Ozo Title Names & Significance
An Ozo initiate assumes a cognomen that will serve as his signature for the rest of his life if for any reason he is not elevated to the rank of red cap chief by the Obi of Onitsha. Except for occasions of Ozo transfer as practised when an Ozo member ascends the throne of Ezechima, the Ozo title dies with its holder. It is said that, “Ka osi so onye oza aﬁa”. This aphorism indicates that the Ozo title name of any initiate is the prerogative of the initiate. This is entirely not correct, as there had been occasions in which initiates had to drop the names hitherto chosen for alternatives following some disagreements. The Ozo Title names have undergone a lot of metamorphosis.
Starting with a handful, the Founding Fathers of the Prestigious Agbalanze Onitsha Cultural Association chose names that reﬂected their achievements through some visible and invisible hands. Most of the names revolve around parents, children, strength, Wealth, character, achievement and nobility. Oftentimes, the Shakespearean dictum of “Some are born great; some achieve greatness; some have greatness thrust upon them” is very apt in Ozo names. Such names as Nwakibie, Ezenwa and Nnabuenyi refer to those bom great while, Ojinnaka and Ojinnanaka refer to initialization advantages by some children or men, and Nwabunie, Zeklgowanne, Akunwanne, Ezenwanne, Ugonwanne, Egonwanne, and on 30th December 2015 at O20 Umu Onogbo, Egonwannie, by Aniemena Azokwu. This was after the agnomen of Ifechukwukwulu misconceived as a Woman’s agnomen and Akunetigbuilo also misconcieved as non-available in the Agbalanze agnomen lexicon were rejected by the Agbalanze Executive members occupying the “Table” at that Ina Obibi and Egwu Ututu ceremony. However, the eventual agnomen, Egonwannie, taken by AniemenaAzokwu eventually at the afternoon session would tend to indicate some assistance in the uplifting of an offspring, by a patemal or maternal relation. Aniemena Azokwu’s cascade from Ifechukwukwulu to Akunetigbuilo and Egonwannie is derisively and jokingly referred to as O20 Triangle.
Later developments brought in the agnomen with the preﬁx Nwa (the
child) who has become the man, indicating the independence of the name bearer through providence in achieving greatness and Ozo title for himself or for his parents or elder relation. Such names include: Nwabunie, Nwawuluaru, Nwanyelugo, Nwazuluaru, Nwachinemelu, Nwachinyelugo, Nwazuluaru and Nwakibie.
Some names reﬂect very recent sparing incidents. Some of the agnomens in this category can be classiﬁed as uncommon and rare. Such names as Onwanetilira, lgwelionwa, Ifechukwukwulu, Mmililienyi, Chukwuebuka, Chinweozo, Chibundo and Ogbuchukwumalu may pass for reactions to events that reﬂect individual trajectories in life.
Initially, many of the initiates took cognomens with preﬁxes of Aku and Oku signifying wealth. Such agnomens include Akunne, Akunnia, Akunwata, Akukalia, Akunwanne and Okunwa. Others took names with the prefixes of Nna and Chi ending with Ugo (feather). Examples are Nnanyelugo and Chinyelugo. The third group of agnomens take their bearing and philosophy from Enyi the elephant, the largest of existing land animals hunted for its expensive ivory tusk.
Such names include Nwaenyi, Nnabuenyi, Ononenyi, Enyikwesili and Dakwasienyi. On the part of nobility some initiates take the agnomen of Amalunweze or Ezekwesili.
common & uncommon names
Common Agbalanze TItles
The following are some of the Ozo title names commonly taken in
recent times and their approximate signiﬁcances:
- Akunnia: I have succeeded; thanks to my father or paternal relation.
- Nnabuenyi: Through my great father I became great.
- Akunne: Success through my mother.
- Nwakibie: A cornerstone; a highly endowed child especially in crafts and problem solving.
- Akunwata: Self-made man.
- Nnaka: A short form of Ojinnaka; elevation through father’s background.
- Akunwafor: I have succeeded, many thanks to my struggle and reward.
- Nwolili: A pilgrim, wayfarer in this world. But caution is: Do not junket, or remain a globe-trotter indeﬁnitely; your being honoured with an eagle feather will deﬁnitely make you to touch base more frequently.
- Akubuko: My wealth explains my prominent and loud exposition and disposition.
- Amalunweze: A child with all the attributes of a wealthy background.
- Akunwanne: The wealth for my upliftment came from my maternal or paternal relation.
- Akubueze: Onye ego bu eze: Rightly or wrongly, some people believe that a wealthy person is overbearing.
- Ozomma: A timely and appropriate honour in a family that needs that status of Ozo for one of its own.
- Amulunamma: Born into fortune, wealth and good prospects with a silverspoon in the mouth as a result of generational legacy.
- Nwachinemelu: A friend of the gods. Providence has played out in my journey to wealth and nobility.
- Akunaetigbuilo: Sufﬁcient wealth undoubtedly suppresses unnecessary anxieties and bickering. Moreover, sufﬁcient wealth also makes the enemies to bow and tremble.
- Nwaliego: A child that reaps the good seeds sown by the parents.
- Akubueziokwu: My wealth is conﬁrmed by this event.
- Ojinnaka: My father has given me this headstart over my peers.
- Chinyelugo: God picked the eagle feather for me, elevating me to wealth and nobility.
- Odinigwe: A member of the constellation of Agbalanze stars.
- Chikwelugo: My God accepted and supported my venture of Ozo
title and made me succeed.
- Ononenyi: Success through a brother or sister.
- Egonwanne: My paternal/maternal relation’s wealth gave me the eagle feather.
- Ezennia: A chip off the old block. The feather is in furtherance of the exploits of my father’s noble deeds and roles in life.
- Okunwa: A beneﬁciary of wealth conserved for incoming generations.
- Ezenwa: The feather was bestowed on an outstanding/ prodigious son, especially in the patrilineage (nwaisi).
- Ezenwanne: My matemal/paternal relation saw the need and decorated me with eagle feather.
- Ozodiekwo’o: Ozo, being a thing that attracts huge ﬁnancial expenditure, honour and inﬂuence, is often the source of envy by ill-advised non well-wishers.
- Nnanyelugo: My father gave me the lift which made me what I am in life.
- Nwabunie: My upliftment to the noble rank was made possible by my offspring.
- Ugochukwu: God- given crown of eagle feather.
- Nwawuluaru: I am puriﬁed and decorated by my child who sponsored my Ozo title.
- Nwatakwochaka: Humbled by my achievement, I now dine with the Wealthy.
- Akukalia: My wealth is over and above the ﬁnancial requirements for Ozo title taking that I have consummated.
- Kpajiego: A lavish display and commitment of resources to Ozo and
- Nwanyelugo: My son made my Ozo title possible.
- Nwazularu: I am surrounded by many successful children.
- Onwanetilira: A philanthropist or role model whose good deeds affect people far and near; a teacher whose dissemination of knowledge brings enlightenment to the streams of past and present students and for the beneﬁt of the citizenry and community. Success is for everybody who deserves it. Everybody has the power to prevail, The moonlight is not restricted to any family or locality when God freely gives it to his children. The rich, the poor, the mighty and the lowly savour the blessings of the moonlight without let or hindrance.
- Orummili: Orimmili atu nnu; Orimmili adiro nma ogugu; Orimmili ata ata: All means ‘A very wealthy person’.
- Ozodinobi: Ozo has always existed in your kindred, irrespective of the brief period of drought in Ozo titles. The gatekeeper who is always easily accessible at home at all times.
- Ononakuobi: A child swimming in affluence.
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