RETRIEVEING THE NAME OKORO FROM OTHER "TRIBES"
F. Oghogho Agidigbi
Publisher, African Market News
My dear Fellow Benins,
There is a very important Benin name we have lost to other tribes. We may want to do anything possible to retrieve it. The name is Okoro which is a Benin name for Prince. Before the Benin massacre in 1897, Benin was as we all know a very powerful nation in West Africa. This was because of its early association and trade with the Portuguese. Through this trade they were able to acquire sophisticated weapons with which they fought and conquered nations. Any conquered nation was taken over and an Administration was set up with a prince or Okoro placed as the Enogie. The only mistake they were making as they went along was that they did not take their time to teach the newly acquired nations the Benin language.
It will not be over stated to say that any tribe in West Africa that still has a king or enogie as a traditional head, has some link with the Benin Kingdom or may have a Benin Okoro as his ancestor. The name Okoro became so popular, with such regard that everyone wants to share from the famous name. Such that any male child born to Ibo or Igbo family was named a prince or Okoro. Depending on the market day the boy was born, the name Okoro was attached to it. For example, Okoro Eke means Eke Prince, Okoro Orie, means Orie prince, Okoro Afor, means Afor prince and Okoro Nkwor means Nkwor prince. However, the modern Igbo man does not know the meaning of Okoro. He thinks it simply means male child. Even most present Benin men too do not know what Okoro means. I know many people will take me up on this but I am very sure of what I am saying because if you tell most Benin people that you met one Okoro in the store an hour ago he will think that you are simply telling him that you met an Igbo man in the store. That is how bad it is. The Urobos also bear the name Okoro but one common fact about the tribes that bear Okoro is that they do not give the name to a female child because it is a Benin word for Prince.
Dr. Eweka is a Okoro/prince, he may want to help us with this. Ladies
and gentlemen the discussion is open; we want your input. We need to get
this name back and make it popular among the Benins. Then we will let the
tribes that bear it know that the name originated from Benin and that it
is a Benin name for Prince. Happy New Year.