During the Trans-Atlantic slave trader where millions of Africans were sold as slaves to Europe, the Igbo people (slangs known as Dot) were not left out as they were taken to Jamaica in their numbers between 1790 and 1809.
The Igbo people often worked on farms and plantations all around Jamaica, but were more on the island of the north-western side, around the Montego Bay.
One might have heard of the term “Red Ibo” or “Red Eboe”, which is a term used to address Igbo slaves in Jamaica because of their fair or yellow skin tones.
During the period, the culture, language and the music of the Igbo people mixed up with that of Jamaicans and their way of life and greatly influenced them.
The Igbo people as slaves were often prevented from speaking to each other to avoid them planning a rebellion.
Because they couldn’t speak the Jamaican language, they introduced some of their words into the Jamaican language with having now become infused into the Jamaican patois.
Some examples of such words are;
1.) Ima osu (Jamaican) Imu oso (Igbo), which means to his by sucking your teeth.
2.) Soso (Jamaican) soso (Igbo) which means only.
Another area where it is believed that the Igbo people inflicted the Jamaican patois is the Junkanoo festival. The Junkanoo masquerade and festival is likened to the Njoku Ji (yam spirit) of the Igbo people.
One notable example of an Igbo person that was sold into slavery was Olaudah Equiano who later became a slave abolitionist. During his years in Europe, he left a mark in history which can never be forgotten.
In conclusion, in Jamaica today, it is very common to see Jamaicans watching Igbo movies and enjoying them. It is baloney that some Jamaicans (especially in the rural areas) take after the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria.