Linus Aleke: Abuja
Worried by the dwindling cultural heritage of Africans, particularly in Igbo land, a parliamentarian representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly Hon. Chris Emeka Azubogu has emphasized the need for cultural revival in the country.
Azubogu who made this call at the new yam festival/Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie’s golden jubilee celebration in Abuja also commended the celebrant for rekindling the dying culture of the people.
He lamented the ugly practice in most parts of the country where parents are in the habit of relegating the nation’s cultural values and norms by deliberately refusing to teach their kids the basic cultural norms such as languages.
According to him, “Onwa is indeed a true son of his father. He has done so much in promoting and propagating Igbo culture, his interest and believe in culture is worthy of emulation. It is disheartening that most parents in urban centers across Nigeria are not teaching their children their local languages, particularly parents of Igbo extraction. Transition of this languages and cultural norms to the next generation of Nigerians is a debt we owe these children, just as our parents passed it unto us successfully.
“It will be a disgrace on our part that the shining light of African culture goes off in our time. The coming into fruition of the United Nation’s prediction that Igbo language will go extinction in no distant time depends largely on our collective effort in passing it on or paying non-chalant attitudes towards it as many parents do today. While those in Diaspora are taking extra measures in making sure that their wards learn the language those at home are treating it with kid gloves.
On his part, the District Governor of Rotary 9125, Dr. Mike Omotosho also used the occasion to eulogize the celebrant who he described as a classic Rotarian and custodian of Igbo culture.
He noted that it is imperative for the country to preserve the good aspect of the nation’s culture so that the coming generation will appreciate what our forefathers had handed over to us.
Also speaking, the celebrant, Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie thanked God for preserving his life to see and celebrate his golden jubilee.
He explained that his interest in culture is born out of the fact that culture is life, stressing that ‘once our culture dies, we are equally dead.
Chukwumezie also berated the common practice by Igbo in Diaspora who brandish their native attire on certain special occasions while their children does not understand anything about their culture particularly the language, describing such practice as cosmetics.
“I am a man of culture, actually every year for the past 20 years, I have been celebrating new yam festival. I usually celebrate the festival on any Sunday closest to 15th of August either before or after. Before I eat new yam every year, I will kill a life animal and use it to cook the first yam and thank God for making me eat the new yam. I will also pray to God to preserve my life to witness and eat the next year new yam.
“I decided to combine the new yam festival and my golden jubilee because 50th birthday is a special occasion, it is a mile stone and that is why I decided to use it to celebrate the cultural heritage of our people. My birthday is actually on July 16 but I deliberately shifted it forward to coincide with the new yam festival. So that, I will use the occasion to thank God and celebrate culture because I have always preached that culture is life. Once our cultures die, we are dead as a people. If you lose your identity, you have automatically lost your life.” He concluded.