Igbo, True story, Yesterday:
In a village called Amanasaa in Umuchu, Aguata Anambra, neighboring Akokwa in Imo, was a man called Anaapàchi. Call him Anaapachi and he would respond “ona elicki.”
His masquerade was known as Ojo-oghori. Ojo-oghori luoro ikwe, luo òdu, luo nne ya. Nnekwu mmònwu!
He was a strong man with a lot of native magic powers…
Whenever anybody profaned against masquerade culture in their town, it was Ojo-oghori that would go for the goats and fowls for the atonement.
One morning like that, Ojo-oghori and his followers were to go to a compound lived someone that assaulted the masquerade’s prestige, to get their usual goats and fowls as penalty.
The masquerade’s ogbu-oja (its flutter) called Nganwuchu from same Amanasaa, was the first to be in the compound from where the masquerade would take off. As the oja flute was sounding in its adoration, ojo-oghori came out and immediately they were on their way.
When they got to the house of Nganwuchu the oja man, ojo-oghori the masquerade branched straight to the fluter’s house. The flutter in consternation blew “Ojo, imakwa ebe ina aga?” The Masquerade replied “ okwa Chukwuka nnwa gi?” Immediately the flutter in dissent, ceased playing the flute, wiped it clean, placed his flute in his pocket and said to the masquerade, “ngwa, ha gbuwežiere onwe gi oja.” Ojo-oghori undaunted, pulled out its ‘mbu-iche’ and started flinging it at every fowl and goat it saw in the compound to take home.
This is to tell you that Anaapatchi and his masquerade were the principled types. Amakwarò ha onye nwuru ùzù ya na atù.
One day Umuchu people were to attend a traditional marriage ceremony at Nkporogwu, in the house of a chief called Òzòemene. But when they were about to set out on the journey, of course then in the early 70’s, it usually was on foot, Anaapatchi who never took a step to anywhere from his house without his magic bag, was persuaded by his people to leave the bag behind at home. Anaapatchi reluctantly forgone the bag while muttering his disappointment and discontent.
At the occasion in Nkporogwu, when Umuchu people started the traditional show of climbing the palm tree to flatten all its branches with bare foot, Nkporogwu people, of course, started to challenge them with their own magic (atikpa).
Anaapatchi who it was his forte to respond in kind and protect his people, felt embarrassed as he couldn’t do much without the content of his bag.
Deeply pained, he stood up in anger, turn to face his Umuchu people and said; “ha kpaiwa ayi nshi n’ònu. Alaa m. Ole ha ha gbufòrò unu ha luòwa nu.”
(Let them stuff our mouth with sh*t. I’m going home. The ones that survived amongst you can come home)
And he left his people to the mercy of Nkporogwu people.
End of the story.
Don’t ask me how many died that day. And don’t as me whether he should have gone there with his bag.
That was Igbo! Who we are!!