Ndigbo find their home in a rich and fertile crescent created by the lower Niger River, predominantly within South-Eastern and a minority in South-Western Nigeria. Their population is presently estimated to approximate forty(40) to fifty five(55) million people around the globe. The Igbo homelands are probably one of the most densely populated regions in Africa. Ndigbo are avid travelers who migrate to many nook and crannies of Nigeria and beyond fearlessly without a modicum doubt for success. Ndigbo pride themselves with being republican, industrious, having great knowledge, generally smart, wise, very flexible with exponential adaptability and above all extremely hardworking with impeccable success rates in any venture or interest. It is believed by many that this area and its people were one of the driving forces in the early development in the Iron Age which has helped mold Nigeria and the world as we know it today. The Igbo culture has brought much to enrich the world as far as the United States of America and beyond. The Igbo Village in Stautum, Virginia in the USA is a great testament of the industry and ingenuity of Ndigbo even in the midst of adversity such as bondage and slavery. Every "Onye Igbo" should take a pilgrimage to Staiuum, Virginia to witness first hand how Igbo slaves took leadership roles to shape America.
Further more, Ndigbo believe strongly in individual's ability to improve one's status in the present world or afterlife through change. They strongly believe in reincarnation. But today the majority of Ndigbo are of the Christian belief. They are probably the largest group of Christians within the whole continent of Africa. Cardinal Arinze is one prominent figure in Christianity. In literary work, Ndigbo are proud of her illustrious son, Prof. Chinua Achebe whose legendary book “Things Fall Apart” have been published in more than fifty three languages of the world, except in Igbo language.
Ndigbo have a very rich, indigenous, unique, distinctive language not spoken anywhere else in the world. Some think the language is one of the hardest to learn based on numerous variations and Idiomatic expressions needed for competence and mastery.
With heavy cultural roots directed at change for the better, Ndigbo seem to be just as diverse as the changing language they speak. In terms of looks, it is hard to distinguish an Igbo on the basis of looks alone. But one acceptance is that Ndigbo are generally considered nice looking. Many stretch it that their men stand out as handsome while their females are stunningly beautiful (Asamkpete nwaanyị ọma or omalicha ụmụ nwaanyị). These elegantly beautiful ladies are also highly educated and make up the cornerstone of most families by their high octane fields of academic accomplishments as Accountants, Administrators, Case workers, Educators, Doctors, Lawyers, Pharmacists, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Entertainers and Movie Stars. Ever heard about Nolly Wood?
Generally speaking the degree to which one's native tongue disintegrates or is disregarded or taken for granted tends to vary from place to place. In most conservative or culturally close-knit societies of the world, the degree is minimal. However, in most liberal societies such as the Igbo society, the degree is exponential and manifests itself in an insatiable quest for knowledge and acceptance of foreign cultures, langauges and life style.
Since the early 1970s, the degree at which Ndigbo are being rapily detached from their rich native tongue and culture is disheartening. The tendency of Ndigbo to continually embrace and promote foreign ideals, philosophies and cultures while relegating theirs may be rooted in colonial brainwashing and deep rooted injustice as a result of loosing a war. Unfortunately, rather than fighting against practices which are unjust to their rich heritage and forward looking way of life, Ndigbo now tend to encourage the perpetuation amongst themselves.
However, no other self-imposed or inflicted injustice diluted their self pride more than the abandonment of their culture and language that in turn precipitated the distortion of their heritage or way of life. As a result, English (Christian) names dubbed as passports to heaven are replacing meaningful indigenous and cultural names causing Ikechukwu to be substituted with Iyke. As if mangling the names is not enough, authentic Igbo names of towns and villages that were deliberated mispelt to suit the colonialists still remain today without any political or cultural challege to revert to their originality. Worthy of mention are Ọka" that became Awka, Igbo became Ibo, Igboụzọ that became Ibusa and Enugwu meaning the top of a mountain became Enugu.
With this trend escalating, one wonders about the extiction of Igbo language and the adverse effects it will have on Igbo-American or Igbo-Europeans. The confusion is heightened by the fact that even the Igbo children living in cities in Nigeria do not speak or hear the Igbo language, let alone understand the culture. Prosperity will judge Ndigbo who can survive in any adversity, or obtain impeccable academic accolades from foreign countries, if they succumb and let their wards born outside Igbo land to be foreigners instead of Ndigbo. In hinds sight if Latin which enriched science and the English language could be extintict, the perpertaual death of Igbo language and culture is at the corner if no radical movement takes place. But "Tufịakwa!" Ndigbo cannot afford to let that happen or we are toast!!
That radical movement should start from the Igbo family where ever they may be, especially now that vissionary leaders are promoting the language and culture through laudable scholarship programs in some States in Nigeria. We hope other Philanthropic Ndigbo should donate handsomely to any entities that promote Igbo Culture an Language. A great starting point is with "Mother Tongue Academy/Native Tongue Academy - http://igbo1.com
The promotion of Igbo language and culture is the bedrock upon which Native Tongue Academy instituted an online Igbo language instruction to assist parents to recharge their bases and channel them to the collective growth of Igbo culture and unity through a language bridge. Ndigbo owe it to their children who by no fault of their own are suffocating in cultural "captivity or hostage" in alien customs and values. The task ahead is not easy, and nobody should pretend that the situation will improve on its own without a dedication to hew success out of impending failures. Ndigbo are known to achieve major feats in life. But how can the achievement to speak a language given freely by God Almighty be left to chance? We cannot afford to give up now or shout "Ewu Chi anyi oh oh!
"Chi anyị egbula(egbugo) anyị", when in fact we killed ourselves final!
Ndigbo should reshape their priorities for the rededication to the immense task of bolstering the cultural beliefs and language to the aging first generation Ndigbo, especially now that the "Old Brigade" is waning. Armed with strong cultural identity and dignity, Igbo children will grow up or mature with a new vigor with ideals and wisdom to thrust them into stellar magnitude and success. Let Ndigbo eschew schism or evasive attitudes that may be detracting to assume "Nwa m ka dị too small (young), imụ Igbo now". The time to give Igbo Children the greatest gift they will ever need to succeed in a competitive world is NOW that we are still breathing. Start today to dress them more with Igbo attire. Play and Dance Igbo music with Igbo children. Above all, encourage them with Igbo words such as "nwa m ezigbo ụtụtụ (Good morning, my child) and "Kedu ka imere?(How are you?). Reward them financially for each positive pride towards learning Igbo Language and culture because this amounts to bribery and improvement instead of the old fashion "bribery and corruption". The responsibility to impact Igbo language to our children squarely rests upon our shoulders. We cannot will it away. If we fail, our children will fail tremendously when we disappear from the surface of the earth.
If our parents studied without electricity and succeed or if our parents used the chalk board as the writing tablet, what first generation Ndigbo can learn within a twinkle of an eye is unimaginable in this modern era of smart phones and other smart devices! But we must have the required WILL POWER to prod them forward to higher pedestal and stellar achievement of extra-ordinary propensity.
Are you ready to lead your children to the right part with the available online Igbo instructions by Native Tongue Academy? The instruction is family oriented because language as a Natural phenomenon starts first from parents or adult relatives. Children learn to speak by listening to their parents or close adult relatives, much like the proverbial "monkeys see, and monkeys do". The instructions are on 24/7. Therefore it is both time and money savings considering that sending the children to Ala-igbo will cost no less than a thousand dollars for travelling cost alone. Also sending a child from the North to South or East to West to learn Igbo language also costs a fortune. But within ten days in this "Igbo Language Online", every family should be able to communicate with each other in Igbo Language. That's our aim and dream. Please help us make it happen. Help Ndigbo once again to achieve a lasting "LEGACY" of bequeathing Igbo culture, language and our heritage to Igbo children wherever they may find themselves.
We have done our part by providing "Mother Tongue Academy/Native Tongue Academy" as your "BRIDGE" to your success. It is your choice to help chart your children to cross the bridge for a fulfilling knowledge and empowerment. They will be proud of you as caring parents. Nke m diri (dili) m is a great Igbo Name. Ka nke anyị diri(dili) anyị n'aha Ọbasị bi n'elu. ONYE KWE, CHI YAA EKWE!!! Ya gazie.
Long Live Ndigbo wherever they may live! ONYE KWE, CHI YA EKWEE!!!