PHOTOS: Naming ceremony holds in Enugu for 40 Americans with Igbo ancestry

Forty people from the United States of America (USA) on Wednesday were given Igbo names in Enugu as they declared their ancestry.

According to a report by Punch, they are students and faculty members from Morehouse College Glee Club in Atlanta, US and confirmed they traced their Igbo ancestral roots through DNA tests to the Igbos of South-East Nigeria.

The official naming ceremony was held at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in Enugu.

Traditional ruler of Ibagwa-Aka community in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, HRH, Igwe Hyacinth Eze, who performed the ceremony in conjunction with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, expressed happiness over the reunion of the Igbo-Americans with their ancestral brothers.

Speaking during the ceremony, the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State chapter, Prof. Fredrick Eze, said the reunion would help in the development of Igbo communities.

“The Morehouse College Glee Club, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first tour in Nigeria, will offer public concerts in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu. In addition, the group will visit universities and high schools, meet Nigerian students, and explore their historical ties to Nigeria.

“The 1972 visit to Nigeria infused African music into the Glee Club’s tradition and American Choral music in general. Fifty years later, choirs across the United States sing in Nigerian languages, highlighting the long-term impact of that exchange.

“The Morehouse College Glee Club has since learned a variety of songs in Edo, Yorùbá, Hausa, and Igbo, including a piece specifically composed for them by Igwe Laz Ekwueme, famed Nollywood actor and University of Lagos professor.

“During the visit, the Morehouse College Glee Club will carry out a dynamic exchange of musical knowledge with the broad spectrum of the Nigerian society, singing in Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba languages,” he said in a statement.

“I love the culture of Nigeria,” 19-year-old Schneider Grandpierre, a junior third-year student studying Music and Computer Science at the Morehouse College said of the trip.

“It is such an enriching and amazing experience to be able to reconnect with our cultural roots and sing Nigerian music in different languages. I look forward to an extended stay here even after this tour,” one of the students said.

Expressing his excitement about the visit, 23-year-old John Batey, a Business Administration major and tenor singer for the choral group said he has been able to trace his roots to Nigeria through a DNA test. “We will be exploring the Nigerian creative and entertainment industry. I am excited about the tour.”

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