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On Igbo Day, I invoke the spirits of the ten heroic "Eboe" men, women, and children of Georgia's Sea Islands who jumped off a slave ship and drowned themselves to escape slavery. Sea Islands folklore recalls how ten defiant and courageous "Eboe" slaves, shackled at their ankles and necks, with tears in their eyes, chanted in unison, the eerie refrain: "The water brought us; the water will take us away." ..... Emeagwali

Ozi nkwado Ndi Igbo nke Ma'zi Chukwurah Emeagwali degara Ndi Igbo bi na obodo Calgary, Canada n'oge emume afo ncheta Igbo.


Ndi b'anyi ndeewo nu O!

I felt honored when Ma'zi Kene Ufondu invited me to say a few words to you. As part of your celebration, I urge you to reflect and remember the contributions of tens of millions of Diasporan Igbos (ndi bi n'Igbo Uzo, nwanne di na mba) that left Ala Igbo a few centuries ago.

On Igbo Day, I remember Ma'zi Jubo Jubogha alias "Ja Ja," the 12-year-old slave-boy that became King of Opobo (Eze n'Opobu Igbo). Ma'zi Jubogha was summarily tried in a British court and found guilty of "treaty breaking." For "blocking the highways of trade," Ma'zi Jubogha was permanently exiled to Barbados and St. Vincent, West Indies. He is now immortalized in Barbadian folklore and song.

On Igbo Day, I salute Ma'zi Olaudah Equiano, another 12-year-old slave-boy, for proudly writing: "I am Eboe" (Abu m Igbo). I thank Ma'zi Equiano for providing us the earliest written account of the culture and customs of Ndi Igbo. I thank Ma'zi Equiano for chronicling the horrific injustices of slavery.

The following chant mourned the loss of young Olaudah:

Who are we looking for, who are we looking for?
It's Equiano we're looking for.
Has he gone to the stream? Let him come back.
Has he gone to the farm? Let him return.
It's Equiano we're looking for.

Ma'zi Equiano is an ichie, nna-mmuo (revered ancestor, great spirit). Scholars immortalized this nwa'afo Igbo (true son of the soil) with the title: "father of black literature."

On Igbo Day, I invoke the spirits of the ten heroic "Eboe" men, women, and children of Georgia's Sea Islands who jumped off a slave ship and drowned themselves to escape slavery. Sea Islands folklore recalls how ten defiant and courageous "Eboe" slaves, shackled at their ankles and necks, with tears in their eyes, chanted in unison, the eerie refrain: "The water brought us; the water will take us away."

The act of courage and fierce resistance of the "Eboes" to the condition of bondage is immortalized in the folklore and song of the Gullah people of coastal Georgia. May the spirits of those "Lost Igbos" walk beside you, whisper to you, and guide you in your quest for knowledge and wisdom.

Ma'zi Equiano described himself as a "stranger in a strange land." As strangers in Canada, I commend you for providing an opportunity for Umu Igbo to know their brothers and sisters. Ndi b'anyi si na njiko ka, mmadu ka e ji aba.
Igbo Kwenu!

Chukwurah nwa Emeagwali bu onye onicha. Emeagwali dropped out of school at the age of 12, served in the Biafran army at the age of 14 and came to the United States on scholarship in March 1974. Emeagwali won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, computation's Nobel Prize, for inventing a formula that lets computers perform their fastest computations, work that led to the reinvention of supercomputers. He has been extolled by Bill Clinton as "one of the great minds of the Information Age," described by CNN as "A Father of the Internet," and is the world's most searched-for scientist on the Internet.

QUIZ: The Lost Igbos

Do you consider yourself nwa afor Igbo? If yes, the following quiz will determine your knowledge of Ndi Igbo. Post your answers at emeagwali.com and/or igbo.biz.

1. When did Ndi Igbo emigrate to their present location in Nigeria? Where did the Igbos emigrate? What is the relationship between Ndi Igbo and the Bantus?
2. Which is the darkest holocaust of Ndi Igbo? The Atlantic slave trade or Biafra? Did we learn anything from the slave trade and/or Biafra?
3. How many Ndi Igbo were stolen during the slave trade era? How many were converted to osu and oru caste?
4. Which small Central American nation has a place named "Eboe quarters?"
5. Can you name the Caribbean "Eboe King" (Eze Igbo) that was executed for initiating his Island's first slave uprising? What is the meaning of the Haitian saying: “Ibos pend cor a yo”? (i.e. Igbos hang themselves) Can you name the ancestral village of Olaudah Equiano?
6. What percentage of the slaves in the New World (North, Central and Latin Americas) could appropriately respond to the exclamation "Igbo Kwenu?"
7. What is the full name of Dr. Baker or the first white man to travel into Igbo heartland? The Igbo expressions Ala Bekee, Ndi Bekee translates to "land of Baker, white people."
8. Who is James Africanus Horton? Why is he called the father of Igbo self-determination?
9. Why is Edward Wilmot Blyden called the "father of West African nationalism? Where did he refer to himself as "a true son of the Eboe tribe?"
10. What document contains the first recorded misspelling of "Igbo?" Hint: Igbo was previously misspelled as "Heebo," "Eboe," "Ebo," and "Ibo." Is the Igbo language endangered?

Here is the link to full text of Dr. Emeagwali's speech titled "Rediscovering Our Lost Igbo Brethren" ( http://www.igbo.biz/igbo/ )


Photos

I will forward a few photographs under a separate email. Below are direct links to 30 digitized and professional quality photos.

Olaudah Equiano
http://emeagwali.com/africa/igbo/lost-igbos/olaudah-equiano.jpg
http://emeagwali.com/africa/igbo/lost-igbos/olaudah-equiano-2.jpg
http://emeagwali.com/africa/igbo/lost-igbos/olaudah-equiano-3.jpg

Emeagwali’s B/W Photo
http://emeagwali.biz/photos/stock/portrait-black-and-white/low-resolution/emeagwali-black-white-portrait-science-museum-of-minnesota-saint-paul-june-1996.jpg

Emeagwali’s Color Photos
http://emeagwali.biz/photos/stock/mathematician/low-resolution/emeagwali-petroleum-equations-science-museum-of-minnesota-saint-paul-june-1996.jpg

http://emeagwali.biz/photos/stock/speech/low-resolution/emeagwali-speaking-jamaican-medical-foundation-banquet-kingston-hilton-hotel-march-24-2001.jpg

http://emeagwali.biz/photos/stock/mathematician/low-resolution/emeagwali-petroleum-equations-science-museum-of-minnesota-saint-paul-june-1996.jpg

Additional Photos
Thirty high-resolution photos (in uncompressed bitmap and tiff formats) and their detailed captions can be downloaded at http://emeagwali.com/photos/for-publishing.html

Recent Interviews
Excerpt from Emeagwali’s interview published in Portuguese language in the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo (www.estadao.com.br, September 11, 2001).

http://inspirationalspeakers.us/interviews/brazil/o-bill-gates-africano_brazil_estado-september-11-2001-1.shtml

http://computerscientists.biz/interviews/brazil/o-bill-gates-africano_brazil_estado-september-11-2001-2.shtml

http://keynote-speakers.us/interviews/brazil/o-bill-gates-africano_brazil_estado-september-11-2001-article.shtml

http://keynote-speakers.us/interviews/brazil/o-bill-gates-africano_brazil_estado-september-11-2001-interview.shtml

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