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IN DEFENCE OF KAIKAI (LOCAL GIN) by Chiemeka Ozumba

 

THERE IS NOTHING ILLICIT ABOUT KAIKAI. GET OFF YOUR COLONIAL AND TEMPERANCE INDUCED IGNORANCE ABOUT THIS GREAT ANCESTRAL SPIRIT OF THE AFRICAN RAIN FOREST OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA!

But the humour apart and all the claim of god’s gift to one side: It is instructive to understand the historic and colonialist dimension of the bad reputation foisted on kaikai. Just like colonial legislation targeted palm wine tapping to check its impact on palm produce exportation and exploitation to the benefit of Britain. Similarly, kaikai was made illicit by a concoction of British colonial mercantile buccaneering as well as certain Caucasian puritanism infused temperance assumptions that saw the so-called African native as a sub-human baby that needs to be cared for so.

If whiskey, vodka, bourbon, tequila, rum etc (alcoholic drinks that are traditional to specific cultures of the world) are produced and bottled and appreciated by drinkers and connoisseurs around the world, why should we continue to look down on our own homegrown, traditional drink? Is it not a very colonialist mentality that we indulge in self-glorification-status-symbolising of drinking single malt whiskey, VSOP, Brown Label and Purple Label while viewing drinking and drinkers of kaikai with negativity.

Just in case you didn’t know, exactly the same way kaikai/ogogoro intoxicates, similarly so all those your expensive and foreign spirits you think elevates your status. Just the same way you can appreciate fine whiskey, brandy or gin and differentiate it from a poorly distilled one; so also we can appreciate beautifully distilled kaikai/ogogoro and we know too, to avoid the fake distillers who do not have the true inspiration of the ancient art of the master distillers of this great and natural and organic and ancestral spirit of our hallowed rain forests.

The foreign spirits that have been elevated by the sprinkles and spangles of branding and subliminal mind editing do not hold a monopoly of evolutionary improvement. Our kaikai in all its genealogical pristine progression is profoundly eugenic in its die-hard survival and continual thriving in the face of historic and continuing: give a spirit a bad name to extinguish it. Our kaikai can never die. It survived colonialism and it will survive this haughty disdain of this generational ignorance.

Those who know and chose to know more, know. But for the ‘religionised’ and ‘oyibonised’ pretenders of a non-existent posh mongrel illumination…The continuation of casting aspersion on kaikai as illicit and dangerous is a colonialist induced inferiority complex that you need to unshackle yourself from. Sharp sharp.

In the meantime, to hell with schnapps (it is not the true spirit of the Elders of the Rain Forest), let the libation we pour to our ancestors remain the unending mythical seven rivers of unending spirit that continually flows down to us from the illustrious heights of the palm and raffia trees…of our deep rain forests.

Chiemeka Ozumba

#kaikai #ogogoro #akpuruachia #sapelewater #AncestralSpiritsFlowEndlessly

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