Male/Female Pair of Ibeji Twins Figures
Yoruba art from southwestern Nigeria
Wood, glass beads, Reckitt’s bluing. H:11"

I cringe whenever I see that word in a news article. And I see it so often in journalese. Stories about developing countries often feature phrases like tribal healer, tribal land, tribal conflict, tribesmen, tribal chief, tribal wear, tribal name, tribal rhythm. The word is so problematic, I don’t even know where to begin. I will suggest this — get some education on its history.

Jungle Jitters is a 1938 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on February 19, 1938. The numerous racist stereotypes of black people throughout the animation, prompted United Artists…

We made it. You and I. We trudged through the hardships of 2020. It wasn’t easy and at times, we thought we’d lose our minds. But we hung in there. With family, friends and endless Zoom meetings, we kept breathing, facing forward and walking. Sometimes, all we can do is keep walking. Putting one foot in front of the other again, again and still again until you realize you’re in a different time and place from where you were.

Now we’re here. We are weary, but we are alive.

My friends, we marveled in the sparkling lights of New Years…

In January 2020, I got an email from someone named Mark Weston.

He’d written a book and wanted to find out if I was interested in reading it. I get several queries like this from writers every now and then, and I deeply appreciate the chance to share the inner spaces of fellow writers. We writers can be sensitive about our work and it’s not an easy task to reach out to someone you’ve never said a word to, in hopes of establishing some type of creative connection or at the least, an understanding.

Anyway, I had never heard of…

Fifty-three years ago, a political decision changed the course of my life and I wasn’t even born when it was made.

After several bouts of ethnic hostilities in Nigeria during which thousands of Igbo people were murdered and chased out of cities, back to their ancestral communities in southeastern Nigeria, leaders from the southeast declared on May 30, 1967 that the region would breakaway from Nigeria and form the Republic of Biafra.

Diplomatic efforts to unite Nigeria failed; war spilled out and continued pouring out atrocities for three years.

The land of my birth- southeastern Nigeria- collapsed into a battlefield…

There was an ancient city called Great Zimbabwe built by the Shona people of southern Africa created between 1100 and 1600 AD.

Beware - the maker of your mobile phone may not want you to know about this

Hey, your cell phone, laptop or tablet likely has a rare metallic ore called coltan in it. Now maybe, you’ve never heard of coltan, but your device probably wouldn’t even turn on without it.

A man displays coltan rocks at a town in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo — Reuters/Baz Ratner

Coltan is extremely useful. It contains a key metal that’s used to manufacture lightbulbs, computers, vacuum cleaners and nowadays, solar panels.

But have you ever heard of blood diamonds? Well, coltan is a blood mineral, AKA, a conflict mineral. Conflict minerals are dirty secrets that the electronic industry doesn’t want you to know about.

From Mine to Mobile Phone: The Conflict Minerals Supply Chain

Let me break it down:

Conflict minerals are natural, raw minerals that…

“Igbo Landing” a painting by artist Diana “Dee” Larue Williams, depicts an event that occurred on the coast of Georgia in 1803. It’s a 4' x 8' Oil on Wood. The painting was on display at the former Coastal Center for the Arts.

Adaugo. Daughter of an eagle. Obidike, the heart of a strong man. Amadioha, god of thunder. Ezinwa means, good child. Onaedo, precious gold. Ndidi means patience. Obiora. Heart of the people. Enuma. The heaven’s know. Jideofor. Free from guilt. Anwuli. Joy. And my own name, Chika, means God is supreme.

These are all Igbo names and as I write these names down, I am speaking them out loud as well.

Because these could have been the names of Igbo people who committed suicide together in the year 1803.

Before I go any further, let me establish what Igbo is, in…

As I approach 34 years old, I find myself thinking more about the idea of home and wondering if I’ve found it. I enjoy conversations with transnational Millennials grappling with the same question. With the hyper pace of globalization, constructs of home continue to evolve and I find it all so fascinating.

The timeliness of this matter syncs with U.S. President Donald Trump adding six more countries to his list of countries facing travel restrictions.

“Where are you from?”

“Where are you based?”

For today’s wanderlust-driven professional, that’s a loaded question, because even when you present an answer, the…

Chika Oduah

Africa-centric news, notes and observations from a journalist | poet | photographer | filmmaker | writer travelling through Africa *

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