AKPO (Oral puzzles in Igala Language)
Chief Musa Adegbe at March 28th, 2014
Akpo in Igala language is similar to idioms as its contents are idiomatic and some of the expressions have similar meanings with popular wise sayings in Igala. The use of Akpo is a common practice among Igala youths especially those living on the outskirts of Idah and other parts of Igalaland. Akpo are oral puzzles used for entertainments and to equally test the linguistic skills and mental capabilities of the youth.
Akpo unlike other units of Igala language is not usually spoken or applied in daily conversations, rather, its method of presentation is in form of night tales that takes the pattern of quiz or competition between people or groups of people. Youths usually gather in the night when the shinning of the moon is at its peak to organize themselves into groups then engage each other in literary competition. One person usually starts the competition by throwing a challenge to his opponent that is by inviting him to contest with him in Akpo. It is a unique competition with two contestants engaging each other competitively in a kind of literal brainstorming. Some beautiful phrases that are idiomatically expressed which requires the opponent to translate and give their meanings to the satisfaction of the audience who equally act as judges.
A challenge is usually thrown by one of the contestants ‘ENE A WA KA AFI’AKPO?’. Meaning: who can contest with me in AKPO? The opponent will boldly come out and be ready for the contest and may even carry the day. The audience will in appreciation give them a round of applause while getting ready for the commencement of the competition proper.
1st contestant: – Ogakwogalo.
2nd contestant [opponent]: – Oga kima n’ika a wu.
1st contestant:- Unyowe ki d’ukoche wa.
2nd contestant:- I chodede ukoche ki ny’owe a l’owe n.
After this formal introduction, then the contestants will settle down to the presentation of selected grammatical phrases that say or teach something wisely about human experience.