Tuesday 9 August 2022

FRIENDS IN ELEME CULTURE By Chief Osaro Ollorwi The Eleme Culture recognises different types of friends. These friends are categorised based on their types, purposes, number, commitment of those involved, the types of bonds between them and the type of thing and love that brings the fellows together. Friendship Defined Friendship is two or more people coming together to rely on each other, especially when the need arises. They treat each other with respect and being around each other makes them feel good and complete. They are expected to always have each other’s best interest at heart; to feel comfortable being with each other, sharing and trusting. Types of Friend A friend is known as Ekόo in Eleme. The types of Ekόo in Eleme includes but not limited to the following:-  Ekόo Ogbe  Ekόo Echalasi  Ekũrã  Ogbo Ekόo  Akaga Ekόo  Ekόo Otό  Ekpọrọ Ekόo 1. Ekόo Ogbe (also known as Ekόo Osũna). This is Covenant Friend, the type of friendship that existed between King David, the son of Jesse and Jonathan, the son of King Saul of Israel in the Bible. It involves an agreement on oath to do or not to do particular thing(s). It is a relationship between two partners who make binding promises to each other and work together to reach a common goal. It is often accompanied by oaths, signs, and ceremonies. They are usually defined by obligations and commitments. Ekόo Ogbe is always relational and personal. The partner’s feeling for each other is mutual and their friendship benefits the entire society. Those who practice Ekόo Ogbe are expected to tell each other the truth privately and publicly for mutual benefits and for societal good but that lofty expectation has gone with modern civilization and rush for wealth at all cost. This type of friendship is almost nonexistence in Eleme today. Where they exist, it is perhaps for evil purposes and at the detriment of the society. The reasons of almost total extinction Ekόo Ogbe are not farfetched; they include high level of deceit and insincerity prevalence in the society, influence of western civilization, impact of religion, mad pursue of money which allows people to do anything, including selling out their friends for money, and our legal system that is filled with loopholes for escape when brought before it. 2. Ekόo Echalasi. This is friend of compromise and favouritism. Your Ekoo Echalasi does everything to please you not minding the society perception or approval. He is only concern with the well-being of his friend even though it involves telling lies, cutting corners or doing any type of unimaginable thing to drive home the partners end. He does everything to keeps you happy, comfortable and on top. He never tells you the truth and never advises you rightly. Whether your opinion is right or wrong he supports you. He is protective and partial in all his dealings and judgment. Most times he speaks from the two sides of the mouth when faced with pressing challenges. Those who practise this type of friendship support each other without minding whether the other friend is right or wrong or whether the society approve of the outcome of the action or reaction or not. If the interest of one of the partner is at stake the other partner does everything to justify it not minding its merit and truth. Ekόo Echalasi must support, protect and promote the interest of both partners no matter whose ox is gored. Ekόo Echalasi really advises rightly or tells each other the truth; he supports every opinion, idea, actin or stance of the partner on issues no matter how parochial or detrimental to others or the society. This type of friendships is common in Eleme today, accounting for the reasons we have more divisions and factions in every form of leadership institutions across Eleme 3. Ekũrã (Best Friend). This is like the Ekόo Ogbe but did not involve covenanting or any form of agreement. It is friendship that is built on or rooted in mutual trust and understanding. He is your root and your stay, hence Ekũrã. He is the friend that shows signs of a sense of humour, great advice, and honesty. He forms your backbone and support system when you face obstacles that are tough in your life. He loves and comforts you through hard times, showing respect, honesty, loyalty and care. He knows more about and supports your personal life, fears, hopes, endeavours, etc. He is complimentary and give honest feedbacks. His advices are always honest and his opinions on issues concerning you are always sincere and undiluted. You can confide in him about anything and he knows everything about your life: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Loyalty, honesty, and commitment are the top priorities of a growing Ekũrã. 4. Ogbo Ekόo. This is a group of friends numbering three or more people who associate for common good, goal or philosophy. It can also be a group of friends for anti-societal activities such as cultists, gangsters, hooligans and so on. Age and status are no barriers. It can be drinking partners, hunting or fishing partners, or foodie partners, etc. For instance, during Ogbo Nja festivals in Eleme Ogbo Ekόo usually move freely from one community to another community eating, drinking and rejoicing together, displaying their latest fashions and passions, etc. Ekόo Ogbo Nja cut across all ages and social status and can be joyful. This group of friends’ conversation during the celebration of Ogbo Nja in Eleme revolves around food and the types of fishes used in preparing them; how rich and delicious or otherwise each friend’s food taste as well as the way and manner they enjoyed the foods and so on. 5. Akaga Ekόo . This is good friend). He is an honest and straightforward friend that provides unconditional friendship. He may disagree with you on issues and in his opinions but will make sure that the truth is made known to you. You can always depend on him for direction and guidance. Sometimes he could be harsh but gives clarity on issues. He don’t believe in embellishing the facts and will tell you straight up what you want to hear no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it is. Akaga Ekoo is usually brutally honest because your well-being is a priority for him and not your approval. This type of friend although in existence is hard to find in Eleme today 6. Ekόo Otό. This is a trusted friend, adviser and mentor. The Eleme culture recognises the importance of both friend and mentorship and introduced a system of friendship known as Ekόo Otό. In this type of friendship one of the partners is the experienced and trusted adviser, who advises, guides and trains the other partner. Every- body need a mentor to guide him in the right direction. The mentor or Ekόo Otό can be anyone (a colleague, neighbour, relative, etc.). It is a thing of joy to have Ekόo Oto in Eleme. He will encourage you to expand your horizons and introduce you to new opportunities, ideas, perspectives, peoples and places. He listens to you and gives best advice. He or she helps you to think positively and keeps inspiring you to do great things. He helps open your mind and challenge you to think out of the box. Ekόo Otό will guide and counsel you to keep you on the right track. He is super knowledgeable about most things; and he cares for and protects you at every step. Finally, Ekoo Oto acts as a shield for you and is truthful and dependable. 7. Epọrọ Ekόo. This is opposite of all other types of friends. It is a type of friend that is bad, fake, deceitful and pretentious. Epọrọ Ekόo will pretend to love you but is secretly against everything you stand for or represent. His hate for you is trickily clothed in fake love which he displays to deceive you. He is never happy of your progress and can do anything to frustrate you and stop your success in life. He wants everything good that is yours to be his own. This type of friend is widespread in the society; exhibiting the following characteristics: a. They like seeing you in tears, complaining and sad. b. They do not support you in your time of need. c. They envy your success. d. They are jealous of your possessions. e. They leave you feeling tired and drained out. f. They don’t talk well about you. g. They always want to gain something from you. Osaro Ollorwi E-mail: ollorwiosaro@gmail.com Website: www.ollorwi.com.ng +234 8036694027