By Toyin Omoyeni Falola
"A most excellent coming-of-age tale so filled with shiny colour and emotion, the phrases appear to dance off the web page. yet this isn't in simple terms Falola's memoir; it truly is an account of a brand new kingdom getting into being and the tensions and negotiations that always take place among urban and state, culture and modernity, women and men, wealthy and terrible. a really attractive book."-Robin D. G. Kelley "More than a private memoir, this booklet is a wealthy minihistory of up to date Nigeria recorded in scrumptious element by means of 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 outstanding Yoruba city-state in Nigeria.Redefining the autobiographical style altogether, Falola miraculously weaves jointly own, historic, and communal tales, besides political and cultural advancements within the interval instantly previous and following Nigeria's independence, to offer us a different and enduring photograph of the Yoruba within the mid-twentieth century. this is often actually a literary memoir, advised in language wealthy with proverbs, poetry, track, and humor.Falola's memoir is much greater than the tale of 1 man's adolescence stories; quite, he provides us with the riches of a whole tradition and community-its background, traditions, pleasures, mysteries, loved ones preparations, varieties of energy, struggles, and modifications.
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Additional info for A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir
If telling you about Ibadan requires my becoming a squirrel, I am ready. Each year, the British ordered that a celebration must be held to worship their queen. Offices and schools were closed; students were forced into long practices and rehearsals. On the day, the big day that they had been prepared to expect, they all trooped to a stadium to perform, sing, display gymnastic skills, and affirm their loyalty to the queen. In the late 1950s, I paid my dues, saluting the queen, whom only a few people had seen even in a photograph.
Gentle wars, quick handshakes with enemies, exchanges of jokes at parleys, small tributes as tokens of surrender. When it was Ibadan’s turn to fight, it was like Yusuf’s mom, with intensity and fury beating the enemy so badly that he had to die and be resurrected within the same hour. When my ancestor was going to a war in 1860, the bard sang his poem in praise and as a stern warning. My Lord is going to the field of the heartless, I said the field of the heartless, o! o! o! Listen, my Lord is about to move to the field of the heartless, Where the parent of two will be left with but one, Where the parent of one will be left all forlorn, Let him whose mother forbids him to go return from following my master, Let him whose father forbids him to go return from following my master, My master, my Lord, the King of the camps.
I was in such a hurry to talk about Isola that I slighted the shorthand greeting forms. As I said, they are simple, made up of short sentences. Unlike the cognomen, one cannot be excused for not using them. If a cognomen changes with fresh additions and recitations, the regular greetings change with time and season. Except in Lagos, not too far away from Ibadan where I spent the greater part of my childhood, for someone to notice that two people did not exchange greetings and keep quiet is considered immoral.