For the Igbo, tradition is fluid, growing. It is an event, like the sunset, or rain, changing with every occurrence. So too, the kola ritual has changed. Christian prayers have been added, and Jesus has replaced Obasi as the central deity. But its fluid aspects resist the empiricism that is the Western ways, where life is supposed to be a system of codes, like the combinations of human DNA or the Fibonacci patterns in nature. The Igbo are not reducible to a system of codes, and of meaning; this culture is always reaching for a pure, lyric moment.
Chris Abani quote
I just finished an article for the Peak on "Ghana @ 50" (Ghana's fiftieth anniversary is March 6th), which should come out on Monday. After I'd finished writing it, I came upon this quote in Abani's Lagos-set novel Graceland, which ties in to the article quite well, and is pretty damn great on its own. A prequel of sorts, then: