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Ighotago as our tag-line at Wilberforce.


Etymologically, the word "Ighotago" is Igbo. It is one of those sentences that over time morphed into a word. It is indeed originally a question which seeks to know whether you understand the point the person speaking to you is making. In some cases too, it presumes you understand the point already, and is, therefore, said to affirm the fact that you do understand. You don't really have to respond to the question because it's almost always rhetorical. But then again, you can answer with "hmmm" or a knowing nod or even a smile. Ighotago?

It's made up of three syllables. One is the "I", meaning you. The second is "ghota", which means understanding. And the third is "go", which is like a call to action, to do. In most cases, you don't have to answer the question, because you don't really have to answer rhetorical questions. Ighotago? As a matter of fact, before you even respond, if you insist, somebody like Phyno or even my unhumble self would have asked the question thrice. Chai!

Generally speaking, "Ighotago"which, by the way, in transliteration, means "do you understand?"or "have you understood?", depending on the time reference, past or present, is one of those otherwise annoying redundancies. 

Like the English variant, "I think you understand?", Ighotago is oft used by folks to buy time while talking and thinking or even when they don't know what the hell they are saying. Ighotago? Some badly behaved people can use it five time ps or more in one short sentence and that sometimes sucks. Yet, it doesn't undermine the brilliance of this unique word. 

See, at Wilberforce eh, we try to make people understand issues. Sometimes we go direct. At other times, we go the metaphorical route and hide the stuff in the stuff and then let you figure it out. Ighotago? And that's why we are bent on making sure you understand us by not only writing in conversational style, but going a step further to know whether you understand. Ighotago?

At the end of the day, we want to make Ighotago an eclectic word, with a universal meaning and global usage and appeal. It's a powerful word you can deploy even while "toasting" a babe and trying to make her understand where you're coming from, in a manner of speaking. Ighotago? And even after you've toasted and started "chopping" the babe, it is still within your fundamental human rights and constitutional rights to find out whether she understands you, what you're saying or doing or doing to her. Ighotago? 

So, it's our tag-line, and may become our name in the future. Ighotago? It captures the very essence of what we are trying to do here, which is to make our readers understand. Ighotago? 

Whether you understand it metaphorically or in the strict sense of the word, you're welcome. Use it. Enjoy it. Write it. Say it. It's no longer just an Igbo word. It's English, if you wish. Let the Chinese, Spanish, French, Hausas, Yorubas, Italians and other peoples use it and love it. Ighotago! Very good.

Now, I'm hoping you understood this ramble. So I can I ask you, Ighotago?
Ighotago as our tag-line at Wilberforce. Ighotago as our tag-line at Wilberforce. Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Sunday, March 06, 2016 Rating: 5

3 comments

  1. I actually picked that word "ighotago" from your writings on FB. I love the sound of it (I always play it out in an Igbo accent in my head). The way you use it already gives me the meaning. Thanks for this little expo on it here. Great job with Wiberforce. Congrats. Ighotago?

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  2. This igbo phrase will soon occupy a space in the English dictionary courtesy of Emeka Oparah. Ighotago?

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  3. You write with such fascinating detail that made it so easy to figure out what Ighotago means from your FB postings. Thanks for the explanation.

    Congratulations on this insightful blog, pray it grows and play out beyond your expectation.

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