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A Brief Profile Of The Igbo People Of Jamaica

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Wah gwaan bredrin, everyting ire? Ever heard the word “red eboe” in Jamaica? Your suspicion is true. “Red eboe” was used to refer to the Igbo slaves in Jamaica because of their light skin.

Jamaica witnessed the influx of the Igbo race between 1790 and 1809, a time when the British had just passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. The modern Igbo race dwelt in the Bight of Biafra in Nigeria. It was from here that the Igbos who were kidnapped and sold as slaves by the Europeans were taken to work on plantations.

While it is known that Virginia was the destination point of most slave ships from the Bight of Biafra, the majority of the slave ships from the Bight of Biafra that delivered the slaves to the Caribbean Islands landed in Jamaica.

Cane cutters in Jamaica. | Photo National Maritime Museum

— Cultural Influence —

Jamaica’s history cannot be discussed without mentioning the influence of the Igbos. The Igbos influenced the culture, music, the pouring of libation, the “eboe” style, idioms, language and way of life of the Jamaicans. While a large number of the Jamaican Patois is from the Akan language of modern-day Ghana, the Igbos, due to their inability to speak the language, the introduced some of their words which have now become infused into the Jamaican Patois. Some of these words include:

Unu – You people

Ima osu (Jamaica) Imu oso (Igbo) – to hiss by sucking your teeth

Akara (Jamaica) Akàrà (Igbo/Yoruba) – bean cake

Soso (Jamaica) Sọsọ (Igbo) – only

Their yam festival, the Jonkonnu (A masquerade festival attributed to Njoku Ji (yam -spirit cult), Okonko and Ekpe masquerades”, was arguably introduced by the Igbos. Most of the Igbo/Akan -concentrated areas are found in the northwestern and southern sections of Jamaica. Some of these are Maroon Village, formerly known as Cudjoe’s Town (Trelawny Town), Montego Bay and St. Ann’s Bay. In Maroon, there are some songs called “Ibo”. The Jamaicans are akin to the ways of the Igbos such that it is not uncommon to see Jamaicans watch Igbo Nollywood films.

The Igbos showed themselves to be an organised sect. This is evident in slave owner Matthew Lewis’s confession after he noted that there was a time he “went down to the negro-houses to hear the whole body of Eboes lodge a complaint against one of the book-keepers”.

— Exemplary Courage —

Out of these people came individuals who left a mark in that period. A popular example is the author Olaudah Equiano who was very instrumental in maintaining law and order among the Igbos in Jamaica during the 1776 Mosquito Shore Scheme. He is also regarded as being one of the campaigners of the abolition of slave trade.

Anaeso, later rechristened Archibald Monteith, is another example. He wrote a popular autobiography of his kidnap from his homeland to Jamaica where he was converted to Christianity. Also, one of Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell’s ancestors is of Igbo origin and gave rise to the mixed-race Ford family.

— Rebels —

Known for their pride, the Igbos are said to have unwritten rules that even the slave owners were made to abide by. This maintenance of “unwritten rules of the plantation” arguably gave rise to the Obeah magic (the use of a Dibia in ‘predicting the future and manufacturing charms’).

The Igbo slaves were also popular for committing suicide as they believed it would return their spirits back to their homeland. This suicide was what made most slave traders sceptical of having them as slaves.

When they could no longer bear the slavery, 250 Igbo men in Saint Elizabeth’s Parish conspired to kill every white man in the land in what is now known as the 1815 Igbo conspiracy. The following year, that is 1816, another revolt tagged the Black River rebellion plot was uncovered after a novelist Matthew Gregory “Monk” Lewis took a recording of their song:

Oh me good friend, Mr Wilberforce, make we free!
God Almighty thank ye! God Almighty thank ye!
God Almighty, make we free!
Buckra in this country no make we free:
What Negro for to do? What Negro for to do?
Take force by force! Take force by force!

ALL

To be sure! to be sure! to be sure!
These two events massively contributed to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.

 

(Credit/Guardian)

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kelvin Agbogidi

    December 4, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Quite educating

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Police Arrest 21-Year-Old Man For Allegedly Sodomizing Underaged Boys In Anambra

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A 21-year-old man has been arrested by the police in Anambra state for allegedly sodomizing underage boys in the state.

Police arrest 21-year-old man for allegedly sodomizing underaged boys in Anambra lailasnews

The suspect identified as Obimeze Maduabuchi Augustine, of Ofianta village, Nsugbe, in Anambra East Local Government Area of the state, was arrested for allegedly having carnal knowledge with two boys, aged five and seven respectively, on different occasions.

This was made known in a statement from the spokesperson of the state police command, SP Haruna Mohammed.

The spokesperson said Obimese was arrested by the police detectives attached to B’ Division, Awka, following a tip-off. According to a statement, the suspect voluntarily confessed to committing the crime and blamed his acts on peer group influences.

“The scene of the crime was visited by the police detectives and the two victims, all boys, were taken to the hospital for medical examination.” Haruna said

Haruna said the state commissioner of police, CP John B. Abang, has ordered the transfer of the case to the state criminal investigation department (CID) for discreet investigations after which the suspect would be charged to court.

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Police Rescue Baby Girl Dumped In The Bush In Anambra

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Men of the Anambra state police command have rescued a baby girl that was abandoned in a bush in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The spokesperson of the state police command, Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed this to newsmen, said the police division in the locality received a report from members of the vigilante that a baby looking very sickly but still alive was found in the bush. The detectives immediately visited the scene and rescued the baby.

“Commander, Nnokwa Vigilante group in Umueshi Village, Nnokwa, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State reported at Nnobi Police Station that a baby girl was abandoned by an unknown person inside Nnokwa bush.

Following the report, police operatives visited the scene, rescued the baby alive but very sickly and rushed her to Chukwu Nonso Hospital for medical attention.

The baby is gradually responding to treatment and will be handed over to Social Welfare for proper care while effort is ongoing to trace the parents in order to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident

Anyone with useful information about the child should report at Nnobi Divisional Police Station or contact PPRO Anambra State Police Command on GSM no 08060970639.” the statement read

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Metro

Woman Pretending To Be Blind Is Exposed And Apprehended In Ebonyi

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A woman pretending to be blind for financial gains was apprehended in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

The woman was reportedly arrested by SA to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State on Mineral Resources & Environmental Management.

The woman, who is from Imo State, stands by the Union Bank Junction in Abakaliki to beg for alms.

She allegedly applies Rob ointment to her eyes and this makes her tear up, she then keeps the eye shut while one of her children leads her by the hand. When the effect of the balm wears off, she allegedly reapplies it.

When the woman was caught, her eyes were forced open and nothing appeared to be wrong with them.

The Governor’s Aide, according to reports, took the woman to the old government house after uncovering her deceit.

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