The Village Boy

by Ayuba Mshelia



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 6/12/2009

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 152
ISBN : 9781438970448
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 1
ISBN : 9781467850360
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 152
ISBN : 9781438970431

About the Book

The story “Village Boy” is about the social and

familial upheavals and confl icts caused by the

introduction, in the early 20th century, by a group

of Christian missionaries, of Western cultural

traditions among an erstwhile peaceful and selfsuffi

cient agricultural sedentary people. These

cultural incursions led to the annihilation of the

people’s native traditions and cultures, including

those of Kachiya and Mbwarhatha(circumcision and

grind room- the only place where on a daily basis

young men could meet and fl irt with young women

in the evenings) which were the sole socialization instruments of the tribe. “The

fulcrums of our culture and traditions that have sustained us for all these years

can now no longer hold”, commented the tribal elder, Tapchi, to a boyhood friend,

Aji, fi ve years after the coming of the missionaries; “everything is different and

in a sorry chaos!”

This breakdowns led to the mass exodus of the youth to the distant emerging cities

of Kano, Jos, Kaduna ,and, yes, even Lagos. These new immigrants, however,

faced steep competition for jobs both from the city’s residents and from other

migrants who had converged on the cities from all corners of the countryside.

Their meager education forced them into menial jobs, such as house boys or

store clerks; few were able to secure even low-level government jobs.

The social confl ict and upheaval was partially resolved, to some minimally

acceptable levels, by the regular annual visits of those who had left the ‘land’,

bringing with them gifts of tea, sugar, bread, and items of clothing which were

generously and lavishly shared with relatives and neighbours. Some few who

had “made it,” in the city even came with their own mettika (cars).

But things are not always as gloomy as is refl ected in the lives of Madu, Dalla,

and, to some extent, Hassana in the stories that follow. Some of the tribe’s

migrant sons and daughters to the cities (like Madu in the story) took to politics

and became active, relevant and prominent during the early years of self-rule

and eventual Independence. Education has been, and continues to be, the

social instrument of mobility for the children of the migrants and for those who

remained on the land, as for example, Dalla. They can now be found in all sectors

of the Nigerian society, as educators, business men, politicians and high cadre

civil servants.

About the Author