Five African-American women were on Saturday in Calabar embraced Efik as their ancestral root following their induction into the kingdom following a formal ceremony by Ntiero Edem Efiom Ekpo Royal House.
Following their induction, the women had additional names added to their original names.
They were named: Sandra Baker-Ekanem Abasi Ntiero, Amania Drane-Asari Abasi Ntiero, Brenda Camille Davis-Nkese Abasi Ntiero, Yvonne Taylor-Nkoyo Abasi Ntiero, and Dorletta Flucas Payton-Ekei Abasi Ntiero,
Following their induction into the
Ntiero Edem Efiom Ekpo Royal House, the women were presented to the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V
The Obong of Calabar noted that with their formal induction as members of the Efik Kingdom, they are now bonafide members of Abasi Ntiero Family of Ntiero Edem Efiom Ekpo Royal House of Efik Eburutu Kingdom.
The Obong commended them over their decision to trace their roots described their decision as a welcome development for others to emulate.
He said : “It’s a welcome development. We don’t want to shy away from it, especially for those who want to trace their roots and have found somewhere convenient for them that they can actually fit in.
“I welcome all of you to Calabar. I welcome all of you back as you are now a part of the ancient Efik Eburutu Kingdom.”
A representative of the American ladies, Lady Chioma George W, who spoke on their behalf, appreciated the kingdom for giving them sense of belonging.
“I feel that I and my fellow African-American ladies are now finally back home. We all feel so special and connected to all the Efik brothers and sisters we have met.
“Thank you very much for accepting us into your family and home.
“The women, some of who had retired after very successful corporate careers, chose to identify with their roots, seeking a deeper connection to their history and heritage,” she stated.
On his part, the head of the Ntiero Edem Efiom Ekpo Royal House, Etubom Bassey Ndem, expressed pleasure at the accomplished American ladies for identifying with the Efik root.
While acknowledging the emotional experience of the ladies, he noted the importance of their return to their roots at a time when many Nigerians were fleeing the shores of the country and culture.
In response to questions about the status and inclusivity of the women in Efik culture, Etubom Ndem clarified, “It is not a strange practice in Efik kingdom.
“They are now bonafide members of our family. We have taken them through the entire process of traditional adoption, the Efik way, including their Nkanda Ekpe rites, which is reserved for favoured Efik daughters.
“They have been given the blessings of even our king, the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V.
“More importantly, you saw us perform a solemn traditional naming ceremony and I bestowed them with primordial Efik names like our forefathers did.
“They have every right now to be a part of the family, and to participate in all family activities and even to vote and be voted for.”