A book chronicles the Yoruba indigenous people of Delta State who discovered and first settled there 700 years ago

a Ride with this Book on Eko-Efun, the Yoruba Settlement in Anioma

The name of the book is “Ukwu-Nzu (Eko-Efun)…the Rich Chalky Town” and beginning to garner a new form of knowledge on our people of Enuani Nation.

The people of Eko-Efun, the Yoruba community of Anioma in Delta State now called Ukwu-Nzu and present a great history of origin. The Eko-Efun community is an example of the diversity in origin and culture of the Anioma people.

Situated close to Issele-Uku and Onicha-Uku on the Southwest, Ugbodu, and Ohurdua (Edo State) on the Northwest, Ugboba, and Obomkpa on the Northeast, and Onicha-Olona and Idumuogo on the Southeast, Eko-Efun is a Yoruba settlement surrounded by Igbo speakers.

It gets more interesting to discover that in multiethnic Nigeria, many Yorubas are unaware of the existence of a Yoruba settlement in Delta State. Nigerian historians are sometimes lost on minorities.

Eko-Efun shares “Eko,” its first prefixed name with the “Eko” of Lagos, and is the traditional headquarters of the Odiani Clan, an umbrella of other Yoruba settlements in Anioma. The name, “Eko” remains unchanged in meaning with that of Lagos.

It simply means “camp.” While the Eko of Lagos defines “War Camp,” that of Eko-Efun is “Chalk Camp” or “Camp of Chalks” pointing to the large presence of kaolin once found in abundance in the settlement. “Eko” is camp and “Efun” in Yoruba language is “chalk.”

Influenced by Enuani speakers (of Igbo dialect), the people became renamed “Ukwu-Nzu,” legs painted or stained with chalky dust because the people had to trek several kilometers because there was no transportation in those days. The name stuck and they became Ukwu-Nzu.

Although the writer points to the absorption of this school of thought, other writers on the settlement have contended this theory, claiming that the name “Ukwu-Nzu” is a direct translation of the Yoruba name “Eko-Efun” by meighbouring Enuani speakers. Whereas “Ukwu” meant “leg” for the author, the same Ukwu is camp or “place” meaning for the Enuani.

From the book, we understand that the people are proud of their ancestry, culture, and heritage.

Ike Okonji is the author of the book.

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