His odyssey begins with his boyhood in Onitsha, where he dreamed of owning a printing press, and he describes in fascinating detail his genealogy, his family background, and the traditions in which he was raised as an Ibo. He describes his early religious indoctrination in the Christian schools of Lagos and Calabar, where he first became aware of the anomalies of the colonial African societies in which an alien ruling elite imposed racial discrimination on Africans. During his secondary education, he was introduced to the writings of Marcus Garvey, the sermons of Dr. Kweygir Aggrey, and a biography of President Garfield. The messages of these men-Garvey's call for the liberation of Africa from the colonial governments, Dr. Aggrey's hope for a social rebirth and a new spiritual outlook among and toward Africans, and President Garfield's frontier spirit and willpower in the face of poverty-inspired Zik to pursue his university education in the United States in the hope that it would prepare him for leadership of the Nigerian independence movement.
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