The Teacher Boy

A Memoir of Life in Eastern Nigeria

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About the Book

In this book, Chief Sylvester Okereke uses the story of his life growing up in Eastern Nigeria to provide a first-hand account of several intriguing Igbo cultural practices such as the horse-acquisition chieftaincy title, the manhood rites, the women fattening/circumcision rites, marriage rites and more. Told in a very accessible style, the book covers his life at a time when the people of eastern Nigeria had no value for education and how his father, who had already had some experience in what was then known as the native court under British colonial masters, encouraged his son amidst unfriendly challenges to pursue education.
The book discusses the Anglo-Aro war of 1901/1902, the conquer of eastern Nigeria by British colonialists in the early 1900s, the concept of warrant/paramount chiefs introduced by Britain as an indirect rule measure in southern Nigeria, and how the British shaped the rural communities in eastern Nigeria during colonial times. The work also discusses the life of the author in detail, his travail in boarding homes in distant communities where he was sent to live for studies, the influence of cultural practices on his decision to go to school, and how he conquered these challenges. The book also covers his sojourn into politics as a young man of 21 and discusses the political structure at the time, county councils, native courts, district councils and more.

About the Author(s)

Sylvester Uzoigwe Okereke is a historian and retired teacher. He was among the first people to be educated in his community, Amaeze-Okpanku in present day Enugu State. In 1958, at age 21, he became the first elected Divisional Councilor of Okpanku II ward. After the Nigerian Civil War he returned to teaching and community leadership serving as palace secretary, three-time customary court judge, and chairman of the School Governing Board, among other positions. He lives in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Bibliographic Details

Sylvester Uzoigwe Okereke
Foreword by Chukwumerije Okereke
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 20 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9566-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5346-4
Imprint: McFarland