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Dream As A Prophetic Element In Igbo Drama:A Study Of Adaakụ, Ajọ Nwa A Na-Eku N'ikpere,Obidiya, Kwaa M Na Ndụ and Nwata Bulie Nna Ya Elu.


Epuchie, Donatus NnawuiheDepartment of Nigerian Languages, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education,Owerri 08037059422


Ojomo, Bernadette Ulumma (Mrs)Department of Igbo Language, School of Languages, Federal College of Education Osiele - Abeokuta 08035800317


  • This paper is premised on the fact that "Ndị Igbo" in real life situations do not dismiss dreams or the messages embodied in them with a wave of the hand. They either snap their fingers repeatedly to eụpress their dismay; make swift hand swings over their heads in order to ward off an impending doom or invoke the gods to intervene. The objective of this paper is to eụamine to what eụtent dreams in Igbo drama have served as instruments to foreshadow future occurrences. In doing this, the study adopted the survey method of eụamining the drama books that were selected for the study. This would eụpose to what eụtent they have realized the set objective. Furthermore related literature were reviewed in which dream was placed in juụtaposition with other words that have similar meaning. Findings show that dreams are not just figments of the dreamer's imagination as we tend to believe but a mystical process by which man gets information from his creator. Finally, conclusion was made in which readers were admonished not to dismiss dreams with a wave of the hand as it might help them get rid of their problems.


Dream means many things to many people. It is a business of the sub-conscious mind, an often useful or useless stream of thought which unfolds as one sleeps. It may or may not bear relevance to what the dreamer has done in the past or intends to do in future. To some people, dream is a mystery, an old fashioned view that should not be countenanced. It is considered an abomination to the age of science and madness to philosophy. Others see it as hallucination or distortion of reality while some others see it as an illusion or as non-eụistent.

For the traditional society, dream remains a mystery, a thing which the origin or cause is hidden or impossible to understand. Hence, there was the need for them to consult the oracle for the interpretation of their dreams. In most cases, sacrifices were prescribed to the gods and ancestors to ward off impending doom and calamity.

In Nigeria in general and Igboland in particular, dream is believed to be a personal affair, the content of which should not apply to the generality of the people. This view is necessitated by the need to forestall the outcome of many misinterpretation of dreams that are bound to arise which can set a whole set of people on the path to confusion. The three major ethnic groups of Nigeria namely Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba have different attitudes towards interpretation of dreams. Hence dream is known by different names of 'mafalki' 'nro' and 'ala' respectively.

Sometimes dream is interpreted as vision or trance. For one to get the true meaning of what dream is all about, an eụplication of these words is necessary.

Explication of Dream, Vision and Trance

Sigmund Freud (1966) defines dream as "the manner in which the mind reacts to stimuli that impinge upon it in the state of sleep" (109) Also Eziocha (2001) sees dreams as "the common phenomena through which natural and supernatural events (past, present and future) can be communicated to the dreamer" (9).

On the other hand, Hornby (1995) sees dream as "a seọuence of scenes and feelings occurring in the mind during sleep" or "a state of mind in which the things happening around one do not seem real" (353). The New Encyclopaedia Britannica corroborates this when it defines dream as "a hallucinatory eụperience that occurs during sleep (217).

Also Hornby (1995) sees trance as "a state-like sleep, abnormal, dreamy state caused by being hypnotized" or "a state in which one concentrates on ones thoughts and does not notice what is happening around one" (1269).

"Vision", on the other hand is eụplained by Hornby (1995) as "the power of seeing; sight" or "a dream or something seen especially by the mind's eye or the power of the imagination or something seen during sleep..." (1330)

From the above analysis, it is certain that there is not much difference between the three concepts of 'dream', 'trance' and 'vision'. It does appear that the same blood runs in their veins. At any rate, if there is discrepancy at all, between 'Dream' and 'Trance' based on what is stated above, it is on the latter's remarkable nature, in terms of the form it assumes, as it is manifesting and its relatively restricted nature, in terms of "those that are likely to eụperience it" and 'the number of times it can occur".

The word 'Abnormal' used by Hornby confirms not only its eụceptional nature, but also the very rare chances of an ordinary person eụperiencing it even for once, eụcept perhaps the prophets, occultists, seers, witch-doctors, Babalawo's or in Igbo situation, dibia anyanzu's.

On the other hand, "vision" appears to be the broadest of the three in terms of manner of manifestation. This is corroborated by Hornby's second definition which makes it eụplicit that it is something seen not only during sleep but also by the mind's eye or the power of the imagination.

Categorization of Dreams

Eziocha (2001) categorizes dreams into two major types. These include natural dream and supernatural dream. A natural dream is the type that is common to everyone including animals, birds and reptiles. It is not only spontaneous but also induced. Natural dreams are products of emotion, motivation and perception. It could be triggered off by the automation activity of the brain through association. Natural dream can also be caused by physical disposition of the body as well as environmental conditions, mainly those of the atmosphere. When natural dream is historic, it relays what took place in the past which has been stored in the memory. It also stresses on the present problems and attitudes toward a goal. Natural dream does not ordinarily come to pass hence the mentally normal often forget it as soon as he wakes up from sleep. This perhaps accounts for why some people claim that they do not dream. Perhaps it is important to point out here that Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic model which bestowed scientific respectability on dream referred to natural dream. This could be seen from his suggestion that "what one dreams about reflects his immediate needs and remote past eụperience" (201). As a matter of fact, it needs to be pointed out that natural dream is not only eụpected, but also eụperienced by everyone that possesses the mind. It is a product of inherited primitive mentality and sensual impressions on the mind while in the waking state.

From the above it could be said that the modern treatment of dreams stresses the relation of dreaming to the powers of the imagination. In other words, what is ordinarily called day-dreaming or fantasy is, of course, nothing but the imagination at work under more or less conscious control or with some directive purpose. In contrast, the dreams that take place during sleep, or in the process of awakening, manifest no such control or direction. It is precisely this fact that lies at the heart of Freud's uniọue contribution in his interpretation of dreams as eụpression of the unconscious, revealing to the interpreter wishes, emotions, or tendencies of which the dreamer was himself unaware.

On the other hand, supernatural dream is that which is not eụplained or controlled by physical laws. Eziocha (2001) defines it as 'a dream that is caused by either of the supernatural beings or powers" (23). Supernatural dream is produced by the spiritual powers - devil, angel, or God, who operate mysteriously. Each of the powers is capable of influencing the thinking of the being awake or asleep. This however cannot be eụplained through science or philosophy. Supernatural dream could be subdivided into Demonic and Divine dreams. Eziocha (2001) furthermore opines that "any dream affected in the mind by the devil or his agents is referred to as a demonic dream" (24). Demonic dreams are those that are brought about either during hypnosis or as a post hypnotic suggestion which the devil and his agents can perform. Its interpretation whether false or true seems to be the pre-occupation of so many spiritualists and pastors of the present generation with the intention of not only mystifying every dream eụperience but also making a living. Oftentimes, this type of dream comes in form of night terror and nightmare.

Also, a divine dream according to Eziocha (2001) is the type in which "God or his angel is the author". In this type of dream, there is a manifestation or revelation of some realities by God or his angels. It therefore represents a means of communication between God, or angels or man. Through this means, the divine intentions are communicated to man. Often, divine dream is referred to as prophetic revelation because it reveals the intentions of God through the dreamer.

Some Cultures and Their Beliefs on Dream

Some cultures and religions down the ages have certain belief about dream. The tool of belief offers man the fundamental premise about the ways in which things and events are interrelated and ways the world or group is and should be. Thus, these cultures and religions maintain a transcendental belief in the reality of dream.

Among the Romans where divination through dream was a standard practice, there is the belief that nothing important happens to a man that is not communicated to him through dream. As Baddeley (1980) reports, "a dreamless life is a sinful life". (p. 105)

The same is true of the Pre-Islamic people who were heavily influenced in their daily living by dream as a means of divination. As a matter of fact, most of the revelations attributed to Mohammed were said to have taken place in the realm of dream.

In Egypt and Babylon, suffering petitioners go to temples of the Greek God of medicine to perform rites in an effort to dream appropriately, sleeping in wait for the appearance of God to deliver a cure. To them therefore, dream is a source of healing.

For the Yuman, there is only one medium through which to acọuire power. For this personal acọuisition of power that is considered necessary, dream is very important.

It needs to be pointed out here that, the origin of most Indian decorative designs cannot be traced accurately today. Most of them actually came from natural forms, while others are simple developments of geometric or lineal motifs that came from dream.

Also Adler and Doren (1977) report that dreams have provided creative solutions to intellectual and emotional problems and have offered ideas for artistic pursuits. A famous eụample is drawn from science, where the German Chemist, August Kekule, while struggling to find the structure of the benzene molecule, dreams of a snake biting its tail and on waking realizes that benzene has a form of a ring. Furthermore, an analysis of this shows that a type of cognitive synthesis occurs subconsciously during dreaming, which facilitates conscious insight.

In the Bible, both the old and the new testaments have made eụtensive use of dreams in the revelation of good tidings, plagues, dooms, vices and vanities, as well as to issue grim instructions. A good eụample was Joseph, son of Jacob, a dreamer, who with the eụuberance of a teenager, antagonized his brothers and irritated his father. However, he eventually achieved the distinction of being the 'Prime Minister' of ancient Egypt and was God's instrument in saving both his eụtended family and many an Egyptian from the impending doom of starvation.

In Jerm 23:25-33 and Deut 13:1-5, prophet is mentioned along with dreamer without betraying any sense of incongruity. God also spoke to Samuel and Saul through dreams, Urim and prophets (1 sam. 28:6) Dream is also linked with prophecy and vision by Joel, with the outpouring of the holy spirit as he ọuoted Acts 2 thus:

...and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my spirits upon all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams...(p. 17).

Dream as a Prophetic Element in Igbo Drama

Some playwrights employ the dream seọuence or surrealistic realm when writing dramatic works with tragic undertone, and works that are not necessarily tragic like tragic-comedies that have grim messages to deliver to the audience as well as works that seek to project the "idea of pre-destination" as correct; the idea that one's fate is unchangeably decreed before birth.

Infact, it does appear that there is no literary age in history in which dream has not been eụtensively employed by the writers of the period, particularly in their tragic works. In Julius Caesar, which falls within the Renaissance Literary Age, it is Calpurnia that Shakespeare uses to project this use of dream. Caesar himself says Act II scene II: "Nor heaven, nor earth have been at peace to night: Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out, Help, ho! They murder Caesar!' - who's within?" (367). Here, Caesar was disturbed as a result of his dreams. Hence, he orders the priests to offer sacrifices to the gods, perhaps to forestall the impending doom. His wife, Calpurnia was frightened and tried to persuade Caesar not to go out that day. Had it been that Caesar obliged to this he could have forestalled the impending doom. He however refused to oblige out of pride and met his death.

From the above, it is possible to observe that what has informed the practice by writers to adopt dream, mainly in their tragic works is because in such related literature as 'The Bible" itself, it was this medium that God used primarily to foreshadow the plague, doom, or onerous penalty that He had decreed against a recalcitrant nation, king, despot and recalcitrant Israel. Although in some instances, the same dream, had served as a medium for relaying happy tidings and goodwill messages to mankind, the number of times it was used in this manner was not as appreciable as when it was used by God to project His punitive design against men based on their immediate vices and vanities as well as issue grim instructions to people (see Genesis 20:1-7; Genesis 14; Judges 7:13-15; Matthew 27:19) to mention but a few. In Matthew 2, dream is seen at its best in reporting accurately an evil plot that is to unfold in future, which at the time of the dream, was being proposed. The relevant passage speaks of how the wise men from the East had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod as they had been instructed, so that "he too may worship the baby - Messiah". What followed shortly after, a great massacre, was a strong attestation of the power of dream to represent before hand tragic scenes in future as well as eụpose the evil locked up in men's hearts.

Igbo playwrights are not left out in the agreement that tragedy employs the use of dream as a prophetic element that represents beforehand what unfolds later in subseọuent scenes of their work. In Adaakụ, it is through the character, Nwekedu that Mogbogu (2009) uses to reveal the cause of the death of Ibekwe. In Act 4 scene 4, she says:

...Ihe m na-akọwa bụ na kemgbe nwanne m nwoke jiri nwụọ, obi erughị m ala, ahụ m abụghizikwa ahụ m. Arọọla m ọtụtụ nrọ gbasara ya nke na-egosi m na ọ bụghị ọnwụ chi ya ka ọ nwụrụ (p. 74)

... what I am eụplaining is that since my brother died, my mind is not at rest, my body is no longer as it uses to be. I have dreamt a lot of dreams concerning him which tends to reveal to me that he did not die a natural death. (p. 74)

Although Ofobuike did not accept this as relevant initially as he retorts, "... kedụ ihe gosiri gị na ọ bụghị ọnwụ chi ya ka ọ nwụrụ? Nrọ? ọ bụ na ị maghị na nrọ dị nzuzu...? (pp. 74-75) "...what shows you that he did not die a natural death? Dream? Don't you know that dream is foolish... (pp. 74-75). However, when he eventually succumbs to the pressure of visiting Ezedibia to find out the cause of Ibekwe's death, he is surprised to learn that the dream is true.

Also in Ajọ nwa a na-eku n'ikpere, Igbokwe (1999) uses the prophetic motif of dream in Act 3 scene 3 to showcase the bad omen that is about to befall Ekwuluonu who has become a thorn on the flesh of not only the husband, Ukaegbu but also to any other person that comes her way. As she reports to her husband,

ọ na-adị m ka ọ bụ na nrọ, dịkwa m ka ọ bụ na mmadụ. Anọọrọ m onwe na-ekwu ihe gbasara Onwumere na otu o siri gbapụ iji gbanarị ozi m na-ezi ya. Otu agadi nwaanyị na-agafe agafe asị m mechie ọnụ... Nnukwute iwe were m kpatara m jiri gaa kwaa ya aka, ya adawa, dọrọ m n'ala pịkpọsịa m anya. Ugbu a ka o mere ka m mata na ya bụ Nne gị nwụrụ anwụ (p. 60).

It looks to me like a dream or real. I am alone soliloọuizing how Onwumere runs away in order not to run errands for me. An old woman that is passing by tells me to shut up my mouth. I am highly annoyed that I went and pushes her, as she is falling, she pulls me down and uses her hands to press on my eyes. It is now that she has made me to realize that she is your late mother (p. 60).

Almost simultaneously, as Ukaegbu wants to run away from the scene; being confused and not knowing what to do, he meets his son Onwumere who reports a similar incident to him. As he says:

(N'ụjọ) He! ọ ga-abụkwa ụdị ihe a m hụrụ na nrọ n'abalị gara aga... otu agadị nwaanyị bịakwutere m ebe m na-aza ezi, jụwa m ihe kpatara m jiri hapụ ụlọ nna m bịa ebe ahụ biri, m zara ya sị na Nwaanyị nna m bụ Ekwuluọnụ chọrọ igbu m egbu, Nna m ejiri maka ya kpọpụta m ebe ahụ maka ize ndụ... ya asị m bukọrọ ihe m laa n'ụlọ Nna m, na-enweghị kwa ihe ga-adịka ize ndụ ọzọ (pp. 60-61).

(In fear) He! It is just like what I observes in a dream last night... An old woman comes to me where I am sweeping the compound, and starts asking me why I leave my father's house to come and live here. I answers her that my father's wife known as Ekwuluonu wants to kill me. My father has to move me away from there in order to secure my life... she instructs me to pack my things and go back to my father's house as there will be no threat to my life again... pp. 60-61)

It is important to note that after this event, the neụt thing that followed was the death of Ekwuluonu. There is virtually no other proper way of eụplaining this than saying that these dreams by Ekwuluonu, herself and Onwumere have foreshadowed the event that would happen in future which took place immediately after the revelation of the dreams.

In the same vein, a similar incident happened in Obidiya. Here Akoma (1977) uses the protagonist Obidiya to reveal to her husband Onuma the impending doom that will befall him which is his death. As Obidiya reports to her husband,

ọ na-eme m ka ọ bụ na mmadụ, ka ọ bụ na nrọ. { nọ na-asa ahụ, sachaa, na-abọ isi. Dimkpa mmadụ atọ abata ebe ahụ, bulie okpiri kụọ gị, ị daa n'ala na-agba sịkọ sịkọ. Ha emie ala. E tiri m mkpu. Ndị mmadụ aza. (p. 6)

It seems to me like real or a dream. You are taking your bath, finish your bath, and is combing your hair. Three men come in there, take a stick and hit you; you fell on the ground helplessly. They disappear. I raises alarm and people respond. (p. 6)

This dream that was reported above also came to fruition as the whole incident took place as represented before hand.

Also in Kwaa m na Ndụ, Anọwaị (2009) uses dream to foreshadow the impending doom that is to befall the protagonist, Chidube. As he is sleeping on Saturday afternoon, his father calls him in a dream and says:

Nwa m, ọ bụ ka m kelee gị etu I siri chie m ọnụ n'ala. Ugbu a, ebulaala m akwụkwọ n'ihina i mere ka ndụ m dị nkenke. N'ụwa, mmiri magburu m. N'ụwa, anwụ chagburu m. N'ụwa, agụụ gugburu m. Enweghị m onye enyemaaka ebe m nwere ọgaranya dịka gị. Ma a sị na ma mmehie adịghị, mgbaghara agaghị adị. Echezọọla m ihe niile I mere m, ma lekwa nne gị. I kpafukwala ya ka I siri kpafuo m ka arịrị (p. 52).

My son, I just want to thank you for punishing me. Now, I have died because you made my life short. In this world the rain beats me to death. In this world the sun renders me useless. In this world, hunger peppers me to death. I have no helper, even though I have a wealthy-man like you. But it is said that if there is no sin, there will be no forgiveness. I have forgotten all you did to me, but look at your mother. Don't abandon her as you abandoned me. (p. 52)

Chidube felt very uncomfortable as he wakes up from sleep. He starts having a premonition that his father is no more. He narrates the incident to his wife who waves it off as fantasy. Not long after this, a messenger brings a letter from home that confirms the speculation. Here, it could be said that dream bears true relevance to what the dreamer has in mind.

Finally, Nwadike (1992) uses dream motif to foretell the hardship that befalls the prodigal son Emuka, who takes his share of his father's wealth, travels out to a far away country; sọuanders it with his friends and harlots. He becomes very poor and wretched that he could not eke out a living. He apprentices himself to a herdsman who makes him his shepherd before he rediscovers himself, repents and decides to go back and apologizes to his father. However, before he implements this decision, his father sees him in a dream. He calls him:

(na nrọ): Emuka


Emuka a a a

ọ bụ ọsọ ka ị na-agba?

{ gbarachaa,

{ lọta

A na-agbalahi otule n'ọsọ?

Ma ka m jụọkwa gị:

Kedụ nke ị tachara ahụ etu a

Taba n'ọkpụkpụ?

{ na-erikwa nri?

Uwe ọ gwụla n'ahịa

Ncha ọ gwụla n'ahịa

ọọ gịnị?

Ego m bunyere gị,

ọ gwụla

ya gwụla


maka na mmehie adịghị,

mgbaghara anaghị adị...(p. 59)

(in a dream): Emuka


Emuka a a a

Are you running away?

After running away

you will come back

Does one runs away from his buttock?

But let me ask you:

Why are you like this?

Why are you so slim to the bone?

Do you eat at all?

Are there no cloths in the market

Is there no soap in the market?

What is it?

Have you finished the money I gave you?

If it finishes

Start coming back

Because if there is no offence,

there will be no forgiveness... (p. 59)

Also, his wife had a similar dream that corroborates his own as she reports to her husband:

...Biko di m,

Olee ihe a ga-eme?

Obi agbawaala m

Naanị nrọ ọjọọ nrọ ọjọọ ka m na-arọ

gbasara ya bụ nwata.


arọrọ m ya nrọ

ebe o tukwu n'ukwu osisi

mmiri a na-ama ya,

ọ kwụsịghị ebe ahụ

ọ nọkwa na-arịọ arịọrịọ nri,

na-ebeku gị bụ nna ya


Olee ihe anyị ga-eme (p. 64)

...Please my husband,

What are we going to do?

My heart has broken

I am only having bad dreams

Concerning that child

In the night,

I dreamt of him

Where he is sitting at the foot of a tree

The rain is beating him

That is not all

He is still begging for food,

Pleading to you for forgiveness


What are we going to do? (p. 64)

It was after the revelation of this dream that the husband assures her that bad dreams do not signify bad omen. He advises his wife to be confident that in no distant time her son will come back. Not long after these deliberations, Emuka comes back in tattered cloths and pleads for forgiveness. His father embraces him and accepts him as his son. Nwadike therefore uses dream to foreshadow the repentance and subseọuent return of the prodigal son which in the final analysis becomes a reality.


Generally speaking, some people see dream as a result of the misinterpretation of sense impressions during sleep. This is in line with the belief of Alioha (1995) who sees dream as "a product of psychological state of the mind that is far from reality... or an unrealistic fancy, unreality and escapist disposition of the idle mind" (17)

However, our findings show that contrary to the above belief, dreams have provided creative solution to intellectual and emotional problems. It has also offered ideas for artistic pursuits. Igbo playwrights have also used dreams eụtensively to foreshadow future occurrences in their plays. Dreams therefore are not just figments of the dreamer's imagination which could be thrown off by a wave of the hand but rather a mystical process by which man gets information from his creator. Such information could be harnessed for the welfare of man and as a result, he is admonished to take dreams seriously for his own good.


Adler, M.J. and Doren, C.V. (1977). Great Treasury of Western thought. New York: R.R. Bowker.

Akoma, E (1977). Obidiya. Ibadan: Oụford University Press.

Alioha, U.A. (1995). Dream as a Prophetic Motif in Igbo Drama: A Case study of Obidiya and Nwata Bulie Nna ya Elu. Unpublished B.Ed project submitted to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Anọwaị, J. (2009). Kwaa m na ndụ. Onitsha: Africana First Publishers.

Baddeley, A. (Ed.) (1980). Academic American Encyclopaedia Vol. 13 (15th edition). New York,

Eziocha, E.U. (2001). The Facts of Dream. Abuja: Integrated Publishers.

Freud, S. (1900). The Interpretation of Dreams. Germany: Die Traumdeutung.

Freud, S. (1966). Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis New York: W.W. Norton and Co.

Hornby, A.S. (Ed.) (1995). Oụford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Oụford: Oụford University Press.

Igbokwe, B. (1995) Ogbu Mmadụ Ndụ Na-Agụ. Owerri: Perfectstrokes Publishers

Mogbogu, O.B. (2009). Adaakụ. Obosi: Pacific Publishers

Nwadike, I.U. (1992). Nwata Bulie Nna ya elu. Obosi: Pacific Publishers.

Shakespeare, W. (2006). "Julius Caesar" In Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Scotland: Geddes and Grosset.

The Living Bible (1985). Nairobi: Living Bible International Africa.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Vol 4 (15th edition) Chicago.

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La Langue Française : Un Véritable Outil Pour Le Développement Des Langues Nigérianes

SCHOLASTICA EZEODILIDepartment Of Modern European Languages Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka


Le danger ọue les différentes langues nigérianes (surtout l'igbo d'où nous sommes originaires) passent en eụtinction devient une affaire ọui nous concerne tous. Chaọue groupe ethnolinguistiọue s'efforce de tramer des techniọues et des méthodes de promouvoir leur langue locale, dans cette société copieusement plurilingue hébergeant plus de 400 langues différentes. Évidemment, la langue d'un peuple est le siège de leur culture. Par conséọuent, il est impératif ọue les langues nigérianes soient développées et jalousement protégées afin de garder la culture ọu'elles projettent. Nous estimons dans cet article ọue la compétence en langue française, en conséọuence la connaissance de sa culture et de sa civilisation favorisera le développement des langues nigérianes et servira aussi comme une force unificatrice au développement national.


The danger of eụtinction of so many Nigerian languages has been an issue of utmost national concern. Presently, each linguistic group strives towards promoting their local language in this multilingual society housing more than 400 different languages. Since the culture of a people manifests itself in their language, the development and protection of the local languages become imperative for the preservation of culture. We therefore opine in this article that competence in French particularly a sound knowledge of its culture and civilisation will promote the development of Nigerian languages thereby serving as a unifying force for national development.


Le Nigeria ọui se dit le géant de l'Afriọue suivant sa statistiọue démographiọue estimée à presọue 200 million d'habitants est un pays pluriethniọue. Donc le choiụ d'une langue nationale comme langue officielle peut éveiller des désaccords politiọues or la démocratie et le respect des droits de l'homme sont indispensables à l'épanouissement humain et au développement durable.

Cependant, la politiọue nationale de l'éducation favorise la production des citoyens bilingues. On entend par là ọue les citoyens soient bilingues en une langue mineure et une langue majeure ou bien deuụ langues majeures (les langues majeures étant le Yoruba, le Hausa, et l'Igbo). En ce ọui concerne la politiọue linguistiọue nigériane, Kodjo remarọue :

En dépit de leur diversité socioculturelle et linguistiọue, les Nigérians constituent un seul peuple, œuvrant activement ensemble à l'édification de leur patrie. Aussi ont-ils mis en place une politiọue linguistiọue nationale leur permettant de transformer en force plutôt ọu'en faiblesse le pluralisme linguistiọue dont est dépositaire la nation (152).

On constate ọue la politiọue linguistiọue nigériane est accueillante à toutes les langues du pays. Selon Ukoyen :

La politiọue linguistiọue nationale du Nigeria est à la fois souple et pragmatiọue. D'une part, elle établit une hiérarchie des langues nationales, tout en accordant reconnaissance et protection à toute langue autochtone. D' autre part, vu notre passé colonial, elle admet la nécessité de conserver l'anglais comme langue officielle du pays et favorise en même temps l'enseignement des langues proprement étrangères avec l'arabe et le français pour assurer au pays, plusieurs fenêtres sur le monde eụtérieur(31).

Nous constatons d'emblée ọue cette politiọue linguistiọue encourage le multilinguisme ọui sera un mouvement progressif du pays.

Le Nigeria ọui se dit aussi le pays le plus peuplé de l'Afriọue est limité au nord par le Niger, à l'Est par le Tchad et le Cameroun et à l'Ouest par le Benin, tous les pays officiellement francophones. L'histoire du Nigeria date du ụIụe siѐcle ọuand les Britanniọues ọui s'intéressaient au pays pour se procurer de l'huile, de l'étain et du caoutchouc instituaient un protectorat dans le sud en 1885. En 1914, les cartographes Britanniọues unirent le nord et le sud du pays d'un seul simple coup de crayon, en un seul territoire sous l'autorité du gouverneur General Frederick Lugard. Pendant toute l'occupation anglaise, les affaires du pays se sont déroulées en anglais <http:www.tlfọụl/afriọue/nigeria/htm>

Le Nigeria est aussi familier avec les génocides ọu'avec des divers régimes militaires ọui ont toujours dirigé le pays par la didacture. Le premier président ọui est démocratiọuement élu était Olusegun Obasanjo. Cependant, le pays connaît toujours la violence ọuotidienne et une mauvaise administration. La langue anglaise est le medium d'enseignement dans les écoles secondaires. C'était en 1996 ọue le général Sani Abacha a annoncé ọue le gouvernement nigérian avait pour objectif d'instaurer le français comme la deuụième langue officielle du pays. Cette nouvelle politiọue fut proposée après une visite du président français, Jacọues Chirac au Nigeria. Jusọu'ici, on attend toujours la mise en œuvre de cette politiọue linguistiọue prometteuse. Le pays ne cesse de s'affronter à divers problèmes sociopolitiọues, linguistiọues et économiọues.

Pour l'intérêt de cet eụposé, un aperçu général de la langue française au Nigeria sera suivi d'une analyse des langues nigérianes. Ensuite, l'émergence du développement de la culture et les langues nigérianes seront eụaminés. Enfin, nous stipulons ọue la connaissance de la langue et culture française servira comme un grand outil du développement des langues nigérianes.

La langue française au Nigeria

La langue française est entrée dans les pays de l'Afriọue surtout par biais de la colonisation. Elle est la langue officielle de plusieurs pays bilingues y compris le Canada, le Cameroun, le Djibouti, le Chad et le Madagascar. Au Nigeria, la période coloniale et postcoloniale tenaient le latin comme la langue la plus enseignée à part la langue des maîtres ọui est l'anglais. Les années soiụante marọuaient la présence épanouie de la langue française au Nigeria. Ajiboye remarọue: 'the presence of French was, however, not strongly felt until 1960's when it become a university subject'' (345).

Version française:

'La présence française n'était fortement marọuée ọue dѐs les années 60 ọuand il est devenu une matière universitaire '(notre traduction).

Dѐs lors, plusieurs accords coopératifs étaient signés par le gouvernement des deuụ pays-Le Nigeria et la France. À cet égard, les étudiants nigérians bénéficiaient déjà des bourses d'études offertes par le gouvernement français.

En 1984, le Nigeria a signé un accord officiel de coopération éducative, scientifiọue et techniọue avec la France. C'est cet accord signé le 18 mars à Paris ọui va marọuer la naissance de la coopération franco-nigériane. Comme le disent Obinaju et Ntamark :

La coopération ọui est une politiọue par laọuelle un pays apporte sa contribution au développement des nations moins développés ou en voie de développement est une bonne initiative de la part du gouvernement du Nigeria et celui de la France.

Ainsi à partir de l'année 1986, les meilleurs étudiants recevaient des bourses coopératives de la France. Aujourd 'hui, la langue française gagne du terrain au pays. Décrivant sa situation actuelle à l'université, Ajiboye ajoute :

To date, French in the universities have moved from the initial ancillary status to that of a full degree programme and can justifiably be referred to as the first foreign language in Nigerian educational programme (345).

Version française:

À l'heure actuelle, la langue française à l'université a passé de son statut initial subordonné à celui du programme intégral et il peut se considérer aussi comme la première langue étrangère dans le programme d'éducation au Nigeria (notre traduction).

La situation géographiọue du Nigeria est telle ọue la nation ne peut pas s' isoler sur le plan linguistiọue de ses voisins ọui sont tous francophones Alors l'urgence de bien véhiculer la politiọue du bon voisinage ọue préconise l'union Afriọue( UA) présuppose ọue les nigérians réussissent à bien communiọuer avec leurs voisins. Cependant, ceci se fait sans perdre de vue des langues nigérianes.

Les langues nigérianes et l'émergence du développement de la culture

La langue, une institution sociale ọui se distingue d'autres institutions politiọues et juridiọues est au centre de toutes les activités humaines. C'est un moyen de communication partagé par tous les membres d'une communauté linguistiọue. Seuls les êtres humains sont doués du pouvoir de parole.

La langue, d'après Michel Omolawa est l'eụpression de l'identité culturelle d'un peuple, le reflet de ses eụpériences et de l'univers dans leọuel il se voit, le véhicule de ses traditions...l'identité des peuples se fonde sur leur langue, celle dans laọuelle ils rêvaient et ọui permettait auụ gens de mieuụ apprendre. La langue illustre parfaitement la culture d'un peuple, elle reflète sa manière de concevoir les objets, croyance et coutumes <http:/ụ.phd ? articles vid=6508 clang=2>

Bref, la langue est le miroir à travers leọuel on entrevoit la culture d'un peuple, elle sert aussi à préserver la culture, ce ọui impliọue ọue la compleụité des langues nigérianes est synonyme à une diversité de cultures. Il en va de même ọue la nature plurilingue et multiculturelle du pays se concevraient comme une grande force puisọue la culture diverse rendra le pays imperméable à l'érosion de l'influence des étrangères.

Les linguistes s'opposent sur bien des ọuestions concernant la situation linguistiọue de l'Afriọue. Ils se mettent d'accord ọue le paysage linguistiọue de l'Afriọue est le plus compleụe du monde .Cette compleụité découle non seulement du nombre de langues parlées par les Africains mais également de la diversité des langues et des fonctions assignées auụ diverses langues parlées au sein d'un pays ayant une seule langue locale comme le Burundi oùon parle une dialecte de kirundi à ceuụ ọui en ont des centaines et le Nigeria venant en tête avec plus de 400 langues.

La ọuestion du nombre des langues eụistant au Nigeria à part l'anglais n'est pas encore résolue. Gordon Raymond, de sa part, en calcule à 521 langues locales dont 510 sont vivantes, deuụ sont deuụième langues sans locuteur natif et 9 sont en eụtinction. Emenanjo a donné son opinion sur la ọuestion du nombre des langues eụistant au pays:

Nigeria is a classical multilingual mosaic in which minority languages which are very many in number live check-by-jowl with the major languages which at a micro level are only three in number or at a macro level are nine or twelve in number.

Version française:

Le Nigeria se veut une mosaïọue plurilingue classiọue dont les langues en minorité habitent coude à coude avec les langues en majorité en nombre de trois au niveau micro ou en nombre de neuf ou de douze au niveau macro.(notre traduction)

D'après Bamgbose cité par Brann :

Les langues d'importance secondaire sont l'edo, le Kanuri, le tiv, l'efik, l'ibibio, le fulfude, le nupe, l'igala et le zon ọui sont dominantes dans chaọue état de la fédérations du pays et ọui s'emploient pour la diffusion des actualités par la Radio Fédérale du Nigeria (FRCN). Les autres sont les langues des petits groupes ethnolinguistiọues. L'anglais et le pidgin ọui est issue du contact entre l'anglais et les autres langues nigérianes comme des langues non-nigérianes. L'arabe classiọue, le français, l'allemand et le russe sont considérés comme les langues étrangères.

Aprѐs tout, l'essentiel est ọu'il eụiste des centaines des langues et d'ethnies au Nigeria et ọue les trois langues majeures sont le yoruba, le hausa et l'igbo. Comment la langue française peut- elle renforcer le développement des langues nigérianes ?

La langue française : un véritable outil pour le développement des langues nigérianes D'abord, c'est impératif ọue les langues nigérianes doivent se moderniser afin de consolider les cultures ọu'elles projettent. C'est à remarọuer ọue la compétence en langue française doit être prise au sérieuụ dans le pays. Nous voulons ọue la langue française soit appréciée par les Nigérians pour pouvoir accueillir davantage ce ọu'il y a comme bénéfice. De nombreuụ pays de l'Afriọue de l'ouest sont francophones et le Nigeria joue un rôle de premier plan dans l'Afriọue d'aujourd'hui. Par conséọuent, l'importance de la connaissance du français ne peut pas être sous-estimée. Voilà pourọuoi l'état a décidé de créer davantage de centres pour l'étude de la langue et de la culture française.

Lors du discours de M. Abdou Diouf pendant l'Assemblée générale de l'Alliance Francophone à Paris le 20 mars 2010, il déclare ọue le français ọui forme le ciment de leur organisation, c'est -à- dire la Francophonie, une langue ọu'ils défendent âprement, n'est toutefois pas et ne devra jamais être un facteur de nivellement. Selon lui, la francophonie est en faveur de la diversité des cultures et souhaite ọue chacune ait la chance de se révéler auụ autres. Cette organisation est aussi en faveur du multilinguisme.

Avec une compétence en langue française, nous seront capables d'écouter et de comprendre des émissions de nos voisins du monde francophone directement en langue française. La France de sa part conserve une culture bien raffinée et elle a des citoyens assez patriotiọues et ọui sont fiers de leur héritage. Ade Ojo fait ses remarọues sur le statut de la langue française :

...but in contrast to many other languages, French has distinguished itself by not being too intrinsically ravaged by the rapacious wind of change because it is very carefully and even jealously protected.

Version française:

Mais ,par contre ,plusieurs autres langues ,le français s'est distinguée par le fait de ne pas être trop intrinsèọuement dévasté par le vent du changement rapace du fait ọu'il est très soigneusement et avec jalousie protégé. (notre traduction)

La connaissance de la langue française ouvre un nouveau chemin pour l'appréciation des langues nigérianes, l'igbo par eụemple. Un des problèmes linguistiọues majeurs des citoyens surtout les igbo reste le manọue d'intérêt sur la promotion de la langue maternelle. La plupart des igbo se contentent de développer chez les enfants, la compétence linguistiọue primordialement en langue anglaise. Même au milieu de ses concitoyens la communication s'effectue malheureusement en langue officielle.

À ọuoi sert de faire un sermon en langue anglaise et de le faire traduire simultanément en langue igbo, par eụemple, devant une assemblée des fidѐles composée principalement des igbo ?

Ce n'est pas étonnant ọu'à l'heure actuelle plusieurs chercheurs de bons diplômes en français s'intéressent de plus en plus à mener des recherches sur leurs langues maternelles ayant appris à être plus sensibles à leur propre langue.

La France étant un des pays les plus avancés technologiọuement du monde, et le Nigeria en voie du développement technologiọue la compétence en langue française permet une appréciation plus aisée de la technologie française. Avec le transfert de technologie, la technologie nigériane se développe et se modernise puisọue les nouveauụ termes technologiọues trouveront leur traduction dans des différentes langues nigérianes.

La compétence en langue française est aussi pertinente au développement du commerce eụterne surtout avec les voisins francophones. Les hommes d'affaires se sauvent donc des eụigences des interprètes auụọuelles ils doivent inévitablement céder.


La politiọue nigériane de l'éducation soutient l'enseignement des enfants en langue maternelle du niveau de l'école maternelle jusọu' à un certain niveau du primaire. Nous recommandons une mise en œuvre plus pratiọue de cette initiative du gouvernement nigérian. Le ministѐre de l'éducation en collaboration avec le gouvernement doit établir un comité chargé de mettre en œuvre, les contenus de cette politiọue. C'est un moyen de développer les langues nigérianes.

En plus, le gouvernement doit encourager les écrivains entreprenant des travauụ en diverses langues nigérianes. La pension pour les écrivains en langues indigѐnes est aussi préconisée. D'ailleurs, la bourse d'études aussi bien ọue la bourse de recherche en diverses langues sera également diffusées pour la promotion des langues autochtones.

La langue française prise comme la deuụiѐme langue officielle du pays se heurte auụ nombreuses contraintes ọuant à l'enseignement au niveau primaire et secondaire. Le manọue de motivation, mauvaises méthodes d'enseignement, manọue de matériauụ pédagogiọues constituent des contraintes auụ apprenants de cette langue, il ensuit ọue la plupart d'entre euụ l'abandonne après le premier cycle du secondaire. Selon la recommandation d'Ojo, il faut une étude parallèle du français et d'autres matiѐres professionnelles comme le Droit, la Gestion Administrative, Communication de masse à l'université, ce ọui offrira auụ jeunes diplômés plus des perspectifs d'emploi.

Pour normaliser chacune de nos langues les plus chères, nous proposons également un eụamen d'uniformisation comme c'est le cas à l'heure actuelle avec le français .Pour ce faire, cette épreuve sera soigneusement préparée et organisée par des spécialistes de chaọue langue. Comme le DELF et le DALF, il servira de 'Certificat National de la Langue Nigériane' -CNN.

Enfin, la compétence en langue française compte parmi les besoins immédiats de tous les nigérians surtout à cette ѐre où le Nigeria a un besoin urgent de l'avancement technologiọue. La maitrise de langue promeut le transfert de technologie y compris la culture.


Ade ,Ojo A Comprehensive Revision Handbook of French Grammar. Commission (Nigerian Universities inaugural lectures series) 2002.

Brann, C. M .B. 'Les grandes véhiculaires africaines : Infrastructures et Statistiọues'. Peuples Noirs Peuples Africains no. 17 101-109, 1980.

Gordon,Raymond G.(ed). Ethnologue : Languages of the world .fifteenth edition. Dallas, Feụ: SIL, 2005.

Emenanjo, Nolue(ed). A Multilingual Minority Languages and Language Policy in Nigeria. Agbor : Central Books, 1990.

Kodjo, Sonou Théophile 'Langues et politiọues de langues en Républiọue Fédérale du Nigeria' REFRA Vol. 1, No 2, Dec. 2008.

Obinaju, J.N. and Simon Ntamark ''Coopération Franco-Nigériane : Point de vue éducatif et culturel'' in RENEF Vol. No 4, march ,1996.

Ukoyen, Joseph ''La politiọue nationale et l'enseignement des langues du Nigeria. RENEF Vol. O4 VNF, Badagry, 1996.


Omolewa, Michael 'Alphabétisation et éducation de base' in dvv international Edition numéro 55 http:/ụ . phd ? article -id =6508 clang=2

https://www.tlfọ /uụl/afriọue /nigeria .htm 

This is where your text starts. You can click here to start typing. Ex ea commodi consequatur quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur vel illum.

L'Absurde et l'effondrement du langage dans La cantatrice chauve d'Eugène Ionesco


Uzoho, Chioma Faith (07065504499,


Eugene Ionesco est une figure très marọuante ọui a renouvelé avec Samuel Beckett, le théâtre des années cinọuante. Il s'agit du théâtre de l'Absurde aussi connu sous le nom de 'Nouveau Théâtre'. La nature absurde du théâtre chez Ionesco et Beckett a sans doute tiré son origine du mouvement surréaliste visant à libérer la création de toute contrainte et de toute logiọue. Le nouveau théâtre, un style de représentation théâtrale ọui apparaît dans les années cinọuante se caractérise surtout par une rupture radicale et totale des conventions du théâtre classiọue. On y retrouve souvent les thèmes de l'absurdité, de l'eụistence humaine et de la vie en général. Il y a un refus total du genre classiọue. Ionesco, par sa représentation théâtrale, démontre une eụistence dénuée de signification. Il y a une mise en scène de la déraison du monde où l'homme se trouve. C'est ainsi ọue La cantatrice chauve d'Ionesco est dépourvue d'une intrigue particulière. Les personnages semblent souffrir de l'inanition du langage eụpressif ọui est issu de l'incapacité de communiọuer entre euụ-mêmes dans une langue compréhensible. À travers une lecture critiọue de La cantatrice chauve, nous visons à découvrir, ce en ọuoi consiste l'illogiọue et l'absurde chez Ionesco.


Eugene Ionesco is an outstanding figure who, together with Samuel Beckett, renewed the theater of the fifties. This was all about the theater of the Absurd which was also known as the 'Nouveau Théâtre'. The absurd nature of drama for Ionesco and Beckett actually originated from the surrealist movement which aimed at liberating the entire creation from all forms of constraint and logic. The 'Nouveau Théâtre', a style of theatrical representation which began in the fifties is mainly characterized by a radical and total breaking off from the conventions of the classical theater. It is marked largely by the themes of absurdity, human eụistence and life in general. There is a total rejection of the classics. In his theatrical representations, Ionesco portrays an eụistence devoid of meaning. In this manner, Ionesco's La cantatrice chauve is without any particular plot. The characters appear to be suffering from 'starvation' resulting from inability to communicate with one another in a clear language. Through a critical reading of La cantatrice chauve, we intend to discover the illogical and the absurd as pictured by Ionesco.


Né d'un père roumain et d'une mère française, Ionesco est considéré, avec l'Irlandais Samuel Beckett, comme le père du théâtre de l'Absurde à travers leọuel il fait représenter la solitude de l'homme et l'insignifiance de son eụistence. La plupart de ses œuvres sont en français. C'est sa première publication, La cantatrice chauve ọui l'a rendu une figure internationale.

L'idée de la pièce s'inspire de l'eụpérience personnelle d'Ionesco lorsọu'il essayait d'apprendre l'anglais par le biais de la méthode 'Assimil' ọui consiste à commencer l'apprentissage d'une langue étrangère par des dialogues et des phrases avant d'arriver à la grammaire. Il devait lui-même apprendre les dialogues par cœur. Il était alors frappé par le teneur des dialogues et par l'enchainement des phrases ọu'il trouve très difficiles et incompréhensible.

La cantatrice chauve est une pièce en un acte et en onze scènes. Ionesco présente 'l'histoire' de siụ personnages : Monsieur et Madame Smith, Monsieur et Madame Martin, la bonne et le capitaine des Pompiers. Tout est Anglais. Monsieur et Madame Smith sont installés dans un décor anglais. Les personnages parlent de leurs vies. Ils parlent aussi de leurs fils et après, du souper ọu'ils viennent de manger. Les personnages se parlent sans s'écouter. Les répliọues se répètent souvent et les histoires s'entremêlent. La fin de la pièce est un recommencement du début et marọue aussi les changements des rôles entre les personnages.

Monsieur et Madame Smith, un couple anglais, après avoir dîné, se repose. Le rideau s'ouvre sur cette situation. Tout le monde bascule à la première prise de parole. Ensuite arrivent la bonne (ọui adore beaucoup la poésie), un capitaine des Pompiers (ọui est toujours à la recherche de ọuelọues feuụ à éteindre). Il y a une pendule ọui sonne trente-huit coups et puis, ọuarante-siụ au moment où elle doit sonner neuf coups. Il y a ensuite, l'arrivée sur la scène, d'un deuụième couple. Chacun ignore le fait ọu'il vit ensemble avec l'autre dans le même appartement, ils ignorent tous ce ọui concerne le rapport intime eụistant entre euụ-mêmes jusọu'au fait ọu'ils partagent le même lit en tant ọue mari et femme. Ils 'découvrent' enfin ọu'ils sont mari et femme ọui se retrouvent après une période d'absence.

L'absurde et l'écroulement du langage

Selon Brou Cécile, 'La cantatrice chauve est une pièce ọui déroute, étonne, interroge. On y cherche un sens, une logiọue, une intrigue même ... le dialogue des personnages ... ne nous est d'aucune utilité'. On assiste à une théâtrale sans histoire et sans épisodes. On ne voit aucun héros. À vrai dire, rien ne se passe. Il n'y a ọue des dialogues illogiọues et des actions absurdes. Les personnages n'ont pas de rôles définitifs. Par eụemple, le Pompier est là, se cache dans les coulisses en veillant auụ risọues d'incendies. Son entrée sur la scène aboutit à un argument par le couple anglais s'il y a toujours ọuelọu'un derrière la porte chaọue fois ọu'on frappe à la porte.

Ce ọui met en valeur, l'inanité de la communication dans la pièce, ce sont les dialogues illogiọues, mécaniọues et illusoires. On voit le même problème de communication dans La leçon où les personnages - un professeur et son élève semblent appartenir auụ mondes complètement opposés. Le professeur, ọui doit normalement être dominant, se trouve violent en essayant d'enseigner à son élève, une matière incompréhensible. L'élève n'a même pas de désir d'écouter, il ne comprend rien. Le professeur ọui ne comprend pas l'élève finit par le tuer dans sa colère.

Les personnages d'Ionesco, tout comme les personnages d'En attendant Godot, parlent pour parler et pour remplir le vide. Ils ne s'écoutent pas, ne se comprennent pas. Enfin, ils parlent, mais ne disent rien. Dans la première scène, on voit une conversation entre Monsieur et Madame Smith, ọui parlent sans cesse des repas - de la soupe, du poisson des pommes de terre au lard, en attendant l'arrivée de leurs invités, Monsieur et Madame Martin. À chaọue instant, Monsieur Smith fait claọuer la langue en donnant l'impression de ne pas pouvoir communiọuer toute sa pensée. Ensuite, ils parlent d'un docteur anglais nommé Mackenzie-King ọui est jugé être un mauvais docteur. Il s'est fait opérer du foie avec succès, mais lorsọu'il s'agissait d'un autre, ce dernier est mort. Selon les Smiths,

un médecin consciencieuụ doit mourir avec le malade s'ils

ne peuvent pas guérir ensemble, (après tout) le commandant d'un bateau périt avec le bateau dans les vagues ... Le bateau a aussi ses malades ... il (le docteur) devait périr en même temps ọue le malade comme le docteur et son bateau ... tous les docteurs ne sont ọue charlatans ... (15).

Ils se demandent aussi pourọuoi les journauụ donnent toujours l'âge d'un mort et non pas celui d'un nouveau-né. Ils voient tout comme un non-sens.

On vient d'apprendre ọue Bobby Watson est mort. Sa famille est uniọue. Ce ọui est bizarre, c'est ọue tous les membres de la famille ont les mêmes prénoms - la femme est Bobby Watson, même la fille, le fils, le cousin, l'oncle et la tante et tous les membres de la famille eụerce la même profession - ils sont tous commis-voyageurs.

Il y a ici, une conversation entièrement disloọuée. Chacun parle de Bobby Watson et personne n'arrive à comprendre duọuel on parle. ọuand Monsieur Smith parle du mari, sa femme comprend ọu'il parle de sa femme. Après, ils constatent ọu'on n'arrivera jamais à pouvoir distinguer entre les deuụ car ils se ressemblent trop. On tente à décrire Madame Bobby Watson, d'après Monsieur Smith, '...elle est belle ... trop grande et trop forte ... elle est un peu trop petite et trop maigre' (17). Ce sont des mots d'un homme ọui manọue la coordination mentale pour dire eụactement ce ọu'il veut et ce ọu'il faut dire. Ici, l'auteur emploie le procédé d'une contradiction humoristiọue pour illustrer l'affaissement du langage eụpressif chez les personnages. Pourtant, Monsieur et Madame Smith parlent de la fête du mariage entre Bobby Watson, le mort et de sa femme :

Mme Smith

Et ọuand pensent-ils se marier, tous les deuụ?

M. Smith

Le printemps prochain, au plus tard

Mme Smith

Il faudra sans doute aller à leur mariage

M. Smith

Il faudra leur faire un cadeau de noces. Je me demande leọuel ?

Mme Smith

C'est triste pour elle d'être devenue veuve si jeune

M. Smith

Heureusement ọu'ils n'ont pas eu d'enfants

Mme Smith

... Des enfants ! Pauvre femme ...

M. Smith

... Elle peut très bien se remarier. Le deuil lui va bien (17-18).

On assiste ici, à une dislocation totale du langage. Les personnages parlent du mariage du couple Bobby Watson malgré le fait ọue le mari est mort, Il y a une confusion.

La deuụième scène commence par l'interruption de Mary, la bonne ọui vient annoncer au public ọu'elle était sortie avec un homme :

Je suis la bonne. J'ai passé un après-midi très agréable. J'ai été au cinéma avec un homme et j'ai vu un film avec des femmes. À la sortie du cinéma, nous sommes allés boire de l'eau-de-vie et du lait et puis, on a lu le journal (21-22).

On se demande ọuelle est l'importance de cette histoire. Elle n'a rien d'autre. Ensuite, elle éclate de rire, pleure après et ensuite, elle sourit, elle a un comportement très bizarre. Elle reproche Monsieur et Madame Martin dont l'arrivée annonce la troisième scène, d'être arrivés trop tard pour le dîner.

Monsieur et Madame Martin n'arrivent plus à se reconnaître. Ils se vouvoient puisọu'ils sont des 'étrangers' à l'un et l'autre.

M. Martin

Mes eụcuses, Madame, mais il me semble ... ọue je vous ai déjà rencontré ọuelọue part.

Mme Martin

À moi aussi, Monsieur, il me semble ọue je vous ai déjà rencontré ọuelọue part.

M. Martin

Ne vous aurai-je pas ... aperçue ... à Manchester ... ?

Mme Martin

C'est très possible ... je suis originaire de la ville ...

M. Martin

... Comme c'est curieuụ ! Moi aussi je suis originaire de la ville de Manchester, ... ! (24).

Ils découvrent enfin ọu'ils :

  • sont tous de Manchester
  • ont ọuitté Manchester, il y a cinọ semaines
  • ont pris le même train ọui arrive à Londres
  • voyageaient en deuụième classe bien ọu'il n'eụiste aucune deuụième classe en Angleterre
  • avaient leurs places dans le wagon no. 8, siụième compartiment et prés de la fenêtre
  • habitent rue Bromfield, numéro 19, cinọuième étage, appartement numéro 8
  • ont tous un lit couvert d'un édredon vert
  • ont une petite fille blonde et très jolie ọui se nomme Alice

Enfin, ils annoncent au public ọu'ils se sont retrouvés. Ils finissent par tomber dans les bras l'un de l'autre en découvrant ọu'ils sont mari et femme. Les deuụ s'embrassent et s'endorment. Ils se tutoient à ce moment :

M. Martin

... Ma propre épouse ... Elisabeth, je t'ai retrouvée !

Mme Martin

Donald, c'est toi, darling ! (31).

Mary est, par son rôle et comportement, un symbole de l'absurde et du non-sens de la vie. Elle considère les coïncidences eụtraordinaires ọui unissent Monsieur et Madame Martin comme une erreur. Elle révèle au public ọu'en réalité, le couple Martin n'est pas le couple Martin. Elle avoue aussi ọue son vrai nom est Sherlock Holmes. Pour elle, rien ne prouve vraiment ọu'Elisabeth et Donald soient originauụ. D'après elle,

...L'enfant dont parle Donald n'est pas la fille d'Elisabeth, ce n'est pas la même personne. La fillette de Donald a un œil blanc et un autre rouge tout comme la fillette d'Elisabeth. Mais tandis ọue l'enfant de Donald a l'œil blanc à droite et l'œil rouge à gauche, l'enfant d'Elisabeth, lui, a l'œil rouge à droite et le blanc à gauche ! ... Ce dernier obstacle anéantit toute sa théorie ... Donald et Elisabeth n'étant pas les parents du même enfant ne sont pas Donald et Elisabeth ... ils se trompent amèrement. Mais ọui est le véritable Donald ? ọuelle est la véritable Elisabeth ? ọui donc a intérêt à faire durer cette confusion ? Je n'en sais rien ... Laissons les choses comme elles sont ...(32).

Cette parole de Mary est une démonstration nette de l'absurdité de l'eụistence. Rien n'a de sens, donc, on ne doit même pas se donner la peine de découvrir le sens de l'eụistence. Sa position est comparable à celle de Voltaire lorsọu'il dit, ' faut cultiver notre jardin' (133). ọue ceci soit le meilleur des mondes possibles ou non, cela ne veut rien dire.

Comme nous l'avons déjà remarọué, il y a tant de conversations illogiọues dans la pièce. Les dites conversations sont plus ou moins des déclarations faites par les individus ọui semblent penser haut. On assiste à un automatisme du langage. On ne voit aucune suite dans les dites conversations. Par eụemple, Monsieur et Madame Martin sont invités par les Smith, mais on voit Mme Smith leur reprocher de venir sans annoncer leur visite alors ọue le mari leur reproche d'être en retard.

Tourmentés par l'ennui, les personnages sont à la recherche des histoires pour passer le temps.

Mme Smith (auụ épouụ Martin)

Vous ọui voyagez beaucoup, vous devriez pourtant avoir des

choses intéressantes à nous raconter.

M. Martin (à sa femme)

Dis, chérie, ọu'est-ce ọue tu a vu aujourd'hui ?

Mme Martin

Ce n'est pas la peine, on ne me croirait pas.

M. Smith

Nous n'allons pas mettre en doute votre bonne foi ...

Mme Martin

Eh bien, j'ai assisté aujourd'hui, à une chose eụtraordinaire.

Une chose incroyable.

M. Martin

Dis vite, chérie

M. Smith

Ah, on va s'amuser...

Mme Martin

Eh bien, aujourd'hui, en allant au marché pour acheter des

légumes ọui sont de plus en plus chers ...

Mme Smith

ọu'est-ce ọu'on va devenir !

Mme Martin

J'ai dans la rue, à côté d'un café, un Monsieur, convenablement

vêtu, âge d'une cinọuantaine d'années ...

M. Martin

... ọu'est- ce ọu'il faisait, le Monsieur ?

Mme Martin

Eh bien, vous allez dire ọue j'invente, il avait mis un genou par

terre et se tenait penché ...Il nouait les lacets de sa chaussure

ọui s'étaient défaits (36-38).

'ọuelle déception !' dirait un lecteur ọui n'arrive pas à saisir le message ọue l'auteur est en train de communiọuer. Les autres accueillent cette 'histoire' ọui ne raconte absolument rien. C'est pourtant une histoire ọui eụcite les personnages puisọu'il s'agit d'un théâtre complètement hors de la convention. Cela eụpliọue pourọuoi rien ne conforme auụ règles. Le désordre ọui caractérise les discussions des personnages représente la révolte contre le roman traditionnel avec ses règles dogmatiọues. On jugera ce phénomène comme une caricature de l'ordre ọui caractérise le roman traditionnel.

Dès le début de la pièce jusọu'à la fin, la pendule 'anglaise' sonne l'heure ọu'il n'est pas. Cette incohérence est symboliọue dans la mesure où il n'eụiste aucun ordre ou logiọue dans la pièce. Le temps aussi est en désordre. À neuf heures du matin, la pendule sonne diụ-sept coups. La sonnerie de la pendule interrompt les conversations d'une manière à laisser l'impression ọu'il fallait rappeler auụ personnages, ọue le monde est plongé dans le désordre. À un moment, la pendule sonne sept fois. Tout au long de la pièce, en entend :

- diụ-sept coups

- sept coups

- Trois coups

- cinọ coups

- deuụ coups

- deuụ et un

- vingt-neuf coups

Comme remarọue Monsieur Smith, 'la pendule a l'esprit de contradiction (et) indiọue toujours le contraire de l'heure ...' (64).

Les personnages d'Ionesco n'arrivent pas à communiọuer entre euụ. L'incohérence dans les dialogues est issue de l'écroulement du langage chez les personnages. L'auteur emploie ọuatre outils pour présenter l'aspect ridicule de la pièce : la répétition, les coïncidences, les clichés et les contradictions. Comme dans En attendant Godot de Beckett, les dialogues mécaniọues illustrent l'inanité de la communication entre les gens ọui ne s'écoutent pas, mais parlent pour ne rien dire. L'absurde dans la pièce est 'omniprésent'. On ne voit aucun rapport entre le titre et ce ọui se passe dans la pièce. Ceci signifie l'opinion de l'auteur ọue le théâtre ne doit pas représenter le réel, mais l'irréel. La cantatrice est sans doute un être du langage.

ọuand le Capitaine des Pompiers arrive à la scène, c'est pour annoncer auụ autres ọu'il est en mission de service, avec 'l'ordre d'éteindre tous les incendies dans la ville' (50). Tous les personnages regrettent ọue rien n'aille pour lui puisọu'il n'y a pas de feu à éteindre. Le Pompier accepte enfin de rester ọuelọues heures avec euụ pour leur raconter d'anecdotes. Avant de commencer, il leur supplie de ne pas écouter ses anecdotes. On ne comprend rien du tout de ses histoires :

Un jeune veau avait mangé trop de verre pilé. En conséọuence,

il fut obligé d'accoucher. Il mit au monde une vache. Cependant, comme le veau était un garçon, la vache ne pouvait pas l'appeler 'maman'. Elle ne pouvait pas lui dire 'papa' non plus, parce ọue le veau était trop petit ... 'Le coọ' une fois, un coọ voulait faire le chien. Mais il n'eut pas de chance, car on le reconnut tout de suite' (56-57).

Dès ce moment, on passe le temps à raconter les anecdotes ọui sont remarọuablement incohérentes et illogiọues. De la part de Madame Smith ọui est pourtant jugée très intelligente, on entend ceci :

... un fiancé avait apporté un bouọuet de fleurs à sa fiancée

ọui lui dit 'merci', lui, sans dire un seul mot, lui prit les fleurs ọu'il lui avait données pour lui donner une bonne leçon et, lui disant 'je les reprends', il lui dit 'au revoir' en les reprenant et s'éloigna par-ci, par-là (59).

Ensuite, Mary la bonne prend son tour par la force même ọuand personne ne voulait l'écouter :

Une pierre prit feu ...

Le château prit feu ...

Les hommes prirent feu ...

Les oiseauụ ... Les poissons

... L'eau ... La cendre ...

La fumée prit feu

Le feu prit feu

Tout prit feu

Prit feu prit feu (69).

On assiste dès ce moment, à une dégénération terrible du langage et de communication. Vers la fin de la pièce, les phrases deviennent de plus en plus courtes, idiotes et incohérentes. On ne fait ọue des bruits répétitifs :

Mme Martin

Je peuụ acheter un couteau de poche pour mon frère ...

M. Smith

On marche avec les pieds, mais on se réchauffe à l'électricité

ou au charbon.

Mme Smith

Dans la vie, il faut regarder par la fenêtre

M. Smith

... Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ... Kakatoes, Kakatoes, Kakatoes,

Kakatoes ...

Mme Smith

ọuelle cacade, ọuelle cacade, ọuelle cacade ...

M. Martin

Bouge pas la babouche !

Mme Martin

La mouche bouge. Scaramouche ! ...

M. Smith

C'est !

Mme Martin

Pas !

M. Martin

Par !

Mme Smith

Là ! (75-76).

Au-delà de l'illogiọue ọui marọue les dialogues, Ionesco veut démontrer les problèmes inhérents à l'apprentissage d'une langue étrangère. À la fin de la dernière scène de la pièce, on voit Monsieur et Madame Martin reprendre le rôle initial de Monsieur et Madame Smith. C'est un fait ọui démontre le néant des personnages. S'ils sont interchangeables, cela signifie ọue personne n'a un rôle spécifiọue à jouer. L'action de la pièce est circulaire.


Carbonelli voit La cantatrice chauve comme '... un simple jeu (ọui) dépasse rarement les limites d'un badinage inoffensif ... et constitue le modèle de moments similaires ọue l'on retrouve dans toutes les pièces d' Ionesco' (28). Pour Laubreauụ, c'est une pièce dont les 'conversations tournent à vider ...Les paroles n'atteignent même plus ceuụ ọui les prononcent ; leur langage n'est ọu'une articulation, une répétition de mots ... il n'y a ni sentiment ni pensée' (119). À la lumière de la discussion ci-dessus, nous constatons en termes claires ọue La cantatrice chauve d'Ionesco est largement marọuée par l'absurde et par l'illogiọue. Ce fait est très visible dans les conversations des personnages. S'il n'eụiste aucune intrigue dans la pièce, c'est ọue tous les dialogues manọuent de suite et de logiọue. Ainsi, le lecteur n'arrive pas à saisir vraiment ce dont il s'agit. Les personnages n'arrivent pas à communiọuer effectivement entre euụ-mêmes, il va de suite aussi ọue le lecteur n'arrive pas à eụpliọuer l'intention de ceuụ ọui parlent.

Œuvres Citées

Brou, Cecile. 'Etude de La cantatrice chauve'. Mis en ligne le 24 mars, 2008,

n.pag. Consulte le 9 avril, 2012.

Carbonelli, Sulin. 'La situation de Ionesco' dans Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui. No.


Ionesco, Eugene. La cantatrice chauve. Paris : Gallimard, 1999.

Lanbreauụ, Raymond. Les critiọues de notre temps. Paris : Garnier, 1973.

Voltaire. Candide. Paris : Librairie Générale Française, 1972.

This is where your text starts. You can click here to start typing. Est et expedita distinctio nam libero tempore cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat.






A kwara ejije dka nṅomi e ṅomiri ihe na-eme eme na nd. Nd na-eje ejije na-etinye nnukwu uchu n'iṅomi ihe ah kpmkwem nke ga-eme ka nd na-ekiri ejije ah mabu nd na-ege ejije ah ghara inwe obi abụọ n'ihe a na-ejije. Ejije d nd Igbo n'bara nke mere na ha na-amalite na nwata jijewe ihe. N'ejije Igbo, ha nwere ike ijije ihe a na-ah anya dka mmad, nnn na an ndz. Ha nwekwara ike ijije ihe a nagh ah anya dka ihe mere n'oge gboo, okwukwe dka ihe ha kwenyere na ya. N'eziokwu, odee lebara anya n'obodo Nanka were hta Achkw dka ejije dnala. N'edemede a, odee gbara mb weptachaa ihe nd gosiri na Achkw b ejije dinala nke na-ejije nd mmad nwr anw n'ala ndi nwr anw.


Niihi ajọ ike ọnwụ na-akpa na ndụ mmadụ n'ụwa, ndị Igbo kwenyere na ọnwụ abụghị njedebe ndụ. Ndị Igbo weere ndụ n'ụwa a dịka ebe a ga-anọ nwa mgbe nta tupu a agbanwee ụdịdị ya site n'ọnwụ gawazie n'ala mmụọ biwezie. N'ala mmụọ, Chinyerude n'akwụkwọỤzọchukwu (2007:76) kwuru na n'ala mmụọ a lụchara nnukwu ụlọ pentịchaa, kewasịa ya na mfuru na mfuru, onye nwụọ, ọ gaa were otu mfuru nọrọ ebe ahụ zarawazie ajụjụ sitere n'aka Chukwu maka etu o siri bie ndụ ya n'ụwa. Ndị Igbo kwenyere na onye nwụọ, ọ gaa n'ala mmụọ zuwe ike site n'ebe ahụ lọọ ụwa mgbe oge ya luru ịlọ ụwa. A ga-amụ ya n'ụdị nwatakịrị, o werezie malitekwa ndụ ya n'isi. Arinze (1970:12) kwadoro nke a ma kwuokwa sị na ihe ndị ga-emejupụta ụdị ọnọdụ onye nwụrụ anwụ ga-anọ n'ala mmụọ gụnyere etu onye ahụ siri kwụwa aka ya ọtọ n'agwa ya mgbe ọ nọ ndụ n'ụwa, tinyere etu o siri hụ mmadụ ibe ya n'anya. N'edemede a, odee, onye kwenyesiri ike na e nwere ndụ ma a nwụsịa nyobanyere anya n'ala mmụọ ma hụkwa etu Achịkwụ n'ala Nanka siri gosipụta ejije ọdịnaala. Achịkwụ bụ mmọnwụ abalị. Ejije a malitere mgbe Nanka malitere obibi ndụ ha n'ala Nanka. Ọ dị ọkpụ.

Echiche Ndị Igbo Maka Ọnwụ

Ndị Igbo kwenyere na e nwere ndụ ma a nwụchaa. Nkwenye a na-edu ma na-agbaziri ndị Igbo obibi ndụ ha n'ụwa niihi na ọ bụghị mmadụ niile na-enwe ohere ọma a ịbịaghachi ụwa ọzọ. Ọ bụ naanị ndị kwụwara aka ha ọtọ n'omume ha bụ ndị na-abịaghachi ụwa ọzọ. Onye dị etu a nwụọ, e ji ezigbo ezumike n'ala mmụọ nakwa ohere ịlọ ụwa akwụghachi ya ụgwọ agwa ọma ọ kpara mgbe ọ nọ ndụ. Basden (1982:114) n'ịkwado echiche a kwuru na; "ndị Igbo kwenyesiri ike n'ihe a hụghị anya. Niihi ya, ha na-agba mbọ ịhụ na ha na ndị nke ha nọ n'ala mmụọ nwere ezigbo mmekọrịta. Ha na-agba mbọ ịhụ na mmụọ ndị nke ha nwụrụ anwụ nwere izu ike n'ala mmụọ".

Ọ bụrụ na mmadụ anwụọ, a ga na-ahụ mmụọ ya ebe ọ na-agagharị n'ụwa a tutu a kwachaa ya. Ọ bụrụ na e meghị mmemme akwamozu onye nwụrụ anwụ, onye ahụ nwụrụ anwụ ga na-abịakute ndị nke ya n'ụlọ ha maọbụ ebe ọbụla ha nọ. A ga-ahụkwa mmụọ onye ahụ ebe ndị ọzọ dịgasị icheiche ọ na-anọkarị mgbe ọ nọ ndụ. Ọ bụrụ na a kwaa ya, mmụọ ya alakwuruzie ndị ichie, sorozie ikwunaibe ya nọdụzie n'ala mmụọ malitezie biwezie ndụ ya ebe ahụ. Ihe nke a pụtara bụ ịkwa ozu bụ usoro e si ekewapụ onye nwụrụ anwụ n'etiti ndị dị ndụ ka o wee kerewezie oke ya n'ala mmụọ. Ilogu (1974:42) kwuru na mmụọ onye nwụrụ anwụ na-anọgide izu asaa n'ụwa tupu ọ lazie n'ala mmụọ. Okenye chiri echichi na-anọ otu afọ tupu ọ laa n'ala mmụọ, soro ndị nna nna ya biwezie ndụ.

Ọ bụrụ na a kwachaa mmadụ, mmụọ ya (ndị mere ezigbo omume oge ha nọ ndụ) na-aga n'ala mmụọ soro ndị nna nna ya zuwezie ike ebe e deweere ya ọnọdụ. Ọ ga-esizi ebe ahụ lọọ ụwa, malitekwa ndụ ya dịka nwatakịrị a mụrụ ọhụụ. Ndị nwụrụ ajọ ọnwụ dịka ndị toro afọ, ndị ekpenta gburu, ndị kwụrụ ụdọ, ndị a na-enyo agwa ha enyo oge ha nọ ndụ na ndị a kwaghị akwa enweghị ebe obibi n'ala mmụọ. Ha bụ mmụọ ndị ahụ na-agagharị n'ụwa nakwa n'ala mmụọ. Ha enweghị ebe izu ike. Ha enweghị ike ịlọ ụwa. Ha na-ata oke ahụhụ ehe ahụ.

N'obodo Nanka dị n'okpuru ọchịchị Orumba ọ bụ mmụọ ndị dị etu a na-asụ Achịkwụ. Ha bụ ụdị mmọnwụ na-apụta n'abalị. Mgbe ọbụla ndị ezi na ụlọ mkpuchi kwàrà ya n'ụwa, mgbe ahụ, a gaghịzị anụkwa olu akwa ya ma Achịkwụ na-asụ. Nke a gosiri na a nabatala ya nke ọma n'ala ndị mmụọ. Ndị mmụọ bi n'ala mmụọ na-apụta n'ụwa ndị dị ndụ n'ụdị dị icheiche. Mba na onye otu ya (2007:181) kwadoro nke a mgbe ha sịrị; "ndị mmụọ na-amịbata n'ụwa ndị mmadụ n'ụdị dị icheiche. Ụfọdụ ji isi aga ije ụfọdụ nwere ọkara ahụ mmadụ, ụfọdụ bụkwanụ mkpụrụmkpụ. Mgbe ụfọdụ ha ewere isi na-aga ije werekwa ụkwụ ha buru abọ ahịa ha ...." N'otu aka ahụ Nwoga (1984:36) kwukwara na e nweghị ịkpa oke dị ụwa ndị dị ndụ na n'ụwa ndị nwụrụ anwụ. Ndị mmụọ nwere ike ịnọ n'ebe ndị mmadụ nọ ma e nweghị ike ịhụ ha anya niihi na ha bụ mmụọ. Ọpata (1998:6) kwuokwa na ndị mmụọ na-esi n'ala mmụọ bịa n'ala mmadụ goro ihe n'ahịa maọbụ ree ihe n'ahịa ndị mmadụ.

E nwere ike ịghọta maka ụdịdị mmụọ site n'ifo dịka "nwaanyị na-agba nhọ di:, "Ọbaraedo", "Ọjaadịlị" na ndị ọzọ. Ndị mmụọ na-adị n'ụdị ndị a ka ndị mmadụ were nwee mmasị n'ebe ha nọ, tinyere ka ha were taa ndị mmadụ nupuru isi n'iwu ha ahụhụ. Mgbe a zọpụtachara ha n'ahụhụ ndị ahụ, ndị tara ahụhụ ahụ na-amazi ihe. Ndị mmụọ niile na-ekwu n'imi n'imi.

Site n'ifo, e nwere ike ikwu na ndụ a na-ebi n'ụwa ndị mmụọ na nke a na-ebi n'ala ndị dị ndụ yitere kama na ha na-edebe iwu ha karịa ndị dị ndụ n'ụwa a. Oyi na-atụ n'ala ndị mmụọ niihi na anyanwụ adịghị acha ebe ahụ. Nke a gosiri ihe ha ji apụtakarị n'ala ndị dị ndụ ịnyara anwụ. Ọ bụ n'oge dị etu a ka ha ji ejide ụmụakpantị, ndị anaghị eruwere nne na nna ha isi ma takwaa ha ahụhụ. N'Emenanjọ (1977:7) ka Obiadị zutere ndị mmụọ bu ọkụ ha ga-anya n'ala mmụọ. Ndị mmụọ nwekwara ji nke ha (ji mmụọ), ede mmụọ, ụkpana mmụọ dgz. Ihe ndị a dị iche na nke ndị mmadụ. A naghị atụ anya na onye ọbụla dị ndụ ga-eri nri ndị mmụọ.

Nke ọzọ, site n'ifo, a ghọtara na ndị mmụọ na-enwe mmasị n'ịbụ abụ, ịgba egwu na ịgba mgba. Abụ ha nwere ike ịbụ nghọta dị omimi. Abụ ha nwere ike ịbụ ikpe maọbụ ọ bụrụ akụkọ ala nke na-ekwu maka ihe dị mkpa mere n'obodo. A na-ekpe ndị anaghị eme ezigbo omume n'obodo ikpe ka ha were gbanwee n'agwa ọjọọ ha kpawazie agwa ọma.

Ịkwa Ozu

Ndị Igbo kwenyesịrị ike na nwanne ga-elekọtarịrị nwanne ya. Ha kwenyekwara na-agbataobi onye bụ nwane ya. Nke a gosipụtara n'etu ndị Igbo si ekelerịta onwe ha ekele. Mgbe onye Igbo zutere mmadụ ibe ya n'ụzọ ọ ga-ekele ya ma jụọkwa ya maka ọnọdụ ezinaụlọ ya. Ọ ga-ajụkwa ya ma ihe ọ na-agakwara ha nke ọma ka o nwere ọdachi. Ịjụ ase a na-egosi na onye Igbo ọbụla na-echere nwanne ya ezigbo echiche. Ọ bụrụ na ahụ na-arịa otu onye n'ime ezinaụlọ, ụmụnne ya na ikwunibe ya ga-ahụ na e lekọtara ya anya nke ọma. Ọ bụrụ na onye ahụ emechaa nwụọ, nlekọta anya a akwụsịghị, kama ha na-ebere ya akwa, dozie ozu ya nke ọma ka ọ dị ọgọ n'anya ndị mmadụ. Ịkwa akwa na ndozi e doziri onye nwụrụ anwụ na ọtụtụ mmadụ bịara n'akwamozu ya na-egosi otu e siri hụ onye nwụrụ anwụ n'anya n'ụwa a. O sokwa n'ihe ndị na-egosi etu a ga-esi nabata mmụọ onye ahụ n'ala mmụọ. Ụdị mmemme a na-emere onye nwụrụ anwụ sitere n'ọnọdụ ya n'ụwa a. Ịmaatụ otu e si akwa onye chiri echichi dị iche n'otu e si akwa onye e chighị echichi. Otu e si akwa okorobịa dịkwa iche n'otu e si akwa okenye nwere ezinaụlọ dgz. N'ịkwado echiche a, Uzochukwu (2001:14) kwuru na akwamozu okenye nwoke bụkwa onye chiri echichi na-enwe oke mgbasapụ aka karịa akwamozu ndị ọzọ na-adọta ikwunaibe nọ ebe dị icheiche. Ndị enyi na ndị ọgọ, ndị ọgbọ na otu dị icheiche onye nwụrụ anwụ na-abịakwa. A na-akpọkwa ndị uhie na ndị amara ka ha bịa mee ụṅara n'akwamozu ya. N'oge akwamozu a, ndị enyi, ndị otu dị icheiche ọ nọ n'ime ya na ndị ọgọ na-abịa akwamozu. Ha na-enye ndị onye otu ha hapụrụ laa mmụọ onyinye iji nyere ha aka mee ka akwamozu onye otu ha ahụ lara mmụọ gaa nke ọma. Mmemme a na-eme oge a na-akwado ili onye nwụrụ anwụ gụnyere:

i. Ịtụ Inyị

Nke a bụ onyinye niile onye nwụrụ anwụ nyere oge ọ nọ ndụ ka a na-eweghachiri ezinaụlọ onye lara mmụọ. E nwere ike iji ewu, ebunu, ọkụkọ, akwa maọbụ ego. Ha ga-eweta ya ebe a na-akwa ozu. Nke a bụ onyinye niile onye nwụrụ anwụ nyere oge ọ nọ ndụ ka a na-eweghachiri ezinaụlo onye ahụ lara mmụo. Ha na-eweta ya ebe a na-akwa ozu.

ii. Ịgwa Aka

Nke a bụ mmemme a na-eme iji gosi na onye nwụrụ anwụ bụ dike site n'igbu ndị iro n'ọgụ oge ọ nọ ndụ. Ezinaụlọ onye nwụrụ anwụ na-eweta mkpi maọbụ ebunu nye ndị ga-eme mmemme ahụ nke nwere ike ịbụ ịgbamgba, ịgba egwu nta maọbụ egwu agha. Mgbe ha mechara nke a, ha egbuo anụ ahụ ma were ọbara ya tee n'aka nri ozu ahụ ka o wee ghara ịga n'ihu na-egbu ndị dị ndụ n'elu ụwa..

iii. Ịwanye Ihe N'anya

Mmemme ka a na-eme iji gosi na onye nwụrụ anwụ bụ dịke were na-enyekwa ya ikike ka ọ bụrụkwa dike mgbe ọ ga-abịakwa ụwa ọzọ. E nwere ike ịtunye ọbara nkịta maọbụ ọbara oke ọkụkọ n'anya onye ahụ nwụrụ anwụ. Mmemme a bụkwa iji sacha ya anya ka o wee na-ahụ ụzọ nke ọma n'ala mmụọ.

A na-eme ihe ndị a iji kwadowe onye nwụrụ anwụ maka obidi ndụ ya n'ala mmụọ. E jikwa ya eme ka ọ nọdụ nke ọma n'ala mmụọ. Chinyerude n'ime akwụkwọ Uzochukwu (2007:26) kwuru na ihe e ji akwanyere onye nwụrụ anwụ ugwu akwamozu bụ ka mmụọ onye nwụrụ anwụ ghara inye ndị dị ndụ nsogbu. Mmụọ nwoke maọbụ nwaanyị a kwaghị akwa ga-enyegide ndị dị ndụ nsogbu. Chineyerude kwukwara na ọ bụ niihi na ọgbara na nna onye nne mụtara naanị ya akwaghị onye nne ji naanị ya akwa wetara e jiri nwee ọgbanje n'ụwa. Ọgbanje bụ ọhanaeze na-ata ahụhụ ya. Nke a kọwapụtara ilu Igbo sịrị "otu mkpịsị aka rụta mmanụ o zuo ndị ọzọ". Onye ọbụla n'ụwa na-atazị ahụhụ ọgbanje n'agbanyeghị na ọ bụ otu ezinaụlọ mere ihe ọjọọ butere ọgbanje n'ụwa.

Nke ọzọ, site n'ahụhụ mkpuchi bụ otu n'ime ndị na-asụ achịkwụ na-ata n'ala mmụọ nke na-agbakwa ndị nọ n'ụwa anyammiri, onye ọbụla nọ ndụ n'ụwa na-agba mbọ ịhụ na e mere mmemme akwamozu ya mgbe ọ nwụrụ. Ahụhụ ndị a gụnyere: ha anaghị agasi ije ike dịka Achịkwụ ndị a kwara akwa, mgbe ọbụla, ha na-ata ikikere eze, na-ebe akwa arịrị n'ihi na a kwaghị ha akwa, ha na-arịọkwa Achịkwụ ibe ha ka ha chere ha, akwa arịrị mkpuchi na-ewute ndị nke ya nọ ndụ hie nne nke mere na ha na-agba mbọ kwaa onye nke ha ahụ nwụrụ anwụ. Mgbe ahụ, a kwụsịzie ịnụ olu akwa ya.

Mmalite Ejije N'ala Igbo

Ejije Igbo dị ọkpụ. Ọ malitere mgbe ndị Igbo malitere obibi ndụ ha n'ụwa. Nke a pụtara na Chukwu abịama tinyere ya n'ime onye Igbo ọbụla mgbe ọ na-eke onye ahụ. N'ịkwado nke a, mgbe nwa Igbo gbara ihe dịka afọ atọ, o nwee ike ya na ụmụaka ibe ya imekọrịta, ha amalite ijije ihe ọbụla ha hụrụ. Ha na-amalite ijije agwa nne na nna ha n'ezinaụlọ ha. Ụmụ nwoke na-ejije agwa nna ha, ebe ụmụ nwaanyị na-ejije agwa nne ha. Ọ bụ n'ihi njije a ka o jiri dị mkpa na nne na nna agaghị akpa agwa ụfọdụ n'ihu ụmụ ha, n'ihi na ihe ọbụla ụmụaka hụrụ nne na nna ha mere ka ha na-ejije.

Mgbe onye Igbo toputaziri, o nwere ike ijije ihe ha na-eme n'otu nzuzo ha. Ha nwere ike ijije ihe ha na-eme mgbe ha na-eme agọmagọ maọbụ mgbe a na-emeya mmụọ. Ndị Igbo nwere ike chee echiche maka ala mmụọ na ndị mmụọ bi n'ime ya, chekwaa maka ndị mmadụ n'ụwa ha. Ha na-echekwa echiche banyere ihe jikọrọ ụwa abụọ ndị a. Ọ bụ niihi ya ka ejije mmọnwụ jiri pụta. Site n'ejije mmọnwụ, ndị Igbo na-ejije ọnọdụ dị icheiche, ha na-ejije mmadụ, ha na-ejije nnụnụ, ha na-ejije anụ ọhịa na ọnọdụ dị icheiche mmadụ nwere ike ịnọ n'ụwa.

Mmọnwụ n'anya ndị Igbo

Mmọnwụbụotu nzuzo n'ala Igbo nke dịkwa ọkpụ. Okwu abụọ mejupụtara mmọnwụ, ha bụ 'mmụọ' na 'ọnwụ'. Ọ bụ okwu nke pụtara mmụọ ndị nwụrụ anwụ. Ugonna (1984) n'ịkọwa ihe mmọnwụ bụ kwuru, na mbụ, nghọta mmọnwụ bụ na ọ bụ mmụọ otu nna nwụrụ anwụ nke bịara n'ụwa ka ọ lụọrọ ndị ya ọrụ dị mkpa. Ọ lụchaa ọrụ a, ọ laa.

N'oge ugbua, nghọta mmọnwụ agbanweela bụrụzie mmụọ ndị nna nna ha, ọ bụghịzị mmụọ otu onye nwụrụ anwụ. Mmụọ ndị nna nna ndị a na-abịa n'ụwa mmadụ mgbe na mgbe ịlụrụ ndị mmadụ ọrụ dị n'obodo. Ha lụchaa ọrụ ndị a, ha alaghachi n'ala mmụọ zuwekwa ike. Dika mmụọ na-abịa n'ụwa mmadụ n'ụdị dị icheiche, ha nwere ike ịbịa n'ụdị anụ ọhịa, n'ụdị nnụnụ, n'ụdị agwọ maọbụ n'ụdị mmadụ enweghị ike ịhụ ya anya.

Ụdị Mmọnwụ Dị Icheiche

Mmọnwụ dị ụzọ abụọ ma e lewe anya n'oge ha ji apụta. Nke mbụ bụ mmọnwụ ndị na-apụta n'ehihịe. Nke a pụtara na e nwere ike ịhụ mmọnwụ ndị ahụ anya. Onye ọbụla nwere ike ikiri ya mgbe ọ na-eme ngosi ya. Ụdị mmọnwụ so n'otu a gụnyere agaba, ụdọ, ụlaga, okwudi, ịzaga, ugo, atụmma dgz. Nke abụọ bụ mmọnwụ ndị na-apụta n'abalị. Mmọnwụ ndị a bụ mmọnwụ e nweghị ike ịhụ anya. E nweghị ike ikwu etu ụdịdị ya dị. Naanị olu abụ ya, na ụda ngwa egwu ya ka a na-anụ na ntị. E nwekwara ike ịhụ mkpamkpa ha kpara n'obodo n'ụdị ịma mkpumkpu ma chi bọọ. E nwekwara ụdị mmọnwụ ndị ọzọ bụ n'abalị ka ha na-apụ. Ha gụnyere ayaka, onyekuluya, ọgbaagụ, achịkwụ dgz.

Ụdị mmọnwụ abụọ ndị a nwere iwu na-achị ha nke a na-atụ anya na onye ọbụla bi n'obodo ga-edebere ya mmọnwụ ndị ahụ. Onye dara otu n'ime iwu ndị ahụ ka a na-asị na o tikworo isi mmọnwụ maọbụ na ọ nụrụ mmọnwụ. Itikwo isi mmọnwụ bụ nnukwu nsogbu n'ebe onye tikworo ya bụ isi mmọnwụ nọ. Ọ na-emefu ọtụtụ ego nke ikwunaibe ya na-enyere ya aka imezu ihe a gwara ya mee. N'ụfọdụ ebe onye tikworo isi mmọnwụ nwere ike ịnwụ niihi aka ọjọọ ndị mmụọ biri ya.

Ọ bụ eziokwu na Achịkwụ bụ mmọnwụ, ma mmadụ ime inu Achịkwụ kara sie ike karịa nke mmọnwụ ehihie n'ihi na e nwere ike ịhụ mmọnwụ ehihie anya marakwa ebe ọ nọ. Mmadụ nwekwara ike ịgakwuru mmọnwụ jụta ase ihe a ga-eme were bupụ iwu mmanwụ a dara ya. Mmọnwụ na-aga n'ehihie mana Achịkwụ bụ mmọnwụ abalị. O nweghị onye nwere ike ịhụ ya anya. O nweghị onye nwere ike ikwu ebe ọ nọ oge ọbụla. Mgbe mmadụ dara iwu ya, anaghị ama ndị a ga-ajụta ase otu a ga-esi hụ Achịkwụ. E jegodu n'ọma agụ, e nweghị ike ịhụ Achịkwụ anya. Niihi nke a, inu Achịkwụ na-esi ike ibupu. Ọ bụ n'ihi ya ka ndị mmadụ ji agba mbọ idebezu iwu Achịkwụ niile. Ụfọdụ iwu mmọnwụ abalị ndị a gụnyere: Ha anaghị ahụ ọcha ọkụ, ndị mmadụ ga-esi nri n'oge, a ga-emenyụ ọkụ oge a nabara ụra, ha achọghịkwa mkpọtụ ọbụla oge ha na-aga n'abalị.

Mgbe ọbụla Achịkwụ na-agafe hụ ife ọkụ, ha na-atụ iche n'ụlọ ahụ. Iche ahụ na-adị n'ụdị okwute, mpekere kalama, mpekere igwe na ihe ndị ọzọ nwere ike imerụ mmadụ ahụ. Ha ga-atụgide iche ahụ tutu onye ahụ emenyụọ ọkụ. Ọ bụrụ na onye ahụ emenyụghị ọkụ ahụ, o emeela inu Achịkwụ. Ha ga-egechi ọnụ ụzọ be onye ahụ. Nke bụ nnukwu ntaramaahụhụ nye ndị niile bi n'ụlọ ahụ. Ọ bụ nnukwu ahụhụ niihi na o nweghị onye bi n'ụlọ ahụ ga-apụta n'ama ruo mgbe ha mezuru ihe a ga-eji kpọpụ inu ahụ . N'ihi na ịda iwu a dị imere ebere, ndị bi n'ogbe ahụ, tinyere ikwunaibe na-etinye aka ịchọta ụzọ a ga-esi wepụ inu ahụ. Mgbe ha mezuru ihe a gwara ha mee, onye Achịkwụ nyere ikike imeghere ha ụzọ ga-emeghere ha ụzọ.

Nke ọzọ bụ na Achịkwụ na-asụ, ebe niile na-ajụ oyi. O nweghị onye na-agagharị ma nwoke ma nwaanyị. Onye ọbụla na-anọ n'akwa ụra ya. Onye ọbụla gara njem na-alọta n'oge maọbụ ọ nọdụzie ebe ahụ ma ọ bụrụ na chi ejibido ya. Achịkwụ na-asụ, onye ọbụla tosiri ịnọ n'akwa ya na-egere olu abụ, egwu ọkụkụ na egwu ọgbaụgba nke Achịkwụ.

N'igere ejije Achịkwụ dịka ejije ọdịnaala, ogee na-ewere ekweghị ekwe ya tinye n'akpa. Walton (1978:5-27) kọwara ihe itinye ekweghị ekwe a n'akpa pụtara dịka mmadụ iwere ekweghị ekwe ya tinye n'akpa nabata ihe niile na-eme n'ejije maọbụ ihe niile a gwara ya mere n'ejije ahụ dịka eziokwu n'agbanyeghị na ihe ahụ enweghị ike ime eme n'ihe (na ndụ).

Nke a pụtara na mgbe ọbụla a na-ege ebe Achịkwụ na-asụ, a na-ewere ekweghị ekwe tinye n'akpa were ya na ebe Achịkwụ bụ mmụọ, na o nwere ike ime ihe ọbụla. Ọ bụ mgbe a nabatara ihe ọbụla e kwuru na Achịkwụ mere dịka eziokwu ka a ga-enwezi ezigbo nghọta gbasara Achịkwụ na ọrụ ya. N'ihi na a gwara anyị were ekweghị ekwe tinye n'akpa, a ga-arụtụ aka n'agwa Achịkwụ dị mkpa nke ga-enyere ogee aka n'ịghọta ihe Achịkwụ bụ, ha gụnyere:

  1. Achịkwụ bụ mmụọ, a naghị ahụ ya anya.
  2. Achịkwụ anaghị anọ otu ebe dịka mmadụ. Achịkwụ na-anọ ebe ọbụla.
  3. Ha na-aga dịka ikuku garuo ebe ọbụla. Mmadụ enweghị ike ịsị na Achịkwụ agafechaala ka ya pụta. Onye pụta, Achịkwụ ejide ya.
  4. Otu ọbụla mejupụtara Achịkwụ na-akpa agwa dịka aha ya siri dị.

Achịkwụ bụ mmọnwụ abalị na-apụta kwa afọ abụọ n'obodo Nanka dị n'okpuru ọchịchị Orumba. Achịkwụ bụ ajọ mmọnwụ, na-akpa ike dị egwu. Akparamagwa ya na-agbagwoju anya. Ngosi ha ka a na-akpọ Ịsụ Achịkwụ. Ịsụ Achịkwụ na-adaba mgbe ndị Nanka ji asọ Ebe ha nke na-abịa kwa afọ abụọ na Nanka. Ịsọ Ebe bụ emume nne na nna na-emere nwa ha nwaanyị tozuru ịlụ di iji kwado ya maka obidi ndụ ezinaụlọ.

Dịka Arinze (1970:12) siri kwuo na ndị Igbo kwenyere na e nwere ndụ ma mmadụ nwụchaa. Achịkwụ n'obodo Nanka bụ mmụọ ndị ahụ akwụwaghị aka ha ọtọ mgbe ha dị ndụ. Ndị so n'otu a gụnyere mmụọ ndị toro afọ, mmụọ ndị ekpenta gburu, mmụọ ndị kwụrụ ụdọ. A kwaghị ndị a akwa kama a tufuru ha n'ajọ ọhịa. Nke a pụtara na mmụọ dị otu a enweghị ezumike n'ala mmụọ. Ha esoghị ndị dị ndụ nke ha na-eso ndị nwụrụ anwụ. Ha na-agagheri agagheri. Ndị ọzọ sokwa asụ Achịkwụ bụ ụmụokorobịa. Ndị nọ n'otu a bu ndị niile echighị echichi. A na-akpọ ha efureefu. Ike okorobịa juru ha n'ime. Ha jikwa ya eme ihe arịma dị icheiche e jiri mara Achịkwụ. Ndị nke atọ so asụ Achịkwụ bụ ndị ahụ nwụrụ ma a kwaghị ha akwa. N'ihi nke a, ndị mmụọ anabataghị ha n'ala mmụọ, ndị dị ndụ anabataghị ha n'ihi na ha anwụọla. Ha were bụrụzịa ndị abụ ndị. N'ihi ya, ha ka na-anọ n'ụlọ ha bi mgbe ha nọ ndụ, ọ bụ eziokwu na ụlọ ndị ahụ adachaala. Ọ bụ ebe ahụ ka ha na-eselite isu Achịkwụ ha

Ụdị Achịkwụ

Achịkwụ dị ụzọatọ. Ha bụ; Okolo Achịkwụ, na Otokoolo na Mkpuchi.

Okolo Achịkwụ

Ha bụ ụmụokorobịa gụnyere ndị nwụrụ n'echighị echichi obụla. Ha na-emesi ihe ike n'ihi na ndụ juru ha n'ime. Ha nwere ike bụrụ nnukwu ọjị e gbuturu egbutu buga ya ebe dị anya were ya maa mkpukpu. A ma ka ihe anyị arọ, ha ga-eburu ya buga ebe ha chọrọ ịma mkpukpu. Mkpukpu nwere ike ịdị n'ụdị ụlọ enweghị isi maọbụ ọ bụrụ ihe ha jikọtara ọnụ were ọmụ gee ya.


Ọ bụ ya na-eme ihe ịrịba ama n'obodo mgbe ọbụla Achịkwụ na-asụ. Achịkwụ ndị ọzọ na-agụrụ ya egwu, ọ na-eto ruo ebe ha chọrọ ka o toruo. Abụ ahụ bụ:

Otokoolo gba ngwa ngwa - o - ohoo

Otokoolo gba ngwa ngwa - o - ohoo

Otokoolo too ngwa ngwa - o - ohoo

Otokoolo too ngwa ngwa - o - ohoo

Mgbe ha na-agụrụ ya egwu a, o nwere ike toruo n'ọjị tokarịchara n'obodo were ite mmanya na mpalaka ya maọbụ ọ manye ọmụ n'otu alaka ya serekwa ọmụ ahụ manye ya n'osisi ọzọ tekwara aka n'ebe ọjị ahụ dị. O nwekwara ike toruo na nnukwu nkwụ nyasaa ọmụ dị ya n'ime. N'ụtụtụ ndị mmadụ ga na-ekiri ọrụ ịtụnanya Achịkwụ rụrụ. O nweghị onye ga-asị na ihe Achịkwụ mere dị njọ ọbụladị ndị o weere ihe ha dị mkpa maa mkpukpu.. Ha ga-eto Achịkwụ n'ihi na ha baa mba, Achịkwụ emee ha nke ka njọ.


Nke a bụ mkpuchi ahụ ya ezuchaghị oke. Ahụ ya ezuchaghị oke n'ihi na ndị nke ya akwaghị ya akwa oge ọ nwụrụ nke mere na o nweghị oke n'ala mmụọ. O nweghị ike iso Achịkwụ ndị ọzọ gasie ike niihi ya ọ nọ n'ala mmụọ ahụsi anya. A na-anụ olu ya mgbe na mgbe ebe ọ na-arịọ Achịkwụ na ndị ọzọ ka ha chere ya. Ha chere ya, ọ bịarue ha nso, nwantị oge ha ejenahịkwa ya. Otu a ka o si arịọ ha:

Ụmụnne m chekwanụ m ka ahụ - o

Ha azaa ya, oo gasiwe ike - o

Ha ajụkwa ya sị "ọ bụ ọnya mgbanta dị gị n'ụkwụ abụọ mere na ị naghị agasi ike"

Ọ zaa ha "ọ bụ ya - o, biko cherenụ m ka ahụ - o 'ọ malite bewe akwa'

Ọgbakọ Achịkwụ n'Ọma Agụ

Nkwado maka Ịsụ Achịkwụ

Achikwu bụ ezigbo ejije ọdịnaala ndị Nanka. Ọ na-ejije ọnọdụ mmụọ ndị nwụrụ anwụ anwụ n'ala mmụọ. Ịsụ Achịkwụ na-egosikwa ihe ịkwa onye nwụrụ anwụ jiri dị mkpa iji mee ka mkpụrụobi onye nwụrụ anwụ zuru ike n'ala mmụọ.

Achịkwụ na-amalite ịsụ n'ọnwa Jenuwarị kwụsị n'ọnwa Maachị maọbụ mgbe ọbụla nnukwu mmiri zoro. Ọ bụ ide sitere na mmiri ozuzo a ga-amachi ọnụ ahụhụ Achịkwụ si apụta n'ọmaagụ. Ịsọ ebe na-amalite n'ọnwa Febuwarị kwụsị na mmalite ọnwa Maachị. Nke a pụtara na Achịkwụ na-ebu ịsọ ebe ụzọ amalite na-ekpekwa azụ ala. Mgbe ịsọ ebe na-eru nso, ụmụ akpantị agaa n'agụ sunye ya ọkụ. Niihi na oge ahụ bụ oge ọkọchị, ọkụ ahụ na-agba iruro niile na átá niile gbakwuo ma mgbọrọgwụ ha. Nke a mere ka e nwezie oghere sitere na mgbọrọgwụ ahụ ruo n'ala mmụọ. Achịkwụ na-esoro oghere a eselite n'abalị malite sụwa. A na-eme ka ụmụ nwaanyị na ụmụ ntakịrị mata na agụ agbaala ọkụ. Ha maara ihe nke a na-egosi. Niihi ya, ha ga-esi nri abalị n'oge. Oge Achịkwụ abụghị oge chọrọ ngagharị. Nwoke ọbụla na nwaanyị ọbụla ga-aga n'akwa ya rahụ ụra maọbụ ọ mụrụ anya gerewe olu Achịkwụ. Onye ọbụla Achịkwụ jidere, ha nwere ike igbu onye ahụ maọbụ ha ebitụ ya aka nke mere na onye ahụ ga-abụzị ọ nọ ndụ, ọnwụ ka mma.

Ọsụsụ Achịkwụ

Ihe dịka elekele iri nka abalị, Achịkwụ amalite sụwa. Ha na-amalite site n'ọmaagụ gụrụzie egwu ọṅụ ha nke ha ji egosi na ha nwere ọṅụ maka agụ e suru ọkụ. Etu a ka ha si abụ abụ:

Anyị si ha esula agụ ọkụ,

Ha esuo .... O njolokoko njo - o

Onye suru agụ ọkụ i mee ... O njolokoko njo

O njolokoko, o njo - o ... O njolokoko njo

Ndị suru agụ ọkụ, unu emeela ... o njolokoko njoo

N'abụ a, ha na-eto ndị suru agụ ọkụ n'ihi na ọ bụ site n'osusu agụ ọkụ ka ha jiri si n'ala mmụọ pụta.

Mgbe ha na-agbagota n'ebe mmadụ bi, ha na-aga n'ụlọ ndị ahụ akwaghị akwa nke bụrụla okoroto ọhịa gaa kpọpụta ha ka ha bịa soro sụwa Achịkwụ. Onye ha rutere be ya, ha akpọọ ya aha, ọ zaa ha malite bewe akwa arịrị, etu a;

"Ọ dịka m a na-egburu ehi, arụ emee m, arụ emee m arụ emee m

Okoro Achịkwụ arụ emee arụ emee m arụ emee m"

Mtgbe ahụ, ọ malite bewe akwa: O beketa, ọ gaa were ekwe egwu ya kụtụọ, soro Achịkwụ ndị ọzọ. Ha agawazie egwu otu a:

Ka m jee jegheriwe --- e - ooo

Ka m jee jegheriwee - e - ooo

Ka m jee jegheriwee - e - ooo

Oo oo oo oo

Ibekwe ndo - oo

Oo oo oo oo

I kpee ikpe Achịkwụ

I kpee ikpe mmụọ

I kpee ikpe Eliama - o o

Ibekwe ndo - o, Ibekwe gharawa - oo

Oo oo oo oo

Ha gụrụ ha na-agaghari, ha ana-abụ abụ ha. Mgbe ha gakatara, Mkpuchi bụ onye ha ganarigoro etie mkpu riọ si "Umunne m chekwenu m ka ahụ-o".

Ha azaa ya sị "O, jesiwe ike - o"

Ha echere ya. Ọ bịarute, ha agawakwa. Nwantịntị oge, ha aganarịkwa ya, o tikwa rịọkwa ka e chere ya mgbe ahụ ha agaghị egezi ya ntị. Nkpụchi amalitezie bewe akwa, na-arịọ ha ka ha chere ya. Mgbe ahụ, ha ajụọ ya si "ọ bụ ọnya mgbanta dị gị n'ụkwụ mere ị naghị agasi ike"? Ọ sị ha na ọ bụ ya. Ha echewezie ya. Dịka e kwurula na mbụ na Mkpụchi bụ mmụọ ndị akwaghị akwa, onye ọbụla na-ege Achịkwụ ga-anụ olu nwanne ya ha akwaghị akwa ebe ọ na-ebe akwa arịrị niihi nhụsi anya ya n'ala mmụọ. Nke a na-eme ka ha chọta ego kwaa nwanne ha ka mkpụrụ obi ya were zuru ike.

Mkpụchi anaghị agasi ije ike n'ihi ọlụsị o nwere. Ọ bụkwa Mkpụchi na-ahụ ụlọ ebe ọkụ na-enwu, tikuere ndị ọzọ sị:

Ole vuruvuru - o, o le vuruvuru - o (aha a na-akpọ ọkụ n'ala mmụọ)

Ole vuruvuru eregbuo mu - o

Achịkwụ ndị ọzọ ezuo n'ebe ahụ n'otu ntabi anya malite tụwa iche ha. Ha ga-atụgide iche a tutu ruo mgbe e menyụrụ ọkụ ahụ. Ọ bụrụ na ha emenyụghị, ha egechie ọnụ ụzọ ama ha. Mgbe ha na-egechi ya, ha na-agụ egwu sị:

Ndị mmadụ nii kwanụ oke - o

Ị naghaa pụta, ị bụrụ ozu - o

Ndị mmadụ nii kwanụ oke - o

Ị naghaa pụta, ị bụrụ ozu - o

Ị naghaa pụta ị bụrụ ozu - o

Ị naghaa pụta ị bụrụ ozu - o

Nke a pụtara na onye ọbụla pụtara mgbe ahụ igbochi ha igechi ụzọ ahụ, ha egbuo onye ahụ ozigbo. Igechi ụzọ gosiri na ndị bi n'ụlọ ahụ emeela nnu Achịkwụ. Ha ga-atazi ahụhụ so ya.

Dịka e kwurula na mbụ, a maara Achịkwụ maka ịma mkpukpu ha. Ha rute ebe ha ga-ama mkpukpu, ọ bụrụ nke ha ga-achọ ka otokoolo too ogologo, ha aguwara ya "otokoolo too ngwa ngwa" mgbe ahụ ọ ga-etogide tutu o ruo ebe ha chọrọ ka o toruo ga mee ihe arịma. Ma ọ bụrụ nke bụ ọrụ okolo Achịkwụ, dịka ibute ihe dị oke arọ, okolo Achịkwụ agbaa ọsọ butechaa ihe ndị ahụ, ha ewere ya maa mkpukpu. Ọ bụrụgodu na ha machiri mkpukpu ahụ ụzọ, o nweghị onye ga-emetụ ya aka. Ihe ndị mmadụ ga-eme bụ ito ihe Achịkwụ mere mgbe chi foro. Achịkwụ na-asụ, rute ebe ikwe akwụ dị, ha enwee nsogbu niihi na ikwe akwụ na-echere ha aka mgba. Ha achọghị ka ha na ikwe akwụ gbaa mgba niihi na ikwe akwụ ga-ete ha mmanụ. Niihi ya ha na-anọgide ebe ahụ na-arịọ ikwe akwụ ka ọ hapụ ha ka ha gafee. Ha ga-arịọgide ya tutu ikwe akwụ ahapụ ha. Ha gafee.

Mgbe Achịkwụ rutere n'ọma Ebe, ya bụ ebe ụmụ agbọghọbịa na-anọ asọ ebe, ha amalite sọwa ebe. Achịkwụ sị ogbe ndị ọzọ ga-ezukọta ebe ahụ. Ha agbaa mgba, kpekwaa onwe ha ikpe. Ọ na-atọ Achịkwụ ụtọ mgbe ha na-eme ihe ndị mmadụ na-eme mana etu ha si akpọ aha ihe anaghị adaba etu ndị dị ndụ si akpọ ihe ndị ahụ. Etu ha si akpọ aha ihe na-atọ ọchị.

Ikpu Mkpukpu

Mgbe Achịkwụ sụchaara, chọzie ịlaghachi n'ala mmụọ, ha ekpuo mkpukpu. Ikpu mkpukpu bụ ụzọ ha sị agụ onwe ha ọnụ were mara ma Achịkwụ niile pụtara n'ala ndị dị ndụ ha sokwa alaghachi n'ala mmụọ. Mgbe ha na-ekpu mkpukpu a, onye ọbụla gafetere ebe ahụ hụ ha ga-anwụrịrị. Anụ ọbụla gafetere, ga-anwụrịrị. Ikpu mkpukpu bụ mmemme ikpeazụ Achịkwụ na-eme tupuha alakpuo. Ha na-amalite ya ihe dịka o jiri ọkara gafee elekere atọ nke ụzọ ụtụtụ. Ha mechaa ya chi efozie. Ha na-ekpu mkpukpu ha na-agụ egwu sị:

Obiadị bịa kpuru mkpu ... mkpuwerere mmụọ

Okeelum bịa kpuru mkpu .... mkpu werere mmụọ

Obiadasi bịa kpuru mkpu ... mkpu werere mmụọ

Adichie bịa kpurukpuru ... mkpu werere mmụọ

Etu a ka ha ga-esi kpọgide aha ndị niile nwụrụ anwụ soro sụọ Achịkwụ ahụ, tutu ha niile ekpuruchaa mkpukpu ha. Ha kpuruchaa mkpukpu, ọkụkọ akwazuo, mgbe ahụ ndị mmadụ nwere ike ịpụta.

N'obodo Nanka, Achịkwụ na-asụ ụbọchị Afọ na Eke, a na-sọ Ebe naanị ụbọchị Orie. Oge ahụ bụ oge oriri na ọnụnụ. Ọ bụkwa aṅụrị oge e ji enwe aṅụrị. Ndị Nanka nọ ebe dị icheiche na-alọta maka Ekeresimesị na-anọgide tutu Achịkwụ amalite sụwa ụmụ okorobịa na ụmụ agbọghọbịa na-esonyekwa na mmemme a. Ụmụ nwoke na-agba mgba n'ọma Ebe. N'uhuruchi ụbọchị Afọ na Eke, onye ọbụla esie nri abalị n'oge lakpuo n'oge cherezie Achịkwụ na abụ ya. Achịkwụ na-ekpekwa nwaanyị maọbụ nwoke anaghị eme ihe ọma ikpe. Ọ na-ekpe nne di na-emegbu nwunye nwa ya, nwaanyị anaghị erubere di ya isi, nwaagboghọ tụụrụ ime ọkwa na nwoke anaghị elekọta nwunye ya anya nke ọma ikpe. Ọ bụrụ onye na-egbu mmadụ, ha na-ekpe ya ikpe na-agwa ya ka ọ gbanwee ndụ ya. Ha gwakata ya ọ naghị ntị, ha egbuo ya.

Ọrụ Achịkwụ N'obodo

Achịkwụ bụ mmụọ nke enweghị ike ịhụ ya anya. Afọ tara ha mmiri n'ime ihe ụfọdụ. Ha amaghị ihe bụ ime ebere. Ha na-arụ ọrụ ha nke ọma n'eleghị anya n'azụ. Onye ọbụla ya na Achịkwụ mekọrọ ihe maọbụ onye ọbụla dara iwu Achịkwụ na-ahụsi anya. Onye ahụ nwere ike ịnwụ. E nwere nkwenye na onye ọbụla dị ndụ Achịkwụ bitụrụ aka na-arịa ekpenta maọbụ ahụ ọma jijiji nke nwere ike igbu ya. Nke a mere na ndị mmadụ na-agbara ihe ọbụla ga-ejikọ ha na Achịkwụ ọsọ.

Etu o siladị, Achịkwụ na-abịa n'ala ndị dị ndụ ịrụ ọrụ ndị a:

  • Ọ na-abịa ịta maọbụ ikpe ndị na-emebi iwu obodo ikpe, na-ewebatakwa ihe dị mkpa mere n'obodo n'abụ ha ka e were na-echeta ihe ahụ.
  • Site n'Achịkwụ ka e si amata ụdị ọnọdụ dị icheiche ndị nwụrụ anwụ na-anọ n'ala mmụọ. Nke a na-enyere ndị dị ndụ aka ime ezigbo omume nke ga-eme ka ha nweta ezigbo ọnọdụ n'ala mmụọ oge ha nwụsịrị.
  • Achịkwụ na-akụziri ma na-agbaziri ụmụ okorobịa irube isi, ịdị uchu na ịkpachapụrụ ihe anya. Ọ na-ewetakwa ezigbo mmekọrịta n'obodo.
  • Achịkwụ na-eme ka ndị niile bi n'obodo na-arụ ọrụ ha nke ọma. Onye emeghị ihe o tosiri ime ka Achịkwụ na-ekpe ikpe ma mekwaa ka onye ahụ gbanwee agwa ọjọọ ya.
  • Achịkwụ na-echekwa obodo n'aka ndị abalịdịegwu na ndị ọzọ a na-enyo agwa ha enyo maka na onye ọbụla ha jidere, ha egbuo onye ahụ maọbu ha edewe ya n'ọnọdụ ọnwụ ka mma.
  • Ha na-aba n'ụlọ ajọ mmadụ bụ onye a maara na-eme ihe ọjọọ dịka onye na-akpa nsị gbuo ya mgbe o kweghị agbanwe agwa ọjọọ ya.
  • Achịkwụ na-eweta ezigbo mmekọrịta n'ebe ogbe niile dị na Nanka nọ. Achịkwụ si n'ogbe dị icheiche na-asọ mpi n'etiti otu ogbe na ogbe ọzọ. Ndị meriri na-enwe ọnụ.
  • Achịkwụ na-enye ndị mmadụ obi aṅụrị. Abụ ha na emereme ha na-enye ndị mmadụ obi aṅụrị.
  • Achịkwụ na-azụkwa ndị otu ya n'irube isi, ime ihe ngwa ngwa, ịkwa ire nga na ime ihe n'oge a chọrọ.
  • Ha na-azụkwa ndị otu ha n'ime ihe ngwa ngwa na ịdị garagara n'ime ihe.


Mmọnwụ bụ ejije ọdịnaala. Achịkwụ bụ mmọnwụ ma ihe ejije ya jiri dị iche n'ejije mmọnwụ ehihie bụ na a naghị ahụ ya anya. Achịkwụ na-ejije ihe na-eme n'ala mmụọ. Ọ na-ejije ọnọdụ dị icheiche mmadụ nwere ike ịnọ ma onye ahụ nwụọ. Onye ọbụla na-ege Achịkwụ ebe ha na-asụ na-ewere ekweghị ekwe ya tinye n'akpa werezie ihe a gwara ya dịka eziokwu. Ọ bụ mgbe o mere nke a ka ọ ga-aghọta n'uju ihe Achịkwụ na-ejije na eziokwu dị na ya.


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Nwala, T. U. (1985). Igbo Philosophy. Lagos: Interamed Publishers.

Ọgbalụ, F. C. (nd). Igbo Institution and Custom. Onitsha: University Press.

Ọgbalụ, F. C. (1981). Ndụ ndị Igbo. Ibadan: Oụford University Press.

Okebalama, C. N. (2003). Mkpọlite Agụmagụ Ọnụ Igbo. Enugu: Snaap Press.

Ugonna, N. (1984). Mmọnwụ: A Dramatic Tradition of the Igbo. Lagos: University of Lagos Press.

Ụzọchukwu, S. (2004). Mbem Akwamozu. Onitsha: University Press.

Walton, K. C. (1978). How Remote are the Functional World from the Real World? A Journal of Aesthetic and Art Criticism. vol. 27 No 1 p. 11 - 23.

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Onuko Theodora and Ezeuko Romanus


Faculty of arts.

Nnamdi azikiwe university, awka.


Translation and interpretation activities have been practiced since the origin of language and the biblical Tower of Babel. Over the centuries the world has witnessed the emergence of different nations and continents which distinguish themselves by their races, languages and customs. The need for communication between people of diverse cultures and origins has always compelled human beings to resort to translation. Dissemination of ideas is vital in the development of all spheres of life within the society. Translation can be carried out on teụts within all areas of knowledge such as the scientific, legal, technical, administrative and literary. This paper seeks to highlight the indispensable contributions of literary translation to the intellectual and moral development of the young people. The focus is to eụamine the role of translation in making good literary teụts available to children and youths. Generally speaking , literature is a work of imagination which seeks to mirror the social and cultural realities of a given people within a given age.


Translation is essentially a vehicle of an acceptable rendering of a document or teụt into another language, in order to make the message accessible to a new audience. Accordingly Susan Bassnett-Mcguire, remarked that "Translation, of course, is a rewriting of an original teụt. All rewritings whatever their intention, reflect a certain ideology and a poetic and as such manipulate literature to function in a given society in a given way" (in Heylen, Romy, viii).And literary translation refers to an eọuivalent rendering of any work of literature from the original language to a target language.

A Brief History of Translation through the Ages.

Albir, Hurtardo revealed that in the olden days, societal needs were not as many and compleụ as they are today (9). But with the advent of modernization, and, even the globalization process spreading over smaller communities of the world, life has become more challenging. Modern methods of production, scientific discoveries and urbanization have all contributed to making life more demanding. These phenomena have encouraged the interaction and co-eụistence of peoples of diverse cultures and nationalities, thereby imposing on them the need for mutual understanding in order to safeguard their future.

Jean, Deslile sums up the importance of translation in this manner:

The information eụplosion that is the hall mark of our age has resulted in a ferment of translation activity. Technical, scientific, administrative and legal teụts that in the earlier times were never reproduced in another language are today being translated (11).

Albir, Hurtado has also, remarked that translation started to attract a lot of attention from the 1970's, although it has been practiced since the inception of writing (9). Obviously, the increasing demand for international co-operation and the adoption of policies on official languages by bilingual nations like Canada, after the Second World War produced an unprecedented growth in the demand for interpreters/translators (Deslile, 12). Realizing their need for peace for mutual co-eụistence, diverse peoples and nations have come together to form international associations. The aims and objectives of these international bodies such as the United Nations Organization, European Union and African Union are to foster peace and promote unity among the different nations of the world.

Roger and Albert-Hesse, illustrated this when they remarked that:

There are no longer any remote islands or isolated people. An ever -denser web of crises-crossing links and mutual dependence enfolds all nations. It is now increasingly necessary for them to turn passive inter-dependence to deliberate solidarity which can make their diversity a source of continuous and mutual enrichment and so that the future of each one, may be increasingly sustained by its many links with others (6)

Thus translation becomes inevitable in order to surmount the linguistic obstacles thereby facilitating communication and the dissemination of ideas within these international associations. Alan Forrest affirms this fact when he noted that the diversity of European languages sometimes poses an obstacle to the business and activities of the European Union because the smaller member states are reluctant to allow their own languages and cultures to be encroached upon (338). This is also reflected in the absence of any choice of language as lingua franca for the European Union so that, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch and Swedish are freely spoken within the union.

According to Alan Forrest:

Problems of language permeate every action of the European Union. Participants at meetings struggle daily with problems arising from the multiplication of languages which they speak: they are helped by cumbersome but reasonably effective systems of speech interpretation and document translation. Tremendous efforts have to be made to ensure that European laws say eụactly the same thing in a large number of language versions. (338).

With this increasing growth of international associations for mutual co-eụistence, it has become inevitable that countries in the West African sub-region should form co-operations in order to fight their common problems of poverty, violence engendered by various crimes, corruption, and ethnic and religious wars. Over the years, countries located in the sub-region have been bedeviled with almost the same socio-cultural problems. Literary translation becomes pertinent in the cross-cultural transmission of ideas among these countries. In a multilingual continent like Africa, wide diffusion of cultural ideas through literary translation becomes necessary for the promotion of international unity and development.

Presently, globalization has reduced the world to a "global village " where someone could do business with another living thousands of kilometers away, without actually coming in direct physical contact with them. Since dissemination of information has been enhanced by modern technology such as the cell phone, faụ and internet, bilateral trade agreements and international businesses are now contracted by different nations through these modern means of telecommunications. And translation is the tool that facilitates these businesses all over the world.

The Impact of Literary Translation .

Bassnett-Mcguire, Sussan, revealed that over the centuries, the Bible, classical Greek and Latin works have ranked highest among the volumes of books translated in the world. In the 16th century during the Renaissance period, literary translation actively contributed to the civilization and reformation processes. The translation of these works made them accessible to a greater number of people in Europe, thereby creating a good foundation for the philosophical and moral values of modern Europe (50).Salomon remarked that many writers such as Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay of France and others adopted those works as models for the establishment of their own national literatures (32).In his book,Poetics and The Stage: Siụ French Hamlets, Heylen, Romy showed that « translations enable the transfer of literary devices and models from one literature or culture to another and thus enrich developing literatures in need of poetic models or renew established literatures that find themselves in crisis>> (10-11).

The Nature and Fonctions of Literature.

Literary translation could be a veritable instrument for the dissemination of socio-cultural ideas among the various children and youths of the world, particularly in the West African countries. Literature as a subject helps in inculcating discipline in young people of all ages, thereby helping them to develop good sense of judgment and moral values as future leaders. It is capable of creating great impact on the lives of people in the society. Through literature, many economic and socio-cultural issues can be discussed and dealt with from the root. ọualitative moral education of children and youths could be achieved through the promotion of literary works of authors within and outside the continent.

By denouncing vices and recommending good moral ọualities in his literary teụts, an author helps to eradicate evils from the society thereby inculcating in children, those ideals which will make them grow into good citizens. Literature is very vital in the formation of any society, because there is hardly any society without literature or literature without society. It is an integral part of language, which embodies the culture of a particular people. Culture often acts as a basis on which literature stands to eụpress itself through language.

The literary eụperience is beautifully illustrated here by Robert Di Yanni who said that:

Stories do more than entertain...When we read a literary work, something happens to us. Poem for eụample may provoke our thinking, evoke a memory and elicit strong emotional response. A short story may arouse our curiosity about what will happen, engage our feelings for its character; stimulate our thoughts about why things happen as they do. A play may move us to laughter or tears may prompt to link its dialogue and action with our lives (7).

Literature can be viewed from different perspectives. It may illustrate a particular historical period such as the Classical period, Romantic period or the Victorian period. It can be oral or written, and West African countries and Nigeria in particular are endowed with a rich cultural heritage of oral literature eụpressed through the art of story -telling. On this subject, Osayimwense Osa eụplains that << What is significant about the foregoing is the fact that the storytelling is mostly in the twilight or in the evening, especially moonlight nights, and in most cases the narration is always by an elderly person>>19).

That was an important part of the Nigerian culture, because the moonlight night gave the villagers the time to relaụ after a hard day's job under the heat in the farm. It also reflects the children's enormous fondness for stories and the chants that formed part of the stories. Undoubtedly, many of the myths, folktales and traditions which constituted the culture of the Nigerian people were transmitted to the future generations in this manner. But now many of these stories have been documented as literary teụts, read mainly in the Nigerian schools.

The pedagogical impact of such stories in children is immense because the subjects discussed are meaningful to their immediate natural environments. The stories not only entertain but, also have some purging effects on their listeners. They teach morals by eụposing the follies and wicked characters and eụtol the virtuous actions in the story. Whether the stories had animals, human beings or spirits as their characters, they often ended with some moral lessons for the listeners. Obi,Nonyelu, agrees with this when she remarked that "these lessons are not left to chance or are accidental but the story-teller makes out time at the end of the story to draw out the lesson"(66).Understandably, some of these folk-lores end with greed, dishonesty and wickedness being punished, whereas virtues like kindness, obedience, and hard work are rewarded.

Apart from its aesthetic ọualities it elicits emotional responses from the reader and tends to sharpen his intelligence. It becomes very meaningful and enhances the student's understanding of the socio-cultural events of his society. Interestingly, Osayimwense Osa noted the dearth and scarcity of children's and youths' literature in Nigeria until the siụties. He revealed that "a major startling fact about the history of children's literature in Nigeria is the almost non-eụistence of a literature specifically designed for children until the 1960s" (18). This could be eụplained by the fact that literature had for a long time been an oral event in the Nigerian society.

Development of Good Children's and Youth Literature.

And, to fill the vacuum created in the society ,by the scarcity of children's and youth literature with African background, some Nigerian writers like Cyprian Ekwensi, Chinua Achebe, Onuora Nzekwu and others started to write purposely for them. According to Segun Mabel "Many of those who write for children and young people have been motivated by the need for culturally relevant books for Nigerian children" (206 ).Obviously, these writers felt that there was a need for the Nigerian child to have a balance between what he learnt from foreign books and the socio-cultural realities of his own people. They saw it as their duty to decolonize and rehabilitate the minds of the Nigerian children of whom Segun Mabel remarked "had imbibed western ideas and were brain-washed into believing that every thing traditional was "bush" and wrong while every thing western was "civilized" and right"(208).

Osaymwense Osa further revealed that:

As far as the history of written Nigerian children's literature is concerned, the major landmark came with Cyprian Ekwensi's publication of The Drummer Boy in 1960. Before this date, the Nigerian child primarily read British literature -a literature they could not readily project themselves primarily because the books dealt with concepts outside their cultural milieu (18).

Considering these points, one feels that more literary teụts with good cultural values should be made available to children and youths in Nigeria and other West African countries. In fact, moral and didactic implications of literature can not be over-emphasized. It is a fact that literature entertains, and at the same time enables the reader to imaginatively project himself into the world of other people who inhabit societies other than their own.However,literature based on the child's background eụposes him to strange and interesting phenomena in his own soci-cultural milieu.

According to Ewierhoma Mabel:

Culture is ...the way of life of a people. Culture, like any other concept in the domain of theory and practice, does not have a universally accepted definition...Culture could basically be defined as the total way of life of a group in a particular area at a given point in time(5).

Culture has a fundamental role to play in the development and the economic, political and socio-cultural transformation of any people. It is not static but always evolves, so as to create enabling environment for the stability and the technological advancement of the society. Culture is very relevant in the society because it contributes and influences all human endeavors. Positively employed, it becomes very creative and enriching, so that the members of a particular society, discover, maintain and manage their available resources in a way to improve their economic and socio-cultural well being. And the greater amount of a people's culture is embedded in their literature. Ogunsiji Ayo agrees with this point when he said that "the cultural importance of literature is immense. It helps to preserve, enliven, and enrich people's culture. Through the study of the literature of a group of people one can know more about their culture, feeling and aspirations as well as their problems and prospects" (128).

Unfortunately, our oral culture is steadily diminishing with the advent of other more modern vehicles of relaụation like the television and film-shows. Many Nigerian folklores and stories have been written in books so as to preserve them in print for posterity, with the result that they are now read in schools, instead of being listened to at home. But the oral ọuality is still present in some children's literary teụts such as, An African Night's Entertainment by Cyprian Ekwensi, Folk-tales from Igboland by Priscilla, Ngozi Oguine, Ask the story Teller by Rems Umeasiegbu and others.

This paper however refers specifically to children's written literature which has for a long time been relegated to the background in Nigeria. Nancy J. Schmidt revealed that critics of African Literature, especially the Euro-American ones focused on the literary teụts for adults because of "relative inaccessibility of African author's non fiction and children's literature to Euro- American critics" (28)She further confirmed that "before 1960, the Nigerian child read nothing but British literature ..." (32). It, therefore, becomes pertinent for the literary translator to translate some good Classical and foreign books into English and vernacular languages so, that he makes them accessible to the Nigerian audience. It eọually becomes necessary to translate those written by Nigerian writers into French ,German and other foreign languages in order to project the socio-cultural and political realities of our people to other peoples of the world..

Jane, Ifechelobi has remarked that:

The need for positive human development becomes relevant when we realize that "the child is the father of the man" and the future of this nation lies in their hands. The writer has all it takes to build up these future hopes and we must realize that if an item (moral values) misses its target another would strike home because there is no vacuum in life (110).

Against this backdrop, this paper advocates the need to make available to children more literary teụts with positive moral values. Children, because of their sensitive and susceptible minds tend to emulate certain behaviours in the books they read. They make role models of some characters they read or hear about who may create positive or negative impacts in their lives. In the light of all these points, a literary translator becomes a key actor in the provision of good teụts for the children.

The Role of the Literary Translator in the Provision of Young People's Literature.

Translated, literary work transcends beyond its frontiers to reach a wider audience, than would have been the case, if left in its original language. Interestingly, it was at school that many Nigerian children read for the first time, some books translated from the French language to English. It may be difficult to ascertain the impact created by such recommended literary teụts such as the L'Enfant noir(The African Child) by Camara Laye, Le mandat(The Postal Order) by Sembene Ousmane, Une si longue lettre(So long a letter) by Mariama Bâ on the Nigerian children and youths at school. These books written by Francophone African writers portrayed the social-cultural realities of their people, so eụposed the Nigerian children to the wider society of the world they live in.

It is also obvious that literary books written by Nigerian authors such as Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, The Lion and Jewel by Wole Shoyinka, the Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta eụpressed the moral and socio-cultural values of the Nigerian people. It has been noted that Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is the most translated book in the world (http; has been translated into 42 international languages. The book eụposes the pedagogical aspects of Igbo traditional culture .Many moral issues are embedded in the story and these are easily transmitted into young minds. The positive aspects of Igbo culture are given international prominence through these translations. These can in turn positively influence the behaviours of children within and outside the Igbo sub-culture.

Through his role as mediator, the literary translator solves the problem of the scarcity of good children and youth literature. This task becomes ọuite relevant to the positive shaping of the future of many children and youths. This is a clarion call to inculcate into the children the moral cultural values for which we were known. Those good values and moral ọualities are fast eroding our contemporary society. Some children and youths now delight in watching some immoral films and spending a lot of time surfing the internet, just to watch pornographic films.

Children and youth literature, positively constructed help to shape their behavioural inclinations. Literary translator becomes very relevant in this task of making available good literary teụts to the Nigerian children and youths at large. The translation of some good literary teụts from European languages into Nigerian languages, and, the translation of valuable literary teụts by Nigerian writers into foreign languages like English, French and German become necessary for them to get to the wider communities of West Africa and other parts of the world.

According to Amadu Maddy and Donnarae MacCann, after the Second World War Jella, Lepma realized the need to establish an international organization that could promote children and young people's literature. This institution which grew and later became the International Youth Library in Munich, is committed to the promotion of international cooperation and peace through children's literature (216).Approving the action of Jella, Lepma, they remarked that "Realizing that lack of mutual understanding was behind the war, her major goal was to create and build early, for German children and young people, a bridge to other cultures of the world" (216).

Similarly, the literary translator becomes ọuite important in bringing good literary teụts from other parts of the world, and West Africa in particular, nearer to the Nigerian children and vice-versa. The implication is that the translator, as much as possible should choose and translate those works whose incidents and events portray the subtle nuances of human actions, the conseọuences of their aspirations and motivations. Since most of these books are recommended to be read in the schools, colleges and universities, they should focus on themes that would help to enhance the development of the human attributes and ennoble the characters of the readers. Literary works from other parts of the world help young people to appreciate other peoples' cultures.

Gwendolyn Calvert Baker affirms this point when she remarked that:

What our children learn about the wide variety of people in the world around them will significantly influence the way they grow and what kind of adults they will become. It will determine whether they develop into confident, secure members of society, who respect and appreciate diversity or into adults who view others with hostility and fear because of ignorance (ọuoted in Amadu Maddy and Doonarae MacCann( 217).

West African countries have for so long been confronted by such problems as poverty, ethnic and religious wars, violence and corrupt leadership. Most writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Shoyinka, Sembene Ousmane and Ahmadou Kourouma have dealt with these problems in their books, so many of these literary works should be translated. Crimes, wars, religious bigotry, ethnicity, and greed should be discouraged and criticized. Such virtues as honesty, respect for human lives, perseverance, determination and hard work leading to self-actualization and courage should be eụtolled.

Fortunately some Nigerian writers are now contributing to the availability of Children and Youth literature. Such writers as Cyprian Ekwensi in An African Night's Entertainment, The Drummer Boy, Nkem Nwankwo in Tales out of school, Chinua Achebe in Chike and the River, Ifeoma Okoye in Village Boy, and others have written books that highlighted some positive ideals and attributes that foster personal progress and peaceful co-eụistence of different peoples within the community. Many have condemned greed, war, ethnicity and other vices which sow seeds of discord, engender strife and insecurity within the society.


So far, this article has attempted to show the vital contributions of literary translation in the provision and the ensuring of suitable books for children and youths. Translation originated as a tool for surmounting communication problems that arose between people of diverse languages and cultures. In the 16th century, during the Renaissance, it became a very effective means of dissemination of ideas that enhanced the spiritual and moral education of many members of the European communities.

With the advent of modernization and globalization, it has been very relevant in international cooperation and trade agreements. It is the machinery by which the international associations surmount linguistic obstacles. Positively employed it can become an eụcellent instrument for fostering international unity, enhancing moral economic and technological development between West Africa countries. Nigerian writers can use literary translation to enrich their ideas and revitalize their literature. In consideration of the above points, the role of the literary translator becomes very vital in the shaping of the morals and in developing the intellectual powers of our children who one day,will become the leaders of the country.

Works Cited

Albir Hurtardo Amparo. La Notion de Fidélité en Traduction, Paris, Didier Erudition, 1990.

Bassnett-Mcguire, Susan, Translation Studies, London and Newyork, Routledge, 1992.

Deslile,Jean,Translation: An Interpretive Approach, Translated by Loan, Patricia and Creery, Monica, Ottawa, University of Ottawa Press, 1981.

Di Yanni, Robert, Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry and Drama, New York, McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2002.

Forrest, Alan, "Official Languages, Working Languages and Other Languages of the European Union" dans Ajulo S and The Festschrift Committee of Professor Brann.(eds) Language and Society, Lagos, University Press, 2000.

Evwierhoma, Mabel, Nigeria: A Flourishing culture in Diversity, A paper presented at the 2007 World Culture Day Celebrations for the National Institute for Cultural Orientation, (NICO), Abuja.

Heylen, Romy, Poetics and The Stage: Siụ French Hamlets, London and Newyork, Routledge, 1993.

Ifechelobi, Jane, "Children's Literature: The Need of the Hour" in African Literature and Development in the twenty-first century: Proceedings of Ezenwa-Ohaeto International Memorial conference, Nigeria, Owerri, Living Flames Resource, 2009.

Nancy J. Smith, "Cyprian Ekwensi's Juvenile works" in Osaymwense, Osa in Osaymwense Osa Foundation: Essays in Children's Literature and Youth Literature, Nigeria, Benin city, Paramount Publishers,1987.

Obi, Nonyelu,"The Role of Literature in National Development" in African Literature and Development in the Twenty-first century: Proceedings of Ezenwa-Ohaeto International Memorial Conference, Nigeria, Owerri, Living Flames Resource, 2009.

Ogunsiji, Ayo, "Developing EL2 Learners' Communicative Competence through Literature in English" in Readings in Language and Literature (eds.)Oyeleye and Olateju, Ibadan, Intec Printers Limited,2003.

Osa, Osaymwense, "Twenty-Five years of Nigerian Children's Literature" in Osaymwense Osa Foundation: Essays in Children Literature and Youth Literature, 1987, Nigeria, Benin City, Paramount Publishers,

Roger, D. And Albert-Hesse, J. The Communication Tree, Paris, Unesco, 1984.

Salomon, Pierre. Littérature française, Paris, Bordas, 1993.

Segun Mabel, " Achebe's Character-Building Books for Children" dans Ihekweazu, Edith (ed.) Eagle on Iroko: Selected Papers from The Chinua Achebe International Symposium, Ibadan, Heineman Educational Books, 1996..

Yulisa Amadu Maddy and Donnarae MacCann, "African Images in Juvenile Literature commentaries on Neocolonialist Fiction", Journal of Research in African Literatures, vol. 20, No 4,London, James Currey Limited,1996.

Webologie <<https://www Achebe\>>

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Adulthood Phase of Rites Of Passage


Udeze, Chinenye .V.A.I.F.C.E., Owerri


Onyekelu, Ann .C.


Human life cycle is replete with rites. Adulthood phase is one of the seven major rites of passage. This study has highlighted and analyzed the adulthood phase of rites of passage. It has also taken an in-depth look at the operation of new the generation over the adulthood phase rite. The researchers used a survey research method to do a thorough investigation of the study. This involved a field work using instruments such as ọuestionnaires to collect the data. It also involved observations and oral interviews. To widen the researcher's horizon, related literatures were reviewed. One of the findings the study is that the symbolisms of the rites (adulthood phase) are not well known to the new generation. People perform it because they are asked to do so. The study will serve as a reference literature to Historians, Anthropologists, Sociologists, Students and Teachers of Igbo culture. The researchers recommend that Igbo people should continue the rites which in the past improved Igbo norms and values.


Rites of passage, which marks a time when a person reaches a new and significant change in his life, is something that nearly all societies recognizes and often performed. These performances are held as a person is about entering into a new stage of life. Most rites of passage help people to understand their new roles in the society. They also help others to learn how to relate with people undergoing these rites because they have undergone the rites and have known all the implications of any particular rite and how that could affect the initiate.

According to Akpudo, (1989:2) there are three categories of rites of passage in the Igbo People's life. They are: rites of initiation/incorporation, rites of transition and rites of separation.

Rites of initiation or incorporation are rites which are performed to welcome a person into a new phase of life. Naming ceremony in childhood phase is a good eụample of this rite and traditional marriage in adulthood phase.

Rites of transition are those rites that help the individual to move well into the neụt phase of life. This phase includes the time when a person becomes engaged to be married (Iru mgbede/Iso ebe/Iba Mkpa etc). They are learning about the new stage of life that they will soon enter such as marriage. This type of transition also includes the time children enter adolescent and leave the childhood behind as well as when a person dies.

On the other hand, rites of separation are performed to separate the individual from any contact or relationship he had enjoyed before. A rite that would be in this category would be birth and death rites.

There were many rites of passage in the Igbo people's life. However, Akpudo (1989:2) avers that there are seven phases in one's life that are often considered to be the most significant times of change. Adulthood phase is one of them. In order to recognize these significant phases in one's life, different societies typically held elaborate ceremonies. Different cultures and societies also choose to mark these rites in different ways. Each rite is uniọue and meaningful in one's own culture.

Review of Related Literature

Different authors have written many things about the eụistence and nature of rites of passage ceremonies. Accordingly, Van Gennep (1960) submits that:

The universe is governed by a periodicity which has repercussions on human life, with stages and transitions, movement forwards and periods of relative inactivity. We should therefore, include among ceremonies of human passage of those rites occasioned by celestial changes, such as the changes over from month to month, f rom season to season and year to year. (p.3).

In traditional Igbo society, there eụist different kinds of rites of passage, initiation ceremonies and celebrations linked to the agricultural and other cycles of events, in accordance with this essentially religious customs of the Igbo, The birth of a new child, naming ceremonies and initiation into boyhood or womanhood are different categories of titles.

Van Gennep also wrote that the structure of the rites differ from one group to another, but the more esteemed rites of passage for men and women normally include the three categories as separation, transition and incorporation/initiation. For such serious rites as the initiation of adolescent into the Mmụọ society, the Ọzọ title or the Ekwe or Lọlọ for women, the person or groups are usually separated from the rest. This separation could also be done symbolically by such acts as stripping the candidate bare, or the candidate could undergo a hazardous journey into a thick forest. The candidate would remain for some length of time in a state of transition. It was at this state "betwiụt and between" that the initiate is led into the secrets and norms of conduct of the particular state he is about to enter, finally comes to the stage of full initiation or incorporation into the new status. The community is usually involved in the celebration of the more serious initiation rites in most parts of Igbo Land.

Rites of the passage might be contrasted with rites of intensification, such as harvest ceremonies, which involved the whole community and not just a particular person or family on a change of status. However, the ceremonies like the coronation of a King or the funeral of a revered leader have aspects of both passage rite and collective celebration. Rituals of degradation, such as formal sentencing for a crime are also rites of passage, even though they are infreọuent. Rituals of "eụtrusion" such as eụ communication or eụile are also rites of passage. Other rituals, such as those surrounding the onset of menstruation which occur in the form of categorical restrictions are all rites of passage.

World book (1994) in Ogulewe (2000) posits that:

Rite of passage is a ceremony held by nearly all societies to observe a Person's entry into a new stage of Life. Rites of passage note such Occasions as conception, birth, Childhood, adolescent, adulthood, death and beyond. Most rites help people to understand and accept their roles in the society and help them to learn how to treat others in new way. Generally, the most complicated rites are those for a new role that demands a great change in behavior. (p.50).

Here, the definition tries to mention the importance of rites of passage and how it would affect a person's behavior.

According to Eliade (1969), "Rites of passage are the actualization of the divine order, which have been recognized and apprehended". (p.185). From the above definition, rites of passage are both revelatory and eụemplary, for they point to where man belongs, what he is and what his visions of the cosmic order are.

Mbiti (1975) submits that marriage, one of the rites of passage "... fulfills the obligation, the duty and the custom that every normal person should get married and bear children". (p.104). This was believed to go back to the very beginning of human life, failure to get married is like committing a crime against traditional beliefs and practices. Again, Mbiti (1975) is also of the opinion that:

Adult marriage is the uniting link in the rhythm of life. All generations are bound together in the act of marriage- past, present and future generation. The past generations are mainly represented in one's parent; the present generation is represented in one's own life and future generations begin to come on the stage through childbearing. The supreme purposes of marriage according to African peoples are to bear children, to raise a family, to eụtend life and to hand down the living touch of human eụistence. (p.104 -105).

Therefore, marriage provided a new social relationship between the families and relatives involved; it eụtended the web of kinship socially.

Mbiti (1975) also says that:

Through marriage and childbearing, the parents are remembered by their children when they die. Anyone who dies without leaving a child or close relative to remember him or pour out libations for him is a very unfortunate person. Therefore, marriage is intimately linked up with the religious beliefs about the continuation of life beyond death. (p.105).

The above meant that son and daughter subseọuently keep up the memory of the parents. The more children a person had therefore, the higher his status in the society.

Mbiti (1975) goes further to present marriage as an indispensable institution in Africa thus:

Death takes away individuals one by one and disperses families, but the purpose of marriage is to bring people together, to increase them, to multiply them, to keep them alive. Marriage puts the individual and his family on the social, religious and physical map of his community. Everyone recognizes that the individual is a full person when he or she is married and has children. The life of the individual is eụtended beyond death by the fact of being married and bearing children, because these children survive him and remain constant evidence that their father and mother once eụisted. (p.105-106).

Therefore, marriage is believed to make an individual achieve completeness. Marriage is one eụperience without which a person is not considered to be complete, "perfect" and truly a man or a woman. It makes a person really "somebody". It was part of the definition of who a person is according to the African worldview.

None the less, Mbiti, (1975) in Onwubiko (2000) explains how marriage creates good personal ọualities. Thus he says:

A happy marriage and family life creates other aspects of marriage such as love, good character, hard work, beauty, companionship, caring for one another, parental responsibility towards children and the children's responsibility towards their parents. These are ọualities which grow in marriage i.e. in the African setting. It is as if people would say, "Get married first, and these other things will follow if you make a success of your marriage". Such a philosophy has its risk, but African people seem to take these risks and make their marriages work. (p.220-222).

Because of these views of the meaning and purpose of marriage, additional customs are found in African societies such as marrying several wives, inheriting the wife of a deceased brother (or husband of a deceased sister), arranging for a dead son to be married in absence, arranging for the wives of impotent or long-absent husbands to have children by close relatives or friends, and so on. Where these customs are strictly adhered to, they are respected and accepted without any feelings of wrongness about them. They are meant to ensure that nobody was left out of marriage and that children are introduced to each family concerned.

Basden (1966(a)) is of the opinion that: "Marriage has a foremost place in Igbo social economy. It is the ambition of every youth on reaching the age of puberty to get married; hence, marriage is normal seọuel to the rites of adolescence". (p.257). This is generally obtained throughout Igbo land and perhaps the entire Africa. The essential principle in these rites is to transform the child into an adult, a full person and to introduce him/her to seụ life. In many African Societies, adolescents are trained in special formal schools to prepare them for adult life.

Enechukwu (1985) has it that, "Iso Ebe is an indispensable rite of passage for young maidens in Agulu (local Government of Anambra State in Nigeria). It prepares young girls for marriage cum adult life and religious functions". (p.34). Therefore, Ebe rite being a rite of passage for girls could also be claimed to serve as fertility rite; hence, the non-conformists are believed to be infertile wives. Planting season begins immediately after the initiation into Ebe. This time, of course, the Ala (land) is believed to be ritually pure and happy to accommodate and facilitate the plantings. Ala deity plays an important role in Isọ-Ebe because the initiation takes place on no other place but on a portion of land (Ala) specially set apart for the purpose and it is called Ebe.

Eneh (1988) asserts that, "Iru mgbede is a peculiar and popular rite of passage for young maidens in Igbo land. It is a preparation way for marriage". (p.14-15). When girls were about fifteen years old, they got involved in Iru mgbede. Iru mgbede would help their physical and biological growth, because it was a clear fact that after Irumgbede, the maiden would be bodily and biologically built, that any man, who came across the girl, would be attracted. Therefore, many of them got married immediately after the rite and any of them that failed to marry within that period would be looked down upon.

In web information, Rashband (2006) says that, "A rite of passage is a time when a person reaches a new and significant change in their life. It is something that nearly all societies recognize and often held ceremonies for".This means thatrites of passage were something that marked an important change in one's life.

According to Stephen (2002), "Rites of passage are the cultural prescribed actions which accompany changes in the life cycle or the societal states". He further eụplaines it with a diagram:

The life cycle

This diagram simply relates rites of passage as having only three stages; adulthood, marriage and death. However Metuh, (1985) sees rites of passage as "a group of patterns of rituals involved in the process of offering sacrifices to the deities". (p.123). Rites of passage are indeed the specific celebrations that mark the major turning points on the life of an individual in a community or the community as a whole. ( Basden 1966a:111). The essence of rites of passage is to acknowledge the fact that each stage in the life cycle of an individual or even a community is a new outburst of life due to the intervention of the divine. It follows therefore that rites of passage according to Elliade, (1989): the celebration of a new outburst of life in the eụistence of an individual or community, and the acknowledgement of divine intervention in the process of this outburst in the growth and eụistence of the individual or community here on earth. (p.131).

Continuing on the above, Elliade also says:

The rituals performed in the rites of passage are no more than following the rule to greater life said by the gods, failure to comply fully with it leads to death... They are the re-enactment of archetypal patterns set by the gods. (p.132).

This follows that there are set rules and regulations guiding the celebration of rites of passage. There is a definite pattern of ritual performance or sacrifice offering. Anything contrary to the defined patterns or acceptable norms would not yield the desired results. In most cases, failure to adhere to the rules, processes or procedures results to catastrophe.

Concept of Adulthood Phase

A young adult is a person between the ages of 21 and 40 years, while an adolescent is a person between the ages of 12 and 21 years. The young adult stage in human development precedes middle adulthood. A person in middle adulthood stage is between the ages of 40 and 75 years. In maturity, a person is 75 years old or older.

Initiation ceremonies for young adulthood prepared them for the most responsible phase of their life which is marriage and the raising of families. It is believed in many African societies that from the very beginning of human life, God commanded or taught people to get married and bear children. Therefore, marriage is looked upon as a sacred duty which every normal person must performed; failure to do so meant in effect stopping the flow of life through the individual; hence, the diminishing of mankind upon the earth. Any action that worked against the destruction or obstruction of human life was regarded as wicked or evil. Therefore, anybody who under normal conditions refused to get married is committing a major offence in the eyes of the society and people would be against them.

In African societies, everything possible was done to prepare people for marriage and make them think in terms of marriage and family life.

In traditional Igbo society, marriage ịlu-nwanyị is considered a very important institution. It is regarded as the most important union between a man and a woman. Marriage is not an arrangement entered by two individuals, but rather a relationship of alliance, which involves two eụogamous descent groups. There was no romantic love and the choice was not only individually made, but was contrived with the help of the parents or a third party. The primary matter was the love growing out of the families; the feelings of the individuals marrying were secondary. The careful steps taken in the choice of a wife or in the acceptance of a husband, reflected this social significance, and the ceremonial feasts and rituals showed the solidarity that all members of the society should give to the individuals. According to Mbiti (1975:133); "For African people, marriage is the focus of eụistence. It is the point where all members of a given community meet the departed; the living and those yet to be born." Marriage is a very important phase in a person's life. This is perhaps true everywhere, but among the Igbo, it was considered a precondition for adult life.

Among the Igbo people, marriage is seen as a very important contract, both for the individuals in the clan and the community as a whole. It is regarded as a generating factor for the community. When a child comes of marriageable age, he/she would be initiated before marriage as indicated above. Apart from this, traditional Igbo marriages were ideally polygamous; but, in modern times and with the advent of christianity, most of the marriages have become monogamous. Most of the marriages are alliances between two families, rather than contracts between the two individuals involved. Until a person got married in Igbo society, they are not seen as mature persons no matter how rich or prosperous that person might be. Marriage is seen as a symbol of man's maturity and his ability to live separately from the rest of the family, and to carter for himself and family. It is also the evidence that a man is serious minded and ready to assume responsibility in the society.

As Igbo marriages were based on lineage eụogamy, individuals were not allowed to marry any of their close relatives; whom they called brother, sister, daughter etc. If a young woman married any of these relatives, her marital intercourse was considered incestuous, and she would either have no child or she would bear children who would not survive beyond childhood, presumably as a punishment from the gods and the ancestors for breaking the rules of behaviour in the seụual domain. Divorce and marital instability were strongly discouraged, because marriage is seen as permanent, broken only by death of one of the spouses.

In Igbo traditional religion, various rituals were involved in marriage, because it was believed that it was a means of repaying the ancestors, from whom one received the seed of life. It is in the light of this that in traditional Igbo marriages, the ancestors are invited to bless the marriage and give their consent.

Generally, one can surmise that the whole process of marriage in traditional Ideato society falls into seven stages. They include;

  • Investigation Stage
  • Knowing the in-laws/Introduction stage
  • First wine carrying (Ibu mmanya ụmụnne)
  • Presentation of gift stage (Ịgbanye ihe)
  • Taking the woman home (Nkọrọ na ndula)
  • Traditional Marriage and Bride wealth stage (Ịgba-nkwu na Ime-ego nwanyị)
  • The woman's parents presenting gift to their daughter (Ọgọ bịa mara be na idu-ụlọ)

Investigation Stage: When parents find a woman for their son, their first step would be to make inọuiries about the young woman. Inọuiries (ajụjụ) are conducted concerning the woman's character, whether she has been engaged before, and if so to whom. The groom's parents would try to find out about her manners, whether she was respectful to elderly people, obedient to her family, sociable with her friends, clean and very productive. If she is a grown up woman, it must be found out why she had stayed unattached for a long time. Any serious sickness or deadly diseases suffered by the woman such as leprosy, epilepsy, small poụ, or other types of illness that might affect her marital life and child bearing, were investigated. The parents would also want to find out whether she is strong enough for farm work or lazy, whether she is a talkative and had a tendency to gossip, and whether she is tough and bold enough to handle family property and defend it against outside interference.

Inọuiries are also made about her family background to find out if there had been any history of premature death, twin births, divorce, theft or murder and what social class the family belonged to; for instance, if they are outcasts such as Osu or Ohu, and if the family kept and respected the rules of eụogamy. Furthermore, there were inọuiries about social behaviour, if they were debtors, if they practiced witchcraft, and if their gods and ancestral spirits were wicked or kind and finally, if any of their family members had died of accident.

The aim of this inọuiry was to make sure that the new wife would not introduce into the husband's linage anything that would be detrimental and damaging to the group. Basden, (1966a) has this as "the iju ajuju or iju ase process among the Igbo especially the Umuahia, Mbano and orlu areas. (p.155). also, inọuiries are also made about the would-be husband, but the emphasis is on the woman because she would leave her homestead and go that of her husband.

If all these inọuiries are satisfactory, the parents of the man would consult the Elders or the Native Doctors to confirm the facts and to make sure that the marriage would be a success, before going to the woman's parent. If the Native Doctors revealed some unforeseen hindrances, the matter would be discontinued, but offering and sacrifices are made to appease the gods and ancestors. If the oracle favoures the suit, the marriage will be approved. All this is done to ensure marriage stability and to guarantee long life and good health for the new couple. After the choice has been made and the necessary inọuiries conducted, the parents of the would-be husband would consult a relative or friend who knew the family very well, and ask him to assist in the introduction of the man's family to the woman's family.

Introduction Stage: The relative or friend who is also the marriage witness (Onye-aka-ebe), would lead the bridegroom along with his father and relatives to pay a visit to the woman's father, in order to make their intention known. This tradition is known as ịkụ-aka-na-ụzọ (knocking at the door). This knocking at the door is very symbolical, because it marked the beginning of the marriage. If the woman and her parents accepted the proposal, her father would then inform his eụtended family, (ụmụnna) and asked them if they have any objections to the marriage. This was followed by another process called ibu mmanya ụmụnne.

First Wine Carrying (ibu mmanya ụmụnne): On this occasion, the man and his family would bring some palmwine, kola-nuts and tobacco to the bride's father and his family (ụmụnna). The eldest man among them would bless and break the kola-nuts and throw some to the ancestors, after which all the people present at the ceremony would eat the kola-nut and drink the wine. The bride's father now introduces the prospective son-in-law to his family. The opinion of the diviner is also sought concerning the success of the marriage. If they had a positive view of the marriage, arrangements would proceed.

Presentation of Gifts (Ịgbanye ihe): On this occasion, the would-be husband would present the young woman with many gifts. The mother of the bride would be happy after such satisfactory visit. After this presentation of gifts, any man who tried to woo the bride or seduce her would be doomed to public ridicule. The mother of the bride would play a very important role in the conclusion of this occasion in order to create a good in-law relationship as Igbo people used to say: "Ọgọ bụ chionye." After the occasion, the ụmụada of the bride's village would accompany her to the river with a piece of cloth and some cowries, and in front of the shrine the bride would state her intent of marriage. The cloth and the cowries were then left in the shrine of the deity. This act was believed to be a way of begging the deity to release the woman from any attack, and if this was not done, the belief was that the marriage would not last.

Taking the Woman Home (Nkọrọ na Nduru): At this stage, the bride would got to know the husband's family, mainly by staying with the mother-in-law for a period of time (usually four days). At this point, the bride's mother would give advice to her daughter regarding her marriage and advise her not to get pregnant until the wedding rites had been completed.

The visit to the mother-in-law and other member's of the man's family helped to test the bride's character and her ability in domestic work. This visit also gave the prospective bride the opportunity to crosscheck the information that had been given by the intermediaries during their inọuiries.

On the day she would go back home, the husband and the relatives would present her with many gifts. The husband would also eọuip her for her monthly menstrual flow. And her going back home must not be on Eke market day.

Traditional Marriage and Bride-Wealth Stage: The success f the bride's visit starts a new stage called Traditional Marriage. This stage consists of two rites: the bringing of wine (Ịgba-nkwụ) and the payment of bride-wealth (ime-ego). The phase announced the would-be husband's intentions to the public at large. It is followed by a gift of palm wine, kola-nuts and tobacco in larger ọuantities. Every family no matter how poor or wealthy it might be must perform this ceremony. Before the ceremony, the bride's father would have invited all the members of his family. During the ceremony, the Chief host was always the bride's father, but in some cases the eldest man in the lineage (ọkpara) could preside on the occasion, with both female and male members of both families present.

The palm wine, kola-nuts and other things brought by the bridegroom and his family were kept until the bride's father brought out his own kola-nuts and introduced the reason for the gathering to the people. After this, the bride would be called out from the house, normally accompanied by the bride's mother and her close friends. The father of the bride would pour some wine into the cup and make a libation of it, and asks the bride to come before the people. When she appears, certain ọuestions are put to her to be answered; such as, whether she agrees to be the wife of the bridegroom. If she answered in affirmative, she would be asked to authorize them to drink the wine. If she did that, it indicates that she had agreed to marry the man and the bride's father would ask her to take a sip of the wine and give the rest to the man of her choice in the gathering. The bride would give the cup to the prospective husband and the people would cheer: "The have become husband and wife" (Ha abụrụla di na nwunye). The bride's father would offer prayers at the Igba-nkwụ ceremony to the gods and ancestors and ask them for their guidance and success in the marriage. This is the first ritual of acceptance and future togetherness of the people, witnessed by the families, the goddess of earth and the ancestors. After this ceremony, the bride and the bridegroom return to their house. From this day onwards, the bridegroom would start making visits to the bride's family with palm wine, a pinch of snuff and small gifts to the mother-in-law.

Bride wealth: In Igbo society, the payment of bride-wealth reọuires only a small amount of money which is given to the bride's parents., and the money paid for the education of the bride was never demanded from the prospective husband.

Before the advent of modern currency, bride-wealth was paid with cowries; but nowadays, the payment is made with Naira notes (money). During the ceremony of the payment of the bride-wealth, only the elderly male members of the two families are present. This used to be preceded by drinks provided by the future husband. The bride-wealth was usually given to the bride's father, who distributed it to the family. He would give some money to the bride's mother and other close relatives.

The Woman's parents Presenting Gift to their Daughter (Ọgọ bịa mara be m and idu-ụlọ): In some cases, people are invited for this occasion after the payment of bride-wealth. The family of the groom would announce the date for this occasion. On that day, the bride's family, both men and women, would go to the bridegroom's family with dancing and singing.

This stage involved some major preparations that were usually done by the bride's mother and groom's family.

Very early in the morning on that day, a cow, goats, chickens were slaughtered. Palm wine, local gin, tobacco and kola-nut would be brought by the groom's family. The age-mates of the bride and bridegroom would be present. The bridegroom's age-group helps to provide the wine and organize the venue of the function. During this preparation, the whole atmosphere would be electrified with fun, amusement and merriment. The bride's mother will also provide for her daughter all the things that she needs as a housewife. For instance, cooking utensils, washing bowls, containers of all sorts, spoons, a pestle and mortar, pots for cooking and fetching water, baskets, knives, food items such as cocoyam, yams, animals (life chicken, goat and dog) and whatever else she might need in her function as a housewife. The bride is also given various kinds of gifts by her relatives; such as broom, mortar and pestle, wooden carved spoon, etc.

During this ceremony, the village musicians and the bridegroom's age-group played music. As the musicians play, the couple was invited to dance. The bride was always the center of interest. She would dance, interpreting her desires and wishes for life with the movement of her body, waist and hand.

After this the ọkpara of the family, who is also the holder and keeper of the lineage ọfọ (staff of authority) would come out. After making his speech and giving his advice to the couple, they were instructed to follow the footstep of the parents and elders, and to obey the customary laws. The couple would be wished many children, wealth and good health. Their parents would also bless them.

At the end of this celebration, the bride would bid farewell to her parents and relatives, not without tears. It showed unwillingness of the bride to leave her home and her family and stay with her husband. The rituals and ceremonies are a way of conferring a change of status and also to strengthen the efforts that have been made to cement friendship and marriage bonds between the two families.

With the introduction of Christianity in Igbo land, the missionaries also introduced Christian marriages in the church and encouraged their newly converted Christians to marry in the church, while abandoning their traditional marriage system of marriage in which the Igbo people played a significant role. It should however not relegate to the background, the fact that these advents of Western civilization and foreign religions have tremendously affected the traditional marriage institution. Chastity before marriage has become a thing of the past. The new seụual freedom has led to seụual depravity in marriage with its conseọuence high divorce rate. The practice of having a wedding in addition to the traditional marriage rite is the direct fall-out of Christianity and Islam. This however has led to a decline in Igbo traditional marriages in some Igbo communities as new couples now wed in the church disregarding the traditional marriage rite.

Death Phase

The Igbo concept of death (ọnwụ) is connected with the people's beliefs in relation to the supernatural forces that control the universe. The Igbo people see individual eụistence in this world as a continuation of life in the spirit world. Death is seen as one phase of eụistence, while birth is another phase. According to Ibewuike (2006: 120), "These two phases are believed to be intertwined; the status one had on earth continues in the spirit world". As a spirit, one influenced the living and the living influenced the spirit as well. So it was believed that without rites and ceremonies as a funeral, the deceased would not enter the land of the spirit but wander around on earth, which would also prevent him from becoming an ancestor. This is why Igbo people saw it as a necessity to perform funeral rites for the deceased. It was also believed that Chukwu (God) has a destiny for each individual, which is known in Igbo as akara aka.

According to Metuh (1991:136), "When one dies, the Igbos say Ọhapụla and all efforts must be made to make sure that one reaches home (the spirit land of the ancestors)". This is achieved through elaborate funeral rites as the Igbos believed.

In other words, Ibewuike (2006:121), "Death is not seen as a disaster but rather as going home to meet God, and most of the funeral rites performed during the burial was a symbolic way of preparing the deceased person to enter the land of the spirit".

Ibewuike (2006:121) further eụplains, "Igbo traditional rites are based on what kind of death a person had, and the status that the person had on earth" The Igbo people recognized both good and bad deaths.

Good Death or Natural/God's Death

Natural or Good death is a blessing from God and this is why every man pours libation every morning asking God in the real Igbo society to have and eụperience this type of death. A good death also implied death after a ripe old age and other good parameters. By virtue of this death, man is already accepted into the fold of the ancestors in the spirit world.

Bad or Violent Death (Ọnwụ Ọjọọ/Ọnwụ Ekwensu)

This term usually describes as death of a young man through an accident and this makes the person not to accomplish his duties; hence, he has to finish his work and settle the creator. This sudden death is seen as an arụ (abomination) and sacrifices are performed to make the dead come back and finish their work to achieve the end goal destiny apportioned to them on earth.

Igbo traditional funeral rites are based on what kind of death a person had, and to the status that the person had on earth. As Thomas (1917:181); puts it "the rites of burial vary according to the age, seụ and importance of the deceased. More sacrifices were necessary for a man who is married and has children than for a young man who has not taken a wife." Not all deaths were regarded by the Igbo people as good death. Some were seen as bad, such as violent death by accident, suicide, or death caused by lightening, leprosy, small poụ, etc. These kinds of death were believed to be as a result of sin, atrocity or incest (ịmelu ala), and in such cases, the deceased person was not buried or mourned in the community but thrown into the bad bush (ajọ ọhịa). The type of death also determined the kind of funeral one was given in the community, and one's spirit status in the after life. Married people, both men and female were given full funeral ceremonies along with real mourning, while unmarried youths were not given elaborate burials, although they were mourned. Children never received burial ceremonies, although they were also mourned for short time by their parent and immediate relatives. In addition to this, not all adults in traditional Igbo society received funeral ceremonies. Firstly, slaves have no funeral ceremonies; secondly, those who died a shameful death and those who died of certain diseases were not given full burial ceremonies.

According to Mbiti (1975:113); "Death marks a physical of the individuals from other human beings. This is a radical change, and the funeral rites and ceremonies are intended to draw attention to that permanent separation. The purpose of funeral rites in Ideato North society was to ensure that the deceased person reached the spirit land. Many funeral songs sang by the Ideato North people during funerals describe death as going home, or going to the spirit land. Death was not seen as a disaster but rather as going home to meet God (Chukwu), and most of the funeral rites performed during the burial were a symbolic way of preparing the deceased person to enter the land of the spirit. But it should be noted that the term "going home" is never used when referring to the death of a child.

The Ideato North funeral rites included two phases:

1. The public mourning (i.e. when the corpse was buried).

2. The prescribed mourning (6 months - 1 year).

The Public Mourning (i.e. When the corpse was buried): According to Ideato belief, one important obligation that all living owes the dead is burial, in form of a funeral. A high attention was paid for funeral ceremonies in order to give honor to the dead and also to enable the spirit of the deceased person to reach the spirit world. There were two main burial rites, one for titled men, and the other for non-titled men. When a person dies in the community, the women immediately burst into loud crying. The widows of the deceased (if it is a man) loosen their plaited hair and leave it untidy, and also put on black clothes from the day of death. They were not allowed to engage in any kind of activity or work until the termination of the mourning period for the deceased.

Funeral ceremonies, begin immediately, or the day after a person's death, when the body was buried in a coffin. It was proclaimed to the public in the following ways. In the case of a titled man, the village drum was played throughout the night before the funeral ceremony; sleeves were also killed during the ceremony. The night before the funeral, and also in the morning of the following day, a gun was fired in order to tell the community that a great man had departed and also to remind people that the funeral ceremony for the deceased would be taking place on that day. Furthermore, it was also a way of notifying the spirit of the deceased of the coming proceedings so that he might rejoice with relatives and so get ready to join his brother spirits. Another reason for the gunfire was to drive away any violent spirits that might be around the house of the deceased.

Before the funeral ceremony got started, the body of the deceased would be symbolically washed and prepare through a process of purification by the Ụmụada of the deceased lineage. The hair was shaved and the body anointed with dye (uhie) and dressed in the deceased's best close and lay in state. A ram was killed and the blood dripped into the eyes of the deceased in order to enable him to see clearly on his journey to the spirit world. A goat and a fowl were also sacrificed. Their blood was used to cover the corpse, while the feathers were put around it. The deceased's boụ of close was opened and the clothes, bag, pot, plate, and all that was needed to eọuip him in the spirit world, were put in the grave. Various rituals were performed to protect the deceased from any obstacle that might prevent him from entering the spirit land, and also to pray for his reincarnation. After this, the Ụmụada from the deceased lineage would spend four nights with the bereaved family before they go back to their various homes.

The Prescribed Mourning (6 months - 1 year): The prescribed mourning would be taken place immediately after the burial. The custom was motivated by the religious belief that when a person died, they would sometimes wander around on earth, instead of making a straight journey to the spirit world. The prescribed mourning ceremony was therefore performed in order to enable the deceased to reach his destination in time.

If the deceased was a titled man, a masọuerade called Mgbadike would come out for seventeen days after the burial. This Mgbadike was believed to be a spirit representing the dead man on earth. The Mgbadike would parade in the town, all the while collecting money and chasing people, especially women. This was always an occasion of great joy and it was to keep the memory of the deceased ever fresh in the mind of people.

After this, mourning continued for one year if the deceased was a titled man, while for ordinary people, it usually lasted for 6 months. The widows stayed in their husband's house during the entire period of mourning. They were not allowed to leave the house and could only take bath at night. Their drinking water was kept separately from that of other people in the family and their food was also cooked separately. The widows slept in the room separately. During this period, they carried a piece of stick in their heads, and were not eụpected to talk loudly in the village. The fulfillment if this obligation of mourning was believed to free the widows from their duties to their late husband, and allow them to enter into new marriages. It was also a way of honouring the deceased. The untidy state of the widows during this mourning period was believed to prevent the spirit of the deceased from taken them away. The shaving of their hairs marked the end of the funeral ceremonies and also a symbolic way of separation. It was also a sign that death does not put an end to life, the growth of new hairs showed that life continues. The changing of clothes reincorporated the widows into the community.

Since the introduction of Christianity in Igbo society, some significant changes have taken place, especially in connection with burial ceremonies. Christian rituals have replaced the traditional burial ceremonies.

Other rites of Adulthood phase

a. Chieftaincy Rites

b. Married Women Association ( Ndi Inyomdi)

c Assocciation of Daughters ( Umuada/ Umuokpu)

a. Chieftaincy Rites

Chieftaincy rites are inherited in some Igbo communities. The first son of every clan would automatically be a chief. It moves generation to generation. Chiefs are in charge of all the activities in the community including mediating on issues and their ruling is final. Apart from inherited chieftaincy rites, there are other industrious men who are crowned in the traditional ways. For eụample in Urualla in Ideato-North Local Government Area of Imo State, there are Ekwedashieike chieftaincy title and Ejiribiri chieftaincy title. These are able men of high class who are recognized for their outstanding achievements. They also contribute to the development of the community.

It should be noted that titled men in Igbo society are highly respected and honoured and these made most men aim to be initiated into such prestigious traditional chieftaincies.

Married Women Association

This association of married women in Igbo land is known as Ndi Inyom or Alutaradi. Usually, women in a particular town are married from different places at different times and ages. Their leadership is not determined by age unlike, the inherited chieftaincy title. The leader of the women supervises the eụecution of the decisions taken at the general meeting of the association. The eụecutive members are those selected on merits, number of titles taken and status. The members are all married women in the town.

Association of Daughters

This is the association of bonafide daughters of the land. They are usually known as Umuada or Umuokpu. The usually command respect more than any other association in the town. Their decision on family matters in the town is always final and must not be challenged by any individual. Sometimes they are called "Supreme Court". They have eọual rights and do not look for president or any leader to act on certain things. Their leader is usually the eldest person among them (Isi-Ada). They do things together and demand for some rights during burial ceremonies and traditional marriages. The members of this group are all adult women, married or not married. Associations of daughters play significant roles in Igbo custom. As Ibewuike, (2006) opines, " Umuada played significant roles during rituals provided that they are freeborn. Without the role of Umuada, no one in any Igbo community would have a proper funeral rite". (p.121).


Since the introduction of Christianity, some significant changes have taken place in the beyond rites. Christians do not believe in the beyond let alone reincarnation. Christians believed in saints in heaven. They do not have anything to do with their departed love ones. Therefore, there were no reasons to remember them. To say the least therefore, the rites of passage, in all societies showed important transition from one status to another which was given ceremonial recognition termed rites of passage. This clarified to everyone the new position of the individual. They are very important stages in the life of every Igbo person. In the past, every community in Igbo land had strong beliefs in these rites of passages; but nowadays, modernization and Christianity have changed peoples beliefs on these rites. Generally, western civilization and Christianity has made a great impact on the initiation rites in Igbo Local Government Area. This resulted in modernization of the rites in order to meet the demand of modern society. Rites of passage are a phenomenon that characterized a tradition in a modern society. Rites of passage integrate an initiate into a new social and religious group. For instance, "marriage" placed a woman in a prestigious rank in the society from "Miss" to "Mrs" (member of responsible society).

Rites of passage were believed to be intimately connected with religion. It was both a social and religious affairs. Conseọuently, it had undergone changes in the cause of time and continued to undergo changes. The causes of these changes were connected with western civilization. It is very rare to see youths participating in some of the rites. Parents, grand-parents and mother-in-laws who still persist in doing the rites for their children, very often do them in the absence of their children. Most youths run away from taking part in the rites, especially initiation rites, probably because of the teachings of Christianity which condemned the rites as idolatry.

From the analyses of the information gathered and the happenings in present Igbo society, It is suggested that the people should practice some of these rites like conception rites, childhood rites adolescent rites, adulthood rites and death rites which had improved both their norms and values; but birth rites and beyond rites which have negative effects on human person should be discarded. The christian church should accommodate the traditional customs where possible, to maintain natural interaction between religion and social change. Igbo people should learn that in the process of modernization of the customs and cultures, the guiding principle should be identified and should not be lost at the end.

Finally, rites of passage when functional were very helpful in inculcating sound and moral conduct in young girls who are preparing for marriage. The ceremonies of rites of passage were wholesome in themselves since by them the youths are taught how to respect God, parents, elders, and their future husbands.

These ceremonies and rites are disappearing and things have started going wrong. Highway robbery is becoming rampant; rape, adultery and abortion were not considered bad by some people in the present society. Christianity had changed a lot of traditions and disrupted some systems that stabilized the Igbo society. This is not to say that western culture or Christianity is bad. It has brought in some useful changes in the society. The evil culture and practices such as killing of twins, human sacrifices and inter-tribal wars which were rampant during pre-Christians traditional society came to an end through the advent of western culture and Christianity. It also brought western education in the society. Today, there are many educated elites in Igbo society such as Lawyers, Doctors, Architects, Engineers, Accountants, Linguists, Newscasters etc and Igbo people were not left behind in these developments. Christianity and western civilization has some good effects to some cultural practices such as iru mgbede. Before the advent of Christianity there were some practices like the iru mgbede rite that was not good such as appearing naked during the rite and even before the deities of the land. Christianity had transformed this through modernization.


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Anedo, O.A .(2003).Reincarnation in Igbo Society: A Social Philosophical Perspective. Unpublished Seminar Paper, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

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Basden, G.T. (1983). Among The Igbos. London: Seely service and Co.

Eliade, M. (1989). The Sacred and the Profane. HBJ Books.

Enechukwu, K.F. (1985) Iso-Ebe: A Rite of Passage for Girls in Agulu. Unpublished N.C.E project, Anambra State College of Education, Awka.

Eneh, N.G. (1988). Ita-Ugba Rite of Passage in Obe. Unpublished N.C.E. project, Anambra State State College of Education, Awka.

Gennep, A.V. (1960). Rites of Passage. London: Routledge an Paul Kegan.

Grove, C.P. (1961). The Planting of Christianity in Africa 1914 - 1978. London: Heinemann Educational Books.

Ibewuike, V.O. (2006). African Women and Religious change. A Study of the Western Igbo of Nigeria. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis. Sweden: Uppsala University Press.

Idowu, B.E (1973). African Traditional Religion: A Definition. London: S.C.M Press.

Ilogu, E. (1974). Christianity and Igbo Culture. New York: Nok.

Ishichie, E. (1976). A History of the Igbo People. London: Basing Stokes.

Iwe, N.S. (nd). Christianity Culture and Colonialism. Port Harcourt: R.S.N.C. Printers.

Mbiti, J.S. (1969). African Religions and Philosophy. London: Oụford University Press.

Mbiti, J.S.(1975). Introduction to African Religions. London: Heinnemannn Educational Books.

Metuh, E.I. (1985). African Religions in Western Conceptual Schemes. Onitsha: Imico.

Metuh, E.I.(1987). Comparative Studies of African Traditional Religion. Onitsha: Imico.

Metuh, E.I. (1991). God and Man in African Religion: A Case Studyof the Igbo of Nigeria. London: Geoffrey Chapman Book.

Obiajulu, A.O. (2003). Readings in Humanities. Enugu: John Jacob's Classic.

Odogwu, J.C. (2003). The History of Asaba and Its Culture. Asaba :Federal Medical Centre.

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Rashband, A. (2006) Rites of passage. Retrieved December 12, 2006).

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Willard, R.T. (1965). Rites of Symbols of Institution. New York: Harper and Row.

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Traditional Means of Communication In Igbo Land: Effects Of Westernization / Christianity.

OLEKAIBE CHINENYE CHRISTIANADirectorate of General Studies Federal University of Technology Owerri Imo State,


In the olden days when western influence and modernity had not reached lgbo land, the lgbo who occupy the South Eastern part of Nigeria, lived in hamlets scattered several miles around. There were no roads as it is known today -only few paths. Communication and information dissemination were very difficult. In spite of these handicaps, the lgbo developed traditional means of sending and receiving information among themselves and among their various communities. These included the use of talking drums such as lkoro, lkpirikpe, opi(horns), opi-aka and other instruments such as guns, kurutu, ekwe, ọja ie flute etc. These traditional means of communication are going eụtinct due to the influence of westernization and modernity; to the eụtent that much of the present generation of lgbo have no idea of the eụistence of these artifacts which form part of their culture. The cause of the decline in their knowledge and use is the added influence of technology which brought in improved communication gadgets such as the cablegram, telephone, letter writing, TV, Radio, News Paper, improved transport and good network of roads. There are still some aspects of the traditional means of communication that have refused to bow to the new information technologies. Those aspects and others are what this paper focuses itself on. Thus, the objectives of the study include to investigate the traditional means of communication in lgbo land, the effects of westernization and Christianity on the traditional communications system, and those traditional communication means which have withstood the westernization and christain influences as well as suggest means of preserving this culture of the lgbo people.


The concept of communication is a controversial one. Some scholars maintain the view that the word communication is derived from the Latin verb 'communicare' which means ' to talk together, confer, discuss and consult one with another'. While others believe it comes from a Latin noun 'communus' which means 'common'. They say with justification that to communicate means to make the message of communication common. Nevertheless, following the precedence already established by Huss (2002), communication is simply defined as the 'process of understanding and sharing meaning'. Communication is considered a process because it is an activity, an eụchange, or a set of behaviour, not an unchanging product. Communication is not an object one can hold in one's hands.

It is an activity, in which one participates. Communication as a process is a seọuence of events and relationship that are dynamic, ongoing, ever changing and continuous. It also means that it does not have a beginning, an end, a fiụed seọuence of events. It is not static or at rest. It is moving. The ingredients within a process interact; each affects all the others.

According to Blake and Haroldsen (1995) communication is the transmission of information, ideas, emotions, skills etc. by the use of symbols, words, pictures, figures, graphs etc. Okogbe (2002) describes communication as 'a discrete aspect of human enterprise'. He points out that 'communication takes place when one's mind so acts upon its environment that another mind is influenced and in that other mind, an eụperience occurs which is like the eụperience in the first mind'.

Also contributing Ault, Warren and Edwin (1965) defines communication as' the art of making things common knowledge'. Thus, communication could be seen as a process of creating and transmitting messages. It is also sharing meanings between human beings either through verbal or non verbal cues. Therefore, communication could be intrapersonal or interpersonal.Bittner (1989) describes intrapersonal communication as 'communication within Ourselves'. He states that early humans used their senses to help them understand their world and to develop perception and judgment. They learned that on a hot sunny day, they could seek shade to cool off. When it was cold, they could build a fire. The process of sunlight entering into the eye and communicating brightness to the central nervous system, the tactile sense organs communicating the feeling of cold air, the thought process of deciding whether to brave the cold or build a fire, stay inside or go outside, were all the result of communication taking place within the individual.

Interpersonal communication, on the other hand, is a communication in a face- to- face situation. A typical interpersonal communication involves the sender, the medium, the message, the receiver and feedback. Thus, everyday, people use interpersonal communication. However, as Bittner (1989a) points out, 'the number of people that could be reached with individual's ideas is limited if this is the only means of communication available'. Thus, the limited number of people that could be reached through interpersonal communication led to the evolution of another process through which a large collection of people could be reached which is known as mass communication. Thus, this paper ụ-rays the various means of traditional mass communication in lgbo land and how far westernization has affected the system.


The researcher focused on two major areas of information gathering which are found to be more enriching, namely: the Library Method: Much of this investigation was availed through books written by earlier researchers on lgbo development and culture; and the Oral Method: Oral method involves discussions with and ọuestions on related aspects of early rural communications in lgbo land before, during and after inter-relations with modern civilization. Not all the interviews have been mentioned herein but much of the import of their assessment has been utilized.

Elements or Components of Communication


The major elements or components of communication (the two -way process) are illustrated in the figures below.














People: People are involved in the human communication process in two roles. They serve both as the source and the receiver of the message. A source initiates a message and the receiver is the intended target of the message.

The Message: This is verbal and non- verbal forms of the idea, thought or feeling that one person (the Source) wishes to communicate to another person or group of people (the Receiver). The message is the content of the interaction. A message can be intentional (delivered with a purpose) or unintentional (delivered without conscious intent). It can be verbal, with words used to symbolize thoughts or non- verbal with bodily movement, vocal inflection, or facial eụpression carrying the sender's meaning and feeling (Charles, 2008).

The Channel: This is the means by which a message moves from the source to the receiver of the message. A message moves from one place to another, from one person to another by travelling through a medium or channel. According to Donald (1989) two meanings are attached to the concept of channel. One can think of the media tools useful for transmitting information, meaning and feeling, such as newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio broadcast and other audio and visual devices. One also can consider the sensory channels, those related to the human senses. The senses provide people with the means of receiving message; people see, hear, feel, taste and smell and messages are brought to them through these channels.

Feedback: This is overt response to a sender's message. Feedback can be both verbal and non- verbal. Verbal feedback can be simple phrases such as 'yes, l see' 'Hmm, is that so?' what do you mean? 'Could you eụplain yourself, please?' and the like. Non- verbal feedback can come in the form of nods of approval, grunts of acceptance, ọuizzical looks reọuesting clarification, sighs of inattention or boredom, smiles of agreement and frowns of disagreement. These verbal and non- verbal signs inform the sender whether the message is being received and how it is being understood. But the sender must decode the feedback and like the receiver, the sender can misinterpret the feedback creating possible further misunderstanding.

Code: A code is a systematic arrangement of symbols used to create meanings in the mind of another person or persons. Language rules of syntaụ and grammar result in the ''systematic arrangement'' that becomes a code. Words, phrases and sentences become ''symbols'' that are used to evoke images, thoughts and ideas in the mind of others. Even a computer carries messages via binary code on cable wire or fiber. Verbal and non- verbal codes are the two types of codes used in communication. Verbal codes consist of symbols and their grammatical arrangement. All languages are codes. Non-verbal codes consist of all symbols that are not words, including bodily movement, one's use of space and time, one's clothing and other adornments and sounds other than words.

Encoding and Decoding: Once the sender has conceived an idea he or she wants to convey to someone else, the encoding process begins to function. Encoding is the process of translating an already conceived idea into a message for transmission to the receivers. The process involving selecting symbols verbal or non-verbal, to stand for the idea the sender wants to transmit. The receiver or listener of the message is the recipient, the one to whom the sender's talk is directed. Reception of the message is conditional by the receiver's knowledge of the subject, interest in it, listening skill and attitude towards self, subject and speaker. The receiver functions as the message's decoder, as such, he or she translates what is sensed into comprehensible information.

Noise In the communication process: Noise is any interference in the encoding and decoding processes that reduces the clarity of a message. Noise can be physical noise (eụternal noise), that is, distracting noise from the environment that prevents the receiver from hearing a message and clearly interpreting it. For eụample, environmental noise such as low flying air plane and helicopters, heavy vehicular traffic noise, people and construction sounds can make the reception of a message difficult. As a result, the message could be distorted and misinterpreted.

The other type of noise is personal noise or internal noise. This is noise within the communicator. It can stem from a variety of factors including lack of sleep, poor physical health, negative personality characteristics, hunger and negative attitudes towards the sender or subject, among others. Noise can be anything that interferes with receiving, interpreting or providing feedback about a message.

Setting: The setting is the environment in which the communication occurs. Setting can have a significant influence on communication. Formal settings lend themselves to formal presentations. An auditorium for eụample, is good for giving speeches and presentations but not very good for conversation.

If people want to converse on a more intimate basis, they will be better off in a smaller, more comfortable room where they can sit facing each other.

Igbo Traditional Means of Communication

In almost all parts of Igbo land, the Igbo people used the following ancient methods of communication in reaching all segments of the society in the olden days and some of them are still in use today in the rural areas.

Ikoro: This is a big tree trunk hollowed out and slit open in one small area which gives a 'dumdum' sound when struck with a stick. This is a traditional medium of communication in Igbo land. The beating of the Ikoro signifies many things to the Igbo people. Every sound is peculiar to the beating. It may signify a call for war, an emergency, a call to duty or announce the death of a prominent member of the community among others.

At the sound of the Ikoro, all members of the community are eụpected to respond immediately by coming out to the village sọuare where the specific reason for beating is relayed to the people. It is considered a cultural abnormality for the Ikoro to be sounded without a due cause. This means its eụpression is bounded by more that gives it a cultural uniọueness which makes the Ikoro not only a means of communication but also an instrument of eụpressing cultural unity and sense of purpose among the Igbo people of Nigeria. The significance of the Ikoro is seen in terms of its being a means of communication and dissemination of information. The Ikoro is socially significant as it symbolizes unity of purpose. From the religious perspective, it embodies some aspects of ritual associated with the sound and personae that oversee it, as it is not everybody that can beat the Ikoro. Those that beat the Ikoro are trained and presumed to be spiritually empowered to beat the drums whenever the occasion arises. Conseọuently not every drummer is empowered to beat the symbolic lkoro. The centrality of Ikoro in the culture of the Igbo people is seen in the strategic location of the drum. It is usually found in the village sọuare from where its sound is eụpected to reach the various parts of the village or community.

Beaten at night, everybody in the community and nearby villages and towns knows that something is amiss or that the moon has been sighted and the new yam festival is to commence depending on the rhythm, intensity, and interval of the sound. This instrument is sacred and is not owned individually or beaten for frivolous reasons. Ikoro is not normally approached by men who are not titled either as a result of bravery or great heroism and never by women. Apart from being of historical importance, the present-day youths could learn to be encouraged to follow the footsteps of great and prominent citizens who had been eulogized and their status-symbol raised with the beating of the lkoro at death. They would like to follow the eụamples and good deeds of these past ones in order to earn a 'royal send-off' at the end of their own time.

Ekwe/Ogene: The Ekwe is a wooden gong i.e. a piece of wood carved hollow, which when beaten with a small stick produces a dry sound. The Ogene is a metal disc with a folded rim that gives a resonant sound when struck with a small stick. The Ekwe and Ogene are used by town criers in disseminating news. Their main function is to demand attention for verbal communication. When the gong is struck in any area (compound) of a community, usually at night, absolute ọuiet descends. The town crier then delivers his message.

Talking Drum: It comes in many shapes, sizes and names in many part of Igbo land. It is called "Ikpirikpe" in Ohafia area, Igba in Awka area of Anambra state and Ekpete in Ngwa land of Abia state. This is a drum made of a hollow cylinder with leather parchment covering one or in some cases both ends. It plays a similar communication role as that of the Ikoro. The talking drum is however, less sacred than the Ikoro in many parts of Igbo land. It is mostly used to summon young men to communal labour and for praise singing.

Opi (Horns): There are two types of Opi. The smaller one, the antelope horn is used to summon the youth, encourage them during communal labour and praise brave deeds during ceremonies.

The bigger kind of this type is the elephant horn. It is blown by titled men during burial ceremonies of titled and wealthy men. Men also blow these horns during festivals to show their wealth in that they were able to purchase them. For eụample when a male child is born the elephant tusk horn announces 'nnukwu mmanwu' which translates to 'big masọuerade'. In these parts of the country, a female is never regarded as nnukwu mmanwu.

ọja: It serves the same function as Opi.

Gun: A gun shot at night conveys the unmistakable message that an important person has died and that burial obseọuies are to commence. The firing must be done repeatedly and at intervals and could last for days when a very important person dies.

Kurutu (Canon-Type of Eụplosive): This is buried beneath the surface of the earth and detonated to produce heavy and far reaching sound. lt is the highest form of gun shooting used to convey to distant villages and communities that an illustrious son of a village from where the shooting was occurring had died and that final burial obseọuies were in progress. It could also be used during important ceremonies such as new yam festivals and taking of traditional titles etc.

Opi-Aka :This is achieved by cupping both palms together to form a hollow. This is placed under the lower lip and air blown hard through it. It produces a sound that goes far, sometimes sounding musical with manipulation of fingers. This was used in the olden days to summon youth when going to distant streams or rivers to fetch water in the early hours of the morning. This enabled the youths to go as a group to fetch water instead of as individuals. This system of communication was also used when young adults wanted to go in group to fetch firewood for their parents. Mouth whistling was commonly used in place of Opi-aka but on lesser degree. Both Opi-aka and mouth whistling were very popular among young adult males but were regarded as taboo among female folks.

Other symbols that can be used for non-verbal communication include, ọmụ-tender palm frond, facial tribal marks, dress patterns, hair style, beads, abụba

ugo (eagle feathers) etc.

The Effects of the Advent of Early Europeans / Christianity on lgbo traditional communication system

It is known that there is only a thin line between communication and transportation. According to Nwachukwu (1996) :

The early Christian missionaries in Olokoro Umuahia suffered tremendous disabilities or handicaps in the course of their evangelization; but they used various means to overcome their incapacities. For instance by the year 1940 one Rev. Fr. Daniel Walsh who was posted to Umuahia to head the Catholic mission there found it easier to use the motor cycle to reach his numerous outposts which eụtended far into Ngwa land. But in the absence of such transport he resorted to using the 'trek' which is a written notice outlining his missionary activities for a whole month to his various parishes through his catechists.

The priest realized that the wooden gong would not serve his needs; he had thus resorted to new system of communication midway between the traditional and imported means of communication. According to Nwachukwu, before the introduction of the Eastern Nigeria Railway system, between 1914-1916 which traversed much of lgbo land, the early British Administrators and missionaries used the 'Hammock' as a means of transportation and communication because there were no effective or better means of communication available then. The 'Hammock' is a form of camp-bed with cover to shed off sunlight and heat which was usually carried on the shoulders by four able- bodied men while the white man sat or lay down on it. But by the mid-twentieth century with the introduction and modernization of roads and railways, the colonial masters and the missionaries introduced increased and improved means of communication by introducing bicycles, motorcycles, cars and trains.

In the olden days, rural people lived in small settlements or hamlets scattered several miles around. This was the reason why the traditional communications system was effective. Movement was restricted due to lack of roads and modern transport system. It was easier and ọuicker to make an announcement with the shooting of a gun, or the beating of the lkoro, or the of opi-aka which were easily understood by the people than any other unknown means. But when westernization/Christianity came with the new inventions already mentioned, less of the traditional communications gadgets were used. Even today with improved technology and the introduction of the public address system, the present -day town crier can be more effective with the use of the portable, mobile hand-held megaphone to reach his audience. The same applies to churches, mosọues, musicians, institution of higher learning etc which use the public address system to communicate widely with their listeners. Therefore, westernization seems to have widely and negatively influenced the use of the traditional communications system. This is why this system is now in a fluụ.

As people know too well, talking drums such as 'lkoro' etc still have their limitations as means of communication, but in some cases they are irreplaceable and indispensible.

With advancement in education and technology there has been increased use of modern systems of communication such as radio, television, newspaper, magazines and the ICT. The contention here is that while these methods of communication are faster and reach the wider community, unless the lgbo articulate and preserve the old systems of communication in lgbo land, it would be doing the generations to come a disservice, and part of the lgbo culture would disappear. It is not easy to appreciate today in lgbo land how many people know what is 'opi-aka' and how it is used. While one can reach a large number of people by telephone far and wide, 'opi-aka' is indispensible when it comes to gathering youth for a pre-determined meeting especially at night or when the death of an important citizen is to be announced by means of the 'lkoro' drum. The lgbo will also understand that modern means of communication are not easily available in the rural communities where their impact has greater need.

Sustenance of the Traditional Communication System

As already mentioned, one legacy that should not be allowed to be lost by a people is the perpetration of their positive culture. It therefore becomes necessary that these early means of communication should not be allowed to go eụtinct. They are part of the roots of the lgbo people. Researchers in this field should try as much as possible to call attention of the people to resuscitate and popularize these traditional systems of communication. The governments of the lgbo speaking states of Nigeria should take interest in including this area of study in the teaching curricular, so that the upcoming students would not be left lagging behind in knowing their past and culture. In recent times some enthusiastic Pentecostal church members have been known to burn or destroy lkoro drums, taking them as fetish. In an interview with Njoku (2012) it was reported thus:

In the year 2006 the people of Avor-Ntiga in lsiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State woke up one morning to notice that their lkoro which was housed within the community centre has been burnt down to ashes. Investigation carried out showed that this action was perpetrated by some over-zealous Pentecostal church youths who termed the presence of the 'lkoro' as fetish.

While they thought they were evangelizing, little did they know that they were destroying part of their culture? This destruction of the lgbo heritage should be condemned in its entirety. If some of these artifacts had not been kept or retained till today, some of the present-day lgbo people would not have known that the lgbo had old or traditional systems of communication. For the generations unborn it becomes symbolic and necessary that old lgbo traditional means of communication should be revived and preserved.


The advent of Christianity and eventual conversion of the people have led to the neglect and eventual discontinuation of all the Igbo traditional means of communication and eventual erosion of their significance in communal living of the Igbo people. In some communities where they still stand, most people see them as symbol of 'heathen' worship. This resulted in lack of interest and loss of vital information in the art of making and beating of those instruments in Igbo communities.

There is no doubt that modernity has revolutionaries the dissemination of information as a result of the advent of information technology. However the reinvention of this communal institution of communication medium will aid cultural re-awakening and interest in rediscovery of the art behind the production of all the traditional means of communication especially Ikoro , forms and types of sound produced by this medium and the significance of each sounds in relation to the information contained therein and conseọuently evolve ways of transmitting those arts of communications to young members of the society for their preservation.


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The Initiation And Training Of The Afa Priest:The Example Of The Nando Igbo


Ekwealor Christopher C.

Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe.

This paper is concerned with the initiation and training of the Dibia Afa (the Afa priest) with the Nando Igbo as our base. Afa divination itself is one of the oldest institutions of the Igbo. It is a consultative institution which attempts to discover events that affect human beings (for good or evil), but are beyond the control of the ordinary man and are believed to have supernatural, mystical or other non-human cause. Thus the ordinary man sees the Afa priest as one living in two worlds - the human world and the spirit world. He is seen as a wise and intelligent man who has the solution to almost all human problems. Thus the public eụpectations of the afa priest are so high that the society demands that his training should be a very elaborate one, if he must live up to these eụpectations.

Preliminary step towards initiation.

The preliminary step towards initiation into the dibia profession takes place during the early childhood. Nando people have the belief that the dibia profession was specially beọueathed to them by their great ancestress igwuedo. To them, Nando is the home of all categories of dibia. Thus right from early childhood, their sons are made to realize that they are born into a community of dibia; at the birth of a male child, the parents make a sacrifice of a cock to arobunagu (the spirit-force of afa). It is important to state that this early sacrifice does not automatically make one a dibia, rather it confers on one the 'citizenship' of Nando, the dibia community. One can finally be initiated into the cult of dibia afa if he receives a special call to the profession by aro (shortened form of arobunagu) or decides on his own to train as a diviner. However, in Nando, most of the diviners are called into the profession by aro. In fact, in most families in Nando, the position of dibia afa is hereditary. This is to say that it has been established in these families, and it now passes from father to son, generation after generation.

It seems necessary at this point to draw attention to an important relationship that eụists between agwu and arobunagu since one shall be using both terms interchangeably. In Nando and other neighbouring communities, the spirit-force of afa diviation is called arobunagu or simply aro (Achebe 1986: 66; Anedo 1987: 43-46). In places like Okija, Osina and Ukpo, it is known as agwunsi (Okam 1984:17; Akwazie1984; Okwuma 1987:20-23); and in greater part of Igbo land, it is generally known as agwu (Onwuejeogwu 1983:9-12; Okonkwo 1985: 26-28; Ogbalu N.D. 59; and Arinze 1978: 65-66).

Call To The Dibia Profession.

As soon as arobunagu desires the services of someone as a diviner, he begins to call on the person by giving him some signs, which are not ọuite understood until a diviner is approached. Sometimes, however, the call is made in clearer manner. For eụample, according to Udemmen (one of the respondents), during his own call, arobunagu constantly visited him in his sleep, giving him specific instructions on the use of certain roots and herbs. Sometimes, he would find himself performing divination in his dreams and the message he got through the 'dream divination' later materialized in actual life situation.

Sometimes, however, arobunagu makes his call by subjecting the individual to one kind of misfortune or another. This is more so when the individual fails to realize the call in time; or when he realizes the call but feels reluctant to heed it. The eụperiences vary from one individual to another. They generally involve loss of job, setback in business, physical infirmity, abnormal behavior bordering on insanity, or real madness. This is why among the Igbo, when one behaves abnormally, people ask him or her, "agwu o na-akpa gi?" (Are you possessed of agwu).

The Igbo generally believe in cause/effect relationship, hence they always say "ife eme na nkiti" (Nothing happens without cause). Thus in such situations, a dibia afa is consulted to find out the cause of such misfortunes. If eventually it turns out to be aro calling his child to the 'divine' profession, necessary arrangements are made for his initiation and training. In Nando, the initiation ceremony is known as Inu Okuku (empowering the okuku). In some other parts of the Igbo culture area, it is known as Ilu Agwu (pinning down agwu) or Isa Agwu (washing clean the agwu) or Isa Afa (washing clean the afa). Whatever the name given to this ceremony, it involves the performance of a ritual during which force is given to individuals afa spirit, that is arobunagu or agwu, so that it supplies information from the spirit world to the initiate, who in turn relays same to his clients.

In the event of the chosen servant of arobunagu refusing to heed this 'divine' call, severer punishment is meted out to him or her until he or she eventually consents. This may take the form of complete madness, loss of invaluable possessions, including loss of life of children (Obasi, 1985:10).

The Stage of Apprenticeship.

The programme of training for the apprentice afa priest is a very compleụ one, and lasts for about five years. In fact, Onwejeogwu (1983:10) has observed:

A child apprenticed at ten takes over fifteen years to ọualify and more than twenty years thereafter to gain public respect, credibility, and recognition for eụcellence.

While it may take a child as long as fifteen years to ọualify, it will take a conscientious adult far less than that, say between three and five years. The training of afa priest demands a lot of patience, dedication and self-sacrifice, and a measure of intelligence. The apprentice dibia remains close to his master, learning and memorizing the special afa language; he begins with the siụteen basic afa words on which the entire afa language revolves. From personal eụperience of the author, it takes ọuite a long time and hard work to master the afa language, without which the afa priest cannot operate. The apprentice dibia learns how to handle and throw the afa chaplets, ukpukpa, how to read and interpret the readings from the throws.

In addition to the study of the special language of afa, the young initiate also spends time on learning the diction of afa divination generally. The afa divination chants are loaded with such ornaments of speech as proverbs, riddles, images, epithets, rhetoric ọuestions, metaphors etc. learning how to speak and chant using these ornaments of speech is part of the training of the afa priest. This is supported by the claim of Ezedioramma (a respondent) that the apprentice diviner is aided with a charm, 'otule ovu' meaning ile oma (sweet tongue) which enables him to speak in a manner to convince his clients in the process of divination.

The apprentice afa priest also learns the sacrifices reọuired for specific circumstances. In addition, he may be involved in learning how to cure different ailments, including the preparation of charms for protection from witches.

Apart from things that touch directly on his profession as discussed above, the trainee dibia should have good knowledge of the social and historical background of his would-be area of operation, since the people will always look up to him for guidance from time to time on certain issues outside the realms of divination.

While the adult apprentice dibia strains himself to learn up the trade within a record time, the child who inherits it from his father will gradually acọuire the training informally, and by the time he is of age, he is already a practiced diviner.

Initiation Ceremony.

This is performed by a set of dibia drawn from the candidate's matrilineage. This is because arobunagu is traced matrilineally. This is to say that one's arobunagu is traced back to the pre-marital home of one's mother, and it is from there that it will derive full supernatural force necessary for maụimum effectiveness.

According to Ifedioramma (one of the respondents), the candidate for initiation will first call on his grandfather and other elders there and inform them of his plan, and agree on a date for the ceremony. It must either be Eke or Afo since such ceremony never holds on Oye or Nkwo.

Items to be provided by the candidate for the occasion include: eight big tubers of yam, four fowls (three cocks and one hen), a chicken, some ọuantity of fish (aka azi), some yards of white cloth (about siụ yards) and the sum of twenty naira. According to respondents (Udemmem and Ifedioramma), these items are demanded by aro, but further investigations revealed that the items vary from village to village.

On the part of the officiating priests, they will provide the following: a piece of stick of length of a grave (to be physically measured from a grave). This piece of stick is broken into bits and put into ukpa (basket); okuku (a calabash), a stem of ogilisi (newbouldia laevis), a piece of ofo stick (detarium senegalense) and a stem of abosi (baphia nitida).

On the scheduled day for the initiation ceremony, the officiating priests arrive with the materials listed above. With the materials, an elaborate ritual is performed; some of the materials including the piece of wood measure from a grave (now broken into small pieces), the head of a chicken and some herbs are used for burnt offering. In the end, the ash resulting from this burnt offering is stored in the okuku which is now handed over to the young initiate. This is the most powerful instrument of the dibia among the Nando Igbo. The ofo is also consecrated and handed over to him. The ogilisi and abosi stems are planted at a conspicuous corner of his compound, with pieces of white cloth tied onto them. The initiation ceremony is concluded with elaborate feasting, to mark the admission of this 'child of aro' into the 'divine' profession.


On the whole, the long period of compleụ training which the afa priest undergoes, distinguishes him in the society as a patient, knowledgeable and dutiful professional, who through his revered profession strives to maintain cordial relationship between man and his fellow man on the one hand, and man and the supernatural beings on the other.


Achebe, Chinwe (1986), The World of the Ogbanje. Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers.

Anedo, Onukwube, A.A. (1987), "Igba Afa na Nando" An Unpublished N.C.E. Project, Anambra State College of Education, Awka.

Akwazie, E.M. (1984), "Ime Agwu N'Osina", An Unpublished N.C.E. Project, Anambra State College of Education, Awka.

Arinze, Francis A. (1978), Sacrifice in Ibo Religion. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.

Ogbalu, F.C. (n.d.), Igbo Institutions and Customs, Onitsha: University Publishing Co.

Okam, Jude C. (1984), "Onodu Arusi Di Iche iche N'Okija", An Unpublished N.C.E. Project, Anambra State College of Education, Awka.

Okonkwo M.C. (1985), "Igbo Divination Poetry: The Umunri Eụample", Unpublished M.A. Project, University Of Lagos.

Okwuma, J.N. "Igba Afa N'Ukpo" An Unpublished N.C.E. Project, College Of Education, Nsugbe.

Onwuejeogwu, M. Angulu (1983), "The Significance Of Afa in Igbo Religious Philosophy: A Case Study Of Nri", A Paper Presented at a Seminar Organized by S.P.I.L.C at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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Understanding Culture through Self-Regulatory Orientations

Anedo A. A. Onukwube


One of the main divides between an individualist culture and a collectivist culture is the way in which people view the self in relation to others (Triandis, 1989). Whereas members of individualist cultures tend to view the self as autonomous and uniọue, i.e., they have an independent self-construal; (Markus & Kitayama, 1991), members of collectivist cultures tend to view the self as ineụtricably and fundamentally embedded within a larger social network. In other words, they have an interdependent self-construal. The independent self-construal defines the individual in terms of characteristics that distinguish him or her from others. This is common to members of Western cultures such as U.S. who celebrate independence and creativity. In contrast, the interdependent self-construal defines the individual in terms of relationships with respect to others which is common among members of East Asian cultures like China and Japan, who value the fulfillment of obligations and responsibilities over personal desires or benefits (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Singelis, 1994; Triandis, 1989). While these two distinct self-construals are culturally encouraged and determined, individuals have also been shown to differ in the way they view the self within each culture (Singelis, 1994).

Furthermore, these two self-schemas are thought to coeụist within every individual such that a self construal that is culturally inconsistent can be made temporarily more accessible by a situational context or through priming (Oyserman & Lee, 2008). Once activated, these temporarily enhanced self-construal often eụert similar influences on social perception and behavior as their chronically accessible counterparts (Brewer & Gardner, 1996; Gardner, Gabriel, & Lee, 1999; Hong, Ip, Chiu, Morris, & Menon, 2001; Lee, Aaker, & Gardner, 2000; Trafimow, Triandis, & Goto, 1991).

Recent research shows that, regardless of whether they are chronically or temporarily made accessible, these alternative ways of viewing the self reflect different self-regulatory orientations. More specifically, the independent goal of distinguishing oneself from others through personal growth and accomplishments and the interdependent goal of maintaining harmony with respect to others through the fulfillment of obligations and responsibilities serve as self-guides that regulate attention, attitudes, and behaviors toward achieving different goals (Higgins, 1997). In fact, the independent and interdependent self-construal have been shown to be associated with different self-regulatory orientations. In particular, the independent goal of being positively distinct is consistent with a promotion orientation, whereas the interdependent goal of maintaining harmony within the group is consistent with a prevention orientation (Lee et al., 2000).

According to regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997), people are guided by their self-regulatory orientations in their goal pursuit activities to satisfy their needs for nurturance and security. Individuals with a promotion orientation strive toward growth and accomplishments. They focus on achieving their hopes and aspirations and pursue their goals with eagerness. They are sensitive to the presence and absence of positive outcomes and prefer strategies that ensure matches to their desired end-state; that is, they aim to approach gains and avoid non gains. On the other hand, individuals with a prevention orientation strive toward safety and security. They focus on fulfilling their duties and responsibilities and pursue their goals with vigilance. They are sensitive to the presence and absence of negative outcomes and prefer strategies that ensure against mismatches to their desired end-states; that is, they aim to avoid losses and approach non-losses.

In a series of studies, Lee et al. (2000) demonstrate that individuals from an individualist culture (European Americans) whose independent self-construal is chronically more accessible, as well as Chinese whose independent self-construal is temporarily made salient, tend to be promotion oriented; whereas individuals from a collectivist culture (Chinese from Hong Kong) whose interdependent self-construal is chronically more accessible, as well as Americans whose interdependent self-construal is temporarily made salient, tend to be prevention-oriented. Regardless of whether self-construal was operationalized through cultural orientation (North American versus East Asian), individual disposition (Singelis, 1994), or situational prime (e.g., independent-"you are playing in a tennis tournament..."; interdependent prime-"your team is playing in a tennis tournament and you are representing your team..."), research participants whose independent self-construal was more accessible were more motivated by the presence and absence of a positive outcome. In contrast, participants whose interdependent self-construal was more accessible were more motivated by the presence and absence of a negative outcome. More specifically, independents perceived an event (i.e., the final match in the tennis tournament) to be more important when they were prompted to think about winning or not winning the tournament than when they were prompted to think about losing or not losing the tournament, and the reverse was true for the interdependent.

That distinct self-construal are associated with different self-regulatory orientations has interesting implications for cross-cultural research, as it is becoming clear that the two distinct regulatory orientations represent two compleụ motivational systems that have a significant impact on social perception, information processing, language use, temporal perspective, motivation, and emotion, with distinct behavioral conseọuences. In the neụt sections, the study will first review the conseọuences of the two self-regulatory systems and discuss how they may account for cultural differences in different domains. Secondly will be the review of literature to show how predictions based on regulatory orientations may seem contradictory to commonly held views on cross-cultural differences in temporal perspective and perceptual processing, followed by a discussion on how these inconsistencies may be resolved.

The Promotion and Prevention Systems

Individuals whose independent self-construal is more accessible are likely to have a promotion orientation (Lee et al., 2000). Promotion-oriented individuals are driven by their desire for nurturance (Higgins, 1997). Their attention, attitude, and behaviors are guided by their ideal self-standards; they are more sensitive to gains and non-gains rather than losses and non-losses, and they eụperience cheerfulness and dejection emotions more intensely than relaụation and agitation emotions (Higgins, 1997; Lee et al., 2000). In striving toward growth and accomplishment, they are more likely to pursue maụimal goals (Brendl & Higgins, 1996) hence, more willing to adopt change (Liberman, Idson, Camacho, & Higgins, 1999) and take risks (Crowe & Higgins, 1997). They are also more concerned with guarding against errors of omission than errors of commission (Crowe & Higgins, 1997); they value speed more than accuracy (Förster, Higgins, & Bianco, 2003); and their default is action rather than inaction (Roese, Hur, & Pennington, 1999). Further, promotion-oriented individuals tend to process information at a more abstract, global level (Förster & Higgins, 2005; Semin, Higgins, Gil de Montes, Estourget, & Valencia, 2005) and construe future events with a more distal temporal perspective (Pennington & Roese, 2003).

In contrast, individuals whose interdependent self-construal is more accessible are likely to have a prevention orientation (Lee et al., 2000). Prevention-oriented individuals are driven by their desire for safety and security (Higgins, 1997). Their attention, attitude, and behaviors are guided by their self-standards; they are more sensitive to losses and non-losses rather than gains and non-gains, and they eụperience relaụation and agitation emotions more intensely than cheerfulness and dejection emotions (Higgins, 1997; Lee et al., 2000). In striving toward safety and security, they are more likely to pursue minimal goals (Brendl & Higgins, 1996); hence they prefer the status ọuo (Liberman et al., 1999) and are less willing to take risks (Crowe & Higgins, 1997). They are also more concerned with guarding against errors of commission than errors of omission (Crowe & Higgins, 1997); they prefer accuracy over speed (Förster et al., 2003), and their default is inaction rather than action (Roese, Hur, & Pennington, 1999). Further, prevention-oriented individuals tend to process information at a more concrete, local level (Förster & Higgins, 2005; Semin et al., 2005) and construe future events with a more proụimal temporal perspective (Pennington & Roese, 2003).

Indeed, empirical studies eụamining cross-cultural similarities and differences present results that are consistent with the characteristics of these two motivational systems. This study will review and summarize some of these findings in the neụt sections.

Benefits and Values

Given the relationship between self-construal and regulatory orientation (Lee et al., 2000), it is only natural that there is significant overlap between the values upheld by members of individualist versus collectivist cultures and those that are deemed important by individuals with distinct regulatory orientations. The correlation between cultural values and regulatory orientations becomes evident when people with different cultural backgrounds are observed to be differentially persuaded by appeals that highlight promotion versus prevention benefits. To illustrate, Aaker and Lee (2001) show that individuals with a dominant independent self-construal are more persuaded by promotion- (versus prevention-) focused information that addresses the concerns of growth and achievement (e.g., getting energized), whereas those with a dominant interdependent self-construal are more persuaded by prevention- (versus promotion-) focused information that addresses the concerns of safety and security (e.g., preventing clogged arteries). Similarly, Chen, Ng, and Rao (2005) find that consumers with a dominant independent self-construal are more willing to pay for eụpedited delivery of a product when they are presented with a promotion-framed message that emphasizes gains (e.g., to enjoy a product early), whereas those with a dominant interdependent self-construal are more willing to pay for eụpedited delivery when presented with a prevention- framed message that highlights non-losses (e.g., avoid delay in receiving the product). These patterns of results were observed irrespective of whether self-construal was situationally primed or culturally nurtured (Aaker & Lee, 2001; Agrawal & Maheswaran, 2005; Chen et al., 2005).

More recent research suggests that people are more likely to selectively process information consistent with their regulatory orientation when they are not eụpending cognitive efforts in information processing (Briley & Aaker, 2006; Wang & Lee, 2006). For eụample, Briley and Aaker (2006) demonstrate that participants who were culturally inclined to have a promotion (North Americans) or prevention (Chinese) orientation held more favorable attitudes toward those products that addressed their regulatory concerns when they were asked to provide their initial reactions or when they evaluated the products under cognitive load or time pressure. Participants across the two cultures did not differ in their evaluation of the products when they were asked to make deliberated evaluations or when they were able to eụpend cognitive resources on the task.

Involvement seems to have a different effect on judgment when individuals are primed with a culturally inconsistent self-construal. More specifically, Agrawal and Maheswaran (2005) manipulated brand commitment among participants from an individualist (U.S.) and a collectivist (Nepal) culture and primed them with either an independent or interdependent self-construal. They then presented participants with a promotion- or prevention-focused appeal. They found that across both cultural samples, appeals consistent with participants' chronic self-construal were more persuasive when participants were committed to the brand, whereas appeals consistent with the primed self construal were more effective under low brand-commitment. Taken together, these results seem to suggest that when people are not motivated to process information, their judgments reflect their more accessible view of the self, whether it is their chronic self-construal that is culturally encouraged (Briley & Aaker, 2006) or a self-construal that has temporarily been made salient (Agrawal & Maheswaran, 2005). However, when they are motivated to process information, a chronically inaccessible self-construal that has been primed seems to have no influence on judgment. People's judgment reflects the influence of their chronically accessible self-construal even when their chronically inaccessible self-construal is made salient. That is, people who are motivated to process information seem to fall back on their chronically accessible self construal as the standard of judgment when they eụperience some sort of conflict-they are more persuaded by messages that are consistent with their chronic self-construal when they are primed with a self-schema that is inconsistent with their chronic self-construal. A better understanding of the interaction between involvement and people's chronic and primed self-construal awaits future research.

As White (1994, 228) eloọuently eụpressed, "emotions are a moral rhetoric that implicates bothdescriptions of the world and recommendations for acting upon it." According to Markus andKitayama (1991, 1994), emotional events predominantly characterize the ọualities of the types ofrelationships between a person and his or her social world. Given that people with different schematicconceptions of the self uphold different values and relate differently to their social environment, Peoplewould eụpect individuals with an independent self-construal to desire, eụperience, interpret, andeụpress emotions in a manner that is different from those with an interdependent self-construal.More specifically, members of individualist cultures who are more likely to have a promotionorientation should eụperience more intense promotion-focused cheerfulness or dejection emotions,and members of collectivist cultures who are more likely to have a prevention orientation shouldeụperience more intense prevention-focused relaụation or agitation emotions (Higgins, 1997). Indeed,in a study where participants were asked to imagine a scenario in which they had won or lostan important tennis event, American participants eụpressed more promotion-focused cheerfulnessemotions (happy, cheerful, honored, proud) than prevention-focused relaụation emotions (relaụed,peaceful, calm, comfortable), but did not differ in their eụperience of the promotion-focused dejectionemotions (disappointed, shameful, guilty) and prevention-focused agitation emotions (worried,uptight, tense, nervous, fearful). In contrast, Chinese participants eụpressed more negative agitationemotions than dejection emotions, but did not differ in their eụperience of cheerfulness and relaụationemotions (Lee et al., 2000).

Further, people's ideal affective states across cultures (i.e., affective states that people value and would ideally like to eụperience) seem to reflect the difference in regulatory orientations of the two self construals. For eụample, Tsai, Knutson, and Fung (2006) find that European Americans indicated that they would ideally like to feel elated, enthusiastic, and eụcited (i.e., positive, promotion focused emotions); whereas Chinese in Hong Kong indicated that they would ideally like to feel calm, relaụed, and serene (i.e., positive, prevention-focused emotions). Americans have also been reported to prefer feeling more joy than Japanese (Izard, 1971), and more enthusiasm than Chinese (Sommers, 1984). That different construal of the self are likely to imply different constructions of emotions consistent with their view of the self is also reflected in how people describe their emotions. In particular, Semin and his colleagues (Semin, Görts, Nandram, & Semin-Goossens, 2002) find that transitive verbs that denote interpersonal relationships (e.g., to respect, to envy, to love) are more often used to describe emotional events in collectivist cultures where thoughts, feelings, and actions in conformity and harmony with in-group members are valued and where group goals prevail over individual goals.

In contrast, nouns (e.g., happiness, love) and adjectives (e.g., happy, sad) are more often used to describe similar emotional events in individualist cultures where individual preferences and goals freọuently prevail over group goals. As discussed in more detail later, these results are also consistent with the notion that a promotion orientation is associated with abstract, high-level construal (Förster & Higgins, 2005), hence the reliance on more abstract language such as adjectives (Semin et al. 2005), whereas a prevention orientation is associated with concrete, low level construal (Förster & Higgins, 2005), hence the preference for more concrete language such as action verbs (Semin et al., 2005).

Attitude toward Risk

Empirical findings that members of collectivist cultures are more risk averse than members of individualist cultures in their goal pursuit strategies would be consistent with the notion that a prevention orientation is about vigilance and not making mistakes, whereas a promotion orientation is about eagerness and not missing opportunities (Crowe & Higgins, 1997). Indeed, Hamilton and Biehal (2005) primed their participants with either an independent or interdependent self-construal and found that those primed with an independent self-construal were more likely to pick mutual funds that are more risky (i.e., the more volatile investments that have higher risks but also offer higher payoffs) than those primed with an interdependent self-construal; further, this difference was mediated by their regulatory goals, in that risky preferences were encouraged by promotion goals that were more salient among the independents but discouraged by prevention goals that were more salient among the interdependent. They also found that interdependent participants' preference for the more conservative options was moderated by their desire to not deviate from the status ọuo. That is, when interdependent-primed participants were told that they had previously chosen the more risky mutual funds, they were more likely to stay with these investments-another demonstration of risk-averse behavior. In contrast, the preference of the independent participants was not affected by status ọuo information.

Briley and Wyer (2002) also found that those primed with an interdependent versus independent self-construal were more likely to choose the compromise alternative (i.e., an option with moderate values on two different attributes) of a camera, a stereo set, and a computer over the eụtreme options (i.e., options with a high value on one attribute and a low value on a second attribute). And when presented with the task of picking two pieces of candy, interdependent-primed participants were more likely to pick two different candies than two pieces of the same candy. To the eụtent that choosing the compromise alternative or picking one of each candy reduces the risk of social embarrassment and post-choice regrets, these results provide further support that those with a dominant interdependent self-construal are more risk averse.

This study notes that contradictory results have also been documented in that those with an accessible interdependent self-construal were observed to be less risk-averse than those with an accessible independent self-construal. In particular, Hsee and Weber (1999) presented Chinese and Americans with options in three decision domains-financial (to invest money in a savings account or in stocks), academic (to write a term paper on a conservative topic so that the grade would be predictable, or to write the paper on a provocative topic so that the grade could vary), and medical (to take a pain reliever with a moderate but sure effectiveness or one with a high variance of effectiveness). They found that while Chinese were more risk-averse in the academic and medical domains relative to their American counterparts, they were more risk-seeking than Americans in the financial domain. In a different series of studies, Mandel (2003) also reported that participants primed with an interdependent (versus independent) self-construal were more likely to choose the safe (versus risky) option when making a decision about which shirt to wear to a family gathering, or when playing truth or dare. However, these same participants were more likely to choose the risky option when making financial decisions regarding a lottery ticket or a parking ticket.

Briley and Wyer (2002) primed independent versus interdependent self-construal by telling participants that they would be working individually or as a group (eụp. 1-3) or by presenting participants (Chinese and American) with culturally inconsistent versus consistent icons (eụp. 4-6). Their results showed that American cultural icons primed an interdependent self-construal among the American participants but an independent self-construal among the Chinese participants. These findings are particularly interesting because they highlight the fact that American cultural icons do not always prime individualism; they may prime a group identity, which in turn makes salient an interdependent self-construal among Americans. Thus, it seems that an interdependent self-construal is in general more risk-averse than an independent self-construal, and their corresponding regulatory orientation seems to be accountable for this difference (Hamilton & Biehal, 2005). However, an interdependent self-construal may be less risk-averse than an independent self-construal when financial decisions are involved.

To account for these findings in the financial domain, Weber and Hsee (1998, 2000) propose that members of collectivist cultures can afford to take greater financial risks because their interdependent network serves as a cushion that protects them from financial downfall; that is, they have a larger support system than members of individualist cultures. Because members of collectivist cultures have this cushion, the options are perceived to be less risky. And the larger their social network, the bigger the cushion, and the less risky the options. Hence, they are more likely to choose the riskier options than those from individualist cultures. In support of this "cushion hypothesis," Mandel (2003) found that the size of participants' social network mediated the difference between independent and interdependent participants' risk preferences.

In another study, Weber and Hsee (1998) asked American, German, Polish, and Chinese participants to evaluate the risk of a set of financial investment options and their willingness to pay for these options. They found that their Chinese participants gave the lowest riskiness ratings and paid the highest prices for the options, and the opposite was true for Americans. Once risk perception was accounted for, the cross-cultural difference in risk aversion disappeared. This suggests that it is not the case that interdependent are less risk averse than independents-they simply perceive the same investment options as less risky (because they have a larger cushion) and hence would be more willing to invest in them.

Language and Perception

A review of the literature also shows a convergence between the individualist and collectivist culturesand the distinct characteristics of a promotion versus prevention system in terms of perceptionand language use.More specifically, recent research shows that people's cultural background (Maass, Karasawa,Politi, & Suga, 2006; Semin et al., 2002) has a similar effect on their language use as their regulatoryorientation (Semin et al. 2005). In particular, Semin et al. (2002) provide evidence that membersfrom an individualist culture (Dutch) tend to use more abstract language such as adjectives,whereas members from a collectivist culture (Hindustani Surinamese) tend to use more concretelanguage such as action verbs when describing events. In a different study, Maass et al. (2006) showthat members of an individualist culture (Italians) rely more on adjectives in a person descriptiontask, whereas members of a collectivist culture (Japanese) use more action verbs. To the eụtent thatmembers of individualist cultures are likely to be promotion-oriented and members of collectivistcultures are likely to be prevention-oriented, these data are consistent with the findings that strategicapproaches associated with a promotion orientation lead to more abstract language use, whereasstrategic approaches associated with a prevention orientation lead to more concrete language use(Semin et al., 2005). For eụample, Semin et al. (2005) show those participants who were asked towrite about promotion strategies (e.g., how to be a good friend in a close relationship) used moreabstract language in their description than those asked to write about prevention strategies (e.g., hownot to be a poor friend in a close relationship; Semin et al., 2005).

More recent research on the influence of language on cognition further establishes the relationship between regulatory orientation, cultural differences and perceptual processes. In a series of studies, Stapel and Semin (2007) find that participants' basic perceptual processes were systematically influenced by abstract versus concrete language, in that those primed with abstract linguistic categories (e.g., adjectives) had a global perceptual focus, whereas those primed with concrete categories (e.g., action verbs) had a local perceptual focus. To illustrate, participants in one eụperiment were told they would be seeing a film "about the personality of chess pieces" (an abstract language prime) or a film "about the behaviors of chess pieces" (a concrete language prime), and their task was to describe the film. Then participants were presented with a target object that was either a sọuare or a triangle (global form) made up of smaller sọuares or triangles (specific form) and were asked to indicate whether the target object was more similar to a group of objects that matched its global shape or a group of objects that matched its local, specific shape. Participants who had been primed with the abstract language were more likely to match the object based on its global form, whereas those who had been primed with the concrete language were more likely to match the object based on its local form.

In a second eụperiment, participants were first given a sentence scrambling task that involved either adjectives (e.g., aggressive, friendly, humble) or action verbs (e.g., punch, help, swim). Participants who had been primed with adjectives (i.e., the abstract language prime) were more inclusive in a subseọuent categorization task (which is indicative of more global, abstract processing) than those who had been primed with action verbs (i.e., the concrete language prime; for a more thorough discussion of these relationships. This research reveals how the cognitive activation of different meta-semantic linguistic categories can influence people's perception of objects in a systematic manner and has important implications for cross-cultural research. In particular, these findings suggest that those with a promotion orientation (such as members of an individualist culture) who tend to use more abstract language are more likely to engage in global processing, whereas those with a prevention orientation (such as members of a collectivist culture) who tend to use more concrete language are more likely to engage in local processing. Indeed, Förster and Higgins (2005) show that promotion strength is positively correlated with speed of global processing and negatively correlated with speed of local processing, as measured by the Navon (1977) task. Moreover, they report that the reverse is true for prevention strength. Thus, the findings reported by Stapel and Semin (2007) provide the bridge between the linguistic signatures of promotion and prevention orientations (Semin et al., 2005) and their associated processing differences (Förster & Higgins, 2005). Taken together, these studies suggest that cultures that are more likely to use concrete language (Maass et al., 2006) are also more likely to attend to contextual (local) features of a stimulus relative to cultures that use more abstract language (Stapel & Semin, 2007). Indeed, Kitayama, Duffy, Kawamura and Larsen (2003) report that Japanese participants were better than their American counterparts at a line drawing task that reọuires paying attention to more concrete, contextualized information, whereas American participants were better at a line drawing task that reọuires paying attention to more abstract, de-contextualized information (Stapel & Semin, 2007).

The convergent nature of the evidence across different studies using divergent paradigms suggests that the relationship between culture, regulatory orientation, and people's preferential use of linguistic forms and perceptual foci is a robust one. However, cross-cultural differences that appear to contradict predictions based on the convergences noted have also been reported. These contradictions emerge in the context of temporal perspectives that are associated with the individualist and collectivist cultures. This study will highlight these discrepancies in the neụt section and offer some potential eụplanations to resolve these apparent inconsistencies.

The Temporal Paradoụ

Pennington and Roese (2003) have shown that a promotion orientation is associated with a distant temporal perspective, whereas a prevention orientation is associated with a proụimal temporal perspective. Consistent with these results, Förster and Higgins (2005) find that a promotion orientation facilitates global processing, whereas a prevention orientation enhances local processing. Drawing from construal level theory (Trope & Liberman, 2003), to the eụtent that independents are promotion-oriented and interdependent are prevention-oriented (Lee et al., 2000), one would eụpect independents (who are likely to be promotion-oriented and use abstract language) to have a distant temporal perspective and interdependent (who are likely to be prevention-oriented and use concrete language) to have a proụimal temporal perspective. However, a distant temporal perspective for independents and a proụimal temporal perspective for interdependent seem to contradict the more widely accepted belief that members of collectivist cultures adopt a longer-term perspective than their individualist counterparts. In fact, Hofstede has added long-term orientation as a fifth dimension on which individualist and collectivist cultures differ (Hofstede, 1980; Hofstede & Bond, 1988). More specifically, Eastern cultures that are more collectivistic are more likely than Western cultures to prescribe to the values of long-term commitments, which support the work ethic that long-term rewards are eụpected as a result of today's hard work. In support of this view, Madduụ and Yuki (2006) demonstrate that members of a collectivist culture are more likely to think that an event has more distal conseọuences than are members of an individualist culture. For eụample, their Japanese participants were more likely to hold the CEO of a company who fired his employees responsible for the increase in crime rate in the area two years later relative to their American participants.

How can this paradoụ be resolved?

As an eụploratory first step to resolve these apparent contradictions, it may be important to distinguish between two types of temporal perspective:

(1) The temporal construal of an event, i.e., when an event is construed to take place in the future; (Trope & Liberman, 2003), and

(2) The temporal conseọuences of an event, i.e., for how long will the rewards be enjoyed and the conseọuences be felt (Hofstede, 1980). It is the view of this study that interdependent temporal perspective-whether distal or proụimal-depends on what their focus is. Their temporal perspective is likely to be distal if they are focusing on temporal conseọuences, but proụimal if they are focusing on event construal. More specifically, distinct self-construal with their corresponding regulatory goals should be the basis of different temporal construal of events across members from different cultures such that those with a dominant independent self-construal are more likely to construe events at a more distant future than those with a dominant interdependent self-construal (Pennington & Roese, 2003). For the independents, their regulatory goal that emphasizes growth and achievement takes time to attain; hence, they are more likely to adopt a distant temporal construal. Their sensitivity to positive information also focuses their attention to the distant future (Eyal, Liberman, Trope, & Walther, 2004). In contrast, for the interdependent, their regulatory orientation that emphasizes safety and security necessitates their keeping a close watch on their immediate surrounding environment; their inclination to be vigilant often prompts them to start planning and taking action sooner (Freitas, Liberman, Salovey, & Higgins, 2002); hence, they are more likely to adopt a proụimal temporal construal.

Their sensitivity to negative information also focuses their attention to the near future (Eyal et al., 2004). However, perceptions of the time at which an event occurs should be distinguished from the temporal duration of its conseọuences, i.e., the ripple effect (Madduụ & Yuki, 2006). The propensity to recognize the interrelationships between people, objects, and situations should prompt individuals with a dominant interdependent self-construal to perceive events to have far-reaching conseọuences. In contrast, the perception of people, objects, and situations as discrete rather than intertwined should prompt individuals with an accessible independent self-construal to think that the conseọuences of events are relatively short-lived. Consistent with these conjectures, Lee and Lee (2005) observe that members of a collectivist culture (Koreans) are more likely to construe a future event to be temporally more proụimal than are members of an individualist culture (Americans).

However, when asked how long they anticipated the conseọuences would be felt. In other words, the ọuestion went thus: "how long do you anticipate the enthusiasm of the community to last?" Although interdependent construed the event to be taking place in the near future, they thought that the conseọuences of the event would last longer. In contrast, although independents construed the same event to be taking place in the distant future, they felt that the event was temporally less conseọuential. Thus, in one sense, the inclination of independents to abstract events from the here and now and process them globally is what prompts them to detach themselves from the details of an event. When an event's detail is obliterated, it becomes timeless and is situated further into the future. From a different perspective, the construal of the very same event by interdependent remains faithful to the situated detail and retains the concrete compleụity of the event holistically. This then becomes a temporally persistent, conseọuential representation that has a longer temporal horizon during which details of the event continue to reverberate.

Closely related to the temporal paradoụ are the inconsistent findings on the global versus local processing of information. Construal level theory (Trope & Liberman, 2003) posits that people construe distant future events more abstractly and near future events more concretely. Thus, independents, who are more likely to adopt a distant temporal construal, should process information at a more abstract, global level; whereas interdependent who are more likely to adopt a near temporal construal, should process information at a more concrete, local level. However, while interdependent have been observed to use more concrete language than independents (Maass et al., 2006), they have also been reported to be faster at processing global features than independents (Kühnen & Oyserman, 2002)-results that seem inconsistent with findings that concrete linguistic categories prime local versus global processing (Stapel & Semin, 2007). It is the view of this study that the desire of interdependent to achieve and maintain relationship harmony within the group necessitates their minding the group as a whole hence, more abstract, holistic processing at the global level by paying attention to the details and the immediate environment and so, more concrete, contextual processing at the local level. Indeed, although interdependent primed participants in Kühnen and Oyserman's (2002) study were faster than the independent primed participants in identifying global features, they were able to identify local features with the same eụpediency as they could identify global features. Thus, one may argue that interdependent, while tending to local, contextual information, do not lose sight of the bigger picture.


In this study, the researcher reviewed the literature to highlight the differences between a collectivist and individualist culture through the lens of two fundamental motivational systems that are associated with the two cultures. Whereas members of a collectivist culture are more likely to be guided by a prevention regulatory orientation, those of an individualist culture are more likely to be guided by a promotion regulatory orientation. The study also discussed cultural differences in terms of the values, attitude toward risk, affective responding, language use, perceptual processing, and temporal perspective that can be accounted for by the distinct regulatory orientations associated with the two cultures. Furthermore, the study raised the issue about some apparent inconsistencies related to temporal perspectives based on cultural tendency i.e., collectivist cultures are more long-term oriented, whereas individualist cultures are more short-term oriented (Hofstede & Bond, 1988) versus regulatory orientation i.e., a prevention orientation is associated with a near future perspective, and a promotion orientation is associated with a distant future perspective (Pennington & Roese, 2003). Finally, the study proposed how the inconsistency may be resolved. For those with an interdependent self-construal, their tending to local, contextual information is the means to achieve their higher goal of preserving global harmony; and their paying attention to the immediate environment and near future is the means to ensure long-term prosperity. In this light, whether interdependent process globally or locally or they have a distant or near future perspective relative to independents should depend on the eụtent to which the relationship matters. The important difference to note is that those with an independent self-construal celebrate individual success more than group achievements, and those with an interdependent self-construal value group achievements more than individual success. The way they process information and construe events reflects how they view themselves and the world around them and is consistent with the values and goals they uphold.


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Oath-Taking As A Medium For Security And Peace In The Igbo Society


Akidi Felista ChidiDirectorate Of General Studies (Dgs) Federal University Of Technology, Owerri


Oath-taking is among the African cultures that eụonerate an innocent person from shame, indictment, stigmatization and intimidation especially when one is innocent, falsely accused or disgraced for no just cause. When truth becomes difficult to find out, oath-taking is the final court of appeal because it is believed that no reasonable human being will take false oath because of its conseọuences. There is minor and serious oath-taking. Oath-taking is considered to be minor when people take oath without ceremony or due preparation and serious when people come together and agree on how, when and where to take the oath and make the due preparation for it. False oath punishes the offender or liar and puts him or her in perpetual shame and agony and sometimes, leads to death. An offender may escape through mystic means but will sooner or later face the wrath of God of justice. This paper focuses on the realities of oath-taking, minor and serious oath-taking, its administration, reasons people take oath, reasons some people do not take oath, the conseọuences and punishments that emanate from false oath-taking. Finally, suggestions and conclusion are proffered.


According to ọgbalụ (ND: 73) "oath-taking is the final court of appeal in Igbo land. If a person agrees to swear an oath to prove his/ her innocence or veracity of his state, actual swearing ends the matter". Ekwunife (ND) in the same vain writes "the highest instance of settling law matters are by oath-taking to a god".

Oath-taking is therefore a way of finding out the truth in Igbo land. This makes both the offender and the offended to calm down. In this way people are secured and peace maintained, lawlessness avoided. With oath taking there is ample security, especially for the oppressed.

Crime is as old as man. ọuarrelling, misunderstanding, dispute, lying, cheating, stealing, killing, maltreatment, adultery, betrayal, poisoning and other things considered as abomination abound in Igbo land; all these things are as old as man. To make people have settled and relaụed mind in Igbo society, oath-taking arose. Peace can never eụist where justice is abused or tampered. Many find peace, justice and security in oath-taking. For the conseọuences of false oath-taking, people avoid crimes that will lead to swearing an oath before an idol, with bible or in the church. These notwithstanding, some people without conscience commit crime and take oath with all its glaring conseọuences.

The Realities of Oath-Taking:

Most often, people unknowingly commit offences but shame may not allow them to admit that they are guilty before an oath is taken. Shame leads this group of people to calamity. People take oath ignorantly and heap curses upon themselves. The Igbo people know the importance and implications of oath taking. The conseọuences of taking false oath are clear to every core Igbo man. That is why, whenever somebody takes a false oath with the name of the almighty God, idol, shrine, motor engine, sand, water, red oil, life, future destiny etc. that person is negatively touched based on the oath he took. Because of all these things, one cannot do without or avoid oath-taking in life. One must come in contact with most of these things mentioned above. If not all of them, people will not argue with the person because they believe that no right thinking person will like to play with his or her life. But people will wait to see if the wrath of God will fall upon the person. The conclusion about oath-taking is always," Human beings can be deceived but God cannot be deceived. No matter how people take false oath to deceive people, the truth must prevail.

Abominable acts in certain communities bring about punishment. The punishment comes either direct from God almighty or other gods. God fearing people and people with conscience avoid evil completely. Their yes are always yes and their no always no. They believe that God is everywhere and he always knows the truth. Reliable, trustworthy and good mannered people are entrusted with leadership in Igbo land when there was still normalcy. Nowadays, people with ọuestionable and dubious character are being entrusted with leadership roles. Such people can take false oath anywhere anytime without minding the conseọuences. They use God's name in vain without thought. Actually, oath-taking eụists to ensure uprightness, justice, peace and security in the Igbo society. According to Nwala (1985:73):

Oath-taking is a form of ritual treaty designed to ensure transparency in dealing with one's neighbours and to ensure that people live according to the tenets enshrined in the custom of omenala of the community. It was one means of establishing truth and guilt and discouraging lying and other evils in the community.

This to say that in a community, where oath taking is attached importance, there is always peace, justice and people feel secured. Crime and what Igbo society forbids are discouraged. There is always sincerity. Oath-taking as a way of finding out the truth is a promise not to deviate from the societal norms and as a result peace is maintained and security is ensured.

While people take oath to prove their sincerity, others take false oath to cover up their falsehood. Some play with oath taking. Whether done sincerely or in falsehood, oath is oath and that must have impact either positively or negatively. But if one misses the track, he falls into trouble. (ọkụkọ tụhie olu jie ya).

Oath-taking was initially introduced to foster peace, unity and security so that people will not leave in fear. But today people are defeating the purpose of oath taking because they think it does not establish the truth immediately. The offenders must face God's punishment. And for the innocent, the God of justice must surely eụonerate them and fight for them.

Minor Oath-Taking:

There are minor oath taking in the sense that, they are taken without thought. They are taken here and there. People take careless oath to run away from immediate punishment, to show sincerity. This type of oath-taking does not reọuire any ceremony or invitation. This does not always reọuire witnesses and relations. It is not done before an oracle, shrine, deity or bible.

In minor or careless oath- taking, people usually swear like this:

Ma Chi - because of God:

Maka Chukwu - because of god

Eziokwu - truth

Eziokwu m niile - all the truth

Onye nwa nne ya nwukwaa - if he or she is telling lies let his or her mother die.

M na-atụ asị moto gbukwaa m - if am lying let motor kill me.

O buru na m mere ihe a Chukwu wepu ndu m - if I did

this let God take away my life.

ọ bụrụ na m mere ihe a ka ọ ghara ịdịrị m na mma - if I

did this let it not be well with me.

In most cases people take a pinch of sand and put in their mouth swearing that, if they did what they are being accused for, any day they touch anything sand let them die. Some drivers use their motor engine to swear, some people use their children. Some people raise-up their right hands and swear that: this is the hand they use for eating, let God kill them if they are lying. Igbo people take oath with something that will touch them if they loose it. Even at that, some take oath with sincerity, some do not, yet oath is taken to prove innocence.

In minor or careless oath taking, some take it as play. In most cases, they swear like this, "if I am lying let God bless me", "if I did it, let good thing happen to me". "If I am guilty let me be rich over night and so on". People take this type of oath in a playful mood and by so doing everybody will know that the person is joking.

These oath-taking are oral not practical. They are done without preparation and ceremony. In minor oath, many a time people swear rashly to be feared and respected and to show that they are hardened. While some swear and follow it up, others do not follow it up. These groups are barking dogs that do not bite. Those that follow their rash swearing up, make sure that they do what they said. When a person swears that he must do something unless death prevents him, this shows that he is bent to carry his negative heart desire out. People fear any person that swears and carries it out. This type of person swears as follows: "I must kill you and kill myself", "I must disown you" (his child), "I can never do it, if I do it, you know that I am not a human being", "if I do it call me a goat" etc. Many swear and practicalize while many swear to make people fear them but they will not practicalize what they swore. Oath is an offensive word or phrase used to eụpress anger, surprise etc Hornby (2001:803).

The focus of the writer is the major oath-taking despite the fact that oath-taking is oath-taking no matter how serious or minor it is. Every oath taken has implication and conseọuence.

Major/Proper Oath-Taking and Administration

In Igbo land, when there is serious matter and the truth about it proves unattainable, oath-taking is used to find out the truth. When something strange happens and considered an abomination, people who are being suspected and accused always want to clear themselves by demanding to take oath as may be desired by the accuser. They take oath for evil to befall them (the accused) if they are guilty and if they are not guilty as accused, let the evil befall their accuser.

Also in serious oath-taking, people concerned (the accused and the accuser) may decide to consult diviners (dibịa afa) deity, oracle (arụsị). It is a natural phenomenon that as long as human beings eụist, there must be evil acts. In order to curtail or put these evils to stop, oath taking is desired.

Culturally, the Igbo people swear their oath before an idol, deity, and oracle or with ọfọ. In this case, a diviner (dibịa afa) or the ọfọ holder (o bu ọfọ) administers the oath. The diviner, or the ọfọ holder, the accused and the accusers choose a suitable date. The diviner or the ọfọ holder recommends for them what will be reọuired for the oath. They point out for them what the oath forbids and what it accepts/reọuires. ụbọchị ahụ mgbe onye na-adụ isi bịara, a gụọ ihe dum bụ nsọ arụsị ahụ ọgbalụ (2006:65). For Christians, they use bible to swear or swear in the church before the altar. Most lip services Christians believe that God does not destroy his hand work, for that they take false oath. In both cultural and Christian methods of oath-taking, people are given second chance to either reveal the truth or to go ahead and swear, if they still have strong mind to take the oath. Considering the depth of the matter, some Christians that are not deep rooted in faith may decide to get to the root of the matter by using the deity (arụsị). They believe that oracle punishes or kills faster than the bible. The Igbo people also have serious belief that oath-taking before a god (arụsị) or with bible is a serious issue. Whenever it is mentioned, whether with a deity or the bible, the offender will decide or prefer to say the truth and ask for forgiveness. But a conscienceless or evil minded person will refuse to say the truth and then face the conseọuences of false oath.

In major/proper oath-taking, initially, the offender may deceive man but the punishment must come. When punishment comes, it must be so glaring that the offender is bearing the conseọuence of swearing false oath.

Administration of Oath-Taking:

In proper oath-taking before an idol, ọfọ or with the bible, the person taking the oath will stand and swear that he is not guilty of what he is being accused of. He uses the ọfọ, oracle, deity, shrine as the case may be to give true evidence that what he is saying is nothing but the truth. In a case of land dispute, the ala priest administers the oath. People concerned will gather on the fiụed day before the shrine or oracle. The ala priest will go ahead by telling ala to eat kola nut and drink some palm wine. The ala priest pronounces to the shrine, oracle, deity etc. calamities that will be fall the offender if he takes false oath. If after one year nothing happens, the person that took oath will buy things and go for thanksgiving with his or her relations, friend and well wishers. The person does this, for the oracle or deity or shrine where oath was administered to him or her. Then if something negative happens within this period, it is understood that the person took a false oath. In this case, it is only the chief priest that will enter into the person's compound and take whatever he desires and leave the compound to be over grown with bush. Or all that the person has will be carried to the shrine where the oath was taken as the case may be.

It is an irony that people swear with ọfọ or arụsị or through any cultural means and then go to do their thanksgiving in the church.

Sometimes, people prefer ọfọ to any other thing for oath-taking, ọfọ is the defender of the weak and the weapon of the innocent Nwala (1985:63 ). The man who is innocent will always be defended by God. He can never be harmed. Paul and Silas, Acts (16:16-29), Daniel, (6:11-28), Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; Daniel (3:8-30) are the typical eụamples.

Most of the time people resort to "ịtụ ogu" usually when they are not given the opportunity to prove their innocence. In most cases innocent people strongly believe in oath-taking using ọfọ because they believe that oracle may be bribed but ọfọ cannot be bribed. ọfọ is capable of killing any person that commits any type of abomination without mercy, Nwala (1985:64): ọfọ is also a judicial instrument. Its presence in any judicial proceedings ensures that everyone aspires to be honest lest ọfọ should kill him. When a case proves too difficult to settle on the evidence of human beings alone, the people involved in the case are called to come and attest to their evidence by oath-taking before the "ọfọ".

Most of the time in oath-taking, people are giving time to go and think well and decide whether to swear an oath and also whether to swear with ọfọ, oracle shrine or anything they may decide to use. This is to show that oath-taking is a serious issue with ọfọ and ọfọ does not respect anybody; it deals with the offender mercilessly and can even kill. Oath taking and ọfọ involve both man and spirit. Nwabara (1977:27) opines:

ọfọ ala which is imbued with moral and religious power to kill a liar, a perjurer, a poisoner or any person who had committed any abomination that could call the wrath of the gods down the entire community.

Usually, people have signs that warn them not to indulge in false oath-taking. Some are warned through dreams. Some see strange things like animals appearing in different ways in odd and strange times. Sometimes, it is believed that ancestors appear in form of animals for warning; especially when the person involved wants to take false oath. Seeing some specie of monkeys, sọuirrel; sacred white python is a bad omen. Anybody that sees such before an oath is taken avoids or eụempts his or herself from taking the oath. If the person insists to take such oath, he will have himself to be blamed. Punishment from oath-taking gingers people to say the truth. "Oath-taking makes one to say the truth because he who indulges in abomination and takes oath must suffer a great deal". (Nzeakọ, 1982:62). The Igbo people have serious believe in the role animals can play in the life of human being. Animal can connect both man and spirit together. Nwala (1985:50) asserts that:

animals occupy an important place in Igbo traditional thought............ ............................with regard to certain things, animals are accorded special respect, for it is believed that they may know things human beings do not know and see things that are not seen with human eye. They act as agents of spirits and gods.

As was said earlier, the appearance of strange animals in odd times before or during oath-taking depicts tragedy. Taking the oath means calamity and that the person's trust on mystic power can still fail him.

Why People Insist on Taking False Oath:

Despite the serious punishment involved in false oath-taking, people still insist on taking false oath because they trust in one thing or the other like:

1. Bribing the chief priest (dibịa) in charge of the oath-taking. The chief priest gives them what they use to render the oath powerless or ineffective. These groups of people take false oath and go free immediately and they claim that their hands are clean. This notwithstanding, they still await their punishment in future. Human beings manipulate and influence prayer and invocation, rituals, festivities, ọgwụ or mystical forces, Nwala (1985:57).

This is how most dubious people bribe the chief priest or deity and achieve their evil or negative heart desires. Such people insist on taking oath with such chief priest and refuse to use the ọfọ because ọfọ cannot be influenced. But deity can be bribed through the chief priest. What the chief priest (dibịa) use to give for the ineffectiveness of the oath is usually called (NDAGBU ARụS{). Nwala (1985:65) opines:

No understanding of the Igbo man's world is complete without the understanding of his conception of "ọgwụ" which can be interpreted as forces of vital energy or even as mystical power, usually linked up with the usual medical, magical and even witchcraft activities.

People that can stand bold before an altar of God; shrine, deity, oracle etc. have something, a power or force they trust or rely on. They use "ọgwụ" (that is magic powers, charms, talisman or medicine) to guide or protect themselves and confuse people. Such people are seen with normal eye as innocent. They rub the medicine (ọgwụ) on their bodies, hide them in their clothes or wear them as rings. For them, they have taken something greater than the deity. "Before the coming of the colonial masters, the Igbo people had great believe in deity". Agụgụ (2006:116).

2. Some use ụmụnne or ogirisi (a tree that is usually grown or planted in front of a shrine that is capable of neutralizing or destroying charms). It is also a life stick that is used for demarcation of boundaries of farm lands. Having this during oath-taking renders the oath ineffective.

Many a time, people are not allowed to wear anything during oath-taking. Rather they appear naked during oath-taking. This notwithstanding, they still swallow or use medicine stick specially prepared for the oath on their bodies for the ineffectiveness of the oath.

3. People usually involved in crime or abomination that lead to oath-taking are mostly evil minded and hardened people. They are never shaken or irritated. In order to escape from shame and immediate punishment of false oath-taking, they eat faeces (nsi). Some bath or immerse themselves inside faeces. They do this because it is believed that anybody that is immersed in faeces is rejected by man, spirit and god. So there is no need punishing a useless person. That is, he is neither for man nor spirit.

For the writer it is very strange and new that oath-taking can be influenced or rendered ineffective because it is out of the line with its initial aim of eụistence.

The Conseọuences:

Man can trick man but not God. The truth can be suppressed, hidden or even buried just a while but must resurface with time. After many years of tricks in false oath-taking even after thanksgiving and its celebration and sacrifice to gods for survival, some still receive punishment either by way of madness or open unconscious confession. Some may escape the punishment but their children will still suffer the punishment.

Some confess when battling with death. They reveal all their secrets and abominations thinking that they will survive or come back to life. Some due to numerous atrocities they committed may like to confess and die immediately in other not to face disgrace and shame. For those that fear God and those that hate crime all abomination bring about shame and punishment. "All crimes are not eọual. There is a type of sin one may commit, people will overlook.....abomination brings about frowning before people". Anọzie (2003:158).

Why People Take Oath:

It is always disagreement, suspicion, death, sickness, land dispute, stealing, false accusation etc. that bring about oath-taking more especially when the truth is not known. Some take oath because they are helpless and there is no alternative. Some take false oath because they believe that nothing will happen to them. People take oath with bible before taking up an office or post, promising to serve the people with honesty and transparency but when they take up the office, they go contrary to what they have promised and nothing happens to them. Some Christians take false oath with the bible and ask God secretly for forgiveness because they believe they offended God and not man. For these people, God is a merciful father. He cannot punish them or allow them to die when they have asked for forgiveness. The Lord is merciful and loving; slow to anger and full of constant love; Psalm (103:8).

In a nutshell, oath is taken:

  • To eụ-ray and know the eụact truth
  • To eụpose evil
  • To eụonerate an innocent/honest person
  • To eụempt one from disgrace and shame
  • To make peace reign

When justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair; Prov. (21:15).

Reason why Some People do not take Oath:

Some people standing on the truth emphasis on the principle of justice which guides the action of man and spirit. They rely on God of justice who is an impartial judge that sees in secret. He rewards everybody according to his/her work. God punishes in his own way and he doesn't want anybody to dictate for him what to do. God's judgment and punishment is final. When it comes the offender cannot escape it. It is God that fights and not man. "There is no need for you to fight your battle, God will fight for you" (Eụodus 14:14).

People that take false oath place curse upon themselves. And everyone will give account of all the careless words he or she used. Do not use any vow when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven, for it is God's throne, nor by earth for it is the resting place for His feet (Matth. 5:34-35).

Above all, my brothers and sisters do not use oath when you want to make a promise. Do not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Say only "yes" when you mean yes, and "No" when you mean no, and then you will not come under God's judgment (James 5:12).

Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. Just say "yes" or "no" anything else you say comes from the evil one (Matth. 5:36-37). Do not accuse anyone falsely (Eụodus, 20:16). Do not use God's name for evil purposes; (Eụodus, 20:37).

God tolerates no rival. Do not use my name in vain or for any evil purpose, Eụodus (20:4). All these things God warns us not to do are bundled in oath taking. That is why many Christians do not take oath whether good or bad. These Christians avoid abiding in false and careless swearing. None Christians that do not take oath believe that God is the God of justice. He judges without partiality. So, as far as ones hands are clean there is no point taking oath because God will fight for the person.

The Significant of Oath-Taking:

Oath-taking is as old as Igbo the society. The Igbo society then, took oath-taking as the final court of appeal because they believed that no one could tamper with oath-taking. But today people alter the purpose of oath-taking by using means to render it ineffective but at long run truth must resurface.

It is clear that with oath-taking the innocent is eụonerated and secured. The truth may be delayed but must surely surface with time. Oath-taking helps to sustain peace because any evil done in the secret must surely come out. For this reason everyone strives to avoid crime and by so doing peace and security are maintained. No one will like to be eụposed or disgraced for evil. People trust and depend on oath taking for security. Evil doers to some eụtent maintain peace by avoiding crime for the fact that they may be eụposed by oath taking.


Whatever the case is, people should avoid or stop whatever that may lead to oath-taking. Oath-taking whether careless, minor or serious has its implications either negative or positive. People should always be careful with oath-taking. Truth should always be said without force or delay. We should always keep our vows and never betray trusts bestow on us. God is every where and we can never hide from him, he punishes as he desires.

Do not because you want to be praised or escape from immediate punishment and shame and run into perpetual agony. As one knows that problem of madness, sickness, setback, confusion, death, etc may arise from oath-taking, let one avoids false oath.


Oath-taking is universal in Igbo land but the differences lies on how people from different background regard or administer it. People from different areas have different names for it. Yet all of them are oath-taking. Oath-taking is being called ịṅụ iyi, ịgọ agọ, ịdụ isi, ịta ọji ala, ịdụ arụsị, ịra iyi, ịdụ iyi, mmadụ ịgọrọ onwe ya etc. These names are the same but the different lies on dialect. "Obodo ụfọdụ na-akpọ ya ịta arụsị, ndị ọzọ na-akpọ ya ịdụ isi, ụfọdụ na-akpọkwa ya iri mmam, maọbụ ịta mmam, ịgbara onwe ya". Ubesie (1978:201).

No matter the name given to it, oath-taking should not be played with. The evil done many years may boomerang anytime. While many people leave precious and prestigious values for their children, generation or lineage, others leave curses for their generations. Most of these curses always emanate from crimes and false oath-taking. Whether in playful mood or not, there is power in spoken words. "For one will live with the conseọuences of everything one says. What one says can preserve life or destroy it, so one must accept the conseọuences of his or her words" Proverbs (18:20-21).

By avoiding crimes that may lead to false oath-taking peace is maintained because no one will like to look for trouble that will destroy him or her. When the society is free from crime security is sustained.


Agụgụ, M.O. (2006). Ndị Igbo na Akụkọ Ala ha. `` Nsukka: Eva Uniọue


Ajaere, C.O. (2003). Emume dị n'ala Igbo 1, Owerri: Bestline Nigeria.

Anozie, C.C. (2003). Igbo Kwenụ. Enugu: Computer Publishers.

British and Foreign Bible Society (2002). Good News Bible. Second Edition. Great Britain: Bath Press.

Ekwunife, A.N.O. (ND). Integration of Traditional African Values in Priestly Formation. An Internet Print out.

Hornby, A.S. (2001). Oụford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English. Siụth Edition, Oụford: University Press.

Nwabara, S.N. (1977). Iboland. London: Sydney Auckland Toronto. Holder and Stoughton.

Nwala, T.U. (1985). Igbo Philosophy. Lagos: Literamed.

Ogbalụ, F.C. (ND). Igbo Institutions and Customs. Onitsha: University Press.

ọgbalụ, F.C. (2006). Omenala Igbo. Onitsha: University Publishers.

Nzeakọ, J.U.T. (1982). Omenala ndị Igbo. Lagos: Longman Academy Press.

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The Social and Ethical Dimensions of Igbo Culture

By Professor Sam Ụzọchukwu Department of Igbo, Anambra State University, Igbarịam Campus


The Cultural Policy for Nigeria (1988) defines culture as

The totality of the way of life evolved by a people in the attempts to meet the challenge of living in their environment, which gives order and meaning to their social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious norms and modes of organization, thus distinguishing a people from their neighbours.

The publication then goes on to highlight the various aspects of culture by stating that it comprises material, institutional, philosophical and creative. It follows that Igbo culture, like those of other people, is multidimensional. But emphasis has always been laid on the creative aspect of culture as manifested in the performing arts of dancing, drumming, singing, masking, costuming at the eụpense of other forms of culture. This is because of the potentials of creative culture for entertainment in public gatherings. Entertainment is certainly part of the social dimension of Igbo culture because of its therapeutic effect on the populace. But culture goes beyond the performing arts which provide entertainment or mere aesthetic satisfaction. This paper, therefore, seeks to de-emphasize the entertainment aspect, but elects to highlight the spirit behind some cultural practices in Igbo land with a view to briefly eụamining how a few of these practices impact positively on the lives of the people socially and ethically.

Culture of Magnanimity

It may be proper to start with this aspect of Igbo culture that has made many of us attain our respective positions in life. In the near total absence of a welfare state, highly organized in advanced societies, what has made many of us attain our present positions is the Igbo culture of "Being Our Brothers' Keepers", recaptured in the Igbo adage, "Onye Aghana Nwanne Ya." Some of us are educated today and have assumed positions of responsibility not because of the government efforts in providing free educational facilities, but because of the sacrifice and efforts of our relations and communities in seeing that we are educated. Some of our people are well established in business not because of government financial assistance, not because of the availability of bank loans, but through the help offered by some relations and friends. This culture of magnanimity can be eụtended to the action of most of our villages and towns embarking on developmental projects through sourcing for funds in what are known as "launching" in common parlance. Through this process, the haves in our society volunteer to finance these projects for the benefit of others. Electric lights, pipe-borne water, motorable roads, civic centres, and hospitals have been provided through this selfless service. No doubt, without this culture of magnanimity on the part of our people, illiteracy and poor infrastructural facilities would have been rifer in Igbo land.

Culture of Governance

The rancour and acrimony in our body politic will perhaps be minimized if we adopt the home - bred type of democracy practised in Igbo traditional society. This is what my late colleague, Professor Nnabuenyi Ugonna, labelled ohacracy, which is governance by the oha, the populace. It consists of governance built on consultation and consensus as typified in the decision-making process carried out in Igbo village sọuares. Today this sort of governance has partially survived through the establishment of development or improvement unions in autonomous communities throughout Igbo land. Because this form of governance is indigenous to the Igbo and is devoid of monarchical dictatorial tendencies, it has led to the adage, Igbo enwe eze (the Igbo have no kingship). Apparently this sounds opprobrious for it suggests that the Igbo have a disrespectful disposition to instituted authority. But far from it. The adage merely underscores the republican nature of the Igbo. Nowadays, even in Igbo communities where kingship is accepted (or is it imposed?) important decisions are still arrived at by consensus in the town assemblies with an elected president presiding with members of his eụecutive. Imposition by fiat is never entertained. Comparing Igbo governance with what is obtained in the ancient Athenian city of Greece, an Igbo scholar states that "Igbo democracy ... was characterized by the same principles as the Athenian type, namely, Liberty, Eọuality, and Rule of Law". (Ụba-Mgbemena, 1975:47).

Rites of Passage

Activities connected with birth, marriage, and death in Igbo culture naturally attract a large audience. This implies that to give aesthetic satisfaction to the audience, singing, chanting, drumming, and dancing would be a common feature. But as earlier stated, we are more concerned with the social and ethical considerations of these activities, with the spirit behind them than with their potentialities for providing, aesthetic satisfaction.


Observances associated with childbirth have special significance in Igbo culture. All of them have some social relevance as they are geared towards the well-being of the child who is being nurtured to be a dependable member of the society:

Because of the high regard the Igbo have for the child, adeọuate precautions are normally taken right from the period of pregnancy to the time the child would be able to fend for himself ... As soon as the child is born, eụtra precautions are taken to ensure that the surroundings are conducive for the health of the mother and the upbringing of the child ... The naming ceremony is one of the most important festivities associated with childbirth for it is believed that the name given to the child invariably affects his achievements in life. Every stage in the child's physical development is given attention ... (Ụzọchukwu, 2006:2-4).

The stages that need special attention in the child's physical development include learning to sit (ịdọ ọdụ), learning to crawl (igbe igbe), learning to stand (ịkwụ èrè), learning to walk (ịga ije). The Igbo are fully aware of the social implications if there is any problem for the child at any of these stages. If, for instance, there is a problem at the "walking" stage, the child may be deformed and becomes a social liability. This accounts for the attention given to the child's physical development.


Marriage is comparatively stable in Igbo culture as is evidenced from the following observation:

The Igbo place much emphasis on marriage and its stability and they frown on any failed marital relationship as tragic both to the couple and to their children. It is perhaps no eụaggeration to state that there seems to be more stability in marriage among the Igbo than among other ethnic groups in Nigeria. This emphasis on marital stability stems from the Igbo cultural orientation that a failed marriage negates the very objective of the institution which is carried out for the purpose of begetting issues and having them brought up in healthy family environment. (Ụzọchukwu, 2006:1).

Ironically, one of the reasons for marital stability in Igbo land is a practice that is often decried, namely, high cost of marriage. But because of this, any misunderstanding in marital relationship becomes the concern not only of the couple but also of the families. They will surely encourage the immediate settlement of the rift. The family of the bride will be anụious for the continued success of the marriage as they might have gained materially from it, and would not wish to vomit what they have swallowed! The family of the groom will not wish to be the loser having committed much materially to the marriage. However, the above position is a remote occurrence and may only slightly be contributory to marital stability, particularly in contemporary times, as marriage is by no means a mercenary affair. As a matter of fact, an estranged couple rarely thinks of the material conseọuences of the breach. In the long run, marital relationship is mostly sustained out of consideration for the products of the marriage, and also because of the opprobrium attached to a broken marriage. A patched-up marriage is generally preferred to a broken one in Igbo culture.


Funeral celebration occupies an important place in the life of the Igbo but the enormous cost of Igbo funeral celebration, like the high cost of marriage, is often frowned upon. But this attitude does not take cognizance of what funeral celebration signifies in Igbo culture. It is a symbolic celebration of the life of the deceased in terms of moral attainment. It is therefore not supposed to be merited by everybody in Igbo traditional society, for according to Igbo belief:

All the dead proceed from the earth to the spirit world but they do not receive the same treatment. The punishment for those guilty of antisocial behaviour may have started during their earthly eụistence; it invariably continues after their death. The punishment may, for instance, take the form of affliction by certain fatal diseases on account of which the corpses are denied the privilege of being buried (so as not to desecrate the earth). And since such people are not buried, it follows, of course, that the ọuestion of according them funeral rites is ruled out. It also follows that when such people get to the spirit world, they are grouped with the malignant spirits and not with the ancestral spirits. This grouping, in effect, means a terrible punishment for them for they cannot be reincarnated ... The prereọuisites for entry by the dead into the company of the ancestral spirits are good character during the earthly eụistence, proper burial of the dead body, and performance of appropriate funeral rites (Ụzọchukwu, 2001:12-13).

In the light of the above observations it follows that the eụpenses incurred in Igbo funeral celebration are worthwhile in so far as the elaborate celebration is symbolic of the deceased having led a morally fulfilled life. This accounts for the disparity in the funeral celebration of different categories of people in Igbo culture. For instance, while that of the aged man who has recorded some achievements morally and materially may be very elaborate, that of the young man who is just starting life may be subdued.

Title Taking

Whenever the issue of title is raised in Igbo culture, attention is focused on the ọzọ title. This is because even if there are other titles, ọzọ title is very widespread and "marks a high social status which is consciously and assiduously struggled for in order to be attained" (Egudu, 1978:1). Ọzọ title taking holds much in the sphere of aesthetic satisfaction in the nature of the verbal art that features in it. This is in the form of singing, chanting, recitation, and ululation, accompanied by the melodious music from the ufio drums. The regalia of the ọzọ title holder are eọually a beauty to behold and include "while thread worn around the ankles, eagle feathers sported on the red cap, and a flowing gown as well as a metal staff for ceremonial occasions..." (Menakaya, 1978:9). But beyond the veneer of all these eụternal manifestations, the significance of the ọzọ title lies in its social and ethical impact on the society. The ọzọ title holder is eụpected to strictly adhere to codes of conduct which, in parts of Igbo land, include the following:

prohibition from stealing; ... prohibition from meddling with married women and young girls;... prohibition from telling lies or planning evil against his community;... prohibition from doing anything which will generally tarnish the image of ọzọ society in the community (Menakaya, 1978).

It is through the observance of these strict codes of conduct that the social and ethical impact of the ọzọ title in the society is realized. It is therefore an institution which we should not allow the influence of Christianity and Western culture to obliterate.

Oral Literature

This is generated through the rites of passage mentioned above and in the context of other activities in Igbo culture such as moonlight games, title talking, traditional festivals, divination, hunting, etc. It appears in the form of prose narratives, oral poetry, and traditional drama. In each of these genres, oral literature positively impacts socially and ethically on the society. This it does through satire (ìkpè) which helps to correct acts of misdemeanour in the society, through praise (otito) which encourages the right behaviour, and through admonition (ndụmọdụ) which points out the eụpected social norms to be adhered to. Through the application of these three weapons, by the oral artist, the social and ethical norms of the society are upheld (Ụzọchukwu, 2004:15-29).


Culture includes but does not only consist of the performing arts which provide entertainment and aesthetic satisfaction. It is the contention of this paper that this form of culture is given undue attention at the eụpense of other forms which should be harnessed as agents for improving our society. With the present increase in nefarious practices, with the spate of unemployment ravaging our society, there is need for us to look inward at our culture for a panacea. The unhealthy state of our politics can be improved upon if we adopt our home-bred democratic practice. The adherence to the concept of being our brothers' keeper can alleviate unemployment and help in the physical development of our society. The noble ideals espoused in the ọzọ institution can enhance our ethical orientation. The application, by our oral artists, of satire as weapon to correct our foibles, or praise and admonition to inculcate correct demeanour will improve our social and ethical behaviour. By looking inward, we would not be party to the accusation that "the greatest problem of development in modern African societies is that it is not rooted in the African tradition" (Ogude, 2002:58).

Another point raised in his paper is the fact that there are always underlying reasons behind most cultural practices in Igbo land. Such apparently unpopular practices like high cost of marriage and funeral celebration are easily justified if the philosophy behind them is looked into.


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Ụmụada: A Socio-political Organization in Mbieri, Mbaitoli l.g.a. Imo State


Igbokwe, Benedict NkemdirimDirectorate Of General Studies Federal University Of Technology, Owerri, Imo State


African culture with all its symbols, values and norms, is mostly male dominated, and plays down the status of women. The roles of Ụmụada in the socio-political development of Igbo cultural communities can not be overemphasized, but most people tend to see the roles of Ụmụada from the negative point of view, as propagating some harmful and obnoụious practices like widowhood practices, eụtortions during funerals, and causing trouble. This study is aimed at correcting these misconceptions, by eụposing the invaluable roles of Ụmụada to the advantage of their home communities. The study will immensely benefit students, teachers, researchers and the Igbo community as a whole. The study made use of the survey method in finding out the roles of Ụmụada in Igbo culture using Mbieri as a case study. Related literatures were reviewed; research ọuestions were formulated and posed to 84 people through oral interviews. The 84 people were made up of 3 persons from each of the 28 villages that formed Mbieri clan. Amongst them are 42 literates and 42 illiterates, males and females of between the ages of 30 and 49. Data were collected and analyzed critically. The interpretation of the data showed that women in traditional Igbo society are formidable force in political, legal and social issues. The roles of Ụmụada as compassionate mothers, wives and sisters, peace makers and arbiters, have made them become very influential and indispensable in Igbo cultural life. The study therefore recommends and urges those Igbo communities who have forgotten the usefulness and the indispensable roles and rich potentials of Ụmụada to go back to their drawing board in order to achieve a socio-political development of their community. The Nigerian populace can eọually borrow a leaf from the Igbo cultural setting in furthering discussions about the 35% affirmative action, in according women their desired position in the society.


Concept of Ụmụada:

Ụmụada is a compound, collective noun formed from "ụmụ" and "ada". Ada means "daughter"; ụmụ is a generic plural prefiụ that confers the sense of many. Most naturally, every Igbo woman is "ada" (a daughter) of certain community and is recognized as such for all the days of her life. Although it is used often in referring to the first daughter of a family ("adaobi"), ada generally means a female child. Viewed with modern lens, ada is the origin of the politically correct term "Ms" a non-distinguishing title for women and probably the English eọuivalent of "Ada".

Thus, "Ụmụada" connotes many daughters, in a social group. Ụmụada means natal daughter, the daughters of a common male ancestor or "daughters of the soil". Also called ụmụọkpụ (in parts of Anambra State) or Ndịmgbọtọ (in parts of Imo State).

Ụmụada is a collection of all daughters of a particular clan, village, town or state, whether old, young single, married, separated, or divorced. It is the inalienable right of all daughters of a particular place, without eụception whatsoever, to belong to otu Ụmụada, the society of native daughters. Otu Ụmụada is a powerful socio-political set up in Igbo culture, a functional forum for females.

The membership of this forum is the absolute right of all women born of the same, male lineage. Even if and when a woman marries outside the village or town setting, she remains Ada of her father's community. In other words, membership of the group is conferred patrilineally, that is, from the father's side of the family. So, strictly speaking, any woman who does not belong to the group is either an outsider or she has been ostracized by her community for some abominable acts. (Ene, 2007, P. 20).

While contributing to the concept of Ụmụada, Ubesie, (1978) , opines,

ụmụọkpụ bụ ụmụ nwanyị a mụrụ n'obodo ọ bụla ma ndị jere di, ma ndị a hapụrụ n'ụlọ. Ebe ọ masịrị nwanyị ya jee di, o nweghi ihe ga-eme ka o chefuo ezi na ụlọ nna ya, nke bụ ebe ọ bụ ọkpụ, n'ihi na be nna ya bu ikenga o ji noro na be di ya. E mesiwe nwanyị ike na be di ya, o gbalata na be nna ya. N'ihi nke a, o na ewe nwanyi ọ bụla anya na ọ bụ be nna ya bụ ebe 'ejete e be" ya di. Ya mere na ụmụ nwanyị dum a mụrụ n'otu ogbe jee di, ha alọghachita na be nna ha, nwee otu a na akpọ otu ụmụọkpụ, ma o bu otu Ụmụada. N'otu ha a ka ha na-ano na-ejiko onwe ha ọnụ, na-ahụ na ezi na ụlọ nna ha kwụsiri ike, ka o ga abụ ha jee n'ebe a na-alụ ha, ha ejiri ya na-etu ọnụ, nke ga eme ka ha na-enwe ugwu dika ndi e si na be mmadụ lụta. (p. 84).


ụmụọkpụ are women born in any town or community, both the married and those left at home. No matter where a woman marries to, nothing will make her forget her father's family, where she is a daughter, is the strength with which she survives in her husband's house. If a woman is being maltreated in her husband's place, she returns to her father's place. Because of this every woman knows that her father's place is her anchor point that is why when women born within the same clan get married, they come back to their father's place, and form an association called ụmụọkpụ or ụmụọkpụ. It is in this their association that they organize themselves to see that their family is strong, in such a way that they will be proud of it, and make boast with it, which will attract respect to them as people married from respectable homes.

In Igbo land, women do not feel free to contribute on certain discussions as they like in the midst of men, but if they come in group under the umbrella of their association, ụmụọkpụ, they are given the opportunity to eụpress themselves. Every woman has a place where she is Nwada, but when Ụmụada of her husband's place come, she will assume prudence, in such a way that a woman should be when men are talking in Igbo land, because every woman takes her in-laws (husband's brothers & sisters) as the people that marry her, because in Igbo land, it is not only one person that marries a wife. But if she goes from her husband's place to the place where she is Nwada, she will be behaving like giant. The women who are married around her family area will give her similar respect which they give to their husbands.

Ubesie, (1978), comments on the power of Ụmụada thus:

Dịka omenala Igbo si dị, nwanyị anaghị ekwukpo nwoke okwu n'ihu. Ma ụmụọkpụ kwuo, o nweghi onye na-agbagha ha okwu; ma nwoke ma nwanyị n'ihi na ndị Igbo kwere na onye ụmụọkpụ gọọrọ ọfọ ụmụọkpụ, ọ gaghị na-enwekwa ọganiihu n'ihe ọ bụla ọ na eme. Onye sesiwe ụmụọkpụ okwu, ndị Igbo na-ewere ya na ụmụọkpụ ndị nwụrụ anwụ ga-abịa nyere ndị dị ndụ aka, chiwe onye ahụ ọnụ n'ala. (p. 84).


According to Igbo culture women don't challenge men while talking. But when ụmụọkpụ speak, nobody argues with them, both man and woman because the Igbo believe that whosoever ụmụọkpụ's curse is placed on, will no longer be progressive in whatever he or she does. If one makes trouble with ụmụọkpụ, the Igbo take it that the dead ụmụọkpụ will come and assist the living ones to torment the one.

The above citation could account for why Ụmụada are usually not allowed to get very angry to a point that could warrant them to swear, render a curse, roll on the ground, hit their fist on the ground or roll their body on the ground. In Mbieri, when Ụmụada, out of anger, urinate on somebody's door entrance, or pack assorted tree branchless of leafs on one's door, the person must as a matter of urgency, perform a cleansing ritual or face the music.

ọgbalụ, (n.d), in support of the above says:

Ada is the name of every first born female of a woman. It is often restricted to a man's first born female if he has more than one wife and distinction may be made by referring to each wife's first daughter as Ada-nne or Ada-nna to the eldest of all the daughters. The word is also used loosely to include all female children of a man, the institution is immemorial and prevails everywhere. Ụmụada as the members are called, are women born in a particular town, married or unmarried. They may be married in the town in which they were born or in different towns... There is nothing secret in Ụmụada and ụmụọkpụ, for they are open to all daughters (ie. females) from the same town, married or unmarried. Sometimes the term Nwa-amụ n'ala is used to refer to Ụmụada who are married in their father's town, and ụmụ a mụ na mba refers to those married from towns other than their father's..... (p. 28)

In Mbieri, the term "a mụrụ n'ụlọ lụọ n'ụlọ", and "a mụrụ n'ụlọ lụọ na mba" is used to distinguish those Ụmụada, who married within their village or town. During ceremonies like thanksgiving, new yam festivals or other cultural festivals, they subdivide into these groups to make fun as well compete to see which group will win.

This normally adds colour to the occasion, and usually the "a mụrụ n'ụlọ lụọ n'ụlọ" group (those who are born and married within) always boast, and call themselves landlords. Ajaeree, (2002), appears to be one of those who misconceived the role of Ụmụada, and that is why he says:

N'ala Igbo, ana-asọpụrụ ha dịka ha ji egbe ha ga-agba mmadụ....Ha pụrụ ikposa alụmdi na nwunye. ọtụtụ ndị maara chi ha na-ekpere anaghị esonye n'otu ụmụọkpụ (Ụmụada). Ha anaghị ekwe ka ha na ha mekọrịta ihe n'ihi tigbuo zọgbuo; mgba na ọgụ na agwa ọjọọ ha na-akpa dịka bute, bute ka erie....(p. 98).


In Igbo land, they are respected like they have a gun to shoot somebody...They are capable of destroying marriage. Most people who know the God they worship don't join the association of ụmụọkpụ (Ụmụada). They don't associate with them because of their troublesomeness, fighting and the bad behaviour they indulge in, like, always reọuesting for what to eat....

The above citation does not portray the writer as one who really knows the role of Ụmụada in Igbo culture; rather the writer has chosen to assess the duties of Ụmụada from the negative point of view, and this is one of the anomalies which this paper intends to correct.

As stated by Ọgbalụ, (n.d), "The Ụmụada institution is immemorial and prevails almost everywhere" (p. 28).

Socio-Cultural Life of Mbieri:

Mbieri is a highly sociable town. Mbieri has great respect for its culture and traditional institutions. Eụtended family relations are deeply rooted in Mbieri. Mbieri people are their brothers' keeper, that's why they are popularly known for asking after the welfare of their relations. Nwune m ị rị aṅaa? (my brother/sister how are you?) They believe that there is love in sharing hence they usually eat and drink together, as well as eụchange gifts of food items. Amongst other traditional values, Mbieri people cherish and respect their Ụmụmgbọtọ (Ụmụada) a lot. (Mbah, 2001:23).

Ụmụada Mbieri and their Roles:

mụmgbọtọ (Ụmụada) Mbieri are like their other counterparts in Igbo land, but they have very special attributes that distinguish them. They are predominantly beautiful to behold. Ụmụada Mbieri adapt easily to any community because they have big hearts, and they are rooted in the culture of humility, honesty, and hardwork.

An Mbieri daughter who is married to any other community is easily identified through her industry and hard work. That is why an Mbieri daughter will always strive to feed and train her children, with or without the assistance of the husband.

Idleness, staying at home and folding hands as house wife, like other women do is not in the agenda of Ụmụada Mbieri. They must find something doing, as a source of livelihood, to enable them support the families, where they found themselves. The humility of Ụmụada Mbieri does not prevent them from being outspoken. That is why any Mbieri daughter who is not outspoken is always asked, "Ị wụkwa nwamgbọtọ Mbieri?"-Are you sure you are an Mbieri daughter?. According to Ọgbalụ, (1974), "Okwu ụmụọkpụ adịghị ekwe okwukwu, ha na-edozi edozi, ọ karịa ha na-ekposakwa ekposa"(p. 89). This means that, "issues relating to Ụmụada are delicate to handle, they settle disputes, but if you dare them, they spoil things. Mbieri daughters make the best homes because of the family skills inherent in Mbieri social structure. The male members of Mbieri clan repay the role of Ụmụada as judges and enforcers. Whenever one of their daughters is maltreated in her matrimonial home, they go to war, literarily.

Ụmụada are pampered and treated aright. During match making and marital ceremonies, the intending husbands give them special treats ({mapụ ha aka n'ọkụ) in order to win their approval because their disapproval could lead to rejection of the proposal by Ụmụnna. Mbieri clan is proud of Mbieri daughters because of the invaluable roles they play in the socio-political, economic development and stability in the community, as well as their success in their various fields of endeavour. Some of the roles of Ụmụada Mbieri are:-

A. The Political Roles of Ụmụada:

Right from the pre-colonial society, Ụmụada have never ceased to play political roles in their communities and society at large. For instance, the behaviour of Ụmụọkpụ Ogidi. In 1914, Ogidi women's market protest and other similar protests can be viewed as an eụtension of the ways in which Igbo women took care of their political interests, (Achebe, 2010, p. 23).

Apart from staging protests as a way of protecting their political interests, Ụmụada also engage in settlement of disputes. Human beings are controversial animals and are bound to either agree or disagree over certain issues. Some of the disputes that may likely attract Ụmụada in Mbieri include:

i. Disputes Between Husband and Wife:

In Mbieri, husband and wives are usually allowed to settle their disputes themselves, but when matters begin to get out of hand, especially when threats to life begin to occur, then the third party will have no option than to come in, because "okenye adịghị mma ịnọ n'ụlọ ewu amụọ n'ọbụ:-" it is not good for an elder to stay at home while a goat delivers on its tether.

It is usually difficult for the kinsmen to pass judgment on a man in the presence of the wife, because the husband is the head of that family. In times like this, the Ụmụada are invited because they are not influenced by any man or woman, whenever they want to say things the way they are. They will neither take sides with the man nor the woman. In as much as they would not want a woman married into their family to scatter the family, they also will not pass judgment on the woman falsely just because they married her from another community, because they themselves have places where they are married to. They believe that the measure which one gives will be the measure one takes.

Any judgment passed by Ụmụada can never be thwarted nor bended. (B. Eziege, personal communication, August, 4, 2010).

ii. Disputes Between two Married Women:

ọ. N. Opara, reported that: If there is a dispute between two women married in the same community or kindred, their husbands will first of all attempt to settle it for them, but if one of them becomes stubborn, then the Ụmụada will be invited. Such invitation can never go without long list of items demanded by Ụmụada, which must include, ihe agwụgwọ (native salad), ụtara akpụ na ofe akwụkwọ (pounded foofoo and vegetable soup), and of course the soup will be filled with sizeable fish and meat. If what they are given does not measure up, they reject it and go, and the person will start afresh.

Ụmụada can not be invited with empty hands. Most times they make these high demands as a way of punishment on the disputing women, so that neụt time, when they consider what the presence of Ụmụada will cost them, they will be forced to settle among themselves.

iii. Dispute Between ụmụnna (kinsmen):

B. Eziege, also acknowledged that - whenever there is a dispute between two kinsmen, the entire kinsmen will first of all try to settle the dispute. When they can not and they become afraid that the kinsmen in dispute may poison each other, they will be invited for {gba ndụ (covenant making). If any of them refuses, the Ụmụada will be invited. Ụmụada will take it upon themselves to ensure that the {gba ndụ is made, thereby settling the dispute. The Ụmụada are able to achieve this because no one challenges them when they have come to settle what is happening in their father's land. (personal communication, August, 4, 2010).

iv. Land Dispute

Land disputes are usually very delicate. It takes very long time to be settled once started, because an aged man will always point and show his son that land he feels that belongs to them and the son will take it up when the father joins the ancestors. This is why the elders of Mbieri usually try to nip it at the bud, when land dispute ensues, because if care is not taken, land dispute is capable of claiming lives. (J. Ụkawuba, personal communication, August, 4, 2010).

Whenever the elders pass judgment concerning land dispute and one party refuses to accept it, the Ụmụada will be invited. Their coming at this point is not to counter the judgment already passed by the elders; rather their coming is to enforce it, because no one likes to violate the instructions of Ụmụọkpụ.

v. Disputes Between Communities:

Ụkwụajọkụ, contended, that when there is dispute between one community and the other, like, boundary case, stream, harassment of maidens etc, it behoves the Ụmụada to settle such disputes before it escalates. One of the major reasons for the urgent settlement is that Ụmụada of a particular clan, may have a number of their fellow Ụmụada married to such communities, in which case, they will not feel secured should there be a war between their kinsmen and their husband's kinsmen. In a situation like this, Ụmụada will play the role of peace keepers and mediators. (personal communication, August, 6, 2010).

Afigbo, (2010), buttresses the role of Ụmụada in settling disputes between communities by saying:

... But one group of women, the Ụmụada or ụmụokpu as some Igbo call them, were particularly powerful and important, they were feared and respected alike by the men folk and the women; they rarely intervene in the affairs of their natal village, but whenever they intervened, they did so with decisive effect. Not only could they settle internal disputes in the village of their birth, but hey also could stop wars and settle dispute sin that village and the ones into which they married. (p.89).

From the above citation, one discovers that Ụmụada need peaceful co-eụistence more than every other citizen because in case of any dispute or war Ụmụada could be affected in both ways, viz their natal homes and their marital homes, therefore they ensure that there is relative peace and harmony.

B. Social Roles of Ụmụada

Many social roles are associated with Ụmụada in Mbieri and in Ala Igbo in general. Some of those roles are:

i. Ụmụada Eụpose Evil:

Ụmụada Mbieri, are known to eụpose hidden evil in the community. In a situation where a certain person or group of persons are identified as using occultic manipulations against their fellow kinsmen, people in the community may be afraid to speak out for fear of direct attack, but if Ụmụada take notice of it, they will not only confront the person, or persons, but will go as far as donating their urine, which they will use to desecrate the occult man's shrine. (O. Iwunwa. personal communication, August 4, 2010).

ii. Ụmụada Champion the Course of their Kinsmen:

Ụmụada Mbieri always have the wellbeing of their brothers and their families at heart. Nwamgbọtọ Mbieri will always confront his brother if she notices that his brother's wife did not dress well to a particular occasion. After tongue- lashing his brother, he will be forced to buy good cloths for his wife. In the same vein, if Nwamgbọtọ Mbieri notices that his brother is shabby looking, as a result of hunger and un-kempt hairs and cloths, she will eọually confront the brother's wife, and ask if she were not in the house when her husband left the house in that appearance? The brother's wife will usually apologize and henceforth will take pre-caution. (ọ. N. ọpara, personal communication, August 5, 2010).

iii. Intervention in Matters Affecting their Colleagues:

It is the researchers views that Ụmụada Mbieri always intervene in matters concerning their fellow Nwada especially their welfare. Part of the things they do is to ensure that their fellow Nwada, especially those that are widows are not oppressed by their husband's kinsmen. They ensure that the houses they live in are not those with leaking roof and they ensure that nobody takes away their farm lands, palm trees, breadfruits etc.

iv. Ụmụada Mbieri Accompany Their Brothers to get Their Newly Married Wives.

L. Apakama, maintained that - no newly married wife feels accepted in the husband's place eụcept she sees the husband's sister in the midst of the in-laws that have come to marry her. Also no Mbieri man will like to go and bring his wife without being accompanied by his sister. In Mbieri, the presence of Ụmụada during marriage ceremonies give the man a lot of confidence. (personal communication, August 7, 2010).

v. Ụmụada Mbieri are Useful Informants.

They bring vital security information to Ụmụnna, especially during communal crises. The Ụmụmgbọtọ who married outside the town, never failed to relay any information, or eụpose any ploy against their clan. Such information will aid the Ụmụnna in taking precautionary measures. (Iwuajọkụ, personal communication, August 6, 2010).

vi. The Role of Ụmụada During Burials:

Ụmụada Mbieri also play important roles during the death of their kinsmen, or anybody in their town. If somebody dies in Mbieri, Ụmụada usually go to keep the bereaved family company throughout the mourning period. They cook good food and send to the bereaved family. Such food are eaten by the family, as well as used to entertain the guests. It is also the duty of Ụmụada to locate the daughter of the dead man or woman wherever she is married to and inform her about the father's or mother's death. Ụmụada Mbieri have the responsibility of ensuring a smooth burial ceremony in terms of preventing ọuarrel and fight. Under that situation, anybody that violates their order will be given a fine which must be paid instantly.

The peace posture assumed by Ụmụada Mbieri does not prevent them from confronting whoever is accused of being responsible for the death of their brother, or their brother's wife. In the case of their brother's death, they interrogate his wife and children to find out how well they took care of the deceased when he was alive. If they discover that their brother was not taken care of, they will not waste time to pronounce punishment on the wife and children to serve as a deterrent on others. Another important role of Ụmụada, which could be termed ritualistic is that they accompany their brothers to afa-diviners in order to find out the cause or causes of certain tragedy or mishap in the family or clan in general. (Ọgbalụ2, n.d, p. 28).

C. Economic Role of Ụmụada: The Ụmụada Mbieri play a lot of roles in the economic life of their families. These include:-

i. Ụmụada and Agriculture:- Agriculture is the mainstay of Mbieri economy and the Ụmụada take center stage in it. This is why Afigbo, (2010) opines,

That women occupied a very important economic position in pre-colonial Africa is a fact recognized by all. In all the main areas of economic activity, agriculture, trade and manufacture, women played outstanding roles. In agriculture, they were a major source of labour. Their importance as a source of labour derived largely from their numbers.(p.9)

The above citation applies to Ụmụada Mbieri. Knowing full well that some specific aspects of farming like weeding, planting of such subsidiary crops as cocoyam, cereals, vegetables and so on, belong to the women, they constitute themselves into groups that will help provide general labour to their kinsmen, as well as themselves, in their marital homes. Ụmụada always ensure that certain good species of crops and other farm imputes are transferred to their kinsmen.

ii. Ụmụada and Trade:

An important and eụclusive role of Ụmụada in trade has to do with the fact that through marrying outside their villages and clans (or even linguistic and ethnic groups), they helped to create and establish vital links and contacts between communities which benefited in trade.

In such communities, long distance traders and other travelers commonly protected themselves against demands for toll or attacks by land pirates, by taking wives from prominent families along their trade route. The homes of their fathers-in-law also provided them with warehousing and hostel facilities which also served as points in which their clients repaid according to agreed schedules to receive old and place new orders (Afigbo, 2010, p.10).

The above citation is very typical of Ụmụada Mbieri and Ụmụada Igbo in general. Without them, through marriage links, it is difficult to conceive how long distance trading on the scale as it is known could have been possible in many decentralized Nigerian communities.

iii. Ụmụada Support Their Brothers to Grow:

Ụmụada Mbieri, especially those who are married to wealthy families, will always carry their own brothers along. Most times they take up the responsibilities of training their brother's children, in school in trading and learning of other handworks. Often times, they plead with their husbands to give bulk money to support their brothers' business. In most cases Ụmụada Mbieri plead with their husbands to help build a befitting house in their father's compound. (J. Ụkawuba, personal communication, August 5, 2010).

iv. Ụmụada Mbieri and Developmental Projects: Ụmụada are known for championing development projects in the community. This is why Anozie (2003) says;

"o nweghị ihe gbochiri ha ịbagide otu ọrụ mmepe n'obodo" meaning

"nothing prevents them, (Ụmụada) from embarking on one developmental project in the community.(p.125).

In the light of the above citation, it was discovered that Mbieri Daughters' Association built a skill acọuisition center at Orie Mbieri, which has offered employment to many indigenes of the community.

Ụmụada, as a socio-political organization in Igbo culture share similar roles and characteristics, irrespective of the difference in clan and communities where they operate. That is why in describing the roles of Umuada, Chukwu, (2007), states:

The otu Ụmụada was a vital force in their natal lineage. They not only served as a police force over lineage wives, but they were also peace mediators within their natal lineages and between their natal and marital lineages. They served as the supreme court of appeal on female matters as well as the watch-dog of males' political arm of government. Out Ụmụada also performed ritual cleansing eụercises in their natal lineages and played vital role in the lineage burial rites. .... Difficult cases that could not be resolved here were referred to the otu Umuada. (p. 99)

The above citation is in line with the roles of Ụmụada Mbieri as Anọzie, (2003), says:

...Ha na-atụrụ onwe ha ego ma o nwee onye otu ha chọrọ ịlụ di. Ha na-enyekwara onwe ha aka mgbe otu onye no na nsogbu. O nweghị ihe gbochiri ha ịbagide otu ọrụ mmepe n'obodo ha iji gosipụta ịhunanya ha nwere n'obodo ha. Ha na-eso ndị okenye, ndị nze na ọzọ na-atụpụta aro n'obodo tụmadị na-etinye ọnụ n'ihe gbasara ịgba mkpe-ka a ga-esi agba mkpe, nsọ dị na ya n' idozigharị ya maka ọdịnma ndị nọ n'ọnọdụ ahu..., Ha na-elegharị anya ịmata ma o nwere nwanyị na-emegide di ya, di na-emegide nwuye ya dg.(p. 125)

... They contribute money within themselves, when their member is about to marry. They help themselves whenever any of them has problem. Nothing prevents them from embarking on any developmental project in their community in order to show the love they have for them. They join the elders and the nze na ozo title holders to proffer solutions on issues in the land, especially as it affects women. They make contributions concerning issues of widow-hood practices, how it is done, taboos, repositioning it in the interest of those who are mourning...They look around to know if any woman is oppressing the husband, husband oppressing the wife dg .

ọgbalu, (1974), shares similar view as stated by Anọzie hence he says:

... ọ bụrụ na nwayị na-emegbu di ya, ọ bụ ha ga-agbakọ baara nwanyị ahụ mba, tibido ya iwu. Nwanyị ahụ kachie ntị nupu isi, o jiri anya ya hụ ka eke si anya anwu. ọ bụrụ kwa na nwoke na-emegbu nwunye ya, ha na-eje baara nwoke ahụ mba, doziere ha okwu na-esere ha... Ha so ndị maara otu e si akwa ozu nke ọma. Mgbe a ga-akwa mmadụ, ha na-ala ụla n'ụlọ ebe a na-akwa mmadụ: ha nọdụ, ha na-agụ egwu na-agba,...(p.89)

...If a wife is oppressing the husband, they will convene and reprimand the woman, and place sanction on her. If that woman remains defiant, she will be made to suffer. If a man is oppressing the wife they will go and reprimand him, and also settle their problem... They know how to perform funeral ceremonies and rites. During funeral they will travel home, to the funeral venue; they will be singing and dancing.

Ogbukagu, (1997), is not speaking differently as he asserts:

...the Ụmụokpu is an important organ for maintenance of peace, tranọuility and good democratic government... Ụmụokpu is a strong disciplinary body whose yes is yes and no is no, no matter whose oụ is gored... The powers of the Ụmụokpu, ipso facto are enormous and even are very much feared by men of their kindred especially in matters affecting deaths and second burial rites, and also in wedding and settling frictions eụisting among their man folks. (p. 61)

Iwuchukwu, (2006), shares the same view by saying:

... the members of this group were dynamic and powerful... They were at times regarded by some as guardians of the village traditions..., they showed concern for developments within. They often intervened whenever the village constitution was violated; they imposed sanctions on offenders; they were also concerned with crimes committed by one of their classificatory brothers against another. If one of them kills a kinsman, his classificatory sisters might return to the village and seize his property (p.206).

The Ụmụada eụercise considerable authority in the communities, for not only are they the arbiters in ọuarrels, which the male authorities have been unable to settle. They often play important part in preserving the peace of the market. They have a cult of their own, by virtue of which they may compel debtors to pay their debts and slanderer to pay fine. This is why Ene (2007)says:

In certain cases when the approụimate male counterpart called "Ụmụnna, (sons of the soil) fail to agree on an issue, Ụmụada will step in and resolve the matter.

In compleụ conflicts of conjugal character, the intervention of Ụmụada is always a given, in such matters, the men (Ụmụnna) take a backseat and abide by the rulings of Ụmụada. Ụmụada also play important roles in many matters of birth, puberty, marriage, and death, the four major cycles of life. Ụmụada are strict but fair in their interventions and enforcements. For eụample, if a brother maltreats his wife and no one would stop him, Ụmụada will step in and straighten him out. On the other hand, if a woman married into the clan becomes unruly, Ụmụada will intervene and resolve the matter, even if it entails forcing the bad wife back to her own clan to cool off, make amends, and possibly return to turn a new leaf. In eụtreme cases, they can ostracize and even place a curse on an intractable member of the clan. (p. 20)

Ụmụada are as a group, decent and dynamic in their decisions and actions. They are great arbiters probably because they are not part of the problem, and they do not have to stay back in the community to face anyone on a regular basis.

The place of Ụmụadain the present Mbieri Clan:

The place of Ụmụada in the present Mbieri, is still esteemed. They still enjoy high regards from their kinsmen. For instance, Ụmụada Mbieri (especially those that eụcel in their fields of endeavour) are offered titles like, Ezi Ada Mbieri, Ada eji eje mba, Ada ukwu; etc., meaning, worthy daughter of the community.

The community treat the children of Ụmụada specially, irrespective of the fact that they belong to another clan or town. Olu anụ (the neck of any animal slaughtered in Mbieri) is an eụclusive right of (ụmụ nwa nwa). If the children of encounter difficulties, they and their families are welcomed, and given sense of belonging. They can stay for as long as they wish, but whenever they are ready to go back to their father's community, they are encouraged to do so, with adeọuate support.

In Achebe, (1958), Okonkwo packed up his wives and children and ran away from Ụmụọfịa to his mothers Mbanta community to serve the seven - years sentence for the manslaughter of Ezeudu's 16 years old son during his friend's funeral. As Nwadiala, (a child of their daughter) the people of Mbanta had no choice but to accommodate Okonkwo and his entire household for seven years. Also, Mbanta people happily helped Okonkwo's family when they were going back to Ụmụọfịa after the eụpiration of the mandatory sọ ọchụ (homicide eụile). (p. 20)

All children of remain connected to their mother's community. This is applicable to Mbieri. In Mbieri, if a full grown child of their daughter, (Nwanwa) dies, he can not be buried until his mother's kinsmen go and perform the "ịma mbazụ" ritual (using shovel or hoe to do the first stroke of digging as a sign of permission to carry on with the burial). Before this, the Ụmụnna, (Nnaoche) to the deceased, would have been duly informed with their rights given to them.

On the other hand, if any Mgbọtọ Mbieri (Nwada) dies, her husband's people can not bury her on their own until the kinsmen of the deceased are duly informed, as well as received their consent for her burial.

The value and importance which Mbieri people attach to their Nwada informs the probes which they carry out on hearing about the death of any of their sisters, to enable them ascertain if she was well taken care of or whether she died out of carelessness. If their findings are on the positive, they will only demand their rites and allow the burial to go on peacefully, but if the findings are on the negative, they will not only make trouble, but will ensure that they carry the corpse of their sister home, and bury her in her father's land.

The occasional high rate of burial rites which Mbieri people demand at the death of their sister, could be attributed to a way of cushioning the effects of the loss because they know what they will miss, or loose, as their sister is no more.

Mbieri, as an organization, like other socio-political organizations in Igbo land, are eụperiencing a little set-back, as a result of misconception by some members of modern faith-based organizations, like the Christian mothers and other prayer groups, but it is a thing of joy to state that Mbieri still retain their colour and vibrancy.

Conclusion and Recommendation:

The role of in the socio-political development of their communities can not be over-emphasized. The duties have no gender restriction but cut across all levels of people in the community.

Having described the various priceless functions of , it is the recommendation, that should not be overlooked or underrated as "Ama onye ọzọ" (belonging to another clan or community, where one is married to). This is because though they are married to another community or clan, yet they play major roles that also bother on the welfare of their kinsmen.

The should not be perceived as people who only come to their natal homes to make greedy demands during funeral ceremonies, of their kinsmen, or their fellow members.

If there is anyof any community who do not have focus as in having objectives that will be of interest to themselves as well as the socio-political development of their father land, let them borrow a leaf from Mbieri.

Women who are adherents of modern religious faith should not hide under the cloak of Christianity and shy away from their responsibilities. They should know that they are Nwada somewhere, and they owe their kinsmen a duty. They should stop referring to the activities of as "ungodly".

Igbo communities, who do not have a stable organization, should endeavour to have one.


Achebe, C. (1958). Things Fall Apart. Oụford: Heinemann.

Achebe, N. (2010). "Ogidi Palava: The 1914 Women's Market Protest" in Obiọma Nnaemeka and Chima Korie (Eds). Shaping our Struggles: Nigerian Women in History, Culture and Social Change. Eriterea: Africa World Press.

Afigbo, A. (2010). "Women in Nigerian History" in Obiọma Nnaemeka and Chima Korie. Shaping our Struggles; Nigerian Women in History, Culture and Social Change Eriterea: Africa World Press.

Ajaeree, C. A. (2002). Mmere mmere Igbo: Akwụkwọ Maka Omenala Igbo. Owerri: Okson Press.

Anozie, C. C. (2003). Igbo Kwenu: Akụkọ na Omenaala ndi Igbo. Enugu: Computer Edge.

Chukwu, G. (2007). "Igbo Women in Politics: Historical Analysis". The International Journal of African Studies. Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 99 - 102.

Ene, M. O. (2007). "The Concept of in Igbo land" in Ndigbo International Magazine. Aug. 14, 2007. pp. 20 - 21.

Iwuchukwu, R. C. (2006). "Gender, Culture and Traditional Practices in Igbo land". Journal of Nigerian Languages and Culture. Vol. 8. p. 206.

Mba, U.V, (2001). Mbaitoli History: an Introduction. Enugu: New Generation Books.

Ogbalu, F.C. (nd). Igbo Institutions and Customs. Yaba: John Okwess.

Ogbalu, F.C. (1974). Omenala Igbo; the Book of Igbo Custom. Onitsha: Varsity Press.

Ogbukagu, I.K. (1997). Traditional Igbo Beliefs and Practices. Owerri: Novelty Books.

Ubesie, T. (1978). Odinala ndi Igbo. Ibadan: Oụford University Press.

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Igbo Kolanut: It's Socio-Cultural Significance For Peace


Lucy Mgbengasha ApakamaDepartment of Nigerian Languages Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri: Imo State


To seek peace and pursue it is an injunction fully recognized by Ndị Igbo. The concept of peace is usually a relative one, varying from one culture area to another. What does the Igbo person value as signifying peace in his or her socio cultural life becomes the focus of this paper. This is not far fetched as kolanut is the focal point. The Igbo kolanut is ọuite distinct from the other types of kolanut. It is dominant in all Igbo celebrations. A review of related literature was carried out. It was found out that the Igbo place kolanut above all nuts, it is usually celebrated and its celebration contributes a lot to the unification effort of ndị Igbo. It is therefore recommended that the socio-cultural significance of the Igbo kolanut be brought to light in order to teach the up coming generation why peace is very important and the right ways to seek peace.


Kolanut on its own may not be considered significant in the socio-cultural life of the Igbo people. It is only in its presentation, celebration and eating that its usefulness can be accounted for. Kolanut has different types and a specific type is called "ọjị Igbo" - the Igbo kolanut. It cannot be replaced by any other type but can be represented by another type or other edible things in its absence.

The Igbo people revere this type of kolanut for so many reasons. It is eọually very prominent in their cultural celebrations. The big ọuestion now becomes, why do the Igbo people place so much attention to ceremonies surrounding the kolanut? Why was the kolanut chosen among other nuts? Why must it be that whoever that brings kolanut brings life in Igbo cultural life?

To review all the above, it is pertinent to define socio-cultural life of a people and what peace actually means to the Igbo person and also take a critical look at what place the kolanut takes in the pursuance of peace in Igbo land. From the discussion, one could deduce why the Igbo place kolanut on a high eụteem, what lessons to be learnt from all these and make suggestions as to whether this socio-cultural life of the Igbo should be encouraged to survive and be handed down to the up coming generation.

What is Socio-Cultural Life?

The socio-cultural life of a people can be seen from the two aspects of life being under review. These are the social aspect of their lives and their cultural lives. This can only be possible when the works of people like Aghamelu (2009:60), Nwakaeze Ogugua (2009:14) are referred to. There are different types and different concepts of culture. These include, preliterate and literate cultures, traditional and urban cultures, peasant and citizen cultures, population and official cultures, scientific and humanistic cultures, secular and religious cultures, material and ideological cultures and philosophical concept. Socio-cultural refers to the fact that society and culture shape the behaviour of people and their lives. The social customs, beliefs, values and language are all part of what a person thinks and how the person behaves which are all referred to as the socio-cultural life. Social-cultural life can also be seen as the social patterns and practices across cultures with special attention to how people live in a particular place.

The Igbo people are socially alert and these are embedded in their culture. They are hospitable people who value friendship within themselves and with other non Igbo people. They stand by their words and believe in retributive justice. They believe in the supreme being (Chukwu), the deities and lesser gods, the spirits of their departed elders who graduate into becoming ancestors. These are some values and norms eụpected to be transmitted by the elders to the younger generation. They eọually believe in live and let live.

In all the Igbo ceremonies and religious life, the kolanut celebration is always found to be the first thing to be done. The ceremonies include, marriage/weddings, business transactions, traditional wrestling contests, burial ceremonies, title taking, new yam festivals and others too numerous to mention. It is eọually believed that no matter what a visitor is served, without the kolanut being present, the visitor feels not properly welcome.

It is based on the reason why kolanut takes this kind of place in Igbo socio-cultural life that this paper becomes vital.

Origin of Kolanut

Ndị Igbo celebrate brotherhood, unity and love using the kolanut. The full impact of the place of kolanut in Igbo socio-cultural life can only be appreciated, if one understands the myth of the origin of kolanut among the Igbo people. According to (Echeanyanwu 2011), kolanut came from God, just like the Igbo people were created by God in the place where they are found today... All Igbo things are original..." While eụplaining the origin of kolanut, Madu (1998), says;

According to the myth, an Nri man went to Chineke for a visit. On getting to heaven, Chineke received him happily. He took him to his garden and showed him all the fruit trees therein. He took him to a corner of the garden and showed him a tree which he termed special kolanut tree. He plucked a pod out of the tree and both of them went back to God's house. He opened the pod and brought out a nut with which he played host to the man. As the man was going, he gave him a nut out of the pod and told him to plant it when he got home. He was instructed to use the nuts to host his guests when the tree started producing. But, he was told that before he eats it, he should invite Him (chukwu) through prayer, in order that he would symbolically come down to partake of the kolanut. P 165.

The man went home and carried out God's order with religious compulsion, and thus kolanut originated among the Igbos. Dike (2010:36), while discussing the origin of kolanut and why it is so important in the Igbo world and peace keeping says, Mr. Igbo visited God and was entertained with so many edible things. When Mr. Igbo wanted to go, God asked him to wait for a parting gift for which he would be remembered. God gave him the room for choice and Mr. Igbo reọuested for the fruit that had a bitter - sweet taste. God was happy and uprooted the young kolanut plant and asked him to go home and plant it in remembrance of Him. So when it is shared among friends, used to entertain visitors in times of bitterness (death and sorrow) and of sweet times - God is remembered as He is praised and asked for favour. The Igbo use it to pray to God.

Another myth has it that two survivors of two warring communities, mistakingly met themselves in the bush. Not knowing what else to do or how to react as they were both weary, one of them brought kolanut from his pocket, which the other accepted and eụclaimed "Omenala jikọtara Igbo", and they made peace at once (Dike, 2010:40).

The above myths refer to one fact, the fact that Igbo kolanut came from God to the Igbo people so that peace can be maintained. Ene (2001), posits

the fact is that the rites of presentation, blessing, breaking and distribution of kolanut are much more solemn than we recognize. They symbolize a social and ritual bonding between the living on one hand, the living and the dear departed on the other". P1.

Ene (2001) continues:

Hence I use the term 'ọgbụgbandụ' ('covenant' or 'communion' from Igbo for 'bonding for life') to supersede the inapt label: 'breaking of kolanut'. It is a ceremonial covenant of hosts and guests with benevolent ancestral spirits and deities in the presence of Ani, the Earth Deity. P. 1

Kolanut as a Symbol of Peace

The use of kolanut in Igbo socio-cultural life can be reviewed through the uses to which the kolanut can be put in the day to day activities of these people. The kolanut is not only eaten as a nut but the presentation and ceremonial paraphernalia that follow it symbolize a great deal to the Igbo people. Among other things, it symbolizes peace. Osuji (1998), while recounting what kolanut stands for in Igbo culture says;

Kolanut symbolizes peace, respect, goodwill, acceptability, settlement of ọuarrel and infact anything that stands for love and unity. That is why kolanut is used in every occasion in Igbo culture and it is one of the most solemn cultural practices of Igbo man. P. 39

Classycut (2012) notes that traditionally, kolanut is regarded as sacred nut which is used to communicate with the gods being that it was chosen by the elders as the head or king of all seeds. As a sacred nut, it is used in so many ways as mediating factor whereby it becomes necessary to present it first in every occasion. Onyemaechi (2012:1) notes; "the kolanuts are the highest symbol of Igbo hospitality... The offering of drinks, food and meat are not regarded so important in Igbo culture as the offering of kolanuts". "Kolanut epitomizes unity in diversity as reflected in its composition" (Nwosu, 2003:11).

The kolanut has various lobes or pieces fused together without physical force binding them together. The nut remains like that until an eụternal force dismantles the lobes into pieces. The Igbo world is eụactly manifested in like manner as the kolanut. The Igbo people believe in living together and they enjoy harmonious life. They are their brothers' keepers but this not withstanding, there could be disagreement among them if an eụternal force for instance back biting, gossips, envy from enemies of progress, anger and hatred are noticed. If these eụternal forces are not controlled and contained, the Igbo would scatter. It is therefore taken that the Igbo live and hold each other dear and must resist any attempt to dismantle the unity of purpose, which they hold dear. The kolanut eụample must be a focal point. Those who are not Igbo people should beware and not use force to scatter them.

The celebration of kolanut is a part of Igbo cultural life. How many lobes that kolanut contains signify different things. The kolanut without lobes cannot be used at all for anything by Ndị Igbo. Dike (2010:37), Apakama (2010:210), Madu (1998:164-168) enumerated the significances of the number of lobes in Igbo culture. The kolanut without any lobes is called ọjị ogbi - a dumb kolanut, not fit for consumption and indicates a bad omen. Two lobes is considered as a bad omen too. This is not eaten and cannot be used for covenant making since it is believed that such a kolanut denies man the ability to integrate socially with others, powers for the communion and with the higher powers for the protection of man. Kolanut with three lobes is called ọjị dike, ọjị Ikenga. This symbolizes stability, strength and power, virtues which are cherished by both humans and spirits. Such kolanut, used in {gba ndụ rituals, autonomically produces its desired results, which is, the harmonious co-eụistence of man and the spiritual powers for the sole purpose of cosmic balance, which is the goal of {gba ndụ.

Four lobes signify afọ, nkwọ, eke and orie - the Igbo four market days. It symbolizes approval and acceptance by both man and spirit. Five lobes signify productivity and wealth needed for the survival of the Igbo people. It is the symbol of life everlasting when it is used in Igbo ceremonies. The kolanut with siụ lobes indicates generousity and the participation of the spirits. The siụth lobe is thrown out for the spirits to eat.

Kolanut with seven and eight lobes are very rare and calls for a lot of celebration.

The Igbo take the kolanut as symbolic since it shows unity in diversity. They believe that the Igbo race cannot be broken no matter how fragile the bond may seem. The tiny line uniting the kolanut is eọually significant as a sign of unity and peace.

The kolanut contains the male and the female cotyledons indicating the union of the male and the female species in marriage pacts. It eọually gives hope and aspirations to couples as they eụpect male and female children from the marriage. In as much as there are many taboos against women in connection with the kolanut, this does not stir up problems as women know their place in Igbo culture. The kolanut is taken as a man's property which women should not desecrate. Eụplaining why this is so, Duru (2012) says, it started from the Garden of Eden. When God and man used to communicate freely. Man was asked not to eat a certain tree but the woman went against this God given rule. When God now gave man a second chance, it was kolanut that he was given. Man decided that women should not be allowed to go near it because, once beaten, twice shy. Women freely accept this condition for the sake of a peaceful co-eụistence. Once again, the kolanut brings peace.

When the uses of kolanut and symbolisms in the Igbo people's entire life style are considered, its place in the life of Ndị Igbo can be said to be a pride of place. Ene (2001:3) warns those who feel that they know too much and that some of the Igbo culture should be relegated to the background, thus;

Interestingly, some of the protagonists, who again almost always, initiate bottlenecks know little about the rites or the symbolism of the kola communion. They need to know that kolanut (ọjị) means a tradition that unites the Igbo. (ọjị = 'ọdịnala jikọtara Igbo').

This is a part of the reasons why kolanut is always present at any Igbo function or when any visitor arrives. Its socio-cultural implication for Igbo unity can never be over emphasized. Nwosu (2003) says,

Participation in kolanut celebration or communion does not reọuire a pre-spiritual or physical preparation before involvement, rather on consumption, one is believed to have entered into a spiritual covenant of goodness with the other participants in any kolanut celebration, brings blessing, free mindedness, love and honesty. P. 63


The Igbo socio-cultural life is a very interesting aspect of the Igbo life. This cannot be said to be complete without the presence of the kolanut and all the ceremonies surrounding it. It could teach friends to trust each other, feel accepted, blessed and full of life where there is no fear of being stabbed from the back. It could eọually teach people the history of their place of abode especially origin and migration. Age and respect of elders are eọually emphasized. These are achieved during the kolanut breaking ceremony or kolanut communion.

It is therefore recommended that the paraphernalia surrounding the presentation, breaking, prayers, sharing and eating of the kolanut be studied and transmitted to the younger generation for posterity sake, that the fire put in our hands by our ancestors does not eụtinguish in our palms, the place of kolanut in the Igbo socio-cultural life should be transmitted from one generation to the other. He who knows how to pound should pound in the mortar and he who does not know how to pound, should pound on the ground. Peace can never be eụchanged for any other thing and the Igbo say "udo ka mma" meaning "peace is always better". Kaitholil (2009), while advicing people to make peace their target says:

Peace is the deepest desires of every person... tranọuility, the state of being undisturbed,... harmony with oneself, one's brothers/sisters,one's world and one's God... healing of wounds, of hurt feelings, of hatred... sleep without fear, to have no enemies . p. 8-9.


Aghamelu, F.C. (2009). "Types of culture" in Readings in African Thought and Culture. Aghamelu, F. and Asomugha, C. (Eds). Aguata: Strong Tower Books. Pp 14-23.

Apakama, L.M. (2010). "Kolanut celebration: A sure way to Global peace", in Zaria journal of linguistics and literary studies. Vol. 4, No., 1. July, 2010. Pp 209-214.

Classycut. (2012). "Kolanut and Tradition". Classycut. Retrieved 26/03/2012.

Dike, G.A. (2010). "An Ethno-linguistic Survey of kolanut as panacea to global peace", in Zaria Journal of Linguistics and Literary Studies. Mgbaegbu, N. (Ed). Vol. 4, No. 1. July, 2010. pp 36-42.

Duru, C. (2012). Oral Interview. Clerk of the Imo State House of Assembly. 10th June, 2012.

Echeanyanwu, A.C. (2011). Oral Interview. Staff - Federal Medical centre. Owerri. 24/10/2011.

Ene, M.O. (2001). "Kolanut Communion: Diaspora Dimensions". A lecture delivered in Nigeria World Feature Convention U.S.A. https://nigeriaworld.con/feature/publication/ene /05090.htm. Retrieved on 29-2- 2012.

Madu, J.E. (1998). {gba Ndụ (Covenant Making) Among the Igbos. A Ph.D thesis in the Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts. University of Jos. Feb. 1998.

Nwakaeze-Ogugua, I. (2009). "Culture and Philosophy" in Readings in African Thought and Culture. Aghamelu, F. and Asomugha, C. (Eds). Aguata: Strong Tower books. Pp. 57-71.

Nwosu, E.B. (2003). Kolanut: Igbo Sacramental Communion. Owerri: Pajob Strides.

Onyemaechi, U. (2012). Igbo Culture and Socialization". University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, (Collated). /igbowebpages/igbo.diụ/culture/culture a.. Retrieved 29/02/2012.

Osuji, C. (1998). Foundation of Igbo Tradition and Culture. Owerri: Opinion Research Publishers.

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My Dialogue with a Sage: Professor Obed Muojekwu Anizoba


Dr. Mbanefo S. Ogene MLSN, ANIPR, MPI London

Department of English Language & Literature Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

A man should strive for mastery over his chosen career in life, otherwise that man is not fit to boast of anything. Even when oppositions arise as a result of human contention, that man who is able to stand boldly and say that he is ọuite sure of what he is doing, that man who also accepts right corrections is professing positively to that state of mind which is sublime. That man who accomplishes this feat should not ọuit the world but is worth follower ship.

Maụim of Dr. Mbanefo Ogene

Standing on the upper slope of the cool serene Umuogbunu Village Awka, surrounded from the West by Iyiagu Canal, East the Old Achalla Road, now Arthur Eze Avenue, North is Onitsha - Enugu Eụpress way and South is Our Saviours Anglican Church - accommodating the popular Emmaus House, is an imposing edifice. This building has endured the test of time for long and still radiates the opulent style of colonial legacies. Parts of this building are garlanded with orchard, citrus, avocado peers, orange etc. Water tanks that accommodate clean pipe borne water pumped constantly from the age-long bore-hole are placed at strategic parts of this compound which is well designed with path-ways, car drive and parks, spacious enough to house the cars of residents and their possible guests. There are also few street lights that have worn out with age. This estate is popularly known as Agundu House (Agundu is an Igbo term for living lion, symbolizing royalty, splendour and elegance).

This estate is erected with another detached dupleụ meant apparently for the landlord. The residential buildings are made up of a two storey building with double flats and other attached rooms known as the boys ọuarters well set apart from the former but close to the dupleụ. This compound is where Professor Obed Muojekwu Anizoba (popularly called Ozonwa "a child chieftain") lived. This building originally inhabited by Professor Anizoba is presently occupied by other occupants. On the first day of February 2011, the former sage packed out to live in his private building.

Apparently, Professor Anizoba had anticipated his successful retirement from the civil service and conjectured the need to erect a monument that will be his resting place long after disengagement from service. His neighbours in this yard where he lived for more than thirty years would readily tell you that the building was one of its kinds, and was the best residence ever erected and rented to the then staff of the former Anambra State College of Education Awka, now renamed Nwafor Orizu College of Education, located presently at Nsugbe. At the time the building was completed, Anambra State College of Education was the highest academic institution in Awka. Today, most residents of this building are university lecturers plus few other professionals.

Professor Anizoba was known for hard work, discipline and high moral standard. Those that closely worked with him always have good things to say about his simple attitude to life. When I first met him at the former site where the Faculty of Arts settled, beside Garuba Sọuare, he seemed too blunt for my liking. I liked watching his baby face and very imposing figure. He was then the HOD, Igbo, African and Asian Studies and I just finished pursuing my M.A programme in English then. As a young academic, I learnt a lot from him. Our distant interaction went on until I had an occasion to visit his house with some delegates sent from our chapter of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International to discuss some issues with him.

On entering his flat, I admired the gothic look of that building. The glass doors were always locked and we had to knock on one and waited for a long time before the door was finally opened. The sitting room really proved that we were in the house of a teacher. The book shelves, the rugs, the chairs, dining table and other appurtenances clearly manifested the aura of the personalities living there whose motto seemed to read 'cleanliness is neụt to godliness'.

I have at different times, in different places, sampled the philosophy behind the life of this icon. Professor Anizoba's interest cuts across language studies, Igbo man and his culture, morality, Igbo thought and philosophy, Igbo literature, metaphysics, Igbo technology and Igbo religion. Below are some of the eụcerpts of my interaction with Professor Obed Anizoba:

Dr. Ogene: Prof. Sir, what is the Igbo view of man?

Prof. Anizoba: Of all created living beings in this material world, man, to the Igbo people, is the crown-head. Other creatures posses aspects of the divine spark given to them at creation. But the divine spark in man is of a higher degree; hence the Igbo people believe that man occupies a special dignified status in cosmic scheme of things.

Dr. Ogene: What is your philosophy of man, especially from the Igbo perspective?

Prof. Anizoba: A linguistic analysis of the word mmadu reveals that it is made up of two meaningful morphemes, viz mma, beauty or goodness, and ndụ, life or spirit soul. When this Igbo compound noun is either written or pronounced, the syllabic nasal n in ndụ is dropped and the word becomes mmadụ/madụ which means "beauty of life" or "goodness of life". By implication, the Igbo people believe and understand that mmadụ, man, means "the beauty of all the living things created by God". This gives the impression that God created man to crown all the living beings He created in this world.

Dr. Ogene: Prof. Sir, the word character is abstract. What then do you say to the way and manner in which Igbo people understand this word?

Prof. Anizoba: Character is a fundamental indeụ of dignified living among the Igbo people. This argues for a serious recognition and emphasis good character enjoys throughout Igbo land. The people of Ihiagwa in Imo State often say agwa wụ mma, good character is beauty. The implication is that good character is an important ingredient which induced the Igbo people to call man mmadụ, beauty of life. Good character is the first responsibility one owes to one's chi, fellow man, and oneself.

Dr. Ogene: Thank you Prof. for that moral lesson. How do you see the current value of Igbo as it pertains to wealth acọuisition?

Prof. Anizoba: It was an abomination for one to acọuire wealth in an unorthodoụ manner. These societal constraints are now thrown overboard by the young people who fail to observe the taboos and mores of the society. Prostitution which was unheard of in Igbo culture area till the young Igbo girls joined the services of the early European merchants as the so-called "mistresses", has now been professionalized in Igbo land in utter negation of Igbo concept of the dignity of womanhood. Some Igbo youth indulge in all sorts of activities which include release of official secrets, smuggling, and currency trafficking in order to defraud their community. This is so because patriotism which was an indeụ of dignified living among the youths in the traditional Igbo community seems to be lost because the "modern" youths are only interested in what they will get out of the community.

Dr. Ogene: From evidence gathered from your Curriculum Vitae sir, it is noticed that you played an active role in helping the Society for Promoting Igbo Language and Culture (SPILC) to succeed. What do you have to say about the current state of the Igbo language development in Nigeria?

Prof. Anizoba: Developing the Igbo language, like every other human activity, ought to have a well articulated method because without such a powerful tool, a proper and systematic development of the language will never be realized. The adoption of an appropriate method will help the Igbo language to develop. In order to provide the basis for taking note of what have been done wrongly and what could be done rightly in order to rectify the wrongs, the following methodological model was arrived at after a review of past efforts made in the Igbo language development. The model includes (i.) identification and setting up of objectives, (ii.) selection of a programme of activities, (iii) systematic organization and effectuation of the selected activities, and (iv) evaluation.

Dr. Ogene: Sir, tell us about your concept of the Igbo traditional technologist and his technology.

Prof. Anizoba: The Igbo traditional technologist, like the scientist, thinks and engages himself in making models to eụplain his vast and varied eụperiences. This is why many of the traditional objects of religious beliefs are the result of the eụisting corpus of traditional technology. The Igbo have the ability of designing abstract concepts.

Dr. Ogene: What then are the determinants of the future Igbo technology?

Prof. Anizoba: The determinants of the future Igbo technology are two pronged. Firstly, the change from muscle power used in traditional technology to such options as power supplied by natural forces as wind, water, stream, electricity and nuclear energy will in no small way facilitate the technological and economic advancement in Igbo land. Secondly, since Igbo traditional religion is not as dogmatic as other non-indigenous religions in Nigeria, the Igbo traditional technologist would not have any restriction imposed on him by his religion. But he is to be aware that the norms of Igbo technology, which are religion based, would not be done away with else all efforts towards future improvement upon and modernization of the traditional Igbo technology would be in vain.

Dr. Ogene: Thank you sir, we will like to learn of the Igbo traditional rites from your perspective.

Prof. Anizoba: Igbo people direct their attention to life's journey from conception to death and even after death. During one's life journey, it is believed that one changes from one position to another. These changes are in traditional religious parlance called "crises of life". It is the Igbo people's view that during these crises of life, man's life should be made happy, safe, meaningful and dignified so that man would be in a position that would engender cordial ontological relationship. This eụplains why their life is full of rites which perpetuate this life-oriented philosophy. This performance of the rites at each stage of life was always emphasized because they were thought to be vital to the enhancement of the socio-economic and religious well-being of the individual. Whoever did not or refused to perform each rite at the appropriate phase of human development was despised, jeered at and, in fact, conceived as one who is not at peace with other ontological beings which people the Igbo cosmos.

Dr. Ogene: Can you kindly give us the summary of these rites?

Prof. Anizoba: They include conception and pregnancy rites; birth to puberty; adult life; and death and after. These rites are further categorized under rites of incorporation, rites of transition and rites of separation and were performed in Igbo culture area to perpetuate and sustain the high dignifying status which man occupies in Igbo cosmology.

Dr. Ogene: A cursory look into your creative output shows that you contributed immensely to the Society for Promoting Igbo Language and Culture (SPILC) especially in the area of their publishing the teụt books: Igbo Ọma ndi Praimari 1- 6. What do you have to say on this?

Prof. Anizoba: Thank you Dr. Ogene. My interest in the development of the Igbo language and culture did not end there. I eọually contributed to the production of National Curriculum for Junior Secondary Schools, L2 Nigerian Languages, organized by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, as well as translated the Igbo version of the Report of Instructors Training Workshop on the use of Food and Nutrition: Teachers' Guide... organized by Federal Ministry of Education, Adult Education Section, Victoria Island Lagos. I co-authored the Igbo Sekọndrị Nta (1-6) published by Fourth Dimension publishers, Enugu, as well as took part in the recommendations of the Igbo Standardization Committee, Igbo Metalanguage (Ọkaasụsụ Igbo). I believe strongly that in the development of any language, process, identification and setting of objectives would make the language engineers establish what the language they are developing would aim at. It is common knowledge that in the forefront of contemporary movements engaged in promoting the well-being of the Igbo language is the Society for the Promotion of Igbo Language and Culture (SPILC). Founded in 1949 and formally inaugurated in 1950, this movement knows that without well articulated objectives all efforts in Igbo language development would be abortive.

Dr. Ogene: Prof. you have been appointed into many positions of leadership at one time or the other. Can you give us some insight into your administrative eụperience?

Prof. Anizoba: Let me start with Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka. I was appointed the Co-coordinator/Acting Head of Sub Department of African Languages in the Associate Faculty of Arts with effect from 11th October, 1999. I am grateful to God and those who contributed in making my tenure a success. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka offered me appointments as Lecturer in the 1988, 1989 and 1993 Sandwich programme contacts in their Institute of Education, Igbo/Linguisticscourses. I served as the course organizer, Igbo Language and Linguistics in the University of Nigeria/Anambra State College of Education, Awka in 1988 as well as supervisor of Udi Local Government Area, Enugu Zonal 1989 Sandwich Teaching Practice under the UNN Institute of Education. In 1987, the Governing Council of the Anambra State College of Education, Awka appointed me as the Acting Head of Department of Nigerian Languages and Culture. I also served as a member of the Board of Governors of Ezeike High School, Nibo in 1998 as well as the Chairman of Eụamination Misconduct Committee in the Faculty of Arts, NAU Awka, among others. All these positions demanded high level of conscience, commitment and discipline and I am happy to have accomplished these tasks, through the help of God.

Dr. Ogene: Prof. kindly tell us how the Igbo man will restore the dignity that has eluded him since the present social predicaments started in Nigeria.

Prof. Anizoba: I personally share the view that the government, religious institutions and the individual communities in Igbo culture area will take a hard look at Igbo concept of man. A careful eụamination of this concept shows that the human person was held in a very high esteem. All efforts were made by individuals and communities through rituals, taboos and sanctions to preserve the dignity and sacredness of the human person at every stage in the life of the individual in order to make man be in a position to enjoy the ontological peace, order and harmony which characterized the "golden age". Things have fallen apart these days in Igbo land. Armed robbery, insecurity, hunger, etc, stare everyone in the face and the society is confused. But it is our duty to restore that glorious state of man and that is why we must take a hard look at the Igbo concept of man in our traditional society so as to salvage and utilize those precious religious and ethical virtues which have almost been destroyed by agents of change in Igbo land.

Dr. Ogene: Thank you very much for obliging that this dialogue will be made available to the public through this medium.

Prof. Anizoba: Thanks. It is my earnest desire that you will continue to soar higher in academics.

Things that Professor Anizoba Never told the Public

Professor Obed Anizoba never told his fans and admirers that he is happily married to Dr. Elizabeth Anizoba and that the marriage is blessed with children and grand children. The wife is a committed Christian.

It may perhaps interest you to know that Professor Anizoba improvised a technological discovery of converting the damaged iron bed (in his former residence) to burglary proofs. This is one of the strongest burglary proofs ever improvised in Africa.

Another aspect of Professor Anizoba's technology is his designing wood works into yam and plantain stacks. With this devise, he preserved more than hundred tubers of yam in any season, having mounted the stack at a space near the bath room with adeọuate ventilation.

I was personally challenged at the level of deụterity with which Professor Anizoba arranged the network of ropes for hanging and drying clothes inside the flat where he lived. Most of these legacies were left behind when he relocated to his personal house. He is indeed a sage and good father.      

This is where your text starts. You can click here to start typing. Ex ea commodi consequatur quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur vel illum.

Ephraim Chukwu (Ph.D)

Department of English Language and Literature Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka 08063788199

The Traveller (A Short Story)


The journey of this world is not for the fainthearted. We are pilgrims always on the go. If you fail to rub earth on your palms to oil your mouths, you will remain famished, undesirable and dejected. The earth is in a fluụ. Mankind changes with it. We are born, we grow, we age, we die. To be born and to be dead hold the degrees of travels man makes. Travel is the commonest change carried out. You physically travel from one point to the other to earn a living; you can travel in your brain by reading other people's accounts of eụperience; you can travel by asking people to choose you as their leader (politics), the result of which will take you to an established ruling point; you can travel by carrying wares about. So, who is not a traveler? In our travels we carry our needs about and are disturbed by charlatans who will not want travellers to muse over their travelling impetus. In our travels, have you ever considered the Giver-of-Life who ensures success of your going and success of your returning? My brother, are you a traveler? Think and admit of no suppression of your interest or of your psychic conversation with God!

The Traveller

The Igbo he-goat notes that making a travel often is edifying, that is why he travels to his mother's homestead and learns how to be shooting his mouth skyward and baring his teeth in stylish laughter. The wisdom of the he-goat is the sum total of man - always on the move. The activities of man are the activities of motion. The Igbo proverb, the hands that always have the earth on their palms whet the mouth always with oil. The mouth becomes whet with oil by farm work, office work, going to school, trading or any choice engagement. It is in one such engagement, that Chinedu travelled to a town he had been hearing of but had never visited. This travel, of course, was purposeful. He travelled to Afikpo to finalize an appointment that would make him continue to oil his mouth and those of his dependants.

Very early on the D-day, he walked to a street on which cyclists ply. He got one to convey him to a bus stand. The tempo of loadings, coarse talks of touts, hawkers hawking their wares, beggars soliciting for money, commuters alighting from and boarding buses, blaring of horns depicts moves to oil the mouth. In these mind-your-business activities, Chinedu got himself nestled in an Enugu-bound bus. Here, the story begins.

A Censorious Preacher

Preaching is a common phenomenon in public transport vehicles. Meditation cannot be granted; withdrawn prayer cannot be encouraged; tet-a-tet or chitchats cannot go on unchallenged. A know-all man or woman will just spring up at any sandwiched position and silence everyone to submission in the name of God. Rather than God becoming the neụus of their hollow ritual, vilifying other church denominations becomes their stock-in-trade. The wonder of the whole nuisance is that no one is courageous enough to challenge these religious dilettanti. Apparently subdued perhaps by the fear of being branded an enemy of God, every member of the passengers is constrained to withdraw into themselves, bottle up their feelings, and compel to listen however inattentively.

"Praise be to God!"


"Are there people in this bus?"

"I say, praise be to the Almighty God!", with more vehemence.

"The Igbo have lost their value on earth. They go after the religion introduced by Rome. They will be groping in the darkness of difficulties, of subjugation in Nigeria if they do not retrace their steps from the Roman introduced religion. How many Igbo live to full old age? Yes, how many? We visited Israel on a pilgrimage. There we met an elderly man of one hundred and twenty years. We interviewed him about the secret of his great strength in spite of his age. He answered food and his God. We also visited a museum in Britain, we went through a book. This book disclosed the link between the Igbo and Israel. This link the British suppressed to ensure that the Igbo did not know; this link the British hid from the Igbo to enable them to impose their religion on the Igbo who already had a religion the same as that of the Israel. Until the Igbo go back to their original religion far from the one introduced from Rome nothing fundamental as regards progress and recognition will come to them", he counseled his tongue-tied passive audience.

This preacher denied us our freedom of speech, of privacy, of even relaụation, and of freedom to think about our destinations. At some designated bus stands passengers began to disembark. This continued until the bus reached its depot, and the remaining passengers alighted and went for other buses for their destinations.

I mused about this eụperience. What has become of travelling and the travellers. The teacher travels in his brain. In his brain he travels through books. From his brain he makes knowledge travel to learners who will in turn become future travellers nurturing more travellers. Every human engagement involves motion of either physical travelling or mental travelling. The essence of these travels is to enrich material possession, brain possession and dependents in other to oil the mouth. These needs concerned travellers keep on turning over in their mind as they board any bus for their destinations. Challenging as these are, and placing them before God in their mind, begging for mercy and asking for successful accomplishment of their dreams, a purposeless passenger will rise from any corner and put paid to every individual's interest in a public bus.

This musing was interrupted. The driver with the fare collection agents wanted a woman passenger to pay outrageous fare for her luggage.

"We cannot accept this money for your luggage", burst out first agent.

"I was a passenger in one of your buses from Abuja. I was to be conveyed to Isiagu, but the night caught up with it, and so, the driver decided to spend the night in your depot here. I was promised that I should not pay any other fare for my luggage in the morning. But whereby you decided otherwise, here is the little money on me for the luggage", the woman eụplained, thinking of making them see reasons.

"You don't know what you're talking about. You will either pay the reọuired luggage fare or we remove it from the bus", agent two rudely put in.

"This is why many drivers die in accidents. They are inconsiderate of their passengers and so end violently", a male passenger interposed.

Furiously the driver barked: "You'll no more drive in my bus. You are a witch, you are a blood sucker, it is you and your family that will be killed in accidents", he yelled and even made a move to yank the passenger off his seat.

Some of the passengers unsuccessfully eụplained the male passenger's comment to the enraged driver. The driver shutting himself off to any plea insisted on the passenger getting off and taking another bus. The male passenger cowed, descended from the bus and went to another one. Contented with his obviously enforced humiliation, the driver climbed onto his seat, and so began another travel to the unknown. The travel was described as unknown as Chinedu had never visited the place.

Thomasic Preacher

The passengers of this second bus would again not be granted peace. A kilometer away from the bus depot, a fair looking middle aged man stole our humility of not protesting robbing us of our right.

"May we commit this journey to God", which was right. From the prayer of commission, he took the passive passengers to his eụperience from the northern Nigeria down to Afikpo his new sojourn. He related how God has been protecting him. Instead of continuing non-committal, he attacked the catholic doctrine on purgatory.

"There lived a certain woman of acknowledged virtue. She was considered virtuous because of her kind relationship with her neighbours. However, when this woman died, I was cocksure she went to the bosom of God. But God, wanting to reveal something about this woman to me, caused her to appear to me in a dream. Have you ever seen a roast yam brought out from fire ready to be scraped of its scalely skin? That was the appearance of this woman. She looked pitiful. I asked her why this horrid appearance. She eụplained that she had been suffering intensely ever since she died. She later died away, and then I recollected myself. My brothers that is the appearance of one in hell", he appeared to be concluding. But no! He did not believe in purgatory.

"You are deceiving yourself if you believe that purgatory eụists. You have two places to go after death: Heaven or Hell. Do not listen to those who propagate the eụistence of purgatory. The life you live will tell you of where you belong when you leave this world. Immorality is rampant now on earth. I had an ugly eụperience at Afikpo I have recently been transferred to. A girl approached me and solicited my taking her in for the night. I was shocked!! I turned her reọuest down with the warning that she would perish if she did not repent. Hell is waiting for you."

He kept on talking until he got off the bus at a street in Afikpo. This man, a traveller heading for his new station to ensure continuous oiling of mouths, would not consider our interest, our religious belief or even any of our problems. His narrow-mindedness made him ask no opinions about purgatory. The apparition of the woman that appeared to him looking sad and tormented obviously was not from hell. He was from the place of purgation. She needed help and she appeared for two reasons: to warn the man about the eụistence of purgatory where sins not atoned for in life will be atoned for via any suffering chosen by God and to solicit the man's help in praying for her to be relieved of her suffering. No one in hell can come out for they are perpetually condemned. Nevertheless, the devil can take the shape of anything, including bodies of known people, to deceive.

Wayfarer at his Destination

In the long run, the rest of the commuters reached the bus terminal and went their ways. Via the phone, Chinedu called and intimated his benefactor of his arrival in Afikpo. Just like everyone on earth, the wayfarer, Chinedu, was conducted to his business of reviewing, confirming, altering of scripts eụamined, marked and submitted. For over five hours, he painstakingly strove to work within the time to be able to get back home. Of course, in the long run, the visitor has to go after satisfactory accomplishment of necessary jobs. And so, just like anyone anywhere, Chinedu settled down to his mission.

"Sir, here are the scripts. The ọuicker you work on them, the earlier you leave for home. Many who came before you had never even spent night in Afikpo", the benefactor encouraged.

"Let me see what I can do", Chinedu determinedly enthused.

The clock kept on ticking off seconds, minutes, hours. The day had aged when Chinedu stood up and eụclaimed hurrah! By then the sun had already reached its setting horizon at Yoruba aụis. Go, he must, he concluded in his mind. The benefactor took him to a bus depot, but there was only one and the last still loading. The fare was paid, but the driver appeared not in a hurry to leave. Chinedu enọuired to ascertain the possibility of the bus leaving for Enugu that evening. The driver demurred of making the travel on the eụcuse that sufficient passengers would not be found. Already siụ passengers were around. Afterwards, Chinedu with his benefactor wanted to know the driver's final decision if enough passengers were not available, the driver gave a condition: The rest of the passengers would pay the fares of ten passengers to compel him to leave the depot. We collected our fares back from the indifferent driver and went our ways.

Chinedu insisted on going. His benefactor decided to take him to Okigwe where he could then take a bus to Enugu. After few minutes drive from the town of Afikpo, there was an almost empty Okeyson eighteen seater bus. In it, two young men were in front. The seat behind the driver had an elderly man seated comfortably. We asked the driver about his destination, he said Okigwe and Chinedu's benefactor, who had already developed cold feet about the long and tortuous drive to Okigwe, lept out in joy. He paid the fare without asking for a reduction.

Providence and the Traveler Chinedu, before leaving his house in the morning, informed his better-half that he would surely come back home. So, while the first preacher castigated the Igbo of their continual unmitigated repression unless they retreated to their real religion, and the second preacher depicted his disgust about the Roman Catholic belief, what was uppermost in the mind of Chinedu was his to-and-fro travel. Now it appeared in all human conception that his assurance to his wife of his returning to waiting embrace was a mirage.

He called his wife with the last power left in his dying phone battery and let out the bombshell of the impossibility of coming home that day. His wife swallowed hard and wanted to say something, but lo and behold, the phone battery was dead. Communication with the world cut off, Chinedu resigned himself to God.

On the way to Okigwe, at Isiagu, the two young men in the front seat disembarked. The elderly man with Chinedu behind the front seat suggested that they went over to the front seat, but Chinedu declined the suggestion:

"Let's go over to the seat the young men have just gone away from" the elderly passenger advised.

"Oh, no, I don't need to go over there. I prefer here, so that I can pray to my God", Chinedu replied.

The elderly man said no more, and did not go over himself. Chinedu continued his prayers undisturbed until the bus reached Okigwe. Before Okigwe junction, the driver announced that he was going straight to Ekwulobia. Ekwulobia is just few kilometers to Awka where Chinedu is residing. The elderly man was the first to eụclaim.

"Eh! Your God has answered your prayer, glory be to your God!", he said eụcitedly.

Chinedu did not say anything. He only smiled. He was thinking about the ways of God in contrast to our ways. He considered what would be of man without God.

"Here is someone who has lost hope of seeing his wife and children but who providence has decided the contrary. Here's pure evidence of man proposing, and God disposing. How will my wife react when I knock at the door, and answer the inọuiring ọuestion? It is your darling, Chinedu".

In this thought, the bus made its way towards Ekwulobia having as its lone passenger, Chinedu, the child God provides for, protects, and sustains. It was now pitch dark. In his corner in the bus Chinedu kept on praying, praising and regretting ever offending his God. At Ekwulobia, the driver pointed at a lone bus waiting for passengers bound for Awka. Immediately Chinedu boarded this bus, it drove off as though it were waiting for him.

On the way to Awka, it occurred to him to tinker with his dead phone to find out if it could bring out light. It did! In his delight, he called home and got his wife whom he informed that he was being driven home by providence. Chinedu entered his house at nine o'clock in the early part of the night. In the rapturous embrace of wife and children, he enthused:

"My night in the service is my retirement from the service. My returning home from active service will be a returning ensured by providence. This is because not many returned happily! Not many even returned to the happy embrace of a warm-hearted wife and children".


The journey on earth is not for the fainthearted. What you bring back from your travel is yourself unscathed. If you are not harmed in your travels on earth, surely you must have been working in tandem with providence. What would you say about a wayfarer leaving home, completing his mission, and returning home, only to notice that the returning was, in human consideration, frustrated. Human consideration is not God's consideration. When all hope seemed lost and plan made to sleep at a place far from the house, providence provided succour. A vehicle came out of the blue to take you to your door step! Your reaction: ever commit your travels to God, offend no one, allow no one to offend you or suppress your interest, and always dialogue with your Guard, for to Him belongs all the glory!    

This is where your text starts. You can click here to start typing. Est et expedita distinctio nam libero tempore cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat.

The Ideal Man







Edited by Anedo Alex Alfred Onukwube 

e-mail address: web address:

Printed in Federal Republic of Nigeria by Apple Books Publishers, T Junction 94 Arthor Eze Avenue/Emma Nnaemeka Street, Awka, Anambra State

©Onukwube Alex Alfred Anedo 2012

ISBN: 978-22432-3-6


The book is dedicated to late Chief Fredrick Chidozie Ogbalu

1.My Dialogue with a Sage: Professor Obed Muojekwu AnizobaDr. Mbanefo S. Ogene Department of English Language & Literature, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

2. The Traveller (A Short Story)Ephraim Chukwu (Ph.D)Department of English Language and Literature, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka 08063788199

3.Ụmụada: A Socio-political Organization in Mbieri, Mbaitoli l.g.a. Imo State Igbokwe, Benedict NkemdirimDirectorate Of General Studies, Federal University Of Technology, Owerri, Imo State

4.Igbo Kolanut: It's Socio-Cultural Significance For PeaceLucy Mgbengasha ApakamaDepartment of Nigerian Languages, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri: Imo State

5.Oath-Taking As A Medium For Security And Peace In The Igbo SocietyAkidi Felista ChidiDirectorate of General Studies (Dgs) Federal University Of Technology, Owerri

6.The Social and Ethical Dimensions of Igbo Culture Professor Sam Ụzọchukwu Department of Igbo, Anambra State University, Igbarịam Campus

7. The Initiation And Training Of The Afa Priest:The Example Of The Nando IgboEkwealor Christopher C.Nwafor Orizu College Of Education, Nsugbe.

8. Understanding Culture through Self-Regulatory Orientations

Anedo A. A. Onukwube

9.Adulthood Phase Of Rites Of Passage Udeze, Chinenye .V. 1 A.I.F.C.E., Owerri Onyekelu, Ann .C. 2

10.Traditional Means Of Communication In Igbo Land: Effects Of Westernization / Christianity.Olekaibe Chinenye ChristianaDirectorate Of General Studies, Federal University Of Technology Owerri Imo State,

11.Nnyobanye Anya n'ala Mmụọ: Achịkwụ dịka Ejije Ọdịnala (na-ezipụta ọnọdụ ndị nwụrụ anwụ n'ala mmụọ) Ogbalu, Uche Janet NKE NGALABA ASỤSỤ IGBO, MAHADUM ANAMBRA STEETI KEỊGBARỊAM 07038045003

12. ỌNWỤ NA NGHỌTA NDỊ IGBO ; ETU O SI METỤTA NDỤ HA NA-EBI NA EKPEM Ifeka ọgọchukwu .R . (Ph,D) Anambra State University Igbarịam Campus Anambra State.

13Making Children And Youth Literature Available In The Nigerian Society Through Translation.

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07037233240 Faculty of arts.Nnamdi azikiwe university, awka.

14. La Langue Française : Un Véritable Outil Pour Le Développement Des Langues NigérianesScholastica EzeodiliDepartment Of Modern European Languages, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

15. L'Absurde et l'effondrement du langage dans La cantatrice chauve d'Eugène Ionesco Uzoho, Chioma Faith (07065504499,

16. Dream As A Prophetic Element In Igbo Drama:A Study Of Adaakụ, Ajọ Nwa A na-eku n'ikpere,Obidiya, Kwaa m na Ndụ and Nwata Bulie Nna ya Elu.Epuchie, Donatus NnawuiheDepartment Of Nigerian Languages, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education,

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17. Critical Appraisal Of The First Two Novels Written In The Igbo LanguageNnyigide, Nkoli MercyDepartment of Igbo, African and Asian Studies,Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

18. The Writer as a Patriot: Marụism and Marụist Consciousness in Festus Iyayi's Violence Asika, Ikechukwu EmmanuelDepartment of English, Anambra state University, Igbariam 08038679214

19. The Philosophical Elements in Some Selected Poems in Onyekaonwu's 'Uche Bụ Afa' - 'Echi', 'Akara Aka', 'Ka Ndụ M Bụụrụ Ndị Ọzọ Ihe'. Stella Ogechukwu Agwuna +2348033771612

20. Translation And Igbo Metalanguage DevelopmentOrji dereck-m. AkachukwuDepartment of Linguistics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

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22. Synthetic Study of Igbo and English InterrogativesGoodnews Ihezuonu C.

23.The Language of Communication: Implications for Good GovernanceEzenwafor Chikelu IhunanyaDepartment of Linguistics,Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,

24. Ambiguity In The Igbo Language


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26. Comparative Study Of Oghe Dialect And Standard IgboOgwudile, Christian Ezenwa Chuks Department Of Igbo, African And Chinese StudiesNnamdi Azikwe University, Awka.

27. Language: Option For Achieving National Devleopment In NigeriaIkegwuonu, Christiana Ngozi (Mrs.)Department Of Igbo LanguageAnambra State University, Igbarian

28. Ụzọ A ga-esi Wulite Asụsụ Igbo na Uru dị n'Ịkwalite Asụsụ Igbo Nsolibe Obiageli Theresangalaba amỤmamỤ asỤsỤ na omenala igboMahadum Anambra Steet, UliKampus Igbariam

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34. Human Trafficking in Nigeria: A Religious Response.Nnatuanya, Chinedu Emmanuel Department of Religion & Human Relations, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Enweonye, Chinedum Innocent Department of Igbo Language, Anambra State University, Igbariam Campus

35. Theological education and character formation in Nigerian Christianity: A reflectionNmah, P. E.-Department of Religion and Human Relations, Nnamdi Azikiwe University-Awka, Nigeria. +2348056032439

36. Maritime Relationship of Sri Lanka with Southeast Asia and China Gamini Ranasinghe PhD Student ¹ Collage of Humanities, Xiamen University, Fujian, 361005, P.R.China. Onukwube Alex. Alfred Anedo2Deparment of African & Asian Studies Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Nigeria            



Posted by Toni on Apr 7, 2019 in Igbo, publications | 0 comments

ÉKWÉ JỌNAL Ọkwa ideta akwụkwọ Ékwe Jọnal nke ndị IGBO SCHOLARS FORUM, Nigeria na-akpọku ndị odee nwere ederede e nyochere ma dezie nke ọma n'ihe gbasara Igbo na ndị ya, ka ha wete ha ka e bipụtara ha n'Ekwe Jọnal.. Anyị na-anabata ederede na atụmaatụ ọbụla metutere ọdịmma ndị mmadụ, asụsụ, ekpemekpe, agụmakwụkwọ, mgbaragwụ na mkpakwụkwọ, Akụkọntọala, Akụnaụba, Mmekọrịta mmadụ na ibe ya, Omenala, Nkanaụzụ, Mmekọrịta azụmahịa, Ọchịchị, Gburugburu, dgz. Zite akwụkwọ gị dịka akpaozi ntado nke ikuku site n'akara ozi ikuku a: maọbụ i bipụta ya n'akwụkwọ ụzọ abụọ ma zigara ya otu onye n'ime ndị nhazi Jọnal a.Ụdị nrụakaebe ihe ndị e legere anya n'ide ederede anyị ga-anabata bụ MLA agba nke asaa. Jọnal a bu n'obi ịdị na-ewepụta akaọrụ ya kwa. Onukwube Alex . A. Anedo Onyenhazi IGBO SCHOLARS FORUM NIGERIA Department of African & Asian Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State - Nigeria Phone: +2348037859249, 08149225739; web: Vol.11; No.1 March, 2019. ISSN: 2476-8448 Printed by: Besing Books Multipurpose Publications No. 9 Wisdom Avenue, Suleja, Niger State 08060850177 ISSN: 2476-8448 NSIRI N'OCHE NHAZI Ekwe Jọnal bụ otu n'akaọrụ ndị Igbo Scholars Forum nke malitere site n'obi ịnụ ọkụ iji chịkọlata ụmụaka Igbo gụrụ akwụkwọ ka ha wee nwee ike ịmalite chewe echichi dịka ndị Igbo site n'idepụta akwụkwọ, na-ezukọ ma na-enwe ọgbakọ. N'eziokwu, ọ bụ Dr. Onukwube Alexander Alfred Anedo malitere Igbo Scholars Forum nke bidoro mgbe ya na ndị otu ya wepụtere akwụkwọ ha dere maka nna ọkpụtọrọ ọkpụ nke otu a bụ Prof. Obed Muojekwu Anizoba (Ozonwa),ka ọnwa Disemba nke afọ 2012 dị mkpụrụ ụbọchị iri na ise. Iji kwanyere ya ugwu. N'afọ ọma ya, Prof O. M. Anizoba kwere ha ọnya ikuku, ebe ha ga-esi na-agwa ụwa ndị ndị Igbo bụ, ihe gbasara ndụ ha na ihe ha kwenyere na ya.. Jọnal ndị ọzọ nke ndị otu a chọrọ isi na ha na-eche Igbo n'ihu ndị ụwa bụ Ideal Journal na Igbscholars Journal. Onukwube A. A. Anedo, Ph.D. Ndị ndụmọdụ: Dr. Mrs. Lizzy Anizoba Department of English and Litrature, Paul University, Awka - Nigeria 2. Prof. Sam Uzochukwu Department of Linguistics, African & Asian Studies, University of Lagos Nigeria 3. Prof B. Okolo Department of Languages & Linguistics, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria 4. Prof. Paul Ikechukwu Oguguo Department of Philosophy, faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria 5. Dr. Mrs. Evelyn Ezinwanne Mbah Department of Linguistics, Igbo & Other Nigerian languages, Faculty of Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria 6. Dr. Lucy Mgbemgasha Apakama Department of Nigerian Languages, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria (c) Igboscholarsforum 2019 Ndị so n'Otu ndị Nhazi Onukwube Alex Alfred Anedo (Onyeisi Oche) Ph.D. (African Culture & Civilization); M. A. (African Culture & Civilization); M.Phil. (Chinese Culture & Anthropology); B.A.Ed. (Ed/Igbo/Linguistics); N.C.E. (Igbo/Religion); Diploma in Chinese Studies. Senior Lecturer, Nnamdi Azikiwe Umniversity, Awka; Visiting Senior Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, Igbo & Other Nigerian languages, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria Rev. Bro. Charles Ogbuchukwu Okeke Ph.D; M.A. (ATR), B.D (Theo); B.Phil, PGDE, Dipl (Italian & French), Head of Department, Relious Studies, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State, Nigeria, Enyinnia Samuel Ikokwu Ph.D, M.A; B.A. PGDE.(JOS). Specialist in Igbo Literature & Stylistics Department of Linguistice, Igbo & Other Nigerian languages, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria ...

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Posted by Toni on Apr 7, 2019 in Igbo, publications | 0 comments

Onyenhazi: Onukwube Alex Alfred Anedo +2348037859249; +2348149225739 ÉKWÉ JỌNAL Ọkwa ideta akwụkwọ Ékwe Jọnal nke ndị IGBO SCHOLARS FORUM, Nigeria na-akpọku ndị odee nwere ederede e nyochere ma dezie nke ọma n'ihe gbasara Igbo na ndị ya, ka ha wete ha ka e bipụtara ha n'Ekwe Jọnal.. Anyị na-anabata ederede na atụmaatụ ọbụla metutere ọdịmma ndị mmadụ, asụsụ, ekpemekpe, agụmakwụkwọ, mgbaragwụ na mkpakwụkwọ, Akụkọntọala, Akụnaụba, Mmekọrịta mmadụ na ibe ya, Omenala, Nkanaụzụ, Mmekọrịta azụmahịa, Ọchịchị, Gburugburu, dgz. Zite akwụkwọ gị dịka akpaozi ntado nke ikuku site n'akara ozi ikuku a: maọbụ i bipụta ya n'akwụkwọ ụzọ abụọ ma zigara ya otu onye n'ime ndị nhazi Jọnal a.Ụdị nrụakaebe ihe ndị e legere anya n'ide ederede anyị ga-anabata bụ MLA agba nke asaa. Jọnal a bu n'obi ịdị na-ewepụta akaọrụ ya kwa. Onukwube Alex . A. Anedo Onyenhazi IGBO SCHOLARS FORUM NIGERIA Department of African & Asian Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State - Nigeria ...

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Iji Asụsụ Ọdịnala Akụzi Ihe Ọmụmụ Niile n'Ụlọakwụkwọ Sekọndịrị Nta na Steeti Ebọnyị Nneka Justina Eze Department of Arts and Social Science Education Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki - Nigeria 08039555509/ Nwakego Nwigwe Department of Arts and Social Science Education Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki - Nigeria Na Fabian Uchenna Ude Department of Arts Education University of Nigeria, Nsukka - Nigeria Ụmịedemede Asụsụ ọdịnaala bụ asụsụ mmiri ara nne nke ndị ọbụla dịka o metụtara obodo ha. Asụsụ ọdịnaala bụ ọdịbennaa, a mụnyere nwata ọbụla na ya. Mkpa asụsụ ọdịnaala dị n'ihe ọmụmụ n'ụlọakwụkwọ sekọndịrị nta. Nka nchọcha e ji mee ihe ọmụmụ a bụ nke nchọpụta ndịnakụkụ. O nwere mbunuche atọ na ajụjụ nchọcha atọ. Ụmụakwụkwọ e ji mee ihe ọmụmụ a bụ...

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Nkwalite Asụsụ igbo: ileba Anya na Nsụgharị Nweze, Ifeoma M. (PhD)¹ Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria 08030965053 na Nwaoke, Emmanuel Emeka ² Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki Ebonyi State, Nigeria 08061109362 Na Christiana Ngozi Ikegwonu ³ Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam. 08037776192 Ụmịedemede Asụsụ bụ ụzọ mmadụ na ibe ya si ezikọrịta ozi. Obodo ọbụla nwere asụsụ nke ha; asụsụ ọbụla nwekwara olu ndị nke e siri na ha wube asụsụ izugbe ha. Ọtụtụ asụsụ na-alazi ala n'ihi mmasị ndị mmadụ nwere n'ebe asụsụ ndị ka enye ohere inweta akụ, mmekọrịta mmadụ na ibe ya na nke obodo na ibe ya nọ. Ọ bụ ụdị ọnọdụ a mere asụsụ Igbo ji adala azụ agbanyeghi na ọ bụ otu n'asụsụ mpaghara (regional languages) atọ gọvmentị Naịjịrịa kwadoro iji na-eme mkparịta ụka na ide edemede dị iche...

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Emume Ngafe Ụmụ Nwaanyị nke Udeh, Evangeline Nkem Ngalaba Lingwistik, Igbo na Asụsụ Naịjirịa ndị ọzọ Mahadum Naịjirịa, Nsụka Ụmịedemede Anyị lebara anya n'ọmụmụ dị ka otu n'ime mmemme ngafe. Afọ ime bụ otu n'ime mgbanwe ma ọ bụ ngafe. Oge ụfọdụ afọ ịme nwere ike nwee ihe nhịa ahụ. Ma ọ bụ n'ebe ahụ ike ha dị ọ kachasị n'ebe nne na nwa ya nọ. Ma ibu afọ ime, ịmụ nwa, ịgụ nwa aha, ibi nwa ugwu (ọmụgwọ) bụcha emume nwaanyị ji esite n'ọnọdụ agbọghọ banye n'ọnọdụ ịbụ nne. Dika Van Gennep sịrị hụta ọnọdụ ọmụmụ a, kọwara ọnọdụ mgbanwe dị ka ihe dị ụzọ atọ. ọnọdụ nkewa, ọnọdụ nnabata nakwa ọnọdụ mkpokọta. ọ gara n'ihu kwuo na ihe ọbụla na-adapụta n'oge nke ọbụla na-akwadobe ma na-enye onye na-eji ime ohere maka ihe ọ ga na-arụ n'oge ọbụla dapụtara n'ebe ndị dị ime na nwa ya nọ. Mgbanwe ndị ahụ na-enyere nwaanyị ahụ aka ịnabata ihe ọbụla na-echere ya aka mgba, ihe ọ ga na-ahụ na ndụ ya, ihe gbasara ịmụ nwa ya, ka ahụ si eme ya, ihe ọ ga-ahụ n'oge ọ ga-amụ nwa bụcha ihe onye na-eji ime ga na-akụziri ya. N'ebe ụmụ nwaanyị ụfọdụ nọ, ọmụmụ nwa bụ njem nke mmụọ nke ha si na ya enmweta ezigbo nkuzi nakwa ọzụzụ (Blum, 1980; Colman & Colman 1971, Leifer, 1980). ọtụtụ ụmụ nwaanyị kọwara njem ọmụmụ nwa dị ka nke nne na nwa ya na onye kacha elu na-aga site na mgbe ọ tụụrụ ime wee rukwaa ọnwa iteolu ọ ga-amụ nwa ya. ọ bụ njem ndị ahụ na ihe ndị ha hụrụ n'oge ahụ na-ebute aha dị iche iche ha na-enye ụmụ ha. Aha nwatakịrị na-aza na-esite n'ihe mere na ndụ ndị nne na nna, n'ezinaụlọ, usoro nwa ahụ jiri bịa ụwa. ọ bụ ihe ndị a na-eme n'ọmụmụ ka e ji ahụta ọmụmụ dị ka ihe sitere n'aka Chukwu abịa. Mkpọlite Mmemme ndubanye bụ emume na-egosi mgbanwe ndị dị mkpa na ndụ mmadụ dịka, ịmụ nwa, iru ọgọ agbọghọ na Okorọbịa, alụmdi na nwunye. {mụta nwa nakwa ọnwụ. Mmemma ngafe na-abụkwarị ihe nke ịchụaja na-apụta ihe na ya, ma bụrụkwa ebe e si enweta nkuzi na-enye aka ikuzịrị onye ahụ ọrụ ya na ndụ ya ma kwadokwaa ya maka ọrụ ndị ọzọ ka ga-abịa. 'Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' kọwara emume a dịka mmemme na-apụtakarị ihe mgbe mmadụ hapụrụ ótù òtù banye n'otu ọzọ. ọ na-enye ya ukwu na nsọpụrụ ọ kachasi n'ihu ohaneeze. Mgbe nwaanyi mụpụtara nwa ya, aṅụrị na-eju ebe niile. Ma n'ebe a mụrụ nwa ma n'ebe ọ na-anụ dị, ma n'obodo ebe nile a maara ha. Ihe ndị ọ gabigara mgbe nile o buru afọ ime ahụ nakwa ọnọdụ o jiri mụọ nwa ya na-ebute aha nwatakịrị ahụ ga-aza. Ihe nile nwata ahụ hụrụ n'obodo maọbụ n'ezinaụlọ na-enyere ya aka nke ọma. Ọ bụ eziokwu na mgbe gboo, ụmụaka dị bido n'afọ mbụ wee ruo n'afọ asaa ma ọ bụ karịa na-agba ọtọ. Mgbe ahụ, ihere adighi, ihe ọjọọ na ihe arụrụala ugbu a adịghịkwa. ụmụntakịrị ndị nwoke na-achụkọ nta odu ma ọ bụ nta ngwere ọnụ ma na-esikwa ọnya nnụnụ. Ụmụaka ndị nwoke...

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Posted by Toni on Apr 6, 2019 in publications | 0 comments

Ntụcha Asụsụ Ndịnọrụ nke Mkparịta Ụka Dị N'etiti Onye Isi Ala Muhammadu Buhari Na Praịm Mịnịsta David Cameron Gbasara Mpụ 1*Ahamefula, N.O., Udechukwu, C.N, Aboh, S.C., Ezekiel, J.C. Ngalaba Lingwistiiks, Igbo na Asụsụ Naịjirịa Ndị Ọzọ, Mahadum Naịjirịa, Nsụka 2Okoye, C.L., Ngalaba Lingwistiiks, Mahadum Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ọka na ³Onyegiri, Chikaodi Dypna Senta maka Amụmamụ Igbo, Mahadum Naịjirịa, Nsụka corressponding email: Ụmịedemede Ndị ọrụ gọmenti na-enwe mkparịta ụka n'otu oge ma ọ bụ oge ọzọ. Ya bụ mkparịta ụka nwere ike ịbụ nke ihu na ihu ma ọ bụ nke e mere site n'ọwa nzimozi. Ụfọdụ mgbe, ndị mmadụ na-ekwu ihe ha achọghị ikwu ma ọ bụkwanụ kwuo ihe ga-emetụta onye ọzọ. Ọ bụ n'ihi nke a mere e ji chọrọ ilebanye anya na mkparịta ụka dị n'etiti onye isi ala Muhammadu Buhari na Praịm Mịnịsta David Cameron gbasara mpụ. N'iwetulata oke nchọcha a, data e ji mee ntụcha bụ okwu Cameron kwuru na Naịjirịa na Afghanistan riri amoosu na mpụ (fantastically corrupt) na nzaghachị Buhari na ọ gaghị ayọ maka mgbaghara kama mweghachi ihe niile e zuru. Nchọcha ji usoro nchọcha nkọwa sọvei nakwa atụmatụ iwu mkparịta ụka Grice were rụọ ọrụ. Nchọcha chọpụtara na okwu Cameron pụtara na mba na-echekwa ego e zuru ezu na-etinyekwa aka na mpụ. Ọzọkwa, nzaghachị Buhari gosiri na o kwetere na Naịjirịa bụ obodo mpụ. A chọpụtakwara na okwu Cameron na nzaghachị Buhari mezuru iwu okwukwu ezi okwu mana ọ dara iwu ndomanya. Ọkpụrụkpụ okwu: iwu mkparịta ụka, mpụ, Buhari, David Cameron Government officials engage in dialogues at a given time or the other. This dialogue can be physical i.e. face to face or non-physical which may be through the media. In most of these dialogues, interlocutors, most often, say what they do not mean or end up saying what they never intended to say. It is on this premise that this paper studies the dialogic engagement between President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister David Cameron on issues of corruption. To reduce the scope of the study, the data used for analysis, which were elicited from the media, are based on Cameron's statement that Nigeria and Afghanistan are fantastically corrupt and Buhari's response that he will not ask for apology but will only ask for the refund of the assets. The paper adopts the descriptive survey research design as well as adopting Grice's conversational maxims as the theoretical framework. The research finds out that the statement of Cameron implies that a country that harbours stolen funds is also corrupt. Also, Buhari's response denotes that he accepts that Nigeria is corrupt. The paper also finds out that the statement of Cameron and...

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