TO URHOBO FATHER IN THE DIASPORA
WITH LOVE, WISHES AND DEMANDS
We don’t usually say much about this to each other, father. We have the kind of relationship that doesn’t depend on words.
But, even though we don’t mention it often, it’s good to know that we’ll always respect and appreciate each other, and that we’ll always mean a lot to each other.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY
LOVE AND BEST WISHES
Celebration of Father’s Day may be alien to Urhobo land and culture. However, the significance to Urhobo people who left home in their teens for North America as well as our spouses and children who were born in abroad need to be acknowledged and respected.
In these trying times, observance of Father’s Day offer us an opportunity for in depth group and individual self-introspection. The Omonese saga as told by Dr. Ekeh and the 2 analysis by Mr. Edevbie and Mr. Arhagba offer some insight into the need for a group psycho-social evaluation and understanding. What lessons can we learn from the tragedy? Is it likely that the matter that precipitated the tragedy could have been resolved differently in other Urhobo clans? Who knows!
While every sane Urhobo will take exception with the venom and aspersions cast on Urhobo by Bala Usman, it is ironic that it took his well calculated effort for Urhobo to face the reality of our heterogeneous origins. Thankfully, Dr. Ekeh in one of the posting to members at Urhobo@KinsFolk.com titled Urhobo Cultural Divisions touched on the subject. Not withstanding, the dramatic issue that Urhobo FATHERS, especially those in the diasporas must come to terms with is that of ALCULTURATION to host cultures and rearing of our children to acculturate to our native culture; a process that could lead to the birth of a focused and centered Urhobo national rather than a parochial or clannish identity and interest. Urhobo sons, who migrated abroad in their teens and are now fathers, as well as our wives and children have been left wondering “why can’t we stay united behind a cause.” History will not forgive this generation of fathers, if we let the ball drop.
Although our generation and others before “US” accept the oneness of the Urhobo nation, it is also true that all the 22 clans do not share a common origin. Similarly there may be subtle variations in culture. Not withstanding, Pa Mukoro Mowoe and others in his time were able to coalesce Urhobo behind an economic vision. Since then, Urhobo has produced a handsome share of illustrious and wealthy sons. I highlight this truth only to demonstrate the demand and expectations of our CHILDREN, SISTERS AND WIVES that Urhobo Fathers should provide leadership as we seek to build a strong nation that speaks with one voice. Urhobo as a patrilineal society expect and demand direction and leadership from Fathers. This demand is especially relevant and critical for Urhobo in the diasporas as we seek to cultivate and sustain our way of life in a culture that seem not to protect the rights of Fathers. The expectation is particularly important as our leaders at home negotiate and re-negotiate alliances between and within ethnic boundaries as well as across political lines. We must be vigilant and vocal so that the errors of yester years are not repeated.
As I join other Urhobo CHILDREN, SISTERS and WIVES in sharing the joy of Fatherhood with our FATHERS, BROTHERS and SONS, I urge you to be vigilant and reflect on the challenges that confront our generation and the next. I urge you to do that which is right in sustaining the Urhobo way of life – culture. Urhobo’s demand is that we all stay focused on the task of building a unified, strong and vibrant Urhobo nation.
Hence, the LOVE this brings and the happiness you are wished are not just for Father’s Day - they’re for always, because ----------
Happy Father’s Day
Urhobo Progress Union, North America (UPUNA).
June 16, 2001