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Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Scorpion God & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2

YEAR:

COUNTRY: Nigeria

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Title of the work

Scorpion God & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Nigeria

Original Language

English

First Edition Details

Scorpion God & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2, Directed by Nonso Ekene Okonkwo,Sea World Movies Studio, 2007.

Genre

Fiction films
Motion picture

Target Audience

Crossover

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Epie Dione Audrey, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, dickdamasaudrey@gmail.com

Brindy Belinga Claude, University of Yaoundé 1, brindybc@yahoo.com 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Male portrait

Nonso Ekene Okonkwo (Director)

Nonso Ekene Okonkwo is a native of Igbo and currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria. He studied literature in the University of Nsuka, Nigeria and began a career as film writer, film director and film producer. He was formally the CEO of Gold Fish Production Company.


Source:

IMDb (accessed: August 4, 2021).



Bio prepared by Epie Dione Audrey, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, dickdamasaudrey@gmail.com and Brindy Belinga Claude, University of Yaoundé 1, brindybc@yahoo.com 


Summary

Ikenga was the most powerful and greatest warrior in the entire Igbo Kingdom. He was immensely favoured by Amadioha (The god of gods) to whom Ikenga owed his greatness and reputation. In battle, Ikenga fought mortals and immortals alike, challenged gods, and feared no deity. It was common knowledge that Ikenga’s back had never touched the earth, in any fight. His name and praises were on every lip and his wrestling titles were countless. Ikenga was equally an amiable family man who provided both food and shelter for his family. One day, Ikenga was in one of his farms when he saw a stray scorpion and killed it. This incurred the wrath of the scorpion god who rose against Ikenga. The chief priest even warned Ikenga of the consequences of the scorpion god’s anger on his accomplishments but Ikenga, whose destiny was forged by Amadioha, did not feel threatened, though concerned. 

Ikenga woke up one morning, blessed his family and set out for the Ikwedike, one of the greatest wrestling contests among the Igbo tribes. As usual, he felt unstoppable and certain about bagging another Ikwedike wrestling title. On his way, Ikenga, in the company of his praise man (griot), wrestled with a half-man-half-spirit, and emerged victorious. Immediately, a mysterious old woman appeared and warned him again about the anger of the scorpion god and that his hunger and thirst for glory would cost him his reputation and accomplishments. Ikenga did not let this warning deter him from focusing on the contest. Back at home, the scorpion god visited his family in the form of three scorpions and killed his entire family. As usual, Ikenga emerged victorious in the contest but there was no one to welcome him with shouts of joy when he got home. Ikenga sunk into grief and many sympathisers shared his pain. Ikenga summoned the courage to bury the dead members of his family but did not fully recover from his loss, as sadness and tears became his closest companions during the day and especially at night. Not only did he hate to hear songs that praised his accomplishments but hated that he had also lost his praise man during the wrestling contest. Ikenga would not forgive himself for seeking honour and not being there to protect his family. Some elders visited him from time to time but he was inconsolable. Some even told him to thank Amadioha without whose protection the scorpion god would have taken Ikenga’s own life. 

When Ikenga started going about his normal activities, he went out and to his utter shock, saw Ude, the son of Ikwelle obioha, trying to rape a young maiden. He rescued the girl, and in fierce resentment questioned the gods for unjustly letting guilty people like Ude live, yet choose to pour their anger on the innocent, like his deceased family members. Word of this attempted rape case got to the ears of some villagers and eventually to the palace. When summoned, Ude objected to the allegation levied against him. Ikenga could not believe that anyone would cast aspersions on his testimony, given that he was a man of his word. To lay the matter to rest Ude and Ikenga were both asked to swear in the presence of the Igwe (king) and the elders of the land. The consequences of swearing when wrong was that, the concerned party would go mad within six market weeks according to the Igbo calendar. As the weeks passed by, Ude hoped he had succeeded in swaying the gods onto his side, and started making plans to marry a young maiden, Ihuoma, who sincerely loved him. Meanwhile, the villagers began to doubt Ikenga’s credibility. After six market days, (in some African traditions, days are referred to markets) Ude woke up one morning and started talking ill of Ikenga, and proclaimed victory over him. Not long afterwards, Amadioha, the god of justice, mysteriously appeared to Ude and struck him mad and he eventually died, exonerating Ikenga in the process. The chief priest later visited Ikenga with a message from Amadioha about his destiny. The message stipulated that Ikenga needed to discover his true identity by journeying to the land of his ancestors. There he would find what he must never lose, for it would be his greatest asset and strength. Before embarking on the journey Ikenga sought to have proof that the gods had a hand in the happenings in his life. Amadioha responded by sending down thunder, lightning and rain as proof. Ikenga acknowledged the influence that gods wield in the lives of mortals like him, and at twilight, he embarked on the journey to the land of his ancestors.

Analysis

One of the fundamental peculiarities of the Igbo tradition of Nigeria and many other communities in Africa is the interaction between humans and gods. The gods interact with humans and express their emotions through the actions they carry out. However, when they are unhappy with humans for one reason or the other, they warn humans through chief priests, oracles, or supernatural beings. In Igbo tradition, there are many gods, connected to specific aspects in the community. These gods are all submitted to a sovereign deity. In the movie, this chief god is Amadioha. 

Some humans such as heroes and chief priests can have the special protection of a god as seen in the case of Ikenga whose protective god is Amadioha. This special protection does not mean disrespect to the other gods. If this happens, it may result in a punishment from the god who is being challenged. This is the case with Ikenga whose pride and lack of consideration shown to the scorpion god led to the death of his family members and his praise man. Thus the importance of humility before the gods is emphasized.

The movie “Scorpion god. & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2” presents the supremacy of gods over humans. Despite the level of strength or protection human beings might have from other gods, they are bound to submit to all the gods. In case of disrespect, even if the hero himself is not touched, his loved ones would be affected. This in a way presents the gods to be unjust because innocent men are bound to endure the fate the gods choose to bestow on them.

The lesson we learn here is that in dealing with the gods, man has to take into consideration the interest of his entire family and even extended community, for if he/she wrongs the gods, and could manage to escape the wrath of these gods; they could as well unleashed punishment to close family members or to the community. Hence the importance of fear and respect of the gods in the Igbo community is emphasized here, as it is the case in many other African traditional societies. Once the gods are happy with an individual, they can protect him and his family and community, but if they are unhappy, they can hurt him or his community.


Further Reading

Afigbo, A. E., "Traditions of Igbo Origins: A Comment", History in Africa 10 (1983): 1-11. 

Cole, Herbert M., "Igbo Arts and Ethnicity: Problems and Issues", African Arts 21, no. 2 (1988): 26-93.

Ejidike, Okey Martin, "Human Rights in the Cultural Traditions and Social Practice of the Igbo of South-Eastern Nigeria", Journal of African Law 43, no. 1 (1999): 71-98 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Ezeigbo, Theodora Akachi, "Traditional Women's Institutions in Igbo Society: Implications for the Igbo Female Writer", African Languages and Cultures 3, no. 2 (1990): 149-65 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Green, M. M., "The Unwritten Literature of the Igbo-Speaking People of South-Eastern Nigeria", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 12, no. 3/4 (1948): 838-846 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Igbo Community Association of Nigeria DFW, Inc, Our Igbo Culture (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Odita, E. Okechukwu, "Universal Cults and Intra-Diffusion: Igbo Ikenga in Cultural Retrospection", African Studies Review 16, no. 1 (1973): 73-82.

Onwubu, Chukwuemeka, "Igbo Society: Three Views Analyzed", Africa Today 22, no. 3 (1975): 71-77 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Addenda

Running Time: 

Part one; 02:03:09, 

Part two; 01:14:57.


Cast: 

Ikenga: Sam Dede

Ihuoma: Mercy Johnson Okoije

Diochi: Stan K. Amadi

Ikwelle Obioha: Roy De Nani

Nne : Louisa Nwobodo

Ude: Ikem Chude

Obiageli: Francisca Onaga

Asa: Chidinma Aneka

Igwe: Sam Cee

Ebere: Ego Nworfi

Chijioke: Shadrack Ugwoke

Adaora: Uju Imai

Half man: Obiajulu Ugwoke

Old woman: Dorothy Udenta

Ozioma: Oge Kalu

Priest: Ignatius Abara

Obierika: Emeka Nnadi

Madman: Emmanuel Ugwuanyi

Man: Nkem Onubuogu

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Scorpion God & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Nigeria

Original Language

English

First Edition Details

Scorpion God & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2, Directed by Nonso Ekene Okonkwo,Sea World Movies Studio, 2007.

Genre

Fiction films
Motion picture

Target Audience

Crossover

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Epie Dione Audrey, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, dickdamasaudrey@gmail.com

Brindy Belinga Claude, University of Yaoundé 1, brindybc@yahoo.com 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Male portrait

Nonso Ekene Okonkwo (Director)

Nonso Ekene Okonkwo is a native of Igbo and currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria. He studied literature in the University of Nsuka, Nigeria and began a career as film writer, film director and film producer. He was formally the CEO of Gold Fish Production Company.


Source:

IMDb (accessed: August 4, 2021).



Bio prepared by Epie Dione Audrey, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, dickdamasaudrey@gmail.com and Brindy Belinga Claude, University of Yaoundé 1, brindybc@yahoo.com 


Summary

Ikenga was the most powerful and greatest warrior in the entire Igbo Kingdom. He was immensely favoured by Amadioha (The god of gods) to whom Ikenga owed his greatness and reputation. In battle, Ikenga fought mortals and immortals alike, challenged gods, and feared no deity. It was common knowledge that Ikenga’s back had never touched the earth, in any fight. His name and praises were on every lip and his wrestling titles were countless. Ikenga was equally an amiable family man who provided both food and shelter for his family. One day, Ikenga was in one of his farms when he saw a stray scorpion and killed it. This incurred the wrath of the scorpion god who rose against Ikenga. The chief priest even warned Ikenga of the consequences of the scorpion god’s anger on his accomplishments but Ikenga, whose destiny was forged by Amadioha, did not feel threatened, though concerned. 

Ikenga woke up one morning, blessed his family and set out for the Ikwedike, one of the greatest wrestling contests among the Igbo tribes. As usual, he felt unstoppable and certain about bagging another Ikwedike wrestling title. On his way, Ikenga, in the company of his praise man (griot), wrestled with a half-man-half-spirit, and emerged victorious. Immediately, a mysterious old woman appeared and warned him again about the anger of the scorpion god and that his hunger and thirst for glory would cost him his reputation and accomplishments. Ikenga did not let this warning deter him from focusing on the contest. Back at home, the scorpion god visited his family in the form of three scorpions and killed his entire family. As usual, Ikenga emerged victorious in the contest but there was no one to welcome him with shouts of joy when he got home. Ikenga sunk into grief and many sympathisers shared his pain. Ikenga summoned the courage to bury the dead members of his family but did not fully recover from his loss, as sadness and tears became his closest companions during the day and especially at night. Not only did he hate to hear songs that praised his accomplishments but hated that he had also lost his praise man during the wrestling contest. Ikenga would not forgive himself for seeking honour and not being there to protect his family. Some elders visited him from time to time but he was inconsolable. Some even told him to thank Amadioha without whose protection the scorpion god would have taken Ikenga’s own life. 

When Ikenga started going about his normal activities, he went out and to his utter shock, saw Ude, the son of Ikwelle obioha, trying to rape a young maiden. He rescued the girl, and in fierce resentment questioned the gods for unjustly letting guilty people like Ude live, yet choose to pour their anger on the innocent, like his deceased family members. Word of this attempted rape case got to the ears of some villagers and eventually to the palace. When summoned, Ude objected to the allegation levied against him. Ikenga could not believe that anyone would cast aspersions on his testimony, given that he was a man of his word. To lay the matter to rest Ude and Ikenga were both asked to swear in the presence of the Igwe (king) and the elders of the land. The consequences of swearing when wrong was that, the concerned party would go mad within six market weeks according to the Igbo calendar. As the weeks passed by, Ude hoped he had succeeded in swaying the gods onto his side, and started making plans to marry a young maiden, Ihuoma, who sincerely loved him. Meanwhile, the villagers began to doubt Ikenga’s credibility. After six market days, (in some African traditions, days are referred to markets) Ude woke up one morning and started talking ill of Ikenga, and proclaimed victory over him. Not long afterwards, Amadioha, the god of justice, mysteriously appeared to Ude and struck him mad and he eventually died, exonerating Ikenga in the process. The chief priest later visited Ikenga with a message from Amadioha about his destiny. The message stipulated that Ikenga needed to discover his true identity by journeying to the land of his ancestors. There he would find what he must never lose, for it would be his greatest asset and strength. Before embarking on the journey Ikenga sought to have proof that the gods had a hand in the happenings in his life. Amadioha responded by sending down thunder, lightning and rain as proof. Ikenga acknowledged the influence that gods wield in the lives of mortals like him, and at twilight, he embarked on the journey to the land of his ancestors.

Analysis

One of the fundamental peculiarities of the Igbo tradition of Nigeria and many other communities in Africa is the interaction between humans and gods. The gods interact with humans and express their emotions through the actions they carry out. However, when they are unhappy with humans for one reason or the other, they warn humans through chief priests, oracles, or supernatural beings. In Igbo tradition, there are many gods, connected to specific aspects in the community. These gods are all submitted to a sovereign deity. In the movie, this chief god is Amadioha. 

Some humans such as heroes and chief priests can have the special protection of a god as seen in the case of Ikenga whose protective god is Amadioha. This special protection does not mean disrespect to the other gods. If this happens, it may result in a punishment from the god who is being challenged. This is the case with Ikenga whose pride and lack of consideration shown to the scorpion god led to the death of his family members and his praise man. Thus the importance of humility before the gods is emphasized.

The movie “Scorpion god. & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2” presents the supremacy of gods over humans. Despite the level of strength or protection human beings might have from other gods, they are bound to submit to all the gods. In case of disrespect, even if the hero himself is not touched, his loved ones would be affected. This in a way presents the gods to be unjust because innocent men are bound to endure the fate the gods choose to bestow on them.

The lesson we learn here is that in dealing with the gods, man has to take into consideration the interest of his entire family and even extended community, for if he/she wrongs the gods, and could manage to escape the wrath of these gods; they could as well unleashed punishment to close family members or to the community. Hence the importance of fear and respect of the gods in the Igbo community is emphasized here, as it is the case in many other African traditional societies. Once the gods are happy with an individual, they can protect him and his family and community, but if they are unhappy, they can hurt him or his community.


Further Reading

Afigbo, A. E., "Traditions of Igbo Origins: A Comment", History in Africa 10 (1983): 1-11. 

Cole, Herbert M., "Igbo Arts and Ethnicity: Problems and Issues", African Arts 21, no. 2 (1988): 26-93.

Ejidike, Okey Martin, "Human Rights in the Cultural Traditions and Social Practice of the Igbo of South-Eastern Nigeria", Journal of African Law 43, no. 1 (1999): 71-98 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Ezeigbo, Theodora Akachi, "Traditional Women's Institutions in Igbo Society: Implications for the Igbo Female Writer", African Languages and Cultures 3, no. 2 (1990): 149-65 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Green, M. M., "The Unwritten Literature of the Igbo-Speaking People of South-Eastern Nigeria", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 12, no. 3/4 (1948): 838-846 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Igbo Community Association of Nigeria DFW, Inc, Our Igbo Culture (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Odita, E. Okechukwu, "Universal Cults and Intra-Diffusion: Igbo Ikenga in Cultural Retrospection", African Studies Review 16, no. 1 (1973): 73-82.

Onwubu, Chukwuemeka, "Igbo Society: Three Views Analyzed", Africa Today 22, no. 3 (1975): 71-77 (accessed: August 4, 2021).

Addenda

Running Time: 

Part one; 02:03:09, 

Part two; 01:14:57.


Cast: 

Ikenga: Sam Dede

Ihuoma: Mercy Johnson Okoije

Diochi: Stan K. Amadi

Ikwelle Obioha: Roy De Nani

Nne : Louisa Nwobodo

Ude: Ikem Chude

Obiageli: Francisca Onaga

Asa: Chidinma Aneka

Igwe: Sam Cee

Ebere: Ego Nworfi

Chijioke: Shadrack Ugwoke

Adaora: Uju Imai

Half man: Obiajulu Ugwoke

Old woman: Dorothy Udenta

Ozioma: Oge Kalu

Priest: Ignatius Abara

Obierika: Emeka Nnadi

Madman: Emmanuel Ugwuanyi

Man: Nkem Onubuogu

Yellow cloud