Akweke Abyssinia Nwafor Orizu, of Manhattan, is a tall, black, sober young man of 24 who calls himself “Prince Orizu.” He uses the title only to impress whites with the fact that Africa has traditional governments of its own. His hearers are usually sufficiently impressed to ask what he is prince of. His answer: Nnewi.
Nnewi is a progressive monarchy in the British Protectorate of Nigeria. A. A. Nwafor Orizu was offered its throne in 1938, on the death of his father, Ezeng-bonyamba I. Last week in his Manhattan office he explained why he hardly warmed the throne before turning it over to his brother. His ambition: to educate in turn: 1) Orizu, 2) Nnewi, 3) Nigeria, 4) Africa.
Says deep-voiced Prince Orizu: “The type of education that is safe for our peace is the education that has no bitterness.” His recently published Without Bitterness (Creative Age, $3) throws some bitter sidelights on the intellectual darkness of his native continent. The illiterate Nigerian man-in-the-jungle outnumbers his educated brother by more than ten to one. Orizu believes that only universal free education can help to stem the growing spirit of revenge in his long-exploited continent (“Can it be that my Africa is without brothers?”).
Pragmatism and Polygamy. Though Europe’s universities outrank the U.S.’s in Nigerian esteem, Orizu heard American universities praised by a fellow countryman, came to the U.S. in 1939, at Ohio State took his degree in government with honors, proceeded to an M.A. at Columbia. Through his American Council on African Education he has thus far secured 150 U.S. college scholarships for his countrymen. In a few months he expects to go home (where he may or may not resume the throne) and begin working at first hand to improve Nigeria’s 36,626 schools, 380,305 pupils. Nnewi and three other Nigerian states, he reports, have already contributed more than $120,000 for new colleges.
A strong believer in cultural reciprocity, the Prince wants Nigeria’s 23 accredited colleges to offer research-scholarships to U.S. students. Besides such hard-to-find courses as Arabic language and Nigerian history, they would provide Western visitors with insights into Nigeria’s “stable family system and immaterial culture.”
Prince Orizu is so literate that he has no time for the movies or dancing, once missed an appointment because he read himself to the end of the line in a Manhattan bus. His idol is Patrick Henry, one of his favorite words is American philosophy’s “pragmatism,” and he does not like to be called “chief.” Pragmatically, Orizu has not yet decided whether polygamy, which was good enough for his father (at least 170 times a groom), is good enough for him.
|Here 4th from the right visiting the White House with K.O Mbadiwe and “Boycott king” Mbonu Ojike|