The Igwe of Nnewi Kingdom

Igwe is the Igbo title for the monarch. HRH Kenneth Onyeneke Igwe Orizu III is the current Igwe Nnewi. Igwe Orizu III was born on 29 October 1925 and ascended the throne on 2 June 1963 as the 20th Igwe Nnewi. He is currently the longest serving monarch in Nigeria and will be celebrating his 55th year on the throne at the annual Ofala festival in December 2018.

The Kingdom of Nnewi is arguably the oldest continuous monarchy in Eastern Nigeria with historical records tracing the beginning of the Nnewi monarchy to the 15th century well before the arrival of the Europeans. The succession to the throne is patrilineal and based on the rule of primogeniture. Igwe Orizu III ascended to the throne following the death of his father, HRH Josiah Nnaji Igwe Orizu II.

The line of succession to the throne can be traced from Igwe Mmaku, the first Igwe Nnewi, who reigned circa 1498–152, and is regarded as the founder of Nnewi, to the Igwe Orizu III. See list of Igwe Nnewi.

The Kingdom of Nnewi has 4 quarters: Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim and Nnewichi. Each of the 4 quarters is ruled by an Obi. Otolo is the first and most populous quarter of Nnewi. Igwe Nnewi is also Obi Otolo and the two positions are irrevocably vested together.

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Find out more about our history

Learn more about the history of the Nnewi monarchy.


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The Nnewi Royal Family is usually referred to as the Umu Okafor Royal Family, However, and depending on the historical period of reference, it could also be known as Umu Ezeoguine Royal Family or Nnofo Royal Family denoting sequentially the wider family group and ancestry from the eponymous Igwe.

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