Her royal highness, the wife of King Dr. Appolus Chu, OFR, the paramount ruler of Okori & Nchia Eleme kingdom, Reverend Mrs. Grace Chu carried out the highest marriage rite for their daughter princess Nma, which as a result qualified her as a chief in the women category known as Emere Owa’

This final marriage process involved traditional steps, some of which only women who have previously attained the Emere Owa title are involved. It also includes a display of items that the parents, particularly the mother are giving to their married daughter. The items consist of traditional clay pots, a bicycle, domestic household items, modern kitchen utensils, home appliances, farming tools, and farm produce such as sugarcane, cocoyam, yam, vegetable seeds, and others.

Women from across the clans of the Eleme kingdom assembled at the palace of King Appolus Chu in Eleme to celebrate with their queen, and as tradition demands, all the appliances and everything purchased for the Ndele have to be carried by the women across various communities of Eleme. This is to show that the mother has fulfilled all requirements for her married daughter.

As men in the Eleme kingdom who cultivate, harvest, and display in a barn specified numbers of yam in a farming session are celebrated for being hardworking, disciplined, dedicated, and respected high chiefs in the community by the conferment of yam titles, so also are the women who performed Ndele, they are referred to as chiefs among women, they are highly respected in the community.

Queen Chu was officially ushered to the king’s Court, the venue for the event by the chiefs amongst the women of the kingdom who welcomed her as one of the most highly respected women in the kingdom.

The title Emere Owa’ enables these women to hold a horsetail as a symbol of authority and in the case of the queen, she held a horse tail in both hands, this is because her husband, the king has performed all the stages of the yam title, this gives her an authority to hold a horsetail.

Eleme kingdom in Rivers state, Nigeria is endowed with beautiful culture and traditions, whose roots are embedded in motivation and rewards for hard work.

Hadiza Babakatcha