A weekend spent reading ...
Two weeks only and these infamous English (
And as the review section didn’t last me the whole weekend, I also ended up reading the whole of Margaret Mama’s (it’s Mama not Mamaki, right?) The Jacaranda Children. I got the book from the library because I was hoping to get a bit of light background reading about her experience of setting up and running Jacaranda pottery. But in fact only seven of the book’s 196 pages are concerned with the pottery. (p. 100-107) And, even here I don’t find anything particularly useful as background to my own research and writing. Yes, she hints at a close connection, at least at the beginning, with the arts department at
But then, in all fairness, the book was never advertised as the story of Jacaranda pottery. In fact, the very title Jacaranda Children hints at the primacy the author gives to the health project she has been running from, I think, the early 1980s until her departure following the year 2000’s Shari’a riots. And, you know what? Mama’s story makes for good reading. Granted, it won’t tell you anything any Nigerian (and expatriate) having lived through these times wouldn’t already know. Granted, there is little depth to the analysis of the political events that shape Mama’s time in
But beyond that, to be honest, I’d have been more interested in her husband’s tale. Before the riots he ran
Oh, and a last word to the editor: Its Pidgin English not pigeon English!
And, finally, just in case you wondered: Yes I did use some of my bedridden time to work on my thesis. Just not all. Come on! It’s been the weekend!
 Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe there is a value to expatriate versions of local histories. I got to say that! I’m a German based at a British university writing about contemporary arts in northern
 On this note, if you read German you might want to get irritated by this story. - As if a German (white) investigative journalist (not very convincingly) dressed up as a Somalian living in Germany for a year had more to say about the experience of racism than Germans whose appearance, accent or surname might have away their migration background (even if its three generations down in history) could tell us. It’s just a matter of whom you allow to talk, whom you choose to listen to, whom you give credibility, isn’t it?