Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria
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Purple Hibiscus

Purple Hibiscus | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her fanatically rel...
Lisa's insight:

Purple Hibiscus takes place in Nigeria and it tells the story of a girl, Kambili. Kambili comes from a very rich and very religious family. Even though from the outside it seems that Kambili and her older brother Jaja have everything their life isn't perfect. Kambili's father is ridiculously religious and he has impossible expectations of his children and wife. When they do not meet these expectations he beats them terribly. Due to this Kambili's home life is spent in almost complete silence. Until one-day Kambili's aunt Ifeoma, her father's sister, persuades her brother to let Kambili and Jaja come visit them. Once they are at their aunt's house Kambili and Jaja discover a whole new world. There is laughter and music and television in aunt Ifeoma's house. They are very poor compared to Kambili but they are so much happier. Kambili and Jaja learn how to become happy and for once they don't have to fear their every move. However a military coup threatens to destroy the country and Kambili's father, head of an outspoken newspaper, begins to realize how unsafe the country has become. Once back after their trip, things in the house begin to change. Kambili's fathers' reign is slipping, he is becoming ill and Kambili and Jaja are standing up for themselves. One day they get the news, Papa was found dead at work. Amongst the sadness, and somewhat relief, Kambili's mother drops a bombshell. She poisoned Papa. But when the police come to the door Jaja says that it was him who killed Papa. The book ends with Kambili trying to keep her family together. Aunt Ifeoma and her family is now in America; they fled because aunt Ifeoma lost her job and the coup was making it too dangerous to live there. Kambili's mother barely spoke ever since they took Jaja. And Jaja has shut everyone out. But at the every end of the book there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it looks like Jaja can finally get out of jail and Kambili can start putting her family back together again.

I want to research the corruption of the government of Nigeria during the coup. I want to research this because so much of the book dealt with what happened to people at Papa's newspaper because they refused to print government propaganda. It is also shown in the university that Aunt Ifeoma works at because they blamed her for student riots that weren't her fault, not because she did it but because the government wanted to get rid of her. I also want to research the division between rich and poor. All throughout the book you saw the differences between the very rich, Kambili, and the very poor, aunt Ifeoma. The differences not only in how they lived, but in how they acted were seen throughout the book. Kambili seemed more reserved and removed while aunt Ifeoma saw everything first hand like when the police came searching through her house just to scare her. Another topic I want to research is the importance of higher education. Aunt Ifeoma worked at a university and you saw how little money the school got and how the students went on strike. However you also saw how the professors didn't see to care as long as they got paid. It seemed that only the rich would be able to afford to go to school yet the school received no money. There was a lot about abuse in this book. Although it doesn't tie directly to Nigerian culture I want to look at how it may be viewed okay because the men are superior. Kambili's father beat them all the time if they were not perfect. He even caused his wife to have a miscarriage because he beat her so badly. The final topic I want to research is the difference between the Catholic religion and the Pagan religion. Kambili's grandpa was a Pagan and her father refused to associate with him because he wasn't Catholic. I want to look more into the conflict between these two religions in Nigeria because some people, like aunt Ifeoma, were accepting and some, like Papa, were not.

I really enjoyed this book! It was sad and aggravating at some parts but it had a really good message and a really good plot. I liked how it was written and the characters were all really well developed. I would recommend this book to anyone! I kind of hope there will be a sequel some day.

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Measuring Time

Measuring Time | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Mamo and LaMamo are twin brothers living in the small Nigerian village of Keti, where their domineering father controls their lives. With...
Lisa's insight:

I would want to read the book "Measuring Time" because I love reading about how people, especially children, are able to overcome terrible obstacles. This book also seems very interesting because it tells the story of twin boys and how drastically different their lives are even though they come from the same home. I really enjoyed reading about Nigeria and its culture and I would love to learn more about a different types of African culture.

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Revamping Part-Time University Education in Nigeria

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An article in the African News Service writes about how the Federal Government of Nigeria has begun a new program to revamp the part-time education programs at universities. This new program allows older men and women to go back to school to get college degrees while they are working. While the government’s intentions are good they are finding problems implementing this new program. The problems are due to the fact that many people who enroll in these part-time programs may not have even finished high school, or the fact that they barely passed high school and have been a trader for many years. While the part-time program is a good idea and helpful to the few who can utilize its benefits there needs to be bigger changes made to the education system. The article mostly looks at how most of the part-time students do poorly and they are calling for action to be made to make the education system better as a whole.

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Poverty

Poverty | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

Nigeria has fallen into poverty due to the corruption of the government. Over 90% of the population lives below the poverty line. There are many children that are starving while the elite rich live in elegant mansions and have more food then they could eat in a lifetime. The gap between the rich and the poor is astounding and there are many people who suffer everyday on the streets of Nigeria.

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Corruption

Corruption | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

Government corruption is a common occurrence in Nigeria. There is an almost constant struggle for power and those in power will do anything to keep it. The people of Nigeria get caught in the crossfire and they are the ones that suffer. However now some people are starting to take a stand against the unfair treatment they receive from their government. They are calling for reform and are finally standing up for themselves.  

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Fuelling Poverty (2012)

Documentary Featurette about the culture of greed and corruption in Nigeria articulated through the Fuel Subsidy Scam of 2011. A film by Ishaya Bako supporte...
Lisa's insight:

The documentary "Fuelling Poverty" tells the story of the Nigerian people and their struggle to survive in a country that does nothing to help those in need. This documentary looks at the corruption of the Nigerian government and how their selfishness affects thousands of people. When the government discovered that much of Nigeria was oil rich they saw is as an opportunity to help themselves instead of helping the people. The government and the wealthy elite that run the oil businesses get all the profit for themselves. Nothing goes back to try and help the millions of people who are starving on the streets of Nigeria. In fact the prices of fuel rose. This was because the business leaders knew they could make more money if they sold the oil to other countries instead of keeping some of it for their own people. Many merchants and poor farmers could not afford that increase in fuel price. This created a domino affect and the merchant’s prices of goods had to go up so they could afford the increased fuel price. This documentary also touched on some of the activist groups that have begun to protest the corrupt government after this fuel scandal became public.

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UNICEF - At a glance: Nigeria - Digital Diary: Nigerian street children tell their stories of life without security

UNICEF - At a glance: Nigeria - Digital Diary: Nigerian street children tell their stories of life without security | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

“At a Glance: Nigeria” by Christine Jaulmes describes the stories told by Nigerian children who have spent their lives on the street. They described how they really had no choice but to live on the street and fend for themselves. One of the boys, Isaiah, tells the story of how he was going to be sold on an open market but was able to run away. Some children say they ran away to find adventure, but once they were out in the city they realized how hard it was to survive due to the crippling poverty that affects so many of the Nigerian people.

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Homeless Children

Homeless Children | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

In Nigeria children roam the streets in search for food and work. Some of them are orphans that were taken away from their family and some ran away from their families in search of adventure. Regardless of how they got on the streets being a homeless child is not an exciting adventure. These children have to struggle to survive everyday without the help of their family.  

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Nigeria

Nigeria | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

Nigeria has a good amount of developed cities, but the majority of Nigeria is made up of small villages and vast amounts of wilderness. Nigeria has a coastline as well as a rainforest and savanna so it gives the country a diverse range of places to make a living and provide products to the people of Nigeria and to other countries. The largest moneymaker for Nigeria is oil. They have huge amounts of oil and the government exports almost all of it. 

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Nigerian Landscape

Nigerian Landscape | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

Nigeria is known for its crowded cities and small villages but there is so much more to the country. This picture shows one of the many types of landscapes that can be found in Nigeria. There are rainforests and safaris and lush valleys. There is so much more to Nigeria than the fighting and the corruption. Nigeria is a really beautiful country and I think people tend to forget that.

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Nigeria: Countries and Their Cultures

Nigeria: Countries and Their Cultures | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

In the book Countries and Their Cultures by Tim Curry he looks at many aspects of the Nigerian culture. One of these aspects is the economy of Nigeria. Nigeria is an oil rich country and makes millions of dollars a year. When the Nigerians first discovered the abundance of oil they were very optimistic about the future thinking that the poor would be able to finally escape poverty. Unfortunately the opposite happened. Curry states that there is still "high unemployment, high inflation and more than a third of the population is under the poverty line" (Curry). Curry then looks at the aspect of social classes in Nigeria. He explains that there are two social classes in Nigeria: the very wealthy and the poor. The very wealthy make up only a very small portion of the population and the rest of the population live in poverty. The poor are unable to break the cycle of poverty because they lack opportunity and good education. The history of politics consists of many overthrown governments; this is why Nigerian infrastructure is so bad. Due to this when one of the wealthy elite gain power they do anything to keep the power and wealth they receive. This explains why the Nigerian government is constantly corrupt and the civilians receive very little if any help. Curry also looks at the dynamics of the relationship between men and woman. In Nigeria men are thought to be superior to woman in almost every way. The "rule" is that men are allowed to beat their wives as long as they don't cause permanent physical injury.

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UNICEF

UNICEF | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

UNICEF contributes a lot to poor countries like Nigeria. One of UNICEF’s main projects in Nigeria is to try and improve the education system as well as make it available to all children. UNICEF is working with the Nigerian government to better the facilities and the content that is taught in schools. Without the help of UNICEF and organizations like it Nigeria would be doomed to a future of continuously poverty.  

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A Poor Nigerian Village

A Poor Nigerian Village | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

This poor Nigerian fishing village gives some insight into the world that most Nigerians see as reality. They make do with what they have and they work long and hard hours to try and make enough money to survive another week. There is very little hope for these people to be able to break the cycle of poverty because they do not have access to a good education. 

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Violence in Nigeria (editorial)

Lisa's insight:

The article “Violence in Nigeria” is an editorial written in the New York Times about the corruption of the Nigerian government. The Nigerian government has been unstable for quite some time and it has greatly affected all of Nigeria. There is no one that will stand up for the people of Nigeria; people in power only look out for themselves. The task forces like the police have also been lost to corruption. There is money constantly changing hands and if one doesn’t have money to bride they are vulnerable to anything the authorities decide to dish out on them. There is no accountability in Nigerian politics and it can be seen in the lack of infrastructure and the vast amounts of poverty that plague Nigeria.

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Government Fuel Conspiracy

Government Fuel Conspiracy | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

When the Nigerian government found oil rich lands the people thought that their struggles would be over. Instead quite the opposite happened. Gasoline became almost impossible to find and prices for everything went up. The government was selling almost all the oil to other countries and the officials were pocketing the money for themselves. This became known as the fuel conspiracy and when word got out people began to call for government reform.

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Nigeria

Nigeria | Purple Hibiscus: Nigeria | Scoop.it
Lisa's insight:

The organization Defense for Children International has a branch set up in southwestern Nigeria that is dedicated to helping children and a specific part of their organization focuses on making sure that all children have an equal opportunity to receive education. Many poor children do not have access to a good education system, if they have access to any education at all. Defense for Children International is working with the Nigerian government and other organizations to help better the education systems. They are using “resource mobilization and [are] working closely with school managers to provide better learning environment for the children”. If children receive a better education there is a higher likelihood that they will be able to break the cycle of poverty that grips so many of the Nigerian people.

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