Thursday, November 6, 2008
The Soul of Ndi Igbo
How a people think is deadlier than what they think; and such has become the circumstance of the modern day Ndi Igbo.
“Egbe bere Ugo bere, nke si ibe ya ebena, nku kwaa ya”,
“Ọ baara isi, ọ bara agụba”
The above are wise sayings that used to be integral parts of the supplications of Ndi Igbo to Chi okike from their first encounter with the sunrise till the sun sets. But sadly, proclaiming that both the eagle and the hawk should perch; while the one that says the other should not perch should have its wings broken in bits, and that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander have all become the proverbial cloth that was swept off by the wind when Okoro; who was yet to become an odogwu tied it around his waist. Ọ were bụrụ ego emekwara mmọnwụ for one does not request a refund of the money sprayed on a masquerade.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge and how Ndi Igbo think has now become different from what it used to be mgbe ezi ka di n’ukwu ukwa. In the days when they recounted their heroic deeds, myths and legends in the presence of the moonlight and often times with children seated in semi circles while Ani - the earth goddes that does not spare evil doers witnessed. In the days when elders were respected for their wisdom and for those things that they saw while seated which the youthful age could not see even from the top of the Iroko tree, rather than feared because of the number of people they diabolically and jealously sent to the world beyond.
A ka na-agba ọsọ ọchụ? Gone are the days when elders cleared their throat to speak and the spirits listened. Elders of Igbo land have learnt to fly without perching by killing the ones that call them father and the spirits learnt to shoot without aiming by looking the other way as elders are served pounded mbana instead yam. Ụmụaka were na-eresịzị ndi okenye adaka na ọnụ enwe.
The few wise ones still weep for the days when women were won by those who deserved them and the men, by the valour of their strength. The winds have swept away the days when elders, ndi diokpara and ndi ada were given their due respect irrespective of their financial status.
The water that passed under the bridge washed away the days when begging and stealing were considered abomination by Ndi Igbo; because one of the ways they measured their self worth was how hard they worked and how well fed their families were considered to be. Those were the days the Ndi Igbo believed that one’s neighbour was one's sibling; and that righteousness and purity were essential in his day to day activities. Those were the days they thought positively and it worked for them
It is no longer thus. Mmadụ ọ nọkwa n'ụlọ egbe were buru mbe?
But the child that says that his mother will not sleep will of course have no sleep.
Ndi Igbo man murdered sleep when they sacrificed their essence on the altar of self-importance and vainly chose to call themselves ọ kwụ ọtọ ekene eze and taught their children that wealth rather than truth and justice, is the final arbiter; akụ na-ebi okwu, ụmụazi were iwe bọsaa okpesi.
The vanity of Ndi Igbo and largely, how they now think has become a knife that has severed the thing that spiritually held him together, o wee buru oke n’ụlọ, ngwere n’ọhia. The soul of Ndi Igbo man left them and they fell apart.
But until Ndi Igbo agree that their mother will sleep by changing the way they think, they will continue to be denied sleep.
Emeka Amakeze writes...