Let’s talk-You say I’m past and I tell you I’m present!

Well! I thought one of the ancient traditional, fetish, myths in some parts of the Eastern region of Nigeria have been forgotten or rather neglected over the decades until  recently a story of two love birds whose intention to marry was stopped abruptly because the lady’s family is of the “Osu” lineage. Permit me to tell you a bit about this ancient myth of the Osu Caste.
The Osu caste system can be traced back to an indigenous religious belief system practiced within the Igbo tribe in Nigeria.It is the belief of many Igbo traditionalists that the Osus are people historically owned by deities and are therefore considered to be a ‘living sacrifice’, an outcast, untouchable and sub-human. People regarded as modern-day Osu in Igboland are descendants of individuals who volunteered and were sacrificed to the various gods, their fore-fathers pledged themselves and their descendants to these gods, they enjoyed protection and privileges but were segregated from ordinary folks .The osu caste is determined by one’s birth into a particular family irrespective of the religion practiced by the individual, once born into Osu caste, this Nigerian is an outcast with limited opportunities or acceptance regardless of his or her ability or merit”.

Ada and Michael (not real names) met each other for the first time at an event in Enugu state in Nigeria, this was shortly before both of them traveled to United kingdom to study for their masters degree program at different universities, although they stayed at different cities in UK, they kept on communicating with each other. Sometimes they pay each other visits, their love and relationship kept on growing stronger every day. They were convinced that they are meant for each other, they agreed to marry after their studies when they return back to Nigeria.

 In 2011, both of them completed their degree program and decided to get their post study visa extension to enable them stay back for two years in UK to get some work experience before going back to Nigeria. In 2012, Micheal called his parents to tell them that he has found the lady he wants to spend the rest of his life with, his parents were very happy to hear the good news especially his mother who didn’t waste any time to sing joyfully on the phone that she has gotten a daughter in law[proper African mama]. Michael’s father requested for the Ada’s family name and the name of the community she came from so that they can ask questions about the family as their tradition demands. Michael happily obliged, gave his dad all the information(s) he needed. His dad promised to call back to tell him what he found about Ada’s family. 

Two weeks later, on a Thursday evening, Micheal came back from work and was about to take a shower, then his phone rang he was so excited to see that it was his dad calling from Nigeria he quickly picked the call, lo and behold; that was the call that broke his heart, the call that took away his joy. His father called to warn him to stay away from Ada if he still want to be his son. Micheal could feel the anger in his father’s voice when he told him that he won’t allow him to bring the wrath of the gods upon their family by having an affair with an osu, he told Micheal that it is a taboo to marry Ada’s kind , when his father was talking, Micheal could hear his mother crying at the background cursing Ada for trying to bring abomination into their family.

 Micheal tried all his best to convince his parents that the Osu myth was a thing of the past and that as Christians, Jesus has disconnected  them from  any ancient diabolical cultures. But all his explanations didn’t change his parents’ mind about Ada. As soon as the call ended, he got a call from Ada. Her voice was screaming ‘distraught’, it was different, just like someone who has been crying for a long time. On hearing the tone of her voice, his heart skipped in fear, Ada tearfully told Micheal that she was a month pregnant for Him[as they got involved sexually and regretted as they promised to wait till they were married],it felt as if his world was crashing down. Now,  Micheal is a devastated young man left with two options: either he marries Ada and be disowned by his family and community or he obeys his family by staying away from Ada, the love of his life and his unborn child. [it is not a movie]
Lovely people,what should Michael do? [abortion is not an option at all].Also, this Osu Caste System is it as strange to you, as it is to me?[I thought it has phased out(Christianity taking over)] Do you have any knowledge of it to share with us? How do you think this can become extinct[what should be done]?

4 thoughts on “Let’s talk-You say I’m past and I tell you I’m present!

  1. Anonymous says:

    From my knowledge about the osu caste system is a serious issue when it comes to marriages in eastern part of nigeria, the church is not helping the matter, the pastors, priests, etc don't even talk about it in their sermons yet they preach love,funny enough these so called osus(out casts) in some villages are the richest,beautiful etc,well i feel sorry for Micheal, i will advice him to give his life totally to God and go to his pastor and discuss the issue about it with him before making any decision


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