Assault On Igbo Culture And Tradition, Who Is To Blame?


By Henry Otulle Eke, KSC
Austin, Texas

I have been disturbed in the bastardization of lgbo Culture and tradition just to give the impression that the society has arrived on the bandwagon of modern civilization.

Permit me to focus specifically on the terminology of “Ada” and “Opara” in lgbo culture.

In lgboland, the word “Ada” is exclusively reserved for the first daughter in any family.

Equally, the term “Opara” is exclusively reserved for the first son of the family.

To tell you how revered these words are to lgbo people, in some families where the first daughter or first son had passed away, some families find it difficult to refer to the second daughter as “Ada” or the second son as “Opara.”

These practices are displays of respect and dignity that lgbo culture and tradition attach to these positions. It is also a symbol of authority one occupies in a family.

Now here is where l have problems with word usage because misuse of the word, especially the “Ada” could be injurious to the culture.

For example, “Ezi Ada” and “Nwa Ada” are two different nouns. “Ezi Ada” should be used exclusively to address the first daughters of the society, whereas “Nwa Ada” should be used to address every female daughter of the society.

It is wrong to address or bestow a second daughter with a traditional title or recognition of “Ezi Ada.” When this dishonor is carried out, it is equivalent of turning the culture upside down.

The custodian of Igbo Culture and tradition, the traditional rulers must be aware of the bastardization of “Ezi Ada” title. If this title is correct, why not lgboland begin to confer the second and third sons with the title of “Ezi Opara.”

The problem in lgbo culture now is the eagerness to emasculate and bury the lgbo tradition in the cosmetic feelings of modern era.

In the process, lgbo culture and tradition slowly and methodically meander into gutters.

Personally, l cannot address a second daughter as “Ezi Ada” because she did not merit it and she is undeserving of the title.

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