Interesting facts about the Igbo people will amaze you and give you an accurate understanding of this caliber of people in Nigeria.
Nigeria is home to many cultures, with diversity in food, language, customs, etc. This, among many other things, makes Nigeria a unique nation. Among the many cultures housed in Nigeria is the Igbo culture.
Igbo tribe, indigenous to the southeastern part of Nigeria is an ethnic group well-known for their enterprising, independent, and adventurous nature. Natively referred to as Ndi Igbo, the tribe is popular for its variety of food, dance, music, musical instruments, festival, and culture.
Many different aspects of Igbo culture, which is an ancient African culture that encompasses polytheistic religion, father-son inheritance, farming traditions, and belief in evil spirits, are described in Things Fall Apart.
The Igbos are the most numerous inhabitants in Eastern Nigeria. They are hardworking people and are found in the igbo speaking states which are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, and portions of Delta. They have a highly rich traditional past and have long-respected culture and customs in many aspects of their daily existence.
One of the questions you might be tempted to ask could be: What are some of the values of the Igbo culture?
Traditional Igbo culture emphasizes values such as community, family, respect for elders, life, and hospitality. But these cultural values come into strong confrontation with the western influence through globalization. Going through this article, you will discover 10 interesting facts about the Igbo people.
10 Interesting Facts About The Igbo People
1. Great Entrepreneurial Drive
Entrepreneurship is celebrated in Igboland because it provides an important route to success for many of the region’s young people. They create an entrepreneurial mindset in young people to prevent them from depending on and inconveniencing others. It is one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people.
An entrepreneurial mindset is a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings. This mindset results in apprenticeship.
The Igbo apprenticeship system is a local entrepreneurship incubation system that is native to the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
An Igbo man would most likely find a business in the desert and still thrive. Opportunities abound everywhere but it only takes a positive mind to make the most of those opportunities.
2. Very Religious
Religion is significant in Igbo culture. They’re polytheistic, with different gods or goddesses to oversee each aspect of life.
Igbo people are unique for not only their language but also for their traditional religious beliefs and values. Traditional Igbo religion includes belief in a creator god (Chukwu or Chineke), an earth goddess (Ala), and numerous other deities and spirits as well as a belief in ancestors who protect their living descendants.
The revelation of the will of the deities is sought by divination and oracles. This is one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people.
As the decades rolled past, Christianity slowly replaced the Igbo traditional religion as the major creed of the Igbo people. They are so committed to their religious activities and won’t want anything to come between them and their beliefs.
3. Igbo Peoples Have Claimed to Have Drawn Their Origin to Israel
First, Igbos are adventurous and aggressive like the Jews. The Igbo and Jewish customs permit a man to raise children from his brother’s widow. It is one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people.
King Eri, like many, claims that the Igbo are the Jews of West Africa. They believe they are descendants of at least one of Israel’s lost tribes. In the eighth century B.C., the Assyrians invaded Israel’s northern kingdom forcing 10 tribes into exile.
The Swiss-Israeli anthropologist says that Igbo-Jewish identity can be traced back to the 18th century.
Igbo Jews are members of the Igbo people of Nigeria who practice Judaism. Jewish life has been documented in parts of Nigeria since the precolonial period, but it is not known whether the Igbo have claimed Israelite descent or practiced Judaism in precolonial times. During and after the Biafran war (1967-1970), more widespread Igbo identification with Jews concretized.
4. Love For Extended Family
The concept of the extended family system is a recognized, well-known age-long practice in Igbo land. It is a practice where many relations, including distant ones, depend on other capable relations for upkeep, education, training, apprenticeship, and general survival.
The father is the accepted head of the family, and the traditional Igbo family normally lives in a walled compound, consisting of at least two houses: one for the father and the other for the mother (Ejiofor, 1981). Adult sons share the father’s house, while daughters and juvenile sons live with their mother. This makes it one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people.
5. Igbos are Believed to Have a Strong Love for Money
The Igbos are arguably the most business-savvy tribe in the country. In Igbo culture, attaining wealth is perceived as a blessing to be cultivated and not an object of scorn. Unlike other cultures in Africa, the merchant occupies a sacred position among the Igbos.
People who have made money and have become successful are often respected for their wealth and affluence and are usually bestowed with Chieftaincy titles.
Thus, many have the mindset that once one is not wealthy he may likely not get respected as he ought. So, they work hard to earn a lot of money to avoid embarrassment and as well obtain honour in society. Many Igbo people make their money on legal means. One of the commonly used slang is “money speaks”.
6. The Igbo Tribe are Travellers
The Igbo tribe are Travellers. The Igbos are said to be the most traveled of all tribes in Nigeria, their quest for success, especially in business has taken them to every part of the world. It is believed that a true Igbo man loves money.
The Igbos are found in almost every part of the world and It is with a spirit of hard work that Igbo people move from place to place in search of greener pastures. This makes it one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people.
7. Rich Culture and Foods
The Igbo culture has many unique customs, festivals, and ways of life. The Igbos hold this in high esteem, this is why wherever they find themselves; their culture and way of life tend to follow them.
Some of their rich food includes Utara na Ofe, Commonly known as Swallow and soup, and is the most popular and commonly consumed Igbo food. Utara, also called Nri Onuno, can either be Akpu(fufu) Utara Ji or Nri Ji(Pounded Yam) Nni Ede (Pounded Cocoyam) or any form of swallows like Garri, corn swallow(Nni Oka) Semo or Guinea corn swallow.
Their soups have become so popular that it is eaten in other parts of Nigeria that are not predominately home to the Igbos, because of how good they are.
Soups like Oha, Ofe Nsala(White soup), Ofe Onugbu (Bitter leaf), and Banga are stars of any Igbo community. This makes it one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people.
8. Igbo People Are Very Intelligent
An average Igbo man is Characterized by natural intelligence and creativity in the area of business and marketing. Whenever you see a person that loves money, there’s an additional level of smartness and brilliance such a person adhere to, to achieve his dream.
Igbos have the most graduates, learned people, and so forth. The Igbo, unlike other tribes where illiteracy is rampant, do not have a big number of illiterates.
Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, claimed that the Igbo tribe possesses the most brilliant, technically gifted, and smart people in the country.
Igbo people of Nigeria were ranked as the most intelligent tribe of black Africa in a US academic report in 2015. This makes it one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people.
9. Strong Cultural Values
Traditional Igbo culture emphasizes values such as community, family, respect for elders, life, and hospitality. But these cultural values come into strong confrontation with the western influence through globalization.
10. They Invented a Way of Saving Called Isusu
One of the interesting facts about the Igbo people is saving. ”ISUSU” (meaning small, small), a savings and loans scheme in Igboland, has been of immense benefit to petty and medium size business operators. This is one of the interesting facts about the Igbo people
It has transformed some of these petty traders into big-time business operators. It helps them build up capital in their businesses.
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It is interesting to note that the Igbo people are wonderful and God God’s blessed people scattered all over the world with their impact being visible wherever they found themselves.
Beyond these 10 interesting facts about the Igbo people are more facts. However, these are some of the major interesting facts about the Igbo people.
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