Town of Ogwa

Town of Ogwa

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Location
 
The town of Ogwa is in Mbaitoli local government area of Imo State, in south eastern Nigeria. It is bordered in the north by Amandugba in Isu local government area and Amauzari in Isiala-Mbano local government area of the state, in the south by Iho in Ikeduru local government area   and Mbieri in Mbaitoli local government area and in the east by Atta in Ikeduru local government area, while Orodo also in Mbaitoli local government area lies to the west.

Size

Ogwa is one of the towns in Imo State made up of several  villages that are scattered in five autonomous communities, namely; Ibeama-Ogwa, Alaenyi-Ogwa, Umueze-Abazu-Ogwa, Umunneato-Ogwa and Idume-Ogwa. The villages that make up Ogwa include; Idume, Oburo-Umuaro, Oburo-Umuokparanyanwu, Idem,Umuezealakpa, Umuezealaeze, Umuegbe, Abazu, Amaegbu, Ekwereazu, Oboro – Umueze, Ihite, Uru and Ochii
 
Ethnic Composition and Cultural Heritage

The people of Ogwa are Ibos, a culturally homogeneous group and one of the largest and most influential ethnic tribes living chiefly in south eastern Nigeria. They speak the Ibo language with a unique dialect. Most people in Ogwa also speak the English language which is the official  language of the country. Ogwa as a distinct community in Imo State has a very rich cultural heritage evident in dressing,  music, dance,  and the traditional hospitality of the people.

Dressing

The traditional regalia for the men is the typical Ibo over-flowing jumper  designed either as a short or long-sleeved  shirt worn over the george wrapper, which is tied around the waist, flowing down to the ankles. This outfit is complemented with a red cap and a walking stick which may  serve as an instrument of support or defense. The traditional outfit for the women  is a blouse, worn over a lion cloth or wrapper like the mens' and complemented with a headgear, ear rings and necklaces.

Music and Dancing

Ogwa is rich in traditional music and dances that still take place despite the influence of western pop culture. Different types of music in Ogwa are composed to suit  various kinds of occasions like  work, leisure, marriage or funeral. The traditional music is mostly a combination  of vocal and instrumental artistry, which produces a tuneful melody mixed with a beautiful rythm. Notable traditional music and dances include; the Oburu mmadukwe, Arungwo, Nkwa-Love, Ekeleke music and dance, etc.

Hospitality and Culture

The people of Ogwa are not merely fun-loving but also very hospitable and giving.  Hence  they devotedly still  practise the Ibo traditional hospitality to visitors which begins with presentation of kola nuts to a visitor. This signifys that the visitor is heartily welcome. The presentation of the kolanuts is usually accompanied with brief prayers of thanksgiving and supplication to God on behalf of the visitor and host. In general, this is a crucial part of the Ibo indigenous culture.


Traditional Political Institutions

In accordance with the rich culture and tradition of Ndi-Igbo, the five automomous communities in Ogwa have traditional rulers and they are; Eze George Iheanacho of Ibeama-Ogwa, Eze Gordon Ejiofor of Alaenyi-Ogwa and Eze Stanley Ahaneto of Umueze-Abazu-Ogwa. Others are Eze Eddy Uwandu of Umunneato-Ogwa and Eze Alban Ejiakonye of Idume-Ogwa.


Education and Social Infrastructure

Ogwa is one of the towns in Imo State that understands and believes in the value of education. Interest in education is evident from educational developmental efforts of communities. This is demonstrated in provision of  educational opportunities and physical structures that enhance the teaching and learning process. Ogwa has three secondary schools, namely; Ogwa Comprehensive Secondary School, Umueze-Ogwa Secondary Technical School and Ogwa Girls Secondary School, Ogwa.   Several primary schools are situated in the villages that constitute Ogwa.

There is also the Ogwa General Hospital which is the secondary health institution covering the entire town as well as the Ogwa Pipe Borne Water Project, which is the source of drinking water for Ogwa.

It is on record that the three secondary schools, the primary schools, the Ogwa General Hospital as well as the Ogwa Pipe Borne Water Project, which dates back to the 1950s were all self-help projects embarked upon and completed by the people of Ogwa. Some of the primary schools were built  by the missionaries,

Religion
There is freedom of worship in Ogwa and religion is significant in the lives of Ogwa people. They are predominantly Christians especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, formerly known to the people of Ogwa as Christian Missionary Society (CMS) and the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church.