Yoruba Hometowns: Community, Identity, and Development in Nigeria

By Lillian Trager | Go to book overview

5
“We Love Ourselves Abroad”:
Hometown Organizations
and Their Members

The May 1992 meeting of the Ilesa Social Elite took place at the Lagos residence of one of its members, Ayo Oni, an accountant. The members gathered at about 4:30 in the afternoon; as they arrived, they began to take seats in the rows of metal chairs that had been set up in an outdoor area that was covered by a canopy. Beer and soft drinks were served, and the men, all in their fifties and sixties, greeted one another warmly and chatted among themselves. By the time the meeting began, around 5 P. M., about twenty members had arrived; more came later, with about thirty attending in all. During the business meeting, the officers—president, past president, general secretary, and publicity secretary—sat at a table facing the chairs. The meeting, which was conducted in English, began with a reading of the minutes of the last meeting. Then the men discussed their current project, the building of a maternity ward for the Wesley Guild Hospital in Ilesa, and the importance of making their contributions. They then considered a set of recommendations about the group's clubhouse in Ilesa. After lengthy discussion of these issues, the president made some announcements, then adjourned the meeting at 7:30 P. M.

As soon as the meeting ended, food and drinks were served; a few people moved into the house to eat, but most stayed outside while they ate pounded yam and visited with one another. After everyone ate, the president called all inside the house to thank the host and his wife. The president made a brief speech thanking Mrs. Oni, then told her husband to sit next to her while the members all sang “For he's a jolly good fellow. ” Most members departed soon afterward.

On the evening of April 5, 1997, following the coronation of the new oba of Iloko, the Iloko Women's Forum met in the entrance court-

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Yoruba Hometowns: Community, Identity, and Development in Nigeria
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • 2 - Community-Day Celebrations: a New Tradition at Home 15
  • Notes *
  • 3 - Knowing Your Place: the Hometown and Identity 37
  • Notes *
  • 4 - We Are Just Sojourners Here: Ijesa Migration 59
  • Notes *
  • 5 - We Love Ourselves Abroad: Hometown Organizations and Their Members 89
  • Notes *
  • 6 - Ceremonies and Celebrations: the Symbolism of Hometown Links 119
  • Notes *
  • 7 - Local Development and the Economic Crisis 145
  • Notes *
  • 8 - Self-Help and the Practice of Local Development in Ijesaland 165
  • Notes *
  • 9 - The Elusive Goal of Unity: Politics, Conflict, and Morality 205
  • Notes *
  • 10 - Conclusion: Communities and Development 235
  • Notes *
  • References 279
  • Index 291
  • About the Book 299
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