Re: Madam Rangers!!!-Rangers Igbo Football, Music And Churches Revived Igbo Spirit After The Biafran War

By Ugo Harris Ukandu

Mrs. Ifeoma Okafor,
We will always try to include everybody, acknowledge their works and effort for Ndigbo. We are trying to make the younger generation to know that Igbo has many great historical events that defined who we are. Great Igbo history has a special place away from Nigeria propaganda and lies induced history of military coups , counter military coups, rigged elections, looting and incompetent tribal and religious leaderships that have filled Nigerian political and economic landscape. Before Nigeria gained independence and before amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, Igbo have great history and events that have special meaning.

For example, Do the younger generation of Igbos know that Sir Mbonu Ojike a student between 1930-1940 I believe was a delegate for Africans to the formation of United nations organization formerly league of Nations. I mean when Africa and Nigeria was in darkness an Igboman was travelling to the conference on the formation of United Nations Organization.

Even some grown up Igbos do not know their great history and many thinks that Nigeria history starts from the unjust civil war, military coups and June 12 and that is all they know and talk about;or they out of low self esteem will denigrate and insults Igbos day in day out, because they don't know much about who they really are and their history.

WHOLESALE AMNESIA WITH REGARD TO EARLY NATIONALISTS As written by Dr. Udunna Jaanna Nwafor-Orizu & Jeff Unaegbu.

Quote "Let it come to national memory again and again, therefore, that it was only Mbonu Ojike as a young man of 31, who stoutly represented Nigeria, without official mandate from its colonial authorities, in one of the then League of Nations conferences at San Francisco in 1945. While the colonial government of Nigeria was indifferent to the activities of this world body of nations, Mbonu Ojike travelled incognito to the conference on a shoestring transport fare raised by Nwafor Orizu and Kenneth Mbadiwe as executives of the African Students Association in America (founded by Orizu) and executives of the African Academy of Arts and Research (founded by Mbadiwe). Ojike's mission was to focus the world's attention to the need for the independence of Nigeria.

Let it be known that in all the international conferences of the League of Nations after the first world war, and all the international conferences of the allies during the second world war, and meetings on post war plans, nothing was ever said about the freedom and sovereignty of African colonies. No colonial African nation ever attended these conferences even as observers. Ojike arrived San Francisco and went to the International Conference Hall without any accreditation or official recognition whatsoever because Nigeria was not a sovereign nation.

After the accreditation formalities of all the fifty sovereign allied nations were completed and Nigeria was not mentioned, Ojike jumped up with arms raised to the heavens, shouting very loudly, “Nigeria! Nigeria! Nigeria!”. Of course, a crowd surged towards him. Some delegates, including the Russian delegate gave him their cards and warm handshakes. For the first time, all fifty nations knew as a group that there was the need to grant Nigeria its independence.

Earlier, the African Students Association had petitioned and forwarded a memo to the American government requesting the inclusion in the United Nations Charter a promise of independence for colonial peoples. At that time also, this association was meeting in Orizu's student room 411 (fourth floor) at International House of New York. It is shuddering to remember that within his three years of sojourn in America as a student, Mbonu Ojike published three books (each every year from 1945 to 1947) defending Africa, portraying to his large foreign audience across vast America, the identity and integrity of African cultures. Sometime later, he went around wearing only African attire as representative of African cultures. This attitude was to become immensely popular as a fashion in vogue later in Nigeria.

He gave out the African Student Association memorandum to as many delegates as he could in international conferences, with a passion to speak for African colonies and her peoples. During the vicious fight for independence, he worked hard behind the scenes as one of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's lieutenants, defining and suggesting concepts, creating slogans and manifestoes, often propelling political gatherings with his memorable songs, earning him the sobriquet of “Freedom choirmaster”."WHOLESALE AMNESIA WITH REGARD TO EARLY NATIONALISTS As written by Dr. Udunna Jaanna Nwafor-Orizu & Jeff Unaegbu.

On Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 3:31 PM, Ifeoma C Okafor wrote:

Igwebuike and Ukandu:
I do not see "Madam Rangers" name (-Mrs. Julie Alali) in the upcoming Nov. 08, 2014 Ranger's convention flyer? For the convention regarding the "Enugu Rangers" to be complete, you have to include her whether we like her/it or not. She was equally a force and house hold name in those days that the Ranger's reigned.

-With regards to music, someone I know (Onyee) is currently working on Ikoli Harcourt Whyte's (1905-1977) music and I'm glad it's being revived. Ikoli Harcourt Whyte wrote great music that was initially difficult for the 'white man' to tone mark......script. Sam Ojukwu, Nwokolobia Agu, Laz Ekwueme, O Ndubuisi, and most especially AK Achinivu loved him and introduced him to some of us.

-Your statement...."Gospel music has been bastardized, and any fool can now throw up or shout into microphone and call it Gospel music" I wish you had not made this statement. There are rules to everything in life but if you go outside of it, it becomes a new thing. Most inventions came about so. In the case of current Gospel music, it falls into a different genre as American “rap” etc. It might sound different to you but makes for beautiful listening to someone else as is with art and painting which might be abstract. Music is a universal language and one man's meat is another man's poison so let's please encourage fellow humans rather than beat down please.

-By the way, didn't Eneli perish in that crash after that UNN event? I remember we were recording some songs at the time for "Things Fall Apart" the movie with Ike Okonkwo when the news came. Hmm!

-DMGS-Onitsha had a group called the "Deemites" (not sure of the spelling)-Frank Izuora, Chiedu, AC Iweka, Chuckstone Okediadi etc., were all members of that group.

Good luck with your work and I'm looking forward to reading your writeup's.

Mrs. Ifeoma C. Okafor
“Birth and Death are but a Continuation of Life”

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