“However famous a man is outside, if he is not respected inside his own home, he is like a bird with beautiful feathers, wonderful on the outside but ordinary within.” Ekwensi, Beautiful Feathers(36)
Coinciding with Nigerian Independence Day, this simple metaphor is teetering on literary insurrection. For it is a dangerous time in Nigeria to be outspoken against your government.
At points in his story where my American eye wants to continue a thought or action from a protagonist, breaks and beats force me to refocus my perspective. I have to teach myself to let the author tell the story. And an African story is in the telling, not just the reading. Passing along a thought or an emotion has more importance than remembering the words used.