The recent opening of the Ogbanje Church of All Nations in Nnewi, Anambra State, has garnered attention on social media. During the inaugural worship service held at the church’s uncompleted building, members joyfully sang and danced to songs dedicated to popular river goddess in Nnewi. Encouraging the congregation to worship what they are familiar with, the presiding clergyman, speaking in Igbo, expressed that people often sing songs referencing biblical locations without truly understanding their significance. Following his statement, the cleric, with lively support from the congregation, led a praise song honoring the Ogbanje, resulting in exuberant dancing and celebration.
The Clergyman said, “People usually sing and dance to songs composed with names and places in the Bible while they do not actually know who, what, or where they are and what they represent. It is high time we started going back to our culture and tradition.
“People should start singing songs composed with names of rivers that are known to them and the goddesses of those rivers, rather than singing and dancing to the names of what they don’t know.”
Several rivers and river goddesses in the area, such as Obò River, Mmiri Ele, Orasò River, Mmiri Edo, Ofala River, Ota, and Ezu River, were mentioned during the service.
The Clergyman proudly asserted his Ogbanje identity, the cleric stated that he and fellow Ogbanje individuals are known to thrive and lead prosperous lives by worshiping familiar rivers and their corresponding goddesses, instead of those unfamiliar to them.
Strange things are indeed happening.