By Ikechukwu Emeka Onyia
My Great Grandmother, Nwamgbafor Akuezuo was instrumental to stopping of the Killing of twins in my town Nise even as a traditional worshipper she was .
She was the mother of Ukwe and Onyia (my grand father).
Nise, just like most villages then sees twins as an abomination that must not be allowed in the land of the living.
Such children must be thrown into the evil forest to die there . It was believed that twins are bad omen that must be done away with . It was uncontestable in Nise and most villages then, that once twins are birthed, it is already known that they will be thrown into the evil forest to avoid the ‘evil’, that keeping such children will attract to such family and the entire community.
But around 30s – 40s, the culture of killing twins in Nise town,changed, not because of the colonial masters or Christianity, but because of a courageous woman, Nwamgbafor Akuezuo, my great Grandmother and the mother of Onyia Abanobi(my grandfather).
It is worthy to note that by that time, Colonial Government and Christianity were already kicking against killing twins or throwing them away .
But that did not stop various villages or communities from doing that without exposing it to the hearing of the Colonial Government of then.
Various towns that does that then, believed that they were doing what God expected of them in their own thinking.
But my great Grandmother had her own believe. She believed that children are blessings from God and as such should not be wasted .
So, there was this woman that was pregnant in the village from Agu family of Umuosinem kindred and she later delivered twins .
As usual, they were thrown away to die in the forest .
My great Grandmother heard about it and rushed to the bush where the twins were thrown into and picked them up.
She brought them home, but one had already died by the time she got there.
It was like abomination for anyone to interrupt such Culture by then, but her believe that children are from God strengthen her boldness to go against the populism of that time.
My great Grandmother was highly charismatic and courageous.
In her word: Umuazi Chukwu wetere ka unu choro Igbu” (Children that God brought that you people want to kill).
It was unheard for anyone to try such in Nise then .
My great Grandmother stood her ground and even threatened to call the government if the need arises.
Everyone let her be and expected that she and her family will die from that, but that was not the case .
Today, one of that surviving twins is still alive and by name Chief Lazarus Agu (Uduezuo) the father of Aguh Amaka Bruno Ikenna Aguh Henry Aguh etc.
Hardly will you see any twins within Nise or towns around Anambra that is older than Lazarus Agu.
The survival of Lazarus Agu and my Great Grandmother then, made many Villages to stop killing twins using Nise as a pointer .
She is a saint that should be celebrated .
Join me to celebrate this unreported Saint !
A woman of courage that stood tall for what she believed against the Bandwagonism of that era .
A Humanist of highest order !
A Courage in the face of death !
An unreported Saint !