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Adeola underscores importance of family documentation in new book

Adeola underscores importance of family documentation in new book

Driven by the need to preserve age long family history, Bayo Adeola, underscores the importance of documentation in his new book ‘The Life and Times of Imran,’ a family memoir about Murana ‘Imran’ Adeola.

‘The Life and Times of Imran’ a 2022 publication by Quramo Publishing Ltd, Lagos, talks about the richness of the Nigerian culture as mirrored by the interwoven and tripod history of the Egbas in Abeokuta, Ibadan and Lagos.

“I want to tell them their family story. But we then found that it will tell them much more than their families. We could tell them the history of their people and we could also tell them the history of the nation,” Adeola said.

Beginning with what almost feels like a fictional dialogue between a son and his grandmother, ‘The Life and Times of Imran’ soon takes a diversion to a family narrative. The dramatic opening of a son threatening to leave home on account of an impending imposition of two wives on his young shoulder when he could barely take care of himself with his meagre earning is aptly entertaining.

The author in chapter 1, ‘Imran’s Ancestry’, offers a summary of the Adeola family, paying close attention to Imran’s birth and family. He traces the paternal and maternal lineage of Imran’s parents and tries to establish the town or village the Adeola family must have emigrated from to finally arrive at Abeokuta. However, in order to fully trace this lineage, the author reverts to Yoruba history.

Chapter 2, ‘The Yoruba’, traces the history and origin of the Yoruba people and examines the different historical accounts on the subject. The author, Adeola goes as far back as the earliest archaeological findings of 3,000 and 10,000 years to establish his account of Yoruba history.

Read also: Pakistan: Imran Khan tackles sugar barons in push to hold on to power

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He further traces the Yoruba history to the settlements at Ile-Ife as early as 4th century BC, finally berthing his account in the popularly acknowledged Yoruba history of the 18th century. The chapter reveals the expanse and reach of the old-Oyo empire.

According to him, the book captures the history of the people by portraying their culture through a descriptive narration about their marriages, naming ceremonies, and all the things that have changed over the years.

Beyond documenting the family history for posterity, Adeola, in telling the story of Imran, who happens to be his father, also mirrored the clash of culture. First, between Western and African culture, and then between Imran and his generation.

“The second thing is that in Nigeria, we don’t even know our history. So we are really struggling not to talk about overclocking, we haven’t even explored it at all. I think we need to teach people. That is if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you’re not likely to know what direction you should be facing,” Adeola said in reference to the documentation of family history, especially among Africans, Nigerians in particular.

In linking ‘The Life and Times of Imran’ to current challenges, Adeola said people needed to understand their history in making informed decisions about their future. Hence, he did not attempt to solve contemporary problems; rather he told the story of how Imran responded to issues relating to socio-cultural challenges. “To understand current problems, you need to know what happened,” he said.

Speaking about the generation shift as portrayed in the book, Adeola said it was not unusual for parents to choose wives for their son; something that would be unusual in today’s world. According to him, the best any parent could do now is to suggest a spouse for their children, while the choice of getting married would be taken by the man or woman. “But my own position is that one system is not better than the other,” he said.