Reactions of disgust about how wasteful and showy the Igbos are, and defensive responses to such reactions, have flooded the internet following the trend of the affluent burial ceremony of Mr. Obinna Iyiegbu’s (“Obi Cubana”) mother.
High-class businessmen, politicians, and celebrities such as Mr. Emeka Agbanari, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo popularly known as E money, Jowi Zaza, Hon. Akin Alabi, Abba Kyari, Kanayo O Kanayo, Zubby Michael, Williams Uchemba, D’banj, Patoranking, Davido, Phyno, Kcee, Man like Chico, just to mention but a few graced the event. For some, it was their first time encountering Mr. Obi Cubana, while for others, it was the debunking of the misconception of the Cubana Chief Priest as the perceived ‘Cubana’ himself.
On his Facebook page, the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Leader of the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari, wrote: “Obinna Iyiegbu popularly known as Obi Cubana is one of the most hardworking entrepreneurs and humble personalities that I have known for many years. He is a brother and good friend. For his good nature and good heart, today I had to squeeze out time from my busy schedule to honour him by attending the burial of his beloved mom in Oba town, Anambra State. May God Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the great loss. Ameen.”
Also, in response to the reason why he did not splash money at the burial like others, Hon. Akin Alabi concluded with this statement: “Thank you @obi_cubana for hosting us. You deserve all the love.”
It is common to see people of high status send a representative to functions just to mark their presence. It is also understandable to want to give one’s last respect to a friend at their burial ceremony. But that was not the case for Mr. Obi Cubana. It was his mother’s burial. The massive influx of these dignitaries and their excitement accompanied by their ostentatious display of wealth reveals the irresistible power of relationships and what length we could go to when we are emotionally attached to a person or a thing. Mere transactions could not have attracted the presence of these people so, it is evident that Mr. Obi Cubana had, over the years, invested in what money cannot buy. He also could not have been in total control of his friends’ behaviour.
While opinions might differ on the gaudy display of money at the burial ceremony, we could move from one side of the mountain to another and discover the lesson hidden in its valley: The power of relationships.
♦ Favour Chiagozie Ebubechukwu is an Editorial Staff Writer and columnist with the WAP