A Synopsis of ACA Convention; Raleigh beyond our expectations.
To God be the glory. We are pleased to note that conventioneers returned to their respective destinations safely. Our five dedicated families of Awkuzu Cultural Association, Raleigh, and N. Carolina hosted a successful convention this past Saturday, July 14 2012. Membership attendance was painfully low as attendees comprised mostly of the regulars. (Makachis, Obikwelus and Sly Ezeanis -- regulars but unavoidably absent due to compulsory obligation). You would think that folks within driving distance would populate our convention but many claimed that they did not receive special invitations.
Truth be told, President Igwebuike personally contacted many of them, but their excuses were classical Awkuzuan. I was unsure of attending until the good Lord made it possible within the last week. The reason for my near-miss is that, just like other members, I did not receive a special invitation (from Mazi Tom Akpuogu Sr. -- Emma Akpuogu's father who died decades ago). Awkuzu folks are never tired of silly excuses. I think the economy should be blamed for this low turnout but better days are ahead as we look forward to our next convention. Presently, there are no volunteers, and as such, 2014 is still up in the air. It is hoped that a benevolent group who may have hosted once may re-consider and take up the challenge. Better yet, a new region, never hosted before may like to experience the rigors of hosting our convention. Rumor has it that the big apple is seriously weighing their options, too.
ACA welcomed a couple of first-timers to the convention, notably, Mrs. Oyibo Afoaku and Emmanuella Nwokoye. The presence of Dr. Uchenna Chira brought cheers and tears considering what he went through and how things have thankfully turned out for him. Regulars can recall that Dr. Uchenna Chira briefly accepted the position of Secretary in our convention in New Jersey 2002. He also proved that you can do an outstanding job as our Secretary for at least one week after which he quietly relinquished the position to Dr. Ugo Mgbike. In Raleigh, Mazi Chira was full of vigor, humor, weighing as much as Ichie Ogalonye, full of mischief, wits, with his usual trademark; laughter, respect and accommodation. He promised to attend conventions regularly and never on a decennial basis.
We were also pleased to welcome Patrick Igwilo with his beautiful wife, Funke. The couple is visiting from Nigeria, and is guest of Chief Tim Ogamba and his wife Dr. Dora Ogamba. Along with the Ogambas, they made it to our high table where they donated handsomely. Also, gracing our high table were our President, Mazi John Igwebuike and our First Lady, Mrs. Ijeoma Igwebuike.
The best fun was shared on Friday and Saturday meetings where we agreed without a dissent that boreholes are needed in Awkuzu villages. A restroom is also urgently needed to serve our town hall at Eke-ata. Dr. Osakwe read a piece by one Mr. Oduche in which our town is allegedly, a potpourri of migrants. As usual, we shall start with the migrations of Ezi which comprises of Ozzu, Igbu, Iruayika and Aka-ezi (Ezi-Awkuzu) villages. Other villages will be discussed in months to follow. Prior to that, we never knew but should have suspected that Iru-ayika and Ezi-Awkuzu (Tagbos and Ichelle) migrated from Abam in Abia State. That proves why they are good at hunting and in love with sharp knives and related tools.
Ozzu folks simply loaded up from Abagana and trekked a short distance to their present abode, much to the displeasure of Dr. Mgbike and Akaji-ani -- Chief Igna Ojemeni. Chief Akajiani metamorphosed into Aka jienu when he learned that his father actually testified to their Abagana connection. Too late to argue with his late father, Chief Igna Ojemeni started sweating, became restless and tried to pick quarrels with Dr. Osakwe, Ichie Ogalonye, Mr. Oduche -- the author, or anyone he could find. It is no secret that Ukpomachi folks can still trace their brethren in Ukpo town and Ifite Dunu. Their miserly lifestyle and penny pinching are ingrained in the tradition of Ukpo people. Dusogu could not be easily described, since very few illegal aliens were allowed due to our burgeoning population. Thus, if your roots go way back to Dusogu, you have nothing to worry about. (Mazi Oduche's piece narrated about migrations of Ifite and Ikenga, too, but I am unable to revisit all that here).
Truth be told, we had so much fun, I sympathized with the hosts who were rather too busy to fully participate in our discussions. Even as we deliberated on serious issues, we utilized humor to reach our consensus. Mazi Obi Obike finally justified why so many people from his beloved Umuobi village engaged in unusual means of livelihood. He reasoned in Umuobi fashion that a person in need of sustenance can dutifully relieve another person of some of his possessions, especially if that person (with possession) is deemed rich. Now you can infer why some villages are feared more than others. Our grandmothers in attendance made us laugh a great deal starting with Mama Ngozi Jideama, Mama Baby Chira, Mama Amaka Tagbo, Mama Anwuli Diru, and of course, the youngest grandmother, at 38 years old (atakwansi) Ododo Ojemeni.
Akwun'echenyi dance brought all Awkuzuans in attendance to the floor. It also provided an avenue for Akajiani to unwind and display his moves which he acquired accidentally but has so far perfected over the years. All of us were on the dance floor as if it were mandatory. Mazi Chris Nweke gyrated to the tunes the best way he knew but was no match for his wife, Mary, who was dutifully tutored in Dusogu. Rumor has it that Obi Ezeani was on the dance floor but we have not confirmed that. Obi, whose wife, a Dusogu native, is an accomplished dancer, if not the best, is yet to be schooled by his wife in the art of traditional dancing. At the end of the dance, we had no need for walk-outs but to drag our tired bodies to the bed at 5AM. North Carolina folks performed beyond our expectations, in revenues and entertainment.
On behalf of ACA, I thank them immensely for assiduously bringing this assignment to fruition. Our next hosts do not have to be overly worried. Just do your best and let God take charge. I am pleased to announce that 99% of attendees in Raleigh displayed their love for Ogalonye. Eziokwum nine. Naturally, I am a man of a few words (one sentence an hour), and due to my added shyness, I was unable to acknowledge their accolades, encomiums, support and encouragements. Our Vice President, Ichelle Okafor will be calling you soon to thank you on my behalf due to my inexplicable recently acquired shyness. The above piece is a mixture of actual events in Raleigh and Ogalonye's humor. Save it for leisure or simply click on delete and peace will hopefully return to you if you are troubled by my style. To God be the glory. Be well.
Ichie Ogalonye nke mbu Na nge n'Awkuzu nine
PRO-ACA, USA INC. [Celebrating my Ten Years Anniversary (2002 -- 2012 and counting -- will retire in 2014) of Service to Awkuzu in Diaspora].
July 18, 2012.