The Obi Obasi
This artistic impression of Mahadum Ofufechi (Chiism) reflects primordial traditional African architecture, and embodies some fundamental themes on which Chiism is anchored. The concept seeks a harmonious fusion, or intersection, of indigenous religion and architecture into one mutually-inclusive entity. The architect articulates the intangible (but palpable) spiritual dialectics and polemics of Chiism (Godianism), and transforms it to the physical or material realm - an image that integrates the forms, proportions and materials of indigenous African architecture.
The physical profiles of the pyramids and pediments of ancient Ijeputa (Egypt), one of the centers of civilization and architecture, saw rich symbolic expression in this facade. It has been established that the triangular geometry of pyramids is a symbol of structural stability; its incorporation here symbolizes the spiritual equilibrium and serenity of the Chiist soul. The columns, massed beyond structural necessity, symbolize spiritual strength and fortitude, a basic tenet of Chiism. The clay bricks depict the dominant masonry material indigenous to West Africa, the ancestral abode of Chiism's Supreme Spiritual Teacher, Ahanyi, K.O.K. Onyioha. The roof profile climaxes in a point apex, visually reaching out or beckoning to the universe in a gesture of supplication to Chi (God), the infinite and transcendent Creator of the universe. The apex is located (and towers) over the geometric center, 'Obi Chi' (the lobby) of the Obi Obasi to symbolize the Chi presence in the spiritual center of individuals and humanity at large. It is no accident that these design elements and considerations are embodied in the formal geometric discipline of a pyramid. Discipline, after all, is a critical imperative for the success of all human engagements and endeavors.
The four pillars represented as massive Elephant Tusks signify four important deities that are part of the traditional ontology of Chineke deified in Chiism. These four pillars represent Ofo Na Ogu which symbolizes truth, justice, fair play and good conscience of Chineke ingrained into our soul. This is the conscience in our soul, from which our Chi presides over our entire life, with rewards or retribution. Next is Agwunsi which represents the wisdom of Chineke. Next is Kamalu, the requital aspect of Chineke represented by the forces of nature: - rain, thunder, lightening, wind, storms, the moon and the universe. And finally, Ani, Mother Earth, is for the enforcement of morality and Godliness. Inside the Obi Obasi, all seven deities that are part of the traditional ontology of Chineke deified in Chiism are represented.
Thus, this artistic presentation has kept faith with the mystic and scientific maxim that all material or physical forms are expressions of our innate spiritual souls and intangible mental vision. As within, so without!