I like the story behind the song “going back to my roots” by the late Reggae Musician, Lucky Dube of South Africa, because it is not only revealing, symbolic but also equally relevant to our present day realities. It is a story of one that went to a party ostensibly to celebrate or unwind, but gets disappointed eventually! Why? Because the “music played was not good for a Rasta man” therefore,  his decision to go back to his roots; where for sure, he is at home with the Lyrics, Symbols, sounds and rhythms of the music.

I find this song relevant to the present day reality of the Kumap (Amo) persona, who over the years, has been groping in the dark within the global political, economic, cultural and social landscape in Nigeria without any clear cut focus or any concrete achievements. This is because he is perhaps not conversant with the global music and dance steps in spite of all the costly attempts of integrating into the global environment: hence, the attempts at retracing steps back home! Perhaps it is these attempts that gave rise to the formation in the past of many interest groups and or associations of many  colours and structures all aimed at not only trying to discover “where the rain began to beat us”, but equally aimed at self-realization and self actualization. In addition, this explains avalanche of associations such as the Amo National Students Association (AMONSA) Amo Students Union (ASU),



 Amo National Youth Movement (ANYM) and the moribund  Amo National Development Association (AMONDA) to the patriotic (?) attempts and efforts by the present youths to not only come back home, but unearth some basic and fundamental truths on the true identity, nature and character of the Kumap person. Moreover, this is encapsulated in the formation of the Amo National Youth Association (AMONYA) with a functional executive, visible and viable constitution and other structures; supported by very active followers. This may be the watershed or the turning point in our aimless journey in the past towards our collective aspirations, self-realization and self-actualization. Alternatively, perhaps the time has come for us to realize our worth, value, our true orientation and identity. One prays and hopes that the time has actually come when some of us will no longer be ashamed, embarrassed or intimidated to be identified with this “tiny” insignificant” ethnic group in this “insignificant” corner of the world! That perhaps equally explains why our children and some of us now bear names like Adaa, Adinlanzu, Alanza, Amereh, Makilak, Menseh, Zazzina amongst a host of others; unlike in the past were names like Daniel, David, Martins, Simon, Samuel were the order of the day. These and many other happenings are welcomed developments and the right steps in our journey back home. We must therefore think and act well in order to get things aright. And I believe, we must begin with our name, because a name, like a Language not only  serves as a means of identity, defines who or what one is but  by and large, influences one’s behaviours and perspectives.


We must equally deliberately start interrogating, questioning, challenging and analyzing the word “Amo” as the means of our identity.

For instance, how original or “indigenous” is it? Has it been corrupted by the effects of colonization, the jihad’s expansionist adventure or affected by the influence of the Hausa hegemony? These and many other questions are very germane if our desire for self-realization is to make any meaning.

Personally, I am not comfortable with the word Amo.  If the Hausa man is called and identified as “Bahaushe” (singular) or Hausawa (plural) and speaks Hausa (Language). And if the Ibo man identified as Ibo (plural/singular) and speaks Igbo (Language), the Bujiman is called Onoboze/plural and singular) and speaks Anoboze (Language) while the Englishman is identified by his origin as either British, Irish and speaks English (Language) why would the word “Amo” be used for the man and the Language? To me, it is lexically and semantically inconsistent, illogical, irreconcilable, provocative and annoying to refer to one as “Amo” (the person) who speaks Amo (the Language) if this “anomaly” is taken as given, has then do we reconcile these expressions in the same Language? We all know that reference is made to the person as Kumap (singular) or Amap (plural) who speaks Timap (Language) as in the following sentences:

1.       Meng Kumap – ari – I am Kumap (Person/Singular)

2.       Arik amap – ari – we are Amap (person/plural) or,

3.       In din belu Timap – ari – I speak Timap (singular/Language)

4.       Ti din belu Timap – ari – We speak Timap (pluaral/Language)

I believe the above examples sound more logical, lexically correct and even semantically accepted. Perhaps we, over the years, have subjected ourselves to the fruitless attempts at translating Language or ourselves to the rest of the world, hence the reasons for being where we are in all spheres of life. However, the question is, for what purpose are we attempting this translation and in whose interest? Like Lucky Dube, must go back home, because the music played by the world dynamics is not good for us politically, economically and culturally. Kimap Kirum!  Liwu Lirum!!