Does anyone own that Fela Kuti biography that came out a couple of years back? I'd like to borrow it.
While in college I spent a semester as an exchange student in Nigeria. For the first month I stayed with a family in Lagos. Apparently the people running the exchange program didn't think my capacity for rough living was very high because they placed me with a very wealthy family in the swank Victoria Island neighborhood. The patriarch of the clan was actually running for president of the country. Then again, at that point in 1993 there were more than 100 candidates running for president so that's not so notable. (And that election was eventually annulled.) The presidential contender was never around anyway. I believe I met him exactly once. He didn't have much to say.
The matriarch of the household was a very large, quite beautiful woman who was a fervent Christian. She would go to church for roughly eight hours every Sunday. She would also host worship sessions at the house every Wednesday night. The first time one of these occurred, my host "brother" attempted to warn me that I might want to make myself scarce. But I failed to heed his warnings.
There were maybe 10 people at the prayer session. I think we read some Bible passages. Then people started praying. Within minutes they began collapsing on the floor and speaking in tongues and screaming like they were possessed by some really wicked juju. As I stood there, vaguely terrified and intensely uncomfortable, my host brother tapped me on the shoulder and indicated that I should follow him out of the room. We drove to a bar and drank super-sized bottles of Guinness until midnight. We repeated this Wednesday night ritual for the length of my stay. It was much more fun than worship service.
There were all kinds of servants who worked at the palatial home on Victoria Island. There was one man, Amos, whose only job, as best I could determine, was to cook me breakfast. Every morning he'd make me a tasty cheddar cheese omelet. He was small and smiled a lot and didn't speak much English and looked a bit like Garrett Morris.
Another of the servants was a woman named Oguchi. When the matriarch wanted Oguchi's attention she would ring a little bell and call out "Oooooguchi, Oooooguchi." Oguchi was generally sullen and quiet. I think she may have resented being a servant.
Oguchi is actually quite a common name among Nigerians of Igbo descent. My favorite Oguchi at the present moment is Oguchi Onyewu.