Tag Archives: Nigerian History

Idia of the Benin Kingdom

Title: Idia of the Benin Kingdom

Author: Ekiuwa Aire; Illustrator: Alina Shabelnyk

Publisher: Our Ancestories

Number of pages: 40

Type of Book: Picture book, Fiction with elements of Non-Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: ;  https://our-ancestories.com/product/idia-of-the-benin-kingdom-childrens-book/ ; https://www.amazon.com/Idia-Benin-Kingdom-Ekiuwa-Aire/dp/1777117925/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $17.99; $13.99

MY SUMMARY

Idia was an ordinary little girl who had an extraordinary dream about a brave female warrior with magical healing powers. Curious, she begged her father to teach her how to be a warrior and her mother to teach her the art of magic and medicine. Little did she know that she would become the brave warrior in her dream as well as the first Queen mother of the ancient Benin Kingdom. Read this story of perseverance and courage to learn about the history of one of Africa’s most illustrious queens.  

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I have read quite a bit on Queen Idia as I mentioned in an earlier post but I have never read a book about her childhood so I absolutely loved this one. The author used sprinkles of rhyme and repetition and lots of lyrical language to make this picture book a great read. Blending fact and fiction, she described the life – particularly the childhood – of Queen Idia with some detail and quite a bit of flair.  

One of my favourite paragraphs:

People buzzed with excitement in the center of the village. The Oba (King) was there. Hands slapped drums. Fires were started to cook the feast. Idia adjusted her beads and greeted all her friends.

The illustrations blew my mind. They are vibrant, detailed, apt, evocative and sublimely different from the norm, they truly gave life to the words and made the book shine!

I also loved the use of Edo words. The icing on the cake was the historical factsheet at the end of the book. I loved everything about this book and I would highly recommend it for lovers of Edo culture and their children. 😀

DOWN: None.

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read it for free via Kindle Unlimited.
  2. Register with http://eepurl.com/g8iB-D to receive a free digital copy of the Idia of the Benin Kingdom coloring and book.
  3. Watch a video trailer here:
  1. For more information about the book, visit https://our-ancestories.com/product/idia-of-the-benin-kingdom-childrens-book/

CHALLENGE: Idia of the Benin Kingdom

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw a warrior queen (4 – 6 year olds)
  2. Find four words which can be used to describe Idia in the crossword puzzle below (7 – 8 year olds)
QUEENMOTHERDX
VNOHGONDSAMAO
KSARESBENGENN
HBGRAYWKBLUCN
IHEALERTIONET
ODSJAAGKNRSRS
OCNKLEWALKSNA
LXSWARRIORPLF

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 13th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY by Kwame Mbalia

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photo credit: amazon.com

The Adventures of Obi and Titi: Queen Idia’s Mask

Title: The Adventures of Obi and Titi: Queen Idia’s Mask

Author: O. T Begho

Publisher:  Evolution Media

Number of pages: 120

Type of Book: Fiction, adventure, African

Genre: Chapter Book

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Obi-Titi-Queen-Idias/dp/0955496640

Price: $9.99

MY SUMMARY

This book is the fourth in a chapter book series about Ancient Africa. In this book, Obi and Titi must warn Queen Kehinde that she is in imminent danger but their plans are continuously thwarted by assassins. With the help of a masked rider who turns out to be a young girl named Idia (named after Queen Idia) and her mask which helps her see a few minutes into the future, Obi and the Titi must overcome the tyrant Ezomo and a giant man-eating spider to get to the Queen.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I struggled to find the highlights of this book because I was a bit offended by the disservice to Queen Idia. It was well-written and easy to read. It had some humourous bits and it does give a bit of insight into life in Ancient Yoruba land. It has all the makings of a good adventure series and would have been much better if it had left the African part out of it, rather than giving ambiguous information. It features a mini vocabulary list and another list of African facts.

DOWN: I struggled to get to the end of this book because I don’t know how to abandon a book halfway. I had bought this with the hope of adding to my research library on Queen Idia but I was sorely disappointed. First of all, Queen Idia was mentioned in about 8 out of 120 pages and the mask was a piece of wood with magical powers. I also feel like the facts were mixed up. Young readers will not be able to tell which bits of the story were fiction and which were nonfiction and the academic in me found that really stressful. There was a lot of telling and not enough showing but I guess I was particularly annoyed because I have a great deal of respect for Queen Idia and what the pendant mask represents and this book just basically trampled all over her. Matters came to a head when I found grammatical errors.

RATING

⭐️ ⭐️

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Obi-Titi-Queen-Idias/dp/0955496640 (use the Look Inside function)

CHALLENGE: The Adventures of Obi and Titi: Queen Idia’s Mask

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 500-word essay on Queen Idia and the pendant mask.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8 – 12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 29th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

THE GREATEST ANIMAL IN THE JUNGLE by Sope Martins

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Okiojo’s Chronicles: 1897

Title: Okiojo’s Chronicles: 1897

Author: Adeniyi Adeniji

Art: Sunkanmi Akinboye

Publisher: Panaramic Comics

Number of pages: 21

Type of Book: Creative Non-Fiction, History

Age: 8+

Buy it here http://www.okadabooks.com/book/about/okiojos_chronicles__vol2__1897_the_benin_kingdom/10788; TerraKulture: Plot 1376 Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos; https://www.amazon.com/Okiojos-Chronicles-1897-Benin-Kingdom-ebook/dp/B01FSPZ7PY; read it online here: http://guardian.ng/opinion/okiojos-chronicles-the-benin-kingdom-1/

Price: N200; N200; $1:99

MY SUMMARY

Okiojo’s Chronicles is a comic series featuring stories rich in Nigerian history and culture and told by a wise and all-knowing old man called Okiojo. 1897, one of the comics in this series tells the story of the ancient Benin Kingdom, a kingdom rich in culture, wealth and people that thrived for over six centuries. In the 19th century, this kingdom was strong enough to stay independent of the British rule until a fateful day in February 1897. In what became known as the Benin Massacre, a thoughtless British soldier heading a group of over 200 people entered the kingdom without authorization from the British and the Oba and all but 2 men were killed by Benin warriors. The Benin Massacre maddened the British and in retaliation, they sent over 1200 soldiers to the Kingdom, capturing and killing its men, women and children and looting its treasures (thousands of artworks and artefacts), thereby bringing an end to one of the oldest and most advanced civilizations in West Africa at the time.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: One word: History! A wise man or woman once said that you can’t know where your going if you don’t know where you’ve come from.

DOWN: None or maybe one: I wish it were a book with a longer story, basically, more information.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. The story is set in the ancient Kingdom of Benin
  2. The ancient Benin Kingdom was wiped out, burned and looted and the Oba Ovonranwen sacked in February 1897.
  3. In 1897, the ancient Benin Kingdom had been in existence for over six centuries.
  4. The Benin Massacre? The killing, by Benin warriors, of a group consisting of over 200 people led by the British Lt. James Philip. The British retaliated by wiping out the entire Benin Kingdom.
  5. ‘Ma rie okuo!! Okuo!’ literally ‘We are at war! War!’ The Benin warriors roared this line on the battlefield.
  6. The treasures take from Benin Kingdom and sold all over the world: over 900 bronze statues (including the ancient ivory and bronze Queen Idia mask*) and over 2000 religious artifacts.

Visit Okiojo the all-knowing and all wise here: http://www.panaramiconline.com/comics

CHALLENGE: Okiojo’s Chronicles: 1897

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 500-word essay on the Benin Kingdom before 1897. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a 5-paged comic strip on the Benin Kingdom before 1897.

 

  1. Write a 900-word essay on the Benin Kingdom before 1897 (10 -12 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a 5-paged comic strip on the Benin Kingdom before 1897

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, January 22nd 2017.

Next Book of the Week:

BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell

*This mask is currently on display at the British Museum

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photo credit: amazon.com and panaramiconline.com

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

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Title:  Fela Anikulapo Kuti   

Author: Ola Ajibola

Publisher: Lantern Books                            

Number of pages: 126        

Type of Book: Creative Non-fiction

Age: 10+

Available here: https://www.lantern-books.com/book_inner.php?mid=12&cat=121&cat_id=122 and other major bookshops.

Price: N400

MY SUMMARY

This book is a beautiful account of the life of Afro beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It shows interesting details from his birth, his early childhood with strict parents and his career as a musician, to his rise to fame as the King of Afro beats and the voice of the Nigerian people in the fight against oppression and corruption in the 1980s. It details an important slice of Nigerian history in a fictitious/fictional and appealing manner. The perfect summer read for the child with a love for history.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: The description of the antics of the young Fela, the attacks on Fela’s home, Kalakuta Republic and the story behind most of the songs he released in the 1980s made this a pleasurable read. Another plus was the fact that the book features a glossary for complex words and a page filled with questions – for the parent who would like to ensure their child read the book. *wink

DOWN: The book was so badly written. The author seemed to write in ‘Nigerian’ English. “What a fool I have been all these while”, “He then started asking questions and was getting the right and convincing answers” “He fixed a cold gaze at the minister who still refused to mind him” “He saw that musicians will be the ones ruling the world …”, to list but a few. It is almost inappropriate for children who wish to learn proper use of English. I’m not sure whom to blame, the author, the editor(s), or the publisher. Maybe all of them really. It was also ridden with grammatical errors.

RATING

4 stars

I have rated it 4 stars in spite of these errors because it captures the life of a legend in a truly beautiful way.

TRIVIA

  1. Why did Fela play music? He played music because he wanted to be the voice of the people and to stop oppression and other societal vices in Nigeria.
  2. How many wives did Fela marry in one day. 27 wives
  3. What course did Fela’s parents want him to study and what did he eventually study: Medicine and Music
  4. What were the first and last names of Fela’s band: Koola Lobitos and Egypt 80
  5. How did Fela stop Billy the bully? He shot stones at him many times with his catapult until Billy bled and had to have his head bandaged.
  6. What programme is held every year in honor of Fela’s memory? Felabration

CHALLENGE: Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Are you a true history buff? How well do you know Fela? Can you answer the question below:

Fela’s communal compound, Kalakuta Republic was located at ………………………. (give the address in full)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Thursday, August 20th.

Next Book of the Week:

READERS’ THEATRE: TWELVE PLAYS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE  by Mabel Segun