Tradition: Breaking the Igbo Kola nut 2 (Iwa oji Igbo)

Onye wetara oji, wetara ndu. Ndi be anyi ekelem unu oo.

God, our tryst maker! Chinekem ke b’nigwe!

One that holds the Earth with bare hands

And causes the winds to soar where You wills

My God, we have gathered once again to celebrate

To enjoy the life which you have blessed us with!

Nna anyi ukwu, You hold the knife and the yam

You give the sunshine and the rainfall to everyone-

The bad and the good, all savor the providence You gave

Now we bring the kola nut before You

We bless, we pray that we remain fruitful as this fruit

That the streams give us fish, the land more yams

And the farms much more fruitful than yesterdays harvest

We break this kola nut, and as it breaks

So shall our enemies and foes break!

Let the Eagle perch, let also the Kite,

Any that forbids the other from perching

May the wings break!

May our children bear children like the Hebrew

May the winds bring us good tidings and fair weather

May our friendship knows no limits but greatness

And may this kola nut bring us all good fortune!

Learn the Igbo language here.


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Commentary: The Igbo tribe is an Eastern Nigerian tribe. They are known for their prowess in business, enterprise, and commerce wherever they settle. This piece is a traditional prayer of the Igbo people used to welcome visitors and to bless marriages, friendships, goodwill, and ventures.

Onye wetara oji, wetara ndu. Ndi be anyi ekelem unu oo: Him that brings the kola brings life.

Chinekem ke b’nigwe: My God, who lives in Heaven.

Nna any ukwu: Our great Father

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Muse: The rains and wet clay

The smell of clay when wet

Brings the feeling of life

When heavy rains come

The community is overjoyed

And so the dry earth wakes

With it, life becomes excited!

The clouds turn dark

As the rain grow stronger-

With a great storm imminent

The rain drops gather,

Tripping happily into the big pots




Eyes brought low

From the distance,

Watched her go

Steady glance

Cutting through her

And she was not aware


Cage your emotion

Let love flow

Desire, genuine

Let it grow

Like a tree planted

By the poolside