40 Americans claim Igbo ancestry, take native names in Enugu
No fewer than 40 students and faculty members from Morehouse College Glee Club in Atlanta, United States of America (USA), have declared their ancestry to the Igbo and taken new Igbo names to suit their new status.
This is as some of the students stated, while performing the Igbo name-giving ceremony at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), yesterday, that they traced their Igbo ancestral roots through DNA tests conducted on them.
Performing the Igbo name-giving ceremony at the occasion attended by members of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the traditional ruler of Ibagwa-Aka community in Igbo-Eze South Local Council of Enugu State, Igwe Hyacinth Eze, explained that the reunion was an indication that Igbo exists in all parts of the world.
Expressing happiness that the students had been able to trace their roots, he stated that the spiritual, cultural and economic exchanges, which would happen as a result of the reunion, would lead to the development of Igbo land.
He congratulated the students and assured them that he is ready to provide lands for those who want to live in his community.
Enugu President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Fredrick Eze, said the reunion would help in the development of Igbo communities and called on others to emulate the students.
The Public Affairs Officer, United States Consulate General, Lagos, Stephen Ibelli, said the Club came to Nigeria to mark the 50th anniversary of its first visit to Nigeria in 1972.
Ibelli explained that the Club would tour Abuja, Enugu and Lagos states to strengthen U.S.-Nigeria cultural ties through music, arts and film.
He said: “The Morehouse College Glee Club, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first tour to Nigeria, will offer public concerts in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu. In addition, the group will visit universities and high schools, meet Nigerian students, and explore their historical ties to Nigeria.”
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