FROM THE DESK OF THE GUEST EDITOR
By: Guest Editor, Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike
Some of my obsessive interests are captured in this sixth edition of ODINALA, which I am privileged to read before publication. It deals with the Issues, Challenges and Opportunities of NdiIgbo in a multicultural ethnic Nigeria. Central to the theme is the issue of our disappearing culture and, especially of the spirit of that culture, which is the Igbo language.
As I have argued, severally, a people without a language of their own, are people without a definition, a nondescript lot. Equally obsessive to me is the Igbo leadership question. In a way, all the articles in this collection deal directly or obliquely with these two subjects, perhaps, the most important in our redefinition of us, and in our catch up effort in Nigeria’s contemporary socio-cultural and political reengineering I must confess that my pride in Igbo achievement in the past, brutally abridged by a fratricidal war of attrition and systemic curtailment has remained precocious. This has continued to ignite the fire of positivism evident in many of the feature articles in this edition and is, I believe, a signpost for a revival and re-awakening.
Well the good news is that some of our people are beginning to understand the facts of their history and the burden and responsibility that knowledge bestows on them. The verdict is that all is not well with us, culturally and politically, and that we must do something immediately to prevent the disaster looming ahead of NdiIgbo. If we do not, language death is certain and we cannot avoid culturecide and ethnic irrelevance. The bad news is that we are yet to act cohesively as a group who are truly threatened in a vengeful society.
The cover story NdiIgbo In Nigeria: A Quest for Survival and Prosperity by Chieke Ihejirika, sees the survival of NdiIgbo as precarious unless it adopts a strategy of “ comprehensive approach to our development” and avoid a leadership that is “self-seeking”. The Special Report on Dr F. C Ogbalu, considered by many as the father of the Igbo revival project is compiled by our own Ifeanyi Atueyi, who covered a seminar in honour of Dr Ogbalu at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
There are five feature articles with related themes. EKWE AWARD: A Call for Igbo Preservation by Nma Olebara and Ugochukwu Favour-Mayer, Igbo Nation: Not an Impossible Dream by James C. Aguzie, Tears for My Culture by Ezeibe Emeka, What Went Wrong With Igbo Leadership? By Victor Uzoma Nwankwo and A Rebel With a Cause, by Kamarudeen Ogundele and Kehinde Ore, all deal with the basket of woes that have become a pet subject for Igbo scholarship. They are all worth reading because of their various perspectives on the Igbo conundrum in Nigeria.
An article on Chinua Achebe is a worthy and fascinating engagement any day. He is an immortal icon whose wisdom will continue to be appreciated by all of us. Icon: Prof. Chinua Achebe is a stimulating article on the father of modern African literature by Ugwutikiri Opata. Alive or dead Achebe will continue to be an inspiration.
There are still other articles that fall within the vexed issue of our distressed culture. In Burial Ceremonies in Igboland: The Cost Implications by Jude Ossai and Chinyere Anoruo, the authors examine not only the obvious sorrow that trails the departure of a lost relation but also the financial burdens imposed by expensive burial rites. Mmanwu Festivals and Culture by Mazi Atueyi Ifeanyi, chronicles the history and resurgence of this material culture of NdiIgbo, which dates back to the 13th century and reveals its entertainment, political and judicial values in the pristine Igbo society.
Those who enjoy Ogbono soup will find the contribution by Flo Madubuike on that subject quite appetizing, just as the write up on OMUMU ASUSU IGBO will add to our knowledge of some aspects of Igbo language. You will also find enlightening the conclusion of the Interview with Nze Raphael Ozoekwe Udeze as he bared his thoughts on some aspects of Igbo culture and tradition. Contained in this edition also is a glimpse of the activities of the Centre in the months ahead.
Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike, PhD.
Former Minster of Education/ Health and Head,
Center for Igbo Renaissance, Gregory University,
Uturu, Abia State.
London, May 28, 2013
SITE N’OCHE ONYE-ỌBIA-NLEBA-ANYA N’EDEMEDE
Onye-Ọbia-Nleba-Anya Edemede: Ọka Mmụta Ihechukwu Madubuike
Ụfọdụ ihe-mmasị nke juputara m n’obi bụ ihe edeputagasịrị n’akwụkwọ Ọdịnala nke isii a, bụkwa nke m nwere ohere-oma ịgụụ tupu ebiputa ya. Ọgbadoro ụkwụ na ihe ndị ahụ metụtara anyị, chere anyị aka mgba ya na mpaghara anyi nwere ohere-ọma dịka NdiIgbo n’ime Naijiria, obodo nwere ọtụtụ agbụrụ. Okwu nọ n’etiti bụ nke gbasara omenala anyị n’emikpuzi emikpu, ọkachasị mụọ nke omenala, bụ asụsụ Igbo.
Dika m siri gbagha ọtụtụ mgbe, ndị e nweghị asụsụ nke aka ha bụ ndị n’enweghị nkọwa, enweghị ejiri-mara dị mma. Ihe ọzọ na-agbakasị m arụ bụ ọchịchị NdiIgbo. N’otu ụzọ, ihe ederede nile dị n’akwụkwọ a gbadoro ụkwụ otu ebe ma ọbụ kewaa n’isiokwu abụọ. Ihe kasị mkpa n’ịkọwa ndị anyị bụ nakwa ịchukwudo na agba m mbọ anyị n’ime ndụ omenala na ndọgha okwe ndọrọ-ndọrọ ọchịchị Naijiria. A ga m ekwuputa na ejim eme ọnụ m na agba m mbọ NdiIgbo na mgbe mbụ, nke agha riri ọtụtụ isi mmadụ bịara kwụsịlata ka kwụ chịm. Nke a ka na – amụnye ọkụ aga m n’iru bụ nke pụtara ihe na ọtụtụ ihe ederede nke agba nke akwụkwọ a, bịa bụrụ, ekwerem m, ụzọ mwụlite na mkpalite.
Ọdị mma! Akụkọ ọma bụ na ndị be anyị amalitego ịghọta ezi okwu dị na akụkọ ndụ ha, ịbu arọ, na ihe ha kwesiri ime, na kwa ibu arọ ịmara ihe ndịa nile bokwasara ha. Nkwubi okwu bụ na ọdịghịri anyị mma, k’osiri metuta omenala na kwa ndọrọ-ndọrọ ọchịchị anyị, anyị ga emeriri ihe ngwa ngwa ijiri gbochie ihe ọghọm a n’erughari n’ebe NdiIgbo nọ. Ọ bụrụ na anyị emeghị ihe ọbụla, ọnwụ asụsụ anyị ga adịrịrị nke anyị agaghị egbochinwụ mkpochapụ na nzachapụ ya na kwa ịba uru dịka agbụrụ. Akụkọ ọjọ bụ na anyị ejikọtabeghị onwe anyị ọnụ dịka agbụrụ nakwa dịka ndị nwere n’ezie ihe na akpagbu ha n’ime obodo juputara na ime e emegwara.
Akụkọ di n’iru akwụkwọ a, NdiIgbo n’ime Naijiria: Mbọ ha na Agba Ịdị Ndụ na Ịnweta Akụ-n’ụba nke Chieke Ihejirika, na ahụta ịdị ndụ NdiIgbo dịka ihe ejighi aka, m’ọbụrụ na enweghị ezi-ụkpụrụ mepe, m’ọbụ ịhapụ ọchịchị nke ọchịchọ-onwe. Akụkọ Pụrụ Iche maka Dọkịta F.C.Ogbalu, bụ onye nke e were dịka nna NdiIgbo n’ịkpo oku maka ịdị ndụ NdiIgbo, nke onye-nke-anyị bụ Ifeanyi Atueyi chịkọtara ọnụ ma bụkwara onye nọ n’oge nkuzi achịkọbara iji kwanyere ya ugwu, nke anọrọ na mahadum Nnamdi Azikiwe dị na Awka were mee.
E nwere ederede ise yiri onwe ha, Nturu Ugo Ekwe: Ịkpọ Oku Maka Nchekwa Igbo, nke Nma Olebara na Ugochukwu Favour, Obodo nke NdiIgbo: Ọbụghị Nrọ Agaghị Abịanwu Na Mmezu nke James C. Aguzie, Anya Mmiri Maka Omenala M nke Ezeibe Emeka, Gịnị Ghatọkọrọ Ọchịchị NdiIgbo? Nke Victor Uzoma Nwakwo, na kwa Onye Nnupu Isi Nwere Ebu m N’obi nke Kamarudeen Ogundele na Kehinde Ore, ha nile bụ ekete juputara na akwa-arịrị nke ghọgoro okwu akpụ n’ọnụ nye NdiIgbo na agụ akwụkwọ. Ha nile kwesiri ka agụọ ha, n’ihi ọtụtụ n’ime ha nwegasiri mpaghara ihe ndị ahụ tara akpụ gbasara ọnọdụ NdiIgbo na Naijiria.
Ederede maka Chinua Achebe tozuru oke ma na etokwa akpịrị mgbe nile. Ọ bụ onye pụrụ iche na adịgịde, onye amamihe ya na adịgidekwa mgbe nile nke anyị nile ga na etokwa. Onye Pụrụ Ịche: Ọka Mmụta Chinua Achebe, bụ ederede na akpali obi-ụtọ maka nna edemede agumagu ọgbara ọhụrụ nke Afrika nke Ugwutikri Oputa dere. Ma ọdị ndụ ma ọnwụrụ anwụ, Achebe ga na-aga n’iru ịbụ onye agbamụ ume na ịkwalite mmụọ edemede.
Ọ ka nwekwara ọtụtụ ederede ndị ọzọ na arụtụkwa aka n’okwu na mmetọ omenala anyị: Ịkwa Ozu na Ala Igbo: Ego Ọna Ewe nke Jude Ossai na Chineye Anoruo, ha dere edemede tụlere ma kwuo n’ọbụghị nanị iru-uju nke ana ahụ anya mgbe mmadụ nwụrụ kama ibu arọ ego ọ ga ewe ime usoro dị na ili ya bụ ozu. Mme Mme Mmọnwụ nakwa Omenala nke Mazi Ifeanyị Atụeyi haziri n’usoro okwesiri ma kowapụtara anyị ya na nchigha azụ omenala mmọnwụ nke NdiIgbo, nke malitere ke mgbe senchuri iri n’atọ gara aga ma gosikwa obi uto o na-eweta, na kwa uru obara na okwe ndoro-ndoro na iwu eji achị obodo n’ala NdiIgbo.
Ndị Ofe Ọgbọnọ na nmasị ga achọpụta na ihe Flo Madubuike dere gbasara ya n’eto akpịrị, dika isi-okwu ederede a, ỌMỤMỤ ASỤSỤ IGBO ga agbakụnye amamihe gị k’osiri metụta asụsụ Igbo. Ị ga achọpụtakwa ọtụtụ ihe mmụta na edemede ikpe-azụ Ajụjụ Ọnụ agbara Nze Raphael Ozoekwe Udeze bụ ebe ọnọrọ kwuputa obi ya n’ihe gbasara mpaghara omenala na ọdịnala Igbo ụfọdụ. Akwụkwọ Ọdịnala nke isii a, metukwara ọnụ na ọtụtụ ihe ụlọ ọrụ CIAC g’eme n’ime ọnwa ndị ahụ n’abia abia.
Gụọ akwụkwọ a n’ọṅụ.
Ọka mmụta Ihechukwu Madubuike, PhD.
Minista Aguma Akwụkwọ /Ahụike n’ala anyị Mgbe gara aga,
Centre For Igbo Renaissance, Mahadum Gregory,
Uturu, Abia State.
London, May 28, 2013.