Thursday, 31 December 2015



Also known as the Pure Water Temple, Kiyomizudera is one of the country's most celebrated temples. It is best known for its wooden stage with a spectacular view of beautiful maple and cherry trees in the fall. The main hall is ringed by a large veranda that juts out onto the hillside and offers majestic views of the city. Kiyomizudera, Yasaka Shrine, and other temples in the area sponsor evening illuminations during the Hanatoro event in March.


From The Custodian of Yoruba Tradition and Culture, we wish you A Happy And Prosperous New Year filled with all your heart desires!!!

BYE 2015, WELCOME 2016

Custodian of Yoruba Culture and Tradition wishes our numerous fans all over the world A Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015



Nikko's main attraction, the Toshogu Shrine was built in honor of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the country's most powerful shogun. Faced in sheets of gold-leaf, this World Heritage Site is considered one of Japan's most opulent and elaborate shrines. Unlike other Shinto shrines of minimalist architectural style, Toshogu is an intricate mix of gold, color, and carvings, with dancing maidens, sages, birds, and flowers chasing one another along the building walls.


•Good millet is known at the harvest.

•Life is a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly by and it is no more.

•The voyager's path is marked by the stars and not the sand dunes.

•The bee is the doctor of flowers.

•Because he lost his reputation, he lost a kingdom.

•If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail.

•Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand.

•An orphaned calf licks its own back.

•Remember, after the storm there will be rainbow.

•A king can not reign without the support of the elders.

*An elephant which kills a rat is not a hero.

•If you are a leader, be like the moon, not like the sun.

•Great men have big hearts.

•Even in old age the lion lives with power and with strength.


•Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015

Tuesday, 29 December 2015



Officially known as Kaikozan Jishoin Hase-dera, the Hase Kannon Temple is situated on a hill in Kamakura with a magnificent view of the sea. It is home to the giant statue of Kannon, the Japanese deity of mercy. The statue itself is considered one of the biggest wooden monuments in Japan, at 30 ft. tall. The statue's eleven heads symbolize the phases of the Buddhist enlightenment process. Jizodo Hall features small monuments to Jizo Bodhisattva, who is believed to help the souls of children reach paradise.



The Kotoku-in houses the Great Buddha, an outdoor bronze monument of Amida Buddha that dates back to 1252. The temple buildings were destroyed several times by tidal waves and typhoons in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Great Buddha statue weighs around 93 tons and is 13.35 meters high.



Also known as Asakusa Temple, Sensoji is a popular Buddhist temple built in the early 7th century. Along the temple walkway, visitors pass by the famous Nakamise, a shopping boulevard of local snacks and souvenir items. After reaching the Hozomon Gate, guests are greeted with the sight of a five-story pagoda and the main hall. Various events are held in Sensoji all year round. People flock to the place during the Asakusa Shrine Festival and the Sanja Matsuri.



Japan contains a plethora of religious architectural structures—Kyoto alone is believed to have more than 2,000 shrines and temples. But it is not only in the big cities where you can find majestic Buddhist temples and shrines; nearly every Japanese village has its own shrine or temple. Famous temples usually charge admission fees and close by 16:00. Most Japanese shrines and temples are set in beautiful gardens and are often connected to local festivals.


One of Tokyo's most famous shrines, the Meiju Shrine is a striking contrast to the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, with more than 120,000 evergreen trees blocking the city's noise. If you are in Tokyo, make sure to see this shrine. Not only is the Meiju Shrine readily accessible through Harajuku Station; it's also near the city's fashion capital. At the northern part of the shrine's grounds, you come across the Meiju Jingu Treasure House, a collection of some of the personal belongings of Emperor Meiju and Empress Shoken.


Later my hotel proprietor explained it to be Gounko, a Nigerian-Yoruba Voodoo figure that chased away evil spirits. While we spoke, local television showed a wild-eyed man carrying a slaughtered goat's head in his mouth by its severed neck ligaments. As he paraded through a crowd, some people collapsed, shaking like fever-pitched evangelists on American TV. I sensed the Voodoo floodgates were opening. The next day I would witness something extraordinary.


In a local compound where ripening calabash fruits aped basketballs, Remi wangled me into a family ceremony of ancestor worship: Egungun.

This is one of Beninese Voodoo's most explosive events, where departed ancestral spirits take the form of humans in order to impart wisdom and justice to the living.

Frenzied drumming ushered the Egungun into the compound. Possessed by the dead, men wore flamboyant sequin-spangled capes adorned with animal and human motifs. Their faces were veiled by cowry shell screens. "If you see their eyes, you will die!" shouted Remi above the cacophony.

Some Egungun whirled like dervishes, green, silver and yellow capes creating spinning circles. Some simply scared the crowd. Two bulky 'monsters' galloped into the arena sending people scattering into a banana grove. Tempers rose. Stick-bearers tried to stop the Egunguns' robes inauspiciously touching the living. It was Chinese masquerade meets the 'running of the bulls' at Pamplona. Before long, Remi and I were pinned against a wall by a hulking Egungun. Averting my eyes, it brushed its horsehair flywhisk across my face. "White man,' growled a deep baritone voice, before moving on.

On a high, I headed north to Abomey the next day. After two days in a taxi with a driver called Filbert, the coastal plain subsided to a rippling landscape of green bush and ochre roads, studded by granite hills. Hornbills glided across the road with greater ease than the struggling taxis-brousse (bush taxis) bearing chassis-bending loads of people and cargo bound for Cotonou. We passed coachloads of white-robed Christians fresh from celebrating the apparition of the Virgin Mary at Dassa-Zoume. The syncretism of Beninese religious life ensured some would be worshipping animist deities later that day.


In halcyon times, Abomey was capital of the feared Dahomey Kingdom (Benin's former name). Generations of Dahomian Kings fought internecine wars, maintained female Amazon warriors with a penchant for decapitation, and sold slaves to the Europeans to equip themselves militarily. But a crushing defeat to the French in 1892 saw most Dahomian palaces razed and the empire destroyed. These days Abomey is a backwater with little pomp or grandeur.

I'd come to see two surviving Unesco-listed Dahomian palaces: the 19th-century mud-walled palaces of Kings Ghezo and Glele, both packed with wonderfully macabre artefacts.

King Ghezo's intricately carved throne rests upon four skulls of rival chiefs while beyond all taste (amid fine Portuguese silks and British cut-glass decanters) is a royal flywhisk assembled from a human cranium attached to a horsetail. Elsewhere, I learnt that Gele's harem once overflowed with 4,000 brides - remarkably his libido and heart held out for 31 years of rule. In the inner sanctum of the Djeho Temple, built by Gele for his father Ghezo, the mortar is forged from the blood of 41 slaves.

Nowadays it's possible to meet the king of Dahomey and keep your head. Meeting a Beninese king is a real highlight and not difficult to arrange: bring something to toast him and present a gratuity of about US$25-50.

•culled from

Monday, 28 December 2015


I'd thoroughly recommend the Route des Esclaves (The Slave Route). It traces the final 3.5km walk made by thousands of slaves from Ouidah to the Atlantic coast, many dispatched long after abolition by Dom Francisco de Souza.
Remi, a local guide, showed me the marketplace where slavers bartered 15 male Africans for one cannon. At The Tree of Forgetfulness, Remi explained how "slaves would circle nine times to magically forget everything, so they weren't sad in their new lives."

Approaching the coast, sea breezes rustled coconut groves while crabs gnashed their claws amid mangroves. Beneath an archway on the shoreline, designed to symbolise 'The Gates of No Return', I watched the pummelling Atlantic surf churn grey with sediment and contemplated the terrified thoughts of captured Africans being paddled out to waiting slave galleons bobbing on the horizon.

Many of them exported their Voodoo culture to colonies such as Brazil and Haiti, and the longer I spent in Ouidah, the more the still thriving undercurrent of spirit-worship began to reveal itself.


Ouidah's market sells grotesque ritualistic accoutrements used in ceremonies. A musty odour reeks from dehydrated bits of crocodile snouts, hippos' feet, pigs' penises, whole chameleons, pangolins, and (look away pet-lovers) cat and dog heads.

Lit by pretty candlelight, the market by night is usually more palatable. Until one evening, while enjoying a fried fish and tomato-infused maize meal, a huge commotion occurred. Chasing a screaming, scattering crowd was a creature maybe 7m high, a masqueraded figure, totally black and oddly tubular.

Amid pandemonium, the lady serving my meal screamed, ducked under my table and grabbed my legs. I raised my camera but several men with panic-stricken expressions warned me not to. The figure disappeared into the night.



While Voodoo certainly isn't fiction here, witnessing it in action seems unlikely at first. In Cotonou, Benin's largest city, the tourist office told me to return in January, because I'd only see Voodoo at an annual festival in Ouidah offering choreographed ceremonies for Benin's trickle of largely French tourists. This is far from the truth. Beninese worship a pantheon of Voodoo deities and with a good guide and a few financial inducements, authentic ceremonies can be witnessed all year round.

With this knowledge I headed to Porto Novo, a lagoon-facing former French colonial city of 350,000 people, 40-minutes drive from busy Cotonou, and on the flat coastal plain of south Benin's Voodoo heartland.

An attractive city of spirits worshipped by the animist Goun people, Porto Novo's most visible ghosts are world-weary French houses with honey-coloured facades and peeling shutters, and I spent my first morning exploring its fine museums.

Kings are ten-a-penny in Benin although, as museum guide Mireille explained, Benin's monarchy endured a hiatus during French colonisation in the 1890s and its 30-year flirtation with Communism.

Porto Novo's ceremonial king no longer resides inside Honme's maze of red-earthen compounds. Nor does he take advantage of the royal bathhouse where two new queens were once prepared for the reigning monarch every 21 days, or the mysterious chambre noire where successive rulers consulted the spirits about their destiny. Its door was firmly shut.

Nearby, the hefty wooden doors of a curious-looking building shaped like an enormous haystack – the lodge of the god Zangbeto – were closed too.

Members of this secretive cult patrol Beninese streets after dark like unofficial police, dressing in haystack costumes and sporting sticks to beat unruly citizens. I walked around late every evening hoping to witness them, but I never did.

And then fate eventually smiled upon me. I met an English-speaking teacher called Yvette who took me to see a local Fa reader.


In a cupboard-sized room, crammed with potions, the medium Casmin Fabiyi fingered his Fa beads (threads of eight wooden disks) like a rosary.

"The power of Mawa-Lissa (Voodoo's Supreme Being) sent Fa to earth as a medium to answer questions about the future," Yvette told me, also describing how the medium casts his beads into one of 256 positions that he then interprets as the word of his god.


In the tiny West African nation of Benin, Voodoo remains the state religion. Enter a world of python temples, haystack cults and oozing fetish shrines...
Barefoot, I stepped onto a putrefying mound of candle wax, palm oil and the feathers and blood of sacrificed goats and chickens. I was ready to converse with the spirit god Dankoli. In a shady woodland glade before the charred tree-stump fetish, adorned with jawbones, I hammered a wooden peg into the gooey shrine. After beseeching the god to grant my wish, I sealed our deal by anointing the shrine with blood-red palm oil and spitting out three mouthfuls of fiery homemade gin.

"If your wish comes true," reminded Pascal, the Voodoo attendant, "you must return to sacrifice two chickens to Dankoli."

I won't reveal what I wished for. Anyhow this was not my real inspiration for visiting Benin, a peaceful democratic West African minnow squeezed between Nigeria and Togo. My true motivation was The Viceroy of Ouidah, a lyrical novella by Bruce Chatwin. Written nearly 30 years ago, it tells of Dom Francisco de Silva, a 19th-century Brazilian migrant who became Benin's most notorious slave trader.

Chatwin's narrative of bloodthirsty African kings, slavery, and French and Portuguese ambitions, is enthralling. Yet what really captivated me were the tales of Voodoo, a practice that is still followed by over 60% of Beninese today and considered the state religion.

*Culled from Wanderlust travel magazine.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


*Happiness is like a field you can harvest every season.

*An elderly man who wears corns round his waist makes himself the mockery of fowls.

*Those who waste time only hurt themselves.

*A good deed deserves something good in return.

*The man may be the head of the home but the wife is the heart.

*There is no medicine against old age.

*When your neighbor's horse falls into a pit, you should not rejoice at it, for your own children may fall into it too.

*Children are the reward of life.

*A lie can destroy a thousand truths.

*What is inflated too much will break into fragments.

*You don't need painkillers for another man's headache.

*What you don't want to eat should not be held close to the nose.

*We will water the thorn for the sake of the rose.


•Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015


The Cheetah averages 4 strides per second or 1 stride per .28 seconds as the horse averages 1 stride per .44 seconds and can reach top speeds of 43 mph. The Cheetah can out run the horse going from 0-45 mph in 2 seconds flat, though this will not very last very long. The horse would inevitably win in the long run.
Cheetahs are equipped with several special features that are crucial in successful and efficient hunting. Binocular vision is a very important asset since Cheetahs rely on sight to hunt as opposed to scent. The retinal fovea of the eye is of an elongated shape, giving a sharp wide-angle view. This aspect of the eye is also adapted for speed. The dark "tear marks" on the Cheetahs face reduce glare from the bright sun also and aid in excellent vision. The Cheetahs will perch upon a fallen tree or rocky ledge to scope out the surroundings and potential prey. The Cheetah is also a very vocal animal. With the ability to mimic the calls of some birds, by displaying a high pitched chirping sound. When a bird falls for this deceiving call it will also fall prey to the sly Cheetah.
The Cheetah is a carnivorous animal and a diurnal hunter, which means it hunts during the day usually early morning and late afternoon. Cheetahs are solitary hunters except when living in a coalition. When this is the case they will hunt in groups so that they can take down larger prey. Unlike the common misconception, the Cheetah will pick out animals that have strayed from the herd as a target, not necessarily the weak or old. After chasing down and catching the prey, the Cheetah suffocates larger animals with a bite to the jugular and holding for as long as 15-25 minutes. Smaller animals are killed with a quick bite to the head usually killing them instantly. By this time the Cheetah is so tired from the chase that it must wait for as long as a half hour before consuming its meal, and could not fend off other predators, who might want to steal the Cheetah's dinner. The Cheetah's resting heart rate is approximately 120-170 beats per minute, while it's heart rate after a chase is 200-250 beats per minute. The Cheetah's resting breaths vary from 20-30 per minute depending on whether the Cheetah is in direct sunlight or in the shade, after a chase the Cheetah's breaths per minute are 150-200! When done resting the Cheetah will quickly eat, as they can not defend their food from other predators for this reason they will not bury the food and come back for another meal. Half of the Cheetah's hunts are successful, the other half are hard life lessons.


The Cheetah's diet consists of a wide range of prey from steenbok, rabbits, wildebeest calves, duikers, kudu, and impala to springbok, hartebeest, oryx, roan, sable, birds and warthog. The most preferred and most hunted by the cheetah however is the Thompson's Gazelle. Something about these graceful animals just makes a Cheetah's tummy roar! Cheetahs consume an average of 6-8 lbs. of food each day, and in some cases may go as long as 4-10 days with out water.


The Cheetah is considered Endangered in Appendix 1 to the Conservation Of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Humans have been proven to be the most feared predator by the Cheetah. Living space and adequate food supply is being robbed from these innocent creatures. Farmland is expanding into the Cheetah's natural environment leaving the Cheetah to move on or be killed by paranoid farmers. A law was passed authorizing ranchers to shoot on sight any Cheetahs due to an alleged imposing threat to livestock. In 1980 alone ranchers killed a reported 6,829 Cheetahs. Poachers also pose a threat to the Cheetah, whose pelt was coveted and was doomed to become a fad. In the 1960's 1,500 Cheetah pelts each year were imported into the United States due to an accessory fad. It was considered hip and a sign of wealth to wear a Cheetah fur. The number of Cheetahs has consistently dropped every year since 1900. In 1900 there were over 100,000 Cheetahs, in 1970 the numbers plummeted to 20,000-25,000 Cheetahs, and to this day there are only 10,000 Cheetahs. One tenth of which live in captivity. Due to the unavailability of land and food and the dangerous threat brought on by ranchers and poachers the Cheetah's lifespan in the wild is 4-6 years, where as in captivity the Cheetah will live to 10-15 years old.
The cheetah, which has suffered a dramatic 90 per cent decline over the past century, becoming extinct in 18 countries of its original range, with less than 10,000 adults surviving in Africa and a meagre 50 in Asia, mainly around Iran's Kavir desert, due to severe habitat loss, over-hunting and poor breeding in captivity. November 2008 –The critically endangered cheetah, the world's fastest land animal, is set to obtain added international protection next week at a United Nations-backed conference seeking to strengthen conservation of species that often cross national borders.



The Cheetah above all else is the most reproductive cat. Why then is it so endangered? The answer is two-fold. Cheetah cubs often fall prey to Lions, Jackals, Birds of Prey, and Hyenas, as the mother must leave them behind while hunting for food. Even if the mother was near, she could not fend off an animal as large as a Lion or Hyena, the Cheetah was built for running not fighting. 90% of Cheetahs born die with in the first 3 months, 50% of which are destroyed by predators. The other 40% fall victim to lack of genetic diversity. This is the second reason for their inability to survive. This genetic peril is responsible for weak and underdeveloped immune systems. Disease and illness attack a weak immune system, which in turn causes death. Most cubs do not even make it past 1 month old when this is the case.
After a gestation period of 90-95 days a female Cheetah will give birth to a litter of 3-5 cubs. The largest litter recorded in captivity was 8. The male Cheetah does not participate in the rearing of the cubs. The mother may leave the cubs for as long as 48 hours in order to hunt for enough food to sustain her in a lactating state. If the food supply is too scarce the mother may abandon the cubs, so as to maintain her way of life. Also if the litter is lost with in the first few weeks the female will come into estrus in the next few days. If this is not the case the mother will return and move the cubs from one location to another to better hide the smell of her young from predators. Sometimes the mother will even wait until night falls to return to her cubs, so that she is not as easily followed.


The cubs are usually weaned at 6-8 weeks and will then leave the den and follow the mother from then on. If a young cub loses its original family, due to some great misfortune, it will find another family and join them despite the ill will from the new mother and being out cast by the new brothers and sisters. At 5 months old, the cubs are playing with one another, sharpening their stalking, chasing, and wrestling skills in a playful manner. At 6 months the mother Cheetah will fetch live prey injuring it and then giving it to the cubs so they may practice the art of the kill. At 8 months the cubs are chasing inappropriately large prey such as Giraffes. A Cheetah will not be a very skilled and efficient hunter until about 3 years of age. Cheetah cubs kill less than 10% of the prey, which the family feeds on. At 15-24 months the cubs will leave the mother, but may stay together for several more months. Young females will leave her brothers when they reach sexual maturity. Young males will travel far from parents and will lay claim to a territory as large as 300-800 square miles. Young females will stay closer to home and may even overlap territory with the mother.


Female Cheetahs are solitary animals except when rearing a litter. Mothers with cubs will usually stay with in close proximity of one another. Females only come in contact with other Cheetahs in order to mate.
Males on the other hand will sometimes form coalitions of 2-3 in order to defend more land. These coalitions are mostly formed between brothers, but sometimes include outsiders. 30 % of coalitions are unrelated. Males are not territorial towards each other, but are in fact towards other males or coalitions. Due to coalitions fighting against one another the ratio has dropped to one male for every two females.


Cheetahs communicate in many different ways. Some of these are through vocalizations such as purrs, bleats, barks, growls, hisses, and a high pitched chirping sound. Another way to communicate is through marking. A Cheetah will mark their territory by urinating or by cheek and chin rubbing. Saliva that is secreted contains the same chemical information about the animals, as does the urine. Cheetahs will mark territory so that they can better avoid one another.


The Cheetah is the fastest land animal, reaching a top speed of 70 mph! The Cheetah however can only run for short sprints of up to 300 yards. These sprints will usually last for 20 seconds, but rarely ever reach a full minute. Non-retractable claws and tough pads on their feet closely resemble that of a dog. These features offer better traction to get to those high speeds. A long heavy tail acts as a rudder for making those sharp turns while in pursuit. The Cheetah's long fluid body is set over extremely light bones, this accompanied with large nasal passages, and oversized lungs, liver, heart and adrenals enable rapid physical response. This response is imperative to accommodate the Cheetah's way of hunting. A strong spring-like spine gives added reach to the Cheetah's long legs. A stride is the measured distance between successive imprints of the same paw. With the added reach given by the spine 1 stride can stretch as far as 7-8 meters.


The word "Cheetah" is derived from the Hindi word "Chita" meaning "spotted one". The Cheetah is the fastest land animal reaching speeds of 45 – 70 mph. Cheetahs have also been known to swim, although they do not like to. The Cheetah is not one of the Great Cats, because it does not have a floating Hyoid bone in its neck it can not roar, therefore it is a Lesser Cat. Cheetahs have been considered through out history to be a sleek and beautiful cat.
Cheetahs have been in captivity for over 5,000 years and were first tamed by the Sumarians. By far the Cheetah has been considered the easiest of the exotic cats to tame. The Cheetahs were used as hunting partners for sport in Asia prior to Assyrian Dynasty in Libia, during the reign of the Pharaohs. Their keen eyesight played a major role, which aided in the hunt.
Cheetahs have also been pets to many people dating back to such historical figures as Gengis Khan and Akbar the Great of India and Mogul Emperor. Akbar (1555-1600 AD) had a collection of an estimated 6,000 Cheetah, which only produced one litter each year. 25% of Cheetah in captivity will breed more than once. This along with several other studies has proven the Cheetah does not breed well in captivity.
The Asiatic Cheetah-Acinonyx venaticus, was hunted to near extinction by the European and Asian royalty. Their beautiful pelt was a symbol of wealth and was worn proudly. Although the pelt was not coveted as that of the Leopard, these cats were almost completely destroyed. Today only an estimated 50 of this sub-species exist in small isolated groups scattered throughout Eastern Iran.
The King Cheetah was once considered it own species, however now it has been proven to be nothing more than a genetic mutation. King Cheetah originated from Central Africa, where they were used for hunting. These Cheetah were part of a breeding program to acquire genetic mutations, such as fur patterns, size, and rare and unusual color forms, with no regard to the genetic integrity of the species. This African Cheetah can only be found naturally in Zimbabwe and South Africa Transvaal Province providing that both of the parents carry the recessive gene.
The Cheetah is a tall and elegant cat in appearance. Large chest, narrow waist, long thin legs, and a slim well muscled build this animal was definitely made for speed. The Cheetahs coat varies from a tawny to golden tone covered in a pattern of solid black spots averaging .75″-1.5″ in diameter. The Cheetahs beautiful pelt became more protected in 1970, when the fur trade regulations were strengthened. The fur is coarse to the touch not silky as it appears. The Cheetahs long thick tail has spots, which turn into rings and at the end is tipped with white. The throat and abdomen are a creamy white in color. The Cheetah has a small head with high set eyes and short rounded ears tipped with white on the back. The most well known characteristic is however the distinct black "tear mark", which runs from the inside corner of the eye down to the corner of the mouth.
Cubs are born with a mantle of fur running from the back of the neck down to the rump. This clever disguise aids in camouflaging the kittens in the high grass while they are following their mother. This mane like feature begins to disappear at the age of 3 months, but still remains visible at 2 years of age. The fur color of a newborn cub is medium gray, which gradually evolves into the adult colors by the age of 4 months.
The King Cheetah has a fur pattern mutation, which turned the small rounded spots into large connected black patches. This mutation is caused from a lack of genetic diversity.
The Cheetah weighs an average of 83-145 lbs., making them about the same weight as that of a leopard. The length of a Cheetah is approximately 70″-86″ from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Being an extremely tall cat the Cheetah stands at an average of 32″ tall.
Newborn cubs weigh an average of 5.25-10.5 oz. The body length of a cub is approximately 11.8″, which may vary.
The Cheetah prefers to live in open grasslands, savannas, dense vegetation, and sometimes even mountainous terrain. The open land of grasslands and semi-desert better accommodates the Cheetahs way of hunting, which is running as opposed to the stalk and pounce method. Namibia is home to the largest population of Cheetah at about 2,500 cats. Due to the continuous growth of farmland and expanding development 95% of the Namibian Cheetah live on cultivated farmland.
The Cheetah was once widely distributed throughout Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Asia Minor, and even East of India. Fossils were recorded to be found from China, Northern India, Southern Europe, and as far as the Western United States. Sadly now the species is burning out and can be found sparsely scattered amongst Namibia, Kenya, Asia, as well as a handful of other small countries.

Friday, 25 December 2015


  • The person who has light knee can survive longer.
  • Smoke does not affect honeybees alone, Honey gatherers are also affected.
  • Young growing cuttings determine a good harvest of cassava.
  • Words are like bullets; if they escape, you can't catch them again.
  • No matter how full the river, it still wants to grow.
  • The person who forgives gains a victory in the dispute.
  • Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying a grain in a bag with a hole.
  • A fool is like a wanderer lost a path.
  • Rising early makes the road short.
  • There is no smoke without fire.
  • Only a medicine man gets rich by sleeping.
  • A toad does not run in the daytime for nothing.
•Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Charles Up was an entertainer, a musician, a dancer and a choreographer in the entertainment world in Nigeria before the death took away from us last week. Amiable and thorough professional to the core while doing what he knew how to do best. Charles was a DJ in those days whose dancing skill was comparable to none. He tried his talent in singing which made him to do an album which enjoyed a lot of airplay on television back then. Charles was the official choreographer for Silverbird Productions that produced the Miss Nigeria Pageant which Miss Agbani Darego won and which later that same year made the beautiful queen won the Miss World Pageant. A multi talented personality, Charles Up still had much more to give us in terms of entertainment before death took him away from us. He was working with DTD, an entertainment company in Lagos organizing live and stage shows for musicians before his tragic death. He is survived by his wife and children. Adieu Charles Up!!!


When a child is born in Yoruba land, the father of the child approaches an Ifa priest to know about the destiny of the child known as "Akosejaye" . Consultation will first of all be made with the Ifa priest to know what and what to bring to enhance their findings. 

On the day of the divination, the parents of the child must have provided all the necessary requirements for the divination of Ifa to be smooth. 

What is Akosejaye? It is finding out about the destiny with which the child has brought to the world. Akosejaye means the destiny of the child. The Ifa priest will not only find out about the destiny of the child, Ifa will also delve into the kinds of food that the child should or should not eat when he or she grows up. 

Findings will also be revealed from Ifa to the parents about the colours of cloths that the child should or should not wear when he or she grows up. Ifa will talk about the kind of works the child should or should not do when he or she grows up. Ifa talks about successes, failures, marriage, children and the places that the child will be during his or her lifetime. 

It may also be revealed that the parents of the child should keep Ifa for the child and that they should be using certain things to appease it on behalf of the child until he or she grows up. So before the child is grown up, the parents will be responsible for taking care of the Ifa for their child from time to time. Mention must also be made about the negative things which the child will experience in the course of growing up in life as time goes on. 

After the findings from the Ifa priest, the christening of the child will now properly take place. It is the Ifa that will bring out the name with which to christen the child. Salt, honey, kola nuts, bitter kola and wine will be used to pray for the child by the elders present at the ceremony. 

And showers of blessing in form of prayers will be rained on the child from the Ifa priest and the parents of the child. The Ifa Corpuses with which the child has been born will be revealed to the parents of the child and this is the path with which the child will follow when he or she grows up till death.


Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015.

Monday, 21 December 2015


     The person who has light knee can survive longer. 

    •Smoke does not affect honeybees alone, Honey gatherers are also affected. 

    •Young growing cuttings determine a good harvest of cassava. 

    •Words are like bullets; if they escape, you can't catch them again. 

    •No matter how full the river, it still wants to grow. 

    •The person who forgives gains a victory in the dispute. 

    •Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying a grain in a bag with a hole. 

    •A fool is like a wanderer lost a path. 

    •Rising early makes the road short. 

    •Only a medicine man gets rich by sleeping.

    •Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015

      Sunday, 20 December 2015


      Like i said in my last teachings when i talked about a line from Eji Ogbe Corpus pairing with other Corpuses of Ifa with the photographic demonstration of al the Corpuses of Ifa involved. The pairing and counting of the Corpuses are done from the left to the right. And the remaining five Corpuses are as follows: the tenth Corpus is called Ogbe Ika, the eleventh is called Ogbe Oturupon, the twelveth is called Ogbe Otura, the thirteenth is called Ogbe Irete, the fourteenth is called Ogbe Ose while the fifteenth paired Corpus is called Ogbe Ofun. We should be mindful that Ogbe is the dominant Corpus in this lesson pairing with all the other Ifa Corpuses to bring different messages to the fore from the divining chain of an Ifa priest. Next time, i will be pairing another Corpus with other Ifa Corpuses just as i have done in this concluded teaching.

      Saturday, 19 December 2015


      In our previous lessons, these above Corpuses of Ifa were paired with Ogbe. And the paired Corpuses are numerically called the following names. The first is called Ogbe Oyeku, the second is called Ogbe Iwori, the third is called Ogbe Odi, the fourth is called Ogbe Irosun, the fifth is called Ogbe Osa, the sixth is called Ogbe Ogunda, the seventh is called Ogbe Owonrin, the eight is called Ogbe Obara while the nineth is called Ogbe Okanran. It should be noted that we count the paired Corpuses from the right. I will bring the remaining paired five Corpuses with Ogbe in my next teachings.

      IFA O GBE WA O!

      © Olalekan Oduntan 2015.

      Thursday, 17 December 2015


      •The hyena with a cub does not consume all the available food.
      •A person who is not disciplined cannot be cautioned.
      •The brother or sister who does not respect the traditions of the elders will not be allowed to eat with the elders.
      •God is a great eye. He sees everything in the world.
      •An okra tree does not grow taller than its master.
      •A cockroach wants to dance but the fear of the hen is the obstacle from performing its art.
      •No matter how long a log stays in the water, it doesn't become a crocodile.
      •A person who does not cultivate well his or her farm always says that it has been bewitched.
      •When two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt.
      •A child does not fear treading on dangerous ground until he or she gets hurt.
      •Slowly, slowly, porridge goes into the gourd.
      •The person who has a light knee can survive longer.

      •Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015

        Sunday, 13 December 2015


        The Yoruba culture and tradition are unique likewise our food and fashion despite the encroachment of modern civilization into them that has robbed us of most of our values and norms. In Yoruba land, a young person dares not greet an elderly person standing up because it is not only a taboo but an act of disrespect to such an elder. A male young person is expected to prostrate to an elderly person in greeting while a female young person also genuflects as a sign of greetings to such an elder. If you see an elderly person first thing, you as a young person will be the one to greet him or her. And anything short of that is unacceptable to the elders. And if any young person goes contrary to this norm, punitive measures await such an individual by the elders. The parents of such children face shame and disgrace because members of the society will label them as having not given their children good upbringing. Another important norm held in high esteem is seeing an elderly person carrying a load on his or her head and helping such an elderly person to carry the load to his or her destination which is something becoming a thing of the past in our society today. I will dedicate a whole write up on the Yoruba norms and values as a subject matter in my subsequent write up on this blog. Today, i want to talk about the significance of caps and headgears in Yoruba fashion. Caps and headgears make our native or traditional outfits very unique. And it unethical for a man to wear his Buba and Sokoto outfit without putting the cap known as Gobi on his head to match. Likewise a woman dressed in Buba and Iro outfit without tying the headgear known as Gele to match. There are so many different types of caps for men and headgears for women. This is a particular cap for men called Abetiaja sewn like a flapping dog's ears and this cap is worn to portray tradition and culture of the Yoruba people in any gathering. The Abetiaja cap is worn on the head when the man in question is dressed in a traditional or native outfit called Dansiki and Kembe. Caps for men also go with an outfit called Agbada style comprising of Sokoto, Buba and Agbada to have a complete outfit. A cap known as Gobi is always worn to match this gorgeous and flamboyant dressing. As for women or ladies, Gele or headgears can be tied on a woman head to form any shape or size depending on the name they want to call the style. There are so many styles that a woman's headgear can be used to shape such as Onilegoro, Butterfly, Overhead bridge and so many other names. There are specialized stylists whose jobs it is to tie these different types of headgears on the heads of the women and ladies. Testimony to this is when there is an event or a party that men and women have to attend together, they will all appear there in their different traditional attires with different caps and headgears to match on their heads. This is the best time and place to see the men in their colourful traditional outfits like Buba and Sokoto with a cap known as Gobi to match or Dansiki and Kembe with a cap sewn as a dog's flapping ears to match or Buba, Sokoto and Agbada with a cap also known as Gobi to match while their female counterpart will equally dress themselves in their Buba and Iro with a lot of display in different styles and shapes of colourful headgears on their heads. It is always a spectacle at times like this! The men and women always look like kings and queens when they wear caps and headgears respectively on their heads. In conclusion, men should embrace the habit of wearing caps on their heads whenever they dress in their traditional outfits while women on the other hand should also make it compulsory to tie their headgears whenever they also dress in their native attires because that is only time to market our culture and tradition. And there is nothing about it to be ashamed of. Like i said at the beginning of this write up, our culture and tradition are very unique, and it is up to us to promote them amongst ourselves by uplifting it to appreciable level universally because charity they say begins at home.

        Saturday, 12 December 2015


        These are the three Corpuses of Ifa which are left to be treated and paired with one of the two lines of Eji Ogbe and they are namely Irete, Ose and Ofun. But the moment they are paired with Ogbe, they are being referred to as Ogbe Irete, Ogbe Ose and Ogbe Ofun. It should be noted at this juncture that Ogbe that is the dominant Corpus in this lesson is the one pairing with other Corpuses for now. 

        Next time, the dominant Corpus can be from any of other remaining fifteen Corpuses that we have not touched pairing with each other and having different meanings and interpretations. The profound knowledge is what an Ifa priest must acquaint himself with and know by heart before he can be successful in divining for people about the past, the present and the future. 

        Any Ifa priest that does not know the meanings, applications and interpretations of so many different Corpuses of Ifa is not yet ready for the business of divination because it is like a farmer going to work on his farm without his necessary tools.

        © Olalekan Oduntan 2015.

        Thursday, 10 December 2015


          •When an enemy digs a grave for you, God gives you an emergency exit.
          •Better a curtain hanging motionless than a flag blowing in the wing.
          •When the bag tears the shoulders get a rest.
          •If you educate a man, you educate one individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a family.
          •The bush in which you hide has eyes.
          •One battles willingly with cold water doesn't feel the cold.
          •If you refuse the elders' advice, you will walk the whole day.
          •The groin pains in sympathy with the sore.
          •Do not insult the hunting guide before the sun has set.
          •If an arrow has not entered deeply, then its removal is not hard.

          •BY OLALEKAN ODUNTAN Copyrights: © 2015

            Wednesday, 9 December 2015


            All human beings are equal before God; the Almighty. He is our Sustainer. The Creator of the worlds. However, God in His infinite wisdom has created man and placed some above others. It is a providential design to achieve universal order, harmony and peace. He has placed the kings over their subjects to ensure coordination. I love history, and I loathe history being distorted. I am neither an ethnic chauvinist nor jingoist. But I have special affinity for history. It is worrisome when people concoct genres of myth in the face of impeccable facts. I wish to delve a bit into in the history of Obaship in Yorubaland ,with a special focus on His Imperial Majesty, The Alaafin of Oyo and His Royal Highness, The Ooni of Ile-Ife.
            History has been so kind and friendly to the Alaafin that he does not need to get into any battle for supremacy with any Oba, either in Yorubaland or anywhere in the universe. No other Oba had combined humility with royalty to meet the demands of modernity like the incumbent Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Kabiyesi Iku Baba Yeye,Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III .
            According to impregnable sources of Yoruba history, Oduduwa is the ancestor of the Yorubas. Oduduwa gave birth to a son, Okanbi. Okanbi gave birth to seven male children (Oranmiyan, Olowu, Alaketu, Onisabe, Orangun, Olupopo, Oba Benin). Nowhere in history is Ooni mentioned as one of the Yoruba Royal Families. The Ooni is no blood relation of the seven sons of Okanbi. Historically, Ooni has no traditional or political authority in the Yoruba hierarchy. Riches and political fame of the Ooni from 1954_when Ooni Adesoji Aderemi was made the Governor of Western Region by the Awolowo Administration cannot undo the pristine history or invalidate the truth about the Yoruba race.
            History has acquainted us with copious facts that Ooni is known to have been appointed by the Alaafin as the custodian and keeper of the rituals and oratory of the gods in Ile-Ife. The stool of Ooni was never known to be big on hereditary kingship. Oonis have been the descendants of Adimu the Olorisa, instead of being the direct descendants of Oduduwa. The Alaafins of Oyo have been the paramount kings and rulers of the Yorubas. Alaafin, in recognition of his leadership,had intervened in numerous boundary disputes involving the territories of the Ooni and Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland
            Some years back, when Oba of Benin visited Ile-Ife, the comments made by Ooni Sijuade (I am happy to welcome back my son and brother to the land of our ancestor, Oduduwa) was quickly refuted by the Oba , through his response:"who is the son of who?"
            Moreover, The British as it was in their tradition recognized lineage as meaning supremacy and legitimacy, preferring to sign the Treaty of Cessation with the Alaafin as the Head of the Yoruba Nation.
            Also, on August 8th,1960, when Sir Adesoji Aderemi held sway as the Ooni of Ife, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II was appointed the Chairman of the Council of Obas for two years, Oba Adesoji never batted an eyelid. In 1962, when Ooni had ceased to be Governor, he reverted to his traditional stool and was attending the meetings of Obas which had The Alaafin as the Chairman. When the first term of Alaafin Gbadegesin expired, he was reappointed for another two-year term. The Alaafin was reappointed for the third time in 1965 until the military struck.
            In 1966, Lt Colonel Adeyinka Adebayo made the Ooni Chairman and the Alaafin his Deputy. Only the Alaafin,among other Obas, protested the awkward appointment and sought redress, as Alaafin does not play a second fiddle to any Oba in Yorubaland. In 1976, the military government had to reinstate the Alaafin as the Chairman of the Council.
            It is also a distortion to address the Ooni as "His Imperial Majesty". This is another gaffe! Only the Alaafin is addressed as His/Your Imperial Majesty. You cannot assume the title when you have no empire you rule over. Alaafin ruled over a vast empire (From Ilorin to Dahomey and to some parts of Ghana; Ashanti) while Ooni did not have that royal privilege.The Ooni is better addressed as His/Your Royal Highness. This is history,my people!
            The preeminence and supremacy of the Alaafin is obvious from the above assertions and as deeply espoused in many Yoruba books of history. We should not distort the history by pitching the Alaafin against the Ooni. Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi made an unequivocal statement on his coronation day that he was not into any supremacy contest with the Alaafin. Therefore, Alaafin remains the undisputed leader of all Yoruba monarchs.

            Monday, 7 December 2015


            The lesson today is still on pairing Eji Ogbe with other Corpuses of Ifa just as I have shown to us in the previous lessons. But today, I am pairing Eji Ogbe with some other four Corpuses and they are namely OSA, IKA, OTURUPON AND OTURA. If one Corpus of Eji Ogbe is paired with One Corpus of Osa, the fact that Ogbe is dominant, the two paired Corpuses will be referred to as Ogbe Osa. Likewise if Ogbe is paired with Ika, the two Corpuses will be referred to as Ogbe Ika. 

            When Ogbe is paired with OTURUPON, the two will be referred to as Ogbe Oturupon. When Ogbe is paired with Otura, the two shall be referred to as Ogbe Otura. All these four Corpuses of Ifa have meanings, historical background and praises attached to them. And they also have sacrifices that an Ifa priest will request an individual to do in case any of the Corpuses comes out during consultation and divination with the Oracle. 

            The Corpuses and their meanings are known only to the Ifa priest and he is an authority to interpret the messages from them to the people. Any Ifa priest must be very knowledgeable enough to interpret the Corpuses very well because mistakes through wrong interpretation can affect the life and progress of an individual, a village, a town or a nation. 

            Just like I said in the past, the Ifa Oracle talks about the happenings of the past, the present and the future. And the accuracy and exactness with which messages are delivered is wonderful. Next time, I shall bring the remaining four Corpuses that I am pairing together with Ogbe and their meanings. 

            Ifa o gbe wa o! Asa wa koni parun!!

            Thank you!!!

            © Olalekan Oduntan 2015

            Saturday, 5 December 2015


            The four Corpuses that I will be pairing together with Eji Ogbe today are Irosun, Obara, Okanran and Ogunda. These Corpuses are usually in two but while pairing any one of them with another Corpus, its name and meanings change completely. It should be noted that only one of two Corpuses of Ifa is taken and joined with another dominant one to form the pair. 

            And another important thing is that the dominant Corpus is much more powerful and stronger in meanings than the joined one. The Ifa priest must consult with his divining chain to know what the Oracle says before the chanting and explanation of the Corpuses can take place. 

            The four Corpuses that I am showing people today are Ogbe Irosun, Ogbe Obara, Ogbe Okanran and Ogbe Ogunda. I have paired one line of Eji Ogbe with one line of each of Corpuses like Irosun meji, Obara meji, Okanran meji and Ogunda meji together to form different meanings. 

            Like I said in my previous teachings, we are treating sixteen Corpuses of Ifa on this particular subject matter, and we have only treated eight of them. So, there are eight more Corpuses to go. 

            Next time, i shall be looking at the remaining Corpuses regading pairing with Eji Ogbe. Once again, the Corpuses of Ifa we looked at today are Ogbe Irosun, Ogbe Obara, Ogbe Okanran and Ogbe Ogunda.

            May the Oracle continue to protect us, Ase!!!

            © Olalekan Oduntan 2015.

            Friday, 4 December 2015


            IFA ORACLE has two hundred and fifty six corpuses and each of them has different messages and historical meanings attached to it. When any indication or corpus of Ifa appears on the wooden tray of an Ifa priest, he chants its praises and goes to the historical background and meanings of the appeared Corpuses. Any Corpus of Ifa can be paired with another Corpus to form a joint meaning with a different message entirely. 

            In today's teaching, I am pairing the Corpus of Ifa called Eji Ogbe with other Corpuses to form dual messages and interpretations. In Ifa Oracle, pairing one Corpus with another is a norm but it is not the Ifa priest that will pair them together. The pairing appears when he is divining with his divining chain or Opele. 

            The first Corpus on the picture is called Ogbe Oyeku while the second one is called Ogbe Iwori. The third Corpus is called Ogbe Odi while the fourth is called Ogbe Irosun. These four Corpuses have different interpretations and deep meanings attached to them. 

            The unique and interesting thing about Ifa Oracle is that it talks about the past, the present and the future with delving into the historical occurrences related to the appeared Corpus. 

            In the next lesson, I will talk about more Corpuses of Ifa pairing with Eji Ogbe and their interpretational meanings. Actually there are twelve Corpuses more to go on this particular subject matter. 

            Thank you all!

            © Olalekan Oduntan 2015.

            Wednesday, 2 December 2015


            Elubo or Yam powder is a food substance that is used in preparing Amala and it is a kind of food from Oyo state, south west of Nigeria. Amala is eaten with so many different types of soup but the favourite soup with which eaten a lot is called Gbegiri and Ewedu soup. Gbegiri is a soup made from the red beans while Ewedu is a draw soup made from Ooyo leaves. These two soups are combined together to eat Amala which is a popular food in Yoruba land. Yam powder substance is made from the peels of yam which are dry in the sun very well before grinding it at the miller to achieve the eventual powdery substance. Amala is made by putting water on the fire to get well boiled. After, the yam powder is added and stirred till thickened and blend together very well to have well blended Amala without lumps. Amala is not only eaten by the Yoruba people alone today, it has become a cuisine accepted both locally and internationally. Although, Amala is seen as a solid food, but it is a kind of food which can be eaten at any time of the day because it digests very easily in the body. Amala is a delicacy if it is eaten with bean and draw soup together combined with a lot of bush meat to go with it! As a matter of fact, it is always a wonderful eating experience. There are two types of Yam powder used in making Amala. The first one is called Elubo Lafun and it is whitish in colour. It is from Abeokuta while the second one is called Elubo Isu from Oyo state which is brownish in colour. The two are very good, it just a matter of choice and preference. A visit to so many Yoruba local food canteens around will show that Amala is a food sought after as we see people patronizing to eat either the white Amala or the brown one. As a full fledged Yoruba man myself, i love eating Amala too any day or any time because it is a delicacy.

            Monday, 30 November 2015


            • If you rattle a snake, you should be prepared to be bitten by it.
            • The thing that will hurt you will always keep on coming back even if you try to avoid it.
            • A child who says the mouth of an elder smells beckons to his or her untimely death.
            • Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem.
            • The frown on the face of the goat will not stop it from being taken to the market.
            • Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it.
            • The person who has not traveled widely thinks his or her mother is the best cook.
            • A bug grows up in the dry wood, and yet it comes to maturity.
            • If you have no teeth, do not break to clay cooking pot.
            • One who enters the forest does not listen to the breaking of the twigs in the bush.
            •Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015

            Saturday, 28 November 2015


            Every living thing that has enjoyed life will eventually taste death one day because death is inevitable. In as much as all living things shall from birth age till one day that their bodies will become frail, it simply means that expiration will come to their bodies one day and they will be no more. What am I really saying? Every human being should take cognisance of the fact that the journey to the great beyond is much faster than the journey to our existence. 

            The perceived death is not just one evil spirit striking people dead when their time comes but having so many agents to do his biddings for him. There is death in everything that the Supreme being has created for our existence, how much more the things we have invented by ourselves. Death is on the land, in the water, in the air and in the fire. 

            There is one saying from the Yoruba people that buttresses this point: The cliche says that the death of a hunter is in his pouch while the death of a farmer is on the mound. The death that we kill everyone of us is with us and we are sleeping and waking up with it everyday unknowingly. Sometimes, sickness may not lead to death because somebody being sick for years that people have given up hope on will suddenly get back on his or her feet and stay alive while somebody else without being sick at all will just drop dead to the amazement of all. 

            A man was once appeared to in his dreams by the spirit of death that he was coming to kill him in seven days time. The man quickly left his village and ran off to another very far village miles away from the present one believing that the spirit of death could not reach him there. He thought he had conquered death until on the seventh day while working on the farm that the spirit of death appeared to him and struck him to death. 

            This simply means that nobody can run away from death because if you try to avoid death once your time is up here, the spirit of death will come and meet you by himself. Death is the transition from this physical plane called earth to the spiritual plane called heaven where the judgement of all our activities are looked into. 

            Each time that the spirit of death strikes any living thing when the time is up here on earth, he is just carrying out the assignment given to him by the Supreme being. Since death is the transition of someone from one position to another one, what are you doing here on earth to afford you a good place in the heaven when the death comes calling. 

            The attitude of some people will earn them coming back as different animals to this sinful world while some people will make it back as human beings to the world. Death is to go back to the Supreme being and account for all our deeds either good or bad here on earth.

            © Olalekan Oduntan 2014.


            It is only the male elephant that can save another one from the pit.

            •A deaf ear is followed by death and an ear that listens is followed by blessings.

            •A stubborn person sails in a clay boat.

            •A tree is known by its fruits.

            •The water pot presses upon the small circular pad.

            •When God cooks, you don't see smoke.

            •Do not be a miser who saves for those who will bury him.

            •A married couple is neither enemies nor friends.

            •Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper.

            •The one who fetches the water is the one who is likely to break the pot.

            •Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2015

            Friday, 27 November 2015


            Ginger or Zingiber Officinale is another gift to man that fights so many health related problems. The Rhizome is used in cooking our soup and its many health benefits to human are numerous. Belonging to the family of Zingiberaceae, Ginger or Zingiber Officinale, if boiled with water and taken or eaten raw like that takes care of our body and makes us have a healthy life. Constant cold can be taken care of by eating Rhizome of Zingiber Officinale regularly. And it also takes care of ailments such as cough and asthmatic conditions. It also acts as stimulant to make us eat very well. It takes care of rheumatism and chronic piles in human beings. Ginger cures other health problems like hepatitis, liver diseases, obesity and typhoid fever. It also fights diseases like malaria and digestive disorders in human beings. Whichever way we look at it, the health benefits of Ginger or Zingiber Officinale to man are unimaginable and if taken regularly either in cooking our foods or chewed and swallowed with water, the health of human beings is the better for it in the end.

            Thursday, 26 November 2015


            This group had some theatrical stage performances at then French cultural center along Kingsway road Ikoyi and the German cultural center in Victoria Island in 1993. The presentation of the collection of poems by Theo Alfred, a Ghanaian poet was sponsored by the two above named cultural centers. And the stage show was entitled ODE TO FREEDOM AND JOY which was a total theatrical experience involving acting, music and dance. The musical play had late Akwete Walas, Daniel Koranteng Crentsil, Olalekan Oduntan, Israel, Femi Crentsil, Blessing Crentsil and Gift Walas. I was the xylophonist for the production while Daniel Crentsil was on the conga. Late Akwete Walas was on the acoustic lead guitar while Israel played the bass guitar for the production. The poet of the day rendering so many stanzas from his book of the collection of poems which were being accompanied with good music to the delight of the wonderful audience was Theo Alfred. The dancers of the day were those three children in the picture who are all adult today, and they were Blessing Crentsil, Femi Crentsil and Gift Walas. And we had a week long of performances on stage at the French cultural center Ikoyi and German cultural center in Victoria Island. Our performances were very successful theatrically as we had enough people in the audience yearning for more shows. The book ODE TO FREEDOM AND JOY was also supported by the Association of West Africa Young Writers situated at Apapa Road then.

            Wednesday, 25 November 2015


            •Smooth sea does not make skillful sailors.

            •Life is a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly by and is no more.

            •When one is in trouble, one remembers God.

            •An intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend.

            •A big fish is caught with a big bait.

            •Once an opportunity is lost can not be regained.

            •Do not call to a dog with a whip in your hand.

            •A woman lacks good character but yet complains of no good suitor.

            •A proverb is the horse that can carry one swiftly to the discovery of ideas.

            •When the leaf falls to the ground, the leaf gets the blame.

            •BY OLALEKAN ODUNTAN Copyrights: © 2015


            Remembering so many wonderful performances and events associated with this picture many years ago is a beautiful experience as i put up this write up concerning it. Precisely about seventeen years ago when i released an album out entitled "Let us dance". The group was performing musically everywhere then, and we were musically strong together because the best percussionists and drummers were with us. I had people like the late Ayantunji Amoo who was an ethnomusicologist and who was also a seasoned talking drummer as my lead talking drummer in the group. Ayantunji Amoo was the best drummer in the country as at that time. He was all rounder in the business of the Performing Arts. He was an actor, a performer and versatile drummer who could handle so many kinds of drums. Late Ayantunji Amoo started his theatrical career with Ori Olokun Performing Group in those days as a talking drummer. He was in that group doing shows everywhere with the veteran actors like Chief Peter Fatomilola, Dr. Kola Oyewo and Late Laide Adewale. Late Ayan Amoo was also a leading talking drummer in Duro Ladipo theatre Group that travelled to so many European countries to perform the stage play entitled Obakoso in those days. He was awarded Member of the British Empire (M.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth l l. After the tour, he came back and joined the then Center for cultural studies, University of Lagos (now Creative Arts department) as a senior cultural officer. The department had a performing troupe which he travelled to so many countries with locally and internationally. And after retiring as a senior cultural officer at the University of Lagos, late Ayan Amoo took part in Tunde Kelani's film called Saworo Ide which he played a leading character called Ayan Aganlu. He was an active member of my group called The African Percussionists(TAP) and we did so much together musically back then. So, my tributes to this legend who passed away many years ago. Late Ayantunji Amoo was a legend in the performing Arts world. Another important drummer in the group is the lead Bata drums player in person of Taye while Busari Agbolade played the Omele Bata meta for the group. Amos Oguntokun played the Dundun back up for the group while Abideen Amoo also played the big maracas for the group. The last but not the least in the group is Moshood Amoo who played the base drum for the group. We did so many shows together back then and we also did some sound tracks for films and documentaries.


            Yoruba people call it Ewuro but its botanical name is called Veronia Amygdalina belonging to the family of Asteraceae in the plant world. The leaves, stem and root of Veronia Amygdalina are all useful because they all serve the same purpose regarding the health of human beings. The leaves are cooked with other ingredients to make soup, and the soup can be eaten with Rice or other solid foods like Eba or Amala. Aside from using the leaves to cook our soup, they also serve as cures to some health related problems affecting mankind. For example, the leaves can be squeezed with water to get the juice out while the juice can be taken to cure the problem of stomach ache. Likewise, the stem can be chewed to put an end to problems of tooth ache and lack of appetite. The leaves of Vernonia Amygdalina can cure measles in children and adult and they can as well give cures effectively to health related diseases like ringworm, gingivitis and diabetes. Although, very bitter in the mouth when it is taken but the effectiveness of its cure inside our stomach is unimaginable because after the bitterness comes the soothing sweetness.

            Friday, 20 November 2015


            •The tears running down your face do not blind you.

            •Water that has been begged for does not quench the thirst.

            •Where you will sit when you are old shows where you stood in youth.

            •A dog which refuses a bone is not alive.

            •Do not scare the birds you are going to shoot.

            •He is a fool whose sheep runs away twice.

            •No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

            •The moon moves slowly but it crosses the town.

            •A strawberry blossom will not sweeten dry bread.

            •Love is like a baby, it needs to be treated tenderly.

            •Copyrights © OLALEKAN ODUNTAN 2015


            The bulb of Ayu or Allium Sativum which belongs to the family of Liliaceae is very effective in fighting health related problems in human. Some people cook the flesh in the bulb with their soup while some prefer to chew it every morning to have easy metabolism of the body system. Allium Sativum fights bacteria related diseases in our body and if chewed regularly everyday without minding the effect of its odour in the mouth takes care of a lot of diseases in our body. Ayu which the botanical name is Allium Sativum and Alubosa elewe which has its own botanical name as Allium Ascalonicum belong to same family of Liliaceae. And they are both bacteria fighting plants in human body. Allium Sativum fights health related problems like fever, cough, asthma, diuretic, malaria and hypertension. The bulb can be soaked in the ordinary water for drinking and they can be boiled for drinking as well to serve the same purpose in human body. But conclusively, it should be noted that the bulb of Allium Sativum is antibiotic to human body which can fight various health related problems or diseases in the body.

            Thursday, 19 November 2015


            UGWU is a wonderful vegetable plant and its botanical name is called Telfaria Occidentalis which belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae. The edible leaves are prepared as vegetable soup to eat with rice, beans or solid foods like Eba, Amala or pounded yam. Telfaria Occidentalis leaves are highly medicinal and they are a very good source of blood tonic to human body. They can be squeezed to get the juice out to cure blood related problems in children and adults. The leaves also take care of health problems like convulsion and gastro-intestinal disorders. The leaves of Telfaria Occidentalia take care of anaemic situations in children and adults. Blood tonic is sourced locally from the leaves of Telfaria Occidentalis and without necessarily squeezing the juice out to drink, they can be cooked and eaten like that to get the desired good health results in our body.


            Where is God? This subject matter is very controversial. Some people call Him Allah, the Almighty, Chineke or Chukwu, Olorun or Eledumare, but the fact remains that whatever name you refer to Him, where is God? Does He reside in the Mars, Pluto, Uranus or Saturn? Or does He live on this planet earth with us or supposed heaven as claimed in so many religious books? Where can we find God? Is it in the spiritual books? If yes, some people will argue that even so many holy names written in the Quran or Bible were written by human beings. That God did not put them there by Himself since He is a spirit being. It will even be argued further that the inspired men of God put those names there. Jesus Christ says love thy neighbour as thy self, meaning love is God and God is love. And when you love someone, you will not want harms befalling such a person. Prophet Muhammad says peace be upon you, meaning if you are peaceful with your fellow human being, you will love him or her and you will not want any evil to befall him or her. So far, it means God is in peace and love preached by these two prophets. What does Ifa Oracle say from Orunmila's perspective? Orunmila says that before hurting or harming somebody, you should do it to yourself first and see how it feels. Meaning Orunmila tows the same line with Christ and Muhammad. And if you love someone, you will want peace with the person and you will not hurt or harm the person in any way. So, where then is God? It means the living God is in love and peace which the whole world is lacking today. The God that we are all looking for is very close to us and we can only see Him if we show love to humanity and if are peaceful with ourselves. And by so doing, we will think twice before hurting or harming ourselves according to the great sage Orunmila. The irony of it all is that the human race has gone contrary completely to these two words, peace and love but yet desperately seeking to know where the God Almighty is. It is like the issue of having something in your hands and still looking for it desperately elsewhere. The solutions to all the problems of the world today are peace and love. And until that day that the people of the world realize that the God we all seek is in peace and love, these two words will continue to elude the world. So, conclusively where is God? The answer is God is in our heart and it is only by being positive towards each other that peace and love will triumph in the world. So, show love and be peaceful to someone today.

            Tuesday, 17 November 2015


            •Birth is the only remedy against death.

            •Talking with one another is loving one another.

            •Good millet is known at the market.

            •A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflowing.

            •Earth is the queen of beds.

            •A friend is someone you share the path with.

            •Time destroys all things.

            •Equality is not easy, but superiority is painful.

            •It is better to be loved than feared.

            •A roaring lion kills no game.

            •Copyrights: OLALEKAN ODUNTAN © 2015


            He who brings kola brings peace. And this cliche is one of the sayings of our elders. Kola nut is a peacemaker, a problem solver and a pathfinder. No traditional praying gathering is complete without the involvement of kola nut. It is used to entertain the guests at our home and at the gathering circles of traditional peoples. 

            From Ifa Oracle's perspective, it is believed that Kola nut is used virtually to appease all the deities because the lobes are used to ask questions during appeasement and answers are given to proffer solutions to the problems at hand. Commonly eaten by the people who do not even know anything about its relationship with the gods. 

            The kola nuts have different kinds of specie and they come with different numbers of lobes as well. There is a specie of kola nut with two lobes called GBANJA which is commonly eaten and it is in both red and white colours. There is another specie that has three lobes called ABATA OLOJU META and it is used to appease the deity known as "ESU" or god of confusion. 

            Another popular specie of kola nut with four lobes that are made use of a lot for appeasing the deities is called ABATA OLOJU MERIN. These lobes are also used for divining into the past, the present and the future by those that are blessed with such sacred knowledge. The kola nuts are used to avert danger, death, misfortune, sickness and a lot of other spiritual problems by those who know the meanings and effectiveness of their uses.

            Likewise, the kola nuts are used to attract good vibration and aura to the gatherings where good things are happening hence the kola nuts play prominent roles in prayers at such occasions as naming ceremonies, house warmings, marriages, meetings, coronations e.t.c.

            There is also a kolanut with five lobes called ABATA OLOJU MARUN and another kolanut with six lobes being referred to as ABATA OLOJU MEFA. There is a peculiar kolanut that has no lobe at all. This mysterious kolanut is being referred to as LAKIRIBTO. It is not useful at all for ritualistic purposes and activities but it is useful in other several ways for spiritual purposes to those who know the usefulness and value of it.

            It is believed that kolanut was once human in those days. And she was a woman during her lifetime before becoming what it is today. But Kolanut is being made use of today as problem solving tool and for solving spiritual problems too. In my subsequent write ups, I will go into the details and full story to educate us.

            Thank you!!!

            •BY OLALEKAN ODUNTAN Copyrights: © 2015

            Monday, 16 November 2015


            •Every camel is once upon a time two years old.

            •It is better to refuse than to accept and not go.

            •Rain beats a leopard's skin, but it does not wash out the spots.

            •Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.

            •Sickness accompanies a waning moon, a new moon cures disease.

            •He who asks question cannot avoid the answers.

            •When your neighbor is wrong you point a finger, but when you are wrong you hide.

            •Evil enters like a needle but spreads like an oak tree.

            •One camel does not make fun of the other camel's hump.

            •Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living.

            •The death of an elderly man is like a burning library.

            •Hope is the pillar of the world.

            •BY OLALEKAN ODUNTAN Copyrights: © 2015

            Sunday, 15 November 2015

            By providence, one came across his blog sometime in late June 2015 while looking at different samples of functional blogs. It was lovely. The design, the colours, the layout, and above all, the contents were captivating. The contents were quite educative and interesting.

            As one glanced through, the urge to meet him grew. One would really love to speak with him, learn more and ask plenty questions about certain aspects of the African culture and civilization.
            His very busy schedules scuttled our plans for awhile. Meeting with him was becoming like an uphill task until one started seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

            After three months of persistent effort, SPLENDID!  eventually got the opportunity, albeit for a short while. We met with Mr. Olalekan Oduntan, the brain behind . A blog one could very well consider an online custodian of the African culture and civilization with particular emphasis on the Yoruba traditions, the first of its kind.

            In consideration of all we knew about him, we expected to see someone “extraordinary”. But the University of Lagos Theatre Arts graduate who is also an author, stage artiste, songwriter, musician, percussionist, chanter  and a blogger turned out simple, cerebral and very unassuming.

            In a brief chat with SPLENDID! he spoke about his works, spirituality and why the black man is lagging behind.
            With your academic background and experience, why didn’t you consider a career in Nollywood instead of going the way of African tradition and culture?
            This is because a lot is hidden from the people out there about us. It is a task that is not very easy. Somebody has to start it. Someone got to make the people in the west (northern hemisphere) to get to know more about us. Just like the late legendary Fela Anikulapo did. He conquered the western world through his music and they travelled from all over the world to come and meet with him.

            He had other chooses, he met other musicians on the stage when he started, but he opted for his own genre of music which he suffered for and eventually projected him to limelight. Though he is late today, he is still celebrated all over the world. We should have individuals that should think in that direction.

            How far have you gone in promoting the African culture?
            I have always been doing that through my music. For instance when we did “Sango, the Legendary African King” by Chief Wale Ogunyemi, I wrote almost all the songs in that film and it was done to promote our culture, particularly my constituency the Yoruba culture.
            You can see the direction things are going nowadays. Everybody has derailed. You cannot see anything cultural in our ways of life.

            In your opinion, why did they derail?
            They derailed because there are no other pivots as we used to have in those days. For instance, we have seen what Fela Anikulapo was able to do through music. How many of our youth today are privileged today to find out where they are coming from? Fela Kuti said: We don’t know ourselves. We don’t even know our ancestral heritage.

            We only know what we have been fed through the media. With no guidance from anywhere, of course the youth of today would derail. Speaking our dialects for instance is a problem. In most home now, parents don’t want their children to speak in the mother tongue because everybody wants to go the western way. So how would we not derail?

            Whose fault?
            The fault is more from the society; society because we are not doing enough to promote our culture.  Look at the National Arts Theatre for instance, that is supposed to be the custodian of our tradition, a place to showcase your culture and tradition. There is nothing there.

            When we were growing up we used to watch the legends of the theatre like Hubert Ogunde and all the doyens of the African theatre who were imparting culture. But today we don’t have them anymore.

            How significant has your blog been in the promotion of African culture to Africans and the world at large?
            In fact, I am very overwhelmed with the response. I never even thought that people in the West (northern hemisphere) are yearning for information about us. For instance, you cannot play the white man’s music better than him. That is why you see our Fuji musicians doing better, because it is more of percussion, than the people who are going the western way. Yes, within a short period of time they will make the money but they will fizzle out. You cannot compare the late Chief Osita Osadebe, he is gone now, but people still enjoy his works. You cannot compare with Sir Victor Uwaifor whose music is still reigning as we talk.

            So likewise the people in the West are yearning to know more about us, because they have come to realize that our potentials are much more than what they succeeded in taking from us during the colonial era. Even we Africans have not been able to fully explore it to our advantage. That is making us to lag behind. We can never be like the whites. It’s not possible. Technologically, we are not there. We don’t have it.

            Which particular information about your works interests them the most?
            African spirituality!s

            We are spiritual people. But we are kind of too secretive about it. We don’t want to let go of our knowledge spiritually. Most practitioners of such knowledge die with it. Some didn’t even get to impart such knowledge to their children.

            For instance, Numerology has to do with numbers. Ifa too has something to do with numbers. What is the secret about it? If numerology is dealing with numbers, ifa too is dealing with numbers. So for you to be able to know ifa, you have to study the numbers, you have to know what the numbers are saying just like numerology. This gave them the impression that we were not like our forefathers. We are trying to reach-out now, to open up.

            Besides information on your blog, have you had cause to travel overseas to impart this knowledge?
            With what I am currently doing, I have not travelled but I know the time for that is drawing near because I have started receiving invitations for lectures and seminars.

            But regarding my acting, being an actor, I have done a lot of travelling.

            Would you consider the whites more interested in learning more than the Africans?
            Forever and ever, the whites are ready to learn. My people are also interested because they now see that somebody is bold enough to take bull by the horn and talk about this thing.

            Why was nobody bold before now, was it a risky venture?
            It’s because people were actually afraid to talk about it.
            When you say “it”, what? About what?
            It’s a kind of spiritual information about African spirituality. Few of the whites who know about it respect Africa. For instance, if you go to the United Kingdom today, Queen Elizabeth is the spiritual head in Britain. Every institution including the government are under her spiritual supervision. In the same way United States of America has lords. These people are reserved and consulted for information, knowledge and advice on the country’s affairs. Likewise, we have also in Africa. It’s with our spirituality that we get to know these people; talk to them and seek advice.

             Ifa, for instance; there is nothing you want to know about yourself that Ifa would not tell you. Ifa will tell you about the past, present and the future. But here in this part of the world, we are not spiritual. We are only religious.

            And the whites; are they also religious?
            The white people are spiritual. They don’t care about religion. They push religion to us Africans. They push it to us because today, we regard anything about our culture as being fetish.
            They use their spirituality to supercede us. That is what is happening to today. That is why I cited the example of Fela Kuti. When he was alive he was an Ifa man. He was an Ifa priest. When the white people saw that they respected it; and they never joked with till he died. They saw him as one among thousands of Africans who knew himself.

            Most of the so-called religious people in Africa are “blending” religious people. Most of them go about with the Bible and the Quran professing their religion however, most of the spiritual problems they have they know where to they go in the “night” to solve them. We are too pretentious. Anything that is ours we don’t want to identify with it. If you see how they flock the churches and the mosques today you will see that majority, even the so-called head of the religious organization they still practice our traditions secretly. They would not let anybody know this to prevent disintegration and dispersal of the congregation.

            Africa would have been much more developed today if we had not abandoned our roots, our lineage. How do I mean? Everything that Africa is doing today is to copy the white man. Be it government, be it anything it’s to copy the white man. But the white man that brought this knowledge to you is it to their own advantage over-there and he is getting results.

            Let’s talk about your books
            The first is Odara. It’s about how the devil came to the world. We were told that devil was the one that went to get the clay with which Adam was made because devil was God’s right hand (angel) man. Devil was expelled by God to the world because he never agreed that man should be superior to him. Hence during the course of arguing with God, devil was expelled from heaven. As he left, he promised to work against all God’s followers and gather his own followers. Hence, bad occurrence (hunger, accident, poverty, witchcraft, diseases, and so on) are always attributed to the devil.

            The second book is called Vengeance. It’s about two very poor friends who visited and fortuneteller to know their future. It was revealed that Enitan would be very rich. Olaosebikan was not happy with the revelation that his friend would be richer than him so he went to a blacksmith. He got two iron rods with pointed edges.

            He was able to persuade his friend to accompany him to his mother’s village. While in the bush very close to a mahogany tree, he used a charm to render Enitan unconscious; he stuck the rods into his eyes, nailed him to the tree and left him there.

             While there two owls perched on the tree and started exchanging knowledge of different herbal medicines. As he writhed in pains (as he was stuck to the tree through the eyes), Enitan listened and imbibed the discussions of the birds. The birds finished their exchange and flew away.
            As for the first medicine, if a person has been blind all his life and he plucks leaves from the right-hand side of this man writhing in pain; squeezes the juice into the affected eyes he will regain his sight. Enitan followed the instruction and he regained his sights.

            Regarding the second medicine, if one gets the leaves on the left side; squeeze them in a bucket he will be so rich that his generation yet unborn will not be able to exhaust his wealth. Enitan followed the instructions and he became super rich.

             The third book is Revelation of Our Dreams. The book shows and explains to you the different meanings and interpretations to your dreams.
             All books are available on  
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