Mosque built in Porto Novo by Yoruba returnees from slavery in Brazil

 

In Benin Republic, Yoruba language, lore take centre stage

W on le gba poun mejo” (they may charge eight pounds), Rosette had guided me on the amount I was likely to be charged after I had sought to know the cost of the journey back to my hotel. My mind ran riot. It was my first day in Porto Novo, the capital of the Republic of Benin. ‘Poun mejo? (Eight pounds?). One thousand six hundred CFA Francs? How am I going to survive for about one week if I should start paying such an exorbitant fare for an okada ride that was not likely to take up to 10 minutes? Would I also be able to feed very well? Questions and a lot more on my mind.

I had taken the Beninese 200 Francs to be two pounds (poun), so I had calculated eight pieces to amount to 1600 CFA Francs. But Rosette picked out two pieces of 100 Francs from the many metal coins I was holding in my right hand to indicate their ‘poun mejo’. By implication, 25 Francs, to the Yoruba people of Benin Republic, is one pound (poun kan). This contradicts my orientation as a Yoruba man from Nigeria.>>>> read about how the Yoruba boy prince was sold into slavery

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