Seven Major Uses of Ose Oji in Igbo Spirituality (Odinani)

Seven Major Uses of Ose Oji in Igbo Spirituality (Odinani)

Ose Oji, also known as alligator pepper or as mbongo spice or hepper pepper, is a symbolic item used in Igbo land, as well as across communities in West Africa. The scientific name of ose oji is Aframomum danielli, Aframomum citratum or Aframomum exscapum. It is believed to come from a sacred fruit and has spiritual benefits that can bring favor, happiness, prosperity, and protection from harm to those who know how to apply its properties.

In Igbo spirituality, Ose Oji is considered as a spirit, and it is treated with such respect and reverence as are given to spirits. Before opening a pod of ose oji for the first time, it has to be taken behind the back of the body as a sign of reverence. It is also believed that by that action whatever is posed to inflict the pepperish sting of evil on the holder will move from the front and go behind them where such evil manifestations will not come to fruition. This sort of practice in Odinani demonstrates that Ose Oji is not just a physical item but a spiritual one with abstract significance in Igbo culture.

We have highlighted seven major uses within the context of Igbo spirituality below, to help
provide some insight and knowledge for those interested;

  1. Ose Oji is used for cleansing and purification exercises, to ward off negative energy or evil. There are a couple of ways its seeds are applied in contact with the body and disposed attentively to avoid disarming the exercise in effect.
  2. Ose Oji is used for affirmation and declaration exercises, to enhance the power of the spoken word as well as manifestation prowess. Usually done by applying a number of seeds in the mouth before making one’s affirmations or declarations.
  3. Ose Oji is used as a protection tool. When people embark on journeys they do not feel secure about or any form of travel, they can keep some of its seed in their pockets or bags and it is believed to ward off danger or evil intentions which help keep its carrier safe. On return from such journeys the seeds are attentively discarded.
  4. Ose Oji is used as an enhancing tool for spiritual fortification or for recharging personal energies by applying into water or hot drinks and dedicating to the energies in question, with intention.
  5. Ose Oji can be used as a symbol of hospitality for both humans and spirits, in the same way Oji Igbo which refers to Kola nut is used.
  6. Ose Oji can be used as an abstract binder to bind people who come into oral contracts or commitments in agreement, in the same way Oji Igbo (Kola nut) can be used for such purposes.
  7. Ose Oji can also be applied in herbal remedies to treat various ailments by indigenous doctors who are trained and understand the mechanics of its application in such cases.

We can see from practices still present in Igbo culture that Ose Oji is a significant item in Igbo
spirituality, and it is used for various purposes, including rituals and ceremonies, controlling
spirits, promoting unity and peace. In addition to its spiritual benefits, Ose Oji is also used for its
health benefits. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial
properties. It is very symbolic within Igbo culture and tradition, and it is treated with respect and

An Introduction To Odinani


By Chimdi Nobim

What is Odinani?

Odinani (also called Odinala in some dialects) is the ancestral spiritual science of the Igbo people of Nigeria. Literally translated it means “It is in the Earth/land”, referencing the traditional Igbo belief that Ani/Ala the Earth Mother Goddess is central to our very existence and to progress in all endeavors. Odinani/Odinala should not be confused with Omenani/Omenala, which are the social elements(customs and traditions) of Igbo people, although there are obvious links between the two, as spirituality is often the basis for all other cultural elements.

Symbol of Ala, the Earth Mother, among the Eda Igbo, present-day Abia or Ebonyi State. P. A. Talbot, c. 1920s.
Symbol of Ala, the Earth Mother, among the Eda Igbo, present-day Abia or Ebonyi State. P. A. Talbot, c. 1920s.

What are the basic tenets of Odinani?

In Odinani it is believed that everyone is a spiritual being(mmuo) born into a physical body(mmadu) to accomplish a destiny on Earth, or to acquire experience. At the center of our being is Chi, the divine spark that is our true self and that guides us from within, and is our link to the Supreme Being And Source of All Life known as Chineke, which has a masculine part called Chi Ukwu(Great Soul) and a feminine part called Eke. While Chi Ukwu is the source/collective of all Chi, Eke is Creation herself and sustains and nurtures all life within the universes contained in her Cosmic Womb. The Earth, Ani/Ala, is therefore an extension of the Divine Mother Eke.

Playing with Time and Memory. A series of four acrylic on canvas paintings, each 101x101cm, by Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi, 2020

The Divine Mother extends herself into forces of nature that regulate life as we know it, and these forces are personalised as deities(called Agbara, Alushi or Arushi depending on dialect). Some common examples of these deities are:

Ihejioku/Ifejioku – deity of Agriculture
Omumu – deity of fertility
Ekwensu – deity of warfare
Amadioha – deity of justice
Onwa – deity of the moon
Anyanwu – deity of the sun
Nnemmiri/Oshimmiri/Idemili – deity of the waters
Arobinagu – deity of herbs
Agwu – deity of wisdom, knowledge and divination

This list is in no way conclusive as the number and functions of deities vary from community to community. Practitioners of Odinani invoke these deities on matters considered to be under their respective jurisdictions. Reincarnation is a central belief of Odinani, as it is asserted that a person incarnates repeatedly, usually within a family, until certain tasks are successfully accomplished. Once accomplished, the individual takes his place amongst other ascended ancestors to guide and watch over descendants, provided said descendants are receptive to their guidance.

When a person incarnates, his previous incarnation is called onyeuwa, and it’s believed that the onyeuwa can be accessed and invoked to assist the individual in achieving the task that brought him/her back. In Odinani it is also believed that humans are not alone in this world, neither is this world the only one. Surrounding us are subtle realms not accessible to our physical senses, which are populated by sentient beings. Actually many of us on Earth as humans today lived in those worlds before our birth into this one, and we have friends and families there. These beings are called mmuo in Igbo, also known as fairies/jinns/elementals/wee folk in other languages.

As we are all children of the Divine Mother whose worlds interface, our primordial ancestors established relationships with these spirit beings, much like treaties are established between nations, for mutually beneficial cohabitation, and just like treaties are inherited by successive governments and people of a nation, so also do we inherit these covenants made with other worlds from our ancestors. Some of these spirits serve as guardians for clans and communities, and in return we are expected to honor or repay them in several ways which depend on the initial ancestral agreement.

Is worship part of Odinani?

In worship one is expected to give of oneself to another being on the assumption that this being has a right to demand it of us, no questions asked. Also in worship one is expected to beg or grovel before another in hopes that the latter will answer our requests based on their own whim.

Masquerades from different cultural regions of the Igbo area photographed by G. I. Jones in the 1930s.

However, in Odinani, we seek only to align with our true nature, Chi, and be receptive to its guidance. We do not believe Chineke our Supreme Being or any other force requires worship, how do you give anything to The One that is the Source of Everything? We also do not believe that Chineke is a vain and insecure entity that needs to be placated, cajoled or flattered.

While a casual onlooker might conclude that we “worship” the deities subordinate to the Supreme Being,.as well as spirits we interact with, we do not. We relate with deities and other spirits on a transactional and not devotional level. Life is balance, we give to receive, we provide value in order to get value, and this is true for all relationships where needs must be met. This is the essence of sacrifices and offerings in Odinani, which will be covered in more detail later. The offerings and sacrifices provide energies with which our spirit allies are equipped and compensated for their work, they are not materials for worship.

What are some misconceptions about Odinani?

  • Odinani involves devil worship or pacts with demons: This is misinformation begun by European missionaries and propagated till today by those who accepted and follow their religion. The demonization of our ancestral ways was a politically motivated effort to undermine the Igbo traditional structure and thus reestablish a new colonial power base centered on foreign ideologies that served the interest of the Europeans. It is unfortunate that the agenda continues with those descended from the early Igbo converts to Christianity maintaining the castigation of the systems their pre-colonial ancestors put in place. However, we are glad to note that more and more are awakening to the light and challenging the narrative, embracing the ways of their ancestors in the process.
  • Odinani involves human sacrifice: No civilisation, race or tribe can deny their involvement in practices that we would call unsavory today, and Igbo people are no exception. While it is true that humans may once have been sacrificed in some parts of Igboland, it is not the case today. Let us also bear in mind that even foreign religions cannot boast of clean hands in their past either, as their own history almost literally drips with blood. The point is that systems are meant to evolve for the better, and Odinani is no exception.
  • Odinani supports criminal activity: Sadly due to the present economic state in Nigeria, some practitioners have turned to misuse of their knowledge to seek shortcuts to material success. This however is not the true way of Odinani and should not be used as a lens through which to view all who practice it. Anyone who engages in acts that bring harm or loss to others will face Divine Justice eventually and will suffer dearly for their misdeeds. Efforts are being made continuously by sincere practitioners to educate their wayward colleagues on the proper, harmonious, and generally beneficial ways to practice science. It should be noted at this time that the purpose of Odinani is to align you with your destiny and the forces that can help you achieve it, not to make you rich or give you the power to harm others or destroy enemies. Whatever is needed to ensure your personal fulfillment, be it wealth, power or protection, then follows provided you are well aligned and you maintain it.
Okoroshi masquerade 

Getting Started in Odinani

  • Go to your ancestral Igbo community: this is based on the assumption that one is of Igbo descent and has access to their ancestral homes, elders and practitioners of Odinani there. While the basic tenets of Odinani are general amongst Igbo people, some practices and spirit alliances are unique to families and communities, and as such it is best to familiarise oneself with ones own ancestral spiritual structure.
  • Go for Afa(divination): in Igboland, we have certain persons known as Dibias who are specialists in various fields related to the spirit world. One, in particular, is called a Dibia Afa and he/she can access the spirit realm and give you information about yourself and your relationships with the other side, to guide you on what you should do to align with your Chi, ancestral spirits and other spirit allies.
  • Begin to practice Igo Ofo: This is probably the most important step you can take in beginning your journey. Igo ofo is the traditional Igbo way of communicating with your allied spirit forces and should be done daily or at least regularly. As you acknowledge your spirit allies they begin to work with and guide you on the right path to fulfilling your destiny. No matter what rituals or divination you do and if you do not personally seek to establish and maintain intimate relationships with the spirits that follow you, it will be a waste.

Odinani Book Club: “Akata Woman” by Nnedi Okorafor


For the next Odinani book club pick, we will be reading “Akata Woman” by Nnedi Okorafor, which is the final book in the “Nsibidi Scripts” series  If you wish to participate in the Book Club discussion, please send an email to

Synopsis: From the moment Sunny Nwazue discovered she had mystical energy flowing in her blood, she sought to understand and control her powers. Throughout her adventures in Akata Witch and Akata Warrior, she had to navigate the balance between nearly everything in her life—America and Nigeria, the “normal” world and the one infused with juju, human and spirit, good daughter and powerful Leopard Person.

Now, those hard lessons and abilities are put to the test in a quest so dangerous and fantastical, it would be madness to go…but may destroy the world if she does not. With the help of her friends, Sunny embarks on a mission to find a precious object hidden deep in an otherworldly realm. Defeating the guardians of the prize will take more from Sunny than she has to give, and triumph will mean she will be forever changed.

“The Concubine” by Elechi Amadi, Book Review


In the Concubine, Elechi Amadi tells us (his readers) a rather eye-opening and compelling story.
He opens the novel with this axiom:

“The Thunder-god feasts in his grove,
Then naps ‘twixt rainbows up above;
But justice suffers here below,
And we know not which way to go.”

As though to prepare his readers for an encounter with the gods, the supernatural, and the extraordinary, as it is mingled with the everyday affairs of the Igbo people. The Igbo community (at the time) which he naturally sets this story in, seems to expect divine interference in their everyday life as a rather normal cause of events. As they go about their day-to-day activities, in this book, Elechi Amadi lets us accompany them (through our mind’s eye), as the men go to check their traps in the forest, as they all go to work on their farms, as they sit in the reception halls of their homes, as the wives cook in their kitchens, as friends visit each other to gossip, as the whole village (both young and old) gather occasionally to sing and dance together, as they go to marry wives, as they discuss quarrels that involve beating of their wives, as they go to bed on their bamboo beds and mats, as they embrace, shun, and struggle with death, the whole time we are there with them through Elechi Amadi’s penmanship, we become a part of their

Ihuoma, a very fine woman both in spirit and in person, turns out to be Amadi’s main character in this novel. A very beautiful well behaved simple woman, who also turns out to be something we all (including herself) struggle to grapple with in the end. Do all the men, women, children, and things linked to her life rise and fall because of her, or does she rise and fall because of them. This is a conundrum Elechi Amadi poses to his readership as well as his characters in this book.

Amadi naturally explores philosophical as well as spiritual phenomena present within the Igbo worldview with this book, such as; the polarity of existence which layers our universe – Oke and Nne (Nwunei), what many would simplify as the masculine and feminine; yin and yang; opposing yet balancing factors. He casually makes reference to this in his description of the drums in his storytelling. He also highlights the abominable perception suicide takes within the Igbo culture, the roles Dibịa play within the community, the hand of divine justice – Ofo na Ogu in the society, the application of body art (uli) with indigo, the idea of reincarnation and the personhood of Agwụ as something people contest with. Basically, the author touches on various cultural as well as spiritual realities of Ndị Igbo (the Igbo people) in his novel.

Elechi Amadi executes a poetic as well as proverbial use of language and metaphors in his writing of the Concubine, as though to illustrate that he too is very much influenced and an adept of the culture he writes about. The Concubine as a novel is definitely a good capture of what an Igbo community would look like pre-colonialism.

More Men Will Go


By Odimegwu Onwumere

His jaded stances raised more questions than there were straightforward answers. He placed his hands on his jaws. His nonverbal cues indicated that he was concerned about something. There were almost twenty males in the kai-kai shop as Njoku drank.

In five minutes, Njoku downed three glasses of the drink, pulping his eyes and clearing his throat loudly because it was very hot. With each glass Njoku sipped, he murmured: Men’s traditional masculinity is being dragged into the sea of gender parity.

It was not usual for working-class men to gather at the neighborhood gin store, a place that was known for charlatans, as early as five in the morning and drink themselves insane. But they had to gather after the community radio made the announcement. It was a troubling announcement for the men. The men gazed into the thin air while seated, as if they were looking for answers to what had befallen them when Uwandu walked into the shop.

There were many voices supporting Njoku’s, saying, My wife, my wife. None of them really wanted to talk about what was going on with their spouses, but they unanimously knew the fate they each shared in the hands of their wives.

“I escaped from the grip of my wife!” Uwandu said, and gasped. “Since the new law was established, I have been her punching bag.”

They knew Uwandu as a loquacious man; hence they looked at him but didn’t bother to show him poignant support. They were all in on this. A man at the edge of the wooden bench shifted for him to sit down. Uwandu was really upset, but after gulping down two glasses of kai-kai in less than two minutes and hitting his chest, he sat down.

Not only was Uwandu loquacious among the men, many men were like that since they hadn’t much that occupied them, so they spent their strength talking about something that was reserved for women. Njoku thought that the part in which men in the Nuella Community could formerly fulfill their familial responsibilities without losing their identity was constrained by the new legislative agenda, which was announced by the community radio. Other men were yet to comprehend the reality of the programme of the local council, which was painstakingly designed to highlight the role of women in their culture, had been expertly inaugurated.

Uwandu said that the women suddenly began behaving suspiciously around their husbands. The radio said about 2,000 men have experienced severe domestic abuse at the hands of their wives in the past few months. As a result of the law’s increased protection of women from men, women have become more autonomous, and the cutting wit was that they attack their husbands at the slightest provocation. Njoku was too worried that it had become an escalating phenomenon in the bud.

The voices of men who were being increasingly beaten by their spouses could be heard in the neighbourhood from the gin shop. The men at the bar found it hard to believe. The women were afraid to come into the bar and beat up the men because they knew that no one was in their right senses. The men believed the nascent scenario to be fiction rather than the truth. But it was true that the new law had taken place and their wives weren’t giving a hoot about what their husbands were going through.

Their male children were not safe, either. The women scolded them anytime they talked about the fate that had come to their fathers. The women preferred their daughters to their male children since the law was against male children, which were once held in high esteem. The men were in a total mess, a dungeon of a sort. Moreover, the women would return from the day’s transactions and would not care if there was food for their husbands or not. This had moved the men to stop eating food cooked by their wives in protest of the overbearing new law empowering women.

Njoku was in charge of the boycott, which sought to highlight the extent to which women were abusing their husbands at home. The girls were not excused from exhibiting the new power their mothers wielded. They frequently pushed the boys to the wall. A man who assaulted his wife received a seven-year prison term including hard labour. The boys would be beaten by council members in the town square should they beat any girl. Everyone in the town was a dissident. There was unrest, yet women benefited from the disorder.

What bothered Njoku and his squad the most was the council’s failure to take home hostility toward men seriously. Even their wives, who used to respect them, were not affected emotionally when the men did not eat their food. The women only come around the gin bar to engage their husbands in heated arguments. They did not show any concern about whether their husbands’ foods were eaten or not since they were cooking. The women ate as much as they liked, and were happy with their children.

These men have been in the gin shop for six weeks, drinking kai-kai and planning to free themselves from their empowered wives. Most died from alcoholism. Njoku vowed to die rather than abide by the new law. Others have become a shadow of themselves because of their excessive alcohol consumption and poor diet. All restaurants were run by women. And they did not cater to men. The men were not only physically beaten but, even worse, they were demoralized. This, in particular, was why men stopped eating their women’s foods, as lobbied by Njoku.

Men who were beaten by their wives were ridiculed by the community and considered unusual. The community was yet to switch to living with the law. Njoku gave the men the courage to speak up. Many men were still holding their heads with hope, waiting for a response that the law had been rescinded. The women saw the men’s screams as a matter of masculinity running into trouble. When Njoku saw that every system they had was wasted, he contacted his brother in the UK to gather other residents of the country to help bring international attention to their plight. But his brother said the UK does not support a man’s failures, his insecurities, and his stress.

“In the UK, women said that sex and gender roles in the environment have changed completely since many men lost their jobs in the UK due to some social and economic downturn,” Caleb explained to Njoku on the phone. “Occupations such as nursing, teaching, social work, and care, which are considered to be for women, are not affected by the economic impact as many male occupations in large companies.” Uwandu contacted his brother in the United States of America to draw the world’s attention to their situation in Nuella town.

“In the United States, women work to earn money while men work full-time in the kitchen and care for children, a well-known development,” Johnson explained to Uwandu on the phone.

The development of Nuella town has angered many people, much like an erupting volcano. Older women were most angered. Njoku and the alcoholics wanted to return to their old culture, which generally recognised masculinity. But they were astonished that women left the home that was assigned to them by gender to hold more opportunities in education, politics, government, and social consciousness formed for them by the council. Njoku believed there was more to this situation than met the eye.

It was clear that the insults Nuellan women used to hit their husbands were not a scam. And they knew that it was difficult for their men to walk in modern times without abandoning their tradition, but they would gladly agree to drink from the sweat of their modern wives. Uwandu explained to the men how he had been doing housework with the wife since the new law. They could all agree that the law had ruined their reputation. On the other hand, women argued that it did not make sense for men to continue working in traditional gender roles while they benefited from modern education and the civilized jobs women did, which were inevitable. And men didn’t avoid the rewards women got from such jobs, or at least saw them as interfering with culture.

The women wanted situations where there was a reduction in what was too masculine. They wanted their men to be ready to help in the kitchen, do homework with the kids, change diapers, and pack food. They saw marriage as a partnership and were ready to end masculinity, but the men were still holding on to old ideas. The women did not want their men to stick to their traditions but help in housekeeping, which included feeding the children, cooking, washing the house, fetching water, making a cup of tea for the guests, etc.. These were jobs only for women. And they said no, men must help them.

Most of the men insisted that all their wives’ anger was nothing more than a desperate attempt to keep the men in the harsh violence of the Nuella community. As Njoku and his group argued, the women were happy that the violence against women was now affecting men. “Imperfect men,” they said. “We are for every significant commitment and improvement in the advancement of women’s rights.”

The men were shocked, saying that the modern man was caught between the responsibility of taking care of his traditional work and being seen as no longer the woman’s protector and provider. The women believed that in today’s society, men and women provide and protect. On the other hand, in many circles, they said that in this sense, things were not good in the town of Nuella anymore, as the new law had caused the people of the village to become angry with themselves and look down on themselves.

Older women objected to what had befallen the men, saying that it was the law that was to blame for violence against men. And the fact that the Nuellan women were named as abusers meant that the men would not be men anymore. “I will accept the fact that when someone talks about violence or abuse, that person should not ignore the fact that women were created with two mouths,” the head of the older women, Onugba, said. Licentious women started using the law as an excuse to sleep around. Meanwhile, the older women described violence not only as physical pain but also as emotional pain, which changed and destroyed some of the men in their homes even before the law was enacted.

Njoku and his members were wondering if some women who abused them no longer believed that there were different body chemicals that made up men and women. “For these women, they saw men and women as equal and believed they should be equal?” Njoku rhetorically asked. This brought the issue of violence to an alarming level, a heated debate. The older women maintained their stance and did not accept that their daughters should abuse men now or in the future when they get married. They believed that even before the law, many women had sent their husbands packing, getting drunk, or even dying. They said that no matter how anyone examines it, men and women fight with what they call violence. Therefore, they were surprised when women cried about violence against women without telling society that women should also stop doing what they do to men.

Also, the older women believed that no sane man would see a woman on the street and start raping her. They believed that there were men and women who, through maturity and self-nourishment, were able to reduce physical and verbal abuse towards each other. Conservatives among the women considered it shameful for a woman to disobey a man, regardless of the woman’s status. They said that women should always love men.

The women’s group led by Onugba was of the belief that men are always good and right. It was this belief that had saved their marriages for many years, whereas the younger women were plunging into marriage challenges because they were challenging their husbands’ rights in the homes. “This was how nature created them,” Onugba told her group. The older women encouraged liberals among them to study men, especially their husbands, to know when they wake up, when they go to work, when they come home at night, and what kind of food they eat. They should also prepare whatever food the men liked to eat and make sure that everything was arranged for them, even if the women were predictably also working. They added that until women understood men’s nature through respect, which in turn would create men’s love, violence between them could not be stopped.

The conservative Nuellan women believed that a woman’s time should be spent praying instead of worrying about men. And watching the many comings and goings of men was a terrible waste of time. They said that most men couldn’t even pray. “If a woman looked at a man and expected him to work in the house instead of asking the man to help her, she was wasting her time,” Onugba said. “This was what a woman should have done instead of harassing a man or abusing a man.”

They also explained that even in countries such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom, where laws have been created to help women reduce gender-based violence, some men still choose to die rather than be humiliated by women. Worse yet, go to prison. “Only women who feel humiliated scream fight against women. “Women must not demonstrate to the world that they, too, enjoy beating their men,” said a woman who married nearly sixty years ago.” And for women, seeking women’s rights without being civil was a subtle way to achieve racial justice.” Njoku and his group, undeterred, realizing that they had supporters among the women, decided to return home.

Njoku called his brother abroad to explain the latest development. On the phone, Caleb said, people who understood each other invented a phrase like this: Men, new women — to show how men have been feminized. Caleb retorted that most men also eat garri and melon soup because of feminism anyway. But of course, Njoku knew that women’s feministic food was not for all men.

Njoku was shocked when he and his brother interrupted the call only to find out that while they were away, their rejected wives kept their sons as girls by buying them cosmetics as gifts. No wonder Njoku swore that it was not during his time that the men of Nuella would have an identity crisis, no matter how the women brought down the men? Suddenly, Uwandu, who was drunk, looked at Njoku and saw the situation in front of him: The council’s law had helped to turn men into puppets in front of women by encouraging girls to believe that they could do whatever they wanted in life, thereby sexualising men, and forgetting that, for a long time, men have been working to protect women.

When the women, who were not part of the old women, saw Njoku and his group, they did not hide their anger but said that women no longer needed men as caretakers, protectors, or fathers of their children. “An anonymous sperm donor can perform the task of creating a child if a woman so wishes,” said Uwandu’s wife. Uwandu called his brother Johnson abroad to let him understand what the situation was. Johnson comforted Uwandu.

“Since the 1960s, modern mothers have raised their sons to be women and to have feminine values like taking responsibility for housework, self-care, understanding and attention, and obeying all the wishes of a woman,” Johnson said. “In the West, the philosophy of free democracy was that of a secularist, usually a feminist.” When he dropped the call, Uwandu learned that feminism had created a crop of men who were now soft and insecure.

Meanwhile, Caleb had told Njoku that in the West, anti-feminists were wondering how men grew up in the eyes of women without knowing anything about masculine qualities such as courage, determination, self-sacrifice, justice, courage, freedom, self-discipline, and honour because a woman always played the guitar.

Only a few people knew about these features in the Nuella community. Uwandu recalled that Johnson told him that the self-proclaimed feminists in the West said that all the famous people today, in money, politics, etc., none of them served in the military, and if any, they were few. The women had no more respect for strong men. It’s a recipe for disaster, women believe. “These people don’t think in a military way, so there’s this idea that people are good people. If we are very kind and considerate to everyone, they will be too,” Johnson told Uwandu. Njoku learned from Caleb that politicians in Washington lacked the practical skills of analysis and policy.

Nuellan women wanted their men to beg, but the men stuck to their guns, saying they couldn’t learn to be cowards now. They would defend their masculinity. Although they knew that modern civilisation condemned all forms of violence, Uwandu explained what happened to the men as an extension of the unprecedented influence of women from Western countries spread around the world.

“Women’s voices were heard, but they wanted unlimited opportunities with men. They didn’t want macho men, as they trained their sons to have a feminine face and appearance,” one of the men read a message Johnson had just sent to Uwandu’s phone. Njoku said women have been doing it since the Second World War, when men were on the battlefield, leaving women in the workplace. He learned this from history books. But since 2009, women, especially single women, have overtaken men as breadwinners in places like America, buying more homes than single men. Yet they raised children who had never had a father in their lives or who had no idea what it took to be a man?

“In many states, like the New Hampshire state legislature right now, it’s mostly women,” Caleb told Njoku. “Women in power continue to rise.” There was a heated debate between the men and women. “The sad thing is that these mothers no longer value family values. Their sons became Mr. Moms from birth,” said Onugba. The men later decided to follow the law and receive permission from their wives, otherwise there would be no peace at home. Since the return of the men, the number of men using drugs and alcohol has continued to increase. In the months and years to come, they will no longer be able to marry their wives. Njoku knew that the new law was a hidden plan to destroy men and make them drunk; a plan to destroy the male reproductive system.

“It’s testicular dysgenesis,” said one of the men, a doctor. “It is a syndrome that has been around for 50 years, and it could be sexually perverting chemicals or endocrine disruptors that are so prevalent in today’s society that they are used to reduce fertility in men.” The man added that there were legal supplements that contained estrogen that were intended to make men feminise. Njoku’s team had no choice but to endure, watching their women become free and sexually independent. But since the men returned, there has never been peace in the Nuella community as it was before the council issued a law allowing women and men to come to the beginning of their weakness.

When normalcy was thought to have returned to the community, although on a fragile peace, there was an uproar in Njoku’s house. His wife was shouting. As Uwandu and other men rushed to see what it was – whether he was being beaten by his wife – they were rather shocked to learn that Njoku had committed suicide. The wife handed the men a note that he wrote before taking his life. Uwandu, who was in tears and staggering from the hangover liquor, read it.

“More men will go,” were the last words of Njoku.

The End.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a riding journalist, writer and poet based in Rivers state, Nigeria, who has developed from a novice himself to assist with showing the essential writing skills and equitation to younger writers. Onwumere has forever been extremely associated with working with like-minded individuals. He has won multiple writing awards. Twitter: @odimuegwu


Odinani Book Club: “The Concubine” by Elechi Amadi


For the next Odinani book club pick, we will be reading “The Concubine” by Elechi Amadi. If you wish to participate in the Book Club discussion, please send an email to

Synopsis: The novel’s beautiful, hardworking protagonist, Ihouma, is admired by all in her village. Yet those who express their love for her meet with mysterious tragedy, leaving her devastated. This enticing odyssey, where exemplary attributes go unrewarded and the boundaries between myth and reality are muted, outwits readers with unexpected twists that make them want to keep turning the page.

Odinani Book Club: “Akata Warrior” Conclusion


Ndewo nu (Greetings everyone). We will be having our next Odinani Book Club Meeting on Sunday, August 21. We are concluding “Akata Warrior” by Nnedi Okoroafor.  If you wish to participate in the Book Club discussion, please send an email to

Synopsis: A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Odinani Book Club: “Akata Warrior” by Nnedi Okorafor


For the next Odinani book club pick, we will be reading “Akata Warrior” by Nnedi Okorafor, which is the sequel to “Akata Witch.”  If you wish to participate in the Book Club discussion, please send an email to

Synopsis: A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.