There is a current website in the UK called Ancestry DNA used to trace your ancestral thread. When a westerner who could not trace his or her roots, wasn't sure, or was perhaps displaying strange tendencies from their supposed family, then they use this site. Television testimonies have shown us how elated they are with their result, they are now complete. They start trying to contact family members and travel to places all over the World in order to put their story together. They want to find themselves and seek answers to the reasons why they are the way they are today.
The Edo diaspora (forgive me it’s not a TV channel) are people from Edo state who are now in their 3rd generation in the western world and want to disappear without a trace. Why the Edos diaspora want such an action for themselves and what they are doing to preserve their community and its rich culture is the reason why we are here.
Edos in western countries i.e. United Kingdom, USA, Europe and the Asian continent make up the Edo diaspora. Today Edos in the diaspora are different in class strictly based on their financial capacity. See the grouping below:
1st Class (elite) Edos in diaspora: Those whose parents acquired wealth in Nigeria despite the corruption make up the 1st class (private schools, huge central London apartments, expensive cars etc).
Upper Class (elite) Edos: Those who arrived in the diaspora on their own and made astounding success of themselves, also 1st class but for this argument let us call them the upper class
Middle and Economy class Edos: consist of Edos who are struggling for many reasons to make ends meet. There is a lot more in the economy class as you would expect hence they are the majority.
Each class of Edos have a role to play in preserving our community. I can confirm that the middle and economy class play their roles well (albeit there’s always room for improvement) but the elite class who are supposed to rule are totally letting the community down. They are disconnected to a very high degree that simple words cannot explain. Whether its Binis, Esan or Afemai, the Edo elites are consistent with their neglect for Edo community responsibilities. Our language is going extinct, our culture is going extinct and their generation of children are scrambling to fit into any of the UK communities that will accept them because their parents and elders do not see the value in developing theirs. We are in a state of emergency but the Edo diaspora as an independent still blames Edo State Government for everything that is wrong with their inability to put their house together. Most of them even argue that Edo diaspora Community responsibilities should be done by Edo State government or the Oba's Palace just to get away from the duty that has fallen on them. Sadly, there is no reference to draw comparisons of success from within our community but the Edo elites will do well to ask the Yoruba’s and Igbos in diaspora if their state government or traditional rulers that have helped shape their diaspora communities.
One look at Nollywood, Afrobeat or anything that symbolizes Nigeria including restaurants, play centres and nightclubs in the UK will tell you of the success of the Yoruba and Igbo diaspora. Their children have keyed into their way of life because of the opportunities they have created within their community. They don't have the rich heritage like the Edos have, so what is the problem with the Elite Edos shaping their community? Why are they not doing anything near enough to address their community slide? one answer-
"This is the result of a long journey of bitterness that instead of them to right it, they are digging an even deeper hole".
The first-class Edo elites are selfish because they are scared to empower anything or anybody that has not pledged total submission to their ways. They are more comfortable spending it in Harrods, in Selfridges and on expensive cars and others luxuries. Little do they know that we are now living in different times and the effects of their actions today are far more detrimental than that of their parents. We all went to school with children of the Anenihs, Ogiemwonyis, Eros, Ikimi and other wealthy Edo players, the whole of them. Not their fathers anymore but the children too, they do not address anything in the community, they have not empowered even their best friend to any kind of success, rather they are the new masters, who enslave anyone that has come to seek for their help. The community have not given me anything so, why should I? This is their approach and almost 100% of them are like this. "The seriousness of Edo community issues is nothing to them because the financial future of their children is secure- by hook or crook".
The upper class Edos: Consist of Edo diaspora Doctors, edo diaspora Lawyers, Edo accountants, IT workers and Sportsmen. This batch are mostly very distant, ashamed and embarrassed by the actions of the economy class so much so they have made a conscious decision to deny the Edo community even if they have Edo children of their own in the UK. These ones like to identify more with other good looking Nigerian ethnicities.
The Economy class makes up the majority. All Edo unions whether Bini, Esan or Afemai are made up of the economy class. Due to many conditions, they are financially handicapped. The unions can only raise £150.00 a month from 15 to 20 people and this is normally money for burial or something along those lines. This class really have the manpower and love to deliver for the Edo community. They also look up to elite members of Edos for support but for reasons listed above, the elites are not charitable to their community.
A typical example for me is the London celebration of the coronation of Africa's greatest Monarch Oba Ewuare II, our own, our pride, a once in a lifetime opportunity for us and maybe our children to witness and participate in such an historic occasion that has the capacity to change lives. Mr Emmanuel Imousiri, a middle-class Edo man from Ora origin brought out £8000.00 of his hard earned money to enable us bring this event to life. But when we went to see Dr Peter Ozua,a top medical doctor in London, an Esan high chief in his £1.5m house, he played down his community and on the big day he only paid for a taxi ride for a member of the Esan community to come and see what we are doing. Examples are everywhere, Edos in the know in London will tell you that an Edo and ex Uniben man Mr Tom Ilube is the most influential black man in Britain, maybe he is, but can he make the Edo community testify on his input into the community.
"The Edo diaspora are failing woefully and we cannot mask it anymore". This is shameful and perhaps needs therapy because your responsibility to your child and community far outweighs money. One can only imagine how you would be if you were lost without a community.
Edo elites in diaspora it is time to wake up from your slumber.
Edos need a community centre
Edos need to keep our culture and language alive by celebrating it.
Edos need to give our children an identity and a support system within our community
Edos need to help the less privileged in our society to a certain degree in Europe and Edo State
Edos need to empower our people at home with social development (Sponsor weekly TV soaps portraying education and modern values we want to trend).
Edos need to build our community so that not only Edo children but other communities can find opportunities in our community as we have found in theirs till date.
Let us give our children a better landing, they can be ambassadors of great goodwill to Edo state and it will change their lives forever.
The list is endless. It starts when your slumber ends, Edo Diaspora Elite.