Igbo Mediators of Yahweh Culture of Life
by Philip Chidi Njemanze
Book Venture Publishing

"There I was told by Our Lord to research on the materials on abortion and contraception in Africa and around the world."

The Igbo are an ethnic group in Nigeria, and archaeological evidence suggests their culture goes back thousands of years. Njemanze presents some aspects of the language of these people throughout the book in an interesting glimpse into this culture, which may not be widely known in European and American societies.

The primary thesis of Njemanze’s book is that abortion, including contraception, which he defines as a type of abortion, is wrong under any circumstance and for any reason. He presents a unique interpretation of biblical passages that he feels support these sentiments of being specifically anti-abortion. Beginning with the story of Adam and Eve, he provocatively suggests that the original sin was that of abortion/contraception and that by engaging in this practice, “we offer our children to the devil.” Strong and emotive statements like this one are used throughout in an attempt to win over the reader to the author’s particular line of thinking. Njemanze seeks to convince his audience even further by citing potential consequences, such as natural disasters and poverty, that he believes are outcomes of abortion and contraception. This use of choice and consequence makes for an interesting case and serves to convince readers of the strength of Njemanze’s convictions.

Most of the discussion about contraception takes an extremely novel approach to the subject by focusing on the copper intrauterine device (IUD), which Njemanze points out appears similar to the serpent in the tree of the Garden of Eden. He also asserts that this kills more children than any other method of abortion. More broadly, Njemanze states that the “control of follicular maturation otherwise known as fertility control is at the centre of the conflict between God, humankind, and satan.”

While some of the author’s points may not be that well-known or at least commonly debated, Njemanze does weigh in on one that has been frequently discussed for some time within several African societies: namely, that vaccines are used to sterilize the African people and, in particular, the vaccines for tetanus, HPV, polio, meningitis, and malaria. The author’s reasoning for this belief is the inclusion of some common solvents, which are included in these vaccines, and his claims that human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is included in other vaccines, an ingredient he suggests is an antibody to prevent pregnancy. Njemanze does a good job of listing these individual components and describing other potential uses to elaborate on why he believes this, as well as presenting his reasons in a numerical list to elaborate on why the vaccines may not be necessary.

Another intriguing idea that the author presents is that the Igbo people are those of ancient Israel, Greece, and Rome, including the Jews in the Bible. As Njemanze says, “What is important is that the people of Ancient Israel are Igbo! This is the truth and a fact very few seriously minded intellectuals can dispute based on science.” He also suggests that many religious leaders are Igbo, regardless of skin color, including the popes of the Catholic Church. The reasons for this are the genetic lineages through the male Igbo line. He presents how passages of the Bible should be interpreted through the language of the Igbo, and these interpretations provide new meanings. The author's use of language and the breaking down of the components of Igbo words is quite illuminating.

The book also makes good use of illustrations, which are helpful in visualizing Njemanze’s arguments. He places these throughout the text to help demonstrate the cases he is making. This is particularly helpful when he is describing correlations and other data analyses, which he also discusses in the text. These images really bring to life the points he is making. The images towards the end of the book are interesting, as well, showing pieces from archaeological history and describing their relevance to the Igbo in both English and the Igbo language. These images are essentially a fascinating glimpse into a historical museum.

Njemanze’s work also includes some helpful information about the Igbo language, a feature which is sure to prove interesting to language lovers. Understanding this language in the context of the Bible is particularly intriguing, as it gives a non-traditional interpretation to biblical texts. For instance, the way the Igbo language describes a neighbor as one who is close to one’s heart certainly gives a new context to the way Jesus presented his ideas of loving one’s neighbor. Information about the language may be particularly intriguing to people who have no prior experience with it, and one of Njemanze’s strengths is that he makes these words and interpretations clear.

The Igbo have a long and unique history. Njemanze gives readers a fascinating peek into this history, their ideas, and their culture in this multifaceted book. With a religious overtone and illustrative images, combined with insights into the language, Njemanze gives his readers much to think about.

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