• George Ogbonna Mbarah Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria
  • John Ezenwankwor Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria


Akonauche, Personhood, Igbo Culture, Social Order


Akonauche, an ontological and intelligent component of the human person capable of mediating and unifying the individual’s facets of existence, is central in maintaining
social order in lgbo culture. Existing studies have  addressed the idea of akonauche mainly from scientific and aesthetic perspectives, without adequate analysis of the concept in relation to the unity of the individual as a being of many parts, significant to the attainment of social order. This study, therefore, investigates akonauche with a view to identifying the ontological roles it plays in mediating between the individual and the community in ensuring social order. The study adopted Strawson’s theory on persons. Six relevant texts in Metaphysics; Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy (MFP), Collins’ Selfless Person (SP), Kim’s Supervenience and Mind (SM). Eight texts in African Philosophy, such as Mbiti’s African Religions and Philosophy ARP). Menkiti’s On the Normative Conception of a Person (NCP), Ikuenobe’s The
Idea of Personhood in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (CATFA) and Animalu’s Ucheakolam: A way of Life in Modern Scientific Age (WLMSA), were purposively selected. Hence, they addressed the issues of akonauche, personhood and social order. Conceptual analysis and reconstruction were deployed. Texts in Metaphysics reveal that human persons are in control of their well-being, do not consider the community as very significant in their
explanations, and under-explore the connection between a person and the community (MFP and SM). Texts in African Philosophy show that the individual is bound to behave in certain ways laid down by the community, thereby inhibiting complete individual autonomy (ARP,
NCP and CATFA). lgbo proverbs like, nwata kwozie aka, o soro okenye, ne nri (outstanding achievement is acknowledged and rewarded) not only affirms that akonauche is paramount in a person’s relationships in the community, but also emphasises a person’s creativity
(WLMSA). Critical reflection reveals that the person is creatively intelligent and that the human will is autonomous because each individual has akonauche which supervenes actions and thoughts in a way that enhances social order. The lgbo proverb, eruru sina obu ucheoma ka hajiri topu osisi ngwo, ma na, otu-otu ka ha bi (Though we live individually, it is in harmony that we accomplish great feats), emphasises the synchronisation of personal and communal worth in achieving social order. Akonauche, an ontological component of a person,
demonstrates that the human person is a metaphysical and social being with creative intelligence. Therefore, akonauche in lgbo culture plays both creative and mediating roles in the relationship between the Individual and the community in which social order is guaranteed.

Author Biographies

George Ogbonna Mbarah, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria

Philosophy Unit, Directorate of General Studies

John Ezenwankwor, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria

Philosophy Unit, Directorate of General Studies




How to Cite

Mbarah, G. O., & Ezenwankwor, J. (2023). AKONAUCHE, PERSONHOOD AND SOCIAL ORDER IN CONTEMPORARY IGBO CULTURE. African Journal of Social and Behavioural Sciences, 13(1). Retrieved from https://journals.aphriapub.com/index.php/AJSBS/article/view/2024