“Hoputara Onwe unu, Onye unu ga na efe”…”Select for your selves who you would worship”
Growing up a Chiist was hard. In Nigeria, my high school had a Reverend Sister as the school principal. I was 14 -years old, living on campus, and away from the safety of my family. I loathed the school with fervor! Because of my Chiist faith, I was singled out for derision. I was ridiculed as a “sinner” and had countless sad days of having few if any buddies. In front of the morning school assembly, the school principal shaved off my hair. The students laughed as the Reverend Sister took her time to share her disdain for me and my father, the “black devil” who demanded that Africans had the right to go to Chineke the way they understood best…within the context of our African traditions.
Living in the dormitory was nightmarish. I have committed to memory incidents of summons to the senior girl’s dormitory for disparagement. They were notorious for their religious zealotry. These members of the SU (Student union) spat on me, and forced me to kneel before them while they took turns calling me horrid names. These “Born Agains” took delight in taunting me and sternly reminded me of my date in hell with the devil. I did not understand why people who believed in Chineke could be so angry. If Chineke did not want me to pray the way of my ancestors, would not Chineke be the one to mettle out the punishment?
…They did not want me to call God “Chineke”
…but why is that word a part of our language? Did Christians, Muslims, Jews or who gave us that word?
…It is heathen
…the word or the meaning?
…the people and their word.
I was truly befuddled. And yet, it was during those difficult days that I found my courage, and grew closer to Chineke. I leaned a song that helped me to overcome adversity…“Atula Egwu nwata atula egwu, n’ihi Chineke nke na edu gi bu dike…Fear not for Chineke who directs you is powerful!
I learned to smile when mocked. “Omenala awughi ihe ojo” (Tradition is not a bad thing) I would say proudly… Soon some students became curious about me. I would tell them stories my parents told me about how powerful our ancestors were and how they created many great things in the world. I told them how Chineke loved us as Africans, because Chineke created us too and to love Chineke, we must show gratitude for all the blessings of culture, tradition, race and ancestry. I cherish the inner light that I saw gleaming out of eyes who have embraced the realization that there was nothing odd about me. I was simply stating the obvious…we are all Chineke’s children…even those on the shores of Africa.
Over the years I have come to be grateful for what I experienced. The discrimination has not changed drastically within the African community. Fearful Africans continue to seek to marginalize those who refuse to conform to the foreign religions on our shores. Christians kill Muslims and vise versa. Whereas Chiists do not begrudge any religious traditions, we demand the right to practice our own without bitterness and quarrels. We see no need to kill people to have them adopt our way as the only way that the goodness and mercies of Chineke can be invoked.
“Nwata kwo aka ya, ya na okenye erie nni.” …“When a child washes his or her hands, he or she dines with the elders” This is a reminder that to be on equal playing field, you must prepare yourself, culturally, spiritually and intellectually. As Chiists, we must sit at the table with the rest of the world proudly proclaiming that we are good enough, spiritual enough to connect to Chineke…directly with pride and dignity. We applaud our commitment to the preservation of vestiges of our culture; irrespective of wanton resistance. I welcome the challenge because I know the greater world community appreciates the audacity of self preservation. Like leafless trees waiting for morning, something as great and as constant as the Earth holds us up and turns us ever so slowly toward the light of Chineke. Our task is only to be entrenched and enduring.
Time and again, we are asked to outlast what we fancy and anticipate, seeing what’s there. Most of our life experience bears this out. Unless we labor to be ourselves, we can by no means accurately know others or the mystical world we subsist in. Chineke is enough. I am fine.
“Onye kwe, Chi ya ekwe!” whatever you want, Chineke concurs. Step into the light…move careful…that’s it…meet courage!
Years ago when I would go to my father covered in cuts and bruises having been in a pummeled by the neighborhood bully, my father would praise me and say “Onye ike!”…Powerful girl! To him it did not matter that I got bruised up and practically routed. What made him proud was that I had the audacity to stand up to a bully. He was proud that even though the bully was bigger than I, and who scared everyone to death, I had the guts to stand up to him. He was proud that I did something new, something that made me stand out. He was proud that I was not just a girl who talked a great deal, afraid that I would not be heard if I did not. He was proud that I did not shrink into a corner for fear of being discovered. He was proud that I was not lethargic, inactive and withdrawn from view for fear that I would be the brunt of the bully’s scorn. Courage to him was that I knew when to fight back, when to stop being sick and tired of being sick and tired!
Courage enables us to examine ourselves. Examination promotes a healthy dose of choice making. It is more than mere boastfulness, noisemaking, forcefulness, aggressive indignation, and bold outward melee! At its most immeasurable echelon, courage is the inward inspection which leads to adjustment and application of a new-fangled way to subsist.
Ignore the bullies of the world…stand up!
The word “idol”, in its dictionary meaning is synonymous with “image”, but the European owners of the English language did not call their statues of Jesus and Mary which they use in the Church, “idols”, but extol them in the less offensive synonym of the idol as “images” and defend them with applause as necessary aids to God worship in their Churches – even though the word, “idol” has image as its synonym in the English dictionary.
Upon this fact,Chiism cannot see any reason why European and African writers should continue to use the word “idol” only in reference to the images in African shrines and never use it in reference to the statues of Jesus and Mary and of the Angels in the Church, even though, in the English dictionary they fit the description of “idols”.
Many Africans have placed their faith on the sanctity and honesty of these assertions. They place their emotional and psychological trust, rely upon, stand upon, look to, hold onto these assertions within the very core of their spiritual ability to live in the present and in the after life. However, there is definitely a character issue about the basic essence of foreign Religions. Presently the African continent is wrought with disharmony, and imbalance. There is severe opposition between forces, energy, or people moving in similar and differing directions. Fear, extortion, and spiritual darkness masked as enlightenment, is consuming the fabric of African conscience.
Chiism through a direct spiritual connection to Chineke seeks to ease our passage from fear to freedom…increase our ability to stand and move from anxiety, danger, opposition, and breathe a collective relief.
@ Inhale feverishly and embrace a conscious attempt to direct the course of of our collective minds
@ Exhale unconscious beliefs which stagnate or stymie the course of events on the African communities.
@ Inhale a proper stimulation of your African intelligence.
@Exhale mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical impediments to your spiritual movement,growth, or evolution.
@Inhale and feel your roots. Be planted…not potted!
Otito Nile Diri Chineke!
One of the sweetest joys in the life of the Chiist is to have had the opportunity to read and listen to the spiritual head of Chiism, His Holiness Ogbaja, Ahanyi Eze K.O.K Onyioha discuss Chiism(Godianism). There is a tangible air of adventure and honor. We were always cherished and surprised as he, unwrapping our spiritual hidden treasures, carefully opening a simple moment, reveals the most extraordinary miracle that we are. When his Holiness spoke in public, you hear people catch their breath as they recognize a piece of their soul, something inherently deep and true, something known yet forgotten, or something that we have missed or have been encouraged to forget. His Holiness saw it and remembered it for us and handed it back to us in terms that we would understand. Ultimately, we developed a sense of gratitude and pride for being awakened again to something very precious and very personal.
Our lives are made of the days that we live through. It is only in these days that we experience all of life’s treasures: peace, joy, and healing. There are many occurrences in the day that punctuate our days, and His Holiness who lived the life of a lifelong learner, and who researched life from our perspective and relevance, gave it back to us so we could see us, taste us, touch us, dance in our own shoes , and feel our way back into the heart of life without shame and with honor.
Just as a life is made of days so are our days full of special moments. How we live our lives is a reflection of these moments. His Holiness was one of Chineke’s gardeners in the African soil; he planted mind seeds that germinated in the hearts and minds of those who had the honor to know him. We are blessed to be benefactors of his teachings about the greatest and deepest blessings of life when we fall in love with our humanness and do so with abandon…a gift some struggle to achieve daily.
His holiness lived in a world where the African struggled to find his rightful role in the comity of world religious dogmatic excesses. By speaking at the United Nations as the only indigenous personality to address the conference on the role of religions to promote world peace, he elevated the banner of African spiritual standards as one which could have an impact, relevance and re-inserted a role as people capable of making philosophical contribution.
Chiism(Godianism) is the umbrella under which Africa celebrates it’s bouquet of spiritual miracles, voice and connection to Chineke.
Otito Nile Diri Chineke
Na afo nkea ka anyi ga ewere ihunanya doputa onwe anyi na mkpa, obi ojo, nsogbu na enwegi enwe! Kanyi were n’ike obi anyi, okwukwe anyi, na ike ezi okwu, itukwasi obi na igbali nabata mmeri nke anyi nile. Chineke na ezi anyi uzo ga edu anyi inyere onwe anyi aka…nabata ezi okwua…Kwere na ya!
Translation: This is the year to love ourselves out of lack, despair, loss and limitation! Let the power of fearlessness of faith and the power of truth, trust and tenacity lead us to personal and collective victory! Chineke is laying down principles to guide our lives…know this to be the truth and … Accept it!
By Ikenna Osimiri”
Every cause has it Effect; every Effect has its cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation but nothing escapes the Law.”
–taken from the 7 Hermetic Axioms
The above citation should give us pause for reflection. The expansion of this wisdom is provided by our esteemed Egyptian scholar of African history, Professor Wayne B. Chandler. “This law purports that everything happens according to law–that nothing just merely happens. Chance and coincidence do not exist; these are terms human beings choose, or are forced to use because of an ignorance of the principle at work. The masses of the Earth are governed by a herd instinct–the many are led aimlessly by the few–destined to be carried along, obedient to the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves. Because they are basically unconscious, they are forever subject to the effect of environment, heredity, suggestion, and other outward causes moving them about like pawns on a chessboard. Once this principle is understood and practiced, one becomes a mover as opposed to the moved, playing the game of life, as opposed to being played by it.”
–Ivan Van Sertima, Eygpt Child of Africa,
Journal of African Civilizations, 1995, p.228
“Imata onwe m bu ighota ihe di mkpa na elu uwa.”Translation: Inquiring about my own origin and relevance is to understand something other than myself…it is a realization of the original goal of the world…harmony”
When we love who we are, we extend an olive branch to the world. Just as wood, stones and water are steeped in the fabric of molecules, we too as humans share the same beginning.
“Anyi ncha bu nwanne!” We are brothers and sisters! How then do we express love for others when we limit it for ourselves…a process as difficult as seeing air? It is as illusive as it is necessary. Yet, it is as necessary as the air we suck into our lungs as we befriend a new morning. Loving ourselves is the truth behind the straddling of unconscious inhibitors that dare to surface only when self denial modulates our consciousness, relegating our sense of pride to the lowest denominator. Even raising our eyes to meet another is as intimidating as climbing the depths of Mount Kilimanjaro. We fret over every act of living as if we are undeserving of the luxury of birth; as if soaking in the golden expanse of the sun is a luxury we do not deserve.
Yet we cannot hide and grow into greatness. Everyone is invaluable as rooted plants not as potted plants. Back when the ancestors mattered to us and elders were expected to instruct the novice about life, the concept of self love was the key to relevance in the community. The elders without prejudice state:”Adighi Ike anagi atu ubi oso.” Translation: The weak cannot travel the distance of the strong. Loving ourselves allows us the opportunity to reach outside of our personal closets and live in the open, marching in step with the rest of the community as important parts of the puzzle called the human being.
Each of us is a necessary silk thread in the human tapestry that when bound rigidly together, help to create a formidable human netting, beholding authentic respect , knowing that just as the fish needs water to expand its lungs, so do we need each other intact to swim through the arduous reeds of life.
@ Nodu na mkpuru enweghi ihe di na imeya (Sit in the quiet of a room free of distractions)
@Kuru ume, juo onwegi ihe mere Chineke jiri ke gi (Breathe and ask yourself why you were created by Chineke)
@ Oburu na onwe ihe mere iji ahugi onwe gi n’anya, kuru ume, kupu ihe ojo ahu (If you can determine what you know is causing your confusion, breath in, and breathe it out.
@Kuru ume, mara kwa na onwe gi onye obula ka gi mma na elu uwa na eku ume ndu( inhale again knowing that you are as precious as the others members of the human society who share mother earth with you.
Otito Nile Diri Chineke!
My Brother…in our father’s Image
What happens when a man has sons? His dream is for his son(s) to follow in his footsteps. When the light dims and life fades, it is a man’s hope that his son(s) shall walk in his footsteps and move his dreams just a little ways further than he did. My brother Nchuaja Udee Onyioha is the second son in a family of six girls and 4 boys. Whereas my 2 other brothers (we lost our youngest brother) whom I love dearly have followed a business path, Udee has joined me in the quest to uphold our father’s dream of presenting Chiism to the world.
As the Nchuaja (High Chief Priest) of Chiism, Udee has devoted majority of his life promoting, speaking in all media forums information about Chiism. Udee has fought to bring attention to the world, the plight of African people who appear confused, weakened mentally and frightened. For years to avoid suffering and even death, these Africans have adapted to the customs of the guests on Africa’s shores and now thousands of years later, find that people of African descent willingly accept and embrace the cultural traditions of these guests.
Udee has worked hard to focus attention to the fact that Africans have become collectively materially-oriented; prefer a European standard of physical aestheticism; do not value their own educational precepts; tend to believe whatever the guests tell us; view with suspicion their own indigenous and diasporic scholars, who in many cases, have spent their lives travelling and researching African history and culture, delight in being sanctioned and awarded by the the guests. he brings awareness of the dismantling of modalities such as pouring libations to the ancestors, drumming rituals and meditative practices now considered heathenish.
Udee believes that African accepance of racism, crime, sexual perversion, disrespect of the female, spousal abuse, child abuse, ecological abuse, drug addiction, homelessness, disease and war as “normal” experiences of advancing civilization must stop. To bring awareness and admit that African civilization, which at one time, knew none of these horrendous situations, had evidently something good about it that should be studied and reviewed is his life’s calling. As the late Dr. Bobby Wright said, we have the psychological disease of “mentacide.” In other words, we have been mentally murdered. The original beauty of Africa is seen as ugly and vile, while the original patterns of those who long ago left the Motherland only to return with new patterns of behavior, are seen as exhibiting the proper mode of thought and behavior.
Udee is our father’s son, working tirelessly to create a better reality for the African people. It is not the name that a man calls himself that makes him stand out in the archives of historical relevance. It is the name that humanity ascribes to him to demostrate their appreciation of a life lived in service to others.
I am so proud to have him on our team!
Oke Nchuaja, Dr. Uwa Onyioha Osimiri
Religion and politics are intertwined because they both affect the welfare of the people albeit in different ways. The problem is that religion fails to serve the whole but used these days to solidify the authority of a particular religious segment at the expense of the whole. Consequently religions should be self supporting instead of feeding at the public furrow by persisting on a tax exemption. Let believers sustain their religious beliefs and preacher and fancy (or modest) edifices and abscond from political arena. When a church squanders millions of dollars to endorse their political perspectives, they should lose any tax exempt status they benefit from. Let them focus on feeding the poor and clothing the naked and then they will be too active to focus on telling non-believers how to conduct their lives and behavior.