On Thursday evening/night I read Cyprian Ekwensi's novel, Jagua Nana. On Friday evening I decided to write a review of it and completed it at around 11 PM. I decided to sleep on what I wrote and see if there is something else to add to it.
I woke up Saturday morning at 6AM and decided that there is nothing to add to the review and posted it on the Internet. I then fooled around the internet for a while, wrote a bit on anti-social personalities and thought aloud who is the best Nigerian writer of fiction.
It was almost 8: 30 AM and I had to go do my Saturday extended (3hrs) exercises. So, I went out running. After running for one hour I was tired; this is very unusual for normally I would jog for two hours before I get tired.
Why am I tired? Ah, I had not had any breakfast. Didn't your mother tell you not to go exercising on an empty belly? Okay. I decided to walk home.
As I was walking I suddenly had an epiphany, a sense of Eureka, an illumination that only cleared brains (from exercises) can give.
Last night, I had pondered why Ekwensi's heroine, Jagwa Nana came from a village called Ogabu, near Onitsha. I speculated that Ogabu was probably disguised Ogidi, a town near Onitsha.
Suddenly, I realized the implication of what all these means. Chinua Achebe, the other noted Igbo writer, came from Ogidi, near Onitsha. Jagua Nana came from disguised Ogidi.
Jagua Nana sold her body and soul for money; she is a prostitute. What does that mean? It means that a certain writer from Ogidi sold his soul for money. Who by chance is that writer?
You got it right if you guessed Chinua Achebe!
Ekwensi is probably saying that Achebe is Jagua Nana, a prostitute who sold herself for money; he is saying that Achebe sold himself for fame and money (to white men).
Getting this humor by Ekwensi made me laugh. So, Brother Cyprian was making fun of Brother Chinua, eh? Good for him!
I read Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, in elementary six, when I was eleven/twelve years old. After reading it I had a nightmare. I was in a dream and a half naked Igbo man (Oknokwo?) was chasing me, with a machete in his hands trying to reach me and cut off my head, as he had cut off the head of the lovely boy, Ikemefuna in that book.
I had always hated Achebe for making Okonkwo kill the lovely Ikemefuna. I believe that Achebe is a fool. Lord Lugard had just published his Dual Mandate, his biography in which he quipped that Igbos are savages of the lower Niger. Achebe made passing reference to that insult from Frederick Lugard in his book but proceeded to insult Igbos by presenting them in even worse light than Lugard did, as savages who cut off little children's heads.
Achebe presented Igbos as savages and head hunters who killed innocent Children, and for that I have not been able to forgive him. To me he is an idiot.
Achebe's subsequent writings confirmed my perception of him as a dumb ass; he has not written any book that was not biographical and that showed more than childlike understanding of human nature. Anyway, I have no use for Achebe.
And here is Cyprian, a man that impressed me rather tremendously with his Jagua Nana probably telling the world that Achebe is like his heroine, Jagua, a prostitute! Ogidi produces prostitutes, such as Jagua/Achebe!
Cyprian (born in 1921) had studied pharmacy in England and subsequently tried his hand at writing. At age 26, 1947, he wrote his first novella. Thereafter, he wrote many other books. But none of them was an international blockbuster.
In 1958, 28 year old Chinua Achebe wrote a third rate fiction called Things Fall Apart and that catapulted him to international fame. Achebe became a household name in African literary circles whereas the much older and better writer, Cyprian, was scarcely known outside Nigeria. That must have rubbed Cyprian wrongly!
Thus, in 1961 he wrote Jagua Nana to poke fun at Achebe, to essentially call him a prostitute like Jagua Nana.
Why is Achebe a prostitute? Like Jagua Nana, Achebe sold his soul to white folks (Jagua liked to have sex with white men for money). Achebe wrote a book that endeared him to white men and they catapulted him to worldwide fame.
In the book he insulted his African heritage. He did so knowingly; he knew that the white man likes to see Africans as savages and he made the chief character of his book, Okonkwo a savage of the first order hence appealed to white men's perception of Africans as savages and they loved him for doing so.
If you have been around white men for a while you probably have realized that they are afraid of black folks who are really intelligent. Instead, they prefer mediocre black folks. Generally, they would select a mediocre black man who has made some efforts and elevate him to high heavens while ignoring bright black men.
An example is what they have done with Barack Obama. Clearly, Obama has no clue about economics or what to do to fix the US economy. But he is a smooth talking Negro. So, the white liberal establishment selected him and financed his campaign to become the President of the United States.
Sooner or later, there had to be a black president so they made the clueless Obama the president. Now that he has shown that he is an idiot the chances of electing another black president is remote for when folks think of Obama they think of incompetence; that is, they now associate all black folks with incompetence.
Liberal whites selected a mediocre called Chinua Achebe and made him an African literary luminary. They are, in effect, saying: see, Africa's best writer is an idiot.
In the meantime they ignored Cyprian, a first rate writer for they are afraid of his kind of black man.
Cyprian felt his ego slighted, hurt and decided to spite his rival, Achebe, to call him Jagua, a prostitute serving white men's interests. That is probably the great disguised humor in Ekwensi's book, Jagua Nana.
I wonder how many other Igbos got Ekwensi's joke at Achebe's expense.
Finally, Chinua Achebe so loves white folks, his masters, that he prefers to live in the white man's land rather than live in Africa and help develop it; Cyprian Ekwensi lived in his beloved Africa. There you have the contrast between an authentic African and a sold out African whore.
July 28, 2012