A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir by Toyin Omoyeni Falola

By Toyin Omoyeni Falola

"A best coming-of-age tale so jam-packed with vibrant colour and emotion, the phrases appear to dance off the web page. yet this isn't in simple terms Falola's memoir; it's an account of a brand new kingdom getting into being and the tensions and negotiations that continually ensue among urban and kingdom, culture and modernity, women and men, wealthy and negative. a very appealing book."-Robin D. G. Kelley "More than a private memoir, this ebook is a wealthy minihistory of latest Nigeria recorded in scrumptious element through a perceptive eyewitness who grew up on the crossroads of many cultures."-Bernth LindforsA Mouth Sweeter Than Salt gathers the tales and reflections of the early years of Toyin Falola, the grand historian of Africa and one of many maximum sons of Ibadan, the amazing Yoruba city-state in Nigeria.Redefining the autobiographical style altogether, Falola miraculously weaves jointly own, old, and communal tales, besides political and cultural advancements within the interval instantly previous and following Nigeria's independence, to offer us a special and enduring photograph of the Yoruba within the mid-twentieth century. this can be really a literary memoir, informed in language wealthy with proverbs, poetry, tune, and humor.Falola's memoir is way greater than the tale of 1 man's adolescence reports; relatively, he offers us with the riches of a complete tradition and community-its historical past, traditions, pleasures, mysteries, loved ones preparations, sorts of energy, struggles, and ameliorations.

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Extra resources for A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir

Sample text

A Pele can no longer be returned for another Pele. Birthdays and greetings are united in names. Names capture time and season. Season and time give birth to names. Names evoke cognomens. The unity should be clear to see. My names embody the unity of time and season. To my maternal grandmother, I am Abiodun, someone born 26 A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt during a major holiday. Anyone could give me a name, and I collected seventeen of them, all now in disuse, a few being activated now and then. To my paternal grandfather, I am Isola, but he was definitely not the one who gave me this, as he would not have had the authority and right to do so.

But in waking up one prays not to first see one’s enemy or someone one dislikes. A house or a compound is not exclusive to a nuclear family, small in number, so small that one can count the members. A house can have a large number of occupants, a man, his many wives and children, visiting relatives, a fluid population of strangers. Tensions and conflicts are ever present, depending on how the major householder is able to manage them. If the house is free of such enemies, one may encounter them outside the house, as the first neighbor one meets.

Within the house, one would have to climb onto a tall person to touch the raft. Even if it were possible to get to the raft, only a brilliant mind could conceive the idea of hiding there, keeping company with rats and roaches, mice and snakes. The anger displayed at my place was small compared to what followed here. It was an open fight, but Philip’s family could not hit back. They wanted to deliver Philip, but he was nowhere to be found. It was in the midst of the commotion that someone suggested that they should take Yusuf to the hospital, which they did.

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