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Insight into Igbo Culture, Igbo Language and Enugu


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Summary This unique book provides simple and easy-to-read insights into Enugu and Igbo language and culture. Not only does the guide describe the wide variety of the traditions in this part of Nigeria, attention is also paid to normal day-to-day facets of life in the town and villages. The site contains a complete guide on Igbo language, highlighted in sample conversations (including native audio clips), and explains the basic Igbo grammar structure. An up-to-date list with over 40 hotels in and around Enugu and a full vocabulary complete this remarkable guide. This book has been printed in 3 sold-out editions and has become the essential guide for development workers, volunteers, teachers, national youth service corpers, ex-pats, tourists and just anyone who wants to learn and enjoy Igboland customs, traditions and language.


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Table of Contents Insight into Igbo Culture, Igbo Language and Enugu .......................................................... 1 Summary ............................................................................................................................................................. 2 Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................. 4 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 6 Enugu - Top of the Hill ......................................................................................................................... 8 Weather ............................................................................................................................................ 17 Food and Recipes .............................................................................................................................. 21 Market ............................................................................................................................................... 28 Transport ........................................................................................................................................... 34 Religion .............................................................................................................................................. 39 Education........................................................................................................................................... 45 Kola Nut ............................................................................................................................................. 50 Masquerades and Festivals ............................................................................................................... 55 Village ................................................................................................................................................ 60 Traditional Family Ceremonies ......................................................................................................... 67 References......................................................................................................................................... 74 Enugu Hotels ..................................................................................................................................... 75 Igbo-English and English-Igbo Dictionary .......................................................................................... 85 About the Author .............................................................................................................................. 96


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Acknowledgements Firstly, I thank my dear wife for supporting me in writing this book and balancing my life. Sincere gratitude goes to the DFID Project Fund and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) for supporting and sponsoring this book. Without their significant contribution, the writing and publishing of this book would not have been possible. A further thanks goes to Jerome Iloh for making Igbo language and grammar easier for me to understand. In addition, I have to extend my gratitude to the Enugu State government for my placement in the Community County Council project, which allowed me to travel extensively to all communities and many more villages in the state. I want to thank especially Frank Nweke Jnr, the Community County Council State coordinator who not only allowed me to work as his programme and management advisor, but also invited my wife and me to his family in his village for Christmas and many other venues. I received information and advice from many other members of his team: Patrick Chidi, Williams Ugwu, Gerald Nwanji, Francis Ogbodo, Anthony I. Oko, Nicholas Igwesi, Chioma, Jonathan Eze, Hyacinth Anowo, Edith Agusiobo, Mike Igboanugo, Mbamalu Ogbonna, Ada Osadebe, Fred Okoli, Fred Onkwonko, Joseph Amah and many others involved. Obviously, I should not forget my employer, Accenture, formerly known as Andersen Consulting, who allowed and supported me to take the sabbatical to work as a volunteer. Specifically, I want to mention Valentijn Bonger, Noel C. Mooney and Liam McErlane. won shmoop "Best Websites for students" Award in 2009 Also, I want to acknowledge the friendship from Nick Macrae as our colleague, patient neighbour and proof-reader, Emile Wahid for his cooking abilities and (free) internet access, Mrs. Kalu for her liaison and contacts in Enugu, our neighbours in ObiĂśma Close, the Enugu Water State Corporation, all who made our life in Enugu a lot more comfortable. During my interviews and discussions with many people in Enugu State, I found that Igboland customs and traditions are generally similar in belief, but there are many differences between villages. I have tried to generalise these customs and beliefs in this book, and to go in more details, would go beyond the scope of this book. You can refer to the books listed in the references to get more descriptive insights into Igbolandâ€&#x;s culture, language and culture. 4

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For more details, check And last, but for sure not least, to get a feeling of how village life was in the olden days, many credited literature works are available in bookshops, most notably: „When things fall apart‟, from Chinue Achebe and „The Concubine‟, from Elechi Amadi. I apologise for anyone left out, but to anyone else who has helped me out, I send my grateful thanks.


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Introduction During my time working as management adviser to the Community County Council program, an Enugu State poverty alleviation initiative, I was able to visit most of the communities and villages in the state and experience first-hand the customs, culture and language in this part of Igboland. This opportunity provided me unforgettable memories of the various traditions, colourful masquerades, dances and festivals, not to mention the breath-taking panoramic views from the hills and lowlands spreading from north to south, east to west. You might wonder what stimulated me to write this book. The reasons are twofold. First of all, I was not able to find a book that could explain me Igbo traditions and culture and at the same time provide me an insight into Igbo language. I have visited and worked in many other countries prior to my arrival to Nigeria, and I was always able to read about the country itself and understand the people, language and culture in more detail. Secondly, I hope by publishing this book, that people not only of Nigeria but also in other countries of the world, discover the tourist potential of this part of West Africa. It is time that the Western world review their misperceptions of Nigeria, to which even I fell victim before having set any foot in Nigeria. This book has been written not from an anthropological or linguistic perspective, but rather as a guide to the basic elements of Igbo culture and language. I believe that this book provides a base for anyone visiting Igboland as either an expatriate, development worker, volunteer, missionary and/or tourist. And although my experiences are mainly exposed to the state of Enugu, most of the content in this book applies to other parts of Igboland as well. The book is divided in eleven chapters and each of the chapters is built up of three sections. The first section deals with various aspects of Enugu and Igboland‟s culture. The next section highlights the Igbo language through informal day-to-day conversations. The last section goes in more detail through the various grammar topics. This structure makes the book comprehensive and easy-to-read and makes it ideal for purposes of self-study as well as for teaching. An up-to-date directory with over 40 hotels with facilities can be found at the end of the book. An Igbo-English and English–Igbo vocabulary completes the book. If Martian visitors would come to Earth and land in Italy, would they not report back to their planet that Earth people talk with their hands, emphasising the gestures with their voice. And though the Martian observation may be right, I am sure the people in Italy would strongly disagree with this conclusion. I hope this does not apply to the observations described in this book and I hope as an external visitor, even after my numerous encounters, interviews and research in Igboland, the picture drawn up here is not very far from the truth. For sure, I hope I have not offended anyone. Being a white-yellow man in Igboland feels like a Martian celebrity being chased by paparazzi. Instead of being followed by photographers, people will yell „onye öcha! onye öcha!‟ with a big smile on their face. My apologies for the little kids who started to run for 6

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For more details, check cover under their mother‟s dress, probably seeing a „onye öcha‟ for the very first time. I was delighted to be received with such a warm welcome by all people in the neighbourhood and in the state. Thank you very much! May I say, happy reading, „Nnöö – You are welcome‟.

Michael Widjaja 19th June 2001, Enugu


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Enugu - Top of the Hill Enugu State is one of the 36 states in the Nigerian federation and was created in 1991 from the eastern two-thirds of Anambra State. Less formally, it is also known as the Wawa state, because the people in this area respond with „wa‟ (used as an emphasising „no‟) rather than „mba‟ used in other parts of Igboland. Located in the southeast of the country, Enugu spreads its borders to the states of Kogi and Benue to the north, Ebonyi to the east, Abia and Imo to the south and Anambra to the west, covering an area of around 8,730 km2. Its landscape changes from tropical dense rain forest in the south to small roundtopped hills covered by open grasslands with occasional clusters of woodland in the middle to sometimes almost sandy savannah in the north. The state includes most of the Udi-Nsukka plateau, a pair of plateaus that form a nearly continuous elevated area. The Nsukka plateau extends about 130 km from Nsukka in the north, to Enugu in the south and continues southward for about 160 km to Okigwe. It rises more than 300 metres and its highest part is found 20 km northwest of Enugu. The steep slopes form spectacular views of the hills and lowlands, broken up by numerous streams and rivulets feeding the Niger and Benue rivers. With a population of about 3 million, Enugu State is home to the Igbo speaking peoples, widely noted for their industry, entrepreneurship, resourcefulness, travelling and most importantly hospitality (it is custom to greet people very warmly first, asking about their family and health, before starting any business). The Igbos have had long contact with western influences and English is spoken widely. Christianity is the major religion, mostly due to the history of contact with the west in the pre-colonial period. Farming and trading constitute the key occupations in the state‟s economy: yam, cassava and palm-oil products are the main crops, but corn, rice, pumpkin, melon, beans, okra, avocado, pineapple and even cashew nuts are cultivated as well.


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Old Governor's Lodge in Enugu Enugu town, the state capital, lies at the foot of the Udi hills and is surrounded by attractive stretched hills and lies at an altitude of 240 metres above sea level. Conformably, its name consists out of the 2 words „Enu‟ (top) and „Ugwu‟ (hill) resulting to „top of the hill‟. Enugu was founded in 1909, when Mr. Kikson, a British Mining Engineer, stumbled on large coal reserves in the Udi ridge while looking for silver. Lord Lugard, the then Colonial Governor, took keen interest in the unexpected discovery, and by 1914 the first shipment of coal was made. Port Harcourt still thanks its existence to these mining shipments. Attracted by the increasing mining activities, Iva Valley, Coal Camp and Asata were established by foreign enterpreneurs and the indigenous labourers. Enugu acquired township status in 1917 and was called Enugwu-Ngwo, but because of the rapid expansion towards areas owned by other indigenous communities, the city was renamed in 1928 to Enugu. The British became more aware of the strategic interests of this area, and other foreign businesses began to move into Enugu. In 1939, Enugu became the capital of the Eastern Provinces of Nigeria, during which period most of the colonial style buildings were constructed. The colonial charm is still witnessed in the old government buildings and mansions in the Government Reserved Area (GRA), a civil servant‟s housing district exclusively reserved for administrative staff. It became the administrative city of the eastern region when the country was divided in three areas in 1951. Enugu became more diversified in the 1960‟s with the creation of the industrial estate of Emene. Located near the airport, steel pipes, asbestos, cement products, and oxygen and acetylene gases were manufactured. Presently, it also includes a large Mercedes Anamco truck assembly plant. By 1963, with the creation of 12 states in Nigeria, it became the capital of the East Central State, and the city had grown from the original village population of 100 to 9

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138,000 inhabitants. Helped by the high literacy rate in this area, most of them were civil servants and business entrepreneurs. In 1967, it served briefly as the provisional capital of the secessionist Republic of Biafra and later became the capital of Anambra State in 1976. Currently, the city has 465,000 inhabitants and its city premises are spread over an area of 73 km2. There is a large power station near Oji River, which used to supply most of the stateâ€&#x;s electricity, though with the abandonment of coal as a main energy source, it is not fully operational presently. With the deregulation and the proposed privatisation of electricity generation in Nigeria, the State Government is looking at private investors for the reactivation of the Oji Power station. This is more so with the proximity of the Enugu coalmines to the power station – a driving distance of about 20 minutes. The cost of living is cheap and affordable compared to other parts of the country. The city counts numerous social outlets and many hotels, including the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, a five star resort located next to the Nike Lake and once considered one of the jewels of Nigeria. There are over 200 health establishments, (private and public), well over 50 petrol stations, 90 hotels and restaurants, 17 different banks with 24 branches, a zoo, a museum and a golf course. It also hosts the British council library and various university faculties. Obviously, one should not forget to go outside the town and enjoy the beautiful landscapes filled with a wide variety of hills, lakes, caves, springs, waterfalls and forests. The hills and lowlands can be best admired from the Udi and Awgu hills, offering spectacular panoramic views and an opportunity for mountaineering. If you are near the Udi hills, paying a visit to the coalmines is certainly worthwhile as well. You may wish to visit the Nike Lake resort to enjoy the lake, its surroundings and park. This is very useful for families with children as the park includes a large playground. Close to Ezeagu, you can find a waterfall, spring and a lake, still to be further developed as a tourist complex. The same applies to the eight lakes near Opi, surrounded by woodland with breathtaking landscapes. Listed below is a compilation of attractions taken out of the Tourist guide map of Enugu together with some other sites that are well worth a visit: Achi



Shrine and ancient city walls;

Amegu-Ezze Forest; Amigbo Ozalla

Ngene-Ani lake with crocodiles;


Range of hills;


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30 metres waterfall;





IMT Sculptural garden and art gallery, Polo amusement park, Coal mines (Onyeama and Okpara), Historical monuments (e.g. Eastern region Enugu Town Parliamentary building and old Governorâ€&#x;s lodge), Zoo, Enugu national museum; Ezeagu

Waterfalls, Lakes, Caves, Springs and panoramic landscapes;










Waterfall with very clear water;


Paschal Abbey with panoramic view of Enugu, Nike lake and resort;


Zoo and Range of hills;








Hot spring;


River Cave and lake;


Eight lakes, Gully erosion;


Range of hills;




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Warm spring.

To visit an attraction, best is to ask a local friend or colleagues to bring you there, as most of the sites are not fully developed for tourism. Some attractions may be considered sacred by the local people, so it is worth making yourself familiar with the local beliefs before visiting the location. Conversation: Good-morning! Click here to listen to this conversation. - Ütütü öma.


- Ütütü öma nke gï.

Good-morning to you.

- Onye öcha, olee ka i mere? White man, how are you? - Ö dï mma.

I am fine (it is fine).

- Olee aha gï?

What is your name?

- Aha m bü Emeka.

My name is Emeka.

- Olee ebe ï na-aga?

Where are you going?

- Ana m aga ölü.

I am going to work.

- Ebee?


- Ana m alü ölü na GRA.

I am working in GRA (Government Reserved Area).

- Ebee na GRA?

Where in GRA?

- 6, Temple Avenue.

6, Temple Avenue.

Na ülö ölü:

At the office:

- Olee ebe i si?

Where do you come from?

- Esi m na obodo bekee.

I come from Europe.

- Gïnï ka ï bïara ime?

What have you come to do?

- Abïara m ïlü ölü.

I have come to work.

Ï na-asü bekee?

Do you speak English?


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For more details, check - Mba, ana m asü Igbo.

No, I speak Igbo.

- Kodi.


- Kodi.


Vocabulary nnöö onye




onye öcha

white man/woman

onye ojii

black man/woman

onye igbo

igbo man

you are welcome

ï bölachï good-morning





which, where, when, how








go (verb)

na (n’)

in, at




morning, dawn


to come from (verb)



boss, master

onye isi onye ölü

boss worker


people, group

ndï ölü


onye-ode akwükwö secretary enyi m

my friend

Grammar: Language and Pronunciation Igbo language is one of the many languages spoken in Nigeria. Since its independence, the main languages in Nigeria have been Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, also known by the word „wazobia‟, i.e. „wa‟ in Yoruba, „zo‟ in Hausa, and „bia‟ in Igbo, all meaning „to come‟. Igbo is predominantly spoken in Abia, Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi and parts of Rivers and Delta states. Speaking English, you can get by in most parts of Igboland, though in some very remote areas, only Igbo is understood. Igbo language is classified as a Niger-Congo language and belongs to the Kwa sub-group of languages spoken in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that some of 13

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these Kwa languages have been spoken in roughly the same locations as today for over 4,000 years. Main characteristics for the Kwa languages are the tones and vowel harmony. Tones (also called contrastive pitch) are used to differentiate words that are written identically. For example, the same word in Igbo may have four different meanings depending on its pitch. In tone languages, pitch is a property of words, but what is important is not absolute pitch but relative pitch. Igbo language makes use of two main tones: the high tone (such as u as in “rule”) is pronounced with the tongue bent towards the roof of the mouth. The low tone (such as a in “father”) is produced with the tongue flat and low in the mouth and with the mouth a bit wider than for high tones. Considering the high and low tones, akwa can mean either weeping (high-high tone), cloth (high-low), egg (low-high) or bridge (low-low). Vowel harmony involves words which are either built up of a combination of syllables with an i, e, o or u vowel, or on the other hand a combination involving syllables with an a, ï, ö or ü vowel, for example: Igbo Igbo

ezi pig

anü meat, animal ülö house

Syllables with both combinations of vowels rarely occur in one word, unless it is a compound word or compound verb. Also, some of the suffixes do not harmonise with the verb stem.

Vowel Harmony

Many words in the language are built up from smaller words, not to say for a few English words that have been copied directly. There are a wide variety of dialects, 14

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some of which resemble each other, though others might have totally different vocabularies and pronunciations, though word order and tone are consistent throughout the grammatical Igbo structure. The two main dialect zones, Onitsha and Owerri, have most words in common, but there are some differences in the vocabulary, for example: Onitsha Owerri kedu

olee what, which


ole how many




aha name


Igbo written language is phonetic and it uses most of the English alphabet. The consonants are similar to the use as in the English language, though there are separate combinations of consonants, i.e. gb, gh, gw, kp, kw, nw, ny and sh, which are official recognised letters. The sh combination is hardly used. In addition, there is one other character, ñ, which is a voiced nasal „n‟. These characters and some of the various combinations are listed with their pronunciation below: as in pronounced as meaning gb egbe e-gbe


gh agha a-ga


gw gwa

to tell


kp akpa a-pa


kw kwaa kwaa

also, too

mm mmiri m-miri


nn nna




añülï anju-li

nw nwa


ny nyaa n-ya


happy, merry child to drive

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For the vowels, the difference is more distinguishing. Some of the vowels have an umlaut (this is according to the New Standard Orthography; in previous versions of Igbo orthography there was a dot below the vowel) above the letter indicating a different pronunciation: vowel pronounced as in a













put (verb)



The Igbo alphabet as found in dictionaries, is in the following order: a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, gb, gh, gw, h, i, ï, j, k, kp, kw, l, m, n, ñ, nw, ny, o, ö, p, r, s, sh, t, u, ü, v, w, y, z


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Weather Most of the semi-tropical rain forest region in the southern part of Nigeria shares similar climate conditions, though the south is usually milder than in the north. In this tropical south, there are two clear seasons: wet and dry. The rainy season lasts approximately from April till October and is accompanied by heavy humidity and strong rain falls. The southwestern winds bring heat and humidity in the nights, and moderately hot but still humid weather during the day. Heaviest rainfall occurs between June and July, with around 360 mm in July. The rain is mostly preceded by strong winds and skies full with lightning. When it rains, it quickly overfills drainage and makes soft rural roads almost inaccessible by car, forget to go by heavier transport. In the absence of rain, weather is clear and cool, around 30° during the day and 22° Celsius in the night, however humidity prevails. The annual rainfall in Enugu State is between 1.5 and 2 metres. The dry season is usually hotter than the rainy period and lasts between November and April. The lowest rainfall of about 16 mm is normal in February. This period is also characterised by the dry and dusty harmattan winds in January and February. These northeastern winds come often in spells that last from a few days to more than a week. Nights become chilly and temperatures may even drop below the 20° Celsius, coming back to an average 32° during the day with occasional peaks above the 36° Celsius during the day. The hot harmattan winds evaporate body moisture quickly and give a sensation of coolness to the skin. It is these Sahara winds that carry large amounts of dust to the state, leaving a thick fog in the morning and a hazy sky for the rest of the day behind. Houses, buildings and cars are daily covered with a layer of fine brownish sand, even people fall victim. At the end of the day, after washing off the sand from your face, you should not be surprised to turn your towel into brown-orange cloth.


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Annual Temperature and Rainfall Obviously, the end of the dry season is welcomed by many people. There is a saying in Igboland that rain flushes all sicknesses away. That is debatable, but it definitely deals with the dust. Conversation: How is the weather? Click here to listen to this conversation. - Olee maka üböchï taa?

How is the weather today?

- Üböchï taa dï mma.

Today's weather is fine.

Ugbua bü oge ügürü.

Now it is harmattan period.

Mmiri anaghï ezo.

Rain is not falling.

Ö na-adï ökü na oge ehihie,

It is hot in the day,

ma na-adï oyi na abalï.

and is cold in the night.

Ana-ewe nnuku ikuke.

There is a lot of wind.

- Oge özö, ga-bü udu mmiri.

Next period, it is rainy season.

Nnuku mmiri ga-ezo.

A lot of rain will fall.

Ana-ewe nnuku urukpu.

There will be many clouds.

I kwesiri iweta nche anwü.

You need to bring an umbrella.


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For more details, check - E mesïa, aga-ewe ököchï.

Then, it will be the dry season.

Anwü ga-dï, ma ö ga-dï ökü.

There will be sun and it will be hot.

- Olee maka üböchï echi?

What about tomorrow's weather?

- Echi, ö ga-dï anwü ma bürükwa nnukwu üböchï.

Tomorrow, there will be sun and it will be a great day.

Vocabulary mmiri-ozuzo rain













ugbua now

egbe igwe


Grammar: Personal Pronouns Separable


mü, m I, me, my

(verb) + m I

you , your

i, ï


he, his, him, she, her, it, its o, ö


we, us, our


you, your (pl.)


they, them, their

you he/she/it

The pronouns in Igbo language have two forms: separable and inseparable. The inseparable forms only apply to the singular pronouns and are found as the single subject in direct combination with the main verbs of a sentence, as in bi

live (verb stem)

ebi m I live


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you live

o bi

he/she lives








the m follows




Separable pronouns are not confined to its sole purpose as a subject with a verb and can be used as a subject, direct and indirect object, for example: buru

carry (verb stem)

anyï buru gï

we carry you

unu buru mü

you carry me

mü na gï buru ya me and you carry him

They can also follow a noun in possessive relationship: di m di

husband di gï

my husband your husband

di ya

her husband

nwa m

my child

nwa child nwa anyï our child


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Food and Recipes Nigerian chophouses typically list a number of soups with meat or fish ingredients, served with either pounded yam, eba (steamed garri), semovita or jollof rice. Pounding yam is an effort on its own, and after observing its pounding, you probably value your food a lot more. The soups are mostly palm oil based and the most popular ones in Igboland are:      

bitterleaf soup, with bitterleaf not very distant from spinach; ora and ogri soup, a vegetable-based soup, most commonly eaten in villages; egusi soup, yellowish soup based on melon seeds; okro soup, sticky, viscous „draw‟ soup made out of sliced okro pods; ogbono soup, another „draw‟ soup based on ogbono pods and vegetable soup, the most exclusive soup, because of its ingredients.

Rural Bar/Restaurant in Isi-Uzo Meat or fish is a key component of the soup, mostly originating from cow, chicken, goat, turkey, dry fish or stockfish. Stockfish is air-dried codfish that is soaked and cooked in the soup. Some restaurants advertise bush meat as well, which can be from antelopes, but more valued is the grass-cutter (also called bush or cane rat), or maybe even less familiar species. Bush rat meat is worth a try, when cooked properly, as it is very tender and well spiced. Vegetarians, unfortunately, may find themselves limited to only a few non-meat dishes on the menu list. The less hungry people may try moi-moi or suya. Moin-moin is a delicious steamed bean cake; suya is a brochette with thin slices of grilled cow or goat meat. To make this section complete, you can find the recipes for egusi and okro soup: Egusi Soup: 675 g of meat, chicken or fish, ½ cup of dried shrimp or crayfish, 1 ½ cup of tomato paste, 21

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For more details, check 2 cups of leafy spinach, bitterleaf or other greens, 2-3 chilli peppers, 1 cup of palm oil, ½ cup of sliced onions, 1 cup of egusi seeds (or melon seeds), salt to taste.

Cut the meat into bite-sized chunks and add 1 cup of water, ½ teaspoon of salt and half cup of onions to it and cook it for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the finely chopped onions, tomato paste and peppers for 5 minutes in palm oil. Grid or crush the egusi seeds and mix it with enough water to make a paste and add to above together with the shrimp or crayfish. When the meat gets brownish, add it to the above sauce to cook until tender. Add the bunches of bitterleaf (finely chopped) 10 minutes before the end of cooking time. Okro Soup: 5 pods of okro, Meat or fish, 1 medium onion 3 peppers ½ cup crayfish 1 dessert spoon of palm oil 1 stock cube and salt

Trim, wash and cut meat or fish into small pieces and boil until cooked. Pound together the onion, peppers and crayfish, add it to the meat and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Add the okro, stock, salt, palm oil to the soup and cook for a further 3 minutes. Note that for vegetable soup, you can use greenleaf instead of okro. Both soups are to be most typically served with pounded yam or garri.


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Cooking in Igboland There are many local chop houses and street food around in Enugu. There is also a considerate number of western (O‟Neill‟s and Hobby‟s) and Chinese restaurants (Raya and Genesis) in the town, as well as fast-food places (Bubbles and Mr. Biggs) with pizza‟s, hamburgers and fries served. Nightclubs, such as Frenzi (in a beautiful colonial style building), Spring Fellows and Vincent Gardens, do only serve light snacks. Conversation: In the Chop House Click here to listen to this conversation. - Bata n’ime onye ahïa.

Come inside customer.

- Olee üdï nrï unu were?

What kind of food do you have?

- Anyï were ji, osikapa na garri.

We have yam, rice and garri.

- I were agwa?

Do you have beans?


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- Esogbuna, weta garri.

Don‟t worry, bring the garri.

- Ego ole?

How much?

- Weta garri naira asaa.

Bring garri worth of seven naira.

- Ï chörö anü?

Do you want meat?

- Olee etu i si ere anü?

How do you sell meat?

- Anyï na-ere otu naira mobu naira atö. We sell for one naira and for three. - Tinye otu anü naira atö.

Put one meat worth of three naira.

- Were ya.

Take it.

- Nye m mmiri.

Give me water.

- Were ya.

Have it.

- Tinyekue ofe.

Bring more soup

- Weta afere.

Bring your plate.

- Ofea törö ütö.

The soup is tasty.

- Ego ole ka m ji gï?

How much do I owe you?

- Ha ncha bü naira iri na abüö.

That is 12 naira.

- Were ego.

Take the money.

- Da alü.

Well done.

- Ka e mesïa, ka odi oge özö.

Good-bye, till next time.

Vocabulary ülö oriri

chop house




kind, sort









mmanya drink, beer, wine


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mmanü oil






soup, stew



anü öhïa bush meat, bush animal mkpïsï


okporoko stockfish



Grammar: Present Tense and Imperative For the present tense of verbs, the verb stem is used. If the personal pronoun follows the verb (which is the case for the first person inseparable pronoun), an aor e- prefix is attached to the verb stem in line with the vowel harmony, i.e. an aprefix for verb stems with an a, ï, ö or ü vowel; an e- prefix for verb stems with an i, e, o or u vowel: bi

live (verb stem) chï

ebi m I live

carry (something in the hand) (verb stem)

achï m I carry

This prefix falls away with the other pronouns. The second and third person inseparable pronouns harmonise with the verb stems: i bi you live ï chï you carry o bi he lives ö chï he carries

Separable pronouns do not require harmonisation: anyï bi

we live

anyï chï

we carry

unu bi

you (pl.) live

unu chï

you carry

ha bi

they live

ha chï

they carry

mü na gï bi me and you live mü na gï chï me and you carry

Other example:


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For more details, check bü

be (verb stem)

abü m Mike

I am Mike

ï bü emeka

you are Emeka

ö bü emeka

he is Emeka

anyï bü Mike na Emeka we are Mike and Emeka unu bu Mike na Emeka you are Mike and Emeka ha bü Mike na Emeka

they are Mike and Emeka

The negative present tense is formed by harmonising the verb stem with the harmonising prefix a or e and suffix ghi or ghï in the following manner: abüghï m Nick

I am not Nick

aha m bü Michael; aha m abüghï Nick my name is Michael; my name is not Nick. anyï chï anü

we carry meat

unu akwöghï anyï

you do not carry us

ebi m na Achara Layout

I live in Achara Layout

ebighi m na GRA

I do not live in GRA

The imperative uses the verb stem without any prefix: nye give gwa tell

The imperative can be followed by a noun or pronoun: nye m ego give me money gwa m

tell me

kwuo ya

say it

züö akwa

buy a cloth


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For more details, check unu zaa ala you (pl.) sweep the floor ka ha gaa

let them leave

ka anyi laa let us go (home) ka anyi gaa let us leave

The negative imperative is formed with the prefix e- or a- and suffix –ne or –la, both harmonising with the verb stem: erine

do not eat


do not sweep

unu azala you do not sweep the floor


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Market Enugu has a number of supermarkets with large assortments of (mainly western) goods available. The more challenging attraction is to visit one of the local markets where there is not only a larger variety present at a more reasonable price, but it also provides you a taste of a typical market atmosphere. There are a number of large markets in Enugu city and most rural communities have their own market as well. Ogbete or Main market is the largest and cheapest selling place where you can buy almost anything imaginable. Each market has its own layout with different areas dedicated to certain goods, such as groceries, clothes, electronics, books, vegetables and grains, etc. Anyone is more than happy to lead you to one of these areas. If you are looking for something more specific you can have a look at the other markets, a few to mention: both Kenyatta and New market for building materials as well as bricklayers, carpenters, masons, painters, plumbers etc., Artisan market for livestock which can be slaughtered and plucked on the spot, and the Obolo market near Nsukka for its fresh fruit and vegetables. Opening times of most of the town markets are from 08:30 to 17:30, six days a week. The markets in the village only open on one of the four market days (Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo) in the week. These market days follow in a 4-day repetitious cycle and are marked on most local calendars. Occasionally, you might encounter night markets as well. The night markets, lightened by kerosene lights and wax candles, give it attractive night event. One told me that one of these rural night markets is associated with spiritual elements. There is a believe that people can go to this market to get in contact with relatives who passed away in unexplained incidents. Here, through an intermediate oracle priest, the deceased may reveal the identities involved in his or her unexpected departure. And to prove this, the passed away relative predicts that something specific will happen soon, showing his family that the truth has been spoken...


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Market Stall Conversation: Where can I buy yam? Click here to listen to this conversation. - Anyï na-eje na ahïa ka anyï golu ngwa ahia.

We are going to the market to buy some articles.

- Olee ebe m ga-egota ji?

Where can I buy yam?

Jee na ahïa Ogbete.

Go to the Ogbete Market.

- Olee ebe ö dï?

Where is it?

- Ö dï na etiti Enugu.

It is in the center of Enugu.

Na ahïa:

At the market:

- Bïa ebea onye ahïa.

Come here customer.


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For more details, check - Nne, olee maka ahïa tata?

Madam, how is today‟s market?

- Ahïa tata dï mma/ Ahïa tata adïghï mma.

Today‟s market is fine/Today‟s business is not fine.

- Olee ihe ï chörö biko?

What do you want please?

- Achörö m ji.

I want yam.

- Ö dï ebea?

Is it here?

- E-e.


- Ego ole ka i na-ele otu?

How much do you sell one?

- Weta naira ato.

Bring three naira.

- Ka m kwüa otu naira.

Let me pay one naira.

- Mba, kwüa naira abüö.

No, bring two naira.

- Ö dïghï mma.

It is not good.

- Aga m enweta ya önüa ebe özö.

I will get it at this price elsewhere.

- Weta ego.

Bring the money.

- Weta ha ise.

Give me five.

- Ö dï mma jide

That is good to hold on to.

- Ego ole ka ha ise bü?

What is the total cost for the five?

- Ö bü naira iri.

It is ten naira.

- Welü ego

Take the money

- Olee ihe özö ï chörö biko, lee anya öfüma.

What more do you want to buy, please, look well.

- Onwerozi, ka e mesïa.

Nothing more, good-bye.

- Chukwu gözie gï.

God bless you.

Vocabulary ahïa





onye ahïa customer


buy, purchase (verb)

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want, intend to (verb)





akwa ökükü chicken eggs ite











buy (verb)


water leaves




cray fish





mbala ji

water yam







akü oyibo






nmanü-ökü kerosine

ore ihe


özü ahïa


Grammar: Numerals otu





















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For more details, check iri na otu


iri na atö


iri abüö


iri abüö na otu


iri atö


iri atö na otu


iri asatö


iri itolu




narï abüö




puku atö na iri abüö na iri 3,210 nde






Only otu and ökara precede the noun; the other numbers follow the noun: otu ülö

one house

ülö ise

five houses

otu naira

one naira

naira abüö two naira ökara naira half a naira

Note that the noun does not change if it is in plural. The ordinal numbers are as follows: 32

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nke abüö second nke atö


nke anö fourth

Examples: ülö mbu

the first house

ülö nke abüö the second house abü m mbu


I am first

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Transport Enugu is strategically positioned in the southeast of the country and has a large network of roads, which is currently being expanded and/or rehabilitated. The road network comprises federal roads, which connect Enugu to other states of the country and state roads, which connect the various Local Government Headquarters in the State. Enugu is only an approximately 3 driving hours away from Port Harcourt and Warri and 4 hours to Calabar, all coastal cities with major shipping ports. Onitsha is 1 hour away and it is a 2 1/2 hoursâ€&#x; drive from Aba, both of which are major trading centres in Nigeria. Abuja and Lagos, the administrative and commercial headquarters of Nigeria respectively, are also in its reach with a 6 to 8 hours drive. Apart from the network of roads, Enugu is also host to one of the oldest railway stations, built in 1916, with connections to Port Harcourt going south and Kano and Maiduguri northwards. Because of the trackâ€&#x;s narrow curves, the maximum speed is around 40 km per hour, but as it cuts through parts of untouched landscape, it is worth giving it a try if you have the time. In addition, Enugu airport serves daily flights to Abuja, Lagos, Jos and Port Harcourt with domestic airlines. To get around in the city, you can stop an okada, a commercial motorcyclist, to bring you to your destination. For bigger distance, you can take one of the minivans serving fixed routes through the city, or if not on the way of destination, you can get a shared or drop taxi. The latter brings you directly to your destination, but is also more expensive.

Long distance 504 station wagon

For journeys outside the city, you either have to go to the 9th mile, old motorpark (Ogbete market), New Market or Gariki motorpark. New Market serves destinations going to Onitsha and the west, 9th Mile for the directions going to Abuja, Jos and the north, while Gariki motorpark serves destinations in the southeast. The Ogbete motorpark serves both directions going north (the old motorpark opposite the 34

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prison) and south (near the Holy Ghost Cathedral). You find that the different motorparks show overlap in their destinations, and dependent on where you are exactly going to, one may be preferred in terms of direct connection, the time of day and waiting time till the car or bus gets filled up. Going to Abuja or Jos, recommendation is to leave just after sunrise to pick up a car in 9th mile. The motorpark allows you to choose a car, mini-van or bus, dependent on your patience and budget. You might be amazed that you can actually fit ten persons in a 504 Peugeot station wagon, with a built-in third bench in the back or fifteen persons in a Japanese mini-van. Just one tip, avoid travelling during the night: not only because not all cars are fitted with proper head/tail lights, but more for the accidents and deep potholes in the road which can cause some serious delay to your journey. Conversation: Have a Safe Journey Click here to listen to this conversation. - Aga m ama üzö gaa n’ülö m echi.

I am going early to my house tomorrow.

- Echiche gï amaka.

That is a good idea (Your idea is good).

- Biko, gwa m ebe m ga ahü ödü ndï ügbö ala na-ga Obiöma Street? Ö dï nso na ebea?

Please tell me where I can find the motorpark going to Obioma Street? Is it close from here?

- E-e, ö dï ezigbo nso.

Yes, it is very near.

- Chelu, olee ebe ï na-aga?

Wait, where are you going?

- Ana m aga Obiöma Street?

I am going to Obioma Street.

Nkea ö na-aga Obiöma Street?

Is this going to Obioma Street?

- E-e.


- Biko, buga m Obiöma street.

Please, take me to Obioma Street

- Olee ebe i bi na Obiöma Street?

Where do you live in Obioma Street?

- Ebi m na 6, Obiöma Lane.

I live in 6, Obioma Lane.

- Ego ole ka ïga ana m maka ïga obioma?

How much is it to go to Obioma?

- Ego ole ka i ji?

How much do you have?

- Eji m Naira iri anö.

I have forty Naira.


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For more details, check - Mba, kwüö m Naira iri ise. - Ö dï mma.

No, pay me fifty Naira. Ok.

- Daalü enyi m, anyï ga-ahü özö.

Well done my friend, we shall see again.

- Deeme enyi m, jee nke öma.

Well done my friend, I wish you a good journey.

Vocabulary ala

earth, ground


how many

ügbö ala

car, motor


to think




thought, idea

ügbö elu








ügbö mmiri



tell (verb)

ödü ügbö ala motorpark


close, nearby

ogbatumtum motor-cycle


possess, hold (verb)



kwüö ügwö pay (verb)


so that, that



and, at, in, on, within hü

see (verb)



wait (verb)


well done

Grammar: Infinitives, Participles and Auxiliaries Infinitives have a vowel prefix, i or ï, harmonising with the vowel of the verb stem. Examples: ime to do

ikwö to carry on one‟s back


to cook ïta


to sell 36

to chew

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igbu to kill

ïchö to want

izute to meet ïza ili

to sweep

to bury ïmü to learn

The negative infinitive has the e- or a- prefix harmonising with the vowel of the verb stem: emeghi not to do

and ghi or ghï suffix,


azaghï not to sweep

etoghi not to grow amüghï not to learn

Participles are formed by a preceding vowel, e- or a-, and the verb stem: esi cooking aga going eme doing

amü learning

The participle is used with an auxiliary to specify its action. The auxiliary precedes the participle and is connected with it through a hyphen if immediately followed by the participle. Examples: na used as auxiliary to specify continuing action in the present:

ana m azü anü I am buying meat ö na-esi anü

he is cooking meat

ga used as auxiliary to indicate future action:

aga m azü anü I will buy meat ö ga-esi anü


he will cook meat

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The negative form has an a- (or e-) prefix and ghï (or ghi) suffix attached to the auxiliary: anaghï m azü anü I am not buying meat ö anaghï esi anu He is not cooking meat


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Religion Igboland‟s traditional religion is based on the belief that there is one creator, God, also called Chineke or Chukwu. The creator can be approached through numerous other deities and spirits in the form of natural objects, most commonly through the god of thunder (Amadioha). There is also the belief that ancestors protect their living descendants and are responsible for rain, harvest, health and children. Shrines, called Mbari, are made in honour of the earth spirit and contain tableaux of painted earth. Other shrines keep wooden figures representing ancestors and patrons. The evidence of these shrines, oracle houses and traditional priest in the villages still emphasise people‟s beliefs, though with the western influence, Christianity has taken a more dominant role in modern Igboland. Nowadays, there are a large number of churches as well as mosques and traditional religion worship centres available in Enugu State. The state is predominantly made up of Christians (some argue that history has it that Igbos descended from Israel), and there is no acrimony between the adherents of the different religious beliefs.

Oracle House near Ama-Nkanu There is almost an equal split between catholic and protestant churches in Enugu. The state hosts two catholic cathedrals: the Holy Ghost Cathedral can be found next to Ogbete Main Market in the city; the other Cathedral in Enugu State is located in Nsukka. Most people are very disciplined to attend church services and it is hard for them to believe in the existence of „free thinkers‟, i.e. people who do not feel committed to any religion. One of the most important events in Igboland is Christmas and it signifies home return in the village. Even though they live most of the time in the city or somewhere else in Nigeria, Igbo families consider their one and only real home their house in the village. It is the two weeks around Christmas which bring families back together to the village. It is the time to catch up with other family members on what has happened over the year and visit relatives and friends in the neighbourhood. You will find the cities empty during this period only preceded and 39

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followed by the traffic peaks caused by travelling back and forth between the village and the cities. Easter is the other event, though smaller in scale, which provides Igboland a break for festivities. People tend to go to their villages but most of them stay around in the city to visit friends and relatives. In line of this, Mother‟s day is the last one I want to mention. On this Sunday the mothers prepare special food for the whole family, which is obviously a feast on its own. Conversation: Let us Pray Click here to listen to this conversation.

- Bïa ka anyï gaa üka.

Let us go to church.

Ka anyï kpe ekpere.

Let us pray.

- Ï bü onye üka?

Are you a christian?

- E-e, abü m onye üka.

I am a christian.

- Olee üka ï na-ekpe?

Which denomination do you pray at?

- Abü m onye Anglican/Catholic.

I am Anglican/Catholic.

- Olee ebe ülö üka unu dï?

Where is your church?

- Ö dï n’Obiöma Street.

It is in Obioma Street.

Aga enwe üka üböchï üka na ütütü.

There is a mass on Sunday morning.

- Ekele dili gï.

Thank you very much.

- Chukwu gözie gï.

God bless you.

Nna anyï nö n’eluigwe

Our Father

Nna anyï nö n’eluigwe,

Our Father, who art in Heaven,

ka otito dïrï aha Gï,

hallowed be your name.


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ka ochïchï Gï bïa,

Your kingdom come.

ka e mee uche Gï n’üwa ka e si eme ya n’eluigwe.

Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Nye anyï tata nri nke üböchï anyï.

Give us this day our daily bread,

Gbaghara anyï mmehie anyï dika anyï si gbaghara ndï mehiere anyï.

and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

E kwela ka anyï kwenye na nlanye,

And lead us not into temptation,

Ma zöpüta anyi n’ajö ihe.

but deliver us from evil.



Vocabulary ekpere


ezigbo nwoke

good man

okwukwe denomination üböchï

day, daylight


make a plea (verb)


save, rescue (verb)


give, present (verb)

añuli Ekeresimesi merry Christmas Añuli arö öfüü añuli Easter o Chineke

happy new year happy Easter o Lord ezi okwu truth

Jesu Kristi

Jesus Christ ezi





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Anglican Church in Akpugo-Eze

Grammar: Adjectives In Igbo, adjectives can immediately precede or follow the noun or pronoun to which it belongs. Most commonly used adjectives are: öma

good, beautiful


white, clean




ugly, bad





niile/dum all, each, every

Examples: ö bü akwükwö öcha it is white paper ewu dum nö ebea

all goats are here

If the adjective is not directly preceding the noun or pronoun, the noun form of the adjective is used: adjective noun form öma 42

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For more details, check öcha




Examples: akwükwö dï ücha the paper is white ewu dum dï mma all goats are good

The same principle as described above, applies to demonstrative adjectives, they can only follow or precede the noun immediately: -a


this, these

that, those

ülöa this house, these houses ülö ahü that house, those houses

These adjectives also form the demonstrative pronouns: nkea this

nke ahü that

ndïa these (group) ndi ahü those (group) ihea this (thing)

ihe ahü that (thing)

ebea here (place) ebe ahü there

Examples: nkea dï mma this is good nke ahü dï njö that is bad ndia di mma

these are good

ihe ahü dï njö that (thing) is bad ebe ahü dï njö there is bad

Note: The verb „to be‟ can be translated by three different verbs: bü, dï and nö. The verb büis most commonly used for „to be‟; dï is used with a noun and not 43

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adjectives and indicates the quality or location of something ; nö is used for the presence of someone in a location: ö dï mma

it is fine

ö dï n’elu akpati it is on top of the box ö nö ya?

is he in?

ö nö ebe ahu?

is he there?


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Education There are over 100 primary schools, 30 secondary schools and 5 tertiary institutions in Enugu State. Most of the schools are funded and run by Government, but there are also a good number of private nursery, primary and secondary schools in the state. The University of Nigeria, founded in 1960, is the first indigenous university in Nigeria and located in Nsukka with a campus in Enugu town. The previous and very first university in Nigeria has been set-up in Ibadan before independence in 1949 and is affiliated with universities in England. Enugu State also hosts the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), formerly known as the Anambra State University of Science and Technology, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Our Saviourâ€&#x;s Institute of Science, Agriculture and Technology (OSISATECH – the first private polytechnic in the state) and the EhaAmufu College of Education. The educational system in Nigeria starts with nursery, managed by private institutions only, when the child is aged around three to four years. Primary school follows when they reach the age of five. From the age twelve, this is followed by three years of Junior Senior School, which are completed by the JSS exam. Then, three more years of Senior Secondary School is required.

College of Immaculate Conception (CIC) in Enugu For admission to the Polytechnic or University, pupils have to pass the JAMB (Joint Admission and Matriculation Board) exam that is at the end of the third year of Senior Secondary School. This needs to go together with either four GCE credits for the admission to Polytechnic or five credits for University, among which English language is mandatory. With two years of Polytechnic, you obtain the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) title, and with one year of industrial attachment and two years of further Polytechnic education, the Higher National Degree (HND) title can be awarded.


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For university, four or five years are required to become BA (Bachelor of Arts) or B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science). After finishing the higher education, one extra year of youth service is required. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) involves an internship with companies or government in other parts of the county than where the person has been brought up, encouraging national integration and unity in Nigeria. There is a strict dress code for all primary and secondary schools with school uniform and shaved head for both girls and boys. Also, there is a federal imperative to make primary school education free of registration fees, though still some work needs to be done in this area. Conversation: Going to School Click here to listen to this conversation. Ümü aka na-aga n’ülö akwükwö.

The children are going to school.

Aha ülö akwükwö ha bü St. Patrick.

The name of their school is St. Patrick.

- Nwata kïrï nwanyïa bü nwata akwükwö.

This girl is a pupil.

- Arö ole ka ö dï?

How old is she?

- Ö dï arö asatö.

She is eight years old.

- Olee clasï nke ö nö?

Which grade is she in?

- Ö nö na clasï nke atö n’ülö akwükwö prïmarï.

She is in the third grade in primary school.

- Olee ihe ï na-amü?

What are you studying?

- Ana m amü maka Bayïlöjï.

I am studying Biology.

- Ï ma maka Bïölögï öfüma?

Are you good at Biology?

- E-e, ama m öfüma.

Yes, I am good.

- Na oge ehihie, ana m amü ka esi eme mgbakö na In the afternoon, I study calculations. nwepu. - Olee ihe ï chörö ïbü?

What do you want to become?

- Achörö m ïbü njïnïa.

I want to become an engineer.


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For more details, check Achörö m ïga ülö mahadüm nke kasi mma.

I want to go to the best university.

- Nwanyia ö bü onye nkuzi gï?

Is she your teacher?

- Mba, ö na akuzi na ülö akwükwö seköndïrï.

No, she teaches in the secondary school.

Vocabulary mahadüm university akwükwö

book, paper

ülö akwükwö




onye nkuzi teacher ahö





well, properly




addition, adding up


teach (verb)


reading, count

nwata kïrï nwanyï girl nwata akwükwö student/pupil ore akwükwö ihe öma

book seller good thing

ihe öjöö

bad thing

ezi omume

good behaviour elementrï primary school

akwa öcha

white cloth arö


Grammar: Tense and Suffixes In Igbo language, verbs do not distinguish between present and past tense. The meaning of the verb is generally changed by the suffix that specifies the action in the present or past. Some of these suffixes harmonise with the verb stem, others do not, and sometimes multiple suffixes can follow each other in a combination. The most commonly suffixes used are: -tara/-tere action in the past (he did) -ra/-re -la/-le


completed action (he has done)

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For more details, check -bü/-bu

a past continuous action (he used to do)


past completed action (he did)


continue doing, starting an action (start doing)


already completed the action (have done)


already completing the action (already doing, already done)


to indicate an intensification of the action of the verb


brings an action to completion


also, as well


present continuous action (is doing)

Examples: ö zütara anü

he bought meat

o butere ya

he brought it

ï bïara?

did you come?

o gwüla

it is finished

o rule

it is time

ana m azübü anü I used to buy meat o biri ebea

he lived here

o riri anü

he ate meat

o bigo ebe ahü

he has lived there

o rigo anü

he has eaten meat

o ribago nrï

he has already started eating

anabago m

I am already going

ö nabago

he has already gone


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weta ego

bring money

abukwazi m Mike I am also Mike Olee ka i mere? How are you doing?

There are more verb tenses in Igbo language. One tense is used to start a conversation or speech or is used in a sentence introduced by another verb. This tense is formed by a harmonising a- or e- prefix with the verb stem: unu enwere mmiri na ĂśkĂźlatrĂŻk? do you have water and electricity? (opening question)

To go in more details would go beyond the scope of this book, and I would suggest to read the grammar books mentioned in the references.


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Kola Nut Kola nuts are not only known for its origin to many American and European softdrinks and its chewing by labourers to diminish hunger and fatigue, but even more for its sacred significance in Igboland. Attending a kola nut ceremony is almost inevitable for anyone visiting Enugu and is Igbo tradition at its best. Elder agree that once the 5-centimetre nuts are blessed with incantations, the visitors will feel ensured that they are welcome. People are more than willing to explain the ceremony, and where there is no kola nut available, the host will need to do the explanatory apology to his visitors. The kola nut tradition is used for a variety of events, but principally to welcome guests to a village or house.

Breaking of Kola Nut The ceremony may vary depending on the occasion and people present at the ceremony, but there is a common understanding in the traditional way of breaking them. To illustrate this delicate ceremony, I will take the occasion of welcoming a group of visitors to a village. The host presents a plate with a number of Kola nuts (ranging from two up to sixteen) to the leader of the delegation, who will take the plate and shows it to the most senior member of his entourage. To acknowledge that he has seen the plate, he briefly touches the plate with his right hand, before it is shown to less senior members and so forth till most members have taken a glimpse of the plate. After that, the host gets the plate returned from the visitor and takes one of the kola nuts and gives it to the visitor while saying: „Öjï luo ünö okwuo ebe osi bia.‟ „When the Kola nut reaches home, it will tell where it came from.‟

This proverb says that the visitor needs to show the kola nut to his people at home as a proof of having visited this village.


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Igbo Kola Nut Ceremony Usually, the oldest man among the host audience is asked to bless the kola nuts. He will take one of the nuts in his right hand and makes a blessing, prayer or toast using a proverb, e.g. „Ihe dï mma onye n‟achö, ö ga-afü ya.‟ „What ever good he is looking for, he will see it.‟

Subsequently, the presenter or an appointed person breaks the kola nut with his hands or using a knife. An aid or close relative breaks the remaining nuts. The visitors now explain the purpose of their visit, while the kola parts are distributed to the people, occasionally coming along with palm wine, garden eggs and peanut butter. As mentioned before, it is the breaking that is the significant part of the ceremony. The more parts the kola breaks up to, the more prosperity it gives to its presenter and visitors. Though there is one exception: if the nut yields only to two parts, it signifies no good as it signals that the presenter has a sinister motive behind the kola. Because of that, Kola nuts with only two parts are avoided for this ceremony and therefore the purple/reddish coloured nuts, cola acuminata are preferred over 51

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its greyish counterpart, the cola nitida, as the latter one only breaks up in two. Four parts coincide with the four market days of the Igbo week. Five or more broken parts mean prosperity for the family. In some parts of Igboland, when the kola breaks into six, a separate celebration is required and sometimes even including the slaughter of a goat. There are many other rules surrounding the kola nut ceremony, which you can read in the books mentioned in the references. I will mention only a few more things: kola nut should only be presented with two hands at the same time, and also as the kola tree is associated with man, only men can climb and pluck the kola tree. Sorry ladies!

Igbo Welcoming to Village Conversation: To the Hospital Click here to listen to this conversation. - Ah端 esighi m ike.


I do not feel well (my body does not feel well).

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For more details, check - Achörö m ïga hü dibïa oyibo.

I want to go and see a doctor.

- Ka anyï gaa ebe ahü.

Let us go there.

Na dibïa:

At the doctor:

- I bü dibïa?

Are you a doctor?

- E-e. Biko, nödü anï ebea

Yes. Please, sit down here.

- Kunie oto, ka m lele gï.

Stand up, let me examine you.

Echere m na ï na-arïa örïa oyi.

I think you have a cold.

Abükwazi m onye na ere ögwü.

I am also a medicine dealer.

Lee mgbörögwü osisi na akwükwö ögwü. Here are some roots and herbs. - Imela.

Thank you.

- Ndïa bü maka ogologo ndü.

These are for long life.

- Nwa m nwoke na-ebe akwa.

My son is crying.

Ö na-ewe isi mgbu.

He has a head-ache.

Achörö m ïkpörö ya gaa n’ülö ögwü.

I want to bring him to the hospital.

Achörö m igota ögwü ebe ahü.

I want to buy medicines there.

Ha gawara ülö ögwü.

They went to the hospital.

Vocabulary ahü



traditional doctor, medicine man

dibïa oyibo doctor örïa


rïa örïa

fall ill (verb)





akwa (HH) weeping 53

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cry (verb)


bring, take (verb)

ülö ögwü



medicines, tablets





Parts of the Body

Author depicted by young neighbour

enwere m isi

I have a head

o nwere mkpïsï aka iri he has ten fingers


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Masquerades and Festivals Igboland holds many festivities and cultural performances, most notably the masquerades and the new Yam festivals. Masquerades (Mmanwu) are held in accordance with the community native calendars during festivals, annual festivities, burial rites and other social gatherings. The masquerades are geared in colourful robes and masks made of wood or fabric. Some masks appear only at one festival, but the majority appears at many or all. Masquerades are associated with spiritual elements, as according to Igbo belief, they represent images of deities or sometimes even dead relatives. The identity of the masquerade is a well-kept secret and performed exclusively by men. In the past, masquerades were regarded as the means for maintaining peace and order and were primarily used as law enforcement agents. The whole village would come out for the ceremony of the colourful masquerades. While entertaining through dances and exhibiting extra-human feats, the masquerades would walk up to certain individuals and loudly expose any bad habits, crimes or misbehaviour of that person. As people would always take corrections from these exposures, the masquerades were effective in keeping up with traditional norms and values in the communities.

Straw Masquerades in Umunko With colonisation in the 20th century, masquerades became more relevant as an institution for cultural entertainment. Nowadays, they are used more for tourist attractions when they come out in colourful robes accompanied by traditional dancers and music. The masks are determined by local tradition and beliefs. Bestknown are those that represent the spirit of deceased maidens and their mothers symbolising beauty and peacefulness. This masquerade may be accompanied by the elephant spirit, representing ugliness and aggression, which frightens the male spectators away from her beauty. Other characters include the European (Mbeke), 55

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a pair of boy and girl (Mba), the boy dressed up as a girl satirising his counterpart, and animals (crocodile, snake etc.) representing various local deities.

Igbo Masquerades There is an annual masquerade festival in November organised by Enugu State and involves masquerade groups from various parts of the state. The other festival with high social significance carried out by most communities in Igboland is the new Yam (Iri Ji) festival, which marks the beginning of the harvest seasons for new yam. The festival takes place usually between August and October, though the time varies from one community to the other. The New Yam festival raises the occasion for celebration while offering special prayers to God for a good harvest. It is marked with colourful display of cultural dances and rites, including roasting and toasting of new yams. Obviously, time for feasting and merry-making. Some other ceremonies worth attending are: 

Chieftaincy coronation, an installation rite carried out by titled men, the elders and initiates on behalf of the community; Özö title taking, involving ritualistic initiation; Traditional marriage and funeral both mentioned in more detail later in this book.

 


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Masquerade in Umuozzi Calendar and Time The traditional calendar in Igboland is based on the lunar calendar. It comprises four market days (Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo) with seven weeks per month. With thirteen months a year, this puts the total number to 364 days per lunar year. The beginning and ending of the year are marked in July. The dates for the various village festivals depend on the local native calendar. The solar month equivalents have been listed below, but note that these months are just approximate comparisons as the solar and lunar calendar do not exactly match with each other: Lunar months solar months Önwa-mbü















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Önwa-iri na otu May Önwa-iri na atö June Önwa-iri na anö Thirteenth month

Conversation: What time? Click here to listen to this conversation. - Olee ihe elekere nö?

What time is it?

- Ö nö elekere otu.

It is one o‟clock.

- Olee oge ï ga-agbasa ölü?

When will you be dismissing from work?

- Ana m agbasa n’ elekere anö.

I will be dismissing at four o‟clock.

- Olee oge ï ga-abia?

When will you come?

- Aga m abïa na ojiri ökara gafee elekere anö. I will come at half past four. - Olee ihe elekere nö?

What time is it?

- Ugbua nö n’elekere anö.

Now, it is four o‟clock.

- O rule.

It is time.

Vocabulary elekere

time, hour, clock


time, period, occasion kodi echi

see you tomorrow


dismiss (verb)









üböchi öma good day


kodi na ütütü see you in the morning (same day)

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ütütü öma good morning



ehihie öma good afternoon



abalï öma


red earth

good night

Grammar: Prepositions Prepositions are words used before a noun or pronoun to specify a place, position or time. In Igbo, there is only one preposition na. When preceding a vowel, it has the tone of that vowel and is written n‟ instead. ö nö n’ülö he is in the house ö dï n’ala it is on the ground ö dï na ji it is on the yam

In combination with a noun, it can specify the location of the preposition in more detail: Noun


Preposition na

in, at, on


on top of, up


okpuru underside n’okpuru under, below ime

interior n’ime


akükü edge n’akükü beside

Examples: ö dï n’enu akpati

it is on top of the box

ö dï n’okpuru akpati it is under the box ö dï n’ime akpati

it is inside the box

ö dï n’ akükü akpati it is beside the box


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Village Before European colonisation, the Igbo-speaking people were not united as single people, but lived in small-dispersed compounds in the rainforest, built up of clusters of huts belonging to the same patrilineage. The largest political unit was the village group averaging about 5,000 persons, who shared a common market, meeting place and common beliefs and cults. These village groups were ruled by a council of elder age grades, lineage heads and influential wealthy men. For centuries, age grades have played (and still do) an important role in village life. Age grades are formed by people born within three to five years from each other, and are a means to create a peer group, foster unity and responsibility, acting mainly as a socio-cultural institution. Communities are segmented in different age grades, and with years passing by, the younger groups ascend the ladder and take over the role of older grades.

Welcome to Igbo village 60

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Age grades are initiated by youths at a certain age in their adulthood. They choose a well-respected elder as their patron to facilitate the recognition of their grade among the elders. He acts mainly as a liaison officer between both groups. In the olden days, the newly formed group had to prove themselves for maturity by defending the community against hostile neighbours or enemies. Nowadays, these tasks are substituted with addressing basic community development needs, such as building a school, electrification, water provision etc.

Getting water for the village Only if the elder agree that the age grade has performed their task meaningfully with success, and the group is seen as a role model to the community, the group will be accepted to adulthood and is honoured with a name. With this name, the age grade will become part of the decision making process in the community and is seen as the protector of societal tradition and culture. An older age grade can decide to retire, which is done upon completion and handover of a project to the community. This ceremony, called Igbo-Uche or Otomu, calls for a large celebration, marking the admission of its members to the elderhood. No labour can be assigned to them anymore and they become now the most influential and respected members of the community. 61

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From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, slavery took toll of many weaker communities in this part of the country. With the colonisation in the early part of the twentieth century, the British introduced a system based on „indirect rule‟ in the north of Nigeria, leveraging the existing northern emir hierarchies. A few years later, the colonial rule decided to introduce this system in the south as well. They commissioned „warrant chiefs‟ to rule the districts in Igboland, but due to the lack of social hierarchies, the mandate for their authority did not work out as well as it did in the north. After the independence, the role of these district officers was quickly transformed and adapted to Igboland‟s „traditional‟ title society, which used to be based on traditional worship titles.

Igwe’s Throne (Oji-River Urban Community) and Igwe (Ogui-Nike) Nowadays, each community consisting of a number of villages, wards and/or clans, can nominate their traditional ruler, also called Igwe or Eze. The Igwe has this role for life and can give titles to his community people, mostly out of recognition for their achievement and character. The title system varies from community to community, but except from different names, the hierarchy itself is in most cases the same. In most communities, the title system starts with the Nze title, given to persons in recognition of their community contribution. When the Nze titleholder reaches the elder age and remains in the village, he becomes part of the Igwe‟s cabinet. Upon becoming a senior elder, the Igwe may honour him with the Özö or Ichie title, standing directly below the Igwe. These titles and many other chieftaincy titles, each signifying certain achievements come along with privileges and symbols of authority. One could be allowed to wear a red or black cap, to hold a walking stick, an elephant tusk, a horsetail or a fan of ram or cow skin, all dependent on the local customs and the rank of title. Chieftaincy titleholders are privileged to do the “chief handshake”. This handshake starts with touching each other‟s hand with the upper-side three times before shaking. If one of the persons does not recognise the other as a chief, even though 62

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he might pretend to be one, the touching stops after two times before the shaking. War heroes are a separate category of titleholders, they can wear parrot‟s plumes in their hats and are the only ones allowed to dance the war dance. Among his cabinet members, the Igwe appoints his Prime Minister and secretary and together with his full cabinet, the Igwe-in-council serves the community in matters of peace, development and values. For instance, he is called upon in cases of resolving internal conflicts. If so, each party needs to bring four kola nuts, a gallon of palm wine and 1,000 Naira to the ruler. The case is put forward, and the ruler will make the final judgement. The money, palm wine and kola nuts are returned to the winner, the latter two being given in most cases to the Igwe as a token of gratitude. The loosing party is expected to pay on top of their deposit the penalty or fine as stipulated by the Igwe. If the parties do not agree with the settlement, the case can be brought to court and fought out in a more formal way. The Igwe-in council also works together with government, but they do only have an advisory role in this context. Villages and communities have many other groups and opinions represented, to mention the most important ones: 

Town Union, responsible for development and organising social events of the community. The members of the Town Union are elected by members of the community; Councillors, representing the community in political matters in the local government council; Youth Organisations, responsible for youth activities; Vigilante groups, maintaining security, law and order in the village and community; Women Organisations, representing the women and Church Organisations, mostly representing Roman Catholic and Protestant believes.

    

In some communities, the groups listed above may not have any representation. Then, there are many other persons who can play an important role in the community, for instance the school‟s headmasters, principals etc. Conversation: Going to the Village Click here to listen to this conversation. - Abalï öma.


- Enyi m, olee ka i mere?

How do you do, my friend?

- Anyï na-aga n’ime obodo.

We are going to the village.

I ga-ahü ndï be m.

You will meet my family.

- Olee maka ndï be gï?

How is your family?


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For more details, check - Ha dï mma.

They are fine.

- I were nnukwu ezi n’ülö?

Do you have a large family?

- E-e, ewere m nna, nne, nwa nne nwoke abüö, na nwa nne nwanyï atö.

Yes, I have a father, mother, two brothers and three sisters.

- Aga m akpö gï aga n’ime obodo echi.

I will bring you tomorrow to the village.

- Ka chi foo.


N’ime obodo:

In the village:

- Nnöö n’ime obodo anyï.

Welcome to our village.

- Nwere öjï igboa.

Take this kolanut.

- Imela.

Thank you.

- Ana m aga ikuta mmiri n’ikpere mmiri.

I am going to fetch water at the riverbank.

- Eji m nnukwu ite.

I have a big pot.

- Unu enwere mmiri, na ökülatrïk na ülö ögwü ebea?

Do you have water, electricity and a hospital here?

- E-e, anyï nwere ülö ögwü na ökülatrïk. Anyi enweghi mmiri.

Yes, we have a hospital and electricity. We do not have water.

- Anyï chörö enyem aka ndï mmepe obodo.

We want help from a development agency.

- Ike kwe, anyï nwere ike inye aka.

Maybe, we can help.

- Gïnï dï ebe ahü?!

What is there?!

- Echere m na ahürum agwö.

I think I saw a snake.

- Mba, ö bü enwe.

No, it is a monkey.

Ka anyï rie nrï.

Let us eat.

Ugbua ka anyï gara gwuo ji ma ghöta afüfa.

We have just harvested yam and garden eggs.

Vocabulary ime obodo village (inside town)



brother/sister (maternal)

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brother/sister (paternal)








tree, stick









nwanta kïrï child


far from home


close to home





ndï mmepe obodo development agency



nye aka

help (verb)



see (verb)




trouble, disturbance

ezi n‟ülö

family (lit. compound and house)

Grammar: Interrogative Pronouns Interrogatives are used to ask a question. In Igbo, a question can only be initiated by either an interrogative or a personal pronoun. Following interrogatives are commonly used: olee kedu

how, when, where, which



maka gïnï why ebee

where, which place


how much, how many




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The pronoun could be followed by ka or ihe in case the interrogative is not the sole subject of the sentence. Examples: olee maka ndi be gï? how about your family? olee ihe ha kwuru?

What did they say?

olee ka i mere?

how do you do?

gïnï ka unu na-eme? what are you (pl.) doing? ebee ka ï nö?

where are you?

ego ole ka ö bü?

how much money is it?

onye ka ï bü?

who are you?

onye mere ihea?

who does this?

onye ka ihea mere? who does this happen to?

If the interrogative is missing in a question, the verb must be preceded by a pronoun: ö nö ya?

is he in?

adï m mma? am I good? ö nö ebe ahü he is there


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Traditional Family Ceremonies Birth, marriage and burial are considered the three most important family events in most cultures, and Igboland is not an exception to that. It is common to get invited to a traditional marriage (Igbankwu) and certainly worth witnessing one. Marriage in Igboland is not just an affair between the future husband and wife but also involves the parents, the extended family and villages. First the groom asks his potential partner to marry him. Assuming that this is affirmative, the groom will visit the bride‟s residence accompanied by his father. The groom‟s father will introduce himself and his son and explain the purpose of his visit. The bride‟s father welcomes the guests, invites his daughter to come and asks her if she knows the groom. Her confirmation shows that she agrees with the proposal. Then the bride‟s price settlement (Ika-Akalika) starts with the groom accompanied by his father and elders visiting the bride‟s compound on another evening.


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Traditional Igbo Wedding They bring wine and kola nuts with them, which are presented to the brideâ€&#x;s father. After they have been served with a meal, the brideâ€&#x;s price is being negotiated between the fathers. In most cases there is only a symbolic price to be paid for the bride but in addition other prerequisites (kola nuts, goats, chicken, wine, etc.) are listed as well. Usually it takes more than one evening before the final brideâ€&#x;s price is settled, offering guests from both sides a glamorous feast.


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Another evening is spent for the payment of the bride‟s price at the bride‟s compound when the groom‟s family hands over the money and other agreed prerequisites. The money and goods are counted, while relatives and friends are served drinks and food in the bride‟s compound. After all is settled, the traditional wedding day is planned. The wedding day is again at the bride‟s compound, where the guests welcome the couple and invite them in front of the families. First the bride goes around selling boilt eggs to the guests, showing to both families that she has the capability to open a shop and make money. Then, the bride‟s father fills a wooden cup (Iko) with palm wine and passes it on to the girl while the groom finds a place between the guests. It is the custom for her to look for her husband while being distracted by the invitees. Only after she has found the groom, she offered the cup to him and he sipped the wine, the couple is married traditionally. During this ceremony, there is also the nuptial Bride with Iko looking dance where the couple dances, while guests wish the newly weds prosperity by throwing money around them or putting for husband bills on their forehead. Nowadays, church wedding follows traditional marriage . During this ceremony, the bride‟s train, made up of the bride followed by her single female friends, enters the church dancing on the music, while the guests bless the bride‟s train by throwing money over the bride and her entourage. The groom receives the bride at the altar for the final church blessing by the priest. Sometimes, the traditional marriage is combined with the reception that is then preceded by the church ceremony.


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Igbo Church Wedding Birth celebration, as the wedding ceremony, varies from village to village. On the eighth day, the child (male only, though there are some discussions whether it should apply females as well) is prepared for circumcision, and on the twentyeighth day, the naming ceremony is performed, each event accompanied by a feast for the relatives. Death in Igboland is regarded as the passing away of the person from the world existence to the spirit world. However, only after the second burial rites, it is believed that the person can reach the spirit world, as otherwise, the departed relative would still wander between earth and the spirit world. The honour of the death varies dependent on the background, title, gender, relationship with family and circumstances around the death. The corpse is normally buried at the village in the personâ€&#x;s compound after it has been preceded by the wake keeping. During the funeral ceremonies, relatives and friends of the deceased pay their last respect to the dead and mourn with the bereaved in colourful ceremonies marked with singing and traditional dances. In the olden days, the wake keeping was accompanied by masquerades, traditional music and animal sacrifices. A highranking chief or traditional ruler would be buried with two human heads alongside his body and would go along with the release of canon gun shots to notify the 70

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general public on the loss. Many more customs surrounded the burial rites, but the church nowadays has overtaken most of these traditions. To go in more details would go beyond the scope of this book, and I would suggest to read the books mentioned before for further research. Conversation: Where is the Hotel? Click here to listen to this conversation. - Biko, olee ebe ülö oriri dï?

Please, where is the hotel?

- Ülö oriri dï na ndïda na aka ekpe.

The hotel is down (this road) on the left hand.

N’ülö oriri:

In the hotel:

- Ehihie öma,


i nwere mgbe?

do you have a room?

- E-e.


- Ö dï igwe ntuonyi?

Is it air-conditioned?

- Mba, ö dïghï, ihe o nwere bü nkucha oyibo.

No, it is not, it has a fan.

- Ï chörö otu akwa ka ö bü abüö?

Do you want one or two beds?

- Achörö m abüö. Nwunye m gaanonyere m.

I want two. My wife is joining me.

- Ego ole ka ö bü?

How much is that?

- Ö bü otu puku naira na narï naira atö otu abalï.

That is one thousand and three hundred naira per night.

- Ö dï oke ölü.

That is expensive.

- I nwere ndörö mmiri?

Do you have a swimming-pool?

- E-e, i nwere ike igwu mmiri ebe ahu.

Yes, you can swim there.

- I nwere ebe ana agba bölü ebea?

Do you have a football field here?

- E-e, ï ma ka esi agba bolu öfüma?

Yes, do you know how to play football well?

- E-e, ama m.

Yes, I know.


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Let us play tomorrow.

- I riela nrï ütütü?

Do you have breakfast?

- E-e, anyï eriela nrï ütütü.

Yes, we have breakfast.

Ügwö abalï ole ka ï ga-akwü?

How many nights are you paying?

- M ga-akwü ügwö abalï atö.

I will pay for three nights.

- Imela.

Thank you.

- Kodi.


Vocabulary ekpe left right (as well as food as it is eaten with that hand)


akwü door igodo key mbara living-room

ülö mposi








akpatï nrï

cupboard (box for food)

Grammar: Conjunctions Words that can connect two words or sentences are called conjunctions. Most of the conjunctions start with an initial consonant: kama

instead of

mgbe ahü then tupu



as, so


as, that


but, if, that, whether


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and, that

ka mgbe since ka

so that, that

Examples: achörö m anü kama ökükü

I want meat instead of chicken

i risie nrï mgbe ahü gaba

you eat, then you go

eri kwala nrï, tupu na mü agaba

do not eat until I go

maka na ihea dï mma, ka m jïrï goro ya as this is good, I buy it ö dï mma otu osighi wee dï önü

it is good, as it is cheap

ïhea mara mma mana ödï önü

this is good, but expensive

mü na gï nö ebea

me and you are here


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References ACHEBE, Chinue. When things fall apart, First Anchor Books, New York, 1994. AMADI,







AMADIUME, Solomon. Igbo Tradition and Philosophy, Aritiz Communication Enugu, Enugu, 1998 ANORUE, J. C.; IBRAHIM, Abdullahim; SALAMI, Raimi. How to study English, Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba languages, Good-Way printing press, Onitsha Department of Surveying, Geodesy and Photogrammetry, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. Tourist Guide Map Enugu and Environs, 1995 ECHERUO,

Michael J.C.




Ikeja, 2001

Enugu State Government. The Story of Untapped Potentials, brochure, 2000 IGWE, G.E.; GREEN, M. M. A short Igbo Grammar, University Press Limited in association with Oxford University Press, Ibadan, 1979 NASON,









NNOLI, Okwudiba. Ethnic Politics in Nigeria, Fourth Dimension Publisher, Enugu, 1980 OGBALU, F. Chidozie. Igbo Mb端 Maka Elementr誰 2, University Publishing Co. and Nelson, Onitsha, 1981 OGBUKAGU, Ik. N. Traditional Igbo Beliefs and Practices, Novelty Industrial Enterprises Ltd., Owerri, 1997 Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province. Usoro emume nke Missa, Fidelity Educational Books Publishers Ltd., Onitsha, 1979


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Enugu Hotels Enugu has over 40 hotels and many more guesthouses within its premises. Though no international hotel chains are represented in this area, most hotels do comply with international standards and are comfortable enough for a pleasant stay. The rates are not expensive compared to the bigger cities, and the proximity to the expressway leading to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Cameroon etc., makes it a good stopping point for long trips. Arrivals from the airport can find a place in Emene, New Haven or Thinkers Corner layout. The Enugu international trade fair provides a peak for the hotels and reservation during this period is strongly recommended.

Based on the single room rate, the hotels have been classified into five categories: Modest-priced hotel or guesthouse with most basic facilities (under $8) Standard hotel with facilities, such as phones, TV and AC in room ($8$15) Comfortable hotel, mostly with extra facilities ($15-$25) First class hotels generally up to international standards ($25-$32) Luxury hotel, with a price tag attached to it (over $32) All hotels levy a 10% service charge and 5% tax on the room rates and a deposit, at least equal to a one-night stay, is required. Also, paying the local residential rates in Naira pays off, as the credit card and foreign currency rates are substantially higher. Each of the hotels has its range of facilities listed using the following symbols: Legend Number of Single Rooms Number of Double Rooms

Cocktail Bar

Number of Suites

Night Club

Air-conditioning in room (could be optional)


Optional shared toilet

Conference facilities/Banquet Hall

Optional shared shower

Conference Bar


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Telephone in room

Business Services/Centre

Fax/IDD (International Direct Dialling)


Television in room (could be optional) In-house Video Satellite TV Restaurant

Garden Game Facilities Gymnasium Swimming Pool Tennis court

Most of the hotels and some guesthouses have been listed; they are ordered by price class and then by alphabetical order.

Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre 85 40 Emene, Enugu PO Box 546 ( 042-554450/551886). Located in Emene about 12 km from the town centre. Clean building, nicely furnished rooms, television in the lobbies, and excellent food. Local buses can bring you there and stop in front of the gates, but still you need to walk another 600 metres. Cheap alternative for a stay or organising conferences, if distance to the town is not a problem. Golden Gate Resort 8 2 2 C4 Presidential Rd., Independence Layout ( 042-451612). A bit off the main presidential road close to the Presidential hotel, large restaurant nicely integrated with bar, reasonable and cheap hotel.

Guesty Motel Inter 1 5 76 Chime Ave., New Haven ( 042-255464). If you are looking for a modest-priced hotel, you are at the right address, though do not expect too much.

Nigerline Hotels


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8 6 8 Nwabueze, Emene ( 042-552298). Basic hotel, close to Emene and the airport, but a bit further from the town center.

One Day International Hotel 25 4 100 Idaw River Ave., Awkunanaw, PO Box 287 ( 042-259645). Quiet 2-storey block with character, located in a more residential area. Sharply priced, though it is around 800 metres off the main road.

Prince Palace Hotels 7 3 4 4 Presidential Rd., Ogui New Layout ( 042-455443). Large building, with conference hall facilities, well priced for its class.

Ekulu Guest House 6 3 1 31 Imoke St., GRA ( 042-251395). Charming residential building, deep in the GRA district. Does not have many rooms and is a bit remote from the centre and commercial activities. Modest in facilities for the price.

Gannet Hotel Concorde Ltd. 9 7 2 6 Umuezebi St., New Haven ( 042-256403). A bit off the main Chime Avenue, attractive and reasonable medium sized hotel in New Haven.

Hotel De Brunt 10 1 1 55 Annang St., Ogui, New Layout ( 042-456506). Residential block, with charming roofed bar outside and an okada ride away from the Enugu campus of University of Nigeria.

Hotel Metropole International Ltd. 77

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9 17 7 19 Ogui Road, Asata / 12 Nachi St., Independence Layout (Branch) ( 042251971 / 458178 (Branch)). Stylish 1970â€&#x;s hotel in the heart of the commercial centre with 2 bars (one in velvet), and a decent restaurant. The hotel is closely located to the railway station and the rooms start with tourist class. The hotel has a branch in Independence Layout with slightly less facilities.

Liberation Hotels Ltd 8 8 8/12 Umuaniabor St., Gariki, Awkunanaw, PO Box 2504 ( 042-451959/459129). Hotel block right in front of the Gariki motorpark and market.

Melody Hotel and Company Ltd 8 12 34 College Rd., Ogui, New Layout ( 042-250527). Straight in front of the University of Nigeria campus entrance. Small and reasonable hotel.

Naiko Hotel 20 25 5 5 Hon. Ik. Arum Close, opposite Awkunanaw Police ( 042-456743/254056). Impressive 5-storey building with an enchanting tower attached that is used for conferences. The wooden hallways give it an African style, and the rooms look clean and sufficient for a pleasant stay. Economic alternative for the quality.

Rossy Valley International Hotels Complex 9 3 3 35/37 Calabar St., Coal Camp ( 042-254504/254624). The only hotel we could find in the Coal Camp district, one of the oldest parts of town. This tall building cannot be missed, as it stands quite well out between the houses. Hotel looks maintained with nice art craft on the building and surrounding wall and is located close to the hills. Hospitable management and sharply priced.

Sooil Plaza Hotel Ltd.


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7 8 11 1 Ogbuagu Crescent, opposite St. Joseph Catholic Church, Emene ( 042555584). Excellent and well maintained hotel in the Emene area (12 km from town centre). Very attractive swimming pool with the bar, tennis court and gym facilities for a good price. If you have to be close to the airport or stay in Emene, well worth a try.

The Estate Inn 3 3 1 1 North 2nd Ave., Trans Ekulu ( 042-550856). Small, but reasonable hotel in Trans-Ekulu.

Thinkers Guest House 15 21 1 Thinkers Ave., Thinkers Corner Layout ( 042-253287/553795). Close to the airport, a guesthouse with basic facilities. Just wished they did something to the road leading to the compound. Its close neighbour, the Joeliz hotel has a large and impressive building, and though fitted with glass, it is not in use at the time of this print (as it has been listed as a hotel for over 10 years, it might still take some more time to get the hotel completed).

Victoria Suites 6 32 4 Plot SP4, Nike Lake Resort Road, Trans Ekulu ( 042-558666/558665). Outside the town centre, not very far from the expressway and Abakpa district. The 3-storey building is attractive and looks well maintained. A large parking place in front.

African Princess Resort 1 5 2 1 Ihuokpara Close, New Haven ( 042-455667). The beautiful African style facade of the building cannot be missed driving on the Onitsha- Abakaliki expressway. It is on the edge of New Haven, not very far from the airport.

Barry Gold Hotel


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18 2 1 6 Amawbia St., off Upper Chime Ave., New Haven ( 042-457945). Bit off the main road, but quite reasonable hotel in New Haven.

Chiez Inn 5 3 4 5 Ihiala Ave., City Layout, New Haven ( 042-451550). New appealing hotel right on the Upper Chime Avenue, with airport and centre in its proximity.

De Bloomindales 5 2 2 1 North 8th Ave., Trans Ekulu ( 042-555221). Clean and cozy guesthouse in the residential area of Trans-Ekulu.

Hotel Codial Ltd. 7 13 3 151 Chime Ave., New Haven ( 042-256969). Nice, clean and well maintained hotel with banquet hall ideal for parties. Right on Upper Chime Avenue.

First Hotel 9 6 6 17/19 Annang St., Ogui New Layout ( 042-250301/257221/339752). Basic hotel with University of Nigeria campus of Enugu in its proximity, and very modest in facilities for its price.

Macdavos Hotels & Tourism Ltd. 11 20 10 2 Akwuke Rd., Gariki, Awkunanaw ( 042-450085/450092/ 450093). A brilliant resort close to the Port Harcourt expressway with stylish bar and restaurant. The garden is pleasantly laid out with swimming pool, bird cage , tennis court and barbecue. The very first hotel on the Agbani Road from the expressway, close to Gariki motorpark.


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Naomi’s Guest House 7 11 2 49 State Ave., Trans Ekulu ( 042-553867). Nicely maintained building with art craft on its walls in a relaxed residential area. You cannot miss the big signboards leading you to this hotel.

Panafric Hotels 6 21 1 6 Kingsway/ Murtala Muhammed Way, GRA, PO Box 1814 ( 042255248/256089). Elegant garden with 2-storey block buildings that look quite appealing and well maintained. Many government departments in its vicinity.

Placia Guest House 16 16 25 Edinborough Rd., Ogui, New Layout ( 042-255851). The 2-storey building blocks look clean and reasonable, with pleasant restaurant and bar in a separate block. Reception may need some more space.

Royal Palace Hotel 30 51 2 301/303 Agbani Rd., Awkunanaw ( 042-254082/257492). If you are looking for conference halls, this is your best bet, and not too small for venues with even up to a thousand people. Most of the expected facilities are available, including tennis court.

The Safari Gardens 12 8 6 Ridgeway Rd., GRA ( 042-253745). Right in the middle of the administrative district with a nice layout of blocks and garden. The restaurant and bar outside under a roof give it a nice charm, but it could use some paint.

Dannic Hotels 81

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7 47 2 3 Edem Close, Upper Chime Ave., New Haven, PO Box 2557 ( 042-454234; Email Attractive hotel with well maintained 2-storey blocks, close to the Expressway, airport and commercial centre.

Diamond Plaza 9 7 5 4 River Lane, GRA ( 042-251188/251300). Nice hotel in the middle of mansions mostly built during the colonial rule. It has a separate video room and business center.

Jook Hotel & Tower 26 2 146 Upper Chime Ave., New Haven ( 042-455190). Brilliant luxury hotel with a large tower, which has definitely become a landmark in Enugu city landscape. Reception area is remarkable and appealing and that is not only because of the helpful staff. Reasonably priced for its luxury.

Modotel Enugu 28 60 5 2 Club Rd., GRA ( 042-258000/258868). A 6-storey building, well established in the town. Has a cosmopolitan character and is in front of the Enugu Sports club that provides swimming pool and tennis courts. Close to the administrative district and the International Trade fair grounds.

Quixotel 16 6 2 81 Ogui Rd., Asata ( 042-258761/254645; E-mail Very pleasant hotel with good facilities, close to the railway station, sport stadium and commercial centre.

Sunshine Guesthouse 16 4 7 John Nwodo Close, GRA (



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Right in front of the British Council building and close to commercial center. The 2storey hotel block provides sufficient facilities - some are even kitchen equipped to have an enjoyable stay in Enugu, though at a price.

Victoria Garden 2 4 3 1 Mount St., GRA ( 042-250770/258522). Beautiful and impressive building architecture with pillars and front balcony. The surrounding wall is attractive with many pieces of art craft and very nice panoramic views on residential Trans-Ekulu area. Close to the International Trade Fair grounds.

Zodiac Hotels 12 27 14 5/7 Rangers Ave., Independence Layout, PO Box 671 ( 042-457900/457911). Excellent hotel with pleasant and peaceful layout of 2-storey hotel blocks in an attractive park with palm trees and swimming pool. Could be a nice alternative for staying in town and want to enjoy some rest. The bar is appealing and the spot to be during the weekend.

Brown & Brown Centre 6 6 Ezillo Ave., Independence Layout ( 042-458993; FAX 042-455287). Beautiful luxury hotel, from the outside as well as inside. Helpful staff and well worth mentioning the charming garden with sculptures. Located in the more exclusive and quiet residential area of Enugu.

Crystal Palace 5 2 2 Mount St., GRA ( 042-257891/ 256682). Brilliant hotel built next to the golf course offering spectacular views of the golf course as well as the stretched out hills. Facade of the building is impressive with its pillars as well as its internal layout. The rooms are excellent and well furnished, including the classic style bathrooms. The International Trade Fair Grounds are in its proximity.


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Hotel Presidential 80 20 Presidential Road, Independence Layout ( 042-458933-6; E-mail International, cosmopolitan hotel with all bits and pieces available; Nightclub on the back is quiet good for parties with the swimming-pool in its reach. Has also a better bookshop and some art sculptures in its premises.

Nike Lake Resort Hotel 34 91 48 Nike Lake Road, PO Box 01193 ( 042-557000; FAX 042-557679). The 2 tennis courts (tennis rackets and balls are available), 25 m swimming pool, basket ball court, football field, the lake and forest, park with playground facilities and benches ideal for picnic turn the hotel into a complete resort. Top floor rooms provide a view of the natural surroundings and the suites are equipped with a kitchen. The night club interior is quite nice, but unfortunately not in use anymore. You can also ask the cook to make a barbecue next to the pool. Expensive, but a very nice resort outside the town if you are looking for attractive settings, and if not already used for venues. This hotel has apparently a similar sister branch close to Nsukka.


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Igbo-English and English-Igbo Dictionary Click on Igbo-English and English-Igbo to access the vocabularies directly. Download this Igbo dictionary for free


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Igbo - English -mI -a this, these


A abalï night abalï öma good night, good-evening abüö two afa name (onitsha dialect) afere plate afüfa garden eggs agha war agu lion agwa beans agwö snake aha name ahïa market ahö year ahü that, those; body ajali red earth akpa bag akpatï nrï cupboard (box for food) aku oyibo coconut akükü edge akwa cloth, eggs, bed, weeping akwü door akwükwö book, paper, leaf akwükwö ögwü herbs ala ground, floor, earth alïbasa onion anö four anü meat, animal anü öhïa bush meat, bush animal anülï happy, merry añuli arö öfüü happy new year añuli easter happy easter añuli ekeresimesi merry christmas anwu sun anyanwü sun anyï we, us, our arö year asaa seven asatö eight atö three atülü blue azïza broom azü fish


n’akükü beside n’enu on top of, up n’ime inside n’okpuru under, below na and, that; at, in, on, within; used as auxilary to specify continuing action in the present n’ in, at, on narï 100 ncha all nche anwu umbrella nde 1,000,000 ndï people, group ndi ahü those (group) ndï be family ndï mmepe obodo development agency ndï ölü workers ndïa these (group) ndiagu far from home ndïda down the road ndiuno close to home ndörö mmiri swimming-pool ndü life ngazi spoon ngwa ahia merchandise niile/dum all, each, every njem travel nke of, of which, whose nke ahü that nkea this nkita dog nmanü-ökü kerosine nna father nne madam, mother nnöö you are welcome nnuku lot, many nö be present in location (verb) nödü anï sit down (verb) nonye join (verb) nrï food, right (as well as food as it is eaten with that hand) nrï ütütü breakfast nso close, nearby nsogbu trouble, disturbance nü hear (verb) nwa child nwa nne nwanyï sister

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B -ba continue doing, starting an action (start doing) -bago already completing the action (already doing, already done) bata enter (verb) bee cry (verb) bekee english bi live (verb) bïa come (verb) biko please bü be (verb) -bü/-bu a past continuous action (he used to do) buru carry (verb)

nwa nne nwoke brother nwa nwoke son nwannam brother/sister (paternal) nwannem brother/sister (maternal) nwanta kïrï child nwanyï woman nwata akwükwö student/pupil nwata kïrï nwanyi little girl nwata nwanyi girl nwoke man nwuye wife nyaa drive (verb) nye give, present (verb) nye aka help (verb)


o he, she, it ö he, she, it chere wait (verb) chineke lord chö want (verb) obele small chörö want, intend to (verb) obodo town chukwu god obodo bekee europe clasï grade öbögwü duck obu bedroom D öcha white, clean da alü well done ücha white, clean (noun) di husband oche chair dï be, have the quality of, be in (verb) ödü ügbö ala motorpark dibïa traditional doctor, medicine man ofe soup, stew dibïa oyibo doctor öfüma well oga boss, master E ogbatumtum motor-cycle e mesïa then oge time, period, occasion ebe place, location oge ugürü harmattan period ebe ahü there ogede banana ebea here (place) ogologo long ebee where, which place ögügü reading, count echi tomorrow ögwü medicines, tablets ede cocoyam ohia bush edo yellow oji black e-e yes öjï igbo kolanut egbe hawk ojii black egbe igwe thunder öjöö ugly, bad ego money njö bad (noun) ego ole how much öka corn ehi cow ökara half ehihie afternoon, daytime oke ölü expensive ehihie öma good afternoon ököchï dry season ekele dili gï thank you very much okporo cray fish ekpe left okporoko stockfish



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For more details, check ekpere prayer elekere time, hour, clock elementrï primary school elu height enu top enwe monkey enyi friend, elephant esogbuna don‟t worry etiti center etu manner ewu goat eze king ezi pig, genuine (adjective) ezi n’ülö family (lit. compound and house) ezi okwu truth ezi omume good behaviour ezigbo nwoke good man

okpukpe denomination okpuru underside vökü fire, hot ökükü chicken vökülatrïk electricity ole how many, how much, number olee which, where, when, how olee oge when ölü work öma good, beautiful mma good (noun) one how many (Onitsha dialect) önü price önwa moon onwa-abö August onwa-anö October onwa-asaa December, January onwa-asatö February onwa-atö September onwa-iri April F onwa-iri na atö June fa they (onitsha dialect) onwa-iri na otu May onwa-ise November G onwa-isii December ga used as auxilary to indicate future onwa-itolu March action onwa-mbu July gaa go (verb) onwerozi nothing more garri garri onye somebody, who gbaa bölü play football (verb) onye ahïa customer gbasaa dismiss (verb) onye anglican anglican (person) gbörödi water leaves onye catholic catholic (person) gï you , your onye igbo igbo man gïnï what onye isi boss -go already completed the action (have onye na ere ögwü medicine dealer done) onye nkuzi teacher gota buy, purchase (verb) onye öcha white man gözie bless (verb) onye ojii black man gwa tell (verb) onye ölü worker gwuo mmiri swim (verb) onye üka christian onye-ode akwükwö secretary H ore akwükwö book seller ha they, them, their ore ihe seller hü see (verb) örïa sickness ose pepper I osikapa rice osisi tree, stick i you oto straight ï you otu one; as, that ï bölachï good-morning oyi cold che think (verb) özö next gbu kill (verb) 88

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For more details, check igodokey ihe something ihe ahü that (thing) ihea this (thing) ijeri 1,000,000,000 ike strength ike kwe maybe ikpere mmiri riverbank ikuke wind ili bury ime interior ime obodo village (inside town) imela thank you ire sell iri ten ise five sie cook (verb) isi mgbu head-ache isii six ite pot itolu nine izute meet jee travel (verb) jesu kristi jesus christ ji owe (verb), yam jiakpu cassava jide possess, hold (verb)

özü ahïa buyer



ka so that, that, as, like ka chi foo goodnight ka e mesïa good-bye ka mgbe since kama instead of kedu how, when, where, which kodi bye kpee make a plea (verb) kpörö bring, take (verb) kunie stand up (verb) kuta fetch (verb) kuzie teach (verb) kwaa also, too -kwazi also, as well kwö carry on one‟s back (verb) kwüa pay (verb) kwuo say (verb) kwüö ügwö pay (verb)

ube pear üböchï day, daylight, weather üböchi öma good day üböchï üka Sunday üdï kind, sort udu mmiri rainy season ügbö ala car, motor ügbö elu airplane ügbö mmiri boat ugbua now ügü pumpkin üka church ukwu big ülö house ülö akwükwö school, library ülö mposi toilet ülö ögwü hospital ülö ölü office ülö oriri chop house ülö oriri hotel umu aka children

L -le completed action (he has done) 89

P puku 1,000

R -ra/-re action in the past (he did) -re present continuous action (is doing) ree sell (verb) -ri past completed action (he did) rïa örïa fall ill (verb)

S si come from (verb) süö speak

T ta chew (verb) -ta brings an action to completion taa today -tara/-tere action in the past (he did) tata today tinye put, add (verb) tolotolo turkey törö ütö be tasty (verb) tupu until

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For more details, check -la completed action (he has done) lee anya expect (verb) -lu to indicate an intensification of the action of the verb

M ma üzö go early (verb) mahadüm university maka about, as, so maka gini why mana but, if, that, whether mba no mbala ji water yam mbara living-room mbü first mee do, make (verb) mgbakö addition, adding up mgbe room mgbe ahü then mgbörögwü osisi roots mgbu pain mkpisi fork mkpisi aka finger mmanü oil mmanya drink, beer, wine mme red mmiri water, rain mmiri-ozuzo rain mü I, me, my m I, me, my müö learn (verb)

unu you, your (pl.) urukpu cloud usekwu kitchen ütütü morning, dawn ütütü öma good morning üzö early dawn

W weta bring in (verb)

Y ya he, his, him, she, her, it, its

Z zaa sweep (verb) zoo rain (verb) zöpüta save, rescue (verb) züö buy (verb)

English - Igbo



about maka addition mgbakö afternoon ehihie airplane ügbö elu

madam nne make (verb) mee make a plea (verb) kpee man nwoke


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For more details, check all niile, dum, ncha also kwaa, -kwazi and na anglican (person) onye anglican animal anü April onwa-iri as ka at na, n‟ August onwa-abö

B bad öjöö, njö bag akpa banana ogede be (verb) bü be tasty (verb) törö ütö be, be present in location (verb) nö be, have the quality of, be in (verb) dï beans agwa beautiful öma, mma bed akwa bedroom obu beer mmanya below n‟okpuru beside n‟akükü big ukwu billion ijeri black ojii black man onye ojii bless (verb) gözie blue atülü boat ügbö mmiri body ahü book akwükwö book seller ore akwükwö boss oga, onye isi breakfast nrï ütütü bring (verb) kpörö bring in (verb) weta broom azïza brother nwa nne nwoke brother (maternal) nwannem brother (paternal) nwannam bury ili bush ohia bush animal anü öhïa bush meat anü öhïa but mana buy (verb) züö, gota buyer özü ahïa 91

manner etu March onwa-itolu market ahïa masteroga May onwa-iri na otu maybe ike kwe me mü, m meat anü medicine dealer onye na ere ögwü medicine man dibïa medicines ögwü meet izute merchandise ngwa ahia merry Christmas añuli ekeresimesi million nde money ego monkey enwe moon önwa morning ütütü mother nne motor ügbö ala motor-cycle ogbatumtum motorpark ödü ügbö ala

N name aha , afa (Onitsha dialect) next özö night abalï nine itolu no mba nothing more onwerozi November onwa-ise now ugbua number ole

O occasion oge October onwa-anö of which nke office ülö ölü oil mmanü on na, n‟ on top of n‟enu one otu onion alïbasa our anyï

P pain mgbu paper akwükwö

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C car ügbö ala carry (verb) buru carry on one’s back (verb) kwö cassava jiakpu catholic (person) onye catholic center etiti chair oche chew (verb) ta chicken ökükü child nwa, nwantakïrï children umu aka chop house ülö oriri christian onye üka church üka clean öcha , ücha clock elekere close nso close to home ndiuno cloth akwa cloud urukpu coconut aku oyibo cocoyam ede cold oyi come (verb) bïa come from (verb) si cook (verb) sie corn öka count ögügü cow ehi cray fish okporo cry (verb) bee cupboard (box for food) akpatï nrï customer onye ahïa

D dawn ütütü day üböchï daytime ehihie December onwa-isii, onwa-asaa denomination okpukpe development agency ndï mmepe obodo dismiss (verb) gbasaa do (verb) mee doctor dibïa oyibo dog nkita don’t worry esogbuna door akwü 92

pay (verb) kwüö ügwö pear ube people ndï pepper ose period oge pig ezi place ebe plate afere play football (verb) gbaa bölü please biko possess (verb) jide pot ite prayer ekpere present (verb) nye price önü primary school elementrï pumpkin ügü pupil nwata akwükwö purchase (verb) gota put, add (verb) tinye

R rain mmiri-ozuzo rain (verb) zoo rainy season udu mmiri reading ögügü red mme red earth ajali rice osikapa right nrï riverbank ikpere mmiri room mgbe roots mgbörögwü osisi

S save (verb) zöpüta say (verb) kwuo school ülö akwükwö secretary onye-ode akwükwö see (verb) hü sell ire seller ore ihe September onwa-atö seven asaa she o, ö, ya sickness örïa since ka mgbe sister nwa nne nwanyï sister (maternal) nwannem sister (paternal) nwannam

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E each niile, dum early dawn üzö earth ala edge akükü eggs akwa eight asatö electricity ökülatrïk elephant enyi English bekee enter (verb) bata Europe obodo bekee every niile, dum expect (verb) lee anya expensive oke ölü


sit down (verb) nödü anï six isii small obele snake agwö somebody onye something ihe son nwa nwoke sort üdï speak süö spoon ngazi stand up (verb) kunie stew ofe stick osisi stockfish okporoko straight oto strength ike student nwata akwükwö sun anwu, anyanwü Sunday üböchï üka sweep (verb) zaa swim (verb) gwuo mmiri swimming-pool ndörö mmiri


fall ill (verb) rïa örïa tablets ögwü family ndï be family (lit. compound and house) ezi n‟ülö take (verb) kpörö teach (verb) kuzie far from home ndiagu teacher onye nkuzi father nna tell (verb) gwa February onwa-asatö ten iri fetch (verb) kuta thank you imela finger mkpisi aka thank you very much ekele dili gï fire ökü that ahü, nke ahü, ihe ahü first mbü that (conj.) na, ka fish azü their ha five ise them ha floor ala then e mesïa, mgbe ahü food nrï there ebe ahü fork mkpisi these -a four anö these (group) ndïa friend enyi they ha think (verb) che G this -a, nkea, ihea garden eggs afüfa those ahü garri garri those (group) ndi ahü genuine (adjective) ezi thousand puku girl nwata nwanyi three atö give (verb) nye thunder egbe igwe go (verb) gaa time elekere, oge go early (verb) ma üzö today taa, tata goat ewu 93

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For more details, check god chukwu good öma, mma good afternoon ehihie öma good behaviour ezi omume good day üböchi öma good man ezigbo nwoke good morning ütütü öma good night abalï öma good-bye ka e mesïa good-evening abalï öma good-morning ï bölachï goodnight ka chi foo grade clasï ground ala group ndï

toilet ülö mposi tomorrow echi too kwaa, -kwazi top enu town obodo travel njem travel (verb) jee tree osisi trouble nsogbu truthezi okwu turkey tolotolo two abüö


H half ökara happy anülï happy easter añuli easter happy new year añuli arö öfüü harmattan period oge ugürü hawk egbe he o, ö, ya head-ache isi mgbu hear (verb) nü height elu help (verb) nye aka her ya herbs akwükwö ögwü here ebea his ya hold (verb) jide hospital ülö ögwü hot ökü hotel ülö oriri hour elekere house ülö how olee, kedu how many ole how much ole, ego ole hundred narï husband di

I I mü, m , (verb) + m if mana igbo man onye igbo in na, n‟ insiden‟ime 94

ugly öjöö, njö umbrella nche anwu under n‟okpuru underside okpuru university mahadüm until tupu up n‟enu us anyï

V village (inside town) ime obodo

W wait (verb) chere want (verb) chö war agha water mmiri water leaves gbörödi water yam mbala ji we anyï weather üböchï weeping akwa welcome nnöö well öfüma well done da alü what gïnï when olee, kedu; olee oge where ebee whether mana which olee, kedu white öcha , ücha white man onye öcha who onye why maka gini wife nwuye wind ikuke

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wine mmanya woman nwanyï work ölü worker onye ölü workers ndï ölü

J January onwa-asaa jesus christ jesu kristi join (verb) nonye July onwa-mbu June onwa-iri na atö


Y yam ji year arö, ahö yellow edo yes e-e you, your gï; i, ï you, your (pl.) unu

kerosine nmanü-ökü key igodo kill (verb) gbu kind üdï king eze kitchen usekwu kolanut öjï igbo

L leaf akwükwö learn (verb) müö left ekpe library ülö akwükwö life ndü like ka lion agu little girl nwata kïrï nwanyi live (verb) bi living-room mbara location ebe long ogologo lord chineke lot, many nnuku


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Igbo Culture, Language and Enugu This unique book provides simple and easy-to-read insights into Enugu and Igbo language and culture. Not only does the guide describe the wide variety of the traditions in this part of Nigeria, attention is also paid to normal day-to-day facets of life in the town and villages. The site contains a complete guide on Igbo language, highlighted in sample conversations (including native audio clips), and explains the basic Igbo grammar structure. An up-to-date list with over 40 hotels in and around Enugu and a full vocabulary complete this remarkable guide. This book has been printed in 3 sold-out editions and has become the essential guide for development workers, volunteers, teachers, national youth service corpers, ex-pats, tourists and just anyone who wants to learn and enjoy Igboland customs, traditions and language.

About the Author Michael Widjaja grew up in the Netherlands where he also obtained his M.Sc. degree. He spent his time in Enugu as a Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) volunteer and he worked as a management adviser for a poverty alleviation programme. He has travelled extensively inside Enugu State, visiting most of the rural communities as part of his job, which provided a perfect opportunity for him to not only witness the culture and local traditions, but also to enjoy the variety in scenery this state has to offer. As part of his admiration for the culture and language in Igboland, he decided to write this guide. His keen interests in photography and graphic design are evidenced in the pictures and sketches provided in this book as well as on the cover. For this assignment, he took a sabbatical from his job in an international management consulting firm, to which he returned upon completion of his work.


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Igbo Guide  

This unique book provides simple and easy-to-read insights into Igbo language, Igbo culture and Enugu. This book has been converted to a web...

Igbo Guide  

This unique book provides simple and easy-to-read insights into Igbo language, Igbo culture and Enugu. This book has been converted to a web...