Sensitization on the need for EBIRA Students in the diaspora to associate with Ebira and Culture By Damisa Dauda Bilkisu (Mrs)

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The people of Ebiraland are unique among the numerous tribes in North Central Nigeria. The Ebiras are among the 3 major tribes in Kogi State, occupying 4 LGAs. We are not just beautiful in and out, we are enriched with beautiful Culture. Our culture is what defines us as a group of people and differentiate us from others. It’s our social heritage and identity. It gives insight and knowledge of our root and background. This is why it’s very important for every Sons and Daughters of Ebiraland, both home and in diaspora to have a background knowledge of who we are and our culture.

It’s a great disservice to our Forefathers and Ebira Nation as a whole for anyone born of Ebira blood to deny his or her Root and/or not want to be associated with whatever that gives us identity. This is a common practice among many of Ebira Sons and Daughters in Diaspora. Many see speaking our dialect to their children as taboo and even prohibit others around them from speaking the language around their wards. Bearing and answering Ebira Native names is also a taboo in many of these homes. This is a pure case of an Inferiority complex. No tribe should look superior to yours if you are confident and proud of your origin.

Ebira Students from the above homes find it very difficult to mingle with other Ebira Students from Ebiraland who are proud of their roots and identify themselves with NAES as a National Body that unites all students of Ebira nation.

Your tribal identity is one of the few attributes that can never be altered no matter how you denied it. It’s inborn. Your tribe can only be as great as other tribes you so much envy and claimed as yours if only you are ready to embrace your identity and contribute your quota to her growth and development.

As an Ebira student in the diaspora, you may be more exposed to a higher level of Civilization and Growth. It’s only when you associate yourself to Ebira Nation and participate in the activities jeered toward her growth that you can bring in your wealth of knowledge and experiences to help in placing the tribe among her contemporaries. As an Ebira student living in the diaspora, it will be easier for you in the future to come home to vie for political office if only you are familiar with your root and the people will trust your words.

Permit me to share a little secret in my home here; My 3 Daughters bear Ebira native names and in other to help them keep and maintain their Identity as Ebiras, my husband and I decided to register their Ebira native names as their First Names officially, while they maintain their Islamic names as their middle names. This, aside from speaking the language to them, is one of our little ways of helping our children in Associating and Preserving our identity. With this, we are sure they will always be proud of who they are. This is a common practice among the Yorubas, Igbos, and the Hausas. They bear their native names as their First Names. Some even go further to bear their village/community or Local Government names as their middle names (a peculiar case of the Hausas) It’s this pride they have for their identity that stands them out and enviable to others.

We should also clamor for the removal of tagging Ebira Language as ‘Vernacular’ and also look forward to the abolition of punishment for speaking Ebira by Ebira students in our schools at home.

Always remember who you are and where your identity with pride. Be proud of your Ebira native names if you have any, else it’s not too late to bear one. Living in the diaspora does not change your root/identity. Be a good Ambassador of Ebira Nation where ever you are born and raised.

God bless Ebiraland!

God bless NAES!!

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