Monday, August 3, 2015

Comparing the Igbo and other Nigerian cultures on toilet practices

...comparing the Igbo and the other cultures of Nigeria................REMY ILONA:The last discussion which was on eating habits was very enriching. Many persons made very valuable comments.

I would like us to talk about another custom today. How do the Igbo and other Nigerians deal with defecation and human faeces?

When I grew up in Igboland, every Igbo home in Ozubulu had a pit latrine situated some distance away from the main dwellings. I cannot recall any dwelling that did not have toilets or latrines, and when a miscreant child mischievously defecated on the farms or on the roads, what I observed was that the first person that saw the excrement would exclaim, 'anya afuo m aru' (my eyes have beheld an abominable thing), quickly look for an egg, break it, and smear the contents on the eye (our belief is that this is purification), and a search is conducted for the offender who's parents will be fined.

Yesterday in synagogue, as we discussed Omenana Joseph N Igbo recounted what was the older practice in his Orogwe, near Owerri. He said that in the distant past when many Igbos could not afford toilets, that what people did was to head into the wilds with "mbazu"-a spear-like farming implement, and on getting to the wilds-very far from human dwellings, the person in need would dig holes with the implement, relieve himself/herself over the holes, cover the excrement carefully with sand, and return home, fully relieved.

And what does the Igbo (Hebrew) Book of life say?....Deuteronomy 23:13 says.....And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement......

I mentioned in my last post that I have lived in many non Igbo parts of Nigeria. In one part, that is deemed to be the most sophisticated presently, and its people the most civilized, the people defecate in their bedrooms, living rooms, and in all parts of their homes. Fully grown adults retire into their homes with the plastic bowl called 'poo', defecate inside it, and pour the excrement on the streets.

In some other parts people simply defecated on streets, leave the excrement uncovered and walk away.

And in some areas people have the tradition of defecating inside bodies of water.

These are part of my observations....
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You, Luke Chinweuba Eke, Moore Black Chi Mmadike, ‎אבן כהן‎ and 2 others like this.
Leo I. Chiegboka: This was and still obtained at my place and Aguata however, you can now see some dispicanle acts as you walk along the ways.
21 hrs · Unlike · 1
אבן כהן :Defecation is simply defined as act of discharge of feces from the body. Even though is act is purely natural, most people according to their culture does not discharge feces properly. The Igbo for instance responds to this natural call positively by not deficating in their farms, market places, and other designated public or private areas. The reason for doing that in Igbo culture is because feces though regarded as a waste, is not only loathsome but very foul smelling. In other tribes' culture, I have not seen feces properly handled or disposed. Take for instance; I went to a kiosk in a motor park in Lagos to buy some biscuits. On getting there I saw a woman who covered herself, sitting just beside the open door of the kiosk and I asked her if the seller is around to sell some items to me. A man who wanted me to board his vehile came to me and said; "nwa nne! okwa I bu onye Igbo?" And I answered 'yes', then he said; "hapu nwanyi ahu obu nsi ka onanyi." I was shocked and horridly left the scene because I can not imagine a full flaged person deficating openly in the public right there in the business shop! Ever since then, I stopped buying biscuits and other sealed edible things for travel in the park and similar places. Today, it needed the power of task force to stop defecation on the main roads and other public areas, a typical sign how their culture view feces. please-give-us-toilets-uncle-fashol a-id2799180.html
19 hrs · Edited · Unlike · 1
Nnamdi Ezeji: Another good observation Remy.
14 hrs · Unlike · 2
Remy Ilona: Nnamdi, thanks. Great differences exist between the Igbo and other Nigerians. Knowing and understanding these differences will help the Igbo to cope.
12 hrs · Unlike · 1
Chinonye Laz :@Remy Ilona, broda it is quite appolling, a great eye saw i am sorry to say this the only thing yorubas never do with feces is cooking. As for toilet they do not digg atall, in Lagos what they normally do is connect their toilet pipe to the gotta thats all. And thesame to the hawusa Fulani
9 hrs · Unlike · 1