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    The Joys Of Motherhood: Annotated Bibliography

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    Babatunde, Mark. “7 Most Fascinating Traditional African Baby Naming Ceremonies.” Face2Face Africa, 16 Oct. 2016,

    This article discusses the naming ceremony of new babies in Africa. The naming ceremony of a baby is one of the most important ceremonies held in African culture. In traditional African society, the naming ceremony announces the birth of a newborn, introduces the child to his or her family and community, and it confers on the child a name. The article breaks down how each section of Africa conducts their naming ceremonies for the up and coming babies. Although it is African culture for all families to have a naming ceremony for their children, each region of Africa does it differently. Each section has its own unique rituals, but the overall ceremony is a big part of African culture.

    “The name given to a baby can have an enduring influence on their personality and upbringing” (page 1).

    “The ceremony ensures that the baby grows up to be a strong, healthy adult able to hold their own in society” (page 3).

    “In the traditional society of Nigeria, a name is chosen for a child only after traditional healers reveal which of the newborns dead relatives or ancestors have reincarnated through the child. The elders pray for long life and good health for the new baby, in addition to blessing the parents” ( Page 7).

    I will use this article to compare the naming ceremony from The Joys of Motherhood with the naming ceremonies actually held today in various parts of Africa. This article supports the idea that the names of African children have valuable meaning and play a role in African culture.

    Idang, and Gabriel E. Idang. “African Culture and Values.” Journal for the Study of Religion, Journal for the Study of Religion, 2015,

    The main object of this article is to examine African culture and cultural values. This article defines what culture truly means and breaks the values into categories. These values are: social, religious, moral, political, and economic values. The article further explains the place of value in African culture.

    “The value of a thing, be it an object or a belief, is normally defined as its worth. Just as an object is seen to be of a high value that is treasured, our beliefs about what is right or wrong that are worth being held are equally treasured” (section 4).

    “Life seems to force people to make choices, or to rate things as better or worse as well as formulate some scale or standard of values. Depending on the way we perceive things we can praise and blame, declare actions right or wrong or even declare the scene or objects before us as either beautiful or ugly” (section 4).

    “Based on cultural considerations, some forms of behaviour, actions and conduct are approved while others are widely disapproved of. To show the extent of disapproval that followed the violation of values that should otherwise be held sacred, the penalty was sometimes very shameful, sometimes extreme” (section 3).

    I chose this article because it provides a greater understanding of the different types of values and what roles they play in actual African culture versus African culture displayed in a novel. I will use this source to provide further information on the true meaning of culture and how values are an important part of African culture.

    Nyanseor, Siahyonkron. “The Perspective .” Liberia: Rethinking the Healthcare Delivery System,

    This particular source discusses polygyny and informs readers that Polygyny was the acceptable form of marriage in Africa prior to the arrival of the colonizers and Christianity. The article states that proponents of the Social School explained that when polygyny was established as the legal form of marriage, the ratio of women to men in Africa was about 10 to 1. This source explained how the Americo-Liberians who condemned the practice of polygyny found themselves practicing a brand of polygyny called Chrismonopoly. Chrismon is an arrangement in which a male settler is married to his monogamous or “Christian” wife, and at the same time is engaged in a polygamous relationship with native African Liberian women. The article informed readers of the origin of the relationship between African-Liberian women and the Americo-Liberian men. This article also provides information on how the mothers and children of the monogamous were viewed. The mothers of these children in most cases were referred to as their country women whereas the children of the monogamous marriage were viewed as legitimate or inside children.

    “Polygamy is the practice of having more than one wife or husband at one time. Whereas polygyny is the practice of one man having more than one wife at one time. Polygyny is the form of marriage practiced in Africa not polygamy” (paragraph 2).

    “The major concept of both the Social and the Economic Schools was centered around the male marrying more than one wife depending on the amount of dowry (bridal price) he or his family could afford” (page 2).

    “In the traditional African society where this arrangement was prevalent, a man who had four wives, was obligated to provide farm for each of his wives” (paragraph 11)

    I chose this particular source because it provided information on rather African men having more than one wife is considered culture or is it a choice of African man. I will use this article to help me compare and justify why African men in The Joys of Motherhood had multiples wives in which they impregnated all of them.

    Sembuya,, Rita. “Mother or Nothing: the Agony of Infertility.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 4 Mar. 2011,

    This article includes the stories of many African women and how they and other women around them, who were unable to conceive, were viewed by those around them. This article confirms that being able to bear children is important in African culture, and how African families value women who can conceive children. This article discusses the possible causes of the fertility problems of African women. Readers of this article are informed that in African culture, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Not only does the African community criticize these women, but these infertile women believe that without children, their lives are without hope.

    “Many infertile women in developing countries consider that, without children, their lives are without hope. Weiyuan Cui reports on the burden many of these women carry and the lack of affordable care” (paragraph 1).

    “In many cultures, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma and ostracism” (paragraph 7).

    “So often, people do not regard you as a human. There is no respect” (paragraph 7).

    I chose this article because it provides information on how women who cannot conceive are viewed, which gives me an understanding of why Nnu Ego in the novel I chose tried to commit suicide when she realized she couldn’t conceive. I will use this source to compare the value of children and mothers in The Joys of Motherhood to the value of children and mothers in African culture today.

    Udobang, Wana. “’We Are Brought up to Think Suffering This Violence Is OK’: Domestic Abuse in Nigeria | Wana Udobang.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 5 Jan. 2018,

    This Article discusses how in Africa women play a huge role and have authority just as a man would meaning women are not slaves to men. Although this is true African husbands are sometimes very abusive and controlling with the power they do have. Often the husbands physically abuse their wives, but because marriage is valued so much in African culture couples are not supposed to get a divorce. This article provided statistics on how many Nigerian women are abused by their husbands. This source states that “And in many cases, there is no support from the family for a woman who is considering leaving her husband.” With this being the case women will stay in relationships that are toxic and that they are no longer happy in. I chose this article because it helped me get a better understanding of why in the novel The Joys of Motherhood, the men seemed to be in control. In the novel when Ego was watching her second husband eat, he told her told her “A wife isn’t allowed to do that.” When Nnu Ego’s husband says this, she tells him that “the rules that govern wives in Ibuza don’t govern wives in Lagos.”

    “The data – patchy though it is – suggests that domestic violence is a serious problem, with one national demographic and health survey finding that close to a third of all of Nigerian women have experienced physical violence, which encompasses battery, marital rape and murder, at the hands of their intimate partners” (page 1).

    “Most of the women who come to the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) only want the violence to stop, and will not consider leaving their husband” (page 2).

    With this article, I plan to justify why Nnu Ego and her husband respond the way they did to each other. I will also compare the way the husbands in the novel treated their wives to the way the husband of Nigeria today treat their wives.

    Waweru, Nduta. “How Different African Cultures Prepare Women for Marriage – Page 5 of 5.” Face2Face Africa, 9 Apr. 2018,

    This article is about how different African cultures prepare women for marriage. The article informs the reader that In most African cultures, women are required to get married and marriage is valued in their overall culture. It is stated in this article that “marriage was emphasized on to the extent that deliberate preparations are made in advance, even as early as a girl is born.” While reading this article I was informed that although women of African culture are prepared for marriage, the preparation varies depending on the part of Africa the woman lives in.

    “In most African cultures, women are required to get married when they come of age” (page 1).

    “Marriage was really emphasized on to the extent that deliberate preparations are made in advance, even as early as a girl is born” (page 1).

    I chose this source because it provided me with reasoning as to why in the novel The Joys of Motherhood, Ego’s father chooses her husband for her. Ego’s father didn’t want Ego to get married but is convinced to let her, unlike what this article informs us of (women are required to get married). I plan to use this article to compare how the fathers in The joys of Motherhood felt about their daughters getting married compared to how fathers in today’s African culture view their daughters getting married.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    The Joys Of Motherhood: Annotated Bibliography. (2022, Apr 17). Retrieved from

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