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Are The Igbos Really That Bad?



This is something that has been on my mind for a while now. It's really strange to me because I was born and bred in Lagos, I grew up in a neighborhood which had an equal mix of Igbos and Yorubas. My next door, aunty Toyin was one of my closest friends. I was about seven and she was twenty or thereabouts. Today she's in her forties and a mother of four and we're still good friends even though she now lives in Ilorin. In the next compound was Lawunmi, when I was seven, Lawunmi was four, she's now a lawyer and we're still cool. Opposite my house was my name sake, who's also called Emmanuella, and on the other side was Ibiwari. We were from different tribes but it was something we never noticed, maybe because they were and still are my friends. I grew up with this mindset that everyone was the same, regardless of what state they were from. And I maintained this naïveté till the onset of social media. Linda Ikeji's readers opened my eyes to tribalism. 



      If it wasn't the Yorubas insulting the Igbos, it was Igbos insulting the Yorubas. If an Igbo woman was caught in a scandal, the Yorubas would laugh, after all Igbo women are promiscuous money-grabbing bitches. And when it was a Yoruba woman the Igbos would say the same.
      Still I thought it was one big joke. Well, till Femi Fani Kayode started to dole out his own unique kind of hate against the Igbos. It wasn't necessarily this man that shocked me, it was his supporters who belonged to my generation that did. There is nothing they won't say about the Igbos. While I will choose not to delve into the politics of this, I must still question it. 
       Sometime last year I was listening one of the Lagos radio stations and the topic of discussion that day was Igbo people. I listened for an hour as caller after caller bashed the Igbos. Everyone seemed to have a story of being duped by an Igbo person, if it wasn't that then it was quarrelsome Igbo neighbours or colleagues. More callers with tales of how Igbo people have been very wicked to them at one point in their lives or the other. I listened to these callers while trying to figure out what the point of that particular show was. There was never a time that I was so pissed not to have units on my phone because I really wanted to call in and ask. Why was it ok to air this? Why was no one calling to ask what they hoped to achieve by doing this? I was nearly incensed to hear how cunning, dubious, greedy, heartless, selfish, promiscuous and hateful the Igbo people are. 

       Yesterday my friend found his dream apartment and rushed to go pay for it. My friend is biracial. Igbo dad, European mum. The agent told him not to waste his time, as the landlord has refused to rent to an Igbo person. So this friend of mine had to call his Yoruba friend who wants to squat with him for a while to meet the landlord and pay as the person who's renting the apartment. My friend who didn't grow up in Nigeria could make no sense of this. When he called me I could hear the befuddlement in his voice. But I actually wasn't surprised. I have heard this several times; landlords in Lagos refuse to rent out their apartments to Igbo people. What could be so terrible about the Igbos that people refuse to rent to them, live next to them, work with them?

      I served in Ogun state House of Assembly and even blog visitor, a former beauty of the day, can tell you how the clerk openly bashed Igbos on a daily basis. The man would rather no Igbos were posted there. He would constantly complain that all the Igbo corpers that had been posted there in the past caused too many problems and were not worth the stress. He would say proudly that he hates the Igbos. 
      My boss and I had a good rapport but still, he would scrunch up his nose when Igbo was mentioned. One day he said to me "I just don't like your people. You people aren't good people". In fact, my boss stopped calling me Wando and started calling me Wande instead. That's how bad it was. 

      I've heard some people say that their parents have warned them that they can marry from any part of the country except from the East. I know someone who's family almost disowned him because he wanted to marry his Igbo girlfriend.

     In spite of this I must admit that some Igbos have an unexplainable love for money and would do anything to get it, yet, this is not something that is peculiar to Igbos alone. 

     After all I've heard and seen, it moves me to ask, are Igbos really that bad?

Comments

  1. I concur with this post..what's d hate towards Igbo's????? Is it really that bad

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  2. I think it boils down to the fact that igbos are seen as loving money too much. after all most of the money rituals and shrines are from the east.

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  3. Patiently waiting for comments. I really want to hear what people have to say

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  4. Its rather unfortunate, the continuous bashing of the Igbos....I remember when i told my mum my boyfriend was Igbo, she started with the bashing until she met and fell in love with him...This stereotype has got to stop

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  5. I know there's friction between igbos and yorubas .. why create time for that ? relating to relationships, my aunts and older people around me have told my siblings and I and whoever cares to listen not to marry a yoruba guy because they are never faithful and will leave you and go to a wande, bummi or titilayo lol..I'm an edo girl.. what sort of stereotype is that ? some of my non-yoruba friends have also heard of that too. smh

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  6. I resolved not to marry an Ibo guy cos my dad was Ibo and when he died, my mum who was frm Benin Republic, my sister and I were kind of abandoned. We didn't get to have a pin frm what he left behind and we were still in primary school. My mum struggled to raise us. None of my father's people (except for my wonderful cousins) knew where we lived in Lagos. I'm Ibo, I bear an Igbo name. However, all my friends are Yorubas (I didn't deliberately choose that). I think my decision was borne out of experience. Same as others. But its a personality thing not a racial thing. You don't have to be Ibo to kill for money. You don't have to be Yoruba to cheat on your partner. Lots of tribes are into it! So...... #Enjay#

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  7. too many negative stories continue to trail the igbos.

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  8. I am Edo. But 90 percent of my friends are Ibos. I just love the Ibos, whether delta or across the Niger ibo, I love them. I pray everyday to marry an ibo man.

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  9. Its like CNN saying the same thing about Africa.....but I must add,though the igbos' are seen to love money,nobody can deny the drive of an Ibo man to suceed (some negative some positive) .A lot of people from other tribes feel threatened by that.Where ever you plant an igbo man he will suceed.In the east nobody has time to hate a yoruba person unless that hating will somehow yield money.they just hate the guts and ambitious nature more than the purported "evil" in the Igbo man.igbo man does juju for money they said,yoruba's do juju for right about everyother thing yet......

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    1. twenty likes for this comment and I'm not even igbo.

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  10. Wando,u skld in the east...be the judge of their average behaviour to u generally.

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  11. Anon 7:54 Feb 10th, summed it pretty nicely. Every tribe has their bad eggs but for some reason igbos always get singled out. I understand that some of us go overboard in the name of money ( that's mainly caused by wanting to go home for Christmas and showing that you've made it, but that's for igbos who grew up at home). There are many of us who are baffled by the animosity towards the igbos but let us not forget that our parents are always wary of the yoruba, my mum always told me to be careful with them cos when push comes to shove they will stick to their own. This beef didn't start with our generation but I think we should do something to fix it.

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  12. the igbos that, the igbos this who is man to judge another man. l think the Igbo man has a way of success which some others try to factor at to no avail. love of money, who does not love money, what is wrong to love money, money answered all things. igbos love money, yorubas love man hausa Fulani love money , Abiola love money Obasanjo love money Dangote love money. who does not love money. igbos love it, they work for it, some others tribe in Nigeria do not want to work for it yet when igbos does they love money double standard, the only people respected today in Yoruba land are people with money, same for hausa igbos edos, urhobo ezon and so on. who does not love money. which Nigeria man or woman Nigerians who who who, sine igbos love money who stole the money of Nigeria obasanjo or igbos or Abiola ITT or danjuma OIL WELLS or fani kayoed 17billion dollars intervention fund ahain who does not love money who who and so on everybody love money full stop.

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