In January 2016, I added this IGBO FORUM to my blog/web site in an effort to pass on to those of our children born in diaspora what little I know of the customs of our people. I have posted on it one new essay every fortnight or two. I need help/ideas!! Thanks!!!
Igbo was not a written language until recent imes. So it does not really have standardized spellings. The spelling I am using here is mostly from ‘Central Igbo,’ which dialect was in vogue in my State of Origin, Imo, during my youth.
After I launched this page and notified my sons they immediately called my attention to a ‘new’ book (new to me, that is, but first published in 1997) by John Aneneh Umeh and entitled, AFTER GOD IS DIBIA. I promptly bought it. Such exchange of information on Igbo literature is one intended goal of this page.
This page is dedicated to my sons: worthy young men (I suppose I will always see them as “young”), brought up by two parents who are international wanderers, so that they have grown up as aliens to their own cultural heritage; and also to their progeny: my grandchildren who are even more remote from our customs. Now grown into manhood and having to explain things to their own precocious and inquisitive children, they have been bombarding me with questions about our Igbo language and traditions, questions I am ill equipped to answer satisfactorily, since I myself was brought up by a peripatetic father—in consequence of which I did not grow up in the village of my ancestors.
Accordingly, this is my grossly belated effort to provide what may be viewed as a compass rather than a road map to point my offspring in the direction where a few answers may be gleaned. It will be presented not as a history or even a series of essays, but rather a collection of topics in the same manner as my blog on topics of the American dialect of English language, which appears elsewhere on this same blog site. As with that other blog, I intend to post a short piece now and then on a topic of Igbo custom, hopefully at least one topic every month. I hope these posts will in time help to launch a communal resource for Igbo children born in diaspora.
I repeat that I am ill equipped to do justice to this undertaking, but in the spirit of my lifelong motto, “Quantum Potes Tantum Aude!” (“To the extent that you feel capable of doing anything, dare to do it!”) I shall try my best. If any readers have any ideas to extend and enrich this site with narrative or questions that may prompt explanations or clarifications, I implore them to contribute such items as comments hereto or by direct email to me, in the interest of propagating knowledge.
Linus Uzodimma Thomas-Ogbuji
September 27, 2015