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Discover the world of Chinwe Russell and her work in the new e-book.

Kaaka and his wives

Kaaka and his wives

My grandfather had 3 wives and they got along very happily. In my culture, a man was allowed to marry as many wives as he wanted. What is interesting also is that a women could marry another woman on behalf of her husband. This happens in cases where the woman does not have a child, she can choose to bring in a  new wife who will have children with her husband on her behalf. But my grandmothers were co-wives in their own rights, with their own households within the same compound, overseen by my grandfather.


There were no arguments, none that I recall o. We all lived in harmony and could eat from where ever we wanted. . Such happy times.  


 The lockdown period proved to be a very reflective period in many ways. I travelled back to my home town Obowo where I was born, but the journey was only in my imagination. I revisited the jungles of my childhood, some of the people, the places and the stunning scenery that abound in our  landscape. My childhood was a very happy and secure one. We were free. We lived in the township, mind you,  but we travelled to the village on many weekends and during the school holidays.


As a result, we were versed in both township and village life. It was a great time. We went on perilous adventures to the streams deep in the valley to fetch drinking water, with our 10 litre buckets balanced precariously on our heads.


We went to the farms with our hoes and matchetes to plant corn, cassava, okro and yam. We gathered round the fire at night to listed to tales by moonlight while roasting yam, Bush Pear and maize on the bonfire, We played hide and seek in the dark and ran around barefeet. We danced naked in the rain storm, very grateful for the refreshing rain. I regret that our kids in their turn have missed out on such marvelous adventures. Happy times, very happy times. This painting is part of the collection I created, in recollection of that wonderful period of my childhood. 


Acrylic on paper. 




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