Igbo stereotypes have been passed down from one generation to another because of our multi-diversity. Nigerians conform to certain beliefs about certain ethnic groups that cause them to behave in a certain way.
While we understand that these generalisations help us to respect every tribe’s uniqueness, we shouldn’t fail to realise that the stereotypes blind us to the uniqueness of people in that tribe. Not everyone behaves the same.
The fact is that every tribe in Nigeria has one stereotype. Every Nigerian state has at least one stereotype too. But would you say everyone there behaves the same way?
Here are 5 popular Igbo stereotypes that Nigerians need to drop.
5 Popular Igbo Stereotypes
1. The Igbos love business
This is, by far, one of the biggest stereotypes these people have.
When it comes to business, Igbo people are at the top of their game. There is no business or finance sector that you wouldn’t find a considerable number of Igbo people. But there is more to them than just business
You can find them in politics, education, law, etc. Igbo people also thrive in the tech and writing space. Not all Igbo people who have created remarkable reputations for themselves do business full-time.
2. All Igbo ladies are light-skinned and money-driven
Nollywood has a role to play in this cheap Igbo stereotype
One thing people must understand is that fairness is a recessive trait. A good number of Igbo women are black and beautiful, but the handful of them that turn out light-skinned happen to take the spotlight.
Secondly, they are not promiscuous despite what you see in Nollywood movies. You shouldn’t blame honest and hardworking Igbo women for the few that toll that path. Promiscuity is an individual trait. It has nothing to do with tribe.
3. They love to dominate
This Igbo stereotype has created a lot of cultural tensions and negative sentiments. It makes other tribes to hoard wealth for themselves because they feel that they will be overshadowed. The Osu Caste system may have also contributed to this.
You have to acknowledge the fact that most Igbo people are very hardworking, especially when placed in the right environments that allow their abilities to thrive. This is why they rise to the top of their careers or field very easily.
People shouldn’t see that as domination. Besides, a domineering character is an individual trait. It doesn’t pertain to a particular tribe.
4. They will do anything for ‘Ego’ (money)
Again, this is not true. This is another Igbo stereotype that the Nollywood industry has fed.
It is very true that Igbo people love doing business. It’s an inherent part of most of them, but that doesn’t mean that their wealth is gotten through ill means.
5. You must be very wealthy to marry an Igbo woman
Nigerian women are very classy, sophisticated, and elegant, especially those from rich homes. A man should marry a woman because he loves her and not because she is cheap or handed to him carelessly.
While it is true that some Igbo families give outrageous marriage lists, there is always room for bargaining and negotiation. There are also other families (or communities) that place requests in moderation. The generalisation doesn’t count.