- Emeka Esogbue
Over the years of my existence in this world, I have lived with the wrong perception that discourages us, the Ibusa people from marrying from Ibusa. Some say that Ibusa girls are only good for friendship but not marriage but ISM has totally changed my perception and now I wish, desire and prayer to marry from ‘obodo oma’, Ibusa.
An opinion poll carried out by Pen Master within the period of July 19 to July 26, 2020 has shown that in recent times, Igbuzo marriage has not only been favoured by the community’s youngers but may expectedly go on the increase in the years to ahead. The poll which was conducted on the platform of Igbuzo Singles Meet, popularly called “ISM”, a singles Association with Igbuzo membership initiated to promote the Igbuzo marriage and also foster love, unity and understanding among the single youths of the community afforded the targeted audience the opportunity to vote on their choice and place of marriage if their wishes are fulfilled. However, it was also a poll to evaluate for the Ibusa community how the Association has fared since foundation and to determine the people’s perception towards marrying from the community.
The simple question, “as an Ibusa single, can you marry from Ibusa” was posed with the options of “yes”, “no”, “maybe” and “I don’t know” and responses were generated within the period of poll and analyzed by Be-Patt Services, an Uyo based firm in Akwa-Ibom State that took interest in the research. Opinions were randomly sampled from respondents that totaled 85, all Ibusa indigenes in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. 55 number of respondents were females while the remaining 30 were males. Ages of respondents fell within 23-37. Facebook platform of the Association was used for sampling of opinions.
The result showed greater number of respondents of 68 overwhelmly saying “yes” to the question posed. 9 respondents objected by emphatically saying “no” to Ibusa marriage. those who stood on the fence by saying “maybe” were 6 while 2 said “I don’t know”. From the analysis, the “yes” was 80%, the “no”, 9%, maybe, 7.1% and I don’t know, 2.3%. from the end result, 80% of Ibusa people will like to commit their future to an Ibusa partner in their next important phase of life.
Ibusa, an Anioma community in Delta State is rich in culture as witnessed in their traditional marriage, burial and other rites but with peculiar precepts that crept into their dictionary such as “Igbuzo di nma oyi mana wa di hor nma onunu” and other certain personal beliefs, marriage between among the people went on low ebb.
Recall that all the keynote speakers from the community, at the annual conferences organized by the Association since 2011 when it was founded, including foremost politician, Arch Vincent Okowanji, Prof Vincent Icheku, Career Counsellor, Dr. Priscilla Okeleke, Writers, Philip Ngozi Ifechukwude and Austin Eloka Ajufo, Evangelist Felix Nyemike Nkadi, Ifeanyi Mozea and recently, Mrs. Uche Uchudiunor Amatakwu have all spoken in advocacy of the vitalization, encouragement and improvement in Igbuzo inter-marriage.
Speaking at the Lagos conference of last year themed “Ife Umuaka Igbuzo Som”, Mrs. Uche Amatokwu had reminded her audience mostly single youths from the community that there was a time the Igbuzo people treasured and appreciated the Igbuzo inter-marriage, lightly emphasizing that during that particular period, marriage banns was announced in Ibusa Catholic churches with aged Ibusa mothers either emotionally giving their assent or disapproval depending on the name and place of the intending man or woman getting married to the Ibusa person, which was mentioned by the announcer. She nonetheless, feels that improvement was necessary.
Citing his reason on why they favored marrying from Ibusa, one respondent wrote “over the years of my existence in this world, I have lived with the wrong perception that discourages us, the Ibusa people from marrying from Ibusa. Some say that Ibusa girls are only good for friendship but not marriage but ISM has totally changed my perception and now I wish, desire and prayer to marry from ‘obodo oma’, Ibusa”.
“My wish is to marry from Ibusa because I want to be closer home so that I can live long” and another said “I wish I can marry from Ibusa but being that I did not grow up in Ibusa, I don’t know anyone”, supported by another.
“Most times, marrying from your place has advantage for example, there is no culture shock as the person knows what is expected of him or her”, a particular respondent wrote.
One female respondent also wrote to support her vote that “marrying from Ibusa was not part of my plan but since I started to socialize and interact with the Ibusa people in ISM, I became motivated to marry from Ibusa. They are not bad after all”. On the contrary, one respondent who also voted “no” advised the Ibusa people to love themselves more to attract marriage from within the community.
The Igbuzo Singles Meet was founded on June 5, 2011 by Elder Emeka Esogbue and at the moment has close to 200 members drawn from across the world. Since foundation, about 20 members have married themselves in ten marriages witnessed by the Association and as a promotion of the major aims and objectives of the Association. This recent poll is a testimony of mentality, cultural approach and coordination of the youths from the community and also an indication that the Ibusa inter-marriage is bound for improvement in the cultural life of the people if all hands are on deck.