A forum where the issues of Biafra are discussed. "Igwebuike" 

  • 'BIAFRA' A COLONIAL NAME?

  • Discuss everything regarding the new Biafra to come in this section.
Discuss everything regarding the new Biafra to come in this section.
 #136  by Ihemba
 Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:17 pm
Self determination is as legitimate as the human rights of an individual. Self determination in my eyes is a way of expressing total freedom and independence, this to me includes the freedom of a nation to express itself through its indigenous culture, traditions, language, and maybe religious beliefs.

'Biafra' is a name that appears on a number of European maps before the formation of colonial contraptions like Nigeria in the late 19th and early 20th century. Europeans used this name to identify areas of Africa that produced certain products, and eventually slaves from specific ethnic groups. This is an exonyms meaning 'Bight of Biafra' is not a name used by the indigenous people that it was in reference to. Till today nobody knows the true meaning of 'Biafra', it's possible that it was a misnomer by the Portuguese who confused the area with the Biafar or Biafada people of Guinea Bissau.

The question is whether the name of 'Biafra' is relevant to the people who have been described as situated on the Bight of Biafra and does it have meaning to these people? Can it be accurately explained to someone who may call themselves a 'Biafran'?

Attempts have been made to link 'Biafra' back to the Igbo language, but the fact is even Biafra is pronounced 'Biafura' in the Igbo language and other Biafran languages because the consonants in Igbo do not join, like in the case of the 'fr' in 'Biafra'. The words Biafra is as colonial and foreign to the people as the word 'Nigeria' or 'Port Harcourt' or the twisted spellings of many Biafran towns such as 'Onitsha'. We need to evaluate this name, maybe this isn't the most pressing issue now, but the name of a people is very important. Every great nation can trace its name back to a language and explain its name and why it matches the psyche of the people. The worst thing of Biafra isn't just that it may be a colonial name, but we are unable to further trace back the meaning to a specific language in verifiable terms.

Please, if anybody sees this, what do you think?

Thank you.
 #137  by Emeka Ezeh
 Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:31 pm
Biafara2.jpg
Biafara2.jpg (215.22 KiB) Viewed 3770 times
Hi Ihemba,

Seriously, I think you got it all wrong. The correct name as it has been on the ancient maps is BIAFARA not Biafada as you speculated. Biafara makes a perfect meaning in Igbo language. It means come and join. There are a lot of villages in Biafra that still bears the name Afara. The early cartographers wrote Biafar and Biafara ... even before Bight of Biafra was named, we already already had Biafra which is a condensed version of Biafara as it was difficult for the Portuguese to pronounce. You can find some maps of 1642 bearing the name Biafara. See the image above.
 #138  by Ihemba
 Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:02 pm
But how does bia fara translate as 'come and join' in Igbo? The Biafada ethnic group are also known as Biafar or Biafara. It could be that the name was corrupted from something by Europeans, like Calabar was, but it also could be a misnomer like New Kalabar.
 #139  by Onyekachukwu
 Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:11 pm
@Ihemba. The map that Emeka posted should answer your question. Bia = come, Fara = join. I hope it's clear now.
 #140  by Ihemba
 Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:31 pm
admin wrote:@Ihemba. The map that Emeka posted should answer your question. Bia = come, Fara = join. I hope it's clear now.
Wouldn't join be banye? What language is 'fara'?
 #141  by Onyekachukwu
 Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:52 pm
Banye means "enter". Fara means "join". It's very common in Imo. Anambra says "soro" but it could mean "soro ha" meaning "follow them". Fara means join in the sense that *even though the space is small, we will try to accommodate you.

I hope it made sense to you.
 #142  by Ihemba
 Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:30 am
admin wrote:Banye means "enter". Fara means "join". It's very common in Imo. Anambra says "soro" but it could mean "soro ha" meaning "follow them". Fara means join in the sense that *even though the space is small, we will try to accommodate you.

I hope it made sense to you.
Okay, so like fanye. To me it just sounded like a folk etymology. Do you know more of where this term supposedly came from? The history behind it?
 #143  by Emeka Ezeh
 Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:13 am
Ihemba wrote:
admin wrote:Banye means "enter". Fara means "join". It's very common in Imo. Anambra says "soro" but it could mean "soro ha" meaning "follow them". Fara means join in the sense that *even though the space is small, we will try to accommodate you.

I hope it made sense to you.
Okay, so like fanye. To me it just sounded like a folk etymology. Do you know more of where this term supposedly came from? The history behind it?
Maazi Ihemba, "fanye" is a synonym to "fara". The usage of both words are not exactly the same. Example: "fanye" something... and ka somebody "fara". Again "fanye" goes with forcibly squeezing in something without necessarily considering if that thing feels alright. Maybe because fanye always goes with an object that has no feeling.

"fara" is always used with compassion e.g. Fara.... nevermind, it will accommodate both of us (or all of us), we will manage the little space although it's not enough
 #144  by Ihemba
 Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:41 pm
Emeka Ezeh wrote:
Ihemba wrote:
admin wrote:Banye means "enter". Fara means "join". It's very common in Imo. Anambra says "soro" but it could mean "soro ha" meaning "follow them". Fara means join in the sense that *even though the space is small, we will try to accommodate you.

I hope it made sense to you.
Okay, so like fanye. To me it just sounded like a folk etymology. Do you know more of where this term supposedly came from? The history behind it?
Maazi Ihemba, "fanye" is a synonym to "fara". The usage of both words are not exactly the same. Example: "fanye" something... and ka somebody "fara". Again "fanye" goes with forcibly squeezing in something without necessarily considering if that thing feels alright. Maybe because fanye always goes with an object that has no feeling.

"fara" is always used with compassion e.g. Fara.... nevermind, it will accommodate both of us (or all of us), we will manage the little space although it's not enough
What is the origin?
 #145  by Emeka Ezeh
 Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:49 pm
@Ihemba,

Origin of what? I thought you speak Igbo going by your name. What I have asserted is what you can find around our present day communities in Biafra. I do not need to read it from somewhere to be able to interpret or believe it.

What is the meaning of Ihemba? I hope that you will not go through the history book to find that. Haha!
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