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  • Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi

A Retraction - Notes on Blackness a Nigerian perspective.


Summer 2016. Lagos. Post work drinks at Scarlett Lodge, a hotel in Victoria Island.

I wrote “Notes on Blackness - A Nigerian Perspective” when I was 23. When I finished it, I was proud. Not because it was good - but because I believed it was accurate. Every word, every phrase, every sentence, conveyed a truth I believed. I thought I had said exactly what I meant to say. I thought that I had communicated - articulated the memories of an event, as succinctly as I could at the time. It isn’t very easy to do this, to say what you really mean, but I did, and I was proud of myself for doing so. I was smug.


One of the worst things about being a writer, a blogger, a creative, a journalist, working in the public domain, is that success isn’t what you make of it, but what the world makes of it. Some times, what you think is good work, is in fact shitty work.

Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that the following sentences could be read and interpreted in a way that I did not intend them to be.


“I went to a thirty thousand pound a year school. While it is true that I got a scholarship, I didn’t get the scholarship because I needed it.”


I am sorry about this. Some people, have interpreted this to mean that it was a full scholarship, and that, my father, who has shouldered my every burden, met my every need, fulfilled even the most exuberant of wants, had no hand in my very expensive education. How anyone could think this, I do not know. But this doesn’t matter. I am sorry that anything I wrote, could have been interpreted this way, causing harm that I did not intend to cause. I wish to correct any misconstrued thought that has risen as a result of my poorly formed sentences.


To get accepted into the £30,000 a year school, Cheltenham College, I had to take an exam. I thought that I had done well enough to get in, but I was in no way prepared for what happened. It turned out that I’d done so well that the school deemed it fit to award me a partial scholarship, or exhibition, or endowment or bursary. Instead of paying full fees, my parents, my father specifically would only have to pay 85% of the fees.


As a result of the confusion my poor diction caused, I will correct the sentence, so that it is beyond reproach. It will now read as follows:


“I went to a thirty thousand pound a year school. While it is true that my parents, my father specifically, only had to pay 85% of that amount because my performance in the entrance exam was awarded with a 15% discount, I didn’t get the endowment because I needed it. My family has been blessed with enough good fortune and privilege that cost has never been an issue.”


I hope this clears the air. Please direct future concerns to my email address - talktoafam@theroam.me. I will do all I can to be above reproach.


Happy Days,

Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi.

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