Why Nnewi Indigenes Are Considered Smartest In Nigeria – A Legend
Legend has it that there was this Nnewi priest in the early 1900’s who was sent to a community in a neighbouring town as a missionary with the CMS.
On getting to this egalitarian society, he realized to his consternation that they are a crafty and people and was bereft of any ideas on how best to handle their numerous inadequacies as Christians. All his initial efforts to get them embrace the good Christian virtues as enshrined in the Bible proved meaningless.
Then on a fateful Sunday during the service, he mounted the wooden pulpit to preach. After the prayer of illumination, he cleared his voice.
“Dear people of God, I have a question for you. Should I go on?” He asked his congregation.
“Yes.o.o.o.o.o!” They reeled out their collective answer.
“Alright.” He cleared his voice once again and parted his Moses’ beards with a mischievous grin on his face.
“Is there anyone here who knows what topic I’m going to preach on?”
The answer of “No.o.o.o.o.o.o!” rented the air inside the stuffy church auditorium of thatched roof.
“Thank God. As none of you has an idea of what I’m about to preach on, let me descend from the pulpit.” And with that, he came down from the pulpit without preaching the sermon.
The following Sunday, the members of this Nnewi priest’ church converged at the church again to listen to the word of God. To their chagrin, their resident priest repeated his question of last week again. To the reoccurring question, some answered yes while some answered no. These people had held meeting among themselves to answer with the two variables as the smart people that they were.
To their chagrin, their resident priest asked those who answered in the affirmative to tell those whose answer was nay. He descended from the pulpit once again without preaching the sermon. The shock on everyone’s face was palpable. But he ignored them even as this wicked glint shone out of his eyes.
Then come the third Sunday, this Nnewi-born resident priest mounted the pulpit again and started with his audacious question. No one could say a word in answer.
“Now that you have accepted that I know the topic of today’s sermon more than you do, will you from this day onward accept me as your spiritual leader and desist from preaching from the pews while the sermon is going on?”
They all chorused their loyalty while nodding their heads in agreement.
This is in celebration of Ndi Nnewi! Anaedo amaka! Daalunu!