My Father’s Wisdom Helps Me Overcome Challenges of Life – Emeka Onyeobi


… As Asaba Holds Egwu Ota In Honour of Late Iyase of Asaba

By Patrick Ochei

Gbagi Burial Poster

The first biological son of the late Iyase of Asaba, Mr. Emeka Christopher Onyeobi has said that the wisdom bequeathed to him by his father has continued to guide and help him in overcoming the challenges of life, describing his father as loving and open minded.

He made the statement in an interview with newsmen at the Ogwa Diokpa Idumuojei just as Asaba community performed the Egwu Ota traditional rite in honour of the late Obi Patrick Isioma Goodluck Onyeobi, being a prominent title holder in the land.

Mr. Emeka Onyeobi relayed his fond memories with his dad to the newsmen, positing that his wise counsels guided him in overcoming youthful exuberance.

His words, “My father taught me a lot; I learnt prudence and responsibility under his tutelage. In my first year in the university, I had returned home in the first month to demand for another allowance after I had been settled for that month. My father sat me down, taught me a huge lesson that I can never forget, making me understood that whatever he was to give me would cover for the next month, that he had already taken care of that particular month that I ran back home.

“That made me to sit up and manage with whatever I had. He was so loving and open hearted, not only to his children but to all who encountered him. He was such a blessing to us. His fond memories were life changing, which had more or less become like a structure for all of us. From his teachings, I knew I am not in competition with anybody; the only person I’m in competition with is myself.

“I know that the shoes he left behind are too big for me or any other person to fit in, but I have his wisdom to continue to guide me. I have children now who are already living on their own, same wise counsel I am transferring to them”, Onyeobi Junior posited.

The Eqwu Ota is a very significant traditional dance in Asaba Kingdom, especially for title holders and women above 60 years of age.

From an underground understanding, the dance comes with seven stanzas during the burial of a title holder. The first stanza is called the ‘Egwu Nmor’ which no human dances to except those that have transited. The second stanza is played for the first daughter (Ada) to dance to, before the elderly people can now dance to the third stanza up to the sixth stanza.

The seventh stanza is called the ‘Egwu Diokpa’ which is for the eldest son to dance to, after which any other person can begin to participate.

The Egwu Ota ceremony witnessed the attendance of eminent title holders in Asaba, starting from Ndi Obi, Ndi Ogbu, Ndi Okwulegwe, Umuada, the Olinzeles and others, all looking radiantly dressed in white and radiating royal ambience


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