This work is on the role of the traditional town crier in mobilizing Adazi-Nnukwu in Anaocha Local Government Area for development. This study is born out of the desire to discover the roles played by the town crier, to see if it is effectively carried out for development purpose. To achieve this, survey research method was adopted with questionnaire as the instrument to elict responses from the respondents. Findings drawn from the study revealed that the town crier through his mobilized function has to a large extent has helped the Adazi-Nnukwu towards attaining required and desired development. The study also revealed that the town crier has contributed to great developmental changes in Adazi-Nnukwu. The study therefore recommended that the limitations of the town crier should be properly examined. Also the government of the state should support the town crier in Adazi-Nnukwu so that more development will come to the community.
1.2 Background of the study
Human communication is simple but sometimes a complex process by which individuals exchange and share ideas, information and various forms of symbolism with themselves.
Traditional system of communication has been in use in various ways as folk
media and oral media. The town crier as a traditional communicator is symbolically is an organizational media worker, who is appointed by the king or leader of a village to disseminate information and developments of all types to the people.
Town criers are mostly found in the rural settlement because of the inability of the rural dwellers to read and write. They serve as a means of disseminating news to the people. They are appointed by the king or community leader, and he is charged with the responsibility of announcing time for meetings, days of communal labour and important communication link between the opinion leaders and the people, using either the wooden gong or the drum. He is seen as the purveyor of news, and an authoritative messenger. Every message or sentence he makes is usually repeated for emphasis.
Buttressing this point, Etukudo (1989: 211) notes: “The town crier is a member of the town or village caucus with the responsibility to communicate the decisions of the town’s highest administering body to the rest of the people. He uses a wooden gong, and most times steel gong, he is sees as the purveyor of the news, with impeccable character.”
The town crier adopts strategies that enable him to disseminate his information; he stops at a strategic point or quiet places, strikes his instruments repeatedly in order to draw attention to himself before making any announcement. The seriousness of such announcements are usually realized when they are made very early in the morning or very late at night, these are usually periods of silence in the village.
Benson – Eluwa (2010) noted that the town crier is a person, whose job is to walk through the town sharing and disseminating news, making official announcements etc. He moves round the village beating his metal gong and making his announcements from one village the other, mostly in the evening or every early in the morning.
The town crier uses the gong, wood block, skin drum or any validated instrument
as attention direction device (ADD). These instruments are beaten or played to attract attention to the audience before the headline is given. This is followed by a call to attention “Genu ntioooo’’ which means pay attention.
Finally the outcome of the town crier’s message on the receivers is that it provides them with information, education, entertainments, enlightenment and brings out integration among other effects (Burgeon,1978)
Brief history of Adazi-Nnukwu.
Adazi-Nnukwu is a town in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, and falls within the Nri-Awka Area. It has an area of 27.2sq km. It shares boundaries in the North-East with Agukwu (Nri) and Agulu, in the North-West with Nimo. In the West with Oraukwu, in the South with Neni, and in the South-East with Obeledu.
There is only one version of the tradition of origin of the people of Adazi- Nnukwu, and it speaks about a man called Okotu who had two wives, he was said to have broken off from wandering tribe of Adda people and settled with this (SIC) two wives and children at Amauka in Adazi-Enu. From the first wife came descendants of Adazi-Enu, Adazi-Ani and Adazi-Nnukwu. The second wife bore sons that were founders of ichida, and Amichi.
The founding of Adazi-Nnukwu is a studying in classical Igbo epic. The progenitor of Adazi-Nnukwu is named Obunnkwu, the son of Okonikpa, who was the son of Okotu. Obunnkwu is reputed to be an insatiable drinker of water. So because of this uncontrollable thirst, his partimony was an expense of land close to the stream. But instead of setting where he was given, he pitched his tent chose to his relations (the other Okotu sons). But this move appeared to have been dictated that some people were already settled in the area that he was given. This people were the Umudiana, the only autochthonous people of Adazi-Nnukwu. Obunnkwu eventually settled at a place called Aro-Umuonyegwu, otherwise known as Ana-Isi-Ora. The immediate descendants of Umuonyegwu became the Amolu ward.
Adazi-Nnukwu in the present day has three clans namely Amolu clan, Nnukwu
clan and Amata clan. The Amolu clan is considered eldest of the three clans.
1.3 Statement of the research problem
Like a vaccine capable of reducing disease, town crier is a simple effective tool for achieving development goals to prevent fragile state and help mobilize the community. The research is meant to study the town crier which is almost neglected
and finds out how he carries out his function on daily basis and also ensure how it promotes development and mobilizes them for development in Adazi-Nnukwu.
It is necessary to evaluate how the town crier has helped in the development of
Adazi-Nnukwu. Therefore, this research seeks to examine the impact of the town crier in the socio-economic, political and cultural development of Adazi-Nnukwu.
1.4 Objectives of the study
These are the objectives of this study
1. To investigate the role the town crier plays in mobilizing Adazi-Nnukwu towards attaining developmental changes.
2. To find out strategies the town crier adopts in mobilizing Adazi-Nnukwu community.
3. To determine whether the town crier has any problem in mobilizing Adazi-Nnukwu community.
1.5 Research questions
The following questions were formulated by the researcher in a bid to find solution to the problem stated above.
i. In what ways has the town crier attained developmental changes?.
ii. To what extent has the town crier mobilized Adazi-Nnukwu in attaining developmen?.
iii. TO what limitations has the town crier affect the people of Adazi-Nnukwu towards achieving developmental changes ?.
1.6 Research hypotheses
These hypothetical assumptions were advanced for testing .The analysis of data. Generated in the course of study will confirm either the veracity or otherwise of statements.
H1: The town crier has in so many ways attained developmental changes in Adazi- Nnukwu.
H0: The town crier has not attained developmental changes in Adazi-Nnukwu.
H2: The town crier has mobilized the people of Adazi-Nnukwu in attaining development.
H0: The town crier has not mobilized the people of Adazi-Nnukwu in attaining development.
H3: The limitations of the town crier affects the people of Adazi-Nnukwu towards achieving developmental changes.
H0: The limitation of the town crier does not affect the people of Adazi-Nnukwu towards achieving developmental changes.
1.7 Scope of study
The research is limited to Adazi-Nnukwu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The choice of the place has to do with the fact that its population is predominately rural based, and with that the role of the town crier will be properly examined in the area.
1.8 Significance of the study
It is accepted that 80% of Nigerians population are rurally based. So for effective communication to take place rural dwellers need to be reached or visited in their living places.
Theoretically, the study will help to create awareness on the need for the town crier in rural settlements.
Also the study will go a long way to benefit many academics and the government on the role of the town crier as few works have been done on the subject. It will also increase the level of perception, attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of the public especially in Adazi-Nnukwu on the services of the town crier in mobilizing them for development.
Again, this study will draw the attention of government to empower town criers
all over the nation.
And finally the study will be beneficial of the both town criers and rural dwellers because it will pin point how helpful the town crier is in every community.
1.9 Operational definition of terms
Three terms were optionalized in this study. They are town crier, mobilization and development.
Town Crier – A person who is being chosen by the village head to inform and announce the people about happenings in the village or community.
Mobilization – The processing of organizing or preparing the people for something; rapier change in the community.
Development – The act of inventing something or bringing something into existence.