Through the character of Amaka, the protagonist of this book, the author provides a voice that vividly tells the captivating tale of her village. The natural environment, the unique housing, and the diligent people are all evoked in her narrative, but it is her grandmother, Nneoma, who takes center stage in her life. “We can never relinquish our land to outsiders. Our land is our very essence,” Nneoma firmly expressed to Amaka. The concept of Chi in Igbo mythology weaves throughout the conversation between the two women, with Amaka embodying the new generation (the new school), and Nneoma acting as the protector of her ancestors’ traditions (the old school).
This chapter introduces the reader to the concept of Chi in Igbo Cosmology. The Igbo people, being one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, have a rich cultural heritage and traditions. The concept of Chi, often translated as “personal god,” is central to Igbo culture and represents an individual’s personal connection to the divine. “If your Chi is sleeping wake him up”.
Chi is deeply rooted in Igbo cosmology and is believed to be present in all living things. It is a force that animates and directs one’s life, guiding them toward their unique destiny. It is believed that every individual has a specific Chi that is responsible for shaping their identity and providing guidance and protection throughout their lifetime. The significance of Chi in Igbo culture cannot be overstated. It is crucial to one’s identity and plays a significant role in shaping the individual’s life. By living in accordance with one’s Chi, the Igbo people believe that one can achieve their true destiny and lead a fulfilling life. If one does not properly care for his/her Chi, it can bring about negative consequences and misfortune. The relationship between Chi and destiny is closely tied to Igbo cosmology. It is believed that one’s Chi determines their unique destiny, and one’s life is a journey toward fulfilling that destiny. By living in harmony with their Chi, the individual can achieve their true purpose and lead a successful life. In order to properly care for one’s Chi, the Igbo people perform various rituals and offerings, such as the offering of sacred kola nuts and pouring libations. These rituals are meant to honor and appease one’s Chi and strengthen the connection between the individual and their personal god. That was Amaka’s world.