The borrowed life of my people

The crowd heralding an angwa festival (PHOTO: IgalaPlace)

By Abdullahi Haruspice

This my post I’m damn sure is going to irk the nerves of many-those who are offended by their culture especially.

I grew up seeing the beauties of our domesticated culture but today like a plague, we have discarded the very strands of our existence that makes us who we are into extinction.

Like a fading shadow, I watch in helpless indignation the extermination of our once rich cultural heritage. We now live at the mercy of borrowed life.

Festive periods  are usually expected with relishing splendor as everyone took out time to cool off the accumulated stress of the forgone year. As such, activities are planned towards most of our holidays.

Regrettably, people travel home these days to stay indoor without the opportunity to explore the countryside. The reason isn’t far fetched, there is nothing to celebrate anymore because our cultural template has been replaced with Western culture.

Imane, my ancestral home, is the most hit of this cultural extinction – growing up in this enclave was a fascinating experience as everyone was knitted, related to everyone -your mother was my mother as my sister was your sister. Religion was never a barrier to our lifestyles. Then people traveled out of this closely knitted village and rather than bringing back a unifying template,they brought back a divisive template with alien guidelines for our living and hence the dwindling fortune of our existence.

Rather than integrating the new template without our existing norms, they assembled, plotted and declared our culture barbaric, fetish and demonic! The Arab and western lifestyles became our guide and since then our center could not longer hold as things continued to fall apart abysmally. As they say, whoever deny the haggard breast of his mother for a voluptuous breast of a maiden loses the sweetness of yesterday.

In my Imane today, we now live the lives of strangers even though we are neighbors ,we live like strangers even though we are blood-related. We only meet at where the bible and quran prescribed for us to meet- the mosque and church where we commune in hush tones and adhere strictly to the dictate of the books. The next point of teleguided convergence is wedding ceremonies where the only music that deafened your ears is the symphonic rhythm of Arab ballad and western gospel.

Our ancestors now live like hovering strangers in Imane because they no longer understand the language we speak nor share any affinity with us. We have disconnected the rich link that bind us together.

Christianity and Islam offer the best salvation of human existence no doubt but these noble religions never say we should discard our culture for that of the strangers. Faith is innate and has no identity other than spiritualism. We are where we are today because we uprooted our way of life, learning the ways of the books that we abandoned the real messages in the Quran and Bible. What then does it profit a people to delete the record of their past for that of others?

The masquerade herein used to be a relic of love, convergence and bond for Imanians. This ancestral symbol comes out during festivities to spice up the celebrations, children and even adults flocked around this relic chanting songs, clapping while the masquerades danced grotesquely to the admiration of onlookers. It used to be fun-filled celebrations but today apart from wedding ceremonies, nothing fascinate you during festivals in Imane.

Life should not be lived in isolation but multitude, happiness is achieved most when frontiers are built and relationships established. The isolated life in Imane today is not encouraging at all. Let’s go back to the days where Aloga, Otutubatu, Onyeke, Oguche Akuluma and Anukpa were the most relishing reference in our aspirations and not the immolation of just tribes in the Bible and Quran.

At the end of the day whether dead or alive, we shall all return to our ancestral beginning. Because our root is important that is why you hear Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Prophet Mohammed SAW of Mecca.
Ancestrally musing!


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1 comment

  1. David Mbagwu Reply

    The truth is Igala needs to recover her lost confidence in every facet of her life to restore her general heritage…