Obi Achebe’s  Majestic Walk Through Time

By KayCee August 16, 2014 13:43

As a boy growing up in the Eastern Nigerian cities of Onitsha and Owerri, Nnaemeka Alfred Ugo­chukwu Achebe was consumed with just one passion: to stamp his name in the consciousness of the world as a chemist of no mean repute. He never thought of ascending the over 550-year-old throne of Eze Chima.

But, when Obi Ofala Alphonsus Okechukwu Okagbue died in 2002 and the throne of Eze Chima became vacant, Onitsha people undertook a determined search to find a suited individual who would become the new monarch. For a people abounding in top-class human capital, only the best could be permitted to bear the torch of leadership on their behalf. Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe was chosen.

Though emotionally unprepared for the royal task, Achebe was shrewd enough to recognise his selection as an opportunity to give back to the community that had given him roots. He unreservedly accepted the mandate and geared up to the challenge. Now, after over a decade on the throne, His Royal Majesty, Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, has firmly stamped his name in the consciousness of the world as a royalty of no mean repute.

As disclosed in a new book, His Majesty Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe: A Ten-Year Milestone, Obi Achebe a.k.a Agbogidi, has positively impacted the lives of Onitsha people and taken the ancient metropolis to new heights.

Edited by Nkiru Uwechia Nzegwu, a professor of Africana Studies at Binghamton University, United States, the five-part book of 16 chapters opens up the life, philosophy and character of Obi Achebe for all to see. Nzegwu achieves this difficult task in a simple way; she collects Obi Achebe’s writings, rulings, judgments and other administrative communications and puts them together in a way that completely unveils His Majesty.

While in some instances, the editor relies on the accounts of others to expose us to Obi Achebe’s world, we still hear his voice ringing all through. The accounts not only serve as the self-revelation of a man who points the way for others to follow, but also show how possible it is to weld modernity and traditional institutions in a wedlock for the good of society.

Right from Part One, where His Majesty tells us the genesis of his march to monarchy, readers are offered useful lessons to guide them through life and ensure they do not stumble in the field of play. He recognizes that it is human nature to be ambitious but also cautions that there is always a point to draw the line.

Indeed, it is not difficult to imagine how complicated the making of the Onitsha royalty can be. Sometimes, as we learn, the selection process can stretch into a journey of about five years. However, Obi Achebe broke the jinx and set a new positive record. The entire process for his enthronement took just five weeks.

The presentation of the long-drawn post-selection crisis is one of the features that confer the book with unassailable intellectual credibility and integrity. There were no pretensions that Obi Achebe was a unanimous choice. The book then moves swiftly forward to how His Majesty has ably administered Onitsha against all odds and set the kingdom on the path of greatness once again.

Nzegwu devotes a huge chunk of the book to highlighting the strategies Obi Achebe has deployed since assuming the saddle of Onitsha royalty on May 14 (the date he was also born), 2002 to give the kingdom a new face of pride, progress and prosperity. As the strategies unfurl, it is clear the editor is trying to pass a message across – that His Majesty’s exemplary style of traditional leadership is worth replicating and propagating across Anambra, Igboland and Nigeria. The editor also informs on the unique quality of the traditional institution under Obi Achebe’s watch. Even in 21st century Nigeria, many traditional councils still prefer to keep the laws, norms and decisions of the traditional courts in the memories of members and transmit them from generation to generation by word of mouth, folk-songs and other such media.

Confronted with His Majesty’s strides, it is easy to deduce that a man who has achieved so much in just over a decade on the throne must be a resounding success at home. But Nzegwu decides to elevate us beyond the errors of guesswork. To close His Majesty Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe: A Ten-Year Milestone, the editor flips open another private chapter of Obi Achebe’s life in Part Five of the book. She unveils Igwe Nwanyi Ngozi Chinwe Achebe, the jewel behind the throne of Eze Chima.

A woman groomed by fate to be a pillar of support for Obi Achebe, Igwe Nwanyi has not failed to live up to her responsibility. Igwe Nwanyi does not only help to push Obi Achebe’s vision to the womenfolk, she has also ensured that Agbogidi does not become a victim of his own rules.

Well, no one who cannot win at home should venture out to seek to lead others. That is the message Nzegwu sends across with His Majesty Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe: A Ten-Year Milestone. Let’s take the hint and walk without stumbling.

source  :  The Sun



By KayCee August 16, 2014 13:43