10th February 2024
Whenever there is a way to enjoy learning, we take it! We embrace it. And live it! It has been a busy four weeks and the English department has had an excellent share of contributing to the business. First, the year ten cohort has been exploring Chinua Achebe’s award-winning novel, Things Fall Apart. To clearly understand the traditional African customs and practices presented in the novel, the learners have had a chance to find out more about their own cultural practices, by making inquiries in their families. And what a phenomenal moment it has been, with some having discovered how rites of passage were traditionally done, how marriage ceremonies such as Sangeet and Haldhi ceremonies were conducted, and how people shared delicacies like irio, mursik among others. In effect, they were able to infer relationships between these practises to the traditional Nigerian Igbo society, which is the setting of Things Fall Apart. Throughout, they have employed varied strategies such as mind-mapping, use of sticky-notes among others to understand the main characters as well as the key events.
To cement the understanding of the cultural context, the Year 10 and 11 watched a play, an adaptation of the novel, Purple Hibiscus by Braeburn Arusha. Purple Hibiscus is the debut coming of age story by award winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche which tells the story of Kambili Achike and her family. It addresses the issues of identity, gender and violence in the postcolonial Nigeria. Kambili’s life changes when her brother Jaja finally defies their devout and abusive father Eugene. It should be noted that while Things Fall Apart is a precolonial novel, Purple Hibiscus is a post-colonial one. But they do share several similarities
Meanwhile at BTH, a team of five across KS3-KS5 have been practising poetry passionately in preparation for the interschools verse-speaking competition. And how great of them to showcase their artistic skills, love for poetry, communication skills and confidence. The secondary school contest had two categories: set poems and talent category. Creativity and understanding of current global issues was evident in the talent category. Similarly, mastery of set poems further showed their love and enjoyment. We congratulate them for demonstrating confidence and ownership as they recited different pieces.
As the mastery of various concepts and skills in the English language and English Literature continues, one important fact remains: language knits us together. And Literature is life. As you think of empathy, communication, law, care, business; then the aforementioned truth unfolds