City Festival In Oldenburg Germany,

DSC00466.JPGInside the City of Oldenburg,Hey ,How are you?fine,Can you use my camera and make some photos for me ?yes ,for sure,That is great from you thanks,DSC00467.JPGIf you dont mind you can join me ?,lol for sure,peace and love to the City and the people of Oldenburg,

Ogbujianyim ChiukwuEmeka Nwokedi's photo.
Ogbujianyim ChiukwuEmeka Nwokedi's photo.
Ogbujianyim ChiukwuEmeka Nwokedi's photo.
Ogbujianyim ChiukwuEmeka Nwokedi's photo.
Ogbujianyim ChiukwuEmeka Nwokedi's photo.
Mr Nwokedi Celebrating Anambra 25 Festival in Oldenburg Germany City Festival,Prophets Living.

DSC00468.JPGIt is nice beign to the City Festival,every one was so happy walking,dancing,eating and drinking,

Me and my Friends enjoying the Oldenburger City Festival,


Nice We are dacing,drinking,taking nice nice photos,a memory to keep ,one love Oldenburg.

2026 Oldenburgische City Festival,was so nice,every one was Happy,I my self,was very happy as well as you can see from the photos,enjoy watching the photos,

STORY STORY STORY.The wisdom of Tortoise by Nansa Rinny


Mbe na Ogbugba Amamihe (The Tortoise and
The Calabash of Wisdom)
In times past, when the world was still blind, the
tortoise started boasting that out of all the living
things on earth, he was the wisest. To prevent
others from becoming wise as he was, he
thought of what he would do and decided to tie
up all his wisdom in a parcel and put it in a
calabash and cover it up. This he would then tie
up with a rope to be hanging on his neck to
wherever he had to go. These were all in a bid to
prevent everyone else from gaining access to
wisdom.As he was crawling with the calabash dangling
on his chest, he came to a spot on the road
where a large tree trunk had fallen across the
road. As hard as he tried to cross over the tree
trunk with the calabash on his chest, he couldn’t.
The calabash just prevented him from crossing
over. For some time, he thought of how he could
cross over without breaking the calabash, albeit
without success. He became worried because he
knew that if he broke the calabash, others would
gain access to wisdom.
When he couldn’t come up with a plan to cross
over, he just started crawling up and down by the
side of the trunk. As he was doing this, one yam
farmer came across to where he was and
shouted upon him, “Tortoise, son of Aniga, I
thought you always claim to be the wisest of all
God’s creature; why is it that you are doing a
foolish thing like this? “Transfer the calabash to
your back so you can cross over the tree trunk
with your front.” The tortoise did as he was told
and was able to cross the trunk with ease.
When all these things had transpired, the tortoise
became very much ashamed because someone
has shown how to cross over the tree trunk that
blocked the road, he then shouted with a loud
voice, “Truly, it’s now that I realize that there is
no one whose wisdom is complete under the
sun.” Therefore, it’s not good for one to be
thinking that any suggestion he gave during any
meeting must be followed as the best. No,
because no one is the wisest. God created all
things and gave them different gifts. Sometimes,
a supposedly foolish person may have
understanding more than a supposedly wise individual.
Moral LESSON: No one knows it all. There is wisdom in the multitude of advisors

all Igbo and African people must read this,Fight for your right,

Chijioke Ngobili…The Igbo young writer Express His feelings,how Catholic and Christians have hold  the Igbo people and some African people Captive,

Recently, I was in a Catholic hospital in Igboland for some medical reasons. I was meant to visit two offices for some entries and payments. In the first one, the female attendant — oily-faced, sober, holy nweje, adorned in long blue scarf — asked for my name.
“Chijioke Ngobili”, I had replied.
“No. Your English name”, she insisted, pinning her pen’s tip on the paper.
“I have given you the name I have”, I returned.
“You don’t have English name for your baptism?”, she asked with a saucy slur.
“So, I must be changed to English before I can be baptised? Can’t I be baptised with a name from my language? Write the one I gave you, biko”, I defiantly maintained.13443312_1240323799313491_6027356365040176308_o
Seeing that I had frowned and could flare up, she wrote the names I gave her and I paid and walked to the second office a few metres away. At the second office, I met a 50sth year old nun (rev Sr) and a woman whose age likely heads north of 40. There, I began another round of the exchange I had with the first attendant. The nun was even saucier and stubborn. They were demanding for a foreign name I feel awkward and foolish answering. When they insisted it is “baptismal”, I asked if baptism can’t happen in Igbo. And when they switched over to “I mean your English name”, I returned the argument by asking if the three of us there were English people. In the end, they wrote the name I gave them and not the one they were asking for.
Of course, they found me stubborn and nonconformist to their established “culture” — a culture that has practically turned the generations of my grandfather, father and mine into ‘Half-English, Half-Igbo’ by nominal identity. And today, some are even completely English and they’re rising in number, yet, the Catholic church in Igboland which has the highest population of congregants is not doing something very radical about it even when she is projecting such words as “inculturation, acculturation” aimed at sustaining the Igbo culture and tradition. I can count 20 Yoruba friends I have known who are fully Yoruba by names but not on the Igbo side. The reason is clear: The ‘baptismal name’ thing that has been made a must in English amongst Igbo Christians over the years is the beginning of all that nonsense that is morphing into the present identity crisis. More than half a century after the end of official colonialism, ndi Igbo are still bent on English names — strange names they never authored; names that have been given to dogs, reptiles and other animals faraway in Oyibo man’s land; names of people that were elevated to heroes and heroines in some fairy tales given to them — people they never met and would never meet.
This is what baffles me: The Whiteman will never do any damn thing if he doesn’t find any of us bearing his names. There is absolutely no consequence insisting on bearing three or four names from Igbo language or one’s African language even though we can’t do without the Whiteman’s language in many circumstances. Yet many Igbo people find it a necessity — foolish and slavish one — to have at least one English name, deceptively and colonially tagged as “baptismal name”, just as the three women attendants in the hospital had insisted. Blame the Church for setting our people’s brains like that for more than a century now! The whole thought about this and the possible future ripples boggle my mind each time I process it. You can imagine what those women — apart from the nun — must be indoctrinating in their kids about English names and their exclusivity for baptism. You can imagine their daughters growing in the next ten years to become mothers who’d continue the indoctrination further.
Will the highest ranking Nigerian Catholic in Rome have anything happen to him if he insists on answering “Cardinal Anizoba Arinze” without “Francis”? Will anything happen to the highest ranking Nigerian Anglican if he insists on answering “Primate Okoh” (his full ethnic names) without “Nicholas”? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! And whenever you want to know the degree of the influence of enslavement, observe how the ‘slave’ keeps faithfully to the doctrines used in enslaving him even when the enslaver has let him ‘free’.
An assignment: Check out in Nigeria and show me any Catholic, Anglican or Methodist Bishop, especially amongst the Igbo people that has his full names in his ethnic language and you’d part with a price at my cost.

Chijioke Ngobili asked—Will the highest ranking Nigerian Catholic in Rome have anything happen to him if he insists on answering “Cardinal Anizoba Arinze” without “Francis”?

And Remy Ilona asks, will Chijioke Ngobili die this minute if he returns to Omenana which is his own religion and culture? And even if he dies, won’t all Catholics die one day?

Ndi be anyi River Niger oo na eri onye ofuhooo? Mba! Chijioke you chose to be a Catholic, or you retained a choice made for you by your grandfather, so live with the ‘choice’ or do the necessary.

Anambra Rice,Buy Anambra rice always.



It’s no longer a permutation as to whether the much awaited Anambra Rice will be in the market or not.14021481_1243996918966927_7895343137132380426_n

Akaeze International is now the major distributor of the product.

Gov. Willie Obiano…. Has indeed proven to Nigerians and of course Africa and the World that it is achievable.

Anambra is the cheapest rice in the market now….

Believe me very soon this product will hit the sea port for export…..

To God be the Glory……….

Igbo Ikenga The Son of Ngwu,the Black Smiths,

The ‘ikenga’ is the most universal of the Igbo household gods (chi), and no house may be without one.
The 2 long horns, curving backwards, are the “symbol of strength & power.”
Source: G. T. Basden (1921). Among the Igbos of Nigeria.
Note: In Odinani, Chi is the supreme God. Chi has 2 forces within it;
1.) Chi na Eke.13903225_1074889085913679_2220264441214488388_n
2.) chi (small letter).
Chineke (God the Creator) is the creative force of God & resides in heaven (“Olisa bi na Igwe” i.e. the Sky God)
chi is a lesser force of Chi & resides in everything created by God.
Ikenga was the most popular representation of chi, meaning that Ndi Igbo wanted strength & power. This makes sense because they were farmers.
Each person/clan determines their own fate depending on their relationship with their chi.
So, If you do evil, your chi will bring you evil. On the other hand, if you do good, your chi will bring good to you.
Hence we say Onye na chi ya & Onye kwe, chi ya ekwe.
We also give our children names such as; chi som (chisom), chi amaka (chiamaka), chi na asa (chinasa), chi na edu m (chinedu), chukwuka, chukwuemeka.
Odinani is based on the concept of duality. In monotheism, there’s only one force of God. However, during the era of European imperialism & white supremacy, the European colonisers imposed their own religious understanding on us.
Nri kingdom founded in the 9th century BC (Before Christ) was the ancient Igbo religious centre & exercised religious influence over a 3rd of Igboland.
Later on, in more recent times, during the rise of the Aro Confederacy, they introduced the concept of Chukwu (Great Chi). This concept was based on the concept of Chi & chi (duality).
The Aros convinced many Southern clans (Igbo, Ibibio, Efik & some Ijaw clans) that their chi (Ibini Ukpabi) was the most powerful chi. The British called it the Long Juju because they tried to locate & destroy it to no avail.
They’d later burn the whole of Arochukwu in 1901, paving the way for the rise of Christianity in Igboland.

Biafra,Don’t Kill That Tiger, It Might Be Your Kinsman,read more in my blog

Tortoises, tigers, crocodiles, monkeys and snakes…to any other person, these are just animals you find in the zoo or sometimes in the wild but in several communities in the Southeast these creatures are regarded as sacred or totems. There are some ancient beliefs that one cannot place the origins of, this is one of them. OKECHUKWU OBETA, Awka, MATTHIAS NWOGU, Umuahia and STANLEY UZOARU, Owerri and NKIRU OKPALA, Abuja write more on this.

The relationship between animals and human beings is as amazing as the biblical story of how the serpent deceived Eve into eating the forbidden fruit and the resultant death for humanity for that single disobedience.Biafra-flag_Biafra-Coat-of-Arm_Biafra-25-Shillings
Many communities in Igbo land have one relationship or the other with specific animals which they hold sacred, worship as well as forbid anybody from harming and going to the extreme of killing such animals. A totem can be seen as a being, object or symbol representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people such as a family, clan, group, lineage or tribe reminding them of their ancestry (or mythic past).  In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem. Normally this belief is accompanied by a totemic myth.
In modern times, some single individuals or group of individuals, not otherwise involved in the practice of a tribal religion, have chosen to adopt a personal animal helper which has special meaning to them, and may refer to this as a totem. This is more prevalent in different communities in Igbo land.
But the question today is “does this idea still exist in our different communities, especially as many of our youths and some adults who were born and bred outside their immediate communities find it strange that such a thing exists?”
Different communities in the eastern part of the country have their totems which they regard as sacred animals, and as such they don’t kill them. This does not have anything to do with religious belief but seen as oral tradition handed down from the ancient generation to the next one.mz000442-leopard.jpg
Don’t make the mistake of deliberately killing an animal regarded as sacred otherwise you will have to accord the animal a burial befitting of a citizen of that community to appease the gods. The belief is that failure to do this will bring calamity upon the person, his family and possibly the entire community.
For instance, in Awka, Anambra state’s capital city, the natives regard monkeys and tortoises as sacred creatures, whereas pythons are treated as special by the natives of all the communities in both Idemili Northt and South local government areas of the state.
The python is also regarded as a hallowed creature in  Uga and Aguluezechukwu communities in Aguata local government area; Nri  in Anaocha local government area; Isseke, Okija, Uli communities in Ihiala local government area;  Ozublu, Ihembosi communities in Ekwusigo local government area; Ukpor and Uzubulu communities in Nnewi-South local government.
Sir Vincent Ujummadu, Vanguard Newspapers Correspondent in Awka, a native of Okija and his Nigerian Pilot Newspaper counterpart, Mr. Tony Oraeki, an indigene of Nri, said that in respective towns, if a python enters the house of anybody; climbs on top of his bed, the owner of the house will simply collect the creature and drop it somewhere outside the compound without harming it.
If a stranger deliberately kills a python in Okija, the natives according to Ujummadu would advise such a person to give a befitting burial to the creature, and if the person refuses, he or she stands the risk of dying mysteriously within one year.
Also, in Agulu community, Anaocha local government area, the country home of the incumbent Governor Peter Obi, tortoises and crocodiles are treated as sacred by the natives of most communities in the riverine Ogbaru local government area including Obeagwe, the country home of the deputy chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sir Victor.
Afam Ogene, and Atani, the home town of late music maestro, Stephen Osadebay, an alligator is treated as sacred while in Ossamala people treat snails in the same manner.
A royal princess in one of the communities in Oguta who pleaded anonymity reliably told LEADERSHIP Weekend that “the alligator or python usually visits any woman who just put to bed. When they come, the woman may either apply baby powder on them or give them kola nuts after which they leave without harming anyone.” Scary as it sounds, this is still practiced.
In Umuokahia, a community in Obi Ngwa local government area of Abia state, a particular python is held sacred.  The Python known as “Okporo Okahia” lives in the community shrine (Ihuala), and is believed to be as old as the community itself.
The origin of the relationship between the community lost in history as the only available information today, is that the python guards the community and resides in the shrine.
According to Elder Onyebuenyi  Nwogu, Okporo Okahia, the python is revered in the community  from time immemorial with no record of anybody  attempting to kill it as it is generally known as the guardian of the village.
In performing its duty as the guardian of the community, it goes round the community making itself seen by some people possibly to assure them that it is doing its duty. People who had seen it were said to have fled in fright because of its awesome look.
The python has peculiar features which include a crown on its head which is similar to that of a cock. What almost everybody in the community appears to have seen is the large trail that is left on the road any time it crawls inside the shrine.
Elder Nwogu whose compound is situated along the road leading to the village shrine recounts his encounter with the python recently.
He said:   “It was between 11am and 12noon when I was going to the town, suddenly I saw the awful python at the centre of the road crawling from the opposite bush to the shrine. I believe that it saw me first and raised its head like a cobra about to strike at me.
“Naturally gripped with fear, I appealed to the python in our dialect to go on its business and that I have no plans to hurt or harm it.
“To my greatest surprise and relief, it lowered its head and crawled gracefully into the shrine”.Leop_Billy.jpg
This is not an isolated case. Some other persons in the community also gave testimony about their encounter with the python.
Curiousity further took LEADERSHIP Weekend down to Imo State to enquire about this. In Amaigbo, a community in Imo State, they don’t kill or eat bush fowl because it is sacred.
For the people of Umuanya Nwoko kindred of Itungwa , Obingwa local  government area of Abia state,  the ram is  regarded as a sacred animal which every member of the community, male or female  is forbidden from eating.
According to Rev. Fortunate Anyanwu, a pastor of one of the Pentecostal churches, no living person from the area could say why they do not eat ram. He said that though they can raise them, eat the sheep and sell the ram knowingly or unknowingly, any member of the community who eats ram meat will automatically fall sick, and the sickness may lead to death.
He recalled a particular instance where some young men from the area attended a party where unknown to them they were served with ram meat, and on coming back home, they all developed swollen mouths. He said it took some sacrifices for those who consumed the ram meat to regain their health.
While currently there is no shrine for the ram in their kindred, it is not the same for Umuevula ukwu   where the ram is held more sacred with a priest attached to it. The image or symbol of the ram is also displayed in most of their cultural festivals of Umuevula Ukwu.
The tiger, known as ‘Agu’ in Igbo, is a totem in many communities in Igbo land, and some communities  such as ‘Umuagu’ are named after it.
In Umulelu also in Obingwa, the tiger is a sacred animal which is neither eaten nor killed.  According to a member of the community who spoke on condition of anonymity, the animal constitutes almost a cult.
He said that in the past, some members of the community transformed themselves into live tigers and executed some assignments as a tiger and came back to the community as human beings. He gave an instance where a man quarreled with his wife and when the woman packed her baggage to go back to her maternal home, he made no attempt to stop her.
But no sooner had she left his house than the man transformed into a tiger and pounced on her along the road;  and inflicted some  minor injuries on her, and in the process the woman came back to her husband’s house without anybody prompting her to do so.
When the woman recounted her ordeal in the hands of a tiger, the husband who had by now transmuted into a human being, reportedly laughed at her with scorn for her inability to either resist the tiger or escape unhurt.
He also said that since the elders knew that human beings could transform into tigers, it became a taboo to shoot at tigers seen in the bush because, after all, the tiger may be a human being.mz000442-leopard

Monkey colony in Imo and Anambra State,Igbo myths and legend,

The history of the place according to people of the community called Lagwa Okwuato in Aboh Mbaise local government area of Imo sate dates back many decades when it was under serious invasion by their enemies.
It was said that the monkeys in the community acted as informants to the people of the community whenever they were up against external aggression.  The monkeys, they said, would climb the highest trees to sight the enemies and quickly report back to the people of the community by way of their loud cries which was in turn understood by them.
The tremendous assistance rendered by the monkeys had warranted the people to see them as god-sent by their forefathers to guide them.
Hence, the people of the community consider the animal sacred and never kill or eat it. They are allowed to roam freely in the compound and homes of the people without being molested.6
a stiff penalty awaits anybody who kills or hurts the animal. It was also learnt that the death of the animal is treated as that of a human being.
People of the community have often reported how the monkeys eat their crops and fruits, but because of the ‘immunity’ on the animal, they are allowed to go scott free,most of the youths do not know much about this culture. When some youths from Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi States were asked, they said they had no idea as such is strange to them. They said they have not heard of any animal which they don’t kill.
From all indications, some people from these states do not take this to mind. Does it mean that there are consequences if these totems beliefs are shoved aside? As they are gradually dying in some other states and still gain their grounds in others, does this have any effect on the present generation that pays no much attention to them?Here is about Anambra with same history,  Awka na aso enwe,meaning Awka forbids or don’t eat monkey.It has been a story i have been hearing for a long time now that Awka people,that is to say the capital of Anambra state,forbids eating of monkeys.I confirmed my story from Mr Austin Dibor,from Awka Abnambra and he clearified these issue,for the sake of younger generation that don’t understand the mistery behind the monkey story in Awka,Anambra state.Mr Austine Dibor argued that Awka people in Anambra state,do not worship monkeys,similarly,christians do not worship the stones that a cathedral is built with,but if you try breaking one stone out of a cathedral,they will go to confession for what they will do to you.He said almost every Awka person is a strong christian,christ said he didn’t come to destroy the law.The respect we have for life in Awka is extended to all creatures of God and we are not to kill or eat any monkey because,there is a legend that many years ago,when invaders came to Awka,the monkeys were making loud noises which alerted our people and they took up arms and defeated the attackers since that time,monkeys are a protected spicies in Awka.The only place they have now is the Imo Awka forest and some people are now encroaching into it first by claiming they are doing Gods work by destroying the principle behind Imo Awka and we say Kabudo rejectamente.         Igbo people shoud stop destroying their culture and tradition,because that is their History,

‘Lives and goods lost on Enugu-PH Expressway due to poor state’

Lives Goods lost in Igbo land because of poor Roads.

Odimegwu Onwumere

Nigerians are still suffering untold hardship on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway after billions of tax-payer money had been said were invested on this road by the successive governments.

Odimegwu Onwumere, award-winning journalist captures the state of the road on camera on August 4 2016, along Uzuaku-Asa-Ukwa area of Abia State near Imo River Bridge, the boundary between Abia and Rivers State.

Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway on August 4 2016 {Photo by: Odimegwu Onwumere} Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway on August 4 2016 {Photo by: Odimegwu Onwumere}

There is a tanker suspected to be carrying diesel that fell down on the road on this day, if you are coming from Aba in Abia heading to Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway on August 4 2016 {Photo by: Odimegwu Onwumere} Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway on August 4 2016 {Photo by: Odimegwu Onwumere}

Due to the poor state of the road, like most vehicular, the tanker that was heading to Aba had to ply what is known in the Nigerian parlance as ‘one way’ before it fell…

View original post 146 more words

Culture and Heritage: Igbo Chukwu Worship in a Challenging Moment

DSC02331The Igbo of Nigeria and its religious worship like that of other African societies has been well documented, debated, dramatized and controverted in many respects beginning with the missionary and colonial encounters. Eact time I read or try to make sense of Igbo worship, I seem to pinch myself given the way in which religious pundits portary ancestor worship in Africa, particularly Igbo society. What is worshippingg God or Chukwu for the Igbo? How do the Igbo celebrate chukwu in worship? I have culled the following article from where I first attempted to relate Igbo chukwu worship as something we need to rethink.

I begin this submission by asking the following questions: at what types of situation and for what purposes do the Igbo worship Chukwu, God, or pray and with what symbols of their cultural spirit and heritage? Why can’t Igbo religious experts come out bold and tell us that Igbo religion is, and can best be called, Igbo Chukwu Worship and is simply one and the same thing as any other like Christianity? Christianity we understand is a religion named after Christ, the ‘Son God,’ and therefore it represents the followers of Christ just like the Igbo are the followers of Chukwu, God; thus, ‘Community God.’DSC02366

Continuing to categorize and write about the Igbo Chukwu Worship as it was long written down in missionary history in Africa and transmitted by the missionaries and colonialists as ‘Ancestor Worship’ is but a marginal frame of the deep-seated semantics and significance of Igbo religious expansive cultural lifestyle, change, and continuity. Times have changed for a new description of what Igbo worship needs to refer to – experientially, symbolically, thoughtfully, and pragmatically. I make bold to call for a new pragmatic reflection – and let us call our religion what we know it for – hence Igbo Chukwu Worship, not Igbo Ancestor worship which connotes colonial subjectivity.DSC02352

Referring to the ancestor by the Igbo when in a prayer session or incantation moment was misunderstood by the missionary-colonial authorities to mean worshiping the dead ancestors. The Igbo do not worship the dead ancestors; rather they call up the virtues of known ancestral forces that constitute part of their cosmology of life and world. Ancestors are not called up without Chukwu, Obasi di n’elu (the almighty God above). In other words, ancestors are just a frame of their descent relationship and of kinship alliances in the making of their thought and reality meaningful. The actual worship is rooted to God, Chukwu the biggest being they can imagine, experience, refer to, call upon, submit to, and know well and are passionate about. Praying to Chukwu for the Igbo and by the Igbo is an act of empowerment and psychological survival pattern of life that is so much culturally endured. Chukwu or Chi is a language of everyday life renewal with and hope in God. And the zeal and passion with which the Igbo govern their lives, culture, and society with “Chukwu Worship” need not be undermined with the colonial notion of ancestor worship ascribed to the Igbo in particular and Africa as a whole. DSC02361

As Katharine Slattery equally notes:

“There is a strong Igbo belief that the spirits of one’s ancestors keep a constant watch over you. The living show appreciation for the dead and pray to them for future well being. It is against tribal law to speak badly of a spirit. Those ancestors who lived well, died in socially approved ways, and were given correct burial rites, live in one of the worlds of the dead, which mirror the worlds of the living. They are periodically reincarnated among the living and are given the name ndiichie – the returners. Those who died bad deaths and lack correct burial rites cannot return to the world of the living, or enter that of the dead. They wander homeless, expressing their grief by causing harm among the living.” (When identified as troubling will be tied up in sacrifice of last resting).

Further, Katharine Slattery accounts with some modification here that:DSC02368

Religion was regarded with great seriousness, and this can be seen in their attitudes to sacrifices, which were not of the token kind. Religious taboos, especially those surrounding priests and titled men, involved a great deal of asceticism. The Igbo expected in their prayers and sacrifices, blessings such as long, healthy, and prosperous lives, and especially children, who were considered the greatest blessing of all. The desire to offer the most precious sacrifice of all led to human sacrifice …, as even Christ was for repentance, remission, change and continuity? – in order to provide a retinue for the dead man in life to come. There was no shrine in form of Temple or Cathedral to Chukwu, but there was one symbolized in every family regarded as Chi. Sacrifices were made directly to Chi, but Chukwu was conceived as the ultimate receiver of all sacrifices made to the minor deities. {italics in citation are mine}.DSC02353

We can argue up to any length on this call, but the bottom line is that the Igbo of Nigeria worship Chukwu and deserve to have their religious life correctly identified and labeled on their own cultural terms and realities. This is even more important now the Igbo have become an inevitable global migration story and the opportunities, challenges, and braves in which living with the ‘other’ provides in a challenging world.

This essay is primarily offered to show the significance of Igbo Chukwu worship in a culture of diversity. As the Igbo Cultural Association of Calgary celebrates Igbo Day, 2010; it becomes obvious to reflect on how colonialism and missionalism helped Igbo religious worship to embrace change and continuity. Around Calgary and other regions in Canada, new titled churches led by the Igbo are emerging and helping the Igbo spirit and religiosity in many ways. In a changing world, the Igbo have shown resilience, industry, perseverance, political reunion, economic adaptation, religious energy, and hope in pursuit of identity and kinship as a group.DSC02369

The essay draws from the work of Prof. Emmanuel Onwu’s article “Igbo Traditional Religion and Christianity” (March, 2009). It also brings out a personal interpretation being a complementary perspective with respect to diversity, culture change, and adaptation. Onwu’s work which draws from Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), outlines Igbo religion and Christianity in order to understand them. We follow the same context to examine cultural heritage, while taking note that each of the religions – Igbo Chukwu worship and Christianity – is a cultural paradigm of worshipping the supreme God, or Chukwu in Igbo parlance; and that encounters between cultures are necessarily bound to create both continuity and change. The essence of the submission is therefore to give insight on the meaning and dynamics of the things that hold a culture together and how those things play out in re-mobilizing and moving on in a time of critical need by a group. It calls for how we can transmit the values of culture change and continuity through Igbo Cultural Day celebrations in Calgary and elsewhere.

According to Onwu, Achebe gives a written description of the impact of the encounter between Igbo indigenous religion and Christianity when Obierika says: “How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? White man, oyibo, is agbara, is very clever. He came quietly and peacefully with his religion for ritual emancipation on his “human rights lips” and his “diplomatic, economic, and political bag” at his back for business. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (1958: 123-125).alt

In 2005, I argued elsewhere that Achebe’s uses of the words “knife” and “things” that held us together be viewed not in the literal sense, but as deeply symbolic, metaphoric comments on the meaning of Igbo culture, community, logic of the other, and worship. Thus, Achebe asserts here that the Igbo culture and sense of solidarity and communalism (“things”) were punctured by a new cultural force they were not prepared to take seriously or engage with. Thus, “falling apart” means to withdraw and recoup prior to returning and belonging. Prof. Pantaleon Iroegbu once took a similar philosophical and theological view when he advanced that Igbo philosophy and metaphysics are all about belongingness, being qua being, existentialism, adaptation, and survival. In his the Kpim of Personality: Treatise on the Human Person (2000:125-126), he further illustrated this as ‘relational liberty’ which he called okeakwalam – a liberty of belongingness for all and argues that the promotion of one is the promotion of others and vice versa. Igbo Chukwu worship espouses this.DSC02369

With Chukwu, the Igbo affirm that “onye kwe, chi ya ekwe” (when someone agrees, his god agrees too). The change brought about due to the missionary confrontation to open the Igbo up to other cultural realities of worshiping God was not meant for one person who needed it the most but for all Igbo at that historical moment of colonial cultural encounter. We need to see that in Things Fall Apart, the Igbo were recreated (chi ekegherie ha) through the most needy adherents so they could face the new world. As they say, “seeing is in believing”; the Igbo of that moment saw and believed in the changing dimensions of their powerful culture. It is in this way that the Igbo of Nigeria enjoy migration as a means of discovering and being discovered through cultural hospitality, learning and acquiring skills, and gathering experiences that result in development at home and wherever they may sojourn. Thus, “things fall apart,” can be interpreted as an account of a historic moment of intercultural change, adaptation, and continuity.DSC02371

We celebrate Igbo culture for many reasons, including the representation of Igbo Chukwu worship. Kolanut is still used to pray reverently to Chukwu, and it is still divinized and given the aura of God, peace, and hospitality as we share life, knowledge, and resources with our neighbours. We also pray with palmwine to bless the good and curse the evil. Throughout Africa and in Diaspora, the Igbo are mainly devout Christians who take worship so seriously that their neighbours often wonder how they can combine their zeal for entrepreneurship with their religiosity. So, in describing the cultural encounter in Things Fall Apart as a puncturing of the things that held the Igbo together, Achebe was prophetic in capturing the re-creation—both through change and continuity—of a society through the power of cultural contact. In the sharing of cultural knowledge and strategies for success, development expands when cultures interact and blend. When the Igbo worship Chukwu in their own terms, Christianity does not do otherwise on the contrary. Rather, the trouble with cultural encounters is that they force one and another into a new set of relationships for adjustments called change, a change that will become inevitable due to need by the followers.DSC02354

In his writing on traditional Igbo religion, Prof. Emmanuel Onwu tells us that Achebe’s words echo the sentiments expressed by an Igbo elder as he reflected on how the new religion of Christianity evolved in terms of winning converts, dividing members of the clan, and helping the Igbo acquire new life, knowledge, and intercultural sensitivity. It is certainly true that, from the moment of experiencing the new culture, things would never be the same for the Igbo. And this is so because, in reality, there is no such thing as a “fixed” culture—no culture, no matter how long standing, will remain the same upon encounter with another. So does foreign religion divide or unite? And how exactly did the missionary manage to win some of the Igbo over to Christianity?

altAchebe points out that Nneka wasted no time joining the Christian church when she became pregnant because she had been losing her children through ogbanje (a repeating spirit phenomenon). And outcasts in Mbanta flocked the church in pursuit of freedom from evil spirits and oppression. Also, there were the cases of Nwoye, who was shocked when twins were “thrown away” in the forest to die, and Ikemefuna, who was killed for sacrifice by his father, Okonkwo. Onwu also reminds us that, when the Igbo of the time gave over the evil forests and shrines of their various gods to Christian missionaries, nothing happened, contrary to common expectations. And, while the Igbo hung on to those failed shrines and gods and did not completely imbibe Christianity, the perception was that those gods were dead (but were they?), and the people became convinced that the white man’s God was very powerful. The priestess of Agbala in Umuofia spitefully called the Christians the excrement of the clan and the ‘new faith’ a mad dog that had come to eat it up (Achebe, 1958:101). And, indeed, religion migrates in these circumstances and liberates, that is “eats up” or feeds the most needy, producing both change and continuity.DSC02326

At the base of  Igbo culture, when the colonists and missionaries wanted the Igbo to surrender their children for education, the Igbo chiefs refused for fear of mortifying their heritage of Igboness. But the Igbo no longer make noise about colonial incursions because they have embraced the change it offered as an opportunity to expand their cultural values and horizons. This does not mean they did not resist—in fact, they did so much longer than any other group in Africa with the exception of the Zulu. The point is, however, that, as soon as the Igbo discovered the benefits of changing taboos via new religious belief and migration, they embraced it as useful change and heritage. There is no wonder that, both in Nigeria and around the world, the Igbo have proven to be shrewdly adaptable and present with a high religious and cultural spirit.

The advent of Christianity in Igboland meant the introduction of a Christian worldview. And Christianity was inherited as a form of achievement that “abolished slave trade and slavery, human sacrifices and twin killing, introduced education, built hospitals and charity homes” (Onwu 2005). Furthermore, Christianity decreased superstition and increased knowledge that brought about improved human welfare and reshaped the Igbo’s faith and worldview. Nevertheless, Igbo indigenous religion is still alive, a heritage we cannot ignore. The Igbo call on Chukwu everyday – as they eat, play, work, pray, face childbirth, illness, challenges, and even as they make love!DSC02347

The early missionaries saw themselves as social and religious reformers whose aim was to condemn African religious and social beliefs and practices and replace them with their own. But, where they had hoped to produce a “new person” born into a new faith, what actually happened is that the “new person” became a split personality—one who could neither totally return to the old nor become firmly rooted in the new. As such, the Igbo continue to seek the African face of God in the Chukwu they know, love, and worship. The English language sound of “God” is not as moving as the Igbo language tone of “Chukwu.” Think it about!

altOne Igbo in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart asks the missionary this: “If we leave our gods and follow your god, who will protect us from the anger of our Chi – our dumped god?” In response, the missionary angrily says: “Your gods are not alive and cannot do you any harm. They are pieces of wood and stone.” Are they? There is a misinterpretation, in other words, some ethnocentric feeling here. The Igbo know well that deities and spirit forces are part of their everyday lives. Igbo Christianity combines local forces, ecological and ancestor resources to seek solutions and find protection in the face of need. This is considered cultural and a responsibility. The Igbo fought against the European missionary intrusion, discovered it was inevitable, and embraced the culture shock. But images of Chukwu and God are woven into the common symbols of a culture, and the Igbo continue to showcase enduring worship or ritual symbols such as ofo, ogu, agwu and ikenga. Let us face it, Igbo worship is strong and a heritage of life and spirit of powerful relationship with God, Chukwu. DSC02340

To conclude, it is worth examining this question: are cultures equal? Has Christianity more culture than traditional Igbo Chukwu worship? From the point of view of culture theory and application, all cultures are equal but different. A society such as the Igbo upholds a culture for its ability and capacity to respond to their needs. Therefore, a religion is equal to every other as long as it renders to the users what they consider important in managing their ethical universe. The Christian Cultural Science that views Christianity as superior to Igbo Chukwu religion is erroneous. In healing, a healer looks to and embraces forces and resources that provide what is needed—so it is with religion. That is the essence of migration, diffusion, and adaptation. Instances drawn from Achebe’s Things Fall Apart exemplify this. What experts need to do is to reposition the concept of change and diversity as a means by which the Igbo embraced the expansion and change that resulted in a coalescing of Christianity and traditional religion. Diversity is all there to understanding the Igbo and their system of worship in their challenged and changing world for inclusion, opportunity, and security. The considered values of a culture are not only captured in terms used but also in the transmission of the change that follows through worship and celebration. Nwachukwu and Nwagbara are names in Igbo of the same identity of person in God and Chukwu in Igbo thought and reality.DSC02320

Selected References Consulted

Chinua Achebe, 1958. London: Heinemann.

Katharine Slattery, August, 15, 2001. “Religion and the Igbo People”. Imperial Archive Project. In Odinani,  Retrieved August 17, 2010.

Onwu, Nlenanya, Emmanuel, 2009 & 2010. “Igbo Traditional Religion and Christianity”. Retrieved June 5, 2010.  Codwit News:…/igbo-traditional-religion-and-christianity.html

Pantaleon Iroegbu, 2000. Kpim of Personality: Treatise on the Human Person. Owerri, Nigeria: Eustel Publications.

Pantaleon Iroegbu, 1995. Metaphysics: The Kpim of Philosophy. Owerri, Nigeria: International Universities Press Ltd.

Patrick Iroegbu, 2010. Introduction to Igbo Medicine and Culture in Nigeria. Indiana, USA: Lulu Publishing Enterprises (

Buti Tlhagale, 2010. “Bringing the African Culture into the Church”. Retrieved August 4, 2010. In Odinani –




Elsewhere, an abridged two-page copy of this essay/speech was presented in the event brochure of Igbo Day 2010 of the Igbo Cultural Association of Calgary, Canada (ICAC). The event was overwhelmingly attended and participants were heavily entertained with rich Igbo cultural kolanut ceremony, Igbo kwenu lifestyle, speeches, appreciations, awards, dance performances – men, women, children, including the exciting Bende War Dance Troupe, led by Don Odoemenam. Huge fashion display, rich Igbo cuisine and new yam festival all blended with the awesome occasion. To my own estimation, over 800 people were in attendance for the celebration of the rich cultural heritage of the Igbo people of Nigeria held on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Thorncliff Community Center, 5600, Centre Street North, Calgary, Alberta Canada. I hope by reading this piece you will appreciate the critical insight Igbo Chukwu Worship can be to a celebrating community of their Igbo Day, 2010. Congrats to ICAC on a successful Igbo Day and New Yam Festival outing in a complex global city.

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Patrick Iroegbu Ph.D

Patrick Iroegbu is a Social and Cultural (Medical) Anthropologist and lectures Anthropology in Canada. He is the author of Marrying Wealth, Marrying Poverty: Gender and Bridewealth Power in a Changing African Society: The Igbo of Nigeria (2007). He equally co-ordinates the Kpim Book Series Project of Father-Prof. Pantaleon Foundation based at Owerri, Nigeria. Research interests include gender and development, migration, race and ethnic relation issues, as well as Igbo Medicine, Social Mental Health and Cultural Studies.


Igbo Culture and Tradition,You are Welcome,

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