At Ndi-Ichie Cultural Club and Ndi-Ichie Youth Cultural Foundation, we aim, as a MISSION, to reclaim cultural capital where it’s been damaged or lost. We work with the children, young adults, those who are most impressionable, and those who are most in need to learn and practice. Our focus is on the Nigerian, African diaspora communities as well as the greater Houston metroplex, through staging annual cultural festivals, Igbo language competition, cultural dance and folklore competition, community awareness, and educational opportunities. We firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child, and if you work on creating the most well equipped society you can, so many problems simply work themselves out.
In Houston, the fourth largest city in America where Igbos a densely populated, Ndi-Ichie Cultural Club has practically downloaded the philosophy of cultural attachment of the Igbos through art, literature, costumes, customs, education, fashion, and cultural festivals.
In 2001, Ndi-Ichie Cultural Club achieved an important milestone with the inauguration of the Annual Masquerade and Cultural Festival here in Houston (now call Houston IgboFest). The event featured various cultural dance groups and authentic Igbo masquerades in a festival of competition to the cheer delight of hundreds of children and their families. Participants took home winning trophies and certificates of merit.
In 2002, a special edition of the festival, organized in honor of the World Igbo Congress convention in Houston, drew a record number of contestants and attracted standing-room only attendance. Fast forward 2012, record, standing-room only crowds came to the newly built Igbo Catholic Community Center in Houston to witness spectacular and exhilarating, show-stopping performances by youth dance troupes, masquerades, folklore and language contest, etc.
The Cradle of Elder Statesmanship
Historically, Ndi-Ichie are a Council of respected individuals that occupy a very high place in the Igbo society. They are well-regarded personalities; they are elected individuals of valued demeanor; honest, resourcefulness, with comprehensive moral reputations and other virtues. They are believed to command special connectivity with the ancestors, and at all times held in high regard.
Igbo as a tribe is well-known for her custom, engrained in a culture of esteemed values and characteristics. A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, most significantly represent.
In Houston, the fourth largest city in America where Igbos are densely populated, Ndi-Ichie Cultural Club has practically downloaded the philosophy of cultural attachment of the Igbos through art, literature, costumes, customs, education, fashion, and cultural festivals.
They organization parades selected elder statesmen of Igbo ancestry, organizing the cultural consolidation of the Igbo tradition among Igbo indigenes of all ages. Today, the Ndi-Ichie Cultural Club has initiated and facilitates various programs with tremendous accomplishments, including;
Social Control: They have inculcated the conservative Igbo moral values through education of the youth, thus influencing their philosophy of living with impeccable moral values and respect.
Social Identity: They have used the Igbo culture and the applicable values to project the unique Igbo identity. By rehearsing a set of traditions, they have given the population their Ancestral identity, teaching the true Igbo custom, and passing it on from the older generations to the newer ones, thereby keeping the culture alive and fresh.
Social Bonding: They have consistently initiated various cultural and educational programs to unite the Igbos of the Greater Houston, giving the opportunities to practice and follow traditional customs, and values of the Igbo tradition. In Houston, Igbos familiar with Ndi_Ichie are bonded together through festivals they celebrate, the kind of clothing they wear, and the food they eat.
Retention: In today’s competitive world, indigenes migrate from their other countries in the quest of a better living. Igbo land being thousands of miles away from Houston, a retention of the tradition becomes a challenge. This challenge dovetails the mission of Ndi-Iche to reclaim cultural capital where it’s been damaged or lost. This is why Ndi Ichie focuses on the Nigerian, African diaspora communities as well as the greater Houston where they stage annual cultural festivals, Igbo language competition, cultural dance, and folklore competition to mitigate possible loss of the Igbo tradition.
This is what Nid-Ichie represents; customary guidance with wisdom, through the cradle of elder statesmanship
The unique experience of living far away from ones' original homeland trows up its own special handicaps. Imagine suddenly losing the opportunity of experiencing all the exciting cultural festivals and practices that form part of your upbringing; can’t imagine what it’s like to hunger for the experience of watching the great Ijele or Ajofia masquerades in their mystical awe-inspiring grandeur - and I think it’s a dis-service that such enriching cultural experience should be denied any child or even adult just because geography has change their place of abode.
With that desire in my heart, I preside over Ndi-Ichie Youth Cultural Foundation. We’re all looking to make a difference in our world and I believe that by focusing on promoting, fostering, and showcasing Igbo culture and folklore outside Igbo ancestral homeland make substantial impact.
While I humbly invite to browse our domain, and be a part of our Igbo culture, it would be relevant to know that the world is made up of great cultures and if you foster them positively, they’ll pay huge dividends - in love, international understanding, and a better world.
Isi Ichie, Dr. Chris Ulasi