Nkata Umu Ibe is an initiative of Centre for Memories, a monthly speaker series that bring distinguished speakers to discuss critical issues that affect Ndigbo and how to move the South East region forward, as well as to deepen conversations on the issues around Igbo values, heritage and the legacies of old. It also serves as a point of intersection between generations and a mentoring ground for younger ones. The Centre for Memories has held a total of 24 sessions of Nkata Umu Ibe since May 2018 when it first started and has had such notable speakers like Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Prof. Okey Ndibe, Dike Chukwumerije, Yvonne Mbanefo, Chika Oduah, Chika Unigwe among others. The topics cut across issues of governance, servant leadership, Igbos in a digital economy, reinventing enterprise in Igboland, controlling the prevailing narrative, building resilient Igbo families for the 21st century, mentoring the future generation, succession in business among other very important/pressing topics. In August 2019, Nkata Umu Ibe hosted Philip Effiong Jr, a professor of History at the Michigan State University and the son of late Philip Effiong, who was the Army Chief of Staff during the Biafra War and who was handed the difficult and unenviable task of surrendering to the Federal troops on January 15, 1970, after Ojukwu went into exile. His moving lecture was on: Post-Biafra: Healing and Reclaiming Our Shared Ties.
Nkata Umu Ibe has helped to shed light on issues of importance to the Igbo struggle and has inspired individuals and groups to think of solutions to problems and how things could be done differently to move Alaigbo forward.
From 2018 till date, The Centre has held the following editions of Nkata Umuibe:
In February 2019, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, Partner at IX Consult, CEO of Infographics Nigeria LTD and former Country Manager, Microsoft West Africa, gave an inspiring and uplifting lecture on the topic: Onye Kwe Chi Ya Ekwe: Igbos in a Digital Economy. We had a total of 196 guests in attendance.
• In March 2019, our speaker Ike Chioke, the Group Managing Director of Afrinvest, spoke on how Igbos can modify or reinvent the Imu Ahia and other traditional Igbo Entrepreneurial Models for the 21st century. His topic was Mkpuru Onye Kuru: Reinventing Enterprise N’ala Igbo and we had a total of 177 guests.
• Our speaker for the month of April was the erudite Dr Joe Abah, CEO of DAI Nigeria, and he delivered a thought-provoking lecture on the topic: Oha Nwe Eze: Governance Matters. There were 198 guests in attendance.
• The Speaker for May Nkata Umu Ibe was Ferdinand Agu and he gave an outstanding delivery on the topic, Nke M Ji Ka: Harnessing Our Human Capital. We had 139 guests.
• June: We had our first female speaker for the year, Chi-Chi Aniagolu-Okoye, the Country Director of WaterAid. She spoke on the topic: Njikoka: Rebuilding Resilient Igbo Families for the 21st Century. The event attracted 170 guests.
• July: the former Minister of Information, Frank Nweke Jr gave an insightful lecture on the question of Igbo leadership in Nigeria, under the topic: Maka Oganiru: Igbo Renaissance and the Leadership Question. 170 guests attended.
• The topic for August Nkata Umu Ibe was Ikwu Ka na Nne: Post-Biafra Healing and Reclaiming Our Shared Ties, a moving and inspiring lecture delivered by Prof. Philip Effiong Jr, Professor of History at the Michigan State University. Prof. Effiong is also the son of Ojukwu’s Second in Command during the Nigerian-Biafran War. 232 people were in attendance
• September: Dr Chikwe Ihekwazu, The DG of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control spoke on the very important issue of education under the topic, Ako na Uche: The Education Delusion. This lecture attracted 134 guests.
• October: Uche Onwuamaegbu-Ugwu, the CEO of Edufun Techniks and the coach of the five female students from the Regina Pacis College, Onitsha who won the World Technovation Challenge in Silicon Valley, USA in 2018, took the Nkata Stage to talk on the very important issue of mentorship. The topic was: Ozuzu na Nhazi Ndi Echi ga-Adi N’Aka: Mentoring the Youths to Greatness. Her inspiring lecture drew 131 attendees.
• November: We had the privilege of hosting the phenomenal Chika Unigwe, Multi-award Winning Author and Professor of Creative Writing at the Emory University, USA as she delivered a rousing lecture titled: Amamihe: Owning (And Controlling) Our Narratives. 292 guests attended.
• December: The speaker for December 2019 Nkata Umu Ibe was Chidi Ajaere, the Chairman of GIGM (Formerly known as God is Good Motors). His topic, Ikemefuna: Passing the Baton for Posterity, highlighted the issue of succession N’Alaigbo and how to prepare the future generation to take over family businesses. This event attracted a total of 203 guests.
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