Touché

After prayers the Secretary of the [Umuofia] Union read the Welcoming Address. He rose, cleared his throat, and began to intone from an enormous sheet of paper.

“Welcome Address presented to Michael Obi Okonkwo, B.A. (Hons), London, by the officers and members of the Umuofia Progressive Union on the occasion of his return from the United Kingdom in quest of the Golden Fleece.

“Sir, we the officers and members of the above-named union present with humility and gratitude this token of our appreciation of your unprecedented academic brilliance. . . .”

…………………………………….

“The importance of having one of our sons in the vanguard of this match of progress is nothing short of axiomatic. Our people have a saying ‘Our is ours, but mine is mine.’

Every town and village struggles at this momentous epoch in our political evolution to posses that of which it can say: ‘This is mine.’ We are happy that today we have such an invaluable possession in the person of our illustrious son and guest of honor.”

……………………………………..

Needless to say, this address was repeatedly interrupted by cheers and the clapping of hands. What a sharp young man their secretary was, all said. He deserved to go to England himself. He wrote the kind of English they admired if not understood: the kind that filled the mouth, like the proverbial dry meat. (Chinua Achebe, No Longer At Ease, 36-7)