ịhe abụọ ka ana-eme ji, esighi ya n’ite, ahụa ya n’ọkụ

(Two options are opened for yams; either it is roasted or cooked)

Yam is one of the staple foods enjoyed by the Igbo people and Nigerians at large. It is also a sacred crop and highly celebrated among the Igbos.  That is the reason almost all communities in Igbo land celebrate new yam festival (iri ji Ọhụrụ).  Some communities and groups like the Ezeji council also celebrate the Ahiajoku festival which is done to pay homage to Ahiajoku the god of yam. Every man in the Igbo society who has been recognized as a full fledge man through the Iwa-Akwa ceremony.

Which heralds him to the Age-grade system (Otụ –Ebiri) is expected to have a yam barn with all species of yam inside it and also possess the skills needed to take care of yam, from preservation, cutting, cultivation, to tendering and harvesting.  Such a man is expected to observe the does and don’ts in the yam handling process.  To avoid the yam disappearing mysteriously from his barn or farms or even cause him untimely death.  Because of all these, people take so much caution in handling yams in Igbo society.

To avoid the wrath of Ahiajoku the god of yam. According to the Igbo customs, a planted yam cannot be removed from the soil before it normal time of harvest no matter the disputes or circumstances in the community. In some cases women don’t enter the barn of an Ezeji– the king of yam. All this intricacies make the yam crop a delicate crop in Igbo society. But despite all this fragile nature of its handling in the Igbo society. It is still a favorite staple food eaten by people. Since it cannot be destroyed casually like any other crop because of it sacred nature in the land, but fortunately it can be eaten and can be prepared either roasted or cooked.

No matter how it is prepared it will always be served as food. What this proverb illustrates:  Is that two things must happen to every man who steps foot on the surface of this earth. It is either he just become an onlooker in his life time without any meaningful achievement to his name and dies a failure or a nonentity   or he succeeds in his chosen field or vocation and be celebrated among the heroes of his time. But either way he must not remain the same.

Moral lesson: Two things that face a man are simply successes or failures; the one he chooses happens to be in agreement with his chi





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