A friend of mine sent me what she called ‘a challenge’ she got from a diaspora whatsapp group she belongs to, its a list of random questions on being Igbo which every Igbo person you send it to is supposed to answer and share, so i decided to respond to mine on my blog.
‘In the light of #Ozoemena the challenge to answer these 10 questions is to help millennial Igbos especially, take a moment to reflect on their identity and interrogate their opinions on what it means to be Igbo.’
What part of the South East are you from?
I am from Odekpe town, in Ogbaru, in Anambra state.
How much do you know about your origin?
Not enough to be honest. But based off the accounts I’ve learnt from my father, i know some details about the history of my people down to our migration from Ose Igala area. I can also trace my paternal lineage a little bit, still based off my fathers accounts.
Have you documented anything you know about your origin?
I plan to start as soon as possible, so i guess my answer is no (*blinking in shame).
Are both of your parents Igbo?
Yes both my parents are Igbo, and their parents and their parents parents.
Are you open to marrying outside your tribe?
I’m not open to marrying anybody, but yes if that were to be my case why not?
What is your Igbo name and what does it mean?
Munachim, it means me and my god (who will lead me to my destiny).
Can you speak Igbo fluently? if no, why not?
No i cannot speak fluently (and i feel embarrassed owning up to that) but i can understand perfectly and i can speak if i have to but not fluently, like the same way English rushes out of my mouth. That story is changing i promise, give me the next three years and ask me again.
As for why not, i don’t know honestly, because i grew up in a household where Igbo was constantly spoken at us and to us, but i was not required to speak in response myself i guess? and i grew up in Lagos, so,…abeg i don’t know why not jareh. It’s sad.
Did any of your parents fight in the civil war?
Yes my father fought in the war and it’s not a tale he’s very interested in recalling for obvious reasons. I feel like I’ve inherited the distress you know…like when the subject comes up my chest goes tight as well and i’d rather not discuss it even though i wasn’t there. Ridiculous i know but yeah.
What does being Igbo mean to you?
I guess for me being Igbo comes with a cosmopolitan nature, I am not and cannot be bound by walls of any village or city, I go where I want to go and prosper wherever I find myself. Being Igbo for me comes with a culture of being industrious and open to change.
Being Igbo to me is simply being myself, being who I was born to be and that’s open to a lifelong discovery.
What’s the one word or advice in Igbo you’d tell your fellow millennial’s?
Munachim Chukwuma is an Igbo woman from Odekpe town, Ogbaru, Nigeria. She is an avid reader and passionate learner, a philosopher.