The Ooni of ife Oba Adeyeye Babatunde Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has now returned home to Ile Ife. His tour of the USA was well celebrated and well received. The Ooni and his entourage made a point of visiting as many African American and Nigerian events as he could. He visited the Odunde Festival, and was hosted at many galas and receptions. The Sango performance at the Smithsonian Museum was memorable for those in attendance and also the local fire service. The Ooni also received many guests, including some of the high priests of the Ifa Religion in the USA. All in all , Yorubas in America and everywhere have enjoyed greatly this momentous outing of our dashing, young ,stately Ooni. It was a great success and I feel sure that the ancestors are pleased. The Ooni also attended worship at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Maryland. This is where the  rancour was evoked.

imageThrough the years  of colonial oppression and now through  the years of  the Christian/Muslim Nigerian entity many  high profile Yorubas of the last 2 centuries in Nigeria turned their backs on  Yoruba Spirituality.

Hope was  restored by the enthusiasm and passion of the Kabiyesi Ooni Ogunwusi towards reviving Yoruba culture at home and abroad. Especially because Yoruba culture and spirituality are intertwined. People thought ” good, now we have a young Ooni who will focus on ALL aspects of Yoruba history and culture, who will STAND as the spiritual leader for ALL Yorubas worldwide, and as the biggest defender of Yoruba Spirituality”.

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After all, the culture we cherish, the monuments to our past achievements and rich history were all created by our forefathers who knew no other religion except Ifa and Orisa. What we are proud of now, belongs to them. Without any oyinbo interference they created many varieties of art, textiles and political systems which remain to this day, and Ile Ife was their centre point.  Ile Ife is historically the custodian territory of Yoruba spirituality, and every ruling Ooni its guardian.That is the role of the Ooni.

Within a short time of ascending the throne , it was clear that whatever spirituality our handsome Ooni was to be the champion of , it  wasn’t going to be the traditional Yoruba one. How do you advocate for something you yourself are dismissive of? This  picture of the Ooni bowing to God in church was splashed in all the Nigerian media ( gleefully by those who have no love for Yoruba Spirituality).

ooni bowing in church

Of course, there is nothing wrong with Ojaja II  bowing to God, Yoruba religion is monotheistic, but why a church, people asked. Did the Ooni not believe that God could  be paid homage to in any of the many traditional shrines surrounding his palace? Why did he sweep past all of them, head for the church and pose for a photo ? Was he sending a message? To whom? Surely not God…..That controversy raged for a while.

 

The Ooni before his trip to the USA made strong moves towards promoting Yoruba language , he is to be commended for this but now cynics could ask, if he cannot call the Almighty by his Yoruba name OLODUMARE, and worship Him as OLODUMARE, and sing a song to OLODUMARE on Fathers Day, why should little kids believe any of us when we tell them it’s important to preserve the language . And why do we harp on about Africans giving their kids English names when  we Yoruba and our spiritual leader ,have given our OLODUMARE an English name  ie Jesus? Doesn’t this make us ( His Majesty included) confused at best , and hypocritical  at worst?

Sadly, all of this points to  the deep rooted problem of identity  within  our Yoruba population and African psyche worldwide . It’s a sorry state of affairs to see that not even the identity of our Creator is sacred when it comes to this issue of self esteem. We were very thoroughly re-programmed.

We cheered when Kabiyesi got out of his vehicle and gave Olokun’s blessing on Philadelphia bridge, but his subsequent act in the RCCG venue left people questioning whether this was a perfunctory gesture for the cameras.

Where exactly is our king’s heart spiritually? Should we even be put in a position where we have to question this? I suppose what would be ideal would be to have our Ooni as a  true adherent  exclusively of the Ifa Aborisa Isese ways  to carry out with huge pride the Yoruba spiritual rites and head the Yoruba spiritual festivals, one who will uplift and preserve the religion in all its manifestations and one to whom the millions of Yoruba religion followers in Yorubaland and worldwide,  can look to with pride for guidance and as a unifying symbol.

Then Aborisa and Isese followers  would not suffer the humiliation of seeing their Igbakeji Orisa singing a Sunday school song with all his heart to the foreign god of the oppressors who took away their freedom, identity and tried cruelly  to strip them of their humanity and  suppress their religion  for centuries.

Anyway if you didn’t see it before, here is a video of Oonirisa Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi singing to Jesus his Father, because Jesus in Christianity is seen as the same as the Creator, the Almighty, though many argue that Jesus is as mythical as Buddha therefore , he (Jesus) is just another deity. Albeit a Jewish one, and clearly the preferred deity of our Oonirisa.

Yoruba Traditional Religion devotees in Nigeria especially  are used to being discounted and disregarded but I would call this video a slap in the face.

 

 

Ooni is hosted by Egbe Omo Ife in USA 

A dynasty of Yoruba kings visits the USA with Ooni 

See all the Ooni USA Tour Photos

Comments

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10 thoughts on “Oonirisa did this, and made 20 million people sad

  1. Well said. This is terrible and very sad. It shows lack of integrity. It also shows that slavery has not ended. If you are still praying to your slavemasters god. You are praying for your own enslavement. Pray to your own Creator Eledumare.

    1. No he’s not ignorant…As a father to all , he has done nothing wrong. Jesus was a black man,I pray you dig this up and read. It’s called religious tolerance. ..he is well read and deep…Arole Oodua!

  2. Place things in proper context people. He sang in a church, on father’s day. He has been in a mosque too to worship. This is a king during his initiation who specifically said that he holds to “Isese” and is neither moslem nor christian. Looking at the totality of his acts, there should be no doubt where he stands. I think people have to understand that there is no hypocrisy here, he has both moslem and christian subjects. Yes, once in a while, he will go to church, and go to mosque, but perspective is needed here, and not rigidity. The mentality that took 400 years of slavery and colonialism to instill won’t be brought down in a matter of months. As we speak many yorubas in Nigeria think of this ooni as a “devil worshiper” because of his deeds and words. If he becomes too rigid, and says I will never go to a church or a mosque, he risks being unable to bring the millions of yorubas in Islam and Christianity back to the faith of the ancestors. So again, perspective, patience, and understanding is needed here. This is probably not the last you will see him singing in church.

    1. Sorry, but I don’t think he’ll be able to bring anyone to the faith of the ancestors.

      First of all because I don’t think he intends to. He made some ‘folklore’ performance during the coronation, during the odun Olokun, during his wedding his this binni woman that watches at all with obvious disdain and not because she’s an alejo (a visitor), but because she thinks (it’s in her face!) oh, this primitive negro stuff! I’ve watched attentively to all the videos of the Ooni and when he receives church people in this ofin, he ENJOYS IT!

      The joy I can’t see when he performs his duties as oba/aworo. Of course, it may be all new for him (and it shouldn’t, how come Ifa chose a person that had no contact or connection whit that makes him suitable for kingship and that bestows him this right: OODUA/ OKANLENU ORISA? It wasn’t Jesus that brought him to the throne, his name is not Jesuwusi, ’cause Jesus doesn’t increase anything out of pastors pocket).

      When he had undergone (if he had) all the rites of the coronation he looked tired with not emotion in his face. When he got to Ife and this people received him with great happiness his faced changed.

      He loves being loved and being oba pataki nile yooba! Oh, he does!

      He loves (and I love more! lol) his royal regalia (his opa ase, his iyin/ okun, his gigantic segi, ati bee bee lo).

      All his official pictures shows him pride of his office.

      But when he opens the mouth and says that Olokun is a ‘god’s angel’ (please, in the most ancient times Yoruba didn’t have a supreme god but Obatala or Oodua, Olorun-Olodumare was a result of cultural/ colonial interaction that was reinforced when the white folks came… in Ife it was Aranfe that sent Obatala to create the world and when Oodua, took his place for the reasons that we all know it was Aranfe, that with the help of Orunmila, Yemoo, etc. mediated as stated by the predecessors of the actual Oonife).

      It would seem that as you state his splinting hair in order to avoid rejection of those that call him a ‘devil worshiper’ just because we gives a couple of pigeons to a pound (Christians are so simple!)

      But if we look in the heart of the olofin, what would we see?

      Airi okan Oonirisa!

      1. The children of Ifa in the diaspora are very concerned about the quality of this new leadership. But we place strong value on the syncrtetistic embrace of the many paths to the Godhead and the universality of spiritual life. Our Ooni, however, does not speak in universal terms and took a clear Christian position, “Jesus is my father!” It is frightening to us that there is the risk that this Ooni will take us back to the time when our spirituality did not have pride of place. We cannot allow that. If he will not lead the devotees of the faith he was elected to lead, we have to consider the unprecedented removal of this holder of the sacred office so that our King will advance the global understanding of the Path of Ifa and the divine Orishas.

    2. I was very sad when I saw this.The Christians and the Muslims have only brought death ro our people.In worshipping Jesus he is betraying the very essence of our religion that of not believed in profets

      1. We were all upset. He seems to be moderating his utterances around this issue a bit better these days though

  3. Yoruba (African people in general) try to adopt all the ‘white’ customs thinking that this will make them closer to (and above all BE ACCEPTED by)

    whites. But African’s devotion for the blond god just increases its disdain because it seems so kitsch (as i.e. the video above… sweet Jesus!).

    Something you learn from interaction with Christians is that this brotherhood in Christ stuff it’s just a way of erasing the self-conscience and cultural

    differences, but it doesn’t create authentic bonds… if it did, white slavery and exploitation wouldn’t happen. He wants to make Ife a touristic zone. But

    the only thing Ile-Ife has to show is ORISA.

    Jesus has already his touristic spot and they won’t sign for multi-destination agreements with black folks… (Jews don’t accept Ethiopian Hebrew and

    why? is the answer necessary).

  4. Anonymous June 30, 2016 at 5:21 pm, I see your point but is it wise for him to trample all over the sensibilities of the Orisa Ife Isese Yoruba communities in the haste to appeal to the Christian /Moslem Yoruba communities? Oduafunmi is right, the main thing, the pulling attraction Ile-Ife has to show is ORISA. The Christians and Moslems will not be drawn to that so is the Ooni “barking up the wrong tree” so to speak , in trying to woo them? Would his energies not be better spent if truly he does hold to Isese and is neither moslem nor chrisitan, would his energies not be better spend wooing Isese communities and other myriad groups worldwide who are seeking spiritual nurturing but do not ascribe to the mainstream Christian/Muslim spirituality?

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