Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dys-function 3 'Nigerian Exceptionalism'

Unlike most everyday Americans who accept the simple narrative and strap line that they are Gods own country the Nigerian accepts their country is exceptional because they through their remarkable power of deduction can confirm it is the home of chaos and failure. I await my time on the balcony to find the depth of the lessons of my latest visit. There are little nuggets that emerge that in spite of the criticism of the space and place the average Nigeria does not feel it is necessary to risk innovation until he or she is in a fight for survival or expressly desperate situation. I have however been blessed on this visit to meet one person who I have known a while positioned to fully shift the paradigm and unlike me he has the money and influence to deliver. More on this sometime soon.

My favourite book in the world is the Prophet by Khahil Gibran. It speaks to me more deeply than text in the bible and I often wondered why. I realised during this visit why it does. It is like the Ifa Corpus , the many poems that are the platform of divinity for the Yoruba Geomancy. So in my cultural DNA there is already a programming to decipher wisdom encoded in poetry and to reveal the power of the layered insights that shape the universe. The 400+1 divinities that are of the right of which the Orisas are an express part and the 200+1 of the left which the Ajogun are expressly visible are coded for in the express pursuit of universal laws that shape the pull of gravity, the cycles of rain and the magnetism of the moon. In the mixing of the three layers of Yoruba holistic epistomology or meaning making which are :

Asha : Popular culture

Imo Ijinle: Deep intellectual knowledge and understanding

Awo: Mysticism

the modern Nigerian has reduced them to caricatures unfit of anything other than the adulteration that is Juju. An offensive stereotype of philosophy, chemistry, physics, biology and religion to a corruption of magic. So as this visit draws to a close, I give a shout out to those who do not allow the laziness of Nigerian exceptionalism to reduce the true magic of this space. To Wura Samba and friends at Bogobiri house music is the rythmn of life; the administration of Governor Fashola for their honest attempt at transformation; Brother Muhtar Bakare whose mission to capture the stories will not be compromised; Doctor who blew my mind completely with the mixture of intellect, savvy, power and vision, Ko ni re yin O!(You will not tire)

As I leave this land of possibilities for another stint in the matrix I ask you to take a shot at seeing anew with truly African eyes. I nearly forgot Asha whose beautiful music made morning tears an addition to any powerful day (Eye adaba funfun iwofa ire) (White pigeon servant of blessings), Alhaji Haruna Ishola (Late) 'Baba Ngani Agba' whose blues put me into communion with the depth of my soul. Now for time with my running mate and worthy adversary Omosimbo, Ibadi Laiye wa, Omoge adu ma dan, arin legbe bi eni egbe dun egbe o dun mi ola oluwa lo wa lara mi. Let the leave this as only those who know the resonance of the sun and the moon to decipher but not explain. I will be back for more.

Ire O

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