A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir by Toyin Omoyeni Falola

By Toyin Omoyeni Falola

"A greatest coming-of-age tale so choked with vibrant colour and emotion, the phrases appear to dance off the web page. yet this isn't simply Falola's memoir; it's an account of a brand new kingdom entering being and the tensions and negotiations that perpetually ensue among urban and state, culture and modernity, women and men, wealthy and negative. a very attractive book."-Robin D. G. Kelley "More than a private memoir, this e-book is a wealthy minihistory of latest Nigeria recorded in scrumptious element by means of a perceptive eyewitness who grew up on the crossroads of many cultures."-Bernth LindforsA Mouth Sweeter Than Salt gathers the tales and reflections of the early years of Toyin Falola, the grand historian of Africa and one of many maximum sons of Ibadan, the impressive Yoruba city-state in Nigeria.Redefining the autobiographical style altogether, Falola miraculously weaves jointly own, ancient, and communal tales, in addition to political and cultural advancements within the interval instantly previous and following Nigeria's independence, to provide us a distinct and enduring photograph of the Yoruba within the mid-twentieth century. this is often really a literary memoir, instructed in language wealthy with proverbs, poetry, track, and humor.Falola's memoir is way greater than the tale of 1 man's formative years stories; relatively, he offers us with the riches of a whole tradition and community-its heritage, traditions, pleasures, mysteries, loved ones preparations, different types of energy, struggles, and alterations.

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Sample text

In a rush for a knockout, Philip retreated, picked up the first rock he saw and threw it at Yusuf. The effect was immediate, with blood all over Yusuf’s face and his shirt, some dripping on the ground. The fight was over. Adults spanked Toyin and Philip. Not knowing that our house was many miles away, they asked us to rush home and for Yusuf to go and treat his wound. No one spoke. Yusuf was holding onto a part of his head to stop further bleeding. As we moved nearer home, after a long walk of over an hour, we all parted ways.

As many settled to a life of farming, others began to practice for war, initially to revenge the sack of their older cities, which had turned them into refugees. Then they discovered that they could build a bigger city, and they did. Then they realized that seeking revenge was a small reward, and they sought a bigger trophy: an empire. The cities and kingdoms before Ibadan did not have boys like this. They built armies only when they needed them, when a war chief begged for recruits. As soon as a war was over, the war chief would disband his boys, who were forced to return to a dull life of farming.

Isola, the scion of Agbo The Agbo who cages the tiger Isola, the mighty tiger The elephant that shakes to disturb the forest The gallant masquerade moves, the crowd shakes Isola, do not shake, do not move Not to terrify the strong and the cowards. Isola, the scion of Agbo If you shake, do not frighten me Isola, if you move pardon me The tiger, Isola Isola who says he is not ready to marry 22 A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt When he is ready Girls will line the street from here to Hausaland. We shall chant more, in life and in death.

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