Ogbanje (A Repeated Traveller) By Last Born
Written by Mazi Odera Igbo (POg)
Oke solu Ngwere ma Mmiri, okosia Ngwere, ogaghi ako Oke (When a Rat join Lizard for a festival of playing in the Rain, the Lizard will be dry minutes after, but the Rat owing to the fact of her Hairy nature will be Wet for a period and pneumonia is imminent).
Let’s be Ogbanje as a Tribe if you ask me, Ogba Nje means REPEATED TRAVELLER..(it was coined when a Child will come to life and die, then when they Born again it will be same Face, that was why they said Ogba Nje.. Repeated Journey) somebody who goes, come back and go again.. In a better parlance they use Ejeagha bu isi ije and Bob Nesta Marley has a say for it “He who fights and Run away lives to fight another day”.
My oldman will always tell us “onye Oke Chi ka Mmiri na afanye na Eze”(A bad luck fellow always have water stuck in between the teeth) and when you make an impossible demand that he knew can’t be granted, but will Hurt you with outright refusal, he will say “Ina Anu Akamu, na Eze okpukpu” (While Drinking Pap, be wary of Bones) we know that there is nothing like Bone inside Pap, so why dreading such?, because it is metaphor for the wise.
Ndigbo nwelu tradition which kept us strong and alive, but Youths of today don’t understand it, I will try as much as I can to explain it to the Initiates, if you are ogbodi, wait, one day it will fall to your level for your own comprehension.
When they invaded us through OBOLO AFO, we were handicapped, with 130 Antiquated Rifles in place at the entire South East, a move made under Armament reshuffling that shuffled us out of equation, but we stayed alive just because we did not find our Chi a weakling and go confrontational as our Kids whose brain has escaped in a hurry are romancing now, making me to remember those kids who crave War without knowing that nobody wins a War for the scars of War is perpetual.
Reason Nnam Ochie said “Dike ezeghi Eze, oburu Ntasi nmeyi” (When a Warrior fail to duck, he will have his blood spill all over), that saying make sense die.
The invasion of 1967 was titled POLICE ACTION, that aimed to capitulate the entire South East within 48 Hours, that was when our Chi came to the Fore and casted a big shield around us, the well plotted hostile take over that Brutish dogs planned to last just 2 Days lasted 3 Years, the 3 years was what the second World War also lasted even with what Germans prepared as arsenals and with allies, but we also faced the World without Arms and no allies, unless we call those who gave us food relief as allies, but ka Ana ejegodi.
We prevailed because the gods and the Almighty all stand still and fought our battle, meaning onye Chi ya bu Uzo agha, agha adighi eri ya.
Come with me let us tugharia Uche on this, in the days of Isreal vs Philistine, the Phil’s had a Giant who they so much trusted called IKONSO GOLIATH who has so much enchantment and protected against mortal killing, he was so confident of his life that Philistine Soldiers dared the Israelite with relish, then in a twinkle of an EYE, Nwatakiri David with just DOTI or in lay man parlance called Catapult shot him down with all his glory and hack off his head, which brought total ruin to the psyche of his Peers, it taught them a lesson of trusting in a Mortal.
The question that remains is, after David felled the Top Commander that was assumed infallable, how again can they raise another whose prowess can soar as high, talkless above?.
In such situation was what prompted a man to say “what do we have with House of Jessi?, to your Tenth oh Isreal”.
Let me tell us my story as a Child, while growing up in our Tens, we use to have Children Masquerade, so I was the Dibia, Infact they call me Ogburu ogwo, I use to terrify other masquerade because I always mix Ede Ndi muo, Akuba and one other thing that I can’t remember, so when ever I use the Horse tail and wave it close to the face of opposing masquarades, the powder or the Wet mixture will splash or sprinkle on opponents and the sting and itching was terrible and they will ran like idiot back home and will never meet us again in any battle, they swear that I am akataka Dibia…
Then one day one of our Bigger Sister Ifeoma (Anytime I see her now, I remember the event and I laugh like idiot which I was) she was coming back from College as it was called then and we confronted her and she laughed and walk by, then my squad said a Girl pass our masquerade that we must show her that she is a Girl, then me as the Dibia Nmonwu, wave my Horse tail at her and she did something that made all of us to stop wearing or staying close to masquerade till date.
She caught me, take the bag of Charm that was hung across my shoulder, inside it was the bottle of the mixture, she took the bottle, empty it all on my Back, stomach, Face, leg.. Infact she bath me with my own Medicine and the worst is that I did not have a Decanter..
So my mother’s Red oil were used to bath me for many days, so that the sting and terror of the bite stopped…
The little that touched my gang why they were restraining me seems to be worse than mine because I use to have taste while preparing it…
That ended our escapade with Nmonwu.. Moving on..
The big Ijere they banked upon as HOLY CUP was felled effortless with all the Atikpa weaved around him, which they still left untouched on his Corpse , that is to announce – what you know, they too know, also Dibia Gwolu Ozo, ma Ozo gburu Dibia..
I will end with this Urban legend, one boy from UMUDIM was caught with one Local delicacy called ADU, a specie of Cocoa Yam as he was about to eat same, he was asked “Uche ogini gburu NNE gi”, he said ADU.
ogini Gburu Nna gi?.. He said ADU.
ogini Gburu Umunne gi?..ADU
Okay, ogini ka iji na aka?.. He looked at it and say ADU.. the elder asking the question simply walked away as he has made his case with him.
Children ejiro Amu Nkeni eyi agadi Nwanyi Ujo, Maka imaro ife melu ya Nka.
What an Elder saw sitting under a Mango tree, a child can climb the tree and still can never see same.
Atualu omalu, omalu, ma Atualu Ofeke , ofenye isi na Ofia.
Ndi be anyi ekenem Unu, Maka agwa Nti ma onughi, egbupu isi, Nti esonye.
Onye gburu NNE gi gbue Nna gi, gi bu Nwata etoghi eto choba ife gburu NNE gi na Nna gi, that same person ga egbue gi.
Abum Nwanne Unu, Nwa Unu na Nna… Mazi Odera POg JP, Mkpisi Ndi Egede, Nwa Chukwu Ku na aka na ONWU agaghi egbu nwu ya, Minority Opinion writer na South East and I talk to the Initiates, if you are not one don’t bother trying to comprehend.