Sunday, November 21, 2010


The number, the person, the space

Asaa the assertion, also silence

Asaa the countless count
Asaa of where is here

Sevens of signs:
The Asaa of community: mmuo na mmadu
The Asaa of the struggle of signs with signs: ka i ma nke a, i ma nke ozo?
The Asaa of Initiation: mu na ndee, mu na ndee!
The Asaa of Participation: juo okwa oja 
The Asaa of Submission to the Many: otu onye siere oha
The Asaa of Responsibilty: nakwa agbako
Then, the Asaa of Asaa: ezumezu!

Which lobe of kolanut speaks
On behalf of?
Which is which in each Asaa?

-- Obododimma Oha 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ubi Onye

ọ na-amasị m ma m teta ụra n’ụtụtụ
Ka dimkpa nọ n’ime m tetakwa
Kwapụta ụkpa, kwapụta nkata
Wepụta mma, wepụta ọgụ

ọ na-amasị m ma m teta n’ụtụtụ
Hụ okoko ọhịa m ga-asụ
N’ala gbara uru
Na-eche afụrụ na ụda nsonye ihe

ọ na-agụ m agụụ ịhụ ka ubi siri dị ime
Mechaa mụọ kuru
Ndi rụrụnụ bụrụkwa ndi ririnụ
Aka ajaaja bụrụkwa ọnụ mmanụ mmanụ

--- Obododịmma ọha

Ndiigbo Agbọ ọhụrụ

Ị na-akụrụ ha ara nne ha
Ha ana-amị akpụ
Ị na-ata agba ha n’obi
Ha ana-ata agbakpọsị gị anya

Ndi ụlọ ha na-agba ọkụ
Ha na-achụ oke
Ndi na-ekpu ụlọ ndi ọzọ
Mgbe nke ha na-ehi mmiri

Ndiigbo adụgbolịja
Ndiigbo n’egburugbe ọnụ
Ndi na-etiri uwe Awụsa
Na-eti, “Igbo kwenu!”

Ndi na-aza aha Igbo
Ma ha amaghị asụ mọọbụ nụ Igbo
Ndi anya ha tọrọ n’ụzọ
Ndi furula efu akwụkwọ njụ jụrụ

--- Obododịmma Oha

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ụlọmkpe Okigbo

Mgbịrịgba na-akpọ, na-akpọbata
O dere jụụ
Mmụọ na mmadụ na-erikọ
Mmadụ ga-abanye na mmụọ
Mmụọ ga-abanye n’ime mmadụ
Ebe a, n’agịga ọdịniihu

Mgbịrịgba, di ka oge ngabịga
Mmadụ na mmadụ na mmụọ na-erikọ
Mmụọ na mmụọ na dike na-erikọ
N’ebe a, n’ụlọmkpe Biafra, ụlọ mmụgharị

Mmadụ ga-abanye n’uchichi nke mmụọ
Mmụọ ga-apụta n’ehihie nke mmụgharị

Mgbịrịgba! Cheta nzọụkwụ m
N’agịga nke a na nke a na nke a
N’ụlọ ọnwụ bụ ndụ ebeebe

--- Obododimma Oha

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dibịa ụlọ


Obododimma Oha

Dibịa ụlọ, physician of the home. He reads the pulse of the home; understands what ails the home; heals the home. In him is the fullness of nwokeness: industry, resourcefulness, courage, sacrificial love.

From the panopticon of his obi, he watches over the home. Even the spirits think twice before entering his homespace, but must be ready to wrestle with him and his ikenga first. Dibịa ụlọ stands upon the trust of Ala and the ancestors, confident and daring to eat fire, vomit fire, extinguish fire.

The Igbo have invested in him the highest values to stay the family.

These days that some men would want to marry and not be ready to become husbands, and women too not ready to become wives, I look at Dibịa ụlọ and he looks back at me with reassurance, saying “Gaa n’ihu; O nweghị ihe na-eme!” And so, I move on, not trembling, for nothing can stop the spirit of the Great Spirit.

In him, you can find her: he is really female, discerning, caring, protective, domestic. He is home, at home. He, the domestic, stays the home when the violent winds rise against it.

He, the dread of ụmụnnadị, is the space of the future unwilling to eclipse too soon.

Dibịa ụlọ, the physician of the home. He, the metaphor of hope in being for the other. He, already the success of a nation in its crib.
He is the nation of the home, the home that nations.

In the night of nationhood, Dibịa ụlọ stays awake so that other members of the family can sleep. Dibịa ụlọ gives his life so that the family can survive. Dibịa ụlọ wears the crown of thorns, carries the cross, goes down to Ekemmụọ and resurrects as an idea that will never die again in the heart of the nation-home.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A Tale of Two Bloodlines


Obododimma Oha

A growing child in my Igbo culture must learn to live in two communities as if they were one. There is the community of the Father and there is the community of the Mother, or simply “Father’s kinsfolk” and “Mother’s kinsfolk”. The two communities – two domains of consciousness -- converse and sometimes compete over the ownership of one’s mind. You are growing up in the pride of Mkpu Nna Gi (your Father’s community) populated by the Umunna (kinsmen) and so you owe allegiance to it. But Ikwunne (Mother’s kinsfolk or literally, the Relatives of the Mother) never fails to remind you that you are that sucker of the plantain tree that was borrowed sometime ago by a man from Mkpu Nna Gi. Ikwunne reminds Umunna Gi also that it owes tributes, regular tributes, for the luck of growing the Self within the fertility of the M/Other.

Umunna tells you to drink the fire, not just bask beside it. Umunna tells you: you cannot be you until you till, or have unless you harvest, and cannot harvest unless you invest. Umunna tells you: no one becomes a man or woman on behalf of another.

Umunna, too, could become Umunnadi, with an eye on your flourishing pride. Umunna is competition and so could become apparently hostile sometimes. With Umunna, the boundaries are rigid, your freedom limited to the rank of your inheritance, which you can lose if you cannot learn to spit fires.

Ikwunne is not about competition.

Among the Ikwunne, your freedom gathers speed.

Among the Ikwunne, you experience love immeasurable. Ikwunne can spoil you in order to inscribe its affection in your heart. Ikwunne can spoil you, enough for you to understand love as the place of the Mother. Ikwunne can spoil you in order to repair you.

Among the Ikwunne, you learn about origin.

Ikwunne tells you: You own everything as the seed of Nwaada and can take anything unmolested. You can harvest the maize, as much as you like. You can pluck the fruits, as much as you can carry. You can cut the meat, provided you have the teeth. You can tell that coconut tree that you have the climbing skill and it would be thrilled. You can enter that kitchen without asking for permission and eat your fill. Ikwunne tells you: this is your home, the place of the Mother.

Nwadiala! Nwadiala! here. Nwadiala! there. And you float in the communion of hearts. You know intoxication in the feelings drizzling from abundant welcome.

Ikwunne hails you, playing an ancient tune in that single word that is a phrase that is a sentence that is a text that is discourse that is human.

Ikwunne would not condone your misdeeds, but can never abandon you, for it remains your security.

When Umunna blows hot, plays nwannadi -- becoming Umunnadi -- and seeks your erasure – as it sometimes happens – Ikwunne waits for you with open arms. The place of the Mother is the place -- a home forever! You cannot run past this home when they are pursuing you, in dream or real life. To do so is to be hopeless, to be totally vulnerable, to be finished. The Umunnadi cannot pursue you to the place of the Mother and harm you. There are hallowed borders even as the streams of relationship flow into each other.

Ikwunne is the beginning that never ends. Even as Umunna is one of the undying noises in your blood.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

CONTEXT: Journal of Social & Cultural Studies, Vol. !2, No. 2, December 2009, now available!

Volume 12, Number 2, December 2009 issue of CONTEXT: Journal of Social & Cultural Studies (ISSN 1119 -- 9229) is now available!

Articles published in this issue include:

Symbolism in Ogoni Traditional Church Songs
-- Barine Saana Ngaage
The Practice of Specialized Translation
-- Elisabeth De Campos
"Abatease;" or Book Review as the Eighth Wonder of Fiction
-- Obiwu
Once My Heart Was Wide and Loved the World
-- Bobbi Lurie

Submissions to the next issue, Volume 13, Number 1, March 2010 are welcome. All submissions should be sent by email to Obododimma Oha , , . For more information on the journal, visit: