Anaedo As A Name Does Not Belong To Nnewi Citizens Alone
By Anayo M. Nwosu
Nnewi people often refer to their town or themselves as Anaedo thinking that the name is exclusive to them but they are wrong.
“Anaedo” or Edoland is used to describe three towns namely: Nnewi, Oraifite and Ichi, all in Anambra state.
Edo was in reality the name of a woman married by Agbaja who begot Ikenga the father of Nnewi or Ewimnga, Oraifite and Ichi. Edo was a native Idemili which includes the present day Nnobi, Anambra state.
Edo was so caring a mother that her children made her a god upon death. It was claimed that she appeared to them in a dream and demanded that shrines be built in her name. She also dictated how she would be worshipped. She also enunciated her Commandments and abhorence known as “nsọ Edo”.
That was how the children of Agbaja raised their mother Edo to a god leaving their father as a lowly mortal.
Agbaja had no shrine in his name except the Agbaja Customary Court located at Umudim, Nnewi named after him by Major Moorehouse, a colonial masters in 1906.
This serves as a lesson to men who struggle for relevance with the mothers of their children. You can’t win in the long term. Children tend to deify their mothers instead of their fathers.
From time immemorial, mothers have been supreme. That’s the meaning of “Nneka”.
Agbaja’s children, guided by divine instructions or out of love, had made Edo, their mother, the supreme deity in their communities that have grown into towns.
Etomologically speaking, “Ana” in Anaedo means “the land” while “Edo” is the “mother of Ikenga, Oraifite and Ichi”. It is now better known as a deity than a woman that lived.
The main Edo shrine is in Nnewi and is located around the famous Nnewi Motor & Motorcycles Spareparts Market.
In fact, the market is sited on the Edo’s evil forest known as Agboedo. “Agbo” means “thick evil forest” usually belonging to a deity.
Anaedo means Edoland or that entire land area owned by Edo deity or that area where she is worshipped.
Please note that Ikenga had many children some of who are Nnewi and Isu. The children of Ikenga are now subsumed under the Nnewi town.
So, Anaedo covers Nnewi, Ichi and Oraifite.
Anaedo or Agbaja refers to Nnewi, Oraifite and Ichi as an entity.
Even though she was deified or made a god upon death, every Nnewi, Oraifite and Ichi citizen belongs to Edo. Therefore, it a sheer ignorance for someone deem Anaedo as idolatry.
It is rather a motherland.
This practice of answering mother’s name is easily still found in some aboriginal Anaedo kindreds where Ụmụnna or extended families are called by there mothers’ names.
The ruling ụmụnna in Otolo Nnewi is called Ụmụonyebuchi named after Onyebuchi, their mother. Same is true for popular Ụmụnwakanwa family named after Nwakanwa their mother. The two aforementioned women were two out of the many wives of Ezeoguine, the late Obi of Nnewi from whom Igwe Orizu III and this writer descended.
Notwithstanding their religious inclination, all descendants of Edo are called Ụmụ Anaedo because they share in the common heritage of Edo, their ancestors’ caring mother.