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From the time of Iwase, the Yoruba had been one albeit with several tribes. Like the children of Israel, the Yoruba has a common origin but different bloodlines that produced many tribes. The uniqueness of the Yoruba lies in their common origin of creation. The Yoruba Mythology of how the world came to existence in Ile Ife, with the descending of the 16 Irunmole who were commissioned to create life as we know it today, is a unique story that established the oneness of the people. The people called Yoruba today are the descendants of these primordial spiritual beings. Contrary to the popular story of Adam and Eve as the first man and first woman, The Yoruba did not originate from Adam nor eve rather we originated from the 16 Irunmole and their offspring. The Ifa corpus actually further reveals that the world itself was filled with water and Orunmila (the God of Ifa) was the first being on earth, he was suspended in the air for thousands of years and he subsequently called for the creation of land and vegetation. This mythology established the origin of the Yoruba and the oneness of the people.
The event of the shameful years of the Yoruba 70,000 years of history has led to a civilization collapse of the people and with this has been historical and cultural erosion to the point of an identity crisis. Today, an average Yoruba are more likely to identify with their religious subscription than their true Yoruba identity. It is rather catastrophic that such people with so much rich history and legacy have been reduced to mere copycats who would rather wear the identity of others than their own exceptional being’s identity. Nowadays, a Yoruba individual is more likely to express being a Christian first before adding that they are Human and lastly adding Yoruba sometimes reluctantly. The genesis of this identity crisis is deeply rooted in the parentage style of post-colonial atrocities in Yoruba Country. It has become the norm for families to put Jesus first in all they do and everything else is tertiary, in particular, the Yoruba identity is not in the content consciousness of the people. The same ideology of putting religion before anything else is also well percolated in the Muslim family and this actually may be worse in the faith. With the imported religion dominance of the Yoruba psyche, the true identity of the people become amalgamated just like the Yoruba Country was with her mortal enemies from the north and her complete strangers in the East.
This amalgamated mind and country have now led to the descriptions of people as Yoruba Christians, Yoruba Muslims, these terms are not only defeating to the rich heritage of the Yoruba, but they are also defeating to the soul of Yoruba and an insult to the majestic creator OLODUMARE who had made the Yorubaland a sacred land from the beginning. The concept of Yoruba Isese can also be introduced because of the alienation of these groups by people who had now conceived themselves to be the purest humans by virtue of their foreign faith adoption. We now have a situation of Yoruba identity tied to religion and faith Identity, perhaps there is also Yoruba atheist. We are now entering the stage of amalgamated Yoruba identity and reclassification of us as a people. We are gradually losing that only thing that has held us together through the most trying period of our lives – our Yoruba Ness.
The need to emphasize and identify in groups as Yoruba Christians and Yoruba Muslims is perhaps the next most damaging tool to us since colonialism. It’s only time that can tell if we can survive this next phase of division. The newly developed strategy of forming political alliances along religious lines simply created another fertile opportunity for those who have come to take all that our ancestors have bestowed on us. We have now created a perfect voting bloc for those who needed just a fraction of our vote to hold to power in the colonial business center called Nigeria. We also trigger apoptosis for our last surviving trait. It baffles me why we as a people continued to make fatal mistakes that have put so many viable races and ethnic nations in the museum. It’s not bad enough that we have arrested civilizations since the white expedition in Africa, we also continue to burn out with the quiet but powerful religion plants flame that was lit by the colonial thieves.
In all these, the role of self and the role of that parenting background and values are called into question. Why is it that an individual is able to be manipulated to the point of self-destruction? Is there an intrinsic weakness that renders us particularly susceptible to being decapitated so easily? What happened to that Omo Akin inside of us? What happened to our Omoluabi? What happened to that which is supposed to remind us of who we are? Have we forgotten who we are so quickly? Did we forget ourselves and the beats of our ancestors?
There is no identity such as Yoruba Isese people, no Yoruba Christians, no Yoruba Muslims, there is only one YORUBA, the bloodlines of Oduduwa, Obatala and other primordial beings, we are a spiritual being that was favored by OLODUMARE. We have a destiny to fulfill for the black race. We are bestowed with a prophet, a book of wisdom and light, and a land that is paradise. We need to rise and pull our strength back together and break free of the contraptions in our world. Those who aimed to divide us by religious lines and other schemes shall not succeed.
Dr. Bukola Adeniji
Copyright Think Yoruba First