Saturday, 13 June 2020


Divination Cowries. © Olalekan Oduntan

Marriage has been said to be an institution ordained by God Almighty. And if you are seen as being ripe for it either you are a male or female, you are quizzed to embrace it through advice either from your parents, relatives or friends. Forgetting that it is not something you can rush in and out of as you like. Because if care is not taken through wrong decision or move, the way you rush in it, so will you rush out of it!
What is Marriage or "I-gbe-iya-wo" from the perspective of IFA? It literarily and simply means "Go and experience hardship". Because if you are not ready to accept hardship and experience it, marriage is not meant for you at all. As a matter of fact, history has it from IFA perspective that Orunmila journeyed to Iwo land when looking for a wife to marry.

He journeyed to Iwo land because of a beautiful princess called Adesewa. Orunmila actually went there to look for his daily bread in Iwo land when he met this princess who was a paragon of beauty. So many able bodied men had attempted to marry Adesewa all to no avail because of her beauty. And Adesewa was really flaunting her beauty too and she was very proud of it!

But Orunmila was ready to go through any hurdle to possess Adesewa for a wife. So on this very day, Adesewa's father who was the king that time summoned all his daughter's suitors to his palace and he informed them of the hurdles they must pass through before they could marry his daughter. And that whoever emerged successful will definitely the chosen man to marry his daughter. 

So on the D day, all the men had gathered at the palace to partake in the hurdles of getting married to Adesewa. And what was the task? A plate of hot pepper soup had been given to each of the contestants, the idea is that you must drink the pepper soup without gasping for breath! And no drinking of water at all to cool the effect of the hotness of the pepper!

Everybody who attempted this hurdle had failed. Only Orunmila scaled through it successfully. He drank the plate of hot pepper soup without gasping for breath! Also, he did not drink water at all after the whole exercise. Of course, Adesewa became his wife or (Apeteibi meaning the wife of Ifa), and she was given to him by her father the king. 

It should be noted here that whoever marries an IFA Priest becomes his Apeteibi or wife of IFA. Necessary things to make her qualify for this position must be done for her. Necessary things like having her own IFA which she will be using to protect her husband. I will talk more on Apeteibi in my subsequent write up.

So, later on that day when Orunmila and Adesewa were together officially as husband and wife, He said it was the hardship and suffering experienced by him in Iwo land that made it possible for him to marry her. Meaning, Marriage is I-gbe-iya-wo, which the meaning in Yoruba is, "Lo gbe iya wo", Go experience suffering and hardship!

So, everyone of us who has gone, yet to go or going into the institution of marriage today will experience its hurdles in one way or another because the marriage institution is not as palatable as it seems. Marriage involves sufferings and hardships which men must be ready for before dabbling into it. Whoever getting married today, " E lo gbe iya wo"!

© Olalekan Oduntan 2020.

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