Power and Authority :: The King of the Blinds
November 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
testo italiano in coda
In Nigeria, people with disability or physical impairment are not addressed in the politically correct manner we are used to in the West; a cripple is not “differently abled” but a cripple, a blind is a blind and that’s it. Everything is accepted and starkly exposed. Wounds and impairments are visible to all, often exhibited to pity or scare, and sometimes in order to get some small change from passers-by.
Forty-five years ago, the Emir of Ilorin gave the blind folks of his city their own neighborhood, called Koro Afoju, which means “the refuge of the blind”. The Makafi Serkin, or the King of the Blinds, is traditionally elected by his blind people and he represents the Emir of Ilorin and is mandated by the Emir to settle social matters among his blind constituency. Typically these social disputes do not reach the severity of criminal actions, and additionally the King of the Blind helps to raise money for relief to tribe members in cases of bereavement, illness, travel.