Sustaining Igbo Language and Culture Through Igbo Movies.

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Paper presented at the 2nd Igbo World festival of Arts and Culture in Staunton, Virginia By HRH Igwe Alexander Nwokeabia Ejiamatu 1 of Ugwuoba, Enugu State

Igbo kwenu! Enugu state kwenu! Anambra State kwenu! Imo state kwenu! Abia state kwenu! Ebonyi state kwenu! Rivers State kwenu! Anioma(Delta) Kwenu, America kwenu! Virginia kwenu! Nigeria kwezuonu oooo!!!!!!

I want to make my oral presentation in Igbo language however for the benefit of those who do not understand Igbo language, this text presentation in English language will help them follow and understand my presentation.

My name is HRM Alexander Chukwudimma Nwokèabia. I am a bona fide Igbo man. In a nutshell, I  speak Igbo, sleep Igbo,  eat Igbo, my  breath is Igbo and even my company name  EJIAMATU GROUP is in Igbo too.

Please let this conversation be as interactive as ever. I want us to talk about how best we can promote and sustain the rich culture and values of the blessed people of Igboland using the media. Igbo language is predominantly spoken in (7) states in Nigeria, 6 states in the eastern part of Nigeria and in Anioma (Delta state) and by extension Igbo language is spoken in virtually all the southern states. Igbo people are good and warm people with rich culture, respectful, welcoming, friendly, resilient, tolerant, accommodating, industrious, well travelled; and as a matter of fact, anywhere you do not see an Igbo, just know that such place is inhabitable for humans. Shall we allow all these strong virtues to diminish gradually in our own generation? The answer is capital NO (Mbanu!) Posterity will judge us harshly if we don’t do what we are supposed to do at the right time.

I thank God for this wonderful festival of Igbo culture which CISA has started and I pray it continues to flourish in leaps and bounds. The continuous hosting of this festival will definitely reduce the ” YA MEN AND AMA WHOOP YA ASS” mentality we often hear from some of our people living abroad who have not visited home in 20 years. I strongly encourage all Igbo parents to teach their children Igbo language and culture-it pays. If not for anything let them have a second language so that we know our brothers and sisters when we see and meet them anywhere in the world.

It’s so disheartening to hear that for long African Magic Channel ( a channel in the DSTV Nigeria Network) does not have an Igbo channel in their network, when they had Yoruba  and Hausa almost from the inception of the pay TV Channel. It was just about two (2) or three (3) months ago that they included an Igbo channel. When I asked, I was made to understand that we the Igbo do not have any content. I thought it was a joke when one considers the fact that we have so many movies in the market being acted, produced and directed by Igbo men and women the overwhelming majority of these movies are in English language. The truth is that Igbo language movies and films and other programs could be produced and featured in many more TV programs. When Igbo language programs were added to the Africa Magic TV line-up, it was not shown as part of the family bouquet as the Yoruba and Hausa Channels were. By including Igbo Channel among the higher bouquet programs means it will cost anyone more money to watch Igbo programs unlike the family channels which are easily accessible to a lot more viewers.

After seeing all these, I said to myself, I’m going to fill in this gap. How do I do that? We are going to achieve this by:

1) Producing high quality Epic, Glamour, Comedy movies and flooding same to the market.

2) Supporting any Actor, Actress, and Producer etc that might want to do any work in Igbo

3) Creating Animations, cartoons in Igbo Language for our children in the Diaspora as our parents might be too busy to teach them Igbo. I believe this will go a long way in helping to teach the Igbo language and culture to our children.

4)  Enriching CISA with Enough content as needed with respect to Igbo language and Culture. It is unfortunate that my good friend Mr. Kenneth Ugochukwu  (Bucknor) could not make it to this event with his Rich Igbo movies that could have been premiered here, but I promise you by God’s Grace that in subsequent editions of the CISA Igbo world festival of Arts and Culture the event will have so many Igbo movie choices to chose from.

BENEFITS

The best way to pass information directly into people’s sitting room is through the media of which I have chosen movies and films as a way to propagate the rich culture of our great land. When this is done we all will derive a greater benefit of fraternizing more, loving one another more and enjoying ourselves more. This development will also help in creating employment for our people and bringing greater development to Igboland.

CONCLUSION

The best stars in movies, music and other entertainment industries are from Igbo extraction. Igbos are too talented, “IGBO NWERE MMADU” What else can I say. I don’t want to mention names you all know them. Finally, plans have reached advanced stages to bring down film / Nollywood village to Igboland to be located at Ugwuoba in Enugu state to be precise. It is now time we work together to make all these dreams a reality.

LONGLIVE CISA! LONG LIVE IGBO! LONG LIVE AMERICA! LONG LIVE NIGERIA!

HRH IGWE Prince Alexander Chukwudinma Nwokeabia

EJIAMATU GROUP OF COMPANY LTD

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