A concerned Nigerian individual has brought attention to a perceived act of disrespect by renowned actor Pete Edochie towards the Ooni of Ife at an event. According to reports, the incident took place during Elizabeth Jack Rich’s 40th birthday celebration, which was attended by both the Ooni of Ife and Pete Edochie.
A video circulating on the internet captures the moment when Pete Edochie enters the venue alongside actor Kanayo Kanayo, who apparently alerts him to the presence of the Ooni. Pete Edochie approaches the Ooni’s table to exchange greetings.
In the brief clip, Pete Edochie is seen extending a handshake to the monarch instead of the customary bow, prompting the individual to call out the actor for what they perceive as disrespectful behavior.
A Twitter user took to the micro-blogging platform to express their dissatisfaction with the Ooni’s actions, considering it wrong and disrespectful towards the monarch. However, some individuals came to Pete Edochie’s defense, questioning why someone with the title of Chief, like Pete Edochie, would be expected to bow to the Ooni.
Dr. Penking shed some light on the matter, explaining that Pete Edochie holds one of the highest traditional titles in Igbo land and, as a titled Igbo man, it is customary for him not to bend his knee to anyone else except his Chi (personal god or guardian spirit).
Another Twitter user, Michelle Dera, sarcastically questioned whether Pete Edochie was expected to perform a backflip to greet the Ooni, highlighting the exaggerated expectations placed upon him.
Petit Uriee emphasized the need to set aside tribal considerations and understand that expecting an aged man like Pete Edochie to bow to someone who is essentially his peer as the Ooni is unreasonable.
Nancwat pointed out that sometimes, younger individuals presume to know more about tradition than the elderly, but Pete Edochie, being an older man, would likely have a valid reason for choosing to shake hands with the Ooni. Respect for tradition is highly valued by many of these elder statesmen.
Overall, the responses on Twitter highlighted the cultural nuances and varying perspectives regarding the appropriate etiquette and respect expected in such situations.