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Friday, August 31, 2012

Celebration of Igbo culture in US

Culture, perhaps its maintenance, has been on the mind of many Nigerians in the Diaspora as they constantly think of what will become of their children when they exit this earth. Majority of the Igbo people in the North America make extra effort to instill Igbo culture in their children.
Nonetheless, no matter how hard they try, the effort seems to be a losing proposition because of the multicultural dynamism inherent in the environment these children are growing up. However, with such an adversity, there is equally a greater amount of effort to promote and maintain Igbo culture in the United States by various Igbo communities and individuals. These communities and some individuals are driven in part by the notion that without culture a group loses its identity.
They dread the reality of their children losing Igbo identity. Thus, there has been a concerted effort to immerse these children in Igbo culture. Additionally, it is concluded that teaching our children our culture is a means of strengthening the ties between Igbo people with their children in the Diaspora and those in Nigeria. Examining the following aspects of Igbo culture: Arts, Celebration, Clothing, Communication, Food, Government, Language, Religion, and Social Role; Igbo language is one aspect that is fast decaying both here and in Nigeria. Igbo children in Lagos and other non-Igbo cities do have no knowledge of or modicum of Igbo language.
Lack of knowledge of Igbo language among our children is much more obvious here in the United States. This is particularly so because Igbo is not a dominant culture and these children are growing up in a multicultural environment. Consequently, more emphasis has been placed on celebration, clothing and food than other aspects of Igbo culture. In the United States, particularly in the Dallas Metropolitan area, Igbo communities have been working diligently to promote and maintain Igbo culture every chance they get.

Common among various aspects of Igbo culture these communities promote are the traditional breaking of kolanut, which oftentimes causes problems when the libation goes wrong, celebration, clothing, ethnic food, and cultural dances. Unfortunately, little focus has been on the teaching and learning of Igbo language corporately. Nevertheless, Nnanta Chidi Uwadineke, Onye ihe oma gbasara Ndi Igbo na Asusu Anyi na-anu oku n'obi, Founder and Executive Director, Otu Iwelite Asusu na Omenala Igbo n'obodo Amirika, has used his skills and his Igbo Radio Program in Little Rock, Arkansas to promote various aspects of Igbo culture in Arkansas and the United States. Similarly, Igbo Community Association of Nigeria (ICAN) in Dallas has for several years operated Igbo Language Program, where Igbo language and other aspects of Igbo culture are taught every summer.
The program provides immense opportunity for Igbo children in Dallas to learn the language. There are other organizations and individuals who provide similar services in various cities. They provide Igbo language learning for children of Nigerian-Americans. Another aspect of Igbo culture that is beginning to rear its head here is Igba Nkwu. Meanwhile, Igba Ngwu, a traditional Igbo wedding, seems to be prevalent across the United States as our children are increasingly reaching the marriage age.
Our community is beginning to experience an increasing number of Igba Nkwu celebrations in various states. In any case, no Igbo community has done more in promoting and maintaining Igbo culture than Mbaise people in the Dallas area. Mbaise community in the Dallas metropolitan area under the auspices of Mbaise Community Association thrilled the Nigerian community with its 23rd annual Iri-ji Mbaise Festival on the 18th of August, 2012.
Based on empirical evidence, the Iri-Ji Mbaise in Dallas began in 1989 as a tradition, and a cultural event aimed at educating young children, as well as maintaining the culture reminiscent of the New Yam Festival in Igbo land. Since the first Iri-ji Mbaise, the Mbaise Community Association has kept the tradition to mirror what is obtainable in Ala Mbaise. In Mbaise, Iri-ji is celebrated on the 15th of August, a long tradition that is currently observed throughout the area.
As result, the Mbaise Community Association holds its Iri-ji festival on the third Saturday in August to allow the tradition celebrated in Ala Mbaise on every 15th of August to take place first before celebrating it outside Mbaise. Most importantly, Bright Anosike (Chief Oke), Elder Theo Okoro, and Mr. Ngozi Echebelem who form the inner citadel inside the Mbaise community in Dallas vowed to maintain the tradition here in the United States. The fete, which attracted many people from all walks of life, witnessed the traditional breaking of kolanut, women dance, and the rendition of 'Abigbo Mbaise' to the delight of blissful guests.

The attendees splurge on a well-prepared yam pepper soup with roasted hen and Moet to go with it-thanks to the immediate past president of Mbaise Community Association, Mr. Matthew Anoka who gleefully entertained the guests. Also, the Chairman of Iri-ji Committee Mr. Ngozi Echebelem and the President of Mbaise community Association Mr. Festus Okeke ensured that every guest was attended to. This year's event, which witnessed one of the largest yam barns, reached its climax when the chairman of the event, Mr. Emeka Akpunku, redeemed a tuba of yam with the sum of $2,000.
In the same token, Mr. Kinglsley Ndukwu collected his tuba of yam with a donation of $1,000. Other guests who collected their yams with various amounts of money were Chief Geoffrey Nzeadibe, the National Chairman of PNF-USA, Felix Okereke, the National Secretary of PNF-USA, Chief Jerry Ike, and Damian Ogoke. The Peoples Club and Heritage Club were also represented at the event the ended in the wee hours of the next day. Speaking about clubs, the Lords Club International, Inc. conducted its third induction of new members into the club in Houston, Texas not too long ago. Based on my interaction with the Club's Chairman, Nze Chukwuka Dibia Orakpo, who with overflowing excitement, expressed that the event was a huge success.

The Club advocates for family unity and engages in humanitarian activities. "Since its existence, it has embarked on worthy projects in our community like donating funds to assist families affected by Hurricane Katrina and has become a household name. One of noble project priorities we have is the Construction of the Lord's Club Plaza, multipurpose facilities that will serve both the club and its communities both here in Houston, Texas and Nigeria." It is said that the Club has goals and agenda beyond its founding members.
"The great migration of our members from Nigeria to the US several years ago created a new colony of Lords Club Members in Houston, Texas that has now matured and began to transition to a second generation immigrant community." "In most cases, the children of the immigrants do not share the same allegiance with our fatherland as their parents. There is a dangerous disconnect, and something needs to be done to rectify the situation before it becomes permanent. In other words, we need the youths to establish the continuity with ideology about our homeland and culture for the Lords Club to flourish beyond its founders.
To maintain our cultural identity and galvanize our youths for better involvement will be some of the focus areas of our association," Orakpo expressed. Expressing his gratitude for the induction, Dr. Amos Ozumba, an inductee and a father of two medical doctors, one engineer and one financial analyst said, "I'm a person that examines things thoroughly before I partake in them. I watched for years to know the kind of people in the Club and I felt that I can relate to them before joining. I like the mission and goals the Club has.
The Club has viable projects." According to Dr. Gerald Emesih, Public Relations Officer of the Lords Club, membership to the Club is open to all Nigerians residing in Houston, Texas. Dr. Emesih said, "Membership is open to Nigerians in Houston of good repute." "The stability, peace and unity we have enjoyed in the Lords Club over all these years didn't come by accident.
A lot can be credited to the character, maturity, temperament and commitment of the entire membership," Dr. Emesih added. Some of the distinguished guests that graced the occasion were, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, President of South-East South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSP), Dr. Alphonsus Okpara, Dr. Felix Obiefule, Dr. Felix Obiefule, Dr. Timothy Opara, Pastor Livinus Maduka, Sir Chris Onyeador, President of Coal City Club, and Prof. Godson Osuji.

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I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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