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                                                “Ugo Chi Tubaru”

“Akalaka Mmadu Na Edu Ya”

To unravel the meaning of this proverb, we’d be using a second proverb to further elucidate, hence, “Uwa a bu ahia, onye zucha onaa”.  As umu-Igbo when faced with this proverb, how can we interpret it and what symbolisms does the “Market-Ahia” have in this context?

  Therefore, putting everything into proper context, “Uwa bu ahia, onye zucha onaa”, simply means “The world is a marketplace where we learn & elevate”, and just like the physical marketplace, where economic exchange is constantly handled, so symbolically the ancestral perception of the “World is a market in this context is the ability of our experiences to aid us in learning, reinventing ourselves and eventually to be elevated, and the pathway towards this actualization is our various “Akalaka”, hence “Akalaka mmadu na edu ya”.

Gini Bu Akalaka?

   Akaraka bu ugo chi tubaru simply transcribes to “Our destinies are glorious gifts gotten from one’s Chi”, this “Glory” can be interpreted based on material success such as; achievements, wealth, or power, or it can be seen as the ultimate glory the Chi derives when its progeny has fulfilled its purpose and has been spiritually elevated. Akaraka is also perceived as the road map/pathway to self and cosmic actualization of purpose, hence, Akalaka is the reflection of a divine plan or purpose acquired by one’s “Chi”, thereby setting the standard, tone, and eventualities that would occur throughout the lifespan of an individual, unfolding at each specified time.

 Akalaka Mmadu can be shaped by one’s actions and choices, both in the present and past lives, through the accumulation of positive or negative karma, we generally refer to this process as “Iyi Uwa”, a cosmic oath that is tied to our Akalaka and heavily influenced by negative or positive karma from previous experiences. Akalaka is also perceived as a journey for spiritual evolution and self-discovery, hence the growth of the “Aka” consciousness or soul. In this context, Akalaka represents the soul’s path toward enlightenment, and each experience and challenge contributes to the growth and elevation of consciousness.

What Determines An Individual Akalaka.

   The determination of an individual’s Akalaka, or destiny, is often influenced by a combination of factors within our various spiritual systems;

  • Chi: Chi to Ndi-Igbo is perceived as an aspect of the creator that creates, hence the Chi is burdened with the general welfare of its progeny. In this context, Oke Chi/Oke Chi Ketaru is more or less perceived as the divine’s plan or intent, enacting the principle of predestining or layingout an individual’s life.
  • Karmanic Balance: Our ancestors believed that “Ilo Uwa” gives our consciousness the ability to continuously learn and follow the pathway of our Akalaka into being spiritually elevated. Hence, during the Iyi-Uwa process, we strive to avoid past events, such as; marriage, childbirth, etc, that deviated us from our Akalaka.
  • Ndi Ichie/Cultural Influence: Here the principle of “Ihe esiro na bee nna, osi na bee nna”, takes full effect, therefore, certain cultural values or attributes can influence an individual’s destiny. That is to say, an individual’s path may be influenced by the actions and spiritual legacy of their ancestors.
  • Oha Mmuo/ Ezumezu: This concept means the totality of spiritual forces that function simultaneously with one’s Chi. These spiritual forces include; Agwu, Ndi-Otu, Alusi/Mmuo so chi mmadu.

The uniqueness of the Igbo interpretations of Akalaka, doesn’t limit it to measly comfortability or security that is provided by wealth. Rather, Akalaka is the “DESTINATION” itself, the appraisal of how your life should be and the pathways towards the attainment of spiritual elevation, which we refer to as “Mmadu Ime Uwa”. Hence, every other thing that occurs during this journey, is expected to occur at that specific time and date. This very reason is why our ancestors performed sacrifices as a way to manipulate and delay fate in favor of what is most desirable for our human consciousness. 

Can Akalaka Be Changed?

   Looking at this question reminds me of a Nollywood movie where Mrs. Patienct Ozokwor, took the name of her co-wife and tied her womb simply because of a premonition of the child’s greatness. Hence in this context, a person’s Akaraka, or pathway, can be deviated, making it impossible to reach. The simple solution is an alignment with the Chi and other Ezumuzu, but in situations where that isn’t possible, then the individual’s consciousness would reincarnate with the sole purpose of finishing this race. But aside from this kind of scenario, it is important to note that an individual’s Akalaka “ Cosmic Path” can be deviated based on their own decisions and other social factors like religious indoctrinations, and finally, an individual’s path can be changed based on the sort or kind of iyi uwa that was sworn by an individual.

  Generally, the Igbo understanding of Akaraka in relative to experiences, challenges, and eventualities, it means that through the Chi, our akaraka also entails sad events that can occur or happen to us. That is to say that through these cosmic forces, an individual could have a destiny or is predestined to be faced with numerous challenges like ill health, death, or specific misfortunes, they are all eventualities that follow an individual based on their Akalaka, therefore, Akalaka is simply eventualities or pathways that would lead an individual into becoming whom his/her chi has predestined and this path would lead to spiritual elevation or the growth of the aka/consciousness.

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