After reading the latest Ikhide revelation of Chris Abani fibbing about how as an 8-year-old boy he toured Igbo communities with his mother and worked as her interpreter as she taught Igbo women catholic-style birth control and discussed menstrual cycles with these mothers, I decided that Abani is not the grand liar Ikhide is calling him, the guy is in gaga land and deserves our prayers and healing thoughts. Oh come on, man, an 8-year-old describing menstrual flow as waterfalls, rivers, and brooks with Igbo words Olu Oguibe, and I and not even Yvonne Chị Mbanefo know. Chris Abani is definitely not taking himself seriously, and he is probably laughing at us for taking him so seriously.
I suggest that Ikhide and everybody else leave Big Chris alone. It is to white people he is lying and they choose to believe him. The guy is so unreal I am surprised his nose is not as long as the third mainland bridge.
Read the ridiculous story told by Chris Abani here:
Today, those of us confronting this matter understand perfectly what the moral question is and therefore have no doubt where our duty lies. For us, it’s time to free the many victims of Abani’s lies. But, even at this point, we welcome those who’ve done a bit of hand-wringing and head-scratching over this in the past. It doesn’t matter to us when they get their Damascene conversion. What matters is that they now fully appreciate the danger of letting the Chris Abani’s juggernaut of lies continue unchallenged. We know that a whole country, a continent, audiences, young and old, who listen to him around the globe are all his victims. We know that great writers all over the world who have truly suffered in the hands of the state for their art and politics are all victims of Chris Abani who has stolen their persona and milked tears and dollars from the unsuspecting to fill his barn. He can keep the blood money he has made by suckling heartlessly on the true suffering others; but, at this moment, the only moral question before us is whether we are prepared to sacrifice our country, our continent, the various audiences who listen to Abani and those great writers who truly suffered and died for their art and their politics for Mr Abani’s ‘career’. The answer is a resounding no! Mr Abani can quietly stake out his piece of earth and write to his heart’s content; but he should never be allowed again to soil our name, humanity and integrity in the course of his business!ReplyDelete
I mean, think about it. What kind of university did he attend and what kind of Professors and lecturers were there who couldn’t raise a voice against the arrest of one of their distinguished students, one actually commissioned to write a play for a university function, whisked away by armed soldiers at the point of duty, along with his colleagues, in the full glare of people of authority in that school? They never told anyone, seek out any journalist or newspaper house, write letters to the powers that be or call up anyone to free the poor boy locked up all of 28 months he was supposed to be in school? What kind of people are citizens of a country where a teenager was seized for writing a small book, charged with being the intellectual brain behind a coup, put on death row and left with memories of one John James having his penis nailed to a chair or table and left to die for the crimes of some relation who’s absconded? What kind of people are citizens of a country where a young genius is silently abandoned to the jackboots of khakied philistines?
Ah, and what kind of activist or human rights fighter or social crusader is Fela Amikulapo-Kuti who met this little boy in prison, mentored him, taught him to play sax and listened to his tales of confronting the establishment when all he left him with was: “The business of truth is risky business”? Heartless Fela came out of prison and couldn’t tell the world about this young genius! Fela who groomed young musical and activist talents two-a-penny did not invite this young genius to The African Shrine to introduce him to the initiated and have him jam with him even for one session, having taught him to play sax? What type of people are the Afikpo people, their elders and prominent people, who couldn’t tell the nation or anyone about the travails of their little son? And what type of mother – an English mother who didn’t voice out to the international media the travails of her son on death row in Nigeria? And Achebe and Soyinka, what type of men are they to come before national television to plead for the life of Major-General Mamman Vatsa when the little boy who wrote the book which was suspected to be the blueprint for his coup was there, languishing on death row? And why oh why didn’t those Amnesty International Country Reports for all the times this chap was in prison pick up a whiff of him? Quite early in his career, this young man complained of being sidelined by more established or older writers. See? He’s a prophet! He was going to be sidelined and abandoned by the whole world only to later become the head cornerstone! Brave Chris Abani the survivor of his own lies! The man whose hatred for his late father is such that he said anyone who knew his father would feel like poisoning him – yes, his father, Michael Abani who he says was a Federal Commissioner and who, because he joined ‘the other side’, disowned him as a son! Well, I’m not sure I’ve heard of any Michael Abani who was a Federal Commissioner during the military era. I mean, I genuinely don’t know; but it would seem the old man knew something about his son that the world is gradually waking up to now.ReplyDelete
The decision here is clear. No one doubts the literary talent of Chris Abani. Here we ar concerned with character, not intellect. No, Chris Abani is not a victim of negative Western expectations of Africa and Africans; he is a perpetrator of the stereotype of Nigerians as conmen and liars, even where they’re blessed with great intellect. But, if a man thinks he’s so intelligent as to rewrite his nation’s history, cream his people with putrid faeces and go around the world making a monkey of them in the garb of a literary genius, he’s got another think coming. We, his own people will tame him, no matter how big a monster he’s become! Enough is enough!
He came to talk at my university and I met him in person. The way he spoke to the audience about the horrendous torture he had been through at the hands of various Nigerian government officials seemed oddly light hearted. I don't feel it is right for me though, as someone who has never undergone torture, to judge how someone would react to that experience and voice it to others. Still, I would be lying if I said it did not seem odd to me though. I have read his book 'Graceland' for a creative writing course and the feel of the book in some ways was reminiscent of another book I read quite a few years ago the supposed nemoira of a Native American man named Nasdijj ( in reality he is a Caucasian man named Timothy Barrus)'The Blood Runs Like A River Through My Dreams'. If Chris Abani is the real deal I am deeply deeply sorry for making that correlation. I know his works are not direct memoirs, but still yet is he really is lying and exaggerating it seems like his wrong would be almost worse than Barrus' since it his own people he is exploiting. A year after hearing him I couldn't squelch the little voice that kept making me question him, I typed in 'Chris Abhani Lies' and this article came up. Once again I'd like to emphasize if what's he's been through is true I am sorry for ever thinking these thoughts or doubting him, but as an American university student I'd like to say that we westerners also want the truth, and if you feel the truth is that he's lying and taking advantage please please let it be known. Thanks - a concerned student and budding writerReplyDelete