Children's author, photographer and writer
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Building the city walls
Image by Ifeoma Onyefulu
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Book Awards (U.S)
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Sankore Mosque in Timbuktu
A new edition of this classic book from Ifeoma.
'From Beads to Drums to Masquerades, from Grandmother to Yams, this photographic alphabet captures the rhythms of day-to-day village life in Africa....
Writer, children's author and photographer
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Our mother was adamant The Bar Association of Nigeria would like our late father, Barrister E.N.W Onyefulu to appear at the high court for one last time.
Why? My siblings and I said in unison as if we’d been rehearsing the question.
She looked at us with a puzzled look on her face, ‘I think they want to say goodbye in style!’
Our father was a barrister and a member of the Bar Association of Nigeria, and when he was alive, appeared many times at the high court defending his clients.
However, the Bar Association’s request delayed his burial, and at times it was very frustrating and stressful for us, but our father belonged to others too. You see, in Igboland (eastern Nigeria) it is very important for mourners to re-enact some of the deceased’s journey on earth - it helps with the healing process.
On the morning of his funeral, an ambulance, (ambulances can be used as hearses in places where there are none), took our father to the high court. There, many lawyers and friends were already waiting.
Six barristers were selected as the pall bearers and they did their job very well.
Soon, I heard, ‘Court Stand!’ and everyone, including our mother, stood up as the judges entered.
Then, court began in earnest. No one cried or made a sound. It was like a real court!
The prosecutor laid out ‘the case’ – the death of our father, and within seconds our father’s ‘defence lawyer’ stood up to defend his record. He spoke eloquently about his ‘client’s’ many achievements; all the cases he won. Finally, it was the judges’ turn. One of them said, “Is there any more evidence the state would wish to put forward in this case?”
The prosecutor said no that he agreed with everything the defence had said, and the ‘case’ was dismissed. It was really amazing.
Then, all the judges, lawyers and legal secretaries marched past our father’s coffin.
Finally, we were able to take our father back to our village for more ceremonies,and burial.
The last High Court
by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Image: Father leaving