Ndi Igbo have suffered the double misfortune of being misunderstood and having a bad press. In spite of their stupendous achievements in every area of human endeavor, particularly in science and technology, religion and education, the Igbo nation has been deliberately and systematically marginalized press wise.
Â At the risk of sounding patriotic and accommodating, Ndi Igbo have suffered the loss of their integrity and reputation but have also shown great courage and determination to survive as a people. I am not, however, ignorant of the propaganda mounted by western writers about the sub-humanity of Africans as a people without history, without religion, (Green, 1964:52) denying them any conception of morality (Basden; 1966:34) and lacking in intellectual and technological accomplishments. I am not unaware of how African religions in general, and Igbo religion in particular suffered neglect, misinterpretations and distortions in the hands of missionaries and colonial government and their agents. The Igbo studies by C. K. Meeks (1937) and M.M. Green (1964) only helped to perpetuate the bad press the Igbo already had as a lawless and ungovernable people. The traditional Igbo had a deep sense of community. The popular sentiment among the Igbo, as found in most other Africans is as J.S. Mbiti (1969:108) puts it: When kinsmen gather together under the moonlight it is not because they cannot see it from their different roofs or because of what they will eat together. it has a reason beyond just coming under the moonlight. For RenÃ© Descartes I think therefore I am but for the igbo race. â€œI am because we are and since we are, therefore I am. â€œI relate therefore I am. The Igbo man is a being with others that explains expressions like mmadu ka aku, (person is better than money), oko taba anumanu ojekwuru osisi mana okowa mmadu ojekwuru nwanne ya (if something scratches an animal it goes to the tree to scratch it but when it scratches a man he goes to his brother).Individual existence and freedom are appreciated, but they are delicately balanced with the underlying philosophy of life-in-community.