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Opinion | Feb 11, 2013

Rites—part One

MA’AT (Truth And Justice), The Spirituality Of The African Race

Except for the Africans, every race or tribe in the world has its own spirituality and religions. The Jews have kabbalism, Indians Hinduism and Buddhism, Chinese Confucianism, Caucasians Christianity with their own son as the son of God; Arabs Islam with their son as Allah's

messenger.
Africans are the only race in the world besotted to their masters' Gods and intermediaries and yet Africans invented spirituality and religions and created all the Gods, which every tribe

in the world adapted to its political needs.
This document is only 22 pages out of a 240 page book entitled: Ma'at truth and justice, the spirituality of the African race. It, therefore, does not contain everything you need to know but provides enough to get you started on the ultimate and the most exciting spiritual journey of mankind.

Every African is to switch individually to Ma'at now because it is African, it is the original, it is the truth, it is the most potent, it is the mother of all spirituality. If you are African, start individually to

be Ma'at from today at home, practice Ma'at meditation and grow to spiritually rule the world, it is your birthright. Look at me. I am the embodiment of Ma'at cosmology. I know things, in fact, almost everything.

RITES
African communities with ceremonies and traditions for the following activities are to continue with them, refined or embellished if necessary with Ma'at format. Others, particularly the African

Diaspora and Ma'ats use the following ceremonies but could incorporate peculiar local flairs to satisfy ethos of immediate communities:

(a) Births
(b) Naming Ceremonies
(c) Marriages
(d) Rites of Passage (Boys)
(e) Irun-Mgbede (Preparation of girls between the ages of 5 and 18 for

womanhood)
(f) Adult Rites of Recognition
(g) Deaths
BIRTHS
The Ma'at places great value on our children because they are our future. A future over which, fortunately, we largely have some control as a race. A popular Yoruba adage goes like this: “He who has a child owns the world.” Africans still hold strongly to this view although harsh modern living conditions have begun to soften their attitudes somewhat over the number of children to have.

The most extreme example of birth control in the world appears to be in China where it is one couple to one child. In the Western world, the trend is towards two children to the family. Such institutional restrictions come against brick walls in Islamic countries and in Africa. For example, how is a restriction of two or three children to be shared in an African family of seven, ten or even twenty wives?

Ma'at's position is that the number of children per Black family should be kept to a manageable proportion to enable the children receive quality education and development to enhance the collective well-being of our next generation. The resources available or potentially available to the Black family should determine the number of children to have.

On the issue of the number of wives that is ideal, modern trends, and economic problems have started forcing restrictions particularly on our educated younger generations, and we are not unhappy with this trend.

We emphasize these points because Ma'at frowns on the current increasing trend towards childbirth out of wedlock. Forced to make a choice, Ma'at would consider the many wives to a husband situation vastly superior and preferable.

Every family, every home with kid's needs a father figure. Ma'at births therefore must be carefully planned and provided with balanced homes, wherever possible. No one can fly with one wing.

The same goes for the home we give our children. Ma'at recognizes the increasing problem of the single parent homes and abhors and totally condemns teenage pregnancy. Ma'at will set up priority projects to provide single parents with extended family support, including surrogate parents, counselling, general mentoring to ensure that no Black child goes through adolescence

without love and at least, community father and mother support and care.

Ma'at facilities and programmes will emphasize to our youths that fatherhood and motherhood are not for boys and girls. Ma'at will serve as a family substitute, taking close personal interest in every child of Ma'at, nurturing and providing them with sound social values to save our next generation from total moral collapse.

Adults will be taught that pregnancies have serious psychological consequences and financial responsibilities. That because living conditions have become so competitive, testy and hard, the notion of the survival of the fittest is truer today than it ever was. That it is wrong to bring a child into a hostile, poverty stricken and hopeless home background. That no parent, in fact, has the moral right to bring a child into our present difficult circumstances without first ensuring that the child would have a better chance of survival and development than was available to the parent. Ma'at facilities will preach this truism and the responsibility of every parent as the first line of defence against our rapidly decaying moral values and life styles, brought about largely by the devastating effects of racism, slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, continuing economic exploitation, permissiveness, television, decadent Western culture, increasing social pressures, and environmental difficulties.

Africans are opposed to the kind of sex education the West is teaching our children at school. You cannot stuff up the children so immorally and expect them to behave morally. Overt romantic exhibitionism is not a virtue whether in public or at home with the African.

Under no circumstance must a child catch the parent naked or making love. The story of the stork putting babies in mothers' wombs is popular among Africans.

Other African children believe that their mummies buy babies from the market. Africans are to continue to cleverly maneuver around these norms where youths are concerned.

Apart from what the Ma'at community and the immediate relatives can do to prepare the grounds for the unborn child, the mother to be has enormous influence on the physical and mental quality of the child she gives birth to.

The kind of food she eats is important, and only natural (organic) foods can provide the proper muscles, organs and body, required by the (organic) baby in the womb. The womb starved of

natural foods, and clogged with processed, denatured (inorganic substances which some call foods, and which do nothing but harm to the organs and health of the mother to be), can only produce malnourished, retarded, sickly weaklings for babies.

What you give is what you get. In general, the less, factory processed and fertilizer nurtured the

foods the mother to be eats, the better it is for the health of the mother and the child in her womb.

Pregnancy makes women start to behave in a peculiar way. They might suddenly begin to develop deep interest in cooking, reading, gardening, but should try not to overdo these and become so spoilt as to be a bore to others. Help yourself to regular exercises, not necessarily vigorous ones.

Frequent walks might be sufficient for alertness and physical well-being. As a Ma'at member, of course, drinking of alcohol, using drugs (except those prescribed by qualified medical doctors and in the exact dosage and for the period prescribed), and smoking cigarettes are already taboos.

These taboos, combined with a clean heart, clean thoughts, clean living, adequate

rest, plus appropriate ante-natal attention, cannot fail to provide the ideal womb (or home) atmosphere for the baby fetus to blossom.

Form the habit of talking to your baby in your womb. Start to prepare the baby for the hard realities of life outside the womb. Tell the baby it is coming to the world to conquer and to achieve. Promise the baby the rainbow of your means, ambition and beyond.

Give it your love and endearment. Your baby will start to kick and warm up to the optimistic and positive aura you are creating around it, from about half way through the pregnancy. Enjoy it. Tell it not to turn your womb into a football field but to have a good time all the same.

Don't carry your pregnancy as if it is a burden. It is the most beautiful experience in a woman's life and nature rewards her with radiance and enhanced femininity. Flout this; carry it with pride and elegance because the world belongs to you. Without you, human evolution would come to an end. Vibrate lively and happy aura all the time. Don't allow yourself to be angry because this poison's your system and contaminates your baby.

Protect yourself against the cold or the mid-day sun and heat. Don't go out late at night or in darkness, or to strange places. Avoid being by yourself too often if you can help it. Don't allow people you suspect to have negative aura or unwholesome character step across your legs.

Anticipate their moves and clear your legs from their paths. If they step across your legs before you can withdraw them, find a place to go and spit immediately. If you behold an objectionable sight or deformity of any sort, pinch your stomach. That is to tell your womb to ignore the unsavory sight and take nothing from it.

Protect your child by tying an object such as a small pebble or stone to your dress or by wearing a stoned finger-ring, or stoned earrings, or a stoned broach, or a stoned hairpin. This is to stonewall all possible evil known and unknown against your person and child.

Take advantage of professional antenatal care, to pre-empt and protect yourself against possible child birth complications. For a woman having her first baby, for instance, it is important to know in advance if her pelvis is in a sufficiently efficient state to allow the free delivery of her baby. If not, arrangements for caesarean delivery could be put in place well in advance of the delivery.

It is important too, particularly from the seventh month of pregnancy, for the baby to be head-down in the womb to ensure easy delivery. The head position of the baby can be corrected through gentle and gradual weekly antenatal massaging sessions.

The massaging required is different from those available at beauty salons and is best performed

by specially trained midwives. Many African grandmothers have a natural knack for and are adept at this job.

African mothers can usually tell the sex of their unborn child from about the tenth week of pregnancy. When a mother to be begins to eat well and more often from the tenth week of pregnancy, the chances are that she is going to have a male child. The female child tends to

require less food, and therefore makes fewer demands on the mother than the male child who needs all the food it can get for the formation of its relatively bigger bone's and body.

Generally, sexual activities during pregnancy are dangerous and unhealthy for the fetus. African husbands, as a rule, do not bother their pregnant wives but they probably can afford this because they often have several wives.

Since the emotional needs of the woman do not necessarily diminish during pregnancy, serious caution is advised against unnecessary and too vigorous excitation. Under no circumstances must anyone hit a woman, let alone for a husband to hit his pregnant wife.

A slap on a pregnant woman's ear could deafen her unborn child. A punch on the face could produce a blind baby, and a kick on the groin could lead to abortion or disablement.

Every child regardless of gender is a jewel to the African and all children are equal before our eyes. Every birth therefore calls for a special celebration.

There are variations in ritual methods and elements used between ethnic groups in Africa. For instance, while kola-nuts are used to welcome guests in parts of West Africa, other parts use it to reveal bereavement.

The Ma'at's format is only to emphasize a universal norm for Blacks world-wide. Africans with alternative spiritual elements are to continue to use these and the names they call the respective ceremonies in their individual cultures and traditions for applicable Ma'at ceremonies.

The Week Before Child Birth
This ceremony is known as EBO (meaning to clear all obstacles)

A week before the anticipated arrival of the bundle of joy, (it does not matter if the timing is off by a few days, as long as it is genuinely assessed), the entire home the baby is coming to, including the baby's crib, should be given physical and spiritual cleansing.

The physical entails the kind of thoroughness that leaves no part of the home unattended to. The spiritual aspect is to fill the home with fresh flowers and flowery aroma. Tropical flowers preferred where possible to bring sunshine and warmth into the home. Mother to be then makes deep wishes on a coin placed in an open palm (to actually talk to the coin, and demand specific actions).

Close the coin in the palm, circle the head with the closed fist containing the coin, seven

times, and throw it where it can be picked up by passers-by. Best to do it in the evening. It can be done from any situation, including moving train or car. This is paying dues to pacify all known and unknown negative sources.

Three Days Before Child Birth
This is known as AZINII (meaning loving).
If the father to be is not already doing so, he should take on the responsibility of bathing his pregnant wife to reinforce intimacy, love, oneness, and sharing. The baby will cozy up in response to the mother's chemical reaction to her husband's care and attention.

During Labour
This is known as MBI (meaning pillar or tree of strength)

Some husbands may be too squeamish to watch childbirth but wherever possible, the Ma'at recommends that the husband stays close to help and to experience firsthand, the birth of his child, to the limit of the regulations of the delivery clinic's authorities. There is something magical and special, (almost impossible to put in words), between a wife and husband, when the wife is experiencing acute labour pains and cursing the husband for causing the problems.

And the husband is holding on to her hands lovingly, soothing her with kind words, showing that he is suffering the pains too and that he cares very much for her. Nothing else in human experience is as exhilarating and touching.

The support of the husband would give her the energy and courage she needs to push the baby out at the crucial time.

Three Days After Child Birth
This is known as AKOSE N'DAIYE (meaning to thank our ancestors)

In typical African tradition, three days after the child is born, an open house is declared for close family members and friends. With modern trends, when mother and child may or may not return home immediately after delivery, Ma'at recommends that the open house

should hold three days after the baby is brought home.

A senior member of the family of the parents of the child uses the occasion to

educate the parents on what the taboos of the extended family are. In some families, pork is not eaten or certain colours are not worn.

There might be strong family traditions too to observe or teach the child by the parents because of certain circumstances of birth.

The other purpose of the open house is for family members, neighbours, friends, and the Ma'at community, to drop in, in their own time during the day, to fuss over the mother and child, give them unique baby care gifts, and openly rejoice with the family.

Other close relatives and friends may have been visiting before the open house day, to render

one domestic assistance or another. For example, grandmothers, sisters, friends, and neighbours, may have been taking turns to baby sit and so on. This should continue and does not distract from the significance of the open house day, when family and friends fill the

house with gifts and joy for the baby and parents.

Of course, there will be plenty of greeting cards too. Family of the baby is to provide fruits for guests, particularly children of immediate neighbours and children accompanying parents to the open house. Guests are free to sing, dance and fill the house with joy on the occasion.

Naming Ceremony
Known as IBA-AFA
The naming ceremony is on the seventh day after birth. With hospital delays, the date could be counted from the day the child arrives home, unless the family wants to do it in the baby's absence, which is acceptable but not advised.

The day before the naming ceremony, the mother braids her hair in rich elegant fashion to enhance her beauty and eminence as mother supreme, in celebration of her successful delivery. The husband gets a haircut and careful grooming to demonstrate discipline and readiness to be a virtuous father to his child.

On the morning of the naming ceremony day, just before sunrise, mother and child come out of the house to receive showers of blessings, (this is known as AMEFE). It is simulated by members of the household, neighbours, family and friends, who throw water on to the roof of the

house to run down the roof like rain drops, on the mother and child standing at the receiving edge of the roof.

If the weather is too cold for this, the ceremony should not be overdone. It should be brisk and business like to prevent the baby (who should be well wrapped up and protected against the weather anyway), from catching cold. In the process of receiving the showers of blessings, if rain actually begins to fall, this is considered additional good omen for the child and the family.

The actual naming ceremony could be any time of the day. The parents of the baby wear African outfits. Items required for the ceremony are:

• Clean (drinking) water
• Palm oil (unrefined vegetable oil will do if palm oil is not readily

available but palm oil is preferred
• Honey
• Salt
• Kola nuts
• Bitter cola
• Alligator pepper
All of these are to be displayed on a table centrally located in the reception hall and covered with material in African motif. The oldest person at the ceremony, a diviner, seer, or Baba from the Ma'at, pours libation with squirts of water from a glass, inviting the Eternal Spirit and our ancestors, to partake, support and bless, the ceremony. He then sings an impromptu dirge in praise of motherhood.

The mother figure of the occasion, the Nana, from Ma'at, or any other senior female, gets up to respond with her own spontaneous verse emphasizing that “one hand cannot wash itself clean. It takes two hands to make a good job of it.”

After her song, she moves to the display table, takes a tiny bit, (next to nothing really), from each of the ceremonial items, (starting with the water, with the tip of a finger), and passes them one at a time into the mouth of the new baby.

Of course, the baby is likely to resent this bitterly with a bawl, which is a good sign of the baby's

ability to show emotions when occasions demand it. Bottled up emotions often lead to unfortunate consequences and African families encourage their siblings to open up and express themselves when in pain, to attract timely help. If the baby takes it all calmly, it is an indication of the baby's strength of will that could be called upon in his or her uncertain journey through life.

All the items of the ceremony are natural elements and the taste factor is to ground the child, family, and guests, in the properties of the elements, and bond the extended family together. Water has no enemy.

Palm oil oils the wheels of life. Honey is the sweetener of life and health elixir. Salt is life purifier and seasoning, used in moderation. Kola nuts are for long life and provide links with our

ancestors and traditions. Alligator pepper is therapeutic, and therefore enlivens, and Bitter kola, reminds us that life could be sweet and bitter.

After the baby has been gently cajoled to taste all the items one after the other, the mother performs her taste in measures under her control. This is followed by the baby's father and then the guests, (everyone, starting with the water), one item at a time, allowing elders to satisfy themselves first. Requirements are picked up with the tip of a finger, (symbolically if preferred), and in the case of salt, for instance, could be just one or no grain.

The father then gets up from seat to give his child a name, which is received with enthusiastic applause. Because the name is the primary one for the child throughout life, the father takes time to explain why he chose the name, what it means and what he expects it to do for

the child. The audience would warmly receive all of these.

The mother is next to provide a name for her child and is expected to explain the meaning and significance of her choice of name to a warm applause.

Grandparents on both sides of the family, grandfathers first, then take turns to name the child and give reasons for the names they have chosen. Uncles, Aunts, relatives, and friends, who feel so inclined, follow them.

Every name is expected to be explained, at least, in terms of the provider's expectations for the child's development and future. All the names and explanations given should be properly documented or recorded, to be preserved for the child's future inspiration and reference.

Normal party (music and dancing) follows the naming session, and while refreshments, food, etc., are being served, the guests take turns individually to go and greet the mother and child and present them with cash and other gifts, regardless of whether they have presented

gifts previously.
The purpose of the cash and gifts is to ensure reasonable provisions for the child's welfare and assure the family of the support, co-operation, and love, of its extended family. No African child or person is expected to be alone and without a family in this world. Our legacy is to be each other's best friend and helper, regardless of blood relationship, and this is the basic cosmology of the Ma'at.

Male Circumcision And Ceremony
This is known as IKOLA
Circumcision of the male child is strongly recommended for health reasons and is carried out 21 days after birth. It should be performed by qualified medical personnel, or in a reputable medical facility to avoid complications.

Some of the child's blood from the circumcision operation is collected with or allowed to drop (just a few drops), neatly on a clean piece of white cloth, or unused handkerchief, and kept, (preserved) specially, by the child's parent. Close female relatives, female Ma'at members,

and female friends of the couple, are invited home to share in the pain of the operation, and the joy of its potential healing success. This is the ladies day with the young man.

They use the opportunity of the gathering to demonstrate solidarity with the mother and child, singing, clapping and playing the shekere, (beaded laced gourds). Refreshments are, fruits, fruit juices and vegetables.

Each guest takes turn to greet the child who is specially dressed up and cushioned in his crib to receive the fussing and attention on the occasion.

Growing Up
Before the child takes first walking steps, which usually is within the first twelve months of birth, close attention of the mother to the child's needs is critical. The child would need help in learning to sit, crawl, stand, and eventually walk, with strong prospects of hurts and falls. If the mother has to work, every free period she has must be spent in the company of the child, regardless of the quality of nursing assistance she might be getting from grandmothers, aunts,

neighbours, friends and paid help.
The greatest needs of the child in early years are immunization against a variety of childhood diseases, and balanced nutritious diets about which details are obtainable from the Ma'at herbal clinics and health farms.

From about the age of two and a half years, the child becomes acutely sensitive to activities around him or her. The child begins to feel the need to be independent, to use the toilet with minimal help, feed self, put on electric light switches, television sets, etc.

They need to be closely guided and protected against the dangers of hot pressing irons, electric plugs in wall sockets, not switching water taps off after use, not replacing telephone receivers properly, playing with sharp edged tools and so on.

They begin to form impressions from this age too, so parents need to be extra sensitive and to gently control the child's pranks and possible negative influences from television and other sources. A child born in an environment of war is likely to grow up, thinking that killing another human being is no big deal nor is it evil.

The child born in the period of acute economic depression such as we are experiencing right now world-wide, is likely to believe that cheating, lying, and cutting corners in deals, are the only ways to survive. It is to protect, guide, and educate the child, against such negative influences that parents are expected to provide them with quality time.

Parents must strive to be their children's role models through examples of hard work, and demonstration of honesty and other virtues. The parents must never be caught quarrelling with each other or anyone else, by the child, and must create opportunities regularly to socialize as a family, by going out together to parks, theatres, concerts, shopping, exhibitions, and even work places, when possible.

The most important moral philosophy of Ma'at is honesty and truth. The entire moral fabric of Ma'at is built on the basic idea of honesty and truth, and the starting point for inculcating these virtues in our children is in the home, and from very early age.

Parents must never stop insisting on their children being truthful and honest always,

because Ma'at children or members must never lie, no matter the circumstance. To be a Ma'at member means to be honest and truthful. Therefore, when one lies and or is dishonest, one is denouncing one's membership of the Ma'at. This is one of the worst offences in the Ma'at.

Birthday parties are a must for the growing child because of the opportunity they provide the child to mix and relate with other children. Such parties also help observant parents to spot early

deviant or anti-social behaviours in their child and to begin to correct these before it is too late.

AT AGE FIVE
Known as ODUN MARUN
At the age of five, the African family expects the child to prove that he or she is ready to begin to take on some responsibilities.The five year old African male child might surprise his parents by delivering a rabbit or other small animals of his hunt, to prove that he is growing up strong and reliable.

These days, opportunities to hunt down animals in urban centres are rare but five-year-old children can present their parents with work of art or craft that they have quietly and diligently spent time and thought to execute.

In the alternative, the child might decide to take on the sole responsibility of cleaning the house, washing the dishes, or waiting on every member of the family on that joyful day.

Later in the day, to show appreciation for their child's conscientiousness or feat, the parents in turn surprise the child with a secretly planned lavish gift and birthday party. A gift that helps

advance the child's demonstrated career interest, (such as a piano, tennis racket, trumpet, scientific instruments etc), might not be out of place on this occasion.

At Age 11-13
Known as EBUN
One of the birthdays between ages 11 and 13 years is used to gather more adults than youths, unlike other birthday parties for children that tend to feature more youths than adults. This special occasion is called EBUN and it offers the opportunity to strongly widen, guide

and strengthen career horizons and encourage love for reading, staying in school, and taking special pride in our history and traditions.

All adults attending the party must bring a book or set of book gifts each, along with any African fashion gifts and career interest items possible. The books are expected to be about the history and traditions of Black people, and the specially demonstrated career interests of the birthday child. Better to co-ordinate book and career item gifts, with the parents of the child to avoid duplicating book titles and the other items.

At the party, libation is poured by Baba or the oldest person in attendance. Kola nuts, honey and bitter kola are freely served along with fruit juices. Each guest while presenting gifts, explains why the book or books were chosen, and what the books are expected to do for the child.

Finally, the mother presents her gifts followed by the father. Both are expected to make inspiring speeches, pointing out the child's good character traits and weaknesses, and how these could be improved upon.

They also emphasize their expectations and readiness to sacrifice to give the child the best possible future within their means. A special gift could be promised the child, (such as a trip from Diaspora to Africa or from one African country to another), if he or she passes

the next major examination at school in flying colours.

Rites Of Passage
Known as MALEZI (meaning nurturing)
In African societies, age group programs are considered vital for the sustenance of ethnic values, cultures, traditions, and for the grooming of youths for responsible adulthood. The youth enters the age group schemes through rites of passage activities designed to foster

the spirit of belonging, unique group identity and discipline.

Rites of passage ceremonies often involve pre-admission interviews to establish expectations, personal goals limitations, and areas requiring special training attention by the new entrant. No application is rejected because the scheme is compulsory for all children qualified by age in the community.

The children are taught special skills and drills, in preparation for their admission ceremonies, which usually require the children to turn out in neat, attractively designed, group identity uniforms and kits. They take oaths of allegiance, make pledges, show off learnt behaviours and skills, in solo or group acts of marching, drills, cultural displays, to entertain an audience made up largely of proud family members, friends, and an admiring public.

Teaching techniques emphasize group activities, workshops, discussions, lectures,

case-study sessions, out-door activities, including camping, retreats, and visits to public and other facilities of interest and or of historical importance.

The focus of all the activities is to root pupils in African traditional norms and cultures. The children are therefore taught some popular African languages, games, dances, etiquette, and

encouraged to imbibe African values, habits, fashion styles, and to take pride in their African heritage. Programmed visits to different African cities and countries are regularly arranged for members.

Periodic outings and festivals are staged (known as ODUN-EGBE festival), to show their parents and the public at large, the progress they are making as members of their groups. Each group has its code of conduct and regulations, special anthem, flag, mode of greeting, and other rituals that give the group a distinct personality and image.

Special clubs such as dance, choral, drama and cultural troupes, debating, literary and historical research activities, could have mixed male and female age group temporary joint memberships; otherwise, boys' and girls' groups are separated because of peculiar gender training requirements.

The boys' groups are handled mainly by adult male mentors who serve as surrogate father figures. The age group determines the emphasis placed on presentation, format and content of subjects.

The children are taught to respect and obey their parents and constituted authorities. To respect elders and show courtesy always. To be humble, hard working and helpful at home, and to take school education seriously.

They are encouraged not ever to contemplate dropping out of school because the consequences of such an action are grave and could mar or retard their progress in life. They are taught to acquire high school education and if possible graduate from or combine university

education with full-time careers in singing, sporting and similar careers so that they would be the best there are in their fields.

They are taught not to allow racism to dampen their spirits and enthusiasm to achieve and excel. They are told that there is a whole wide world of Blacks out there rooting for their success, therefore, their career opportunities can flower outside their exploitative environment if need be.

They are shown the negative effects of joining bad companies, indulging in anti-social habits, using drugs and alcohol. They are taught to control their emotions and passions, because there is a correct and legitimate time for everything.

They are taught how to relate to their parents, elders, and others in society, and how to take care of their wives, husbands, and children, in the future. All the children are taught the art of self-defence from very early age, regardless of gender. In Ma'at, boys are grouped

separately as follows:
Five To Ten Years Age Group
This is known as the EGBE-EWE GROUP
Their training emphasis is on keeping them busy and from mischief. Encouraging them to love school, learning, and reading. They play hard too and enjoy themselves but in a subtle educational way.

They are expected to design and execute special creative projects to be publicly displayed periodically to advertise their progress and inspire them to higher heights. The group usually adopts an African name or title that captures the essence of the group members' collective ambition.

Ten Plus To Eighteen Age Group
This is known as the EGBE-ODO GROUP
Apart from the emphasis on training, this age group forms itself into project committees to raise funds and execute public and community schemes that stamp their year's contributions on the social calendar of their society.

They might decide, for instance, to engage in the cleaning of a notoriously debased neighbourhood, or to beautify some parks or public places. They might want to help refurbish old peoples' homes, dig a well in a village that lacks adequate drinking water, plant trees to fight desert encroachment, build a community centre by voluntary labour, start a radio station or community newspaper.

There is no limit to the number and variety of projects the group can embark on each year, as long as the end results of their efforts improve the well-being of their immediate society and beneficiaries.

The group is to adopt an African name every year to capture the attributes of the group's planned public activities for the year. Thus, the society at large remembers every year's project by its special African name.

At the end of every year, the age group throws a 'come and see what our group achieved in our community this year, party.' The community elders, institutions, government agents and others use the opportunity to thank the group, award scholarships, make job offers, and other

assistance to help the children's careers along.
The girls' group are as follows:
IRUN-MGBEDE
Teenage female groups are called Irun-mgbede.
Principally, the groups prepare girls for womanhood. They have mainly female teachers, mentors and mother figures. The age group determines the emphasis placed on subject content and method of training.

Generally, the girls are taught how to grow up gracefully and as ladies, and how to comport themselves, particularly in public. Classes are conducted on how to sit with crossed thighs, talk to people in a variety of situations, walk with poise and smartly as well as how to dress for different occasions.

The girls are schooled in the rudiments of housekeeping, food preparation, methods of serving and other domestic chores. They are taught personal hygiene and body care, female health issues generally, and preparation for puberty.

The need to remain a virgin before marriage is emphasized as a virtue and great honour to the girl, her husband, her family, and the society at large, by strengthening moral values.

The Ma'at is totally against teenage pregnancy because it disgraces the family and creates serious problems for society and the young mother to be, whose career prospects, more often than not, gets abruptly terminated, forcing her to become a liability to society, herself, her child and her family.

The girls are taught how to prepare for marriage. Using the head and heart rather than the later alone in relationships, particularly when they are about to take the plunge into marriage.

The Ma'at favours marriage that takes place after the couple's university education, and if possible when both have assured professional or career prospects. The need not to rush into marriage is therefore emphasized in the Ma'at.

Long courtship does not imply forever. From two years up might be necessary time for the lovebirds and their families to investigate background and history of each other and establish compatibility potentials. Families with criminal or mental illness history, for instance, obviously would be a mismatch for the well brought up Ma'at damsel.

Once married, Ma'at members are expected to stay in that marriage. They must work hard at it to make it work. The importance of patience, tolerance and the need for give and take is emphasized in the Ma'at. Our girls are also taught what constitute proper relationships with their parents after marriage and with their husbands, in-laws and children in marriage.

Five To Ten Years Age Group
Known as EWE IRUN MGBEDE
The training emphasis for this group is on library use, reading, cultural activities, and visits to public institutions of interest, apart from the thorough grounding in African traditions and cultures.

They are expected to mount an exhibition of their works regularly to impress their parents and community about their developmental progress.

Ten Plus To Eighteen Years Age Group
Known as ODO IRUN MGBEDE
This group is expected to plan and execute at least once a year, the most exciting, colourful and uplifting cultural festival in the community. They co-opt the best in all the age groups, both male and female, into events, and try yearly to surpass previous one's in creativity, flair, packaging and so on.

Each Festival Is Given A Peculiar African Name For Historical Reference. It Is Supposed To Be

So Grand, Visitors Come From Far And Near To Be Part Of It, And Career Scouts And Sponsors Look Upon It As The Ultimate Market Place For Their Professional Hunt Each Year.

IVIE Festival
Precious Beads Festival
The Ma'at branch is to organize the IVIE festival every year to honour and help advance the careers of all the University or higher institutions' graduates (male and female), of the community during the year. Obviously, they would be assembled from far and near as long as

they have roots in the community or their parents reside there.

All graduates receive gifts, career advancement assistance, special commendations and awards from the Ma'at community. Special attention is drawn to those who, apart from receiving their degrees and diplomas, have won school awards, honours, achieved high marks, were

prefects, student union leaders, outstanding athletes, etc. Parents of all graduates are also honoured for giving the community such brilliant achievers, and our future, such great hopes.

****NAIWU OSAHON Hon. Khu Mkuu (Leader) World Pan-African Movement); Spiritual Prince of the African race; MSc. (Salford); Dip.M.S; G.I.P.M; Dip.I.A (Liv.); D. Inst. M; G. Inst. M; G.I.W.M; A.M.N.I.M. Poet, Author of the magnum opus: 'The end of knowledge'. One of the world's leading authors of children's books; Awarded; key to the city of Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Honourary Councilmanship, Memphis City Council; Honourary Citizenship, County of Shelby; Honourary Commissionership, County of Shelby, Tennessee; and a silver shield

trophy by Morehouse College, USA, for activities to unite and uplift the African race.

Naiwu Osahon: the Sage of the New World Order, renowned author, philosopher of science, mystique, leader of the world Pan-African Movement.****

Naiwu Osahon
Naiwu Osahon, © 2013

Naiwu Osahon renowned author, philosopher of science, mystique, leader of the world Pan-African Movement.

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