Chief Kachi Igbojionu
By Ezioma Anosike
Amoize: What do you do for a living?
Chief Kachi Igbojionu: I am a general manager of a restaurant chain in Dallas/Fort worth Texas.
Amoize: How did you become the chairman of Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Ruler in DFW?
Chief K. Igbojionu: I was the founding general secretary for over five years under the chairmanship of Chief Sam Nwankwo from February 10, 2005 to December 4, 2010. Initially, I did not really want to run but after reflecting on the issues that needs to be done, I decided to enter into the race. It was a tough campaign, a vote means a lot. I won based on: (1) my work ethics and (2) I know the issues facing the council plus some council members know that I am a- no nonsense person.
Amoize: What motivated the founders to create Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers?
Chief K. Igbojionu: I have to thank you for this question because it is an important one. My people said that “onye ajuju anaghi efu uzo”, which could translate, he who asks for direction never gets lost. Several years ago, a good number of our people go about wearing red caps and some even parade themselves as titled men. You know, to be a title holder in Nigerian society is not a thing of joke. Traditional holders are custodians of tradition and culture of our people. Here in the Dallas –Fort Worth metroplex, some concerned title holders felt that our cultural heritage must be protected especially in a foreign land such as this place called America. If we do not protect the culture, what can we hand over to our children? It was at this point, sometime in late 2004 that myself, Chief Kachi Igbojionu, Chief Sam Nwankwo, Nze Chinasa Madumere and others began to brain storm on how to protect our culture in this area.
Amoize: Can you describe your team that assists you from day to day with running Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers in the DFW?
Chief K. Igbojionu: As God would have it, I could not ask for a better team than what I have. Starting with the vice chairman to the provost, these people are already community leaders of their own parochial organizations. When I say leaders, I mean presidents or experienced general secretary, etc. Some of them who did not even vote for me or supported me during the campaign are now my strong supporters and team players. But the most interesting thing is that we all have the interest of the council at heart. They also have enormous respect for the chairman position.
Amoize: What would you describe your main role to be as the chairman of the Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers in DFW?
Chief K. Igbojionu: The main role is to keep Igbo cultural heritage alive, not to allow it to erode because we are in a foreign land. Other groups, like the Latinos, Asians and the Jewish communities engage in similar efforts to preserve their heritage. The council strongly believes that this is just another medium by which we can educate and teach our children and, of course others who may wish to learn about our cultures and traditions.
Amoize: How accessible do you make yourself to Council members? Do you get a lot of correspondence, emails or questions?
Chief K. Igbojionu: Yes, I am very accessible. The council has a forum/email address. We also have a post office box, and we are in the process of putting up a website.
Amoize: At the end of your term as the chairman of the council, how would you want the Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers members to remember your regime as the chairman?
Chief K. Igbojionu: I would like to be remembered as one who had a strong sense of justice and fairness. I want to be remembered as one who never allowed irregularities of any sort. As among those who brought integrity and respect to the council.
Amozie: What plans do you have for life “after” Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers as chairman?
Chief K. Igbojionu: It is not going to be about my plans rather what the community wants me to do either her in the US or in Nigeria.
Amoize: Can you tell me more about what Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers does?
Chief K. Igbojionu: The Council of Chiefs is set up to promote the Culture and tradition of the Igbo People. We are exploring the possibilities of legally mediating in personal and families squabbles.
Amoize: What is the best piece of advice you ever received from the past chairman?
Chief K. Igbojionu: Chief Sam Nwankwo, the past chairman, told me from the onset to be “myself” but to be more flexible because he knows I can be a hard nut sometimes. He also informed me to know that the Igbo council is like the United Nations- people from different cultural backgrounds, the South East region of Nigeria.
Amoize: What advice would you give to the next chairman of Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers?
Chief K. Igbojionu: Not to compromise the integrity of the council, to allow the rule of law to prevail in all circumstances, bearing our culture and tradition in mind at all times.
Amoize: Are you pleased with the growth the Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers has achieved over the past year?
Chief K. Igbojionu: So far, I am pleased with the things we have accomplished. The membership has grown tremendously with the help of the admissions committee. The first assignment I did was to get the non-profit status with the State of Texas. The council Attorney did a good job. Council members have council I.D. cards. On August 6, 2011, the council had its first Iriji organized by the two Ezes we have; Eze Walter Ekwu and Eze Abakwe. It was fun.
Amoize: Will your Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers focus exclusively here in Dallas, or are there plans to expand into other states?
Chief K. Igbojionu: It is not a Dallas, thing. We have branches in other cities that are forming.
Amoize: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk to you, it was a pleasure to learn more about Igbo Council of Chiefs & Traditional Rulers.