The American tradition of homecoming “is the tradition of welcoming back alumni of a school.” So it can be said that the Yoruba Kingdom of Iwo recently experienced a Homecoming event of its own when the beautiful Jamaican Chanel Chin who is of West African descent became an Olori of Oba Adbul Rasheed Adewale Akanbi earlier this year and returned as a queen to the homeland of her forebears.
Said the latest Yoruba Royal wife, “My ancestors were taken away as slaves, but I have returned to Africa as a queen. One’s destiny cannot be altered. As a young child, I always wanted to come to Africa, but didn’t know how. I feel this is a great opportunity for black people worldwide to return to their home.”
Wonderful news indeed as the unity of African descendants worldwide serves to strengthen us all, and the Yoruba people especially, because certain studies have shown that the ancestors of Yoruba people provided the largest contribution of genes from Africa to modern Americans and West Indians. In essence, Yoruba civilisation of the time bore much of the brunt of the human pillaging, no doubt due to the century of wars in Yoruba land of the 18th century. It is heartening to see marriages like this taking place.
It should be clarified that the word queen for the wife of a Yoruba king is an English direct (mis)translations of a Yoruba word.
According to Asiwaju Adeyinka Olarinmoye who studied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Ibadan, “When the Bible translators, led by Bishop Ajayi Crowther translated Esu, a Yoruba divinity to Satan and Devil, people were not enlightened to understand the damage it could do to our language, religion and tradition. Now, we are doing the translation ourselves. A wife of a king or a husband of a queen is not the same as the bearers of the titles… A queen consort or prince consort is different from the king or queen. Likewise, an Oba is different from an Olori. We can’t have two obas in one palace in Yoruba land, so,…..(king’s) wife is an Olori and not a queen.”
Thus the Oba of Iwo Kingdom’s wife is not a queen in the English sense of the word, but an Olori. Semantics apart, the Olori certainly has a very regal air about her, and the title Queen does sit nicely with her elegant poise. The royal couple are said to have met in Canada many years ago.
The Iwo Kingdom is a traditional state based on the city of Iwo in Osun State, Nigeria. The Yoruba kingdom, whose ruler is titled “Oluwo of Iwo”, was established in the 14th century AD.
The Iwo people, like all other people of Yoruba stock are said to have originally belonged to Ile-Ife from where they migrated sometime in the 14th century. The earliest settlement was founded by Adekola Telu, son of the 16th Ooni of Ife, a female called Luwo Gbagida. The present city of Iwo was founded in the 16th or 17th century.- Wikipedia
The Oba’s father in law , Bobo Zaro, plans to visit Nigeria in July at his request for wedding celebrations