Friday 30 December 2022

THROWBACK PICTURE OF KING SUNNY ADE

King Sunny Ade is an Omoba (Prince) having been born into a Yoruba royal family in Ondo State, Nigeria.

He decided from Age 5 to not smoke or drink because he didn’t like the smell of cigarettes.

Young Sunday Adeniyi came to Lagos in 1962 in the guise of earning a degree but instead, joined Federal Rhythm Dandies led by Moses Olaiya (Baba Sala).

He was given his first instrument by Chief Tunde Amuwo who was a friend to his then band leader, Olaiya.

He was nicknamed “kajekaje” which means “eat it, eat it” because he didn’t like food and rarely ate.

Before his mother’s demise, she prepared all his meals because she didn’t want his wives to be jealous of each other.

KSA introduced the pedal steel guitar to Nigerian pop music. He also introduced the use of synthesisers, clavinet, vibraphone, tenor guitar into the juju music repertoire.

In the 1970s and 1980s, KSA embarked on a tour of America and Europe. His stage act was characterised by agile dancing steps and mastery of the guitar which made The New York Times describe him as “one of the world’s great band leaders”.

His Album, Syncro System, in 1983 earned him his first Grammy Award nomination in the folk/ethnic music category.

When his 1988’s Odu was nominated for a Grammy, he became the first African to be nominated twice for a Grammy Award.

Nigeria’s masked musician Lagbaja, is one of the very many that have been motivated by the music maestro.

KSA embarked on a Hollywood career in the 1980s. His music was featured in the 1983 film Breathless and the 1986 comedy One More Saturday Night. He acted in Robert Altman’s 1987 comedy O.C. and Stiggs.

He collaborated with Stevie Wonder on his 1984 album Aura.

In 2008, KSA was given an award for his outstanding contribution to world music at the International Reggae and World Music Awards.

He was appointed a visiting professor of music at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 2009.

He has been classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Thursday 29 December 2022

THE BIOGRAPHY OF FELA – KUTI

Fela was born Olufela Oludotun Ransome Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun state on 15 October 1938, to a middle class family. His mother, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was a famous front line activist in the anti- colonial movement and his father, reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome- Kuti, a protestant minister and a school principal, was the first president of the Nigerian union of teachers.  

His musical talents and radical nature manifested early, so it was no surprise that he went to London in 1958 to study music at the trinity college of music. While there he formed the band Koola Lobito’s, playing a style of music that was a fusion of Jazz with West African highlife. In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria, reformed Koola Lobito’s and trained as a radio producer for the Nigerian broadcasting corporation.

In 1969, Fela took the band to the united states, while there Fela discovered the black power movement through Sandra smith (now isodore) a partisan of the black panther party which would heavily influence his music and political views, indeed Fela experience a political awakening that later reflected in a total transformation of his world view his music and the place of Africa and the black man in history.

His early years and his mother political activism had exposed him to some degree to the fight for political independence from colonialism, and especially memorable for the young Fela was being introduced by his mother to the late Kwame Nkrumah.

Nkrumah was the guiding light of Ghana’s independence and the leading advocate for pan- Africanism and the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U).

If this early exposure could be said to introduce Fela to the politics, his nine (9) month sojourn in Los Angeles completed his political education and gave birth to the musical phenomenon and political maverick of African music forever. In his own words “for the first time I heard things I had never heard before about Africa”. Fela told friends he learnt more about African in Los Angeles than he had learnt in Lagos and insisted that the whole atmosphere of black revolution changed me, my consciousness, my thinking, and my perception of things). I was educated”.

The first acclaimed on afro-beat song “which gave birth to the genre was my lady frustration part of a recording available today on the compilation named “the 69 los angeles sessions.

Fela and his band renamed Nigeria 70, returned to Nigeria. He the armed the Kalakuta republic a commune , a recording studio, and home for many connected to the band that he later declared independent from the Nigerian state.

Fela music became very popular among the Nigerian public and Africans general. Infact, he made the decision to sing in pidgin English so that his music could be enjoyed by individuals all over African where local languages spoken are very diverse and numerous. As popular as fela’s music had become in Nigeria and elsewhere. It was very unpopular with the ruling government and raids on Kalakuta Republic where frequent.

In 1977, Fela and the Africa ‘70’ released the hit album zombie, scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor describe the method of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, casting fatal injuries. The Kalakuta republic was burned, and Fela’s studio, instruments and master tapes were destroyed, he claimed that he would have been killed if it were not for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Fela’s response to the attack was to deliver his mother’s coffin to the main army barrack in Lagos and write two songs, “coffin for head of state” and “unknown soldier” referencing official injury that claimed the commune had been destroyed by Unknown Soldier. Fela and his band then took residence in crossroads hotel as the shrine had been destroyed along with his commune.

In 1978, Fela married 27 women, many of whom were his dancers, composers and singers to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Kalakuta republic. The year also marked by two notorious concerts, the first in Accra in which riot broke out during the song “zombie” which led to Fela being banned from entering Ghana. The second was at Berlin Jazz festival, after which he had a lot of his band members desert him due to various issues.

Despite the massive setbacks, Fela was determined to come back. He formed his own political party, which he called movement of the people. In 1979, he put himself forward for president in Nigeria’s first elections for more than a decade but his candidature was refused. At this time, Fela created a new band called Egypt ‘80’ and continued to record albums and tour the country. He further infuriated the political establishment by dropping the names of ITT Vice president Moshood Abiola and then general Olusegun Obasanjo at the end of a hot selling 25 minute political polemic titled I. (international thief-thief) in 1984, he was again attacked by the military government, who jailed him on a dubious charge of currency smuggling. His case was taken up by several human right group and after 20 months, he was released from prison. He continued to release albums with Egypt “80” made a number of successful tour of United State of America and Europe and his album output slowed down in the 1990’s.

He died on 2nd August 1997, more than a million people ironically including from the armed forces and police attended his funeral in Lagos. His musical career was matchless and prolific with over 70 albums and over 200 songs.

ELIJAH OLUWAGBEMIGA ADEBOYE

A MAN OF MANY TALENTS

Elijah Oluwagbemiga Adeboye was born on the 30th of September 1959 at Odeomu, Osun State, southwestern Nigeria.

At birth, he was known as Elijah Oluwagbemiga Adeboye, but as at the time of his death, it became difficult to keep track of his names.

The names were as a result of his exploits in humour and music.

Some of the names are Funwontan, Alhaji Pastor Oluwo, Abefe, Jengbetiele, Itu baba Ita, Alaye mi Gbengulo and Apogunpote of Yoruba Land.

Elijah Oluwagbemiga Adeboye was a versatile entertainer, a singer, an orator, a comedian a broadcaster and a songwriter.

Some of his songs did not go the usual ‘words and melody’ way, as he carved his own style of singing. And some of his songs are ijinle oro latori ite mimo, oro sunnukun, pàṣán oro, Funwontan, London yabis, Oduology, Itu baba Ita and many more  which he used to educate and entertainment his audience.

Adeboye was a chief host of a popular radio program presented in Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation in the early 1980s where he got the household name Funwontan Oduology He was also described as merchant and performer of traditional Oduology by his fans.

Alaye mi Gbengulo, as he was called by fans, was a mentor to many. Some of those who hold him in high esteem are: Abbey Fagboro, Ereke ni Soobu, Bashiru Adisa better known as Baba Gboin.

The ace broadcaster and master of ceremony hit stardom before comedy became a big industry as it is today.

He died on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 and was buried on Wednesday, May 14, 2003.

May his Beloved Soul continue to rest in peace.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

YEMOJA

“YEMOJA, a goddess associated with wealth, sorcery, and motherhood, is described as a red deity too.

Apter notes that the head priestess of Yemoja wears a red beaded crown and a red parrot feather.

Red in this case is linked to Yemoja’s control of fertility, menstruation, and sorcery-linked danger.

The spiral shaped horn of the IGALA antelope that is used in Yemoja ceremonies is painted with red Camwood powder, a material of that, according to MATORY, is used to beautify babies who have come into the world through the “fecundating power of Yemoja. “

Yemoja’s Temple in Ibadan, which is located, appropriately for this goddess of wealth, directly behind the market, features a large female figure whose surface is bright red. “

Suzanne Preston Blier

“Art and risk in ancient Yoruba-Ife history, power, and identity, C.1300 “

Art: Asiko Artist

Sunday 25 December 2022

ÀROKÒ (Yoruba communications by Symbols)

Semiotics is a study of signs and symbols, and used as a medium of communication without uttering words.

In ancient Yoruba wisdom, it has been deviced and used, it is called ÀROKÒ.

Àrokò is a non verbal communication medium used in The days without modern communication systems.

It is an ancient communication system in Yoruba land by sending or transferring objects and materials of various properties to communicate their coded messages.

The study of Àrokò is an interestingly deep adventure, but Here we shall briefly mention and discuss some of these symbols and their meaning.

ÀÀLÈ (embargo); Ààlè is a means of telling trespassers to keep off a property.

An indication of embargo. When you go to someone's farm or any landed property, and you see Palm fronds attached to stick or some red cloth and horn, it is an ààlè, it means "KEEP OFF"

PÁKÒ (chewing stick)

When you receive a chewing stick from an opposite sex, hmmm... It means "I LOVE YOU"

ỌSÀN (Orange)

When you receive an orange from someone, maybe sent through somebody else, it means I am pleased with you. It could also mean I love you.

ÌYARUN/ÒÒYÀ (comb)

A comb is used ordinarily for combing hair, I.e for separation of tangled hair.

This phenomenon is transfered in coded Yoruba Àrokò. Sending a comb to someone far away means separation or ending Of friendship or love affair.

ẸNÍ (mat)

The sending of a piece of mat raffia especially of ore type is an indication that someone is sick in the household of the receiver and such a person is very lean.

Ọ̀JÁ/GBÀJÁ

Receing some part of cloth used to tie Baby means the pregnant woman you left home has successfully put to bed.

IGBÁ ÒFÌFO (An empty Calabash)

When a king receives an empty Calabash, parrot egg or skull.

It means  the people are no longer pleased with him, he should commit suicide.

OWÓ ẸYỌ(cowrie shells)

Owó ẹyọ is an object widely used to indicate many things in different àrokò, depending on the packaging and their number.

A cowrie shell with a string attached to it is a sign of bad thing or that unfavorable thing happened. 

Two cowries shells tied together facing each other sent to a party or another group means we are in agreement with you or your view, there is harmony.

But when the two shells are tied backing each other, it means disagreement, it means discord.

symbolizes rejection and unfavorable message.

Traditionally, the Yoruba abhor the giving of things in three (3).

Three in Yoruba numerology is confusing.

Six cowries tied together in 3 pairs, it is an expresion of emotion.

Ẹ̀fà (6) is symbolic in Yoruba numerology, it Means attraction.

Ẹ̀fà ló ní kíẹ fà mí mọ́ra (It is six that says draw me closer).

So this Àrokò means the sender is longing to see the receiver. Or simply put, it means I MISS YOU.

ÌRÙKẸ̀RẸ̀ (flywhisk)

Sending of Irukere - flywhisk and cowrie shells from one monarch to Another is a request for agreement or solidarity or farewell.

ÌBỌN/Ẹ̀TÙ (Gun or gunpowder)

Gun or gunpowder is a communication means between states or towns to express a conflict or war.

It tells the receiving town or village to prepare for an imminent war with the sender.

IYỌ̀ (salt)

Salt or honey is sent in opposite meaning to gunpowder. It means peace, harmony and solidarity between the two towns or parties.

Sending both sword and salt to another party in an unresolved issue means the receiver should choose between war and peace.

Esu is CIA, not Satan!

Every viable civilization must have a central intelligence to increase the collective intelligence of the people with a narrative tying their common origins to collective aspirations. Their Ashe to their manifest destiny.

Public opinions are not inborn but mould by public discourse that is often directed proactively. We have witnessed how the Jesuits strengthened the Catholic church, the Sufis advanced the Afroasiatic Islamic civilization.

Presently, the Western Powers have hundreds of thinktanks and intelligence services, while even the Fulani Afroasiatic civilization have to two think tanks, one of which is Gamji. However, the Original African civilization was mainly sabotaged by labelling their information management and collective intelligence as Satanic.

With Yorubas, the colonizers and their neocolonialist elite wrongly labelled Esu as Satan/Devil. Esu was the spiritual and philosophical essence of the uses and transmission of information. The most successful intelligence service is the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, created in an Esu/Virgo month, September 18th 1947 to harness Esu essences.

All civilizations operate on some universal laws best represented by a circle, a clock, that shows the interrelationships between spiritual and philosophical essences. This is not Greco Roman, but Original African knowledge later adapted by Whites, based on simple natural progression, the cycle of life divided into 12 sections from birth to education, marriage, children, death and reincarnation.

Esu is the essence of Information and is represented twice on the clock/calendar as September (Virgo) and June (Gemini) like Osun, the essence of love and beauty in October (Libra) and May (Taurus).


All creations and knowledge comes from Orunmila/Sun, which when structured becomes a civilization represented by Obatala. Esu comes immediately after Orunmila, as no Orisha can communicate without Esu. Esu is important to Obatala, because just as it provides the information flow upon which the civilization rests, it can also be used to challenge and destroy a civilization.

Esu is directly opposite Olokun, the essence of religious and political dogma, propaganda, films etc. Esu being the provision of information and its channels is a lower vibration of Shango, the essence of Justice that weighs the information and makes a judgement. So without a viable information you will end up with an unjust society.

Our misconception of Esu makes us disregard the importance of information. We have no think tanks and most of our actions are based on blind faith and not information derived knowledge. We fall for the most outrageous misinformation and propaganda which essentially has been why our economic and political development has remained arrested. Our three democratic dispositions have been been sabotaged with corruption propaganda - 1966,1983 and 2014.

The mind is the greatest weapon but if we don't manage and feed it with the right data, it becomes a weapon in the hands of others that can use it against us. We don't know our history or nor have data to plan for the future. Esu basically provides and analyzes information. When a people are invaded, the first place usurpers go to is the scribe, to destroy his knowledge bank in order to blind the people. A people perish due to a lack of knowledge about themselves. Without a structured information center, the use of Esu (information) and Obaluaye (structure), a people can't stand for anything tangible and will fall for anything.

The downfall of the Original African civilization has been tied to the failure of our information systems first, before the political and military wars are lost. Afro-Arabic imperialists always sent their traders and scholars into a territory, like the Europeans sent slave traders and missionaries into Africa. The Islamists set up small fronts from where they attract the poor, the women and the youth, with food and other giveaways, while starting a process of disinformation. It is usually moralistic propaganda against the traditional ruling classes. Knowing that Sahel societies undergo famines nearly every 7yrs, they blame the bad fortune on the moral laxity of the leadership, so when it comes the people are agitated to revolt against them. In all cases, the Original African civilization loses its traditional institutions for a more morally corrupt regime, but the dye is cast.

This continued until the European colonists arrived and waged propaganda to culturally derail the people. From simple words like Dudu, which was the word for Black in one of the largest Original African groups, turned to mean shit/excreta. A misguided returnee slave was commissioned by the Church to interpret the Bible into Yoruba and in doing so tied the worst Biblical characters to our most important Original African essences. In the case of Esu and Ekwensu misinterpreted as Satan while the good characters were left with their original  names and not replaced with African names. Gradually through colonial missionary schools they totally derailed the people from understanding the philosophical essences and foundations of their civilizational identity.

The misinformation campaign was essential in the military coups that robbed us of our true independence and recolonizing us. We thought we had put foreign inspired coups based on corruption propaganda behind us, only in 2014/17 to have Nigeria, Brazil and others fall to Western intelligence inspired corruption propaganda, and once again arrested our economic and political development.

At this point, it is becoming clear that if the Original African civilization don't make a proactive effort to increase the peoples collective intelligence, we would continue to shoot ourselves in the foot, and might eventually engage in a needless war. African Sociocultural Harmony and Enlightenment Foundation is a think tank founded by the paramount Original African leaders, and we need more.

You have to teach your children or they will be taught outside to pull down your family foundation.

- ASHE FOUNDATION

Friday 23 December 2022

DO YOU KNOW?

That Abeokuta is the only City in Africa with it's name in more than two other countries.

Some of them are:

(1) Abeokuta in Ogun State, Nigeria which is the main City and the place where the descendants of Egbas go out from and found other Cities in other countries.

(2) Abeokuta in Central River region of Gambia.

(3) Abeokuta, a tourist town in Jamaica with beautiful waterfalls and spring water.

(4) Abeokouta in Benin Republic.

All these places are founded by the egba people.

There’s no other City or Town in Africa whose descendants go out and create a City in the image of their home.

Thursday 22 December 2022

S.T SOAP: The Fall Of A Promising Indigenous Brand

In 1979 Alhaji Safiriyu Tiamiyu started what is known today as S.T Soaps Limited with the sum of five thousand naira (#5000),  expanding from the corridors of his home to erecting a state of the art factory in Ijebu-Mushin, Ogun State.

Despite his wee level of education, S.T understands the importance of advertisements on effective marketing, he invested a huge sum on advertisement, the brand's Jingle on the then Radio Nigeria and across media houses still evokes nostalgic thoughts. By the early '90s, the company expand from soap making to making polythene products having over a thousand workforce most of which are inhabitants of Ijebu-Mushin.

S.T's sporadic downfall began in 2004 when his factory workers began to clamour for a staff union, S.T was reportedly dissatisfied with the idea of a staff union within the premises of his business, he argued that the idea is not appropriate in a sole proprietorship enterprise, the staffs who alleged that they are being maltreated by the company's management, started a protest by abandoning their tasks.

During the protest, one of the staff allegedly damaged a mixing machine. This infuriated S.T who invited the police to arrest the vandal but on getting to the scene the police fired intermittently in the air and arrested everybody they found including non-staffs and strangers. One of the villagers (a deaf boy) was said to have been hit by a stray bullet. 

The police involvement created a complete pandemonium, the villagers got enraged, they vowed to raze the factory if their children were not released from police custody, the old women threatened to protest naked with a left foot sandal and a left earring, realising the consequences of his actions, S.T quickly called for the released of the protesters and everyone arrested at the scene. It took the intervention of the police D.P.O to quell the growing disturbance, both parties (S.T and his staffs) were called to a roundtable and a compromise was reached.

However, on Friday, May 13th, 2005, five police officers from the Elewe-Eran police command, Abeokuta, stormed the factory, S.T was arrested, one of the villagers called Baba Oníkèké, had implicated him in a kidnapping and ritual case, Baba Onikeke alleged that S.T regularly buys human parts from him. 

S.T's home was ransacked but nothing was found, the court case spans for several months but the case was finally dismissed by His worshipped, O.S Moronfolu 1 of the Magisterial district, Chief Magistrate court, Ijebu-Ode.

Following these incidents, S.T was unable to regain his feet, he went into depression, his life never remains the same. He, however, died on October 5, 2020, after years of battling an undisclosed illness.

 Very pathetic story!

HISTORY

Lagos Lawyer, Moronfolu Abayomi was shot dead in a Lagos courthouse at the Tinubu Square, on August 25, 1923, three months and 15 days after his wedding day.

Abayomi's killer was a popular Lagos entrepreneur and "big boy”, Duro Delphonso, from the renowned Delphonso family.

Delphonso was having a legal battle with his Insurance Company and the case was taken to court. The Insurance Company then hired a young and vibrant lawyer, Barrister Moronfolu Abayomi.

As the case proceeded, the young barrister was able to prove clearly that Delphonso committed arson on his home and business in order to defraud the Insurance Company.

On August 25, 1923, when Delphonso was being led out of the court to begin his prison sentence, the convict shot Abayomi with a revolver and turned the same gun and shot himself.

Barrister Moronfolu Abayomi died from excess blood loss while he was in transit to the hospital. The bullet had penetrated his lungs.

Delphonso himself was hospitalised, but the Lagos “big boy” refused to be treated and died six days later on August 31, 1923.

The Barrister’s young widow, Oyinkansola was devastated and refused to love any man again until six years later, in 1929, when a young doctor, Kofoworola John showed her a love greater than her late husband’s and asked for her hand in marriage.

Oyinkansola would agree to get married only on one condition: that Kofoworola John bore the name of her late husband, that is Abayomi, and relinquish his own name – John. Surprisingly, he agreed and they got married the next year in 1930.

They would be married for the next 48 years until Sir Kofoworola Abayomi’s death on January 1, 1979. He was 82. Lady Oyinkansola Abayomi would live to the ripe old age of 93.

The Kofo Abayomi Street in Victoria Island, Lagos, is named in his honour. 

Credit: Ayomide Akinbode

Who Was Dr. Ishola Oyenusi?

Ishola Oyenusi, prevalently known as Doctor Oyenusi, was a famously outfitted burglar who threatened the individuals of Lagos and other neighboring urban areas during the 1970s.

Ishola Oyenusi and his posse of six were exceptionally talented in grabbing vehicles, looting banks, manufacturing plants, stores, and slaughtering individuals like chickens.

Was Ishola Oyenusi Really A Medical Doctor?

Dr. Oyenusi, as he was called, was not a specialist by calling but rather received the title for entertainment purposes. The proof lies in an admission he made a couple of moments before his execution.

He admitted that his folks were not fit for encouraging his auxiliary school training and that was what constrained him into the theft. So without having an auxiliary school instruction, Oyenusi by no chance could have been a clinical specialist.

Oyenusi’s Robbery Exploits:

Oyenusi began his theft profession by grabbing a vehicle (whose proprietor kicked the bucket all the while) in light of the fact that his (Oyenusi) sweetheart required some cash. It was guaranteed by certain sources that Oyenusi was sentimental.

He sold the vehicle at the cost of N400 and gave the cash to his better half. It was additionally said that Oyenusi was hot-tempered and calm egotistical. During his capture, he roared down on a cop who was guiding him around. He stated, “individuals as you don’t converse with me like that when I’m equipped, I weapon them down!”

Specialist Ishola Oyenusi came into the spotlight after the Nigerian common war ended in 1970. He ransacked banks and individuals in both sunshine and night, and he never let any of his casualties live to see one more day; he killed them all! This earned him the name “Specialist loot and murder”.

At the stature of his horrendous rule, Ishola Oyenusi boasted that “the slug has no force”. He most likely overlooked that he who lives by the blade will definitely bite the dust by the sword. Oyenusi was scandalous to such an extent that he was viewed by certain individuals as the “primary commended equipped burglar in Nigeria”, and after him was Lawrence Anini, Babatunde Folorunsho (Baba oni trim), Shina Rambo, Buraimo Jimoh and others.

Ishola Oyenusi’s Arrest:

Be that as it may, nothing keeps going forever, and as the Yoruba aphorism says, ordinary has a place with the criminal while a day has a place with the proprietor.

On the 27th of March, 1971, Oyenusi was grabbed by the police during one of his burglary activities where he and his infamous posse slaughtered a police constable named Mr. Nwi and took $28,000 as at that point. The haze of disgrace drifted above Doctor Ishola Oyenusi as he was cast under the watchful eye of the law and saw as liable at that point condemned to death by terminating crew.

Oyenusi admitted that he was not to kick the bucket alone on the grounds that he didn’t carry out the violations alone.

He regurgitated the names of different individuals from the posse which were as per the following: Joseph Osamedike, Ambrose Nwokobia, Joel Amamieye, Philip Ogbolumain, Ademola Adegbitan, and Stephen Ndubuokwu.

In those days, open execution was the thing to get done, so when Oyenusi was guided to the mainstream Bar Beach in Lagos where he was to be executed, more than 30,000 Nigerians were cheerfully and enthusiastically standing by to see the man who had threatened them get perplexed by hot projectiles. It was said that some government workers even carried a final resting place to the execution ground to deride the once strong looter boss who was present only a substitute whose breath would be depleted at whatever second.

Ishola Oyenusi’s Execution

Trucks conveying Oyenusi and his agents showed up at the execution ground around 10:am. Specialist Oyenusi, his posse individuals, and one other criminal got down gradually.

Individuals scoffed and booed them, particularly Oyenusi who they had truly trooped out to watch bite the dust. Oyenusi wore a dull long-sleeve shirt and had his hands bound behind him.

He was perspiring lavishly yet figured out how to grin right to the stakes. He continued grinning, grinning, and grinning however could at present not conceal the desolation and fear composed strikingly all over.

Few moments before he was shot, Oyenusi told writers that he would not have wandered into furnished theft if his folks were fit for sending him to optional school.

He additionally said, “I am biting the dust for the offense I have submitted”. Oyenusi and different lawbreakers were secured to the stakes. The fighters lined before them and pointed their ever prepared weapons. A portion of the lawbreakers hollered their final expressions of dissent at the cameras. At that point, a boisterous voice let out “fire”! Oyenusi and other hoodlums’ bodies were splashed with shots.

That was the dramatic finish of Ishola Oyenusi who lived by the projectiles and kicked the bucket by the slugs. The execution of Doctor Ishola Oyenusi sent the lanes of Lagos abandoned around evening time. Families bolted themselves behind entryways for the dread that a portion of Oyenusi’s young men may fight back.

This dread kept going long that even in 1977, the veteran film director, Eddie Ugbomah, called for entertainers to assume the job of Oyenusi in a film he was going to create named “The Rise and Fall of Dr. Oyenusi”, however, no on-screen character was courageous enough to step forward to assume the job.

They all expected that Oyenusi’s young men may give them pepper. Eddie Ugbomah had no way out than to assume the job of Oyenusi himself. In the film, he uncovered the insider facts of top Nigerian authorities and military men backing Oyenusi and his pack by giving them cash and weapons.

True to form, Eddie Ugbomah was compromised, and later, his store was plundered. He was advised in a letter to quit shooting the film and everything would come back to him. In any case, Eddie Ugbomah demonstrated not to be a weakling by in the long run discharging the film in 1977.

Lately, a Nollywood actor, Odunlade Adekola, likewise discharged a film (Oyenusi) enumerating the life of Ishola Oyenusi, the most infamous Nigerian furnished looter.

The name Ishola Oyenusi will everlastingly be recalled throughout the entire existence of wrongdoing in Nigeria.

Sunday 18 December 2022

THE HISTORY OF ODUMOSA, THE POWERFUL HUNTER AND FOUNDER OF ERIN-ILE KWARA STATE

Erin-ile, an old Yoruba town was established around 1225 AD for example more than 878 years prior. History of Erin-ile goes back to the verbose return of Oranyan from Edo nation after his red hot military campaigns against the Igbos who were then annoying that piece of Oduduwa's reality.

Erin-ile is probably the most established town in the old Oyun Local Government Area, including Offa. Erin-ile town was established about a similar time as Ipee and the limit between these two was before the coming of Offa town. Solid oral custom and serious research agreeably spin the authentic cause of Erin-ile around one famous regal sovereign of Ife called ODUMOSA.

He was known to be an eminent tracker and marksman, subsequently his name "APAAYAN", for example a marksman who was presumed for his best games. As the fore-name recommend, Odu-mosa was additionally a faithful religionist and a figuring chief. He was a shrewd executive and appealling character. He was the grandson of lord OBALUFON of Ife. OBALUFON is the contracted from the OBA ILU IFE for example (The ruler of Ile-Ife), and Olufon its short structure implies OLU-IFE for example (the ruler of Ife).

He was an acclaimed skilled worker and the first to acquaint metal works with Ife. He is as yet being exceptionally venerated for that important commitment. Ruler Obalufon was ruling when his nephew sovereign ORANMIYAN drove his arrangement of military undertakings to Benin. Ruler Obalufon later kicked the bucket and sovereign ORANMIYAN who was the beneficiary obvious didn't return in time from the war front. In his nonattendance, lord Obalufon's child ALAIYEMORE was designated and introduced as the following Ife ruler.

From that point, sovereign Oranmiyan surfaced suddenly to Ife. Frenzy held everybody inspired by a paranoid fear of what might and could be the response of such a fierce military legend to his life aspiration being so run by his counsin's climb to the seat which he (Oranmiyan) had constantly desired. In such a disrupted and unsure circumstance, ODUMOSA who was the immediate child of lord Alaiyemore thought of it as foothardy to sit tight in Ife for ORANMIYAN's response.

He immediately chose to stop Ife so as to get away from the conceivable anger of Oranmiyan. It was everybody's conviction that whoever incited Oranmiyan welcomed searing war. Odumosa set off with a huge unforeseen of devotees including his child ALAWODE AREBIOPE and his stepbrother, ruler ALAPA. He conveyed with him enough supplies of essential needs. he brought various valuable fortunes from the castle. Among such were beaded crowns, glorious clothing types, regal staff (EDAN OBALUFON), Obalufon's celebration silver crown, set of strung coral dots, the way of life of Obalufon, Ifa prophet, war types of gear, arms and ammo, (for games and self preservation) and a puzzling clarion horn for collecting his adherents at whatever point they dispersed looking for games and food or were abandoned. He depended particularly on the horn which he likewise used to give war or harmony signs and headings of next developments to his supporters.

Like patriarch Abraham of the Jewish history who on divine requests left his folks in the land Haran for an obscure goal. Odu-mosa left Ife on Ifa prophet's guidance for the open wide world without learning his genuine goal. He was a man of confidence, without a doubt a man of dauntless boldness, never terrified of slopes or wildernesses, dry land or overwhelmed planes. He continued endlessly nudging his contingents to walk and head quick in the opposite direction from a potential pursue by Oranmiyan. He told his kin "E RIN E RIN; E RIN" for example WALK FAST, WALK FAST, WALK FAST. The name ERIN was later suffixed with "ILE", which signifies the terminal finish of the trek on Ifa prophet's heading to frame the compound name ERIN-ILE.

After a long spell of meandering and meandering aimlessly before they arrived at that goal, they ended and rested in various spots, as ERINMO or ERIN-ITADOGUN for example an intersection place where they laid on seventeenth day of their trek and made places of arrangement fronds. A major market was set up at the intersection settlement. When Odumosa left, a portion of his devotees stayed behind and settled for all time in ERINMO. Other spot of visit included ERIN-OKE, ERIN-IJESHA, which are all now remarkable towns in Osun State. At Erin-ile, Odumosa met three trackers; Olowe, Afolumodi and Gbaagba, who received him as their first ruler when they was aware of his august status.

At a last visit before Erin-ile, Odumosa, Odumosa overlooked his clarion horn. When they returned for it, it had sunk and shimmering water, presently the stream Owo has begun spouting out of it. It was at this crossroads that his stepbrother, ruler Alapa isolated from him while Odumosa moved west ward, Alapa moved east ward. Alapa now settled Eku-Apa now in Irepodun LGA of Kwara State.

An a lot later settlement of Odumosa's replacements are Erin Papa, established on an open meadow by the thirteenth Elerin of Erin-Ile in rebellion of Alimi, the Fulani Jihadist. Erin Papa was found in Osun State and is presently called Erin – Osun. Around 1907, Elerin olaojo chose to profit to Erin-Ile for discontinuance of threats by the Jihadist. A few residents tailed him while some picked to remain. Erin_osun is likewise a major toen and she imparts close proclivity to Erin-ile. Indeed,the two towns are "twain" towns.

Aside from towns and settlements set up legitimately by Odumosa or his replacements, there are additionally families who have blood or social proclivity with Erin-Ile and are living in different networks. They can be perceived by their surname (oriki) regardless of whether they are in Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ilorin, Oshogbo, Ilesha, Ogbomoso or Offa. Such names incorporate, "More, Mosa" (from Alaiyemore and Odumosa), "Omo Elerin Mosa", "Omo Elewe Ladogba", "Omo Obalufon L'Erin", "Omo Abinuwole" alluding to Olowe who sank alive and "Omo Abiowe" again alluding to Olowe star war pioneer of Erin-Ile. Some outstanding Nigerians with such names incorporate Ali Agboguleri; Saka Pena, Adegoke Adelabu (Penkelemi) and Oba Gbadamosi Adebimpe all in Ibadan, the balogun group of Iragbiji, the Duro Ladipo family in Oshogbo, the Ige family in Ijeshaland spreading to Ibadan, the Toki family in Offa and on the maternal side, the Olugbense imperial family in Offa and so forth.

By and by, Erin-Ile is in Oyun LGA of Kwara State and was the base camp of the Local Governement when it was first made in 1980. For odd reasons, the central command was moved when the Federal Military Government re-made the L.G.A. in 1990. Erin-Ile is on the southern-most edge of Kwara State and offers limits with Offa, Ilemona, Irra, Eku-Apa, Ipee, Igosun all in Kwara State and Oyan and Ila - Odo in Osun State. She is overhauled by current enhancements. A yearly celebration impossible to miss to her is the Obalufon celebration named after their begetter in Ile-Ife.

HISTORY

Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd.), Military Governor of Kano State, Colonel Sani Bello (rtd.), during Obasanjo's visit to Kano, 1978.

HISTORY OF AARE ONA KAKANFO

According to history, the creation of the title of Aare Ona Kakanfo was the direct consequence of the ideas of a former ruler of Old Oyo Empire, Alaafin Ajagbo, who reigned in the 1600s. His predecessors, from Ajaka, who succeeded Sango (the god of thunder), to Aganju, Kori, Oluaso, Onigbogi, Eguguojo, and Orompoto to Abipa and Obalokun, all suffered incessant attacks by neighbouring states.

Aare-Ona-Kakanfo Ajagbo we gathered had a twin brother, Ajampati, and like the Biblical Jacob and Esau, Ajagbo was an outdoorsman, while Ajampati preferred the comforts of the royal court. As a result, Ajagbo, as a prince was part of many military expeditions to fend off invaders, and grew up a warrior, all the while nurturing ideas on how best to deal with military aggression against his kingdom-state. One of the direct results of his ideas when he became Alaafin was the creation of the office and title of Aare Ona Kakanfo, meaning Field Marshal, or Generalissimo of the Yoruba armies.

After creating the Kakanfo title, he invested the holder the command of all his forces, outside Oyo town. For the defence of the Alaafin and Yoruba land, Ajagbo is said to have created a metropolitan force which he placed under the command of the Bashorun.

The installation rites of the Aare Ona Kakanfo are tedious and frightening. The procedures and conventions instituted by Ajagbo and nurtured by succeeding Alaafins were said to be partly responsible for the mystiques surrounding the office and title.

We learnt that during installation, the major rite that must be performed is the administering of two hundred and one (201) incisions on the Kakanfo-designate. The incision is called gbere, in Yoruba, chiefly tiny cuts made with a razor, from the forehead backwards to the waist. Each of the 201 incisions is rubbed with 201 different herbal preparations expected to take the courage and bravery of the Kakanfo to super-human levels. After the incisions, the Kakanfo is “crowned” with a specially-made head-dress, that only him wears as a King of Worriors. It is, in Yoruba, called the Ojijiko. After installation, the Kakanfo leaves Oyo, the Alaafin’s city for his own domain; it is forbidden that the Kakanfo and the Alaafin live together in the same town. It's a taboo for Aare Ona Kakanfo to prostrate for any obas.

A check list of the past holders of the title are- 1. Kokoro Gangan of Iwoye 2. Oyapote of Iwoye 3. Oyabi of Ajase 4. Adeta of Jabata 5. Oku of Jabata 6. Afonja of Ilorin 7. Toyeje of Ogbomoso 8. Edun of Gbogun 9. Amepo of Abemo 10. Kurunmi of Ijaye 11.Ojo Aburumaku of Ogbomoso 12. Obadoke Latoosa of Ibadan 13.Ladoke Akintola of Ogbomoso 14. Moshood Abiola of Abeokuta.

The Myth About Are Kakanfo

Indeed, the title of the Aare Kakanfo has been engulfed in the age long Myth that holders end up being consumed by the office most times in mysterious ways. Of the 14 holders of the title previously before Gani Adams, the first 12, from Kokoro Gangan of Iwoye to Momodu Obadoke Latoosa of Ibadan, were reportedly military commanders. Of these, three had waged wars in the interest of the Yoruba people . These were Kurunmi of Ijaye, Afonja of Ilorin, and Obadoke Latoosa of Ibadan. The succeeding two, Samuel Ladoke Akintola and Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola were civilians.

Whereas the 12 died during war, Akintola was assassinated in a coup in 1966, while Abiola died in mysterious circumstance in the course of his June 12 mandate struggle.

However, with the installation of Adams as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo, the people are already setting agenda for him. Archbishop Emeritus Ayo Ladigbolu wants Adams to tackle the issues of peaceful co-existence among diverse etnic nationalities, religious tolerance, national re-orientation, South-West re-orientation and the re-invigoration of the pride of place of Yoruba language and culture.

He stressed that the modern day Kakanfo does not need bows and arrows, guns and daggers, but requires courage, boldness, bravery, focus, application of native intelligence to national and international issues and the brilliance and adaptability to respond to the myriad challenges facing the nation and the world currently.

Let's respect our tradition. Aare Ona Kakanfo is not a chief but King on his own. His crown name called Ojijiko with Staff of office.

Friday 16 December 2022

QUEEN LUWOO GBAGIDA; THE FIRST AND ONLY FEMALE OONI OF IFE

Luwoo Gbagida is the only female Queen Ooni in the history of Ile-Ife. Ooni Luwo Gbagida became Ooni around 1100CE. As reported, she was a woman of immense physical beauty - a proper "slay queen" who took pride in her attractiveness.

The Ooni of Ife is seen as the most supreme or paramount sovereign in Ile Ife, which is regarded as the source of the Yoruba race.

Generally, he is recognised by his subjects as their spiritual leader and Chief Custodian of traditions. 

There was no date to give an exact clue to how long she was on the thrown for. Dating only started from the 38th Ooni Akinmoyero 1770 – 1800, yet some historians claim that Ooni Luwo Gbagida reigned around 1100. 

Also, this revelation tells forgotten story of women involvement in contributing to the society, not just as workers but as a leaders.

BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Ilè-Ifẹ̀ is a town in Osun state seen as the cradle and ancestral home and source of the Yoruba race, making any presiding ruler, the Ọọ̀ni, a reverred and very powerful leader.

Because Nigerian ancient history was mostly passed down through oral tradition, transcribed lists of the previous Oonis differ and sometimes, contradict each other.

However, most accounts have stated that a female, Ooni Luwoo Gbagida, was the 21st Ooni of Ife, the supreme traditional ruler of Ile Ife. She succeeded the 21st Ooni of Ife, Ooni Giesi and was succeeded by the 22nd Ooni of Ife, Ooni Lumobi.

Ooni Luwo Gbagida was crowned spiritual leader, and chief custodian of the source of the Yoruba race around 1100CE.

Lúwo Gbàgìdá, descendant of Otaataa from Owode compound, Okerewe. She was the first and only female to take the crown as Ooni after the demise of Ooni Giesi.

She was said to have been married to Chief Ọbalọran of Ilode and became the mother of Adekola Telu, the founder and Oluwo of Iwo town.

(Some historical piece claims that Obaloran was also a king not a chief; there were many obas in Ile Ife, apart from the Ooni).

She was also known to be the one to commission unique Yoruba custom of construction of decorative pavements; open-air courtyards paved the pottery shreds.

She was also known to commission the unique Yoruba custom of construction of decorative pavements and open-air courtyards paved with pottery shreds.

The streets of Ile-Ife were paved with quartz pebbles and broken pottery as punishment for anyone who committed an offence.

The offenders were ordered to bake the clay, and afterwards use their bare hands to break it into pieces and then lay it on the floor for the queen to walk on.

WRONG MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT QUEEN LUWOO GBAGIDA

It’s intriguing that Ile-Ife once had a female Ooni. There must be very good reasons Queen Luwoo was trusted to be crowned in her time – a concept known as “gender equality”.

Also, this revelation tells forgotten story of women involvement in contributing to the society, not just as workers but as a leaders.

There was no record of luwo Gbagida marrying plenty of husbands just because she can, afterall kings are known for their taste in multiple women once they assume the throne.

She is known to birth a great king among others; Oluwo Adekola Telu. She started a dynasty that has thrived for centuries.

The current Oluwo of Iwo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Dr. Abdul Rasheed Adewale Akanbi is from her bloodline.

THE HISTORY OF OJE MARKET IN THE ANCIENT CITY OF IBADAN

According to the Gbonka of Ibadan, the market has been there since 1884 during the reign of Oba Oluyole. The name, Oje is derived from a town not far from Ijeru near Ilorin where many people were living in the 1800s. But when war broke out with the Fulani the inhabitants were scattered and from there they migrated to Ibadan.

He continued: “In order to know where these people should stay, they consulted an oracle, which instructed their leader to put all their sacrificial materials in a mortar and continue going round Ibadan Town until he is tired. Thus, the leader obeyed the instruction and when he could no longer carry the heavy load of the mortar and its contents he stopped at Idi Ayunre.

Later, they continued and got to a place where they cleared the bush and saw cowry’ shells, lead, and tubers of yam among other things. Shocked to have discovered (Oje) lead, it reminded them of their roots where they came from (Oje not far from Ijeru near Ilorin).

They then named the place after their former place, and called it Oje Market. Today the people who later inhabited Oje Town near Ilorin observe Oje festival every year.

The Oyo, Ilorin, Iseyin, Ogbomoso, Iwo, Offa- Ile and other Yoruba -speaking people later were coming down here to sell their hand-woven clothes. The market then became a meeting point for business transactions of native Yoruba clothings not only in Yoruba land but in Africa as a whole as traders come from Cotonou, Togo, Ghana, among others.”

He said most people who claimed to be Ibadan indigenes are not from Ibadan, “ I can tell you authoritatively that 90per cent of those claiming to be Ibadan are from Oyo, Ilorin, Iseyin, Ogbomoso, Iwo, Offa- Ile and other neighbouring Yoruba- speaking towns. In fact, the first medical doctor in Ibadan, Dr Agbaje is not from Ibadan,” he said authoritatively.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

EFUN: native chalk

EFUN is provided and is sometimes used to make some ritual marks on the ground or on the sacred objects or as an important item in the materials offered.

It is used especially in the worship of OLOSA or OLOKUN when offerings are made to the spirits of the lagoon and the sea respectively.

EFUN also figures prominently in the worship of OBATALA and AYELALA.”

Awolalu

ILÀ / TRIBAL MARKS

Tribal marks are made through scarification technique. This practice can be witnessed not only in Yoruba but also in many other tribes in Africa. The tribal marks are part of the Yoruba culture and are usually inscribed on the body by marking of the face and other parts of the skin during childhood to do  different patterns. They then rub native dye  and medicine charcoal like on marks to prevent the skin from closing up as the body tries to heal itself. The native dye also helps to stop the bleeding.

According to the traditions, every child in Yoruba land is born into a patrilineal clan. This clan share  marks “ila,” family name “oriki,”  taboos and poetry.

Tribal marks mean different things and serve different purposes among different tribes and families.

1. Identification:

Yoruba land in Nigeria as part of the culture is one of the cradles of this practice. People may have different types of marks according to their villages and families origin. Tribal marks as a form of identity became important during the slave trade as some people who made their way back home were easily identified by the marks on their face or body.

2. Beautification Purposes:

Tribal marks in Nigeria were also used for beautification purposes. Traditional men and women believed that tribal marks made them look more attractive. Its an honour beauty and heritage and something worn with pride.

3. Religion and Spiritual Protection:

Another reason why some tribes engage in tribal markings is for the sole purpose of spiritual protection.  In some parts of Yoruba land, tribal marks on the face are believed to grant spiritual power to children, protect a child from evil spirits and stop death from taking the child at the very young age and in the case of "Abiku".

4. Healing Purposes:

One of the most meanings associated to tribal marks is connected to traditional healing practices. Healers in some tribes mark children faces and bodies to help them to recover. It was used to treat children with measles, pneumonia, convulsion...  The healing marks could be made on any part of the body and rub with medicine for the healing process. These marks are very small and often difficult to spot.

*The practice of having tribal marks is fading.

What was once seen as a sign of beauty, identity and heritage are now seen as a mutilation and something to be ashamed of due to the bully and how people react to it…

Muse: Omidán Irẹnítèmi Osuntóòmisin Omitọké

HISTORY

Chief Awosika, leader of the Western Nigerian Corporation and Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria, being shown examples of bricks used on Warren Housing Estate in Watford, by Managing Director H E Comben, England.

Date: November 1st 1960

Chief Festus Olawoyin Awosika (OFR) 1911-1965 .

In 1954, he was appointed as the Central Minister of Works, a portfolio he handed with a great sense of integrity and trust. His mantra was service to humanity and to the people.

He was Minister from June 20th 1958- January 31st 1961. When 400 acres of land at Bodija in Ibadan was acquired to be made to 1200 residential houses, Chief Awosika made sure that the land was sold on a one person one plot basis and that everyone had a fair shot at owing that piece of land that would later become the Bodija Estate, in Ibadan.

Also, under his Administration, 720 acres of land inn ikeja, Oregun was mapped out for Residential and Industrial Purpose, part of this formed the major housing and industrial sites in those areas.

The famous Cocoa house in Ibadan which was the tallest building in Africa at that time was built under the Administration of Chief F.O Awosika.

It was Chief F.O Awosika that stood up and seconded the motion for Nigeria’s Independence when Chief Anthony Enahaoro moved the motion in 1956.

Chief F.O Awosika died at the Jericho Nursing home in Ibadan. He was aged 55.

YORUBA CULTURE

“In the YORÙBÁ belief, family is made up of both the living members and the ancestors.

The ancestors constitute the closest link between the world of men and the spirit world and they are believed to be keenly interested in the welfare of their living descendants.

They exercise protective and disciplinarian influence on their children.

They are the guardians of family affairs, traditions, ethics and activities.

Offenses in these matters is ultimately of an offense against the forefathers who, in that capacity, act as the invisible police of the families and communities.

It is, therefore, believed that the ancestors can be a tremendous benefit to the children who keep them happy and to observe the family taboo; but can be detrimental to the disobedient and negligent children.

The implication is that the ancestors expect their descendants to care for them by making offerings of food and drinks.

They are regarded as presiding spiritually over the welfare of the family.

The living have the confidence that they live in a world in which their ancestors are interested and over which they are watching. “

AWOLALU

Photo: Stephan Gladieu

Monday 12 December 2022

STORY THAT BIRTH THE YORUBA ADAGE: “ENI TI O LE SE ALAABARU L’OYINGBO, KO LE SE BI ADEGBORO L’OJA OBA”

Just like most hardworking, energetic, and focused Yoruba youths, Adegboro left Ibadan for Lagos in search of greener pasture. On getting to Lagos, he couldn’t get a good job as he envisaged before leaving Ibadan for Lagos. So as not to stay idle and go hungry in a foreign land, he decided to be carrying loads (Alábàárù) on his head at Òyìngbò market so as to earn a living.

Adegboro was very consistent and dedicated. He saved the money he was making from carrying loads on his head for people (Alabaaru) and in a few years’ time, he bought a cart from his savings and this eased the pain of carrying loads on his head for commercial purposes.

The Cart made his work much easier and also increased his income. Instead of living large and spending the money he was making on himself, he continued living in denial of a pleasurable and comfortable lifestyle, he kept saving the money.

After a while, he used the money he had been saving to acquire six (6) more carts which he rented out to his colleagues in the business of carrying loads (Alabaru). After about 7 years of using and renting out carts, Adegboro bought a van which is popularly known as “Bolekaja” and learning how to drive, he handled the business by himself.

Adegboro was a disciplined and focused Ibadan Man. After about another Four (4) years into the “Bọ́lẹ̀kájà business”, Adegboro had been a proud owner of six (6) Vans (Bolekaja).

Adegboro’s Bolekaja business boomed. A few years after, the same homeless and poor Alabaru named Adegboro from Ibadan was already rich. As a bonafide Ibadan son, (ọmọ bíbí ìlú Ìbàdàn), rest is sweet after work and there’s a Yoruba adage that says: “Ile ni abo isinmi oko”. ADÉGBỌRỌ̀ built a magnificent building at ỌJÀ-ỌBA where the Olúbàdàn Palace was situated.

People who knew Adegboro especially his friends and family members in Ibadan started approaching him to show them the secret behind his success.

What was he doing in Lagos?

How was Adegboro able to amass wealth to the extent of building such a magnificent building at Oja-Oba? They all look at him in perplexed askance and begged desperately to show them the way, how did you do it? they all asked.

We are ready to do anything you ask us to do! They said.

Adegboro simply smiled and asked them if they could carry loads on their heads in the market to earn income (alábàárù)? The once energetic and ready friend(s) would frown and their response had always been “NEVER”.

Adegboro too would look them in the eye and spontaneously say “ẸNI TÍ Ò LE SE ALÁBÀÁRÙ L’ÓYÌNGBÒ, KÒ LE SE BÍ ADÉGBỌRỌ̀ L’Ọ́JÀ ỌBA” – this is a replica of the adage also in Yoruba land that says; “ÌṢÀṢÙN tabi ÌKÒKÒ TÍ YÓÒ J’ATA (ỌBẸ̀), ÌDÍ RẸ̀ A KỌ́kỌ́ GBÓNÁ”. (A pot that wants to consume a palatable soup must have its bottom burnt or heated with fire first).

Lasting wealth doesn’t come with ease, it takes years and consistent effort to make it in Life. Also, don’t assume someone is Lucky, most people didn’t know about what Adegboro passed through in Lagos they didn’t see him toiling morning, afternoon, night carrying loads on his head for survival; they only saw the magnificent building he built in Oja Oba.

Always remember that tough times never last but tough people do. Be consistent in whatever you do and success will always be yours.

Saturday 10 December 2022

Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára

In Yorùbá cosmology, there is a belief that the world is a complex of opposing forces. For example the Yorùbá perception of the eclipse as a conflict between the sun and moon is a widespread belief. There is a belief of opposition or complementarity of sun and moon, day and night, hot and cold, wet and dry, visible and invisible, all complementing one another.

Hence there’s this popular saying: tibi tire la dá ilé ayé (world is sustained by good and evil). Also that “Inú ìkòkò dúdú l'ẹ̀kọ funfun ti ńjáde” (it is out of a black pot that the white porridge comes out). In other words, you use a black pot to cook and make white porridge.

The implication here apart from signifying that good things can come out of a bad event and vice versa, it also relates night to daylight because daylight comes out of the night. For this reason, Yorùbá cosmology has forces associated with those on the right and those on the left.

Those of the left are associated with evil, and those of the right with good. As a result of this, there’s a belief that there are certain deities created by Olódùmarè to reconcile these forces that are in perpetual opposition to one another - a part of dualism.

The Yorùbá Irùnmọlẹ̀ associated with this balancing act is “Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára”, the divine messenger, who is associated with the crossroads. Èṣù is not the aggregate of evil. He is the messenger of other Òrìṣà and Irùnmọlẹ̀, bringing both good and evil tidings. His embodiment of complementarity not only assumes the possibility of balance in the world but also implies unpredictability as humans are left guessing the fate Èṣù has in store for them.

This ambiguity has crowned Èṣù as a master trickster. He has been described as a chameleon, one that camouflages - a shadowy creature, now visible, now invisible!

Èṣú’s oríkì goes like: 

Barà tí ò lóògùn ìkà, tó sọ ilé àna rẹ̀ di ahoro 

Barà ni abẹ́lẹ́kún sunkún kí ẹ̀rù o ba ẹlẹ́kún

Bí ẹlẹ́kún bá nsunkún, Laáròyé a máa sun ẹ̀jẹ̀ 

Barà ni abónímí ṣu imí kí ẹ̀rù ba onímí

Bí onímí bá nṣu imí, Laáròyé a máa ṣu ìfun.

Barà who does not have evil medicine but turns his in-laws home into desolation

Barà is the one who weeps with those weeping and they will be frightened 

By the time they see Èṣú Laáròyé weeping blood

The one defecating will be full of fright by the time he sees Èṣú defecating his intestines.

This is our beloved Èṣú in Yorùbáland as exemplified in the above oríkì. The Irùnmọlẹ̀ that goes the extra mile in a frightening way when angered! A master unpredictable prankster indeed.

The elusive and unpredictable chameleon-like power of Èṣù is best illustrated in his ability to make pronouncements - a curse or a blessing. That is, to speak Àṣẹ - the power of the word and therefore to create into being the vital force of efficacy, the evocative power to bring something into effect.

Àṣẹ is generally understood to mean the force or power that the Supreme Being, Olodumare used to create the universe. It is believed that Olodumare handed this power over to Èṣù, who uses it to effect the balance between good and evil forces in the world and to make the final decision on human fate.

Èṣù is the keeper of Àṣẹ, and in the words of William Bascom in his book - Sixteen Cowries, Èṣù is “the divine enforcer” of fate. In Yorùbá cosmology, there is a ritual awareness of the ubiquity of Èṣù in the everyday language.

Orí (inner head/fate) is frequently used in both serious and trivial moments and there is a mental or psychical understanding in Yoruba belief system that implies acknowledgement of the role of fate in one’s dealing with other humans.

Fate implies favour and retribution, favour for the supplicant and retribution for the supplicant’s adversary. Our act of appealing to our Orí (fate) in conversation always assumes the expectation of a response either symbolic or actual.

Odù Ọ̀wọ́nrínṣogbè says the following about Èṣù:

Gbọn-gbọn-gbọn ni wọ́n rọ’kọ́

Gbọ̀n-gbọ̀n-gbọ̀n ni a rọ àdá

Léjìdà-léjìdà ni wọ́n rọ agogo idẹ

A d’ifá fún Alárè Ohùn Tótó

Alárè Ohùn Tótó

Ọmọ a bu erin bí ẹni tí ńbu’ṣu

Ọmọ a bù kan gẹ̀dẹ̀gbẹ̀ tẹ́lẹ̀ kòkò

Bí wọ́n ti ńjẹ Alárè wọn ò tọ́jọ́

Wọ́n ní kí ó dúró ní ‘dúró, kí ó bọ odó

Wọ́n ní kí ó bẹ̀rẹ̀ ní ‘bẹ̀rẹ̀, kí ó bọ ọlọ

Kí ó dúró lóòró gangan, kí ó fi oun Èṣù f’Èṣù

Èṣù Olugbe, Awo Láàmúlé 

A d’ifá fún Láàmúlé, 

Orí ò rẹ’rù, orí d’orí ate

Èṣù gba tì ẹ, Ẹ̀gbà gba tì ẹ

Oun ẹ rí, ẹ f’Èṣù

Èṣù gbàá ọlọ o

Ọ̀wọ́nrínṣogbè, k’Èṣù gbà

K’ẹbọ dà f’ẹlẹ́bọ

Èṣù gbá ọlọ ẹ, gbà-gbá ọlọ o

Oun ẹ rí, ẹ f’Èṣù o

Èṣù gbàá ọlọ ẹ, gbà-gbá ọlọ o

Oun ẹ rí, ẹ f’Èṣù o.

In English:

“When we forge a hoe, we beat ‘Gbọn-gbọn-gbọn’; 

When we forge a cutlass, we beat ‘Gbọ̀n-gbọ̀n-gbọ̀n’;

When we forge a brass gong, we turn it over and over and over; 

If we bring them together, they become only one alone” was the one who cast Ifá for Ohùn Tótó, the Alárè. 

Alárè Ohùn Tótó, the son of one who chops elephant like yam

The son of one who chops a big chunk of elephant meat for cooking 

All past Alárè Chiefs have been dying young 

For him not to die young, 

They said Ohùn Tótó, the new Alárè should stand upright and offer a sacrifice to the mortar. 

They said he should squat and offer a sacrifice to the grinding stone. 

They said he should stand in the yard and give to Èṣù what he demands. 

Èṣù Olugbe, the chief priest of Láàmúlé was the one who cast Ifá for Láàmúlé. 

The one who did not carry loads on his head yet became bald. 

Èṣù, please take your portion, Ẹ̀gbà (Ẹlẹ́gbára) please take your portion 

Whatever you find, give it to Èṣù 

Ọ̀wọ́nrínṣogbè says, we should give to Èṣù what belongs to him

So that the sacrifice would be accepted.

The no-nonsense nature of Èṣù is further demonstrated in the following snippet from Odù Ọ̀wọ́nrínṣogbè

À ní k’ọmọdé ó tọ́jú Èṣù 

Ọmọ kékeré ń tọ́jú iṣẹ́

Iṣẹ́ t’ọmọdé bá f’alẹ́ ṣe, f’àárọ̀ ṣe 

Ìrọ̀lẹ́ ọjọ́ kan ni Èsù Ọ̀dàrà á gba dànù

Pankẹrẹ́ jínwínní Awo ‘nú ‘gbó...

A youth was instructed to propitiate Èṣù

He ignored the instruction but focused on his work

Little did he know that whatever work a youth does from dawn to dusk

Would only take a moment to be destroyed by Èṣù

The fearsome cane, priest of the forest...

References: 

1. Osagie I: African Modernity and the Philosophy of Culture in the Works of Femi Euba

2. Euba F: Archetypes, Imprecators, and Victims of Fate: Origins and Developments of Satire in Black Drama

3. LawaL B: “A Big Calabash with Two Halves: The Yoruba Vision of the Cosmos.” - A lecture delivered at Stellar Connections: Explorations in Cultural Astronomy symposium

By Olobe Yonyon

The First Nigerian Female JuJu Musician, Guitarist

Queen Serifat Oladunni Oduguwa  popularly known as Queen Oladunni Decency was one of the stars of the Yoruba juju musician during her lifetime.

She was born in 1949 in Noforija, Epe, Nigeria and died in 1978 at the age of 28.

She was the founder and leader of a Jùjú music band called Her Majesty Queen Oladunni Decency And Her Unity Orchestra.

The First  Female guitarist and band leader recorded many hit songs  including: Atupa Ma iku, Ninu Igbagbo Lemi O Ma Yan,  Alafia Logun Oro , Odun Yin San Wa Sowo, Metric System, Ijesa Progressive Union,  Emi Yio Ma Yin O Logo, Chief S. B. Ajasa Oluwa, Mummy Juju Fans, Pegan Pegan and others.

HISTORY OF IGBAJA PEOPLE

Igbaja is a community in Ifelodun Local Government Area, Kwara State, Nigeria, at an elevation of 349 m. It is about 40 km southeast of Ilorin, and is in Igbomina counfinfin.

The Ilorin Provincial Gazetteer (1918) dates the settlement of Igbaja as late 17th or early 18th century, while the Igbaja District Gazetteer (1933–35) puts it about 1750 AD.

The wet season lasts from April to October, with 50–100 cm of rain. In the dry season from November to March there is 0–13 cm of rain. The natural landscape is Southern Guinea savanna, or open woodland. The soils are deep and red, often with clayey subsoil, suitable for pottery making.

The Irese (igbaja)  people  is an autonomous  community  within the Igbomina -Yoruba people.  It is ruled by its great king,  Elese.  The Igbomina  is a distinct  clan of the Yoruba people sharing some features with the Oyo yoruba on one hand,  and Ekiti yoruba on the other hand.

Our knowledge of the Irese people which forms the basis of this talk is derived principally from aspects of Yoruba folklore namely : Oriki Orile  and proverbs.  These are in themselves aspects of Yoruba oral tradition.  This is a primary source of a permanent  timeless nature which we consider superior to written sources which are handiwork of political masters.

One major reason for our sole reliance on oral tradition is that the story we are to talk about is the story of a great cultural heritage that was,  of a glory and splendor that has been lost through generations of neglect caused by subjugation of the Irese people by superior external forces – military,  political  and socio-cultural.

Modern Igbaja first caught the attention of the world through Radio ELWA,  the radio broadcasting outfit of the Sudan interior mission,  and latter through the theological college belonging to the same Christian mission.

Irese land is referred  to in folklore by several names viz: Iran Ajisola,  Oko Irese,  and Iran Elese all of which seem to be cognomen of the ruler of the kingdom which Irese land actually was. It is he that was called severally as Ajisola Omokele ori  Ogun,  Okoalake ajiboronle oba Igbaja. It appears to us that Irese land was composed of several towns,  among which were Ora, Erin, Oko Ode, Isale Owo and Igbaja itself.

The names are used in out source and variously that it seems to us that Oko is synonymous with Igbaja.  Indeed although there is only one known Igbaja,  there are several Oko such as the one near Omu-Aran  and the one near Ogbomosho.  There is another in Egbaland , Ago Oko. It is evident that the Elese had a very close link with the Alaafin the ruler of the Oyo empire. Irese people were best known for their excellent works of art, Igba finfin.

It was such a predominant occupation of the people that it remains a proverb till this day that : “Bi onirese ko  tiko fingba mo, Eyi  toti fin koleparun” meaning “even if Onirese refuses to carve patterns on calabashes, the ones he had already carved will never perish”. From the sale of the carved calabashes,  they made lots of money:”Igba finfin Olora egbeje, finfintaifin olora egbefa”.

The Igbaja people were also great farmers, planting mainly garden eggs (Ikan)  ,okro (Ila) , and yams.  It was from the sale of okro and garden egg that they got the riches which earned them their fame.

The present traditional ruler is the Elese of Igbaja, Alhaji Ahmed Babalola Awuni arepo III.

The Irese (igbaja)  people  is an autonomous  community  within the Igbomina -yoruba people.  It is ruled by its great king ELESE.  The Igbomina  is a distinct  clan of the Yoruba people sharing some features with the oyo Yoruba on one hand,  and ekiti Yoruba on the other hand.

Our knowledge of the irese people  which forms the basis of this talk is derived principally from aspects of YORUBA folklore namely : oriki orile  and proverbs.  These are in themselves aspects of YORUBA oral tradition.  This is a primary source of a permanent  timeless nature which we consider SUPERIOR TO WRITTEN SOURCES WHICH ARE HANDIWORK OF POLITICAL MASTERS. We seem nit to have much choice other than oral tradition because the written sources available to us yield 

scanty information on the great heritage of the Irese people.  Or of what use to us are archival information on Irese as a subjugated people which recorded Elese as a head of a district under another superior ruler!

One major reason for our sole reliance on oral tradition is that the story we are to talk about is the story of a great cultural heritage that was,  of a glory and splendour that has been lost through generations of neglect caused by subjugation of the Irese people by superior external forces – military,  political  and socio-cultural.

Modern igbaja first caught the attention of the world through Radio ELWA,  the radio broadcasting outfit of the Sudan interior mission,  and latter through the theological college belonging to the same Christian mission.

Ireseland is referred  to in folklore by several names viz: Iran Ajisola,  Oko irese,  and Iran elese all of which seem to be cognomen of the ruler of the kingdom which Ireseland actually was. It is he that was called severally as Ajisola Omokele ori  Ogun. Okoalake ajiboronle oba igbaja.

It appears to us that Ireseland was composed of several towns,  among which were Ora,  Erin,  Oko ode. Isale owo. and igbaja itself.

The names are used in out source and variously  that it seems to us that Oko is synonymous with igbaja.  Indeed although there is only one known Igbaja,  there are several Oko E. G the one near omuaran  and the one near ogbomosho.  There is another in egbaland , ago Oko. It is evident that the elese had a very close link with the Alafin the ruler of the oyo empire.

Irese people were best known  for their excellent works of art.  Igba finfin.

It was such a predominant occupation of the people that it remains a proverb till this day that:

Bi onirese ko  tikofingba mo

Eyi  toti Fin koleparun.

Meaning : “Even if Onirese refuses to carve patterns on calabashes. The one he had already carved will never perish”

From the sale of the carved calabashes,  they made lots of money

Igbafinfin olora egbeje

Finfintaifin olora egbefa

They were also great farmers, planting mainly garden eggs (Ikan)  ,okro (Ila) , and yams.  It was from the sale of okro and garden egg that they got the riches who h earned them their fame.

“Baba wa nifowola reru

Iran irese nifiwokan yawofa

Iran elese nifowokoko fobinrin ”

There was a big Market place at IGBAJA. The true ownership of which was initially disputed.

”Odajandaja

Babawa daja nigbaja

Odajandaja

Babies daja nirese Elerin

Elerin sopoja baba awonni

Ara isale iwo,  wo loja  baba awon ni

Aseyinwa  Aseyinbo

Oja naa wadoja nigbaja

Oja naa wadoja nirese Elerin

Lojude baba tobiwon lomo

Odagedegudu oba igbaja ”...

As can be seen in the end,  the true owner of the market was no longer in doubt. They did their buying and selling  at the market but they were very careful and meticulous as to the quality of any item,  including slaves,  they wanted to buy.

”Oko irese omowoyira Komabareru keru

Erukeru abilala lenu

Oko irese omowoyira Komaba ragbakigba

Igbakigba ni keke so”....

Their women folk were usually very beautiful  but they were very jealous  and could be very sexy.  They could not tolerate  sharing their men with a second woman.  They go to any length  to eliminate their co-wives.

“Oko dara

Okowumi

Owu  jije won losumi

Omo ajowu Yoko lenu

Omo Amugburu Amugburu Korogun re ribumu Amugburu Korogun re ribuwe

Komilebatan

Koko le ran orogun re lodo loru

Kejo le San orogun re lese ni

Korogun lebaku

Kokoun nikan loode  oko

Oko jowu jowu

Oba ofanjowu nipepe

Oni Ajisola asolale laja kinloni kinwale babayinwase

Eesepe  molale  laja

Eku lasan nidun nipepe

Oko jowu,  obelulu jowu ninu oko

Oni Ajisola asolale legan

Kinloni kinwoko babayinwase

Kiisepe molale legan

Eye Oko lasan nidun kisokiso

Omo Alake temile mioba teniwa

Ohun timobawa Jori enilo.

It was therefore a source of great trouble for one man to marry two Oko woman.

”beniyan Gboko Meji Sile, Bi Igbati oluwa re nwa  Oran ni”

The land was ruled by a great king,  rich in splendour  and magnificent  in his glory.

Oriki

Baami lelese moko

Ajisola nimi

Omo kele Ogun

Oko Alake  omo ajiboro nigbaja....

Alake mobelese more

Alake mobolora momiora

Mobajisola alake jebe tioniru...

Ajisola

Omo agbe sobolobomonitan

Ofinkan moinimoin bo nkan moinmoin

Babawa nifowola reru

Iran Irese nifowokan yawofa

Iran Elese nifowo koko fobinrin....

Eyele kosun okoriooo

Adaba kosun okaya

Eyele irese okosun lese odapasi

Won yiosemon peyele soge abi kosoge....

Ajisola

Omo oba  kele oju Ogun

Oko weku idie weku

Oko Alake omo ajebioroyo

Ara gedegudu oba igbaja....

Owu ojekinle foko lobinrin

Ajisola jowu jowu jowu jowu jowu jowu

Oko alake omo ajowu yoko lenu....

Omo amu gbururu, amu gbururu

Korogun re ribumu

Amu gbururu korogun re ribuwe

Amu gbururu korogunre ribuboju....

Tomi batan

Kosofoko lale

Kokole baranrogun re lodoloruni

Kejoleborogun re lesejeni

Korogunlebaku kokoun nikan loode oko...

Oko jowu

Olobofan jowu nipepe

Ajisola asolale laja, kinloni kinwale babayin wase

Kese pe molale laja

Eku las an nidun loripepe

Oko jowu, olobelulu jowuninu oko

Olajisola, ase olaleleganv , kinlonikinwoko babayin wase

Kise pemolale legan , eye oko lasamoinmoin kisokiso....

Oko alake, omowoyira komabaragbakigba

Igbakigba keke niso

Oko alake omo woyira komaba rerukeru

Eru keru abilala lenu.

Oko temile miobateniwa

Ountimobawa ojori enilo…

Bonirese ofingba Mon iyitotifinsile komaparun

The Origin Of ‘Ìyàwó’....The Yoruba Word For Wife!!!

It is unknown to many speakers of the Yorùbá language that the original Yorùbá word for wife is ‘aya’ and not the commonly used ‘Ìyàwó’.

Back in the early years of the Yorùbá people, the word “ Iyawo “did not have a place in the Yorùbá language not until an incident brought about its coinage and usage. Old Nigeria present you the origin of the Yorùbá word Ìyàwó .

Origin of the Yorùbá word Ìyàwó:

Long ago in Yorùbá land, a beautiful princess and daughter of the first king of Iwó town named Wúràọlá was in the quest of getting herself a patient, tolerant and well mannered husband.

Strong and good looking men, the likes of Sàngó, Ògún and others, had already traveled to Iwó town to seek the hand of Wúràọlá in marriage but left not with a wife but uncontrollable anger. Wúràọlá had been rude to everyone of them. In fact, she hurled insults and curses at her suitors which made them all leave on the same day they arrived the town of Iwo because they couldn’t tolerate her bad behaviors.

Ọ̀rúnmìlà, a good looking man, also journeyed to Iwó in the bid to win the hand of Wúràọlá in marriage. But before he set out, he had already consulted Olódùmarè , the supreme being, through Ifá. Olódùmarè revealed to Òrúnmìlà that he must be patient with Wúràọlá and endure her behaviors no matter how bad they are in order to succeed in the quest of marrying Wúràọlá.

When Òrúnmìlà got to the palace of the king of Iwó, he was greeted with a hiss and scornful look by Wúràọlá. The unperturbed Òrúnmìlà smiled and returned her greetings with kind and sweet words and also presented gifts to the king.

Òrúnmìlà stayed in Iwó for seven days which can be described as nothing but a hell on earth. Wúràọlá didn’t serve Òrúnmìlà water let alone food. She insulted the goodness out of Òrúnmìlà but he stayed calm and smiled at her. He even smiled when she used his opon ifa (divination board) as firewood and when she took his pouch (àpò ominijekun) from him. Though, Òrúnmìlà boiled with rage, still, he didn’t show it or leave Iwo according to the instructions of Olódùmarè .

On the sixth day of Òrúnmìlà's stay in Iwó town, the king of Iwó gave Wúràọlá in marriage to him after concluding that he is a patient, kind and tolerant man suitable to marry his daughter. Meanwhile, Wúràọlá's bad behaviors were planned to test her suitors so as to get her a husband with good manners and temper. She was a lovely, caring and well behaved lady. Òrúnmìlà was glad that he heeded to the instructions of Olódùmarè and on the seventh day, he and Wúràọlá journey back to his town.

Òrúnmìlà was welcomed and praised by his townspeople for his achievement. When they asked him about Wuraola, his wife, he responded, “Ìyà tí mo jẹ ní Iwó” (my sufferings in Iwó town ) That was how wives became known as Ìyà-Iwó (sufferings in Iwó ) and now Ìyàwó . So men don't be afraid or surprise by what you experience daily, it started ages ago.

The Story Of The King Of Land Grabbers : JIMOH ISHOLA aka EJI GBADERO

As you go from Iyana Ipaja to Egbeda in Alimosho, Lagos State, Raji Oba Street is to your left. It is one of the most popular streets in the area. It is the street that hosts the imposing complex of Bishop David Oyedepo’s Winner Chapel. There is a branch of Diamond Bank close to Moshalasi Bus Stop that leads to the street. It is a street that you can’t miss. Ha! You know the street? I told you it’s a street you can’t miss.

However in the 1970s when this true-life story began, there was no Raji Oba Street. There was no Winner Chapel building. There was no Diamond Bank. In fact, almost all of what is now one of the most densely populated areas in Lagos State was a forest. Except for some rural settlements scattered here and there, the entire Alimosho was a village.

So who was Raji Oba? Why was the street named after him? Is there a story behind the naming of the street after him? What happened that fateful night in 1975? You know you cannot make eba without garri? To tell you the story of Raji Oba, I must tell you the story of Ejigbadero.

Raji Oba's story is Ejigbadero's story. Ejigbade's story is Raji Oba's story. It was a story that shook the entire Lagos State to its foundation. My uncle who was then a young surveyor  told me that for years, some people were scared of going to the area once it was nightfall. Today, Onigegewura brings you the story of  Kiniun Baba Moradewun! Lion of Mushin! Jimoh  Ishola Adeyemi!  Ejigbadero! Gbadero! The Chairman!

Jimoh Ishola was arguably one of the famous people in Lagos of 1960s and 1970s. He was rich. He was streetwise. He was known. He was connected. He was the darling of musicians of the day. One of the surest ways to launch a musical career then was to sing about Ejigbadero. Yusuf Olatunji (Baba Legba) devoted substantial part of his Volume 19 to sing his praises. Baba Commander, Ebenezer Obey and his Inter Reformers Band, celebrated him in his 1974 album.

If Nigeria was not under military rule in 1970s, Jimoh Ishola could have contested and won an elective political position. He was that famous.

Though Ejigbadero was not born in Lagos, he became the unofficial Lord Mayor of Lagos metropolis. Jimoh hailed from Oja-Oba Quarters in Ibadan, Oyo State. He came with his uncle to Lagos as a young man to learn a vocation. On his arrival Lagos, he quickly graduated from an apprentice to a company owner.

When he incorporated his company, Jimsol Nigeria Limited, he was not satisfied with just being called the Managing Director. Everybody in Lagos was MD. Gbadero must be different. He styled himself the Chairman and Chief Executive of the nail manufacturing company. His  office and factory were at Matori in Mushin Lagos. Yusuf Olatunji was the musician invited to the company’s opening. With his sákárà and móló vibrating in the background, Baba Legba praised Gbadero to the high heavens. Overnight, Olatunji’s throaty “Gbadero Ishola di Chairman! Omo Adeyemi!” became the national anthem. Ejigbadero was the Chairman.

Nail manufacturing was however not Ishola’s only vocation. Over the years, Kiniun Baba Moradewun had acquired reputation as a dealer in landed properties. He bought land. He sold houses. If you needed someone to protect your landed interests, Ejigbadero was your man. If someone forcefully took over your land, Abibatu’s husband was your best bet. If your own interest was to take over someone’s land, Baba Gani was the person you needed to see.

Ejigbadero was known to the police. He was familiar to the judges as a perennial litigant. And one curious thing about his court appearances is that he was never a plaintiff. He was always the defendant. He was popular with lawyers. At a point, he was reputed to know the criminal code more than some lawyers. He used to ‘advise’ his lawyer to cite section 45 subsection 3 instead of section 33 subsection 1 that the lawyer wanted to cite.  He had done enough cases to make him a Senior Advocate if he was called to the Bar.

In 1975, Ejigbadero went with his boys to clear his land in Alimosho Village. The land was full of cocoa and kolanut trees. Remember I told you that Alimosho was a village in 1970s.   The land we are talking about is not one plot or two plots. It was a vast area of land. When the villagers saw their economic trees going down, they challenged Jimoh Ishola and his boys. The Lord Mayor informed the villagers that he had purchased the land in 1970s. Purchased? Which Land? From whom? For how much? Who witnessed the transaction? Who collected the money? These and more were the questions the villagers were throwing at Ejigbadero who was calmly leaning on his walking stick.

The villagers refused to allow Eji and his boys to continue to work on the land. The Boys looked at their Boss. They were waiting for the signal. The walking stick was the signal. This was not the first time they would be challenged over a parcel of land and they knew it wouldn’t be the last. They knew that once Ejigbadero stepped on any land, the land must become his. Eji was like a snail. Ìgbín tenu mo igi o gun! Any tree a snail touches must be climbed. Eji smiled at the crowd. It was not a friendly smile.  The Boys looked expectant. Instead of Eji to raise the walking stick, he turned back. The Boys followed him, their disappointment was apparent.

The villagers shouted after the retreating figures. “We don win! We don win. You think you can just take our land like that. Never! Never!” Some of them were however not shouting. They knew that the retreat of Ejigbadero was not a surrender. They knew that he would be back. The Chairman was not the one to run away from a fight. The Boss was a vulture, a patient bird.

They remember what happened to Okuwobi in 1962. Ejigbadero had informed his boys that he was looking for a buyer for one of his properties. He promised them generous commission. The boys went to town. Okuwobi indicated interest in the building. It was a building under construction. Okuwobi paid part of the agreed purchase price. It was agreed that the balance would be paid upon completion.

Okuwobi collected receipt and began to dream of becoming a landlord in Lagos. He was considering whether to paint the house blue or grey. Or green, or cream. He finally decided on white. He had heard that the official residence of the American president was White House.  It was then that a friend told him that the house, his house, had been sold to someone else. Okuwobi didn’t know whether he walked or flew to Mushin. He shouted. He threatened. Ejigbadero was unmoved. Okuwobi reported to the police. He was advised to go to court. He spent more than 10 years in court.

The villagers knew that they must act fast if they didn’t want to spend 10 years in court. At the time, the nearest police post was at Agege. They went to Agege Police Station to make a report of malicious damages to property against Ejigbadero. As they were writing their statements, the Chairman himself appeared with his boys. He had come to lodge a report of trespass against the villagers who entered his property without his permission. The police officers were confused. They attempted to broker a peaceful settlement. No way. Ejigbadero wanted his land. The villagers wanted their land. Who then was the owner of the land?

Police assured the warring parties that the case would be investigated. They were asked to go and maintain peace.

Raji Oba was one of the villagers. He was as brave as he was vocal. He was not afraid of Ejigbadero and he told him to his face. Even when Ejigbadero threatened to kill him, the threat was met with a sneer. “Igbá ni won n pa, enikan kii pa àwo” was his retort. He was confident that only calabash could be smashed with foot, no one would dare drop a plate.

Police investigation or no police investigation, Ejigbadero was not the one to keep away from the land. Raji Oba had finished work on the farm for the day. He was almost at home when he was informed that the Chairman was around with his thugs who he usually described as his workers. Raji turned back. Ma fi oko mi se ona, ojo kan ni a n dekun re. Raji was determined that he was going to stop the land grabber that day. He was followed by some of the villagers who had also heard the news.

They met Ejigbadero on the land. His boys were cutting cocoa trees with ruthless determination. Kolanut trees were not being spared either. Raji Oba flared up. A big fight erupted. Ejigbadero stood like a rock. He was commanding his boys to give it to the villagers like an army general. In the free-for-all that followed, Ejigbadero saw his chance as Raji Oba moved close to him. In a moment he had stabbed him. Raji didn’t see the dagger, but he felt the blood flowing from his eyebrow. It was clear that Jimoh Ishola was aiming for his eye. “Mo ku o!” The villagers heard the agony in the voice of their leader and rushed to his aid.

They took him to the hospital and from there to the police station. They made a report of criminal assault and attempted murder against Ishola. Police promised diligent investigation. But it appeared to the villagers that the police at Agege belonged to the Lion of Mushin. 

Back at his base in Mushin, Ejigbadero was not happy. He had expected the villagers to put up the usual feeble resistance. He had planned how to subdue them.  After all, ‘ibeji kii se akopa aje’. Killing twins is not a new thing to a witch. But he had not expected the stiff opposition he met in Alimosho. He knew the cause of the problem. It was Raji Oba. What type of Oba was he that he would stop Ejigbadero, Kiniun Baba Moradewun?

“Baba Fatai, your food is ready.” Ejigbadero looked up. It was his youngest wife, Ramota. Though he was not particularly hungry, he didn’t want to displease the pregnant woman. He told her to bring the food. At the sight of the expectant mother, an idea started to form in his mind. He smiled. Ramota thought her husband was enjoying the meal. She was pleased.

It was in the month of August 1975 that Lagos social circle heard the news it had been waiting. Ramota, Ejigbadero’s wife had put to bed. Socialites knew what to expect. It was going to be a grand occasion. It was going to be an assemblage of Lagos who’s who. It was going to be the party of the century. And it was a Friday! TGIF!

True to expectation, Ejigbadero didn’t spare any expenses for the naming ceremony.  Food was in excess. Wines replaced water. Musicians were competing with themselves on the bandstand. The blind requested to be led to the occasion. The lame crawled. Ejigbadero and his four wives were dressed in a manner befitting a king and his Oloris. They were a spectacle to behold.

Sabitu Oba was Raji Oba’s wife. She was coming back from the market when she saw Ejigbadero and his boys.  A woman was in their midst. She was shocked to see the Chairman. They had heard in the village that his wife had delivered a baby and that the day was the naming ceremony. She was wondering what type of man would leave his baby’s naming ceremony to come to the village. Well, that’s his business, she thought.

Sabitu quickened her pace. She needed to warn her husband of the presence of the chairman in the village. It was already dusk but the moon had appeared. It wouldn’t be nice for Raji to be roaming the village at such a time when Ejigbadero was around. She met her husband reclining in front of their house. She heaved a sigh of relief.

She informed her husband that Ejigbadero was in the village. Raji Oba was also surprised. He had heard that Ejigbadero was holding a lavish party that day in Mushin. So what was he doing in the village? And why did he choose to come to the village at dusk. “I hope he has not come to bury charms on the land!” His wife suggested.

She had hardly finished speaking when she heard an explosion. GBOAH! Raji Oba fell from his seat with a thud! Sabitu jumped in alarm! Raji had been shot in the head. The wounded man began to groan in pain. Blood was oozing from the wound.

Sabitu turned to the direction where the sound of the explosion had come from. Smoke from gunpowder was drifting up to the clear moonlight sky. She saw seven people running away towards a nearby bush. She distinctly recognized Ejigbadero. He was wearing a short sleeve shirt and trousers. He was holding a gun. He was at the rear of the fleeing people. Her temporary shock over, Sabitu shouted at the retreating figures: “Ejigbadero mo ri e o! Ara Abule! Ejigbadero ti pa mi loko o!”

Back in Mushin, the naming party was in full swing! Ejigbadero was moving from table to table, exchanging banters with his friends and well-wishers. Remember I told you that Ejigbadero was well connected in the society. His guests that night included magistrates, lawyers, police officers and leading journalists of the day. Camera bulbs were flashing as Ejigbadero posed for photographs with his guests. It was a party that Mushin would remember for a long time.

Police officers in Agege were already familiar with Alimosho villagers. There was hardly a week that they would not come to the station to report one incident or another. On the evening of August 22, 1975, the police officers on duty heard the crowd from a distance. Alimosho people have come again! What has happened again? The officers wondered.

“Ejigbadero ti pa Raji o!”

The officers knew that Yoruba language was full of hyperbolic expressions. A mere tap on the cheek could lead to a shout of ‘Mo ku o! O ti pa mi o!” They were however shocked when they realized that Raji had actually been killed. This was not a case of Mo gbe! Mo ku! Mo daran! The villagers were unanimous that it was Ejigbadero that killed Raji.

Ejigbadero was in company of late party guests in his house when the police came. He was informed that his attention was needed at their station. He was wanted in connection with the murder of Raji Oba. Ejigbadero’s visitors did not allow him to speak before they jumped to his defence! “When? Where? Ejigbadero who did not step out of  this Mushin throughout yesterday!”

The Lion of Mushin was confident of himself. His defence was as solid as a rock. His alibi was incontrovertible. He had judges, lawyers, police officers and journalists as his witnesses. What more could he want? He retained Chief Sobo Sowemimo, a highly experienced advocate, as his counsel. His case was good. He knew. On the other side was the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Omotunde Ilori.

As the prosecution began its case, Ejigbadero was becoming rather impatient. He knew the trial was going to be a waste of his time. Mr. Ilori called Sabitu Oba to the witness box. She narrated the event of the day. Ishola was smiling throughout her testimony. Who would believe the testimony of a village woman?

Mr. Ilori then called Nimota Kelani, Sabitu’s neighbour. Nimota’s evidence was straightforward. She informed the court that on hearing the alarm raised by Sabitu to the effect that Ejigbadero had killed Raji Oba, she dashed out of her house. She also saw Ejigbadero running away towards the bush. She saw him clearly in the moonlight. She also called on the accused telling him that she saw him and reminded him that he had kept his promise to kill Raji.

Rafiu Latifu was another witness called by the learned DPP. Latifu testified that on the evening of August 22, he was returning to the village when he saw a white Peugot 504 station wagon parked by the side of a mosque a distance of two minutes to the house of Raji Oba. He also saw Ejigbadero and six other persons, one of whom was a woman, run out of a nearby bush towards the parked car.

On arrival at the premises of Raji Oba he met people who told him that Ejigbadero had killed the deceased, who was still lying on the ground and bleeding from the head. Latifu then told the people that he had seen Ejigbadero and six other persons running out of the bush but did not know at the time that he had already killed Raji.

It was at this point that Ejigbadero began to doubt his defence. Awodi oke ko mo pe ara ile n wo ohun. Like the hawk he had assumed that he was invisible to the people below. If he had known how diligent the DPP, Mr. Omotunde Ilori was, perhaps he would not have been too confident with his alibi. Ha! You don’t know ‘alibi’? It’s a Latin word. It means ‘elsewhere’. It is a piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place. I hope you are following me.

There was a policeman who was riding a bike that night who also recognized him. Remember I told you that Ejigbadero was as popular as Iya Agba’s aso onisuga. Aso onisuga was very common in the 60s and 70s. The design on it was in the shape of a cube. Just like a cube of sugar, hence the name. Ilori found the police officer. Ilori also found two women who saw Ejigbadero when they were coming from the farm with firewood on their head. Immediately they saw him, they ran into the bush.

Ejigbadero’s defence was straightforward. He was in Mushin on August 22. He didn’t step out of his house. He had witnesses who were eminent people in the society.  He called Bashiru Ajape, a police officer; Jacob Oyelakin, a Manager with Leventis Motors; and Emmanuel George, a lawyer. They all testified that they were with Baba Gani at his baby's naming ceremony that day. The court considered the evidence of these eminent personalities and found each of them to be 'miserably untruthful in the evidence they gave'.

Tried as much as he could, Gbadero could not disprove the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. The best cross-examination failed to crack the witnesses. They were all adamant. It was Ejigbadero that they saw that night. It was Ejigbadero that killed Raji Oba.

The trial judge took his time to review the case for the prosecution as well as the case for the defence. A life was at stake and mistake must not be made. The judge found the evidence of a security guard in the employment of Ejigbadero helpful. Kehinde Yekinni was the security guard employed to guard Ishola's factory. He testified that Ejigbadero came to the factory in the evening and later left for Alimosho with Modina, Osadebey, Isiaka, Bakare, Wahab Oduntan, and Lukman. The group later returned to meet him at the factory around 9pm. On their return, Ejigbadero drew out a gun from underneath his trousers and told Kehinde that he (Ishola) had killed the man that Kehinde refused to kill.

In the end, the judge found that Mr. Ilori had proved the case for prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. Jimoh Ishola was found guilty on the two counts: conspiracy to murder and murder.

He was sentenced to death. As the trial judge, My Lord Justice Ishola Oluwa, pronounced the sentence of death on him, Ejigbadero turned to his counsel and in his Ibadan accent asked, turning his nose to indicate His Lordship: “Emi ni n wi?” What was the Judge saying?

Jimoh Ishola appealed the judgment to the then Federal Court of Appeal. My Lords: Mamman Nasir, Adetunji Ogunkeye and Ijoma Aseme considered his appeal. His appeal in respect of Count One (conspiracy to murder) was allowed, meaning he was not guilty of that charge. His appeal in respect of the second count failed and the appellate court affirmed his conviction.

This time around, Ejigbadero did not bother to ask his counsel what their Lordships were saying. He had spent enough time in court to know the meaning of ‘Appeal is hereby dismissed.’

Off to the Supreme Court. His case was the 7th case filed in the Supreme Court in 1977. On Thursday, October 26, 1978, a panel of the Supreme Court comprising My Lords: Alexander, Fatai-Williams, Irikefe, Bello and Idigbe  affirmed his conviction and dismissed his appeal.

In 1979, four years after the gruesome murder of Raji Oba, Jimoh Ishola, alias Ejigbadero, alias the Chairman, alias Kininun Baba Moradewun paid the supreme price. 

What a price to pay for a piece of land!

I thank you for your time.

Copied from Onigegewura©

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...