AMICHI, MY TOWN AND MY PRIDE; WHY AMICHI? – By Jonathan Chuks Umegwu
It is only a fool that denies his town.
What will it even take an individual to deny or not be proud of the land of his birth?
That notwithstanding, I can never be ashamed of my town because it remains my identity and pride. It is quite disheartening that many of our children overseas/whitemen countries find it so difficult to say ‘ I am from Amichi”. They prefer to say “ I am from Nnewi” or “I am from Nnewi-South”. It is seriously a slap on our faces as a town that many stoop so low as to call “Amichi” a village.
Amichi is a community in Nnewi-South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Amichi is typically a rural and agrarian society. Amichi is made up of four quarters namely: Okpala, Ezeudene, Afube and Ebenasaa derived from the medieval Okotu dynasty. It is located about 8 kilometers east of Nnewi along Nnewi-Akokwa-Okigwe Federal Highway. It is the most populous of the six communities making Ochi zone (Amichi, Osumenyi, Ekwulumili, Unubi, Azigbo and Akwaihedi) in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Amichi community is bounded to the North by Awka Etiti and Azigbo, to the East by Igbo-Ukwu and Ekwulumili, to the South by Osumenyi and Utuh and to the West by Nnewi. Apart from agriculture which is the people’s main occupation, the location of Amichi close to the commercial hub of Anambra State – Nnewi places it at advantage position to experience the spillover of business activities. A lot of small businesses have been springing up in Amichi thereby introducing stranger elements.
Educationally, there are both government and privately owned primary and secondary colleges providing education to the people of Amichi. On the religious front, Amichi is predominantly a Christian community. However, before the advent of Christianity in Amichi in 1911, the African Traditional Religion was the Religion of the people. Today, less than 3% of the populations are pagans.
Hard work and industrialization had gone as far as putting the name of Amichi at limelight as far as Nigeria history is concern. The history of Nigeria will and can never be complete without Amichi being mentioned. Some contributors to the greatness of Amichi today includes:
- Hon. Edwin Ume-Ezeoke CFR (September 8, 1935- August 1, 2011): He was a Nigerian politician and lawyer by profession. He served as a speaker, under the presidential system of Government, of the Nigerian House of Representatives during the Second Republic (1979-1983). He was once the National Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
- Chief Benjamin Atuchukwu in whose house the Biafra instrument of surrender that ended the Nigerian-Biafran civil war was handed over to the Federal troops. Thus, Amichi to me, should be Nigeria’s core historical land of peace, harmony, justice and conflict resolutions.
- Chief Mike Umeh, Umeozodinobi Amichi was the first vice president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). He devoted a good portion of his life in the promotion of football games and competitions in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.
Some Amichi philanthropists and industrialists in various sectors of Nigeria economy:
- Chief Chidi Anyaegbu (Okeiyi Amichi) MFR: He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chisco group. His transport group is one of the best in the whole of Nigeria.
In his quest to give back to his people, he runs an annual scholarship scheme for all the students of Amichi who falls within the qualifications stipulated for the grant. He also organizes an Annual free medical checkup.
- Chief Dr. Simon N. Okeke (Ochendo Amichi) OON, OFR: He is a pioneer, political and business leader. He was one of the founding fathers of the new Democratic Government in 1999 that transitioned from military rule. He was the first Executive chairman of the Nigerian Police Service commission (PSC) from the 28th November, 2001 to 27th Novemeber, 2006.
- Master Chibuna Ezeimo widely known as Funny Bone a popular standup comedian.
- Chief Goddy Ezike (aka Kharki no bi leather) of blessed memory (May his soul rest in peace, Amen).
- Chief Akai Egwuonwu: He is the CEO of Stine industries Ltd ( Anambra rice). The interesting part is that his factory is sited and located in Amichi.
- Chief Eric Umeofia: He is the Chief Executive officer of Erisco Foods Limited.
These men are not just good at being popular in Nigeria rather they are always at their best to see to the welfare of Amichians.
Amichi is just a sweet place to be that is why our people living in the urban areas never seize from visiting home especially during the festive periods. There are many activities to keep you busy and happy as far as you are at home. Talk of the Amichi Youth Day and Carnival on 1st January of every year, the mmonwu parading on every 25th December.
The Igwe’s New yam festival that takes place every 2nd January is one of the best time in Amichi because it comes with a special aura attracting different top government officials to Amichi. Also, the Asala festival celebrated every 10 years is one of the most anticipated events in Amichi. This particular event attracts Amichi sons and daughters from around the world. The most interesting part of the event is the “cow parading ceremony”. It is the most colorful part of the festival.
Following the recent development; as the Anambra Progressives Union move to take 25,000 youths off the labour market as they have laid the foundation for the construction of Industrial city and Inland Bonded Terminal in Eziama Amichi.
Amichi is not just a place rather it is a land blessed by God. Though evil thrives in every town but the gods of our land never fails to expose the evil perpetrators in the land.
Amichi remains my town and I am always proud of her at all times and at all places.
Hence, AMICHI MY TOWN, MY PRIDE.