Reason I idolize my family ancestors

By Odimegwu Onwumere
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Odimegwu Onwumere
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I remembered all my proceeded relations and ancestors today in the enlarged Onwumere family. It was when a thought flashed on my mind of how families are changing their ancient family names they are known of characterizing them as those associated to ‘Arushi’ that I remembered my departed loved ones.

I was deeply abstemious about what could be done to keep these great names from erosion of history. I thought that having us to represent them is not enough to keep their names because our children are no longer bearing their names but ours. Our own names are even seen as precious than those of our great progenitors. However, I want to remember these great relations and ancestors through venerations.

Great minds, my ancestors were wiser, gifted and knowledgeable enough of which the millennial cannot measure with their wisdom no matter all the technologies we think that are at our disposal. What do majority of us have permanently stored in their heads if not Google? My ancestors had a rich history which we have sheepishly thrown into the dustbin and hardly is any of us thinking through the Igbo mainstream of tapping into the supernatural. Our problem is that we are no longer or really paying attention on how to see these great relations and ancestors through the realm of the mystic. All that majority of us are interested in is to keep the names of Western and Arabian ancestors in the name of religion.

It is very saddening that majority of us have built a wall of anti-Igbo around themselves. This habit has made us to lack or lose the rich Igbo mystically, esoterically and exoterically gloriously magical powers. Majority of these persons who have surrounded themselves with the anti-Igbo mentality to the damage of their transited ancestors rather are the merchants and superintendents of the Halloween. But we must add a quantity of resistance to the status quo to enable us uncover, to a large extent, who we are through the lens of our ancestors.

I have realised that keeping the names of our ancestors on our lips often does not only help us connect with our ancestors but also enliven their memories in us; and these memories help us guide ourselves through life. The charlatanic behaviours we are inundated around us today are as a result of disconnection from our ancestors – who we truly are.

Well, it might not be the fault of those who dispel anything about their ancestors in spirit but only remember them on lips. The Igbo spiritual cosmologies, philosophies and practices should be what those who still revere their origin have to always think of while in engagement with other curricula.

Many of my relations and ancestors that have left in flesh were traditional healers and spiritual workers. Since their departure, falsehoods became the roads they plied with dignity and honour. Many of their successors are now imbued with falsely propagated teachings and thoughts against the Igbo traditional systems that worked for our ancestors.

Those who relegate these Igbo systems forgot that the falsehoods are heritages bequeathed to us through colonial imposition. The rapacious English colonialists blanketed our traditional systems in inscrutability by imposing fear and negativity inside the minds of our people instead of allowing us evolve through the ways we were. But no matter all the negatives they have continued to heap against our aboriginal Igbo spiritualities, I cannot stop remembering my ancestors and respecting them.

May 22 2020.
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