Afro NuggetBlack History


The knowledge of the supreme being that presides over all the universe has been with the Yoruba people for thousands of years. We call it different names namely: Olodumare or Olorun. In fact, many of the oriki that Yorùbá gospel musicians use to praise God are basically from Ifa panegyrics which gave more information about the attributes of Olodumare (God). To say that Yorùbá people do not believe in the existence of a supreme being is the highest of foolery.

Furthermore, it is wrong for anybody to say that orisha means gods. This is why the colloquial translation of Yorùbá terminologies into English words is dangerous for the preservation of Yorùbá identity. If pizza in Italian can be pizza in English why then are we trying to anglicize orisha to mean gods? Why did we allow European and Arabian worldview to determine the definition of Yorùbá civilization and spirituality. The closest definition or synonym to Orisha is saints in Christianity. Orisa means eni ori sa da meaning “he who destiny has chosen”. How does this interpretation mean the same thing as gods? The Catholics venerate their past matyrs and heroes of the Christian faith like Peter, Mary, Paul, John etc. In fact there are images of Mary and she is venerated and asked to intercede in heaven for Christians by Catholic followers. From my explanation so far, why are Yoruba people demonized and criticized for venerating and turning their past heroes like Sango, Ogun, Obalufon etc who were formerly Alaafin and Oonis when they were alive? Sango was an Alaafin, Ogun was an Ooni, Obalufon was an Ooni of Ife too, why are they not worthy of veneration but Mary, Paul and Peter are worthy of veneration? Is it because Sango was Yorùbá and Paul was a Jew and a white? What is veneration?

Veneration is an act of respect to one’s ancestors and past heroes. Why is it then haram or demonic for the Yoruba people to respect and venerate their past Alaafins and Oonis? Till today, King James that ensured that the English version of the Bible was produced is venerated till today as a hero in England as a saint. Why is King James a saint and a hero worthy of veneration but Alaafin Sango a former Alaafin of the old Oyo empire not worthy of veneration! In the name of Christianity and Islam we are voluntarily colonizing ourselves. You can be a Christian and not be Europeanized and you can be a Muslim and not be Arabized. The Malaysians are Muslims but they are not Arabized and the Ethiopians are largely Christians but they are not Europeanized and westernized. Both ethnicities still embrace their ethno-cultural identity. Most of the lies and misconceptions about Yorùbá identity and spirituality are not true but due to lack of proper intellectual rebuttal, mediocre and largely uninformed clerics intentionally speak against other religion adherents in order to keep their audience entertained and feel superior about their new found faith.

COPIED AS WRITTEN BY: Aare Kurunmi Kakanfo

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