Nigeria is a country in West Africa with multiple ethnic groups, we have a lot similarities in culture but you can only observe if you look closely, Kola Nut is one of those similarities its just that the way each people eat and use it may be different. Ebira People call it Irevu, Yoruba ‘Obi’ Hausa ‘Gworo’, Igbo ‘Oji’ etc.
When next you meet a Nigerian ask him how Kola Nut is been used in his ethnic group, reason that number of Nigerians still believe in using Kola Nut for Religious, Cerimonial reasons and traditional purposes while some eat it for fun.
Traditional Uses Of Irevu (Kola Nut) in Ebiraland.
Acoording to my Igbo friends its said that when visitor visits and Kola-nut is not served it means the visitor is not welcome, thesame thing is applicable among Ebira People back in the days not anymore. It’s rare to see Ebira People presenting visitors this days with Irevu but some Ebira Elders still consume Irevu on a daily basis
Note that Irevu is considered a hard drug in some part of United Arab Emirate.
Religious Use of Irevu (Kola Nut) in Ebiraland.
Traditional religious worshipers in Ebiraland use Irevu for so many things that i cant mention in tis article but i will mention that one that will be understandable by Ebiras in diasporal. Irevu is used as an offering to the gods or the Ohiku (ancestors) to guide and bless them. The use of Irevu by the traditional believers is primarily used by Oheva (Oracle Consultant) since its presumed that Irevu is the favorite food of Eva. So therefore to appeal to Eva for guidance or anything, Irevu is offered (Eva is the Ebira god of wisdom check below image for clarity.
Though in the Northern Nigeria is noted that during the islamic celebration Irevu which is Gworo in Hausa language is offered as gift.
Ceremonial Use of Irevu (Kola Nut) in Ebiraland.
Just as Mentioned earlier Kola Nut is used in various ceremony across Ebiraland such event may be, Traditional Marriag, Naming Ceremony or Traditional Burial Ceremony. According to Lois Isoiza Rachiel, Kola-Nut is used in the United Kingdom among Ebira People to kick start ceremonies such as child dedication.
During Ebira Traditional Wedding Irevu is presented by the Grooms Family to the wedding ceremony along with other gift item, Irevu is one of the most important item in Traditional Wedding. The Kola-Nut for the wedding or naming signifies fertility and protection from evil.
Kola-Nut contains caffeine and as a result its used widely in all facet of life in Nigeria ranging from Students trying to stay up at night to read, to Employees that needs boost in position at work, market women, Elders and politicians. it serve as a binding forec across Nigeria. Its Popularly grown in South West of Nigeria Yorubaland to be precise (Osun, Ekiti and Ondo State).
Although this article is based on my own personal exposure to traditional and cultural use of Kola Nut in Ebiraland but its the truth about Irevu. Please drop your comments and opinions below this article and please share with your friends.
Yakubu Binuyaminu Adeiza
CEO Ebira Online Media.