An ohu is simply a ‘slave.’ An ohu is basically one who was previously from another community but taken captive to another community by force in order to serve his/her master. This is a topic where the Nsәka oral historians have chosen to be silent. The topic under discussion even though may appear trivial to an outsider, is a sacred history to an Nsәka man. This is history mostly told with silence across Igbo Nsәka. The least where they are told is inside the hut, in whispers, by parents to the grown-up children. This only happens mostly when an issue of marriage is brought up or the man of the house or the wife deems it necessary to disclose such information to their child for an important and serious purpose. While several history books have been written on slavery in several parts of Igboland, none seems to have taken time to pen down the Igbo Nsukka’s account of this horrible trade and the caste system that followed it.
This book is a detailed historical account of the history of slave trade in the Nsukka area starting from its inception in the coast of Africa in the 16th century. The book captures the mode of slave trade among the Igbos and how the system gradually found its way into the hinterlands of Igbo Nsukka. Another interesting aspect of the book is its meticulousness in detailing the history of colonization in Igbo Nsukka giving the historical account of how the white man found his way to the Igbo Nsukka soil and his subsequent colonial mission bringing to an end the barbaric trade and the subsequent pacification of the warring states of Igbo Nsukka in the 19th century. Also captured in the book is the history of introduction of Christianity and Western Education in Igbo Nsukka area. This book has become necessary to tell Nsukka’s own side of the story in view of the fact that there seems to be relatively no comprehensive book on this topic as it happened in Igbo Nsukka area.