Wednesday, March 29

Though A Patriarchal Society, The Igbo Can Bend Conventions To Celebrate Achievement

By Joel Nwokeoma

Igbo are a patriarchal society but women of great accomplishments are often venerated and literally elevated to the position of the male. Here, this photo shows international awarding-winning writer, Chimamanda Adichie, sitting on the arm of the seat of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, one of the most prominent and respected monarchs in Igboland.

Now, two things are worth noting are. Chimamanda was being honoured by the Igwe of her hometown, Abba, in Anambra State. Igwe Achebe ‘broke’ protocols to attend the event as a guest of, not his colleague Igwe but that of Chimamanda. Not only that, he went with her to her family house to be entertained.

Nobody ever had this honour to ‘drag’ the Igwe around. Two, no woman sits on the arm of an Igwe’s chair in public, not even the wife. But here, Chimamanda is not only enjoying sitting by the right hand side of Igwe but also right there on the arm of his seat.

Lesson: Though a patriarchal society, the Igbo can bend conventions to celebrate achievement.

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