Obi Cubana, the Abuja-based business entrepreneur, has been chastised by Onyeka Onwenu, a Nigerian artist and human rights activist, for holding an extravagant burial in honor of his mother.
Since burying his mother, who died in December of last year, the entrepreneur has become a viral phenomenon.
The funeral, which took place a few days ago in Afor Uzo Oba, Anambra state, has also elicited conflicting reactions, despite the 46-year-old later revealing the reason for his action.
In a recent piece, the legendary musician joined the debate, calling the burial “obscene and callous.”
While Onwenu is not opposed to people spending their hard-earned money, she believes such open displays of riches at a time when many people are suffering from poverty are “uncalled for.”
Obi Cubana’s actions, according to the musician, are against Igbo culture’s beliefs.
“The point I make here is that there are different strokes for different folks, even within a family. I do not condemn anyone for how they mourn, with their own hard-earned money but I am very uncomfortable with the lavish display of wealth on any occasion, especially in a time of hardship and lack for most others,” she wrote.
“The burial of Obi Cubana’s mother was not only lavish, it was obscene and insensitive. It sent all the wrong signals at a time when Nigeria is wracked with widespread poverty and lack.
“I condemn it all. It does not reflect the Igbo culture that I grew up in. Ndigbo would not condone the conspicuous display of wealth. If you were found doing that, your close and extended family, your community would send a delegation to you, to ask about your source of the wealth you are throwing about. You would be ostracized if you had no convincing evidence of legitimate work.”
Onwenu also slammed those criticising the entire southeast region because of the entrepreneur’s action, adding that such indicates the deep-seated hatred for the Igbo.
“…what I find equally deplorable in this whole debate, is the strenuous effort to tag the people of the Southeast, Ndigbo, with all manner of negative attributes because Obi Cubana is Igbo,” she added.
“This is not surprising. It has always been the case. When there is unexplainable hatred, some people are bound to give a dog a bad name so that they can justify hanging it.”
The music star disclosed that she had already informed her family not to throw such a lavish funeral for her when she passes away.
“I told a friend just days before the most outrageous burial of Innyom Ezinne Uche Iyiegbu in Oba, Anambra State in July that I had given my family instructions as to how to bury me when my time comes,” she added.
“Do it quickly, quietly and privately. Celebrate me with prayers, lunch or dinner afterwards. Share some jokes about me and laugh. Mourn, yes but not excessively.
“Make merriment and then go about your business. If my friends want to celebrate me, they should do so while I am alive so that I can enjoy it with them, not when I am gone and have no idea.”