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Tag Archive | "Ifa"

iPhone/iPad App for Ifa Practitioners

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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iPhone/iPad App for Ifa Practitioners

This is the smartphone app for Ifa Divination in the world. Students and practitioners of Yoruba-Ifa-Orisa religion are now able to carry all 256 Ifa Verses and a virtual Ifa Divination Chain, in the palm of their hands.

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Ifa Reading of the Year, Oke Itase, Ile-Ife Nigeria on June 5, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

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Ifa of the Year for all Ifa/Orisa practitioners all over the world was revealed at Oke Itase, Ile-Ife on the 5th of June, 2010.

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Babalawo Chief Tifase Awolola Agboola Part 1 of 2

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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Ita Ifa’Orisa ‘Anago’

Saturday, December 26, 2009

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Anago is the path of Ifa'Orisha that seeks the original and most sacred truth verified by the sacred Odu.

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World Ifa Festival 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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World Ifa Festival 2009

Orishada.com reports that World Ifa Festival was held Saturday June 6, 2009 at Oketase the World Ifa Temple, Ile-Ife. This festival celebrates the New Year for all the traditional Yoruba practitioners.

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Priests and Worship

Monday, March 16, 2009

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Priests and Worship

THE Yoruba priesthood is divided into recognised orders, but before describing them it will be necessary to give some account of a secret society which is inseparably connected with the priesthood, and which, except in Jebu, Where it is called Oshogbo, is known as the Ogboni Society.

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Eewo Orisa (Part 1)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

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IFE: The Spiritual City

Thursday, June 5, 2008

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My second meeting with Chief Adeyela Adelekan, we sat together in his home in Ife, surrounded by images and statues of various Yoruba deities. In the centre of the drive-in, a fountain dedicated to yemoja, the water goddess raised her hands in prayer.

The discussion opened with a statement ‘Ile Ife is the centre of the world.’

In the mythical version: Ife is the centre of creation, the gods arrived here ‘from heaven,’ and they created a landmass from where they fanned out to create the wider world. In the theoretical debates, the question centres on the word ‘oke’ its’ literary meaning in Yoruba is ‘up.’ Such words have various interpretations in Yoruba use, ‘oke’ means: far, far away, ‘a field away,’ ‘up,’ ‘upstairs’ and ‘heaven.’ Yoruba people’s creation myths says, they came from Ile Oke. To some it says ‘far north’ while others interprint it as ‘up in heaven.’

Baba Adelekan challenged the story with spiritual backing. ‘Don’t follow the falsehood, the top we refer to is heaven.’ The gods descended from heaven into this place – Ile Ife. This is where they started the process of creating mankind. We know the scared spots where these things happened, he said, it remains a sacred place of worship. Yoruba people then migrated from Ife to form other nations, – that is what Ifa initiate are taught. The general public is told that the people from Saudi migrated to the West African coast to start the Yoruba kingdom.

The former supports the notion of Ife as central of the world. The latter supports latter day Christians and colonial historians. Baba and Ifa initiates are one hundred percent convinced of the former.

Ife is the black Vatican, Baba added. Then he whispered, and they all know it. The British colonial authorities suggested a move of Ife to another site. They had plans to open tourist attraction at our shrines, he laughed, and that is an abomination. The African leaders opposed their action. We will not allow them to refute our gods. The African leaders stood together to challenge this outrageous suggestion.
The colonial authorities tried to rewrite history to meet this selfish and narrow aims. We can say with all honesty; they create havoc with their actions. Sometimes it is immediate, other times; it takes years and centuries to see the evil implication of their actions.

Then Baba raised the case in point of Egyptian pyramids. The doors of these sacred temples have been thrown open to paying tourists. This is ridiculous – he warned. This is sacred shrines that require conservation, reverence, initiation and strict displine. To suddenly throw it open to public eye is an abomination and an affront to the gods of the land. People have paid dearly for the affront: when people don’t do the rituals and walk into these temples, they pick up strange curses that materialize into awkward illness and mishaps. People should be warned about this; there are things that are beyond western research and needs age-old reverence.

Does the world recognise Ife as a sacred site? Baba laughed at the question. It depends on who you ask and who wants to say. He pointed to pictures on the wall of his front room. A picture of the Nigerian vice president, walking through crowds. Vice president Atiku came here for a traditional title and prayers and pays his homage. Other world leaders come here to do various rituals and seek help, ‘they know what we have.’ He will not mention names. High profile world leaders paid us quiet and very secret visit. It was a super hush-hush affair. Then he pointed to a blank spot on the wall. There are other world figures, not known to the media, who come here to seek guidance, people know what is here, he demonstrated.
All year round, the people of Ife hold festivals to honour the gods. Festivals are like carnivals with processions that celebrate life, the gods, plenty, harvest and humanity. Some ceremony is open to the public; some are sacred, open only to initiates.

Edmond king a triniman walked into the meeting. He is an initiate on a working visit of Ife; he came for the Obatala festival and is still enjoying the sites of the ancient city. Edmond is a native of Trinidad and a senior priest of Ifa worship in Trinidad. Among his many interests is a study the negrioid features. All the features, from the tallest man to the shortest pigmy’s are represented in these parts of Africa he informed us. He has seen all this specimens in Ife.

Then he narrated the experience with the route master. During the Obatala festival, he saw a magnificent possession. The first group of water carriers walked along bare-footed with large earth-ware pots balanced on their heads. The carriers were the tallest men he has ever seen, and the guide was a short man who carried a thin long cane. He said ‘I watched the short man with amazement; he was a perfect specimen, with well defined muscles and graceful movement. There was something about this short man; he demonstrated strength and purpose as he led this line of tall and swanking guys.’ Edmond said he decided to take a picture, and he found his camera was trapped in his pocket. He struggled to free the camera as the possession walked into the distance. He was disappointed, but reassured himself ‘all is well.’ There was National television crew present and he was sure they will have images of this man. When he saw the group returning from the stream, he decided to try taking the photo again. This time the camera was in his hand; but another set of problems materialized, ‘camera focus.’ He said he struggled to put the short man in frame and everything that could happen to ruin his shot happened. People got in the way, his fingers got in the way, the trees blocked his view, and the procession slipped away. Again he was unable to get a picture. Once again he reassured himself, the big camera crew will have the shots. He was sourly disappointed when the he watched the camera crew’s tapes – they did not have the short route master in any frame. Somehow this man had escaped all photographic image takers. At this stage we looked at the possibility that this person was not a human being.

Baba said such things occur daily in this city. The city of Ife has an equal representation of human specimen and spirit specimen, Baba assured us.

Baba told us he will not do interviews, but he went public when certain fractions of the secular religion were rumoured to warn church members to avoid indigenous religion. This is ludicrous, he said, the lot of them Christian and Muslim leaders come to us for power and assistance; they know who has the power. Christian and Muslim religions are youths in the Nigeria landscape, he reiterated. The practitioners of this imported religion are all fifth and fourth generation converts. Look at it this way, before the Muslims and Christians came here, all the people were involved in our practice. The short and long is; this entire people you see around you, (in Nigeria) irrespective of their loyalty to Christian and Muslim dogma have roots buried in Indigenous beliefs. Hence when we do Egungun festivals, they all come around and work with us.

Add to this; Christian is on the rise for the wrong reasons. Some see it as a means to instant riches. Nigerian newspapers have identified this rapid rise as a new chapter in the Nigeria community. Some critics see this as questionable, and it has raised many debates. Some make a link with poor governance, bad policies, poor infrastructure, poor health facilities, general poverty and all this leads to a dependence on external forces and a search for answers.

Baba said this with authority, the fourth generation Nigeria Christian is only an infant in belief patterns. Fact is; Indigenous beliefs run through his veins and motivate his thinking. Most of this people resort to Ifa when they hit rock bottom. They come to ifa at night, WHY? This is because their church leaders have labelled Ifa worship as evil. Look behind you and you will find the priest tap into Ifa help when he is in need.

Ifa is a noble religion with strict guidelines on right and wrong, he insisted. Anything that you have heard otherwise is wrong – it is part of a big colonial programme to displace Indigenous religion and replace with another. Another is Christian. This abuse, ‘religious terrorism,’ call it what you may, started years ago and it continues unabated.

Baba narrated the story of Rev Lijadu The right Reverend (as they were called in those days) was instructed by his colonial minders to study Ifa and come up with damaging reports. He joined a cult and tried to seek information. In his subsequent report, he said Ifa remains the only true religion and the worship far surpasses the Christian dogma and practice. He was ordered to go deeper and he went in for initiation. Again he emerged with a glorying report of Ifa as connection with the true god-head. The colonial authorities refuse to publish his reports as it did not fit their agenda.

Contrary to popular beliefs, both priest and practitioner’s of Ifa are paragons of virtue all controlled by strict laws of conduct. ‘When I became a priest I out-grew the ability to tell lies and practice falsehood’ he said with full conviction. In our practice we worship in shrines were you can not hold anything back. In some worship, you approach the altar ‘strip’ naked and accustom the gods with all your worth – in this place nothing is hidden. The symbolism is; noting is hidden – nothing is covered.

The powers of Ifa are endless. The research is available; he said, that documents this immense powers. He touched on shape-shifters, spirit beings, water spirits, dimension doors, water spirits and charms for power. He narrated the story of Oba Ajagun, 1910 – 1930, who was known to bask in his garden in elephant form. People will pass by and pay homage to the elephant as they will the king, cause the know it is the king in his shape-shifting mood.

Oba Sijuade is the king of Ife, and the spiritual head of the Yoruba. He lives in a palace in Ife and he is appointed the head of all obas. All oba pay homage to him and swear allegiance to his crown. The person and the crown are both holy and followed by various rituals.

Ife is a large city, ancient and mysterious. The time remains calm and peaceful. In the annuals of Yoruba culture, the people do not vex the people of Ife. As the story goes the larger than life warrior king Oranyan was successful with all his military campaigners. Oranyan did not die, he choose to enter the earth at the end of his time. Before his ascend into the earth, he gave his people a gift. ‘Anytime you need me, call me, and I will come to help you fight your tormentors.’ Then he sunk into the earth and an iron string marked the spot. It is said that a drunken man after a lousy bet invoked him with the sacred words ‘ gbajure’ and pulled the string. Oranyan emerged from the earth battle ready, and he commenced war. He had slaughtered hundred of locals before he realised the false alarm. He has since rescinded the offer of physical help, but he remains available in spirit. A cutlass struck in the earth marks the spot, where he returned to the earth. These are all sites of worship till this day.

Oranyan is no myth Baba assured me. He was living breathing human who achieved god status and worked hard for the betterment evolution of the Yoruba people. Baba shared a less know fact of his powers. Oranyan has a dimensional door that allows him to cross from Ife to Benin in seconds. The door lies in the Obas palace. All this feats are documented in odu ifa.

His continence changed when we hit on the gender debate of Olodumare. The western religions authorities organised debates to address the gender of Olodumare. This sparked a series of debates. Some camps favoured a rewrite of the attributes of God, to make it more gender assessable. The new terminology suggested was he/she. Baba appeared hot as he narrated these events. He asked how man can come to question the gender of Olodumare. He spoke like a man who had inside knowledge and personal experience on this issue.

His repertoire of knowledge was endless. He pulled it out in conversation like it was at his finger tips. He produced names and dates like it was easily accessible knowledge. Baba Adelakan said 401 gods of the Yoruba pantheon reside in Ife. The majority of these gods have chosen to remain on these shores. Some have migrated with their sons. The three prolific gods are, Ifa, Ogun, and Osun. They are called on all continents of the world. Such information cannot be read in book; book focus on dogma and practice, and books over-intellectualize dogma. The knowledge shared by Baba can only be raised by long-term practitioners.

The position of the babalawo is a highly respected post in Yoruba land. The holders act in various roles in their local community.

During the interview, a middle aged couple came over with family queries. Baba counselled them, and displayed knowledge of world events, sense of social structure and awareness of all corners of the globe. They left the place, happy and informed, educated, and armed with new information.

Baba is also called ‘London Chairman,’ because he is appointed to travel the world. He is the holder of many titles, and he is the ambassador for Ifa council. This means constant travel to various ceremonies worldwide. Long hotel stays and longer airtime travel and knowledge of other lands and their culture. The local community enjoys the benefits of the spiritual leader, and experienced world traveller.

‘My door is always open to my people,’ he laughed. They come night and day to seek my counsel, the rich the poor the educated the penniless, they know my door is open all hours of the day. The role of Ifa ambassador further opened my door, he smiled, and I find myself counselling people from all over the world. Today guests from Trinidad, tomorrow guest from Mexico, then Londoners, then Brazilians. They come for the festivals, they stay in my guesthouse. They come to participate in Ifa festivals, to see this wonderful town and to reclaim their lineage with our people. You are all welcome he laughed, come talk about Ifa, make your research, join us in worship, and share our bread. I am open, my door is open, and our city is open. Anywhere you land in the city of Ife, ask for ‘baba London,’ the locals you bring you to my door.

By Oliver Oguntade
Comments and queries invited

My second meeting with Chief Adeyela Adelekan, we sat together in his home in Ife, surrounded by images and statues of various Yoruba deities. In the centre of the drive-in, a fountain dedicated to yemoja, the water goddess raised her hands in prayer.

The discussion opened with a statement ‘Ile Ife is the centre of the world.’

In the mythical version: Ife is the centre of creation, the gods arrived here ‘from heaven,’ and they created a landmass from where they fanned out to create the wider world. In the theoretical debates, the question centres on the word ‘oke’ its’ literary meaning in Yoruba is ‘up.’ Such words have various interpretations in Yoruba use, ‘oke’ means: far, far away, ‘a field away,’ ‘up,’ ‘upstairs’ and ‘heaven.’ Yoruba people’s creation myths says, they came from Ile Oke. To some it says ‘far north’ while others interprint it as ‘up in heaven.’

Baba Adelekan challenged the story with spiritual backing. ‘Don’t follow the falsehood, the top we refer to is heaven.’ The gods descended from heaven into this place – Ile Ife. This is where they started the process of creating mankind. We know the scared spots where these things happened, he said, it remains a sacred place of worship. Yoruba people then migrated from Ife to form other nations, – that is what Ifa initiate are taught. The general public is told that the people from Saudi migrated to the West African coast to start the Yoruba kingdom.

The former supports the notion of Ife as central of the world. The latter supports latter day Christians and colonial historians. Baba and Ifa initiates are one hundred percent convinced of the former.

Ife is the black Vatican, Baba added. Then he whispered, and they all know it. The British colonial authorities suggested a move of Ife to another site. They had plans to open tourist attraction at our shrines, he laughed, and that is an abomination. The African leaders opposed their action. We will not allow them to refute our gods. The African leaders stood together to challenge this outrageous suggestion.
The colonial authorities tried to rewrite history to meet this selfish and narrow aims. We can say with all honesty; they create havoc with their actions. Sometimes it is immediate, other times; it takes years and centuries to see the evil implication of their actions.

Then Baba raised the case in point of Egyptian pyramids. The doors of these sacred temples have been thrown open to paying tourists. This is ridiculous – he warned. This is sacred shrines that require conservation, reverence, initiation and strict displine. To suddenly throw it open to public eye is an abomination and an affront to the gods of the land. People have paid dearly for the affront: when people don’t do the rituals and walk into these temples, they pick up strange curses that materialize into awkward illness and mishaps. People should be warned about this; there are things that are beyond western research and needs age-old reverence.

Does the world recognise Ife as a sacred site? Baba laughed at the question. It depends on who you ask and who wants to say. He pointed to pictures on the wall of his front room. A picture of the Nigerian vice president, walking through crowds. Vice president Atiku came here for a traditional title and prayers and pays his homage. Other world leaders come here to do various rituals and seek help, ‘they know what we have.’ He will not mention names. High profile world leaders paid us quiet and very secret visit. It was a super hush-hush affair. Then he pointed to a blank spot on the wall. There are other world figures, not known to the media, who come here to seek guidance, people know what is here, he demonstrated.
All year round, the people of Ife hold festivals to honour the gods. Festivals are like carnivals with processions that celebrate life, the gods, plenty, harvest and humanity. Some ceremony is open to the public; some are sacred, open only to initiates.

Edmond king a triniman walked into the meeting. He is an initiate on a working visit of Ife; he came for the Obatala festival and is still enjoying the sites of the ancient city. Edmond is a native of Trinidad and a senior priest of Ifa worship in Trinidad. Among his many interests is a study the negrioid features. All the features, from the tallest man to the shortest pigmy’s are represented in these parts of Africa he informed us. He has seen all this specimens in Ife.

Then he narrated the experience with the route master. During the Obatala festival, he saw a magnificent possession. The first group of water carriers walked along bare-footed with large earth-ware pots balanced on their heads. The carriers were the tallest men he has ever seen, and the guide was a short man who carried a thin long cane. He said ‘I watched the short man with amazement; he was a perfect specimen, with well defined muscles and graceful movement. There was something about this short man; he demonstrated strength and purpose as he led this line of tall and swanking guys.’ Edmond said he decided to take a picture, and he found his camera was trapped in his pocket. He struggled to free the camera as the possession walked into the distance. He was disappointed, but reassured himself ‘all is well.’ There was National television crew present and he was sure they will have images of this man. When he saw the group returning from the stream, he decided to try taking the photo again. This time the camera was in his hand; but another set of problems materialized, ‘camera focus.’ He said he struggled to put the short man in frame and everything that could happen to ruin his shot happened. People got in the way, his fingers got in the way, the trees blocked his view, and the procession slipped away. Again he was unable to get a picture. Once again he reassured himself, the big camera crew will have the shots. He was sourly disappointed when the he watched the camera crew’s tapes – they did not have the short route master in any frame. Somehow this man had escaped all photographic image takers. At this stage we looked at the possibility that this person was not a human being.

Baba said such things occur daily in this city. The city of Ife has an equal representation of human specimen and spirit specimen, Baba assured us.

Baba told us he will not do interviews, but he went public when certain fractions of the secular religion were rumoured to warn church members to avoid indigenous religion. This is ludicrous, he said, the lot of them Christian and Muslim leaders come to us for power and assistance; they know who has the power. Christian and Muslim religions are youths in the Nigeria landscape, he reiterated. The practitioners of this imported religion are all fifth and fourth generation converts. Look at it this way, before the Muslims and Christians came here, all the people were involved in our practice. The short and long is; this entire people you see around you, (in Nigeria) irrespective of their loyalty to Christian and Muslim dogma have roots buried in Indigenous beliefs. Hence when we do Egungun festivals, they all come around and work with us.

Add to this; Christian is on the rise for the wrong reasons. Some see it as a means to instant riches. Nigerian newspapers have identified this rapid rise as a new chapter in the Nigeria community. Some critics see this as questionable, and it has raised many debates. Some make a link with poor governance, bad policies, poor infrastructure, poor health facilities, general poverty and all this leads to a dependence on external forces and a search for answers.

Baba said this with authority, the fourth generation Nigeria Christian is only an infant in belief patterns. Fact is; Indigenous beliefs run through his veins and motivate his thinking. Most of this people resort to Ifa when they hit rock bottom. They come to ifa at night, WHY? This is because their church leaders have labelled Ifa worship as evil. Look behind you and you will find the priest tap into Ifa help when he is in need.

Ifa is a noble religion with strict guidelines on right and wrong, he insisted. Anything that you have heard otherwise is wrong – it is part of a big colonial programme to displace Indigenous religion and replace with another. Another is Christian. This abuse, ‘religious terrorism,’ call it what you may, started years ago and it continues unabated.

Baba narrated the story of Rev Lijadu The right Reverend (as they were called in those days) was instructed by his colonial minders to study Ifa and come up with damaging reports. He joined a cult and tried to seek information. In his subsequent report, he said Ifa remains the only true religion and the worship far surpasses the Christian dogma and practice. He was ordered to go deeper and he went in for initiation. Again he emerged with a glorying report of Ifa as connection with the true god-head. The colonial authorities refuse to publish his reports as it did not fit their agenda.

Contrary to popular beliefs, both priest and practitioner’s of Ifa are paragons of virtue all controlled by strict laws of conduct. ‘When I became a priest I out-grew the ability to tell lies and practice falsehood’ he said with full conviction. In our practice we worship in shrines were you can not hold anything back. In some worship, you approach the altar ‘strip’ naked and accustom the gods with all your worth – in this place nothing is hidden. The symbolism is; noting is hidden – nothing is covered.

The powers of Ifa are endless. The research is available; he said, that documents this immense powers. He touched on shape-shifters, spirit beings, water spirits, dimension doors, water spirits and charms for power. He narrated the story of Oba Ajagun, 1910 – 1930, who was known to bask in his garden in elephant form. People will pass by and pay homage to the elephant as they will the king, cause the know it is the king in his shape-shifting mood.

Oba Sijuade is the king of Ife, and the spiritual head of the Yoruba. He lives in a palace in Ife and he is appointed the head of all obas. All oba pay homage to him and swear allegiance to his crown. The person and the crown are both holy and followed by various rituals.

Ife is a large city, ancient and mysterious. The time remains calm and peaceful. In the annuals of Yoruba culture, the people do not vex the people of Ife. As the story goes the larger than life warrior king Oranyan was successful with all his military campaigners. Oranyan did not die, he choose to enter the earth at the end of his time. Before his ascend into the earth, he gave his people a gift. ‘Anytime you need me, call me, and I will come to help you fight your tormentors.’ Then he sunk into the earth and an iron string marked the spot. It is said that a drunken man after a lousy bet invoked him with the sacred words ‘ gbajure’ and pulled the string. Oranyan emerged from the earth battle ready, and he commenced war. He had slaughtered hundred of locals before he realised the false alarm. He has since rescinded the offer of physical help, but he remains available in spirit. A cutlass struck in the earth marks the spot, where he returned to the earth. These are all sites of worship till this day.

Oranyan is no myth Baba assured me. He was living breathing human who achieved god status and worked hard for the betterment evolution of the Yoruba people. Baba shared a less know fact of his powers. Oranyan has a dimensional door that allows him to cross from Ife to Benin in seconds. The door lies in the Obas palace. All this feats are documented in odu ifa.

His continence changed when we hit on the gender debate of Olodumare. The western religions authorities organised debates to address the gender of Olodumare. This sparked a series of debates. Some camps favoured a rewrite of the attributes of God, to make it more gender assessable. The new terminology suggested was he/she. Baba appeared hot as he narrated these events. He asked how man can come to question the gender of Olodumare. He spoke like a man who had inside knowledge and personal experience on this issue.

His repertoire of knowledge was endless. He pulled it out in conversation like it was at his finger tips. He produced names and dates like it was easily accessible knowledge. Baba Adelakan said 401 gods of the Yoruba pantheon reside in Ife. The majority of these gods have chosen to remain on these shores. Some have migrated with their sons. The three prolific gods are, Ifa, Ogun, and Osun. They are called on all continents of the world. Such information cannot be read in book; book focus on dogma and practice, and books over-intellectualize dogma. The knowledge shared by Baba can only be raised by long-term practitioners.

The position of the babalawo is a highly respected post in Yoruba land. The holders act in various roles in their local community.

During the interview, a middle aged couple came over with family queries. Baba counselled them, and displayed knowledge of world events, sense of social structure and awareness of all corners of the globe. They left the place, happy and informed, educated, and armed with new information.

Baba is also called ‘London Chairman,’ because he is appointed to travel the world. He is the holder of many titles, and he is the ambassador for Ifa council. This means constant travel to various ceremonies worldwide. Long hotel stays and longer airtime travel and knowledge of other lands and their culture. The local community enjoys the benefits of the spiritual leader, and experienced world traveller.

‘My door is always open to my people,’ he laughed. They come night and day to seek my counsel, the rich the poor the educated the penniless, they know my door is open all hours of the day. The role of Ifa ambassador further opened my door, he smiled, and I find myself counselling people from all over the world. Today guests from Trinidad, tomorrow guest from Mexico, then Londoners, then Brazilians. They come for the festivals, they stay in my guesthouse. They come to participate in Ifa festivals, to see this wonderful town and to reclaim their lineage with our people. You are all welcome he laughed, come talk about Ifa, make your research, join us in worship, and share our bread. I am open, my door is open, and our city is open. Anywhere you land in the city of Ife, ask for ‘baba London,’ the locals you bring you to my door.

By Oliver Oguntade
Comments and queries invited

Continue reading...