An Igbo man identified as Donstan has taking to the popular Nigerian Forum(Nairaland) to narrate his first-hand experience of Iwa Akwa also known as ‘cloth wearing’ in Imo State.
According to the man who gave an exhaustive detail of the event, he disclosed that Iwa Akwa is an initiation into manhood, that is for a young boy to able to partake in any activity that is for Men. Describing the ceremony, He said,
”It entails the crossing of a young boy converting into a full-fledged man; and it is highly esteemed, valued and usually exercised by the people of Ehime Mbano, Ihitte Uboma, Obowo and Ahiazu Mbaise Local government areas, all in Imo state.”
“The participants are usually mates of a certain age grade. The wearing of cloths has a figurative representation. It is a representation of coverage.
It is assumed that they (initiates) were naked before but they are now covered.”
”Before I forget. The person “Wearing the cloth” is a senior friend, cousin, colleague and buddy. He’s just almost everything to me.
So base on those settings, I couldn’t help but had to forfeit my programs just to be there for him.”
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It’s usually a two-day program, but for some traditional reasons, preparations and merriments had to start a day before the D-days.”
This very ceremony happened in Ihitte Uboma LGA, IMO State.
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Detailing more about IWA AKWA In Igboland which Donstan shares about;
Basically, the cultural traditions indicate that a boy is now a man.
In Igboland, Iwa Akwa, also known as ‘cloth wearing’, is an age-long tradition that symbolises an initiation into manhood. It is a ceremony that entails the passage of a young boy transforming into a full-fledged man.
When a young boy reaches a certain age around 21-26 years, and the family deems it time for him to partake in Iwa akwa, the elders make prior investigations to make sure he is eligible.
This eligibility requirements basically include being of the right age and family background.
The participant’s mother has to have been married properly to the community and be identified by the women of the community, and the father has to have properly passed through the initiation stage in his days. The participant also shouldn’t have any link or heredity with Osu (outcast).
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