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Ashley in Africa: Day 2 Oil and Ankara

August 18, 2011
tags: ,

Wow. Today started with the most intense day at the market , with a visit from seamstresses ready to whip up an Alexander McQueen design and haggle with locals about the price of clothes all in the span of a few hours with you. Intense.

It ended with the most erie lesson in neo-colonialism I have ever had, and never expected to have so face to face on the continent. I’m staying with an amazing African American business man here in Nigeria, the chair of the Orisa Community Development Coorporation. Today we had an mixer for African Americans living in Nigeria at a ritzy near by hotel.

To my surprise, though it shouldn’t be, most in attendance work for oil giants like Shell Mobil, and Exon Oil. Nigeria is rich in oil, one of the world’s top 5 exporters. Basically these oil giants employ Americans here to do their biddings. Some of these Americans are African Americans now involved in the centuries old exploitation of African resources that is colonialism a la neo colonialism.

A lot of them live in company compounds, have their living expenses paid by the company and pretty much not really interacting with Africans outside of the club and bar scene. It was really unsettling and really sad that people who cross the oceans and look just like you don’t only do it to reconnect to themselves, but to be complicit in neo colonialism. welcome to nigeria. Where the new blood memory is blood oil. And the “we” that African American used is at times used to refer to them and their companies, not them and their people.

Off to the country for a few weeks to be in the ‘real Nigeria’. Will be updating in a couple of weeks, or when I get the internet next.

Odabo!

My tie dye cloth seller at the market.

The ankara and tie dye cloth I bought today.

Our seamstress and tailor at the house.

Okada taxi motocycles parked in the market

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Courtnay permalink
    August 18, 2011 6:24 am

    Interesting post Ashley. Lovely pics. Look forward to reading more as your journey continues.

  2. August 18, 2011 3:23 pm

    Those Fabrics, adire, ankara, wow – – I just want to have them all. I’m home sick already. 🙂 the photos are great.

  3. Eni permalink
    August 18, 2011 7:20 pm

    The photos ROCK Ashley!!! See you soon!

  4. August 28, 2011 9:03 pm

    thanks Ash! love the pics and appreciate the thoughtful commentary. kzs

    • Zenista permalink*
      August 29, 2011 5:04 am

      Thanks 🙂 More to come. Our indigenous African cultures are very much alive here. So glad to know and see.

  5. February 18, 2014 12:22 pm

    Those pictures are wonderful, and an great post to complement them! I look forward to learning more about your journey.

    Courtney
    http://www.houseofsafihadi.com

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