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Mohammed & Nana

Mohammed & Nana by Jujufilms
Mohammed & Nana, a photo by Jujufilms on Flickr.

Mohammed & Nana

Mohammed and Nana are my neigbours in Abuja, Nigeria. Mohammed is big on soccer, playing street ball with the rest of the neighborhood kids every evening, sometimes with no shoes or just flip flops.

Nana is probably one of the smartest kids in my hood, always wanting to know every detail about my tattoos, she would tell me how well she is doing in school and for a kid who speaks hausa practically all day am amazed at her english.

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Igbo Chief

Igbo Chief by Jujufilms
Igbo Chief, a photo by Jujufilms on Flickr.

Igbo Chief @ Igbo New Yam Festival a yearly harvest by the Igbo people in early august at the end of the rainy season. Yams are usually the first crop harvested and a very important crop to the people. All yams from the previous years harvest are eaten or thrown away before the New Yam Festival a symbol of abundance from the new harvest.

The first yam is eaten by the oldest man or the Igwe of the kingdom. With offerings to the ancestors and gods.

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Fulani Girl

Fulani Girl by Jujufilms
Fulani, a photo by Jujufilms on Flickr.

Fulani Girl – Nigeria

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Igbo Masquerade

Igbo Masquerade by Jujufilms
Igbo Masquerade, a photo by Jujufilms on Flickr.

Igbo Masquerade @ Igbo New Yam Festival Pyakasa FCT Nigeria.


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Igbo Mothers

Igbo Mothers by Jujufilms
Igbo Mothers, a photo by Jujufilms on Flickr.

I spent some time in eastern Nigeria and the experience gave me a renewed sense of respect and appreciation for the Igbo mother.

The Igbo culture places a high level of honor and respect for mothers. There is also added responsibilities placed on the Ada (the first born female child)


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Ogbono Soup and Pounded Yam Lunch

Ogbono soup & Pounded Yam lunch with the Ode Family.
Iheaka Village, Enugu State Nigeria


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Stories of my Forefathers & Ancestors.

All cultures around the world celebrate their ancestors. Americans tell stories about their founding fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson etc to the point of idol worshiping Living by every word these men wrote as the law of the land. They call them their founding fathers and soon enough they will be their forefathers and ancestors. We read stories about Moses, Abraham, Jesus that tell us that they are our forefathers and ancestors also that Jesus is the son of our God.

Growing up in Nigeria my father told me stories about my forefathers and ancestors. In school I was taught about great African men and women almost as a footnote. I was also taught that the white man’s stories was more important than my father’s stories. So they imposed the christian doctrine, continued bible education. In school I had to wear their cloths, eat their food, speak their language or be ridiculed and punished when I spoke in my native language. I had to be like the white man without question, even though I knew I would never grow up to be a white man.

So I keep it gully by telling my seeds stories of their forefathers and ancestors. How their forefather was a king captured from Abeokuta in modern day Nigeria, enslaved in America became a runaway slave and a freeman in Freetown, Sierra Leone only to be king again. How their grandfather was a farmer, athlete, photographer and an avid filmmaker in Nigeria. From the 1950’s capturing random images on film and print. How he would ride his motorbike from Ibadan, Oyo State to Araromi in Ondo State Nigeria. The same man who would make that same trip with a bull cow stuffed in the back of his Renault hatchback.

So I wish the billions of christians around the world peace as you celebrate your ancestor Jesus.

Ogbeni Ayotunde