” A conversation with mama Ubele” #Minority Contest

As i dragged my luggage into the belly of the empty room, I began to envisage life in a midst of deep green bush, cluttered sounds from disembodied creatures and interaction with these scarce souls.

“Good morning sir, welcome to our house ooo. We don dey pray for neighbours to pack come this “domot” since.”

A fair woman, obviously my new  neighbour , who spoke in an admixture of pidgin and fluent English approached me.

“Thank you ma’, i retorted. I am pleased to meet you, how is your family?

“They are fine, and my name is Mama Ubele”

I cringed at the drop of “Ubele” what is that?’, i soliloquize loudly.”I am an IGEDE “,she explained to quench my fear. She told me about her other kids whose names also play a debut into my ears.

You see, we dey name our child after our ancestors, for we belief say na dem dey come back to life again.

I watched her keenly as she keep me abreast on the long belief of naming system based on reincarnation.

She took me on a quick tour of IGEDE, where i learned that it is a language of the IDOMOIND people spoken by the minority and relatively unpopular ethnic group of IGEDE, a group with scattered indigenes in Benue and Cross river state. I enjoy the intrigue as we cross into her town which lies abreast of Benue into Cross river state.

She also took me on a ferry of well woven tale into AGBA festival, where the virtue of patience is lauded. I wouldn’t stop, but wonder at the theatrical steps of the dancers and…

However my friendly  IGEDE  neighbour failed to explain the meaning of the names of her children, due to the deep meaning they are entwined to.



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