According to the Igbo language, the term “Ozo” denotes a prestigious title or rank in the traditional hierarchical system of the Igbo people of Nigeria. This title is typically bestowed upon individuals who have attained a high level of success, integrity, and moral standing within the community, and they are regarded as custodians of tradition, arbitrators in disputes, and influential figures within the community.
Once granted the Ozo title, the individual assumes the role of a chieftain, earning respect as a valued member of the community and shouldering certain responsibilities and obligations.
The Ozo Chair, showcased at the recently concluded Design Wanted Fair in New York, USA, serves as a symbolic representation of Igwe’s reflection on the intricate social, familial, and cultural expectations he holds within his community, tribe, and family. It is worth noting that Igwe is presently awaiting his own chieftaincy title, following in the footsteps of his forefathers, specifically his grandfather and father, who both held esteemed chieftain positions in the tribe.
As Igwe awaits this revered honor, the design of the Ozo Chair encapsulates a delicate balance of anticipation and expectation, pride and fragility. The production team, including Michael Nzei and Peterson Dameus, Zaire Staten as the production manager, Adrian Anderson as the production assistant, and Studio Aatelier for the set, contributed to the chair’s successful debut.