When we approach nyadhi philosophically, we find that it relates more to self-love and self-virtue. It is akin to what Aristotle called Philautia (in Nicomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics) – “to love yourself” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage”. Philautia, understood as self-love, can be positive or negative/ healthy or unhealthy.
African people should, always, and as a principle, push back against all forms of cultural erasure by imperialist forces, and invest in strengthening institutions charged with the responsibility of preserving cultural heritage, not only for today, but also for future generations.
For bronze caster, Alex Agbonmwenre, the return of the Benin Bronzes is about far more than the return of looted artefacts. It is also a reminder that the craft, which found a patron in Benin 800 years ago, has continued through an unbroken lineage of master craftsmen, ever since. And those master craftsmen can be found today, in Igun Street, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
West Africa’s manuscript culture evolved, for the most part, outside any state system. In the absence of a central authority, juridical matters were dispensed by local legal scholars who could cite precedent, case law, to resolve thorny problems.