port of harlem magazine
champion services travel - group travel
Welcome to Nigeria - Part II of II
March 12 – March 25, 2020

nigerian skyscraper

In November 2020, Port Of Harlem will celebrate 25 years of publication. As we count down to our birthday, we will republish some of our most popular articles from our print issues. Thanks for subscribing and inviting others to join you in supporting our inclusive, diverse, pan-African publication - - now completely online. We originally published this article in the Nov 2004 - Jan 2005 print issue.
Some time had passed between the time I first heard about DNA fingerprinting for tracing ancestral roots and when I completed a story on the issue for my employer, WJLA-TV (ABC) in Washington, D.C. In that report, Howard University’s human genome lab traced my male ancestry back to the Yoruba section of Nigeria. This is the second of two parts that recount my recent trip to the land of my ancestors. WJLA also aired a report on this trip.
Later, we visited the home of Timothy and Doris Adewumi. They are born-again Christians. Timothy is a businessperson and says he spends 70 percent of his income on school fees. But, he says among Yorubas like himself, education is a valued treasure.

I was surprised that Timothy, a Christian, has multiple wives. “That is our tradition,” was his response to my revelation. “Are you friends with the other wife?” I asked Doris. “No,” she responded, adding that her husband should treat his families equally.

When asked what type of relationship she wants with her husband, their daughter said she would definitely be submissive. However, she added, “He will be the head. I will be the neck, not the tail.”

Like many Nigerians, the Adewumis do not have a computer in their home. Therefore, cyber cafes are a necessity in Nigeria. We walked into the cafe owned by Idowu Salami and his wife. There were 50 computer bays, each full. The adjacent room was full of people, waiting their turn.

During our interview, as often happens in Nigeria, the power went out. For several seconds, the light level dropped, the computer screens went black, and then everything came back on again. “What happens when you have a blackout?” I asked Salami. He said he has a generator that kicks in after 20 seconds.

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