Ohionwa/Uka Cognomen

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By Y.J. Itopa.

Ohionwa oribombo Ozi Uka, Ozi atimati Ozi inoyi obanyi
Agidima obanyi, Ozi otaru, Ozi okayo na hi re ewuuru
Or Ozi okadiyo na hi re ewuuru like a sea of pilgrims
Or we should say like white sea of schools of egrets on holy mission
To the holy Mount like the proverbial birds which in the distant past 
Was said to have stormed the sky to ceil the earth from a vengeful Furnace of the sun, yes we are the Ozi okadiyo na hi re ewuru

Who can count the sands of the sea? The sands of the sea
Who can count the sands of the sea? Ah! the sands of the sea!
Ozuka ozuhuo, yes we are Ozuka OzuhuoUka, an animal of prize now extinct we are told in the story
Was large like the size of mountains and strong like rock
Tell me, which clan, sprawling as star studded sky like Ohionwa will not let Uka resurrect in them
Which is why we thank Onotu our father
Who many other Ebira know and call Ihima

We thank our forbear for also naming Ohionwa Uka
Ohionwa is ozuhuo, the child of the future, tomorrow of promise
Ohionwa is ozuhuo because sword is our totem as warriors
Tell the parents to let their children know Ohionwa is a sword It is a taboo to eat their yam with sword as if the sword Is spoon or fork for the meal 
For if they do, each mouth will carry sixty four teeth
Yes, anyi enini ozu tura osovovo- one tooth carrying another on its back

Ozuka ozuhuo, the child of Uka, the child of sword or machete and morrow
Eat your food with me as if I am your spoon, you will know me
When each tooth in your mouth straps a tooth to its back like a mother
Carrying her baby on a bony back, yes, I am Ozuka Ozuhuo
Ozi agidima ochenyagi-nyagiOhionwa is agidima and when agidima preys, the forest flees

Agidima is abroad, which forest goat and gazelles
Will wonder why Agidima feeds on forest flesh and leaves the leaf
And peels and roots for the lesser animals
We are ochenyagi-nyagi, the forest that walks in vast verdure We are the ochenya- nyagi, the big forest that grins in green clumps

Ozi ajenwu ireyi, Ohionwa has many epithets of pride
A house where silence is loud is a house of reptiles; a house where
The spider will sit on cobweb throne, the house in ruins
There was life in the court of Uka ancestors
There is life in the court of Uka of today
And who says our house is not a house of vision and wisdom?
There is fight and blame for reconciliation in our house of wisdom
Uka is happy to say there is ireyi and not silence in the ajenwu ireyi

Ozi Ahutu vara hutu,Yes, the clan that hugely turns
Unhindered like the tumultuous circles of tidal waves
I know we are ezi ahutu vara hutu, humongous everywhere anywhere
And going everywhere and anywhere, returning like an immense mountain 
Ozi aye ka ovetu, for Ohionwa is never caught unawares for
The warrior is not a warrior if he fears the war may woo his quiver

Why will the wise not know that tomorrow is waiting
We are the wise which is why we have readied our bow 
And arrow, waiting for war because we are Ozi aye ka ovetu
Ozi atimati Ozi inoyi obanyi.
Yes, ozi atimati who never walksLazily and slenderly like an Iroko-climbing chameleon
Ozi atimati Ozi inoyi obanyi who walk with huge hooves of the elephant
Shaking the earth to its foundation with elan, we all hail the elephant!
We know it is the elephant of vast feet that pass through this place 
Ohionwa is atimati Ozi inoyi obanyi, oh! here comes the elephant 
As the forest scampers to safetyHere comes the elephant
Which hand can push this elephant to the valley
Which hand can Push Ohionwa, Ozi atimati Ozi inoyi obanyi
Which cloud hand can pluck Uka star from Ohionwa sky, which hand?
Ozi oka di aza vaye, truly,
Ohionwa is truly the community cockIt wakes the farmer to carry his cutlassIt wakes the farmer to carry his hoeIt wakes the farmer to carry his basket and go to his farm
Ozi oka di oza vaye, truly, they know Uka is the story teller of sincere tales

Ozi akavo mavo, Ohionwa does not lap up his vomit, yes, his word is his word
Uka clan anywhere does not change its colour like the colour harlot chameleon
Ohionwa will practice the sermon he practices and will never say where
He said the eye was located is now where the mouth is located
If we say we will climb the mountain, we will climb the mountain, Ozi akavo mavo
Ozi oje ogogo rete uhuo, Ohionwa stays on the summit and predicts tomorrow
And his tomorrow will come to pass, Ohionwa is really a sincere seer on the knoll
Ozi owu oza tu oze wu uye tinavi
Ohionwa will kill man on the highway
Ohionwa will kill animal and leave it to rot in the bush
And I travelled from a distant land to the house Ezuka
Asking why Ohionwa would kill man on the highway and kill animal in the bush
“No merciful merciful will spare the fly that comes to build a house in his nose,” 

Ozi ezu gere-gere enema nyi unava
We are the children of tiger, tiger is also our totem
Tiger, like its friend the lion does not have to be huge
As the elephant to have the brawn and brain to maul the forest
Behold our back
Behold our front
How can Ohionwa tiger nurse a wound in the forest when it holds the shield 

Ozi akoko Oweyi ana gwu oza eyi sasasa
Ohionwa, a vast empire may modestly call itself a small pepper
But Ohionwa’s pepper, flaming and peppery says to any floundering eye:
“I will hurt you sasasa like a stinging scorpion, away with your envious face”
Ozi ojoza ma ji uno, at the funeral, Ohionwa is at liberty to slaughter a human
A metaphor for displaying his affluence, but his milk of human kindness says 
The cow is for funeral rites and his slaves are not for burials but to be spared 
To boost the boon as everyone is equal in the eyes of Ihineba, The pillar of the skies

Ozi osi inono ka Ira hi ensu, I know inono is yam and ensu is the king of yam
We make our fire, using tubers of inono as our fire woods to cook our ensu yam
Who still says Ohionwa is not a clan of rainbow and silo of silver and gold, who?
Who can use inono as firewood with spirals of inono smoke going happily
Happily towards the sky to help the heat for the rain that will fall in may
To herald the coming season of merry rain the ridges and their thirsty tubers

Ozi oku azene himba hi are di ore ku azene himba hi ehi
Di oka enehi aare omogu yi oni, di enehi ehi osere ogu yioni
Who, who still doubts ezuka, the farmer whose new harvest will meet
The overplus in the barn, the farmer whose farm is green in sterile season
Ohionwa keeps seven men in the farm
Ohionwa keeps seven men at home
And the seven are his hoes and his machetes
And the other seven are his bans for his many mouths
Tell me, how can the barn of ezuka yawn for yams
When the owner of the barn bubbles with tubers in sterile season
Ohionwa oribombo, what does Ohionwa oribombo as clan cognomen mean?

Ohionwa is a king that is loosed upon the world like a rainbow 
Seen from every frontage of the sky 
The king whose throne tentacles spread to weave the hair of the earth 
As a single knot
Born a king of splendour legend said a rainbow came to reign in the sky 
Telling the world a king was born and the host sky joined the rainbow
To welcome Ohionwa with rainbow praise name:Ozi Ogazi Ohinoyi ana gwara hi ehe ana do abaha ani ka ewu obanyiIni Iriku- welcome, o you the child of rainbow, the king that is loosed upon

The Earth like the Royal Python, meandering in countless coils across
The forest, we are here to announce
The birth of the splendid king who will be seen everywhere
Like the stars,
Like the moon
Like the sun in the widening sky
You will find favour
And favour will show in your sky-high renown

Ozuka Ozi eje, what does Ozuka Ozi eje mean as clan cognomen mean?
The son of Uka is the son of eje, eje is Tiger in Kwararafa Mother laboured long days and when the child came 
It came as strong as a rock and huge as a mountain
And Ihima therefore named his Ohionwa Uka, the mountain size
Call Ohionwa ezuka, the iron rock warm handshake he will give
Call him Ozi eje, the swift Tiger warm handshake he will give 

Ozi ame beri ogu ka oni ema ri eti ta, what does this cognomen mean?
His new harvest of wealth will meet the full barn of the previous harvest
Generousity and fame say to us Ohionwa has the ban that never dries
Ohionwa builds silos upon silos till he begins to pluck flowers from the sky

Ozi osi omo jaawru obanyiOzi osi omo me araka, me epane nyarema pandara di oka oni ovidi oveyi Ve irema di eve re, aguvi ezi irema, ka evana ka evita yi ezi
Tell me, let Ohionwa tell me, let Uka tell me what this cognomen tells us
It says Ohionwa is rich, so much rich that his wear is a flowing robe of gold
It says Ohionwa is so rich that gold is the pad that shields his head
From the sting of the burden he carries It says Ohionwa is so rich that he weaves leaves of gold into a mulch
Dangling from his back in opulence and pride

But our fathers knew there could come a time of ruin, a time of greed
A time of stealing, a time of guiles and wiles, a time of lack of consciences
Which was why
Ohionwa tells those that are ahead to remember those that trail behind
For their names not to be mentioned in the stories
Of Vultures and Hawks- Stories of their greed and stealing

May the Uka story never be the story of the tree of selfishness 
Which asked Ohomorihi to bless it as the tree that made a forest
Because it hated another tree standing near his lonely bliss
One day the shrubs gathered to mock the selfish tree
As it fell alone in a small night rain wind:
The forest has fallen
The forest has fallen
How I wish the forest had groomed another forest
We are shrubs
And the tree that made a forest has fallen across our road

Let ezuka know that it is from sting that honey streams to the throat Ohionwa,
Oh Ohionwa, who will help us tell Ohionwa 
That to grow gold in the silo is to toil in the cold and toil in the sun 
It is from intimacy and equality of lips that sonorous whistling comes to the ear
Who will tell a divided Uka that a finger cannot bring the pot from the fire?
Who will tell the king that is loosed upon the earth like the royal python meandering in countless coils across the forests
A finger cannot bring the the pot from the fire for the meal, who will tell our clan?

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