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One body with many faces


Her portrait has so many faces, all mouths are talking, and there is disagreement and quarrel, then violence resulting in killing of the other. They understand themselves by their language and come together for action. They spoke more than 500 languages representing their tribes and groups. But someone has to be on top, to lead and govern others. Who should that be?

One Body! One Body! The mouths shout aloud. Is she really one? Can it be achieved? Discrimination, hatred, injustice, unfairness, inequality and grievance have taken over her body. Her beautiful body has been disfigured due to tribal, religious and language differences among all the faces.

The coup was planned and executed in January, 1966 by her military men to end corruption throughout her political system. The net effect only placed the military in power, while the corruption found a way to continue even today. In 1994 the civilians again took over.

Peace talk in Ghana in 1967 did not make a difference, and then a major part of her that speaks one language decided to secede and proclaim the Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967.

A series of ethnic clashes emerged between her Northern Hausas and the Ibos and other Eastern peoples living in her Northern region, lasting for years. The war, which came to be known as the Civil War or Biafran War, lasted from July 6, 1967- January 15, 1970, after which they were reunified again.
Yes, it was the Biafran war because over 30,000 Ibos were killed in the North and nearly 1million fled from the North to their homeland.

I did not realize what really happened to her until I laid my hand on the 458 pages of novel. Her story has always been told by the elders and those who witness the war. All her body parts were involved. ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, provides context for these memories. The story of love and loyalty shared and hope of the young been torn apart by the war. The killing which started in the North; pregnant women were dissect and killed. Men and women were slaughtered with spare and knife.

She has celebrated her 50th birthday. "None of the problems that led to the war have been solved yet, they are still there. We have a situation creeping towards the type of situation that saw the beginning of the war." Ojukwu says.

Between 1994 and 2011, there have been at least 70 cases of violence in the North tagged as religious crisis. No one has ever been indicted or prosecuted for violent acts and her government has failed to tackle the menace.

One Body! One body! Yet discrimination is still on the rampage. “Omo ebo”, (ibo child), the middle age women at the school of Nursing addressed me, “I am sorry since you are not from this state, you cannot get the job. It is true we do not have a physiology lecturer but the state will not employ you, so don’t waste your time.”

Marginalization, believes the Ibo. Yes marginalization I say. The Ibo are believed to be immigrants from Isreal, so intelligent, ambitious and conscientious. They have immensely restructured sectors that have been poorly managed like NAFDAC, CBN, Military, Education, Finance ministry and others. They have high entrepreneur development which generates a lot of growth for Nigeria’s economy.

From 1960 - 2011, the north have ruled for 38 years, the west for 12 years and the east ruled for 6 months in between, but was killed. Now the seat has moved to the south-south. They are grieving, yet she is One Body.

Even now in 2011 the election is here and the north still wants the seat of power. They believe that is the only legacy left for them by the white men.

One Body! One Body! Yet the rule of law is not respected and obeyed. She needs to give opportunity to others to lead her entire body so as to beautify her body again.

Her leadership must respect the constitution of the country and rotate the seat of power to all zones so that everyone’s voice will be heard.

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 30 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most unheard regions of the world.



Sarvina's picture

Hi sister Vivian!

Hi sister Vivian! Congratulations for your final version, it is well-done-powerful & inspiring.




Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

vivian's picture

Thank u so much Sarvina. I am

Thank u so much Sarvina. I am grateful.


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Sharese's picture


I love the book "Half of a Yellow Sun". Thank you for highlighting it in your journal entry.

Your entry is powerful and inspiring as it calls for not just unity but fair unity. That is so important and if it is absent then unity is worthless.

I hope that the vision that you write about will one day be realized.

In peace and love,


vivian's picture


Good to hear that you have come across Half of the Yellow Sun, It is indeed a nice history book. I am glad you understand my piece and you pointed it out right that it calls for unity. that is just the word, there is one unity in Nigeria. Hatred and killing of one another due to tribal, religious or ethnic difference.

Thank you for taking time to read my post. I am grateful.



''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Hello, Vivian!

You were the first person who welcomed me into World Pulse. And now I read your final correspondent essay, and I find in it a love so deep for your homeland, a love that grieves for her body torn apart, yanked first one way, then the next, as one group after another wants the power all to itself, unwilling to see the need for the whole body to respect each part.

Yes? Or do I get too swept away by your poetic voice, personification, and passion...and miss something? Not that it is my place to judge why a different group wanted power and how they felt it needed to be done. Cooperating and compromising means giving up part of what one wants, and when the people are not getting all they need, how can a leader do anything but try to provide for her people?

As you see, your piece has inspired me to learn more, has engaged my heart, and makes me want to read again, again, again!

Good job, Vivian. And thank you again for welcoming me into WP and befriending our dear Emie, and being a friend like she is, to so many. You are all such wonderful exemplars of international outreach, of feminine power, the power of the heart and mind, coordinated (women do that in such a zen way!)

All the best,


Speaking my Peace

vivian's picture

Good Day Ma It is a long time

Good Day Ma

It is a long time i heard from you. I am so happy to hear from you early today. I am glad you enjoy my piece and i am very impress with your comment. You got the information and message right about the plight of my homeland.

My country Nigeria is a blessed country but our leaders are not grateful for all that God has put together for us to succeed, the economy is poor because of poor leadership and longing for power. I just wished i could speak for my people so that the world will hear our cry and hope that a change will come one day.

THANK YOU so much for reading my poetic piece again and again. I am also happy that I am the first person to welcome you on world pulse and am really glad to have done that.

I love this 'You are all such wonderful exemplars of international outreach, of feminine power, the power of the heart and mind, coordinated (women do that in such a zen way!)' and it is true.



''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Judy K's picture

Module 3

Vivian - Your piece left me feeling connecting to the despair you and others are experiencing from decades of political and social turmoil. I made me want to reach out to you and everyone in your community. How can those of us who live in the relative safety and security of the USA offer our assistance?

Thank you for suggesting the book "Half the Yellow Sky." I will read it to become educated about what has been happening in Nigeria. That kind of education will be a beginning that you inspired.

Judy K.

Judy Kugelmass

vivian's picture

encouraging and concerned comment.

Thank you Ma for taking time to read and understand my module 3 assignment which talk about my country Nigeria and the disunity and discrimination that slow down the growth of the country.

it is said that 'United will stand and divided will fall'. That is the case of Nigeria. The cultural and tribal differences in Nigeria is really causing a lot of set back and hinder development in some part of the country.

Nigeria is a beautiful country but that beauty is not felt and found in all part of the country. Every few part of the country can boost of federal development.

Elders in my land usually say that any one who witnessed the biafra war will never wish to witness it again. The have fought the good fight, they have talk and talk and they are tired of talking and so they have decided to seat and watch.

I am glad you want to assist my community and these are some of the things you can do to assist:
1. educate leaders on leadership style and expression of power
2. peace talk meetings to implement the rule of law
3. advocate for equal distribution of employment in the federal civil service
4. advocacy for federal developmental projects in various parts of the country.

Half of a yellow sun is indeed a nice book to read. It gives a good picture of what happened in Nigeria during the three years biafran war and how my people were massacred.

Nigeria will be a better country if our leader do not strive for selfish interest but for the national development

Thank you ma for reading my post.


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture


Dear Vivian,

I really like the way you addressed the issue of your nations history--it is intriguing to talk about your country as if it is the body of a woman--very inventive and creative. I would love to know more about what is going on now to address the underlying problems that you talk about--is there reason to hope?

Great work,


"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

vivian's picture


Hope is what we dream for to come to pass some day but historically losing a war makes you a second class citizen in your country and this is not different from what my people are facing. We really want a change especially in terms of employment in the civil service and development.

The hope that we see today is the divine intervention of the ruling President who took over from the late president who died on the seat of power. It was almost a war before he was allowed as the vice president to take over in the absent of the president. The Northerns stills believes that their tenure has not ended, they still want their own candidate to take over from their late brother.

2011 election is around the corner, we hope for a peaceful election but the truth is that the northerns has a large percent determinant to a peaceful election.


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Thanks so much for your response, Vivian! By the way (btw !!) I looked online and our library has it, so I am in line to get to read it soon!

You and all your Correspondent Sisters...ROCK!

Love is all there (really) is,


Speaking my Peace

vivian's picture

This is good. You have

This is good. You have ordered for my favourite book. It is such an interesting book to read and am sure you will enjoy from the first page to the last page.

I wish you a happy reading. I hope to hear from you when you have completed your reading.



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