Archive for the ‘BLACK RELIGION’ Category


November 3, 2018


December 30, 2013


Yoruba cultural nationalism

Written by Diran Apata ⁠ ⁠ Sunday, 22 December 2013
⁠ ⁠ A few days ago, in a leisurely discussion involving many Yoruba men, women and children, I mentioned the movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism of about one-hundred years ago. Most of my hearers had no idea what I was talking about. That is what always happens whenever I happen to mention this movement. It is painful that our people, especially our youths, know nothing about it – painful because the story of the Yoruba Cultural Nationalist Movement, spanning the last years of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th,is one of the most glorious stories in the modern history of the Yoruba Nation. It is a story that we should all know inside and out – a story that our children should be told over and over at home and at school.

The following is the background to it. From about 1885, various European countries came scrambling for territorial empires all over Africa. Peoples after peoples of Africa fell to the European forces. The British, the French, the Germans, the Portuguese, the Belgians, the Dutch, all carved out empires for themselves. Most of Yorubaland became British possession (later to be included in Nigeria), and the rest became French and German possessions (later to be included in what are now Benin and Togo Republics).

But the conquest of Africa was not only military and territorial; it was also massively psychological. Usually, small European armies were taking over African territories, because they were armed with better weapons, or because the African nations were not fully aware about what was happening to them, and because they did not unite to defend their homelands. Naturally, the European colonialists became enormously arrogant. Everywhere, they proclaimed the doctrine that Africans were culturally and intellectually inferior to Europeans, that Africans were incapable of developing any civilisation, and that it was the duty of Europeans to bring civilisation to Africans.

These attitudes gradually infected all aspects of European relationships with Africans all over tropical Africa. The growing disrespect of Africans even spread into the Christian missions. In the mission churches and schools, it was now being said that, to become a Christian, or to be regarded as educated or civilised, one must give up one’s native culture. One must give up such things as one’s indigenous name, clothing, manners, and language, and take on European ones. Even the Yoruba clergy working in the missions began to experience serious disrespect and discrimination from the mission bodies that they served.

For a start, some Yoruba Christian converts in Lagos did respond by trying to become “black Europeans”. They hoped that doing so would earn them acceptance into the “civilised” British community in Lagos. Many of these changed their names to European names. Some others adopted European dress items such as the stove-pipe hat, the feathered bonnet, high-heeled shoes, and gloves, etc. Some young persons who went to study in Britain returned home in only two or three years and claimed that they could no longer understand or speak the Yoruba language.

However, a powerful Yoruba reaction to all these rapidly brewed, and it soon became a great movement – the movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism. As it grew, most of those who had adopted aspects of European culture gave them up and returned to their Yoruba culture. There had been newspapers in Lagos for decades, and these newspapers joined excitedly in the movement. “We are Africans first (or we are Yoruba first) before we are Christians” became popular among Christians in Lagos.

This movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism produced very many effects. In popular culture and fashions, Yoruba Cultural Nationalism promoted a great pride in Yoruba clothes and dresses. The Yoruba way of dressing became very popular indeed. It became more attractive as new styles and modifications were added.

Yoruba men and women serving in the Lagos colonial service responded in their own way. Many of them resigned their jobs and started private businesses, schools and churches of their own.

In the Christian missions, the Yoruba clergy responded by introducing Yoruba culture into church services and church life. For instance, they introduced Yoruba music and songs, which the missions had earlier regarded as pagan. Some of the Yoruba clergy even went further than that. They withdrew from the service of the European mission organizations and started an African Church Movement. This created separate African churches in the various denominations – African Anglican churches, African Methodist churches, and African Baptist churches. The African churches brought Yoruba culture into the Christian church in a big way. They also wrote Yoruba hymns and published hymn books. But another movement soon started which went even further than the African Church Movement to integrate Yoruba culture into Christianity. This was the Aladura Movement. The Aladura Movement developed into a number of main branches – the Christ Apostolic Church, the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, and the Celestial Church of Christ.

Yoruba Cultural Nationalism also promoted a lot of interest in the study of Yoruba culture and history. Many books were written in these years on both subjects. And many literate Yoruba people wrote the traditional stories of their towns – some in English, and many in the Yoruba language. Lessons in Yoruba history and culture were introduced into schools, including the mission schools.

Yoruba Cultural Nationalism created a powerful Yoruba national consciousness. It unified the modern Yoruba elite for service to their nation. That unity was to express itself in many productive ways later – in the various Development Associations of the 1920s and 1930s, in the highly influential Egbe Omo Oduduwa from 1945, and in the first-rate government of the Western Region in the 1950s. It also charted great modern ambitions for the Yoruba nation – ambitions to acquire education, and to achieve modern economic progress, prosperity and power in the world. In these many ways, the movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism laid some of the foundations for Yoruba achievements and progress in the modern world.

All in all, Yoruba people did not merely challenge European cultural arrogance; they suppressed it quite successfully in their own country. Nowhere else in Black Africa, among no other Black African nation, did the Europeans experience another powerful cultural challenge like this.

A British colonial official who served for years in Nigeria in the 1950s testified to the later-day effects of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism. He wrote in his memoir that, in his experience, the Yoruba were one African people who never treated the British, or any other Europeans, as superiors or “as gods”. He wrote that the Yoruba are a people with “personal dignity and political finesse”. “In my experience” he added, “the Yoruba regarded themselves as superior to the British – – -. The Yoruba were often highly intelligent and they taunted the British with sending inferior people to Nigeria.” He also added that many other Nigerian peoples could usually not look the white man in the eyes, but that even the lowliest Yoruba servant tended to carry himself with confidence and pride.

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Published in⁠ Diran Apata’s Sunday message


April 15, 2013

Knicks Star J.R. Smith — Ordered to Pay $48,000 … You Stole Black Jesus!


4 days ago | TMZ

Don’t mess with Black Jesus … or You Will Pay … just ask Knicks stud J.R. Smith, whose ass just lost a $48,000 lawsuit involving a diamond necklace that features an Afro-American rendition of the Messiah.A jewelry company called Lemmerman’s sued Smith, claiming he ordered a bunch of bling back in 2010 — including a diamond chain, two Black Jesus pendants and some earrings — totaling $25,500 … but never paid.We’re told one Jesus pendant and chain cost roughly $15,000 alone.


February 24, 2012

Book cover

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012


May 9, 2011



Appeal to African Heads of State

Speech by Malcolm X

Chairman, Organization of Afro-American Unity

Throughout June, 1964, MALCOLM X spoke, agitated, educated and organized to create a new, non-religious movement to promote black unity and work for freedom “by any means necessary.” On June 28, this new movement was born under the name of the Organization of Afro-American Unit, its “statement of basic aims and objectives” was released to the public, and Malcolm was designated chairman.

Shortly thereafter, on July 9, Malcolm again left the United States for Africa and the Middle East. His immediate objective was to attend the “African Summit”—the second meeting of the Organization of African Unity, which had been formed in 1963 to bring about joint action by the independent African governments.

The OAU conference was held in Cairo July 17–21, and was attended by nearly all the heads of the thirty-four member states. The welcoming address was made by President Gamal Abdel Nasser of the United Arab Republic who, while reviewing the events of the previous year, hailed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that had recently been enacted in the United States.

Malcolm was accepted as an observer at the conference. In this capacity he was permitted to submit to the delegates an eight-page memorandum urging their support of the Negro struggle in the United States and their help in bring the plight of the American Negro before the United Nations. The memorandum, which follows, was delivered to the delegates on July 17, one day before the events that came to be called “the Harlem riots.”

Your Excellencies:

The Organization of Afro-American Unity has sent me to attend this historic African summit conferences as an observer to represent the interests of 22 million African-American whose human rights are being violated daily by the racism of American imperialists.

The Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) has been formed by a cross-section of America’s African-American community, and is patterned after the letter and spirit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

Just as the Organization of African Unity has called upon all African leaders to submerge their differences and unite on common objectives for the common good of all Africans—in America the Organization of Afro-American Unity has called upon Afro-American leaders to submerge their differences and find areas of agreement wherein we can work in unity for the good of the entire 22 million African-Americans.

Since the 22 million of us were originally Africans, who are now in America, not by choice but only by a cruel accident in our history, we strongly believe that African problems are our problems and our problems are African problems.

Your Excellencies:

We also believe that as heads of the Independent African states you are the shepherd of all African peoples everywhere, whether they are still at home on the mother continent or have been scattered abroad.

Some African leaders at this conference have implied that they have enough problems here on the mother continent without adding the Afro-American problem.

With all due respect to your esteemed positions, I must remind all of you that the good shepherd will leave ninety-nine sheep, who are safe at home, to go to the aid of the one who is lost and has fallen into the clutches of the imperialist wolf.

We, in America, are your long-lost brothers and sisters, and I am here only to remind you that our problems are your problems. As the African-Americans “awaken” today, we find ourselves in a strange land that has rejected us, and, like the prodigal son, we are turning to our elder brothers for help. We pray our pleas will not fall upon deaf ears.

We were taken forcibly in chains from this mother continent and have now spend over 300 years in America, suffering the most inhuman forms of physical and psychological tortures imaginable.

During the past ten years the entire world has witnessed our men, women, and children being attacked and bitten by vicious police dogs, brutally beaten by police clubs, and washed down the sewers by high-pressure water hoses that would rip the clothes from our bodies and the flesh from our limbs.

And all of these inhuman atrocities have been inflicted upon us by the American governmental authorities, the police themselves, for no reason other than we seek the recognition and respect granted our human beings in America.

Your Excellencies:

The American government is either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of your 22 million African-American brothers and sisters. We stand defenseless, at the mercy of American racists who murder us at will for no reason other than we are black and of African descent.

Two black bodies were found in the Mississippi River this week; last week an unarmed African-American educator was murdered in cold blood in Georgia; a few days before that three civil-rights workers disappeared completely, perhaps murdered also, only because they were teaching our people in Mississippi how to vote and how to secure their political rights.

Our problems are your problems We have lived for over 300 years in that American den of racist wolves in constant fear of losing life and limb. Recently, three students from Kenya were mistaken for American Negroes and were brutally beaten by New York police. Shortly after that, two diplomats from Uganda were also beaten by the New York City police, who mistook them for American Negroes.

If Africans are brutally beaten while only visiting in America, imagine the physical and psychological suffering received by your brothers and sisters who have lived there for over 300 years.

Our problem is your problem. No matter how much independence Africans get here on the mother continent, unless you wear your national dress at all times, when you visit America, you may be mistaken for one of us and suffer the same psychological humiliation and physical mutilation that is an everyday occurrence in our lives.

Your problems will never be fully solved until and unless ours are solved. You will never be fully respected until and unless we are also respected. You will never be recognized as free human beings until and unless we are also recognized and treated as human beings.

Our problem is your problem. It is not a Negro problem, nor an American problem. This is a world problem; a problem for humanity. It is not a problem of civil rights but a problem of human rights.

If the United States Supreme Court justice, Arthur Goldberg, a few weeks ago, could find legal grounds to threaten to bring Russia before the United Nations and charge her with violating the human rights of less than three million Russian Jews, what makes our African brothers hesitate to bring the Untied States government before the United Nations and charge her with violating the human rights of 22 million African-Americans?

We pray that our African brothers have not freed themselves of European colonialism only to be overcome and held in check now by American dollarism. Don’t let American racism be “legalized” by American dollarism.

America is worse than South Africa, because not only is America racist, but she also is deceitful and hypocritical. South Africa preaches segregation and practices segregation. She, at least, practices what she preaches. American preaches integration and practices segregation. She preaches one thing while deceitfully practicing another.

South Africa is like a vicious wolf, openly hostile towards black humanity. But America is cunning like a fox, friendly and smiling, but even more vicious and deadly than the wolf.

The wolf and the fox are both enemies of humanity; both are canine; both humiliate and mutilate their victims. Both have the same objectives, but differ only in methods.

If South Africa is guilty of violating the human rights of Africans here on the mother continent, then America is guilty of worse violations of 22 million Africans on the American continent. And if South Africa racism is not a domestic issue, then American racism also is not a domestic issue.

Many of you have been led to believe that the much publicized, recently passed civil-rights bill is a sign that America is making a sincere effort to correct the injustices we have suffered there. This propaganda maneuver is part of her deceit and trickery to keep the African nations from condemning her racist practices before the United Nations, as you are now doing as regards the same practices of South Africa.

The United States Supreme Court passed a law ten years ago making America’s segregated school system illegal. But the federal government has yet to enforce this law even in the North. If the federal government cannot enforce the law of the highest court in the land when it comes to nothing but equal rights to education for African Americans, how can anyone be so naïve as to think all the additional laws brought into being by the civil-rights bill will be enforced?

These are nothing but tricks of the century’s leading neo-colonialist power. Surely, our intellectually mature African brothers will not fall for this trickery.

The Organization of Afro-American Unity, in cooperation with a coalition of other Negro leaders and organizations, has decided to elevate our freedom struggle above the domestic level of civil rights. We intend to “internationalize” it by placing it at the level of human rights. Our freedom struggle for human dignity is no longer confined to the domestic jurisdiction of the United States government.

We beseech the independent African states to help us bring our problem before the United Nations, on the grounds that the United States government is morally incapable of protecting the lives and the property of 22 million African-Americans. And on the grounds that our deteriorating plight is definitely becoming a threat to world peace.

Out of frustration and hopelessness our young people have reached the point of no return. We no longer endorse patience and turning-the-other-cheek. We assert the right of self-defense by whatever means necessary, and reserve the right of maximum retaliation against our racist oppressors, no matter what the odds against us are.

From here on in, if we must die anyway, we will die fighting back and we will not die alone. We intend to see that our racist oppressors also get a taste of death.

We are well aware that our future efforts to defend ourselves by retaliating—by meeting violence with violence, eye for eye and tooth for tooth—could create the type of racial conflict in America that could easily escalate into a violent, world-wide, bloody race war.

In the interests of world peace and security, we beseech the heads of the independent African states to recommend an immediate investigation into our problem by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

If this humble plea that I am voicing at this conference is not properly worded, then let our elder brothers, who know the legal language, come to our aid and word our plea in the proper language necessary for it to be heard.

One last word, my beloved brothers at this African summit:

“No one knows the master better than his servant.” We have been servants in America for over 300 years. We have a thorough, inside knowledge of this man who calls himself “Uncle Sam.” Therefore, you must heed our warning: Don’t escape from European colonialism only to become even more enslaved by deceitful, “friendly” American dollarism.

May Allah’s blessings of good health and wisdom be upon you all. Salaam Alaikum.

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Malcolm X Speaks • George Breitman, editor • © Copyright 1965 by Merit Publishers and Betty Shabazz • Grove Press • New York, NY 10003 Remembering Malcolm Malcolm X Videos

posted 21 February 2006

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Feb. 21, 2006–41 years ago

Malcolm X was gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem

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Spectres of 1919: Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro

By Barbara Foley

A carefully argued, nuanced presentation of the genesis of the Harlem Renaissance. Foley’s breadth of knowledge in American radical history is impressive.—American Literature

Foley’s book is a lucid and useful one… A heavyweight intervention, it prompts significant rethinking of the ideological and representational strategies structuring the era.—Journal of American Studies

Foley does a masterful job of analyzing the racial and political theories of a wide range of black and white figures, from the radical Left to the racist Right… Students of African American political and cultural history in the early twentieth century cannot ignore this book. Essential.—Choice

In our current time of crisis, when ruling classes busily promote nationalism and racism to conceal the class nature of their inter-imperialist rivalries, one can only hope that readers will not be daunted by Foley’s dedication to analyzing the ideological milieu of the 1920s that contributed to the eclipse of New Negro radicalism by New Negro nationalism.—Science & Society

With the New Negro movement and the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s was a landmark decade in African American political and cultural history, characterized by an upsurge in racial awareness and artistic creativity. In Spectres of 1919 Barbara Foley traces the origins of this revolutionary era to the turbulent year 1919, identifying the events and trends in American society that spurred the black community to action and examining the forms that action took as it evolved.

Unlike prior studies of the Harlem Renaissance, which see 1919 as significant mostly because of the geographic migrations of blacks to the North, Spectres of 1919 looks at that year as the political crucible from which the radicalism of the 1920s emerged. Foley draws from a wealth of primary sources, taking a bold new approach to the origins of African American radicalism and adding nuance and complexity to the understanding of a fascinating and vibrant era.—

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Ancient African Nations

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If you like this page consider making a donation
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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 ____ 2005


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan / The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll / Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804 / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti

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BCP Digital Printing

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updated 19 October 2007


October 19, 2010

originally from

er 19, 2010

The Making Of Ifa ArchBishop, Elebuibon
Saturday, 16 October 2010 00:00 By Ajibola Amzat Saturday Magazine – Saturday Magazine

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RECENTLY, the renowned traditionalist, High Priest Ifayemi Osundagbonu Elebuibon ascended to the highest rank of Ifa prieshood in Osogbo, Osun State. His coronation as the 11th Araba Awo of Osogboland at the palace of the Ataoja of Osogbo, which drew visitors from Nigeria and overseas was celebrated with pomp and pageantry. AJIBOLA AMZAT was at the event.
It was a huge crowd for such event. But like people on pilgrimage to holy ground, the natives and guests turned out in large number, thronging towards the palace of Ataoja of Osogbo to witness the coronation of High Priest Ifayemi Elebuibon as the 11th Araba Awo of Osogboland.
It is the highest office in the hierarchy of Ifa priesthood, the equivalent of archbishop in Catholic order. Therefore, no one wanted to miss the historic event, it appeared.
At the palace, men, women, old and young, were dressed in variety of Aso Ebi. Some were sitting, many standing all waiting, eager to see the Araba-elect emerge from the sanctuary where he had been sheltered for a while. Yet, he is the same man they have been seen for decades. His popular TV programme, ‘Ifa Olookun Asorodayo’ has made him a household name. He is probably the most famous son of the soil that lives among them. Yet, they are eager to see him again.
But the Ataoja, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji, Larooye II was not in a hurry.
While the short wait lasted, the king’s praise singer’s voice rent the air. His rendition was as sonorous as it was informative. Oba Oyetunji whose recent coronation as the new Ataoja is of Larooye lineage. His ancestor, one of the patriarchs of the ancient town was the first king to reign. He and his bosom friend Timehin, the hunter had once led a live elephant into town, tamed. Their subsequent encounter with water deity mother, Osun, brought great fortunes to Osogbo, the town now proudly known as a settlement of indigo dye, and a refuge for victims of war. The is why natives of Osogbo celebrate Osun festival every year. The king’s praise-singer knows this history and more. He knows about the deeds and times of various royalties.
And at occasions like this, he is allowed to display his knowledge.
Finally, when it pleased Ataoja to stop him, he waived his horsetail, and the man went quiet instantly.
It was the time for Abese, the palace messengers to bring the candidate for coronation.
High priest Elebuibon, dressed in flowing silk materials, the colour of cow milk, was ushered in. Eesa, another titled chief introduced the Araba-elect to the king and the people:
“Kabiyesi and dear people of Osogbo, here is the man the community has chosen as the new Araba of Osogboland. Yes or No?” And the people chorused ‘yes!. Such applause! It reverberated throughout the area.
The king then took Akoko leaves, tucked it inside the dog-ears cap of the new chief; handed him a brass machete on the right hand and a horse tail on the left hand. Then after invoking blessings on him, he declared him the head of all priests in Oshogboland. And the people applause accompanied with several gunshots thundered through the town. The rites completed, Chief Elebuibon stood, staring ahead perhaps at the challenges that await him, for the title of Araba is the most revered, most influential position in Ifa priesthood.
As Araba, he explained, the spiritual welfare of the town is now his primary responsibility. “Araba Awo is not only the head of all priests, but also the head of all herbalists, diviners and all kinds of traditional spiritual consultants in the land. He is the representative of Orunmila (the patron saint of the Ifa School) father of mystery and keeper of secrets.
It is the duty of the Araba to reveal messages of Olodumare to the community through the king and prescribes solutions to problems. In fact, no king can administer his domain in Yorubaland successfully without his priest in residence. Usually, the priest is both the spiritual adviser to the king and the friend of the royalty. “When the town is in chaos, Ifa priests must be consulted to prescribe propitiation to end the calamity and cause the progress to return.”
An Ifa chapter (Odu) Iretengbe gives the account of an Ifa priest, Olongbojigolo who was a popular diviner in the ancient town of Apa. A small town, it was yet prosperous. And because of its prosperity, the rulers of Oyo Kingdom usually targeted it for raids. The king of Alapa sought the spiritual help of his friend, Olongbojigolo who used his spiritual power to defend the town. But the principalities of Oyo Kingdom were not only experienced military men, they were also schooled in stratagem. When they discovered that Olongbojigolo, the great diviner was the force behind the town of Apa, they sent one of Alafin’s daughters, Princess Isokunronke to lure the priest out of town. Isokunronke, a lady of irresistible beauty was the cynosure of all eyes anywhere she went. Many young men of Oyo were ready to worship at her feet or go to battle for her.
To get her quarry, Isokunronke disguised as a kolanut seller and headed for Ologbojigolo’s house in Apa. Expectedly, the priest fell in love and agreed to follow the princess to live in Oyo as her term for marriage.
When Olongbojigolo was out of the way, the Oyo army invaded Apa, killed the king and sacked the town.
This tragic incident in history made kings in Yorubaland keep close relationship with their priest. As the principal administrators of the town, the two normally swear an oath of trust and friendship in the interest of the community. The secret oath between the king and his chief priest is said to be stronger than oath taking among Ogboni cult. It was forbidden for the priest to reveal any confidential matter of the town to the public, or worse still, to the enemy of the town. Wiwo lenu awo o wo, the lips of the priest must be sealed. This is how important a priest is in the administration of traditional Yoruba community.
But giving a priest the title of Araba Awo puts a stamp of authority on such a priest. “It is the equivalent of archbishop in the Catholic order. Even before a king is selected, the Ifa priest must be consulted for advice.” Elebuibon said.
In Yoruba worldview, the living, the dead, the unborn and the spiritual beings – all cohabit in a community. And interactivity must be smooth for harmony and peace to reign. It is the duty of the Araba also to ensure cordial relations among all members of the community.
In the past, according to Chief Elebuibon, the Oluawo was regarded as the head of all priests in Osogbo, until Ikujenyo Ikujenlowo, a sojourner in Ibadan town came back to Osogbo with the title of Araba.
Ikujenyo, a native of Osogbo used his knowledge and skill to help the Ibadan people during Kutuje and Atadi wars. And he was made Araba. It was after him that others like Bashorun Ogunmola of Ibadan and Ibikunle were also made Araba.
When he came back to Osogbo with his title, he became the head of all priests in the land. Henceforth, Araba became the highest title for priesthood in Osogbo.
After him was Araba Awonoyi Adeyemi Kehinde of Amubiorogun Compound who was the maternal grand father of Yemi Elebuibon. He was the longest serving Araba.
Other Araba after him were Araba Oyelade of Arewekoro Compound, Araba Falade of Aleshiloye Compound, Araba Oyafemi of Adelakun Compound, Araba Ifaniyi of Aleegun Compound, Araba Ifatoki of Otuyo Compound, Araba Oyagoke Adisa of Eleye Compound, Araba Fabunmi Afolabi of Aboyede Fetuata Compound, Araba Ifagbemi Akani Omotosho of Onipon Compound. Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon is of Oluode Aturuku Compound.
Chief ifayemi explained that Araba is not a hereditary title (Ajewo), rather it is rotational (Oye ori-Odo) . This means that anyone who meets all the requirements for the office could be so honoured. But it is no mean task for any hopeful to rise through the ranks. The hierarchy includes Awise, Ojugbona, Alara, Olojowu, Erinmi, Lagbongbon, Aseda, Akoda and Araba.
According to Baba Awo, as Elebuibon is fondly called by his spiritual children, many of whom came from America and Europe to celebrate with him, the knowledge of Ifa, the character and the contribution of an individual in the town are the criteria that qualify a person for the title of Araba.
In all these, Chief Elebuibon is distinguished. First, he is of the lineage recognised as authorities on Yoruba tradition. He is a direct descendant of Olutimehin, one of the co-founders of the ancient town. From age four, he had been learning at the feet of “the masters”, including his father and his father’s friends who were also priests. While Chief Elebuibon did not attend formal school, he went through correspondence courses, which put him in a better stead among his contemporaries.
Today, Chief Elebuibon is a poet, performing artiste, playwright, herbalist and practicing Ifa priest. He has published several books and scholarly papers on various aspects of Yoruba traditional religion and culture.
His traditional morality drama, Ifa Olokun Asorodayo culled from Odu Ifa ran on Nigeria National Televison Network for years.
Chief Elebuibon is an international scholar in-residence at San Francisco State University, California USA where he lectures on African Traditional religion and philosophy.
He has been on lecture tour in United States at Wajumba Cultural Institution and national Black theatre in Harlem.
In 1973, he traveled with Duro Ladipo to Paris to perform at festival mudial du theatre; went with him to Brazil for the performance of Obakoso.
He is the founder of Ancient Philosophy International in Osogbo, a centre dedicated to teaching African Traditional Religion and performing arts. He has also been honoured with a doctorate degree of the Brandice University, USA. He was appointed the Vice Chairman of Board of Traditional Medicine, Osun State, and he is presently the President of International Congress of Orisa Tradition and culture, Nigeria Chapter.
Elebuibon is of the view that the post modern African states have lost the essence of their being when they threw away their traditions for western civilization. He said the place of Ifa in African society is as significant today as it was in the past. “The president, the governor and even the local council chairmen could achieve better administration if they consult Ifa Oracle from time to time before taking decisions.”
The high priest likened many of the political leaders to blind men leading a community of the blind.
“Many of them are spiritually blind, and a society ruled by the blind cannot progress.” He therefore advised leaders to retrace their steps to the path toed by their forebears.
Chief Ifayemi has never left that path. This is the reason he is regarded as one the most distinguished traditionalists that ever came out of Africa. No wonder, he was made the Araba. It was indeed an exultant Elebuibon that rode back home on a black horse from the Ataoja’s palace with his kith and kin and well wishers in his wake. It was a day when the rumble of drums mixed with the boom of guns on a crowded road where many thousands of feet met in ecstatic dance. It was a day an Ifa Archbishop was installed in the town popularly known as the centre of arts and culture in Nigeria.


October 4, 2010


Monday, October 04, 2010

Virgin Girl – Keep Your Virginity, Gain Self Esteem

A virgin girl may not appreciate what she has. Some girls actually loose their virginity because of peer pressure. They give away their virginity just to fit in, just to belong.

Here’s some great news.

Contrary to what your friends say, being a virgin girl is perfectly normal. You’re perfectly normal as a virgin. You won’t fall ill because you didn’t have sex before twenty one. You won’t even get sick if you don’t have sex before thirty five.

Another thing. You don’t have to play along with your friends to do evil in other to feel great about yourself. You don’t have to belong to a certain circle of friends to be important.

You can achieve what you want to achieve and be anything you want to be without having to follow the wrong crowd. Self-esteem is a thing of the mind. If you feel good about yourself no one can put you down.

This is important because many young girls have veered into sexual misconduct simply to please their friends or to be rated as mature by friends.

Some other college girls have been lured to sexual misbehavior because they fear they may get sick if they do not have sex before they are twenty.

This may all sound silly and irrational to you. But ignorance breeds fear.

To compound matters, many parents do not feel comfortable discussing sexual matters with their children. When children ask questions relating to sexuality, many parents skim over the subject or dodge it outright.

That doesn’t help your children.

Since parents often fail to carry out their responsibility to their children, these innocent children turn to their peers for answers. And the answers they get are often distorted and far from the truth.

The result?

Pregnant teens, troubled teens, and reckless teens that become depressed adults. These depressed adults eventually become a nuisance to society.

You young woman reading this, I have this simple advice for you.

Do not join your friends to experiment with sex. It is like walking on red hot coal. Your legs will get burnt.

If you are a virgin girl, maintain your virginity. Your virginity is a source of pride to your parents. And when you get married as a virgin girl, your husband will be extremely proud of you.

Remaining a virgin girl until you marry establishes your marriage on sound footing of trust. Your husband knows he can trust you because you have self-discipline and love of righteousness.

It takes self-discipline, self-control, and love of God to stay morally upright in this decadent generation. When you are able to do that and maintain your virginity straight to marriage you gain self-esteem as a woman of substance.

Besides, you save yourself the trauma your wayward schoolmates experience. You save yourself the pain of teen pregnancy and fatherless baby. And you save yourself the pain of a wasted life.

Your friends are wrong when they say virginity is archaic and dark age morality.

Remaining a virgin girl is a thing of pride. As a virgin you can hold your head high anywhere you go. You have no need of shame.

You have self-confidence, self-esteem, poise and a feeling of fulfillment.

Wouldn’t you rather remain an innocent virgin girl and enjoy such honor than be tossed about because your stomach is bulging with pregnancy for a baby who has no father?

Yeah. I know you will do the right thing.

However, there are certain mistakes that young people your age make that undermine their decision to remain a virgin girl.

Young girls tend to be avid readers of romance stories.

Romance stories tend to create sexual passion and often cause their readers especially women to fantasize about life with Mr. Perfect.

These girls feel the passion in the stories and wish for a life just like that in the stories. The romance in the romance novels results in a buildup of sexual fantasy in many girls. A regular dose of sexual fantasy eventually results in a desire for the real thing.

Then what?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Yes, romance novels make interesting reading. But many teach values that derail youths by creating desires that lead them astray.

Do you really want to remain a virgin girl?

Then stay clear of material that arouse your sexual desires. If you don’t, you will have trouble maintaining your virginity and self-esteem.

Make the right choice. It’s your life.



September 28, 2010



The politicisation of the female breasts
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Sunday, 12 September 2010

The employment of the female breasts and sexuality in Nigerian politics has shown that nothing is too sacred to be involved. The erstwhile cultural implication of the female anatomy is beginning to lose its relevance as it has been railroaded into the mainstream of Nigerian politics. KEHINDE OYETIMI writes.

FROM time immemorial and of all the unique structures that make up the anatomical configuration of the female, nothing seems to arrogate much attention to itself than the exterior twin organs of the female chest – otherwise referred to as the breasts. Unlike in males, which of course are just a couple of buttons attached to the chest, the breasts of the woman have always been objects of much interest, whether overtly or covertly. Apparently, the breasts of the woman are secondary sexual organs, but the peculiar curve and arch of the breasts, their sensitivity to contact or touch, their role in the suckling engagement of infants, lend ever-abiding credence to both their artistic beauty and functionality.

In virtually all societies, the body of the woman is an object of interest, while it is a taboo to give an explicit detailing of the female anatomy, in other climes, the female body is worshipped. In pristine societies (settings that were not yet tainted with the vagaries of modernity), the female was held in awe and typified in utter sacrosanctity. African culture and so many others usually do not openly place much discourse on the female breast. Many cultures whose historico-cultural progress could not be documented hold varying but unique perspectives on the body of the woman – especially the female breasts. Any attempt towards the interpretation, perception and understanding of the placement of importance on the female breasts would naturally yield both cultural and conventional elucidation.

The Amazonian women, as captured by Greek historians, are depicted as a collection of a nation of female warriors. In world history, nothing more captures this unique gathering of women-warriors.

Records show the Amazonian women-warriors with their left breasts usually exposed, while the right ones were covered. This, of course, was done for the purpose of warfare. It was believed that in warfare, the left should be exposed so as to aid the handling of the arrow when shooting with the bow.

In pristine African milieus, women typified fertility. The female body commanded cosmic energy and it was therefore a taboo to misrepresent the body of the woman. In fact, of all the chambers of the female body, none assumed such spiritual connotations than the breasts. It was an act of utmost sacrilege for the female body to be exposed in near or total nudity. The breasts of the woman in African cultural settings were instruments, not just for the sexual gratification of the invasion of the male character, but had far reaching cosmic influence on monarchs. Monarchs who have lost their political and social relevance were cursed with the exposure of the female breasts, in protest. The breasts of such women were weapons of social and political change. Two very sacrosanct parts of the female anatomy in traditional African societies were the breasts and the vagina, the exposure of which attracted a curse to the male viewers. The deliberate exposure of the female body was the height of a man’s or monarch’s undoing.

Mordecai Sunday Ibrahim, President, Southern Kaduna Youth Vanguard, stated that “As far as I am concerned, it is an indecent act. A woman for whatever reason is not supposed to expose the sensitive parts of her body in the name of asking for change. We witnessed this in the 30s and the 50s, but of course in the 21st century we can see that these things are affecting the morals of our children. We should begin to think of better ways of pushing our case. What is wrong with hunger strike? What is wrong with carrying placards? Exposing the breasts is not decent. Neither Christianity nor Islam advocate this nonsense. Anywhere culture goes against your faith, you should drop culture. If we want to go into that then we should go on to wearing bante which my grandfather was wearing.”

Dr (Mrs) Gloria Olushola Adedoja, Department of Teacher Education, University of Ibadan, found no basis for the practice since other avenues are available. “I am not sure if that cultural implication of exposing the female breasts for change is still there. But in those days, it was there. Exposing the breasts is not the only way by which women can champion their causes. Women can make their reactions known by saying them in the dailies, writing notices to the people that are in charge. Even there could be the use of dialogue. Grievances can be made known through different fora. I doubt if such acts are relevant in our societies because people do not really recognise them. Now some of them could even be paid to do so but in those days it was not like that. When women came out like that, in those days, it meant that it was an issue that men could no longer handle,” she advised.

Dr Sola Olorunyomi, of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, saw a modern relevance of the practice. “When such interventions are made, they must not be used flippantly. I don’t necessary think that it has been misused. The Ekiti incidence was a show of the miscarriage of justice. There was really need for some kind of response by the people. Roads and infrastructure would come only when governance is good. Governance is foundational. If there is one thing people should response to, it is actually governance. I think it still holds some relevance,” he opined.

Unfortunately, in modern times, female breasts have been commoditised and commercialised. The media have constantly used the woman in the sale of goods which have no immediate relevance to her. Yet unfortunate is the fact that there is a gradual shift in the politicisation of the feminine power of the woman. Nigerian politics has invaded the sacrosanctity of the female energy housed in the female body. Threats using the female sexuality have become the norm in the Nigerian political space.

A bit of the horrendous act was demonstrated last year in Ekiti State during the electioneering engagements that almost marred the peace of the state. Women with tired, sagging and flabby mammalian glands came out in their droves carrying placards. The sickening aspect was the sensuous irrelevance of such breasts in display. What must have helped the Amazonian women in warfare, that Nigerian women must quickly adopt, was the distraction that their exposed left breasts caused their male opponents. Of course, what would be more disarming to a warring man than the incapacitating influence engineered by visual contact with the undulating, sensuous movement of youthful, firm breasts? The recent threat in the contemporary documentation of such incidents was the “No Jonathan, No sex” campaign of the Organisation of African Women in Diaspora, which was reported last month. The politicisation of the feminine sexuality is of course beginning to lose its power of suasion and social relevance. The same appeal to such sexuality was witnessed at the beginning of this month in Cross Rivers State when a group of aged women from Erei, Biase local government area stormed Calabar half dressed protesting what they collectively termed the “disenfranchisement and illegal arrest of their sons.” It would not be farther before the nation witnesses the use of the female breasts in electioneering, since it has been nationally inaugurated by the campaign for a Jonathan presidency in 2011.

In 2002, a group of women threatened to bare it all in the Niger Delta in protest against the incessant abuse of their environment by oil producing firms. Speaking, Terisa Turner, an anthropologist, argued that by exposing the breasts and the vagina, “The women are saying: We all came into the world through the vagina. By exposing the vagina, the women indicate that we hereby take back the life we gave you. It is about bringing forth life and denying life through social ostracism, which is a kind of social execution. Men who are exposed are viewed as dead.” If the baring of the female genitalia would do the nation good, perhaps it would now. There are more pressing demands now within the Nigerian socio-political landscape now than ever before. One wonders if the only negotiating tool possessed by the female gender is couched in her sexuality.


September 6, 2010


SA man’s mass wedding ‘saved money’

By Pumza Fihlani
BBC News, Durban

South African businessman Milton Mbele broke all the traditional rules of a polygamous wedding when he recently married four women on the same day.

The four brides dressed in flowing white gowns walked down the aisle together, before saying “We do” to the 44-year-old groom.

Mr Mbele says he didn’t marry them purely for the spectacle but also because it made financial sense.

“I don’t know how much four different weddings would have cost me but I know doing it all at once saved money,” he explains.

“For example I only needed one tent, I needed to hire one caterer and one photographer for the entire ceremony.”

If I feel like taking another wife this is something that will be in the open

Milton Mbele
“I began putting money aside for the event towards the end of 2007 and started collecting quotes for things like the tent and catering costs early last year.”

He says he loves all his wives – Thobile Vilakazi, Zanele Langa, Baqinisile Mdlolo and Smangele Cele – equally and also treats them that way.

Mr Mbele himself wears four rings on his finger – he says this is a sign of his commitment to all his wives.

The wives say they were shocked by the news that Mr Mbele wanted to marry them at once but add that they agreed because they love him.

Some two weeks after their much publicised two-day ceremony, Mr Mbele says he is overwhelmed by all the attention his wedding has attracted.

I met Mr Mbele and Smangele, at 23 the youngest Mrs Mbele, at a hotel in Durban – the pair were set to do a radio interview with a national radio station the next day.

‘Our culture’

In their hotel room the pair sat comfortably on the bed while taking questions about their big day.

Mr Mbele, a Zulu businessman and municipal manager, says polygamy is still very much part of Zulu tradition.

Milton Mbele has four wedding rings
“This is a proud part of our culture. It has been practised for generations before us.”

“My grandfather himself had three wives,” says Mr Mbele, quickly adding that he isn’t blindly following in his grandfather’s footsteps.

“I prefer polygamy to having many girlfriends which is what some married men do,” he says.

“If I love more than one woman, I would rather make it known to the other women in my life and make it official.

“If I feel like taking another wife this is something that will be in the open and my wives would know,” he says.

President Jacob Zuma, also a Zulu, has three wives.

But the practice has been met with criticism.

Inside polygamy

Some point out that it does not afford equal rights to men and women.

Women are not allowed to wed more than one husband, while a man can have as many wives as he wishes.

There are seven days in a week and I have four wives. I will take turns visiting them and use the remaining three days to rest

Milton Mbele
In a polygamous marriage only the first wife is legally recognised, which could pose some difficulties in dividing the husband’s estate when he dies.

South Africa has the highest number of HIV-positive people in the world – some five million.

Since having more than one sexual partner increases the chances of contracting the virus, it is understandable that Smangele’s family had reservations about her entering into a polygamous marriage.

“My family was not pleased at first but they came around eventually,” she says.

They are taking the necessary precautions, which include regular HIV tests.

“I had my last test a few months ago when I was pregnant. We are all disciplined about staying healthy,” she says.

The arrangements seem to have been carefully thought out down to the last detail, including how Mr Mbele will alternate between his four wives, who all live in different parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal province.

“There are seven days in a week and I have four wives. I will take turns visiting them and use the remaining three days to rest,” he says.

At this point Smangele, who has been quiet with her head bowed until now, looks up and smiles at her husband.

The second day of the wedding was a traditional Zulu wedding ceremony
When asked how she feels about Mr Mbele’s visitation plan she quickly responds.

“I believe it will work. I am used to living on my own and having him visit me on certain days so this won’t be anything new to us,” she says, reaching for her husband’s hand.

In fact, Mr Mbele has already been in relationships with his new wives for several years.

He has three children with “first wife” Thobile, two with “wife-number-two” Zanele, one child with Baqinisile, referred to as “wife-number-three” and two children with “youngest wife” Smangele.

He also has three children from a previous relationship.

Mr Mbele is the breadwinner in all his homes – none of his wives is employed. They say they are happy to be provided for by their husband.

He owns 100 cows and 250 goats and has a good job, so he is relatively wealthy, at least by traditional standards.

‘Why we love him’

Earlier in the day, I spoke to Baqinisile, who lives in a large home which she says was a gift from her husband.

The yard has three separate houses; the main house is made from orange bricks – it is the biggest and only one of its kind in the small village.

The Mbeles have postponed going on honeymoon to save money
She welcomes me into her home and ushers me to sit down on luxurious cream leather couches.

In an area where employment and the luxuries it affords are difficult to come by, Baqinisile is living a life some young women in the area would envy.

Baqinisile describes her husband, who she met in 2006, as a fair man.

“He respects us and treats us all the same way,”

“When he buys us clothes, he buys us similar things. Also when he gives us money.

“I admire this about him because it shows me that he loves us the same way,” she says, adjusting her ring.

Both Baqinisile and Smangele admit they were against polygamy when they were growing up but have now changed their minds.

“When I saw what a loving man he is and how he much he values all of us, I knew that I would be able to share my life with him and everyone else,” says Smangele.

Although Mr Mbele says he minimised costs by having a mass wedding, he is still paying for it, so there will be no honeymoon for a couple of years.

But the entire Mbele family will not be going away together – he will take each wife separately in order of their hierarchy.


April 27, 2010


A Christian Science nurse from Ghana
Imelda Ammah
Reprinted from the January 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

The day I walked into a Christian Science Reading Room for the first time, I had no idea what a wonderful spiritual journey lay ahead. Five years before, I had come to London from Ghana (West Africa) to become a medical nurse. But for three months before I had come into the Reading Room, I had been very ill. A severe reaction to the medicine I was taking for a urinary infection resulted in liver damage and severe weight loss. The doctor finally told me that nothing else could be done medically. He discharged me from the hospital, asking that I come back every two weeks for blood tests.

During that time, my husband saw an advertisement for a Christian Science Reading Room that stated “Christian Science Heals.” I found the Reading Room and said to the librarian, “You people heal. Can you help me?” This wonderful librarian gave me Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and a copy of The Christian Science Journal to look for a practitioner. She also gave me a Christian Science Sentinel, which I read on the bus ride home. By the time I got home, I had already had a healing of painful boils on my ankles and legs.

The librarian had invited me to the Wednesday testimony meeting. At that time, it was unusual for people of color to go into any British church, and if they did they usually faced an unfriendly reception. Besides that, due to my physical condition, I wasn’t a pleasant picture to see. But everyone lovingly welcomed me. I felt such a great sense of love at that service. I went home and read the whole chapter “Prayer” in Science and Health. What I read greatly relieved me from the fear that my ill health was punishment for something I had done wrong. I went to bed, and for the first time in a long time I slept peacefully through the night.
I held dear in my heart the idea of becoming a Christian Science nurse.

The following day I went to see a practitioner. She prayed for me and told me to go home and lead a normal life. Two weeks later, I went to the hospital for a blood test and was told that I was well and didn’t need to come anymore. This healing took place in 1976, and I have had no recurrence of this condition since.

At that time, I wanted to serve the Christian Science movement in any way I could. I joined a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and The Mother Church, and I took Christian Science primary class instruction. I also learned about Christian Science nursing and held dear in my heart the idea of becoming a Christian Science nurse.

I left medical nursing as a career, but I took a job in nursing recruitment to support my three young children. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health, “Emerge gently from matter into Spirit.” I guess you could say I emerged gently, as it took almost 20 years before I seriously pursued Christian Science nursing.
I have witnessed many healings, including tumors dissolved and aggressive wounds healed.

My first step into Christian Science nursing was a short course on Christian Science home nursing. During the course we discussed in detail the Christian Science Nurse By-Law in the Church Manual (p. 49). After this, I went on private-duty cases with nurses who advertised in the Journal. They served as my mentors. In another three years, I also began to advertise in the Journal. I was the London Visiting Nurse for five years before moving back to Ghana to look after my very senior mother and to offer my services as a Christian Science nurse to those in my own country.

In Africa, Christian Science nursing is in its infancy. We do not have Christian Science nursing facilities as in Europe and America. Families still look after their own, so I do not receive many requests for my services as a nurse. I spend part of the year working at a Christian Science nursing facility near London. I’m very active in my branch church in Ghana, and I continue to pray to know how Christian Science nursing can be supportive for Christian Scientists in my country.

As a Christian Science nurse, I have witnessed many healings, including tumors dissolved and aggressive wounds healed. I pray to see every patient as the perfect “image of God,” as the Bible says. I continually remind myself that I can only see what God sees. In this way, I am obeying the commandment not to bear false witness against my neighbor. All nursing is an art, but the spiritual dimension of Christian Science nursing is awesome.

Imelda Ammah now lives in Tema, Ghana.
Spiritual Man:
Science and Health:
485:14 (only)
King James Bible:
Gen. 1:27

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