Discover Igbo

Igbo is a Niger-Congo language from the Volta-Niger branch. It is spoken by roughly 31 million people in Nigeria and is one of the country's four major languages.

Main Communities

  • Abia State
  • Anambra State
  • Ebonyi State
  • Enugu State
  • Imo State

Igbo Names and their Meanings

  • Ada - First daughter
  • Osita - God’s work
  • Chinomso - God is with me
  • Ikenna - the father's strength
  • Ifunanya - love
  • Nduka - Life is greater than wealth

Staple Food

Abacha - also known as African salad. It is made from dried and shredded cassava, often served with a variety of vegetables, spices, and a special oil-based sauce. Abacha is rich in carbohydrates which boosts energy. The vegetables cooked with abacha also provide a diverse range of vitamins and minerals.

Culture and Traditions

Uli - This traditional art features abstract designs drawn linear forms and geometric shapes. Uli designs are typically created by skilled female artists who use their fingers or simple tools to apply pigments onto surfaces. Uli is usually painted on the sides of buildings as murals.The designs are also painted on the body during special occasions. Uli body art can last for up to 8 days.

Isi Agu - This traditional fabric features a gold lion’s head and signifies power, authority, and pride in Igbo land. The fabric is usually sewn as a shirt for men. Traditionally, the Isiagu was given to a man when he received a chieftaincy title. Today, women also use isi agu fabric to create different dress styles. Isi agu is worn on special occasions like weddings and coronation ceremonies. Isi agu fabric comes is usually red with some variations in black, white and blue.

Notable figures:

Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik) - politician. He served as the first president of Nigeria in 1963 having played a crucial role in the country's struggle for independence. Zik was also a prominent journalist and the founder of the West African Pilot newspaper. He received several honors, including being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and earning the title "Owelle of Onitsha." His legacy extends to the Zikist Movement, advocating for social justice and African nationalism.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - economist. She is the first woman and first African to serve as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Okonjo-Iweala previously served as Nigeria's Finance Minister. She has been recognized globally, with inclusion in the Time 100 list and being named Forbes African of the Year.

Chinua Achebe - novelist. He is best known for his work "Things Fall Apart" which has been translated into 50 languages. Achebe has been hailed as the "father of modern African literature" for his groundbreaking work in literature and academia. He received numerous awards, including the Man Booker International Prize, and held prestigious positions such as the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of African Studies at Brown University. Achebe's contributions to literature and cultural understanding have left an indelible mark globally.