Dynamism: N’digbo and Communication in Post-modernism

  • Chuka Onwumechili


This chapter explores Igbo communication as an aspect of Black communication. It is recognition that Black communication is varied and not unitary. It is also recognition that theorizing Igbo communication as an aspect of African communication is recognition of the dynamism of such communication. It is a recognition that such communication is not static but one that is indeed enduring and impacts communication of N’digbo (Igbo people). The chapter locates the source of Igbo theory of communication as traditional religion (Odinani), a religion that defined the way of live for N’digbo in a community where it was impossible to exist as a non-religious person because life itself was religion and thus the theory of communication is inevitably an outcome of the religion of the people. The chapter identifies key principles of Igbo communication and uses autoethnographic method to bring to life examples of this communication in different contexts that include conflict, bride price ceremony, family life, and sport.


  1. Achebe, C. (1974). Arrow of God. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  2. Adegbija, E. (1994). Language Attitudes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Sociolinguistic Overview. Philadelphia, PA: Multilingual Matters Ltd.Google Scholar
  3. Arinze, F. (2014). Christianity Meets Igbo Traditional Religion. In A. Njoku & E. Uzukwu (Eds.), Interface Between Igbo Theology and Christianity (pp. 10–19). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Booth, N., Jr. (1993). Time and African Beliefs Revisited. In J. Olupona & S. Nyang (Eds.), Religious Plurality in Africa: Essays in Honour of John S. Mbiti (pp. 83–94). New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  5. Caulley, D. (2008). Making Qualitative Research Reports Less Boring: The Techniques of Writing Creative Nonfiction. Qualitative Inquiry, 14(3), 424–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ellis, C. (2004). The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel About Autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
  7. Fakuade, G., Kemdirim, N., Nnaji, I., & Nwosu, F. (2013). Linguistic Taboos in the Igbo Society: A Sociolinguistuc Investigation. Language Discourse & Society, 2(2), 117–132.Google Scholar
  8. Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  9. Holman Jones, S. (2005). Autoethnography: Making the Personal Political. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 763–791). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Isichei, E. (1976). A History of the Igbo: A History of the Igbo People. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jahn, J. (1990). Muntu: African Culture and the Western World. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kanu, H. (2011). The Nigerian Nation and Religion (Interfaith Series Vol. 1). Indiana: iUniverse Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kim, M. (2002). Non-Western Perspectives on Human Communication: Implications for Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Kumi-Kyereme, A., Awusabo-Asare, K., Tanle, A., & Biddlecom, A. (2007). Influence of Social Connectedness, Communication, and Monitoring on Adolescent Sexual Activity in Ghana. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 11(3), 133–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lindquist, J. (2002). A Place to Stand: Politics and Persuasion in a Working-Class Bar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Mbiti, J. (1969). African Religions and Philosophy (2nd ed.). Oxford: Heinemann Educational Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Mbiti, J. (1975). Introduction to African Religion. Oxford: Heinemann International.Google Scholar
  18. Njoku, A., & Uzukwu, E. (Eds.). (2014). Interface Between Igbo Theology and Christianity. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  19. Nwoye, O. (1989). Linguistic Politeness in Igbo. Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, 8(2/3). Scholar
  20. Nwoye, O. (1993). An Ethnographic Analysis of Igbo Greetings. African Languages and Cultures, 6(1), 37–48. Scholar
  21. Okolo, B. (1985). An Analysis of Igbo Proverbs and Idioms. In R. Lungstrum & A. Folarin (Eds.), Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics (pp. 33–55.) Scholar
  22. Okolo, B. (1989). Silence and Ritual Response in Igbo Discourse. Studies in African. Linguistics, 20(2), 179–199.Google Scholar
  23. Okpalike, C., & Nwadialor, K. (2015, April). The Missionary Twist in the Development of the Igbo Identity: The Dialectics of Change and Continuity. Paper Presented at the 13th International Conference of the Igbo Studies Association in Marquette, Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  24. Onuigbo, S. (2001). The History of Ntuegbe Nese: A Five-Town Clan. Nsukka: Afro-Orbus Publishing Company Ltd.Google Scholar
  25. Onwuejeogwu, M. (1981). An Igbo Civilization: Nri Kingdom and Hegemony. London: Ethnographica, Ltd.Google Scholar
  26. Pannenborg, A. (2012). Big Men Playing Football: Money, Politics and Foul Play in the African Game. Leiden, HOLL: African Studies Centre.Google Scholar
  27. Rickford, J., & Rickford, A. (1976). Cut-eye and Suck-Teeth: African Words and Gestures in New World Guise. The Journal of American Folklore, 89(353), 294–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Spralls, S., Okonkwo, P., & Akan, O. (2011). A Traveler to Distant Places Should Make no Enemies: Toward Understanding Nigerian Negotiating style. The Journal of Applied Business and Economics, 12(3), 11–25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuka Onwumechili
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Strategic, Legal and Management CommunicationHoward UniversityWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations