In this present day Africa where most things that are our trademark historically, economically, socially and culturally are getting eroded, it is refreshing to see people, especially young people that insist on being Africans- acknowledging the continents richness in spirituality, culture and other ways that pay homage to their rich roots.
Based in Eastern Nigeria, Precious Amarachi-Ugo a cultural enthusiast and explorer seeks to remind Africans of who we were, and what we can be. Her mission reads like the Ghanaian phrase SANKOFA which is a call for us to return to our roots. Amarachi-Ugo believes this is the path through which Africa and indeed Africans can be free again, in body, mind and spirit. We do too, and also love her love for mystery.
AFRIKAJUMP asked her questions about her life and great mission.
AFRIKAJUMP-Thanks so much for giving some of your precious time, Precious. It is a real pleasure. Can you tell us when you realized your love for travel and exploring?
PRECIOUS-I realized the love for traveling at a very tender age. Mostly from my dad, I grew up with my dad; always traveling during the weekends, going to the borders of Benin and Nigeria to buy shoes that he sold in different places like the Ministry of works and sorts. They said I took after my dad in everything because as young as 10/11 years old, my parents were comfortable putting me in a bus whenever I’m going for a holiday and giving the driver a number to call when we alight. They knew I enjoyed it and I was smart enough to be safe.
AFRIKAJUMP-Yes we don’t need a soothsayer to make us see your bravery. Congrats. What does culture mean to you?
PRECIOUS-Culture is everything to me and also I will say I’m just an old soul. It became my own way of life, even when I barely knew what I was doing I’ve always been attracted to culture. I came from a poor staunch Christian home so anything with any cultural attributes was always frowned at and automatically labeled evil-one of the disadvantages we suffer from religion/colonization. To me however culture will always be that way of living; the way our ancestors lived, the way they flourished just with exactly what we have around us.
AFRIKAJUMP-Preach sister. Tell us about your project Myafurika please.
PRECIOUS-Myafurika is a huge project that is going to affect almost every aspect of reawakening in Africa as a whole. Myafurika focuses on showcasing the beauty and wonders of Africa. We travel to those places in Africa with historical heritages, rich in traditions and nature. Places that hold histories of Africa that most Africans don’t know ever happened. We go there, get pictures, videos then write about them for the world to see that Africa is not about dark people living in the dark; to show the world that Africa is beyond beautiful and to assure and teach our people that we can be greater and dependent by ourselves. We will also be introducing fashion very soon that we will make possible with our hand woven materials of course made here from start to finish.
AFRIKAJUMP-Sounds great, Good luck. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered on your adventures?
PRECIOUS-Finance. It has been a very big issue because most people that would have been able to finance are dragging back because they don’t agree with our stance, saying it’s against their religion. Some don’t just see the importance of the reawakening because they are comfortable in not knowing and don’t want to know.
Then there is the issue of bad roads. We do most of our traveling by road and most of our roads are death traps thus making some trips fearful ones.
AFRIKAJUMP-Many Nigerians your age mostly practice religions that were imposed on Africans but you hold your ancestral beliefs close to your heart. What is the motivation?
PRECIOUS-Like I said before,I’m an old soul,its within me. Even with the fact of being born into a staunch Christian home,religion never made sense to me. My grandmother played a big part in motivating me, around the short period I stayed with her,in the evenings when we sit in the veranda, and I ask her questions about religion she always ended up with a line I never forget. She will say to me ‘My dear daughter, always keep your heart clean and pure and always , have good intentions towards your fellow humans cause in anybody religion is within themselves’.
AFRIKAJUMP- Wise words. What do you propose to encourage religious tolerance in Nigeria, particularly those of our native belief systems?
PRECIOUS-Whenever the discussions on that tolerance is raised, I always use the saying “Live and let live” we live in a country that supports freedom of religion and that wasn’t categorized on some and some are left. So if some religion or Christians and/or Muslims are against native believers,what makes them different from what they preach about which is “Love”? So I think individuals should learn to understand that people’s way of worship doesn’t change anything from who they are, before any religion we were first of all Humans. And no amount of religion is going change that.
AFRIKAJUMP- Preach. What is your dream destination?
AFRIKAJUMP-Can you describe your city in one word?
CHECK PRECIOUS’ WEBSITE HERE