On December 13, 2013, Igbozue Connecticut USA held an all night family party. It was an opportunity for the Igbozue men to thank their wives. There were many reasons for these men to do so. It is the women who provided, among other good deeds throughout the unfolding year, hospitable homes when members of the group host monthly meetings.
Igbozue family night is an annual event. This particular event was surprisingly different from earlier ones in three main ways: the event-threatening snow, the big fat cake from ‘IWAC’ and the win or lose anxiety of the raffle.
Igbozue Connecticut USA is a non for profit organization that encourages social interaction among the Igbos- one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.
The men presented their token gifts and the women received them in full admiration. In an all out display of gratitude, the women danced glowingly in a way that only Igbo men would understand.
IWAC, Igbo Women Association of Connecticut which is the female counterpart of Igbozue Connecticut, had something under wraps for one of their members who had retired and is about to move. They wanted to honor her with a gift. Halfway through the party, it was still a toss-up if the recipient will show up.
Then bingo, she showed up. The dancing crowd went wilder as the Dj played ‘Udor Akpuenyi’ (one cannot pull an elephant on a leash) by Sunny Bobo.
Not familiar with the rhythm of the music, children danced exuberantly in missteps while the oldies danced in measured steps to the beat and lyrics.
The Honoree, Professor Omaa Chukwurah, is a founding member of IWAC. Many misty eyes and cracked voices emerged as peers gave testimonies and recounted their interactions with her. Then it was time to devour the cake.
The indefatigable DJ, Joe Anyafulu had the music right. He delivered soul and highlife music that made guests dance most of the night.
Attendees said that it was a party to remember. Men bantered and laughed heartily while women held conversation and smiled. What started as a shaky night later became one of the organizations most memorable Christmas events.
The raffle generated lots of excitement. There were five winners. Mrs. Eneh won the first prize of a Godiva gift basket containing gourmet chocolate bar and glass tea cups. Mrs. Lolo Anna Okonkwo won a Christmas wreath. The Oredo family from Stamford won a set of Wild-Eye table knives and spoons and the fourth prize, ‘How Broccoli Head Lost Thirty Pounds’, went to Mrs. Pat Anekwe.
The event took place at the executive-inn and suite in Meriden Connecticut. It began at 8 pm with the breaking of the kola nuts, ended at 12.30 A.M with a toast of Champaign. Members came in from different places within the state of Connecticut. A guest came from as far as Stamford. My spouse and I came from Sandy Hook.
Food and drink were plentiful. On the dinner tables were the usual suspects of goat meat, bitter leaf soup, fried plantain, jollof rice, moi-moi, roasted fish, chicken and rice. There was salad for the health-conscious attendees.
The President of the association, Mr. Polycarp Okeke was thankful to participants and praised them for supporting the group despite the bad weather and he reminded guests to drive home safely.