I absolutely love family photos...well not necessarily that of my own. Don't get me wrong, I adore my family, but we just never "got it." The youngest one would look mildly sedated, while another brother would stare off into the distance, contrived smiles or priceless expressions such as that of this young lad.
So when the family photos of the Johnathan family came out on ThisDay Style magazine (H/T Jide Salu), I couldn't help shelf my critical eye and let out an unnecessarily drawn out "Awwwwwwww...."
Let's not be naive here, family photos can be deceiving, but it was a long weekend, the weather was lovely, and a well-taken family photo makes me exceedingly happy.
I'll save my Obama wanna-be references for another post - you know, like this one. Oops, yeah, that one slipped.
And besides, I needed something to cheer me up after reading the disgraceful account of brutal domestic violence in the household of Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya, Dr. Chijioke Nwigwe. Warning, the pictures of his wife's bloodied face are graphic. I believe he is now being recalled from his post - but to me it is all a charade. Let's not be fooled, this was not the first time he battered his wife, and will not be the last. Some have claimed to have received his side of the story, in which the wife attacked him first and then in the process, fell down the stairs. Really? Do batterers and abusive parents have some sort of worldwide convention and make a list of alternative scenarios to be distributed to their card carrying members? The fell-down-the-stairs excuse has to be the oldest in the book.
Upon seeing the pictures, the first questions that came to bear - and mind, you, these were immediate visceral reactions - what would possess a man to attack someone's grandmother to that extent and what would keep an educated woman in such a situation? Like seriously, unu abuo kwesiri kwanyere onwe unu ugwu. I choro igwa m na unu ka na-akpa agwa nzuzu n'agadi?* But, on further introspection I knew that the first question was inappropriate - because I believe that her status as grandmother, mother, saint or devil really has no bearing on his brutality. And if one were to trot down that road further, as we are wont to do in our culture, we find ourselves on the slippery slopes of justifying situations amenable to physical punishment of an adult or ranking the deserved-ness (there must be another word for that) of one's respect on the basis on how active one's womb is/has been. And simply put, I hate that.
The second question, I danced around a bit on a previous post from several years ago in which I made remarks on a study on Igbo women's attitudes towards domestic violence - which yielded results that at first glance, may seem atypical, but track well with some of my personal experiences. The couple at the center of this tragedy, the Nwigwe's, are well-heeled, educated and the wife possesses dual British-Nigerian citizenship. I have witnessed a number of married women stay in emotionally and physically abusive relationships, despite lives that on the outside, seem relatively put together - in fact, envious.
*you two need to respect yourselves...you want to tell me that you still behave foolishly in old age?
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