I refuse to any longer. I cannot stop you from reading my blog, but know now that any comments you make will be deleted unread. And if I can, your IP will be reported to Blogger as spam.

    Who the hell do you think you are? Do you know how long I’ve been writing? Do you have any idea what writing means to me? Do you have even an inkling of what I have written or what my body of work is? For you to come here and accuse me of plagiarism you have some fucking balls.

    I might have listened to anything you had to say before, but I am fucking done. Get the fuck off my blog and go jump in a lake.

  17. L-VII

    Yo, SB, Nne biko, no vex but this Enigma dude is funny and it’s a good look that you would leave such a comment up there, dude was outta line but it makes this blog really engaging that we can read disprate opinions, even some people are full of it!

  18. Maame

    TBH Sugabelly I understand if you feel offended by the prior comment but you actually haven’t given any response on the three or four other paragraphs he wrote..it seems you stopped after the first few questions he asked..which I must admit were only questions..you overreacted IMO cos he didn’t accuse you of plagiarism; just asked if you did it..its your loss if he gets off your blog cos it would help your ‘body of work’ to have people criticize you once in a while…and yes this is a criticism not an insult don’t cloud your judgement by anger to think any differently.

    Now, in reference to your post I would urge you not to interchange the ‘Bible’ with ‘Christianity’. I am well aware that Christians believe in the Bible, HOWEVER, the Bible does not believe in Christians. No where has it ever been stated in the Bible that the way to follow God is to be a Christian..in fact, there are many things that Christians have done in the name of the Bible that are very very anti-Bible..so yes, you can go at the Christians but please don’t accuse the Holy Scriptures of anything..there are TRUTH and LIFE to anyone that follows it by the interpretation of God and not some man whether black or white.

  19. sugabelly

    @Maame: So you have a point, but the reason I did interchange the two somewhat is because Nigerian Christians (particularly Igbo Christians) tend to claim the Bible as justification for all this stuff. And for a lot of them, it’s like, every way in which they efface themselves and glorify europeans and israelis is “justified” by the Bible.

    I do understand that half the time Christians do all sorts of crazy stuff in the name of the Bible and most of the time 90% of the stuff that is done in the name of God, God would probably find highly questionable.

  20. sugabelly

    @eccentric: Sorry, I was going to reply earlier. Oooh, so I didn’t know that Japanese wasn’t based off Chinese. I think it’s because every time I’m reading something about Kanji they always talk about how this one differs from the Original Chinese, so I thought that the language as well as the writing was based off Chinese (i.e. maybe when a group of Chinese people broke off the mainland and settled on the island of Japan). I think there are some similarities between the language but maybe things just appeared similar to me because I thought they were based on the same root.

    About Francophone countries: Many people here seem to be of the same opinion regarding Francophone cultures, so maybe I should revise that to say the Francophone countries have largely given up their languages, and not so much culture.

    Still, there is a very marked tendency in some Francophone countries to imitate the French to an alarming degree.

    And I agree with what you said about Asians. Now that I think about it, Anna Tsuchiya is half white half Japanese and I don’t remember anyone insulting her. She’s a rockstar in Japan.

    Plus, I’m beginning to wonder whether her Eurasian status made it easier for her to get the lead role in Sakuran. Think about it, if you read the Sakuran manga, they keep talking about how Kiyoha is beautiful because she has “big eyes”. Obviously since most Japanese people don’t have “big eyes” the only people who would have “big eyes” and still be ethnically Japanese would be Japanese half-castes.

    But of course, there would be no question of a Blasian playing the role so Anna Tsuchiya being Eurasian I think probably gave her an advantage. That aside, I think she’s amazing and a wonderful actress but still.

  21. eccentricyoruba

    Sugabelly, kanji is definitely Chinese and yes Chinese has indeed influenced modern Japanese. Chinese culture did influence the whole of East Asia…a whole lot. not only writing but also Buddhism, zodiac, astrology and if you’ll believe some people; homosexuality. for kanji, there is always a Chinese reading and a Japanese reading simply because kanji are originally Chinese and were adopted by the Japanese. before the coming of Chinese script, the ancient Japanese were not writing. at the risk of turning this into a lesson on Japanese history, the man responsible for inventing hiragana and katakana was a Buddhist priest who had spent years studying in China. this is just a testament to China’s influence then. Korean and Japanese priests and sometimes nobles studied in China. when they returned to their countries, they came back with new Chinese-influenced things. there was a lot of cultural exchange and interaction in East Asia though they are essentially very different people cultural wise, China influenced them a lot.

    no one would ever insult Anna Tsuchiya (i tried listening to her music btw). the only thing i like about Anna is her attitude and voice sadly, i don’t think she’s a great actress. oh and big eyes are a beauty aesthetic in Asia. whether this existed before or after they encountered Europeans is debateable but suffice to say that Asian aesthetics favour big eyes. today throughout Asia, Eurasians are almost emblems of beauty. esp in Korea, you can hardly watch a movie without a half-Korean with an English name like John Williams appearing somewhere.

  22. The Misses

    An ‘F’ bomb here and an ‘F’ bomb there, Sugabelly is MAD!

    DAMN! I had something to add to the post that Sugabelly wrote but i totally forgot what it was since i read the lashing that Sugabelly gave to this Enigmaticone. What the hell has been going on here since i’ve been away?

    Sugabelly your writing must be so good that enigmaticone has to accuse you of Plagiarism (go sugabelly you must be doing something right girl). This dude is something else. He is just trying to go against EVERYTHING that u has to say like ALWAYS. Why is that Enigmaticone, i mean really?

    Why must u cause controversy all of the time? Do u know Sugabelly personnally and u don’t like her and maybe she doesn’t know it? I mean why do u feel like u haft to go against this girl every chance that u have? If Sugabelly go left u just HAFT to go right even if it ISN’T right.

    Please explain this to me love, that’s if you aren’t swimming in that lake Sugabelly told you to jump into, lmao!!

  23. Azazel

    Damn ok Enigmaticone’s comment was sort of rude..
    but please let’s not take away from the substance of what he said..
    I definitely feel him/her if our igbo ppl had enoug faiths in our beliefs, we would not have thrown them away so cheaply…
    Ppl throughout history have been willing to die for their beliefs..
    I like enigmaticone’s comment

  24. Azazel

    It’s not even about lashing..
    Sugarbelly i do not even have a problem with your posts, and am guessin u and enigmaticone have gotten into it from time to time… But he/she definitely raises some good points, if u really value this culture u so passionately talk about. Why don’t u practice it? Go live in a hut? Have twins and throw them into the forest? Believ in a “chi”.. Do stuff like that..
    his point about our igbo ancestors droppin their faith so fast, is totally on point. A people should be willin to die for what they believe in.

    I would normally decide to agree with u on ur views on religion and leave it @ that..
    But am telling u hun, if not because I am “well read” and tend to actually “Fact check” stuff. Some of your posts would have made me run mad with irritation..
    Nobody likes to be criticized, but please do not simply ignore the criticism ur getting. Sometimes, criticims are actually true, and you can like to heed them..
    I do not agree with enigmaticone about ur writing being plagiarised, he/she has no proof that it is so.

  25. sugabelly

    @Azazel: Here’s my thing. You fact check stuff, so do I. I don’t claim to have all the answers in the world.

    Honestly, if I write something, and you think it’s wrong or you have other information and you tell me, I usually make a little update to the post including the new info.

    If you want to look at some of my old posts go ahead. A lot of them say “Update” in red or yellow at the end with annotations or corrections because of what someone has said in the comments.

    It’s not about being criticized because a lot of people criticize me and my opinions anyway. It’s about acting as though what I am saying is absolutely crazy or unbelievable or 100% false and as if I tell people that they MUST AGREE WITH ME OR DIE.

    It’s not like that and commentors like Enigmaticone get on my nerves because it feels like they’re always waiting to catch me out on something. I blog because I’m interested in the stuff I write about. It’s not that serious. People like Enigmaticone make it feel like we’re on a game show and their job is to trip me up.

    There have been LOADS of people who have pointed out that something I wrote was inaccurate or that did not agree or that had a completely contrary opinion and when presented in a civil manner, I’ve been good with it.

    Look at Eccentric Yoruba. She has called me out on lots of stuff. She just pointed out a few comments back that what I said about Japanese being based on Chinese was absolutely wrong. I didn’t bite her head off, I accepted that I was wrong and acknowledged it. And it’s the same for everyone and everything else.

    Yes, Enigmaticone does raise some interesting points, but every time I try to compose my thoughts and reply, I get so angry when I see that first statement implying that I plagiarize that I can’t do it.

    It is honestly a pity that I’ve had to prevent Enigmaticone from commenting because animosity aside, a valid point is still a valid point, but I believe that Enigmaticone’s PRIMARY purpose in commenting is to DERAIL.

    And as for Igbo people dropping their beliefs, there are reasons why it happened like it did.

  26. sugabelly

    You divide to conquer. Igbos were already divided over the Osu thing. Osus felt disenfranchised and so were the first to embrace a new faith that would put them in an advantageous position. With the help of the Osus and with physical arms, Europeans were able to force Igbos to convert.

    Yes, people have always fought for what they believe in, but at that particular period in history, the battle odds were heavily stacked against Igbos. Gunpowder and firearms completely changed the outlook for both parties, putting one at a gross disadvantage. Had the Europeans been fighting with conventional battle arms like swords, bows, arrows, etc, the outcome might well have been very different. That is not to say that Igbos did not resist European invasion because they did.

    Also, because there was never one particular large scale war between the British and the Igbo, but rather many small invasive efforts, it is not really accurate to say that Igbo people did not fight for their beliefs.

    Two main factors that seriously stacked the odds against the Igbos in general were the Osu business and the Twins business. Osus had a lot to gain by aligning themselves with the Christian missionaries (and the attendant British forces). Parents of twins, or people that came from notably twin bearing stock who were averse to killing their offspring also had much to gain from doing the same thing.

    It’s really not as cut and dried as everyone keeps trying to make it.

    It’s very easy to say ‘ oh, why don’t you go and kill twins then?’

    But statements like this chafe because people assume that without the help of the British we would still be killing twins today (as if Africans could never possibly develop or reason things out without Caucasian interference).

    Sure, if it weren’t for the missionaries, the killings might have gone on a bit longer, but such things (as has been proven in history worldwide) never last long. At some point, disenfranchised people WILL revolt, and in this case, they just happened to see another avenue to progress rather than the traditional bloody revolution route.

  27. Azazel

    So the Europeans with the help of a disenfranchised people the OSU were able to convert the whole igbo nation to christianity?
    Me thinks that we igbo ppl were very fickle minded

  28. sugabelly

    @Azazel: But this is not something that happened at once. If it had happened all at once it would have been impossible and the resistance would have been insurmountable. It’s not like the Europeans just showed up and said “Oya, all of una, convert anlele!”

    If it had happened that way we would be telling a very different story today.

    These things happen gradually, and usually they spread in such a way that by the time everyone knows what’s going on, it’s too late.

    Sure there must have been SOME fickle minded Igbos, as there are among ALL populations, but honestly, the very first people to embrace Christianity without reserve were those who were not benefiting under the Odinani-dominated society.

    It’s like India for example, from what I understand, almost one third of the Christians in India are from the lowest, most down-trodden classes. It’s the same anywhere. If someone feels oppressed and you tell them ‘hey, in my religion, all people are equal’ of course they’re going to join you no questions asked, even though in reality, it might be very different (European racism).

    The Christianization of Igbo land did not happen in one day. It didn’t even happen in one year. It took ages to happen and it crept at such a pace rather than coming in one big wave that Christianity was able to gain a firm foothold before Igbos were able to throw together a solid resistive front.

  29. Azazel

    Europeans came to the country in 1897, pray tell it took them how many years to indoctrinate them?
    Please am Igbo myself, but when it comes to realism..
    Our culture wasn’t all that, sure it was great and all but it wasn’t all that..
    I understand u love it sugarbelly but please believe me when I say that the ish was not ALL DAT

  30. sugabelly

    @Azazel: The BRITISH came to the country in order to COLONIZE in 1897. Explorers, MISSIONARIES, Traders, and Mercenaries had been coming to the continent since about the 1600s.

    And Azazel, your assertation that Europeans first came to the area in 1897 is untrue.

    The LAST slave ship from the coast of Nigeria reached Yanks in 1859, and slavery had been going on for YONKS before. And BEFORE slavery, Europeans had been TRADING with us again for yonks more, so I do not understand where you are getting this idea.

    You simply believe your culture was not all that because all your life you’ve been immersed in the glorification of European culture and now every time you’re tempted to think there was something good about your culture you feel a little tug of fear and disbelief.

    I know because sometimes I feel it too and I’ve written a post about how I have to mentally slap myself for feeling apprehensive about accepting that Africans actually wore shoes 100 years ago. That’s how fucking much I had been brainwashed that I was filled with disbelief at the idea until I found a grainy-as-hell, old-as-methuselah photograph of an Igbo hunter shooting a bow and arrow (something I also refused to believe) and wearing sandals.

    So, Azazel, this is something you must shake. I was once like that. And it fucking sucks because these are things that you would accept of Europeans and Asians with NO FURTHER QUESTIONING, yet everyone is subconsciously programmed to believe that Africans are inferior and so the moment someone says Africans twenty years ago new how to add and subtract, the demands for proof and the accusations and the dismissals begin.

    Kinda telling of how much we have allowed ourselves to view ourselves through the world’s eyes.

  31. All4Naija

    @Sugabelly, don’t let us lose sight about what we can achieve from our generation. In this modern generation there is no particular culture restricted to particular people. If not we should be using cars which has now become part of our cultures.

    I think the focus should be training a child up in the right way to be of good benefit to the society than mainly focusing on what acheivement there should have being in what we want to rpove. It is not in matter of prove but in the matter of how much we can bring progress to the society in a more formidable way.

    Just my 2cents contribution.

  32. (im)perfect_black ☥☥☥

    peace sista sugabelly,

    i drop in on your blog occasionally and i always learn sumthin’ new. i enjoyed reading your post. im african american and i actually research a bit on a neo-traditional religion in Ghana, a group called the Afrikania Mission. Afrikania had links with an Igbo-headed group called the Godian religion back in the 80s…

    i was curious to know if you study in Nigeria or in the west? i ask because sympathetic portrayals of African Traditional Religion and “liberal” ideas about sexuality are typically ideas Africans students who study abroad are more likely to embrace. but perhaps you are an outlier in Nigeria. Or maybe I have it wrong altogether?

    Btw, i pretty much share your view, but would only add that black/afrikan folks, wherever they found themselves in the world, Africanized Christianity (call and response, dancing, afrikan time–heehee, the holy ghost/spirit possession, etc.) the influence went in both directions. And Ghanaians are fond of saying that even most professed Christians, sneak out to the “fetish” (their word) priest when necessary. kzs

    kzs

  33. igbophilia

    Ei, nwaaaaa!

    You have made all the points I go blue in the face making. The Igbo-Christian thing and the Igbo-Japanese comparisons as well (I found in fascinating while I was at Uni that whenever my Japanese friends talked, 4 or 5 out of every 10 words had alternate Igbo meaning.)

    I did a series of interviews with the Eze Muo in my village (Ezelle, Oba) and I have never felt so at peace, at one with everyone and EVERYTHING – a peace which was destroyed the minute I set foot inside the church opposite and they immediately informed me that I was wearing trousers so they couldn’t talk to me. Talk about irony!

    Turu ugo.


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