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On Dna And Igbo Customs - By Ike Nnaebue

OPINIONS - Posted on: 23rd Jun. 2020 at 12:32PM

I would like to start by echoing a line from Things Fall Apart by The Great Chinua Achebe;  "Okonkwo,  he calls you father."


Personally,  a child that I raised is my child regardless.  I would never normally want to do a DNA test. Fatherhood does not really have to be biological alone.  
But when it comes to Igbo traditions,  I know that Igbos take lineage issues very seriously.
Igbo tradition does not accept a child from another man so much so that even when a female gets pregnant without being married,  they insist on returning the child to the father's people after the child has been nurtured to an age where the child can survive without the mother. Nevertheless,  a child is always welcomed to stay in his or her ikwunne (mother's place)


This is the tradition.  


I do not know any Igbo tradition that will ever accept a child from the "outside".
In fact, it is an outright abomination for nwanyi igba na ilo, (for a woman to have sexual relations with a man other than her husband) talk less of bearing a child from such an abominable act.


Now whether it is morally right or not is another debate.
But then again Igbos actually have a very varied tradition and cultural practice melu mba ji eri ife mba na aso.
However,  I think it is evil for a woman to allow her husband raise another man's child as his own. This is pure wickedness to the husband,  the child and the real father.

Written by Ike Nnaebue

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