Nigeria’s Osu Caste System: The Touching Story Of Chidiomimi

By Fr Kelvin Ugwu May 23, 2020

Nigeria’s Osu Caste System: The Touching Story Of Chidiomimi

This pretty baby in the pictures represents so many things to me. She represents the fact that our advocacies and what we preach here on Facebook is not a waste of time.

I woke up with this emotional feeling that words can’t describe. I remembered how I was fighting so hard for this baby to be kept alive when she was still in the womb. I never knew she will be this beautiful.

In 2018, I championed an online campaign against the evil caste system in Igbo land known as OSU. Some of you will still remember the #EndOsu campaign. This baby is the testimony to that campaign and why that evil practice must not be heard amongst us.

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The mother to this pretty baby got engaged to a man who even paid her bride price, and following the custom everybody considered her as married and must go to the husband’s house. While she was in the man’s house, she took in for the man. They started making arrangements for church wedding. So they fixed the date for the wedding and even printed their invitation cards when stories started flying around that the lady is an Osu.

The family felt it is a taboo for them to have anything with an Osu. The problem became complicated knowing that the girl is already pregnant. Then another story came out that a certain pastor saw a vision that the pregnancy does not belong to the man. No one is even listening to the girl, after all she is an Osu. The mother to her “supposed” husband was the protagonist to this drama.

Friends, that was how the man called off the wedding and told her that he has nothing to do with her or the baby in her womb. She was thrown out of the house. If I did not know her and the family, I would have thought it is just one of those Nollywood stories.

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Long story made short, she chatted me up. And from here in malawi, I begged her to keep the baby even though she was just not willing to bear the shame and besides she had nothing. It took a lot of persuasion. It was a risk even on my side. She reluctantly accepted after we made arrangement for her to leave the place she is staying to another state. I told her I will help her in my own little way and that what we will need to take care of the baby won’t be a problem by God’s grace.

Well, everything is now a story, but it was not funny then. She gave birth to the baby on the 23rd of May 2019. She named her Chidiomimi (literal meaning: God is mystery).

In January this year, I “sneaked” out of Malawi to Nigeria primarily because of the baby. Many of you did not know. I wanted to see a lawyer and ensure that my family take custody of the baby. I wanted also to define things between her (the mother to Chidiomimi) and the man.

I made sure the family to the girl returned the bride price. The man and his people accepted it and still rejected the baby. Even the suggestion for DNA test fell on deaf ears. Well, I guess it made it easier for everyone.

Today is the baby’s first birthday. The first picture is myself with Chidiomimi. The second is my young looking Mother with the baby when she was baptized.

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I promised to take care of the baby and by God’s Grace and your help I will do so, even though I am in far away Malawi.

I decided that I will open an account for Chidiomimi after her birthday which will be strictly used for her education. I am requesting that if you can, please support me in anyway your heart desires. It will really go a long way.

I will leave my account details. I feel awkward doing this sha. But, I hope you understand. Whatever penny will go straight to her education. And I will give you details as things unfold. Thanks so much. God bless you!

Ugwu kelvin
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