In all of Africa, Igbos are known to be the ethnic group that has adopted Christianity the most, almost every household in Igbo land practices Christianity, just a sparing few are still practicing the traditional religion, and less than one percent that is Muslims.
The Igbos are known to be highly religious in all that they do, they have unique names they call their God or gods, in relation to anything happening in their life. They have names to show their thanksgiving, names they use while seeking from God, and it goes on and on for every situation.
Giving special names to God is not particular to only the Igbos but we are going to focus on the Igbo names and their significance.
Chukwu: This is the general name every Igbo person calls God before any other name. The name is derived from two words ‘Chi’ and ‘Ukwu’ which translates to ‘Big God’, with the years, the name has come to signify more.
Chukwu stands as a Supreme force that precedes every other power and god. Chukwu also serves as a suffix to several other personalized God names.
Chukwu Okike: According to the Christian belief, God is the creator of heaven, earth, and everything therein, therefore the Igbos call him ‘Chukwu Okike’ which means ‘The God that creates’
Odogwu Akataka: meaning ‘Fearless warrior’. It is a name for praising or asking God to fight for battles.
Ekwueme: For every Igbo person, the name is quite explanatory. Ekwueme translates as ‘one who speaks and it happens’ or ‘he who talks and it comes to past’
Odum Ebo Judah: This is one of the names people use when calling on God to help them fight their battles. Odum Ebo Judah translates to Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Oloro ihe loro Enyi: The one who swallowed what swallowed Elephant. This name symbolizes the immense significance of God in our everyday life.
Eze Ndi Eze: King of kings. The Igbos see God as the sovereign ruler of the world.
Dike Na’gha: Dike is a name given to someone of legendary strength and might in Igboland, hence, the name ‘Dike Na Agha’ meaning ‘Mighty warrior’
Ikuku ama na onya: Meaning Air that can never be caught by trap. This is a name that is used by the Igbos when singing the praises and deeds of God.
Chukwu Ebube: Meaning ‘Glorious God’.
Oku N’ere Ere: Meaning the ‘Consuming fire’. This name originated from the Bible where God was described as a consuming fire especially when referring to the anger of God.
Nkume Nke Ebighi ebi: Meaning the ‘Everlasting firm foundation’
Obata Ulo Di Mma: Meaning ‘The one who enters and everywhere is good’, you can translate it to mean ‘the peacemaker’
O’gbara Nkiti Okwu Juru N’Onu Ya: Meaning ‘The one who keeps silent yet filled with words’..
Chukwu Nke Mara Obi m: Have there been times when you were short of words but God came through for you miraculously? Well, that is one of the reasons Igbos call him ‘Chi nke mara Obi m’ meaning ‘God that knows my heart’
Ojena mmuo: Meaning ‘God that walks in the spirit realm’. As people who believe in the world of spirituality very much, Igbos believe God sees and caters to all their spiritual needs.
Di Nwanyi Isi Mkpe: ‘Husband of the widow’
Chi Oma: meaning the ‘Good God’. it is also a very common female name amongst the Igbos.
Chineke na-enye ndụ: Meaning ‘God that gives life’
Chukwu ma m: God that knows me
Ejide Obi Esike: Meaning ‘Strong Pillar of Hope’ or ‘My confidence’
Onye ukwu n’ogba agha: Meaning ‘The Mighty man in battle’
Amama amasi amasi: God that knows all
For every Christain, there is that special and personalized name s/he calls God, these names have different backgrounds and hold meaning to people. Therefore, there can never be an exhaustible list of names of God in Igbo. Here are however other names of God in Igbo and their meaning:
Obata Obie- He that ends every trouble
Chi ne cherem- The God that thinks for me
Oke Mmiri N’ebu Ogwe- Great water that carries fearful storm
Chukwu ma mkpam- God who knows all my problems
Chinaza Ekpere- God that answers prayers
Eze Ebere- King of mercy
Oke mmanwu n’eti one ya- The masquerade that flaunts itself
Ogbajiri Igwe kpo ya nku- He that breaks iron with his hands like an ordinary firewood
Eze Ifeoma- King of Fortune or good things
Oke mmiri n’ebu ogwe- Great water that carries the bridge
Chukwu na eme ihe niile- God that does everything
Ebube Mbekumbe- Glorious forever
Ebighiebi Eluigwe- The one who reigns everlasting in heaven
Nnukwu Chi- Big God
Oke mmuo- Great spirit
Gaga n’ogwu- God that walks on thorns
Okechi- Great God
Ogaranya Ngaga- The wealthiest
Chi Eluigwe Ogodo ya n’akpu n’ala- The God whose garments sweeps the earth.
We would like to hear from you, what you call God in your personal language.
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