In Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, a newly established church called Ogbanje Church of All Nations has recently opened its doors. During their inaugural worship service, the congregation joyfully sang and danced to a collection of songs honoring various river goddesses in the Nnewi region. A video of the celebration surfaced on social media and quickly gained popularity.
The presiding clergyman, who spoke in Igbo but did not disclose his name, addressed the congregation within the church’s unfinished premises. He urged the members to worship deities and traditions they are familiar with, rather than blindly following practices they do not understand. The cleric cited instances of people singing songs inspired by Biblical names and places without grasping their significance.
With resounding approval from the congregation, the clergyman then proceeded to sing a praise song dedicated to the Ogbanje, while everyone happily danced in jubilation. He emphasized the importance of returning to their cultural and traditional roots, suggesting that people should sing songs that mention familiar rivers and their associated goddesses instead of those they are unfamiliar with.
In a show of pride in their Ogbanje identity, the cleric and others who identify as such asserted that they thrive and prosper year after year because they worship the rivers and their goddesses, which they intimately know. Some of the rivers and river goddesses mentioned during the service included Obò River, Mmiri Ele, Orasò River, Mmiri Edo, Ofala River, Ota, and Ezu River, among others.
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