Igbo is my Culture, Igbo is my Language, Igbo is my Tradition,
Igbo is my Tribe.
In sum, my quintessence is IGBO.
Ironically or sarcastically IGBO is the acronym of a reality in se: “IGo Before Others”.
We want to
believe in this factual statement, which does not, by any stroke of the
imagination, imply SELFISHNESS OR SELF-CENTREDNESS.NO !!!; nothing could be farther from the truth. This appears most natural, human and indeed 'reasonable'.
adage is:“Nemo dat quod non habet”
– You cannot give what you don’t have.
One evening I was visiting a family friend, their little girl was just beginning to crawl and make some 'verbal' sound; she could hear when mom or dad calls her. She will turn, giggle, increase her speed and pretend to go away from their direction. My close observation was that whatever little Ada-mma picked from the floor - bread crumbs, cookies, groundnuts (peanuts), etc. goes into her mouth. Certainly she loves the mother and father, but she will not pick a piece of cookie or peanuts and take it to her mother, NO; she puts it into her mouth. Is this little girl, yet crawling, selfish? NO. When she grows up to reason, she will begin to know what it is to give/share. In the meantime, she is acting and responding to that which is natural and human: The saying goes thus: "Charity begins at home", but does not end there. Later this little girl will grow up to learn to love others, outside of herself.
A few months ago we had a symposium shortly before the pandemic: one of the presenters had a power-point presentation and one of the slides says: "you cannot pour from an empty cup" showing an empty cup tilted, really empty. Basically if you have nothing, you cannot give anything. Like the Latin adage: "ex nihilo, nihil fit"~ from nothing, nothing comes.
Igbo is my Culture, Language, Tribe and Tradition. The Igbo is a unique tribe in the West Coast of Africa. Their uniqueness stems from so many attributes, including but not limited to their ways of expressing their life and culture, their expressions, relationships with self, fellow Igbo and strangers/foreigners, etc. The Igbo language has within it what one could call "dialects" whereby certain sections of Igboland speak a version of the language peculiar and unique to them ~ Abriba, Afikpo, Anambra, Ikwere, Ngwa, Owerre and other major sections of Igboland have their dialects. Despite these 'apparent differences', we understand each other when we speak. The Igbo are very warm and welcoming people; from our ancestral wise sayings, we love and respect the stranger, conscious of our being a stranger somewhere and to some people, quite soon. They are everywhere; every city/town is their home. A former Nigerian President, comparing the different tribes said that while some see their big cities as their village, the Igbo sees the world as his village. The Hausa have a proverb that says: "any city you visit and do not find an Igbo man, either the city does not exist or the inhabitants are demons" The Igbo express themselves by their Culture, Religion and Tradition. Food, dance, festivities, learning, etc. are part of the culture. ////////
IGBO is my Culture, Language, Tradition and my Tribe. Two points to be stressed and/or wrong ideas corrected, before we delve into the reason for this brief essay. First; the Spelling is IGBO and not IBO as the white man would want us to accept, for the simple reason they found it difficult to pronounce "GB" in IGBO. Secondly; the word has no English plural. It is basically anachronistic to say IGBOS: such a word, to say the least, has no place in the history of the Igbo. If there is need for a 'plural' form, it is Ndi-Igbo or better still Ndigbo (dropping one vowel 'i'). Igbo bu Igbo, Oha Igbo are other options to express plurality when talking or writing of the Igbo. So "Igbos" is unacceptable. Period.