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ANAMBRA: Meaning And Pronunciation By Donald IfesinaChi (Dicn)

ANAMBRA: ANA-MBARA- Meaning And Pronunciation By Donald IfesinaChi (Dicn)

ANAMBRA: Anambra is the name of one of the Eastern States of Nigeria. History of the name is unclear because of the lack of written records. However, going by the meaning of the word, the name is an English pronunciation of the word ANA-MBARA or ANA-MBALA in some Igbo dialets.

It is the combination of two words Ana (Land) and Mbara/Mbala (Wide/ Large). So literally, it means “WIDE LAND”.
The Suffix- “Mbara/Mbala is a word that some communities/ dialects in the state and some other parts of Igbo Land use for “Compound” , “Outdoor” or rarely “Square (Like Village Square)”. Thus, no matter which angle one comes from, the coiners of the name Anambra had “Land”, “Outdoor” and “Big Size” in mind.

Some sources however claim that the name is a “remix” of the name- Omambala, an ancient river in the territory. I personally think that the originators of that line of thought are merely trying to patronize the ancient river and also connect the name to a force/ place they believe is worthy of note and should not be forgotten. This is because IT IS VERY UNLIKELY THAT THE NAME ANAMBRA HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE RIVER. Even if the coiners removed the Prefix “Oma” and used the Suffix “Mbala” when coining the name, the fact that they replaced Oma with Ana (Land) detached the name from that river, brought it to land and gave it a totally different meaning.

Someone can argue though that the coiners of the name did not want to name the region the exact name of the river, thus, replaced the prefix “Oma” with “Ana” but retained “Mbala” to mean “LAND OF omaMBALA”. Based on plain logic however, without “Oma” in the “Mbala”, the term no longer belongs to the river. “Mbala” now takes on it’s natural meaning- “Wide/ Large or Outdoor”. Besides, “Mbala/ Mbara ” is a term still used till this day in some Igbo communities to mean “Compound” or “Outdoor”, while “Ana” still means “Land, Ground or Floor”; thus, both words that make up “Anambra”- “Ana” and “Mbala” are not directly associated with water.

Also, looking at it from a historical point of view, Onitsha, a popular commercial city in the state, was a notable commercial town in the Colonial Era (the period when the name is believed to have been coined) because of Commerce, which came largely because of its connection to the sea (The River Niger). It is possible that the name Ana (Land) Mbara/ Mbala (Wide/ Large) is a reference, both literally and symbolically, to THE LARGENESS OF THE COMMERCIAL MEETING PLACE OF MANY TRIBES- ONITSHA.


Dicn Expositorius

Donald IfesinaChi Chijioke Nwokolo (Dicn) /di:kn/ is a Christ Yeshua Follower, Songwriter, Singer, Rapper, Writer, Speaker, Expositor, Graphics Designer, Printer, Filmmaker, Soprano Voice Coach, Arts Enthusiast, Uncertified Philosopher, etc. www.donald-ifesinachi-dicn.com, www.dicn.name, www.dicnei.com, www.yaahssogah.biz, www.igbo-naani.org.ng, www.fortheloveofthisnation.org.ng, www.shoppinginenugu.com.ng, www.igbotoenglish.dicn.name, www.igbonamesandmeanings.dicn.name.


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