Akajiaku: When Boys Become Real Men In Odu Na Izuoha A C

Boys-to-men: Line-up of Akajiaku Age Grade members at the initiation ground

Odu Na Izuoha, Amuzi Autonomous Community in Ahiazu Local Government Area of Imo State is usually serene and in qietude. However, the place on Saturday, January 4, 2020 went agog with frenzy as a vibrant group of young men of the community went through the process of being initiated into manhood.

The young men who belong to No. 15 Age Grade named Akajiaku, numbering about a hundred had attained the age of being called into the innermost chamber of men and real masculinity and that was the setting for what ignited the exhilaration experienced over the last weekend which has also got many who were in attendance still excited.

As the local parlance goes: “To be a man is not a days job” and to be sure, the build-up to the appointed day had really drained the participants in terms of finance, emotion and energy. That many in the community as well as relations, friend and associates eagerly looked forward to the spectacle, was not out of place.

And so, came the ‘D’ Day. The arena for the event, Amuzi Community School Play ground had been festooned, beckoning revellers to a grand occasion to which a large crowd obliged.

Boys-to-men: members of Akajiaku Age Grade being clothed

Under a bright harmattan atmosphere and dusty but convivial setting, the would-be men took the stage to perform the necessary and relevant rites required to be qualified as men. While the large crowd gathered to witness this transformation cum metamophorses, the members of the age grade went hunting in the wild; all for just one bird to prove that they were of age, eligible and of valour characteristic of manhood.

They however, emerged victorious from the jungle with the bird to the admiration of those present who demonstrated their disposition with loud ovation thus setting the stage for the next level on the road to becoming men. After all, the reason for the gathering was to witness how, and when boys become men.

Having proved beyond doubt that they could become men by hunting down the bird, there was confidence that these young boys could actually enter the field of battle to defend their community which they demonstrated in a fierce mock battle servoured by those in attendace. Apart from their accomplishment at the battle, they had successfully scaled other obstacles that finally earned them the reward of being ultimately initiated into manhood.

L-R: Eze (Dr.) James Okoronkwo Duzieoha 1 Odu Na Izuoha, Ugo Eze, TPM Mr. Donne A. Chikere, Mrs. Philomina Chikere at the Iwa Akwa Ceremony on Saturday, January 4, 2020 in Amuzi

In the presence of the Eze of Odu Na Izuiha Amuzi Autonomous Community, Eze (Dr.) James Okoronkwo Duzieoha 1 of Odu Na Izuoha, the Traditional Prime Minister (TPM), Mr. Donne A. Chikere, Palace Chiefs and all title holders, these ‘naked’ young men for the ‘first’ time, got dressed up in lengthy wrappers (Iwa Akwa), traditional caps and staff as real men. The journey to manhood had been completed with aplumb.

Being a man places enormous challenges and responsibility on the one involved. Eze Okoronkwo, therefore, admonished the ‘new’ men to be law abiding, responsible and respectful to the tradition and culture of the community.

Eze (Dr.) James Okoronkwo (3rd from r. front row) and Titled men at the Iwa Akwa ceremony

He further cursshioned them to avoid acts that will bring shame to them as individuals and the larger community, asking them to be good ambassadors of the land wherever the may be.

Earlier, the chairman of the Iwa Akwa ceremony, Mr.Maxwell Chukwu, in his opening remarks told members of the newly initiated Age Grade to be of behaviour worthy of emulation at all times.

The Age Grade Initiation ceremony was last held in the comunity four years ago and will return in another four years.

By this ceremony, amidts eating and drinking, the young men have been duely accorded due recognition as men who will assist in developing the community in all fronts.

ground

Odu Na Izuoha, Amuzi Autonomous Community in Ahiazu Local Government Area of Imo State is usually serene and in qietude. However, the place on Saturday, January 4, 2020 went agog with frenzy as a vibrant group of young men of the community went through the process of being initiated into manhood.

The young men who belong to No. 15 Age Grade named Akajiaku, numbering about a hundred had attained the age of being called into the innermost chamber of men and real masculinity and that was the setting for what ignited the exhilaration experienced over the last weekend which has also got many who were in attendance still excited.

As the local parlance goes: “To be a man is not a days job” and to be sure, the build-up to the appointed day had really drained the participants in terms of finance, emotion and energy. That many in the community as well as relations, friend and associates eagerly looked forward to the spectacle, was not out of place.

And so, came the ‘D’ Day. The arena for the event, Amuzi Community School Play ground had been festooned, beckoning revellers to a grand occasion to which a large crowd obliged.

Boys-to-men: members of Akajiaku Age Grade being clothed

Under a bright harmattan atmosphere and dusty but convivial setting, the would-be men took the stage to perform the necessary and relevant rites required to be qualified as men. While the large crowd gathered to witness this transformation cum metamophorses, the members of the age grade went hunting in the wild; all for just one bird to prove that they were of age, eligible and of valour characteristic of manhood.

They however, emerged victorious from the jungle with the bird to the admiration of those present who demonstrated their disposition with loud ovation thus setting the stage for the next level on the road to becoming men. After all, the reason for the gathering was to witness how, and when boys become men.

Having proved beyond doubt that they could become men by hunting down the bird, there was confidence that these young boys could actually enter the field of battle to defend their community which they demonstrated in a fierce mock battle servoured by those in attendace. Apart from their accomplishment at the battle, they had successfully scaled other obstacles that finally earned them the reward of being ultimately initiated into manhood.

Boys-to-men: being dressed as a real man

In the presence of the Eze of Odu Na Izuiha Amuzi Autonomous Community, Eze (Dr.) James Okoronkwo Duzieoha 1 of Odu Na Izuoha, the Traditional Prime Minister (TPM), Mr. Donne A. Chikere, Palace Chiefs and all title holders, these ‘naked’ young men for the ‘first’ time, got dressed up in lengthy wrappers (Iwa Akwa), traditional caps and staff as real men. The journey to manhood had been completed with aplumb.

Being a man places enormous challenges and responsibility on the one involved. Eze Okoronkwo, therefore, admonished the ‘new’ men to be law abiding, responsible and respectful to the tradition and culture of the community.

He further cursshioned them to avoid acts that will bring shame to them as individuals and the larger community, asking them to be good ambassadors of the land wherever the may be.

Earlier, the chairman of the Iwa Akwa ceremony, Mr. Oliver Oparah, in his opening remarks told members of the newly initiated Age Grade to be of behaviour worthy of emulation at all times.

The Age Grade Initiation ceremony was last held in the comunity four years ago and will return in another four years.

By this ceremony, amidts eating and drinking, the young men have been duely accorded due recognition as men who will assist in developing the community in all fronts.

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