Research: Context of �Purple Hibiscus� by lp8qDqC

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									Researching the Context of
    ‘Purple Hibiscus’

    Slides prepared by 12 English Advanced,
     Auckland Girls Grammar School, 2011
  Locations mentioned in the novel
Enugu                 Nsukka

• Nsukka is a town in South-East Nigeria
• Population (2006 Census) 309,633
• Nsukka is home to the igbo tribe
          Differences between
         North and South Nigeria
• Cultural differences between North and South Nigeria.
• The people of North Nigeria were mostly Muslim
• People of South Nigeria were predominantly Christian.
• All governments since independence had been controlled
  by northerners - the 1999 elections were the first to elect
  a southerner. Some southern Christian people resented
  this domination.
• There have been religious riots in the north started by a
  dissident sect of Muslims, and numerous riots and
  disturbances between the majority Muslims in the north
  and the Christians - mostly immigrants from the south.
  These seem to be increasingly frequent and more violent.
Oil pollution in the Niger Delta has deprived tens of millions of people from their
most fundamental right to food, water, and health. Environmental degradation in
the delta where about 31 million people live. People who live in this region have
to drink polluted water, as well as cook and wash their clothes with the dirty water.
When they have a chance to catch some, these people eat fish contaminated by
oil and other toxins.
The poverty of the people, in contrast with the wealth generated by oil, has
become one of the most absolute and disturbing proofs of how a natural resource
can be transformed into evil, according to the group
•Nigeria’s economy is largely driven by their exports of
petroleum and natural gas which provide the country with a
large part of their GDP.
•However since the economic reform of 2005 they have
been trying to diversify their exporting trade by moving into
other sectors such as mineral resources and agriculture.
•In 2009 their main exports included
oil, cocoa and timber with Nigeria’s
largest trading partners being the
United Kingdom and America.
•The amount of money received from
exports has been increasing steadily
•Nigeria’s GDP in 2009 was at $173 Billion (US Dollars) as
compared to New Zealand’s at $126.68 Billion.
•However despite this in 2010 the poverty rate of Nigeria
was up to 70% showing how large the gap between rich and
the poor is in developing countries, there is no even
distribution of wealth.
•In New Zealand our percentage of poverty is at 8%, which,
as a developed country, still leaves much room for
•Despite the large GDP 70% of Nigerians are still involved
with agriculture, generally as subsistence farmers.

                                              Chelsea and Gina
Political situation in Nigeria
•General Sani Abacha was the military dictator of Nigeria from 17
November 1993 to 8 June 1998, when he died suddenly of a heart
• Abacha was close to the central power base of successive military
governments in the coastal West African nation of Nigeria, and
finally assumed power himself through a coup in November 1993.
•While continuing to assert his intention to bring democratic civilian
rule to Nigeria, Abacha was criticised by prominent Nigerian
democracy campaigners, human rights advocates, civil rights
lawyers, and world-renowned authors. These critics doubted his
sincerity and commitment after 11 straight years of virtually
uninterrupted military rule in Nigeria, all accompanied by promises
made by other dictators for a return to democracy. In 1995, Abacha
announced a three-year program of transition to civilian rule. On
March 1, 1995 there was an attempted coup by Lawan Gwadabe.
Also suspected as part of this coup were Olusegun Obasanjo and
Shehu Musa Yar'Adua (recent Nigerian Prime ministers). They were
sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment for this.
•Reign: July 29, 1966 - July 25, 1975
•Lieutenant-Colonel Yakubu Gowon became
head of the Federal Military Government and
Supreme Commander of the Armed forces on
August, 1966.
•At 32 he was Africa's youngest head of state.
•He was the son of a missionary
•He was a keen hockey player and took part in
competitive athletics including soccer and boxing.
•His other hobbies include cinematography and
bird watching.
•On 30 May 1967, Gowon declared the formal
withdrawal of the Eastern Region, which was now
to be known as the Republic of Biafra.
•This was to trigger a war that would last 30
months, and see the deaths of more than 100,000
Nigeria’s Human Rights Record
    Human Rights in Nigeria

Police continued to violate a variety of human
  rights. Examples include unlawful killings,
  torture and enforced disappearances.
  Prisoners were kept in very brutal

The government attempted to exploit
 journalists and human rights activists by
 harassing, bribing and threatening them.
• Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti: A notable human rights activist,
  doctor, and chairman of Campaign for Democracy (CD),
  who was victimised by Nigerian military dictators. His
  family has also been affected by his protesting and have
  been illegally and inhumanly treated. He was imprisoned
  for 15 years but was released in June 1998.

• Hafsaf Abiola: Another more recent Nigerian human
  rights activist who promotes democracy in Nigeria. She is
  the one of the daughters of Moshood Abiola, who was the
  late President-elect imprisoned by the dictator of the time,
  Gen Sani Abacha. In 1996, Abiola’s mother was murdered
  during a plea to release her husband.
    Nwankiti Ogechi = Ken Saro-Wiwa
• “Soldiers shot Nwankiti Ogechi in a bush in Minna. And then they
  poured acid on his body to melt his flesh off his bones, to kill him
  even he was already dead…[he was] referred to…as “a man of
  honour” (p. 200-201).

• Ken Saro-Wiwa was a famous Nigerian author, television
  producer and president of the Movement for Survival of Ogoni
  People (MOSOP), which defended environmental and human
  rights for Ogoni people that live in Nigeria.
• Similar to Ogechi, Saro-Wiwa was a martyr protecting his people
  from the military government’s unjust treatment and human
  rights violations.
• On November 10, 1995 Saro-Wiwa was hanged for merely
  attempting to bring freedom his people and environmental
Igbo people are mostly farmers and the yam is a staple           The native, traditional religion of the Igbo
 food in their lives. They even have a festival for yams!       people is known as Odinani – although after
                                                              colonisation many people became Christian. In
Wrestling is the most popular sport amongst boys and             Igbo mythology the supreme God is called
 young men, the other popular sport is soccer. Carving            Chukwu which means “great spirit”. The
 is a skilled occupation practiced only by men, though          universe is divided into four sections: Okike
                                                               (creation), Alusi (supernatural), Mmuo (spirit)
women also practice many other crafts such as pottery
                                                                              and Uwa (world).
  making, spinning, weaving, basketry, grass plaiting.

                                                                     By Emma M, Camille and Ropa

                                                                     Mmanwu is the name for traditional
                                                              masquerades in Igbo culture. It is a major form
                                                              of entertainment, and Kambili and Jaja visit one
                                                                 with Aunty Ifeoma in Purple Hibiscus. The
                                                                  practice originally evolved from the Igbo
                                                                 people worshipping their traditional gods,
                                                              which is why Papa would not be happy if he had
 Igbo [EE-bo] people inhabit south-eastern Nigeria. Igbo is     known that they went to a masquerade. The
   the second largest group of people living in southern       spirits are embodiments of the dead who have
 Nigeria. Population – 5.5 million approximately. European                       risen again.
    contact with the Igbo began with the arrival of the
               Portuguese in the mid-1600s.
Igbo language
              Igbo phrases                                          By Emma M, Camille and Ropa
Kedu – Hi, hello
Ka omesia – Goodbye                     The Igbo language is spoken by the Igbo people. There are
Biko – Please                          over twenty different dialects, and it is written with the same
Daalu / Imela – Thank you               Latin alphabet that we use, but pronounced differently. It is
Nne / Nna – Mother / Father             also a tonal language, with high, mid and low ranges, and it
Nwanne – Brother or sister                              includes accented characters.
Gini bu afa gi? – What is your name?
Afam bu ... – My name is ...
                                                                      Fufu recipe!
                                                  Potato flakes, butter, salt, pepper, cream, water.
                                             1. Bring about 2 – 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot.
                                             2. If you are using cream of wheat, add about 1 – 2 cups of the
                                             cream of wheat into the boiling water and stir. This leaves a thick
                                             pasty mixture.
                                             3. Add 1 – 2 tablespoonful of butter or margarine.
                                             4. Add 2 – 4 cups of potato flakes and stir continuously. You can
                                             add hot water to the mix to achieve your desired texture.
                                             5. You may sprinkle very small amount of salt in to taste here if
                                             6. Continue to stir until you get a smooth dough.
                                             7. The dough is rolled into balls and served with desired soup.
                Religion in Nigeria
               By Chelsea King, Charlotte Crick-Friesen and Tessa Kirkland

•The country has a dominant Muslim
North, a mixed Christian and Muslim
South West, and a Christian South.

•In 1963 47% of Nigerians were Muslim,
35% Christian and 18% were members of
local indigenous congregations.

•In 2009 Islam made up 50.4% and
Christianity made up 48.2% of the
population with other religions making up
the remaining 1.4%. (Judaism, Hinduism
and indigenous religions.)
                                                           National Church of Nigeria
  Influence of Religion on society
• Major congregations
  of the larger Anglican
  and Roman Catholic
  missions represented
  elite families of their
  respective areas.

• All major public
  centres had areas put
  aside for churches or
  mosques.                  Society in general has more gradually and
                            selectively expanded to accommodate new
                            influences, it is fairly certain that they will
• Inter-ethnic conflict     continue to assert their distinctive cultural
  was said to be caused     identity in creative and often ingenious ways".
  by religion e.g there     - Cultural Survival (Publications):The Texture
  were riots against Igbo   of Change
  in 1953
 in Nigeria
• Came to Africa in the
  1840s but their mission
  failed, however they
  returned in the 1850s
  and were more
• They targeted Nigeria
  after their success
  abolishing the slave       • Missionaries made good use of freed
  trade to convert natives     slaves and other people in
  and discover natural         evangelising Nigeria. This is portrayed
  resources.                   in ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua
• For many Nigerians           Achebe, the missionaries use village
  missionaries were the        converts to encourage more tribe
  first Europeans with         members to join the church.
  whom they came into
  Role Of Women                                    Equality

The role of women in Nigeria is greatly affected
by religious views. The three main religions are
Christianity, Islam and Igbo. In All three women
are considered second to men and have to be
submissive to their husbands. Marriage is
considered important, and the success of
marriage relies on the women to prevent a
“disgraceful” divorce.
Polygamy is allowed by Islam and Igbo religions
for men whereas for women its shameful to
even speak about sex. Women are used for sex
at their husbands demand and cannot even use
a female condom without permission. Rape,
female mutilation and child marriages are still
   Colonisation & Women’s Rights
In pre-colonial times women in Nigeria were
    workers alongside men in trades. Women who
    depended on their husbands were regarded with
    contempt. At this time women were considered
    free adults by law although there were
    restrictions in place for example women could
    not inherit land.

During the colonial period education changed to
   teach women to be good housewives unlike
   before when some even provided for whole
   families. Policies in this time were clearly biased
   against women.

In the post colonial period women again came into
    the workforce. In the South especially women
    started to gain status and power. Although in the
    North they were still denied the right to vote.
History in a
    Slave Trade in Nigeria.        Slavery in northern
                                  Nigeria was abolished
                                  in 1936.
• The first Europeans to trade
slaves in Nigeria were the The slave trade that was
Portuguese and Spaniard established was to the
explorers.                   detriment and
                              occasionally profit of
                              many Nigerian ethnicities.
           Colonial history
• In many ways, Nigeria has a unique
  Colonial history. Perhaps more than in any
  other colonial project, missionaries were
  used to their utmost effectiveness.
• After their success in fighting for the
  abolition of the Slave Trade, they targeted
  Nigeria with a dual purpose - to convert
  the natives and to discover natural
  resources which could be traded as a
  substitute for slaves.
Britain 4 Nigeria 4eva! x0x
   info on
Ngozi Adichie
         Growing Up Adichie
• Adichie was born in Nigeria on September
  15, 1977.
• She was born in the town of Enugu but
  grew up in Nsukka.
• She is from an upper middle class
  Nigerian family.
• Her novels are all set in Nigeria, because
  this is the place she is most familiar with.
     What real life parallels are there
      between the author’s life and
• In Purple Hibiscus, Kambili visits her aunty Ifeoma
  who lives in the same town Adichie grew up in.
• Ifeoma worked at the university like Adichie’s
  parents. Ifeoma’s character was modelled on the
  author’s mother.
• Adichie grew up under a repressive political
  regime in Nigeria. She experienced hardships /
  food shortages.
• Adichie’s personality is far more similar to
  Amaka’s than Kambili’s.
• Kambili Achike’s name is similar to Chimamanda

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