Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Osun: The Deity from Oshogbo

Mrs Osundeyi Ogunjimi an Osun devotee.

I recently visited Oshogbo in Osun state, Southwest of Nigeria to take part in the promo of a movie entitled The Queen Mother Osun. While shooting this project, it afforded us to visit so many interesting places in Oshogbo including the Groove. The Groove is an entrance to get to the shrine of Osun. It is a beautiful sight to behold. 

While in the Groove, you will see to many artworks of different deities made by the Late Susan Wenger. These artefacts are deities like Orunmila, Obatala, Oya, Esu, Obaluaye, Ogun, Orisa Oko etc. And they are the reminiscent of 201 different Yoruba deities. In the Groove, there is a lot of tall trees and monkeys too with the warnings that nobody should kill the animals and nobody should set the fire on the bush or fell the trees. Other warnings include: Do not build a house within the Groove's premises, do not use the premises as a farmland and do not litter the Groove's surrounding. And the aforementioned rules and regulations are well written on the above sign boards.

Before getting to the shrine of Osun, the monkeys will come out of their hiding in the bush and they are expecting a gift from you. What is the gift? Banana is offered to them by so many visitors who come on a visitation. The Groove's ambiance is very unique and the serenity is so peaceful.

When you get to entrance of the Osun's shrine, the female devotees of Osun who are the ones taking care of the surroundings will welcome you with a greeting like this, Ore Yeye O!, And you will respond as thus: Ore Yeye Osun!! You will remove your shoes as visitors are not allowed to enter the premises with their shoes on.

People troupe in there with all sorts of problems particularly women expecting the fruits of the womb. People put their different religious beliefs aside to visit this shrine known all over the world. It is amazing seeing visitors across the world coming there to seek solution to their different problems. According to a female Osun devotee I spoke with Mrs Osundeyi Ogunjimi who said this just concluded Osun festival was very peaceful without any hitches despite the fact that the festival was not broadcast on Radio and Television due to the Pandemic Covid-19 going on all over the world. Yet people grouped in from all over the world to celebrate the festival.

The Osun River. © Olalekan Oduntan

The indication of this scenario is that amidst all odds, The Queen Mother Osun still advertised the festival by herself! Mrs Osundeyi Ogunjimi said that we should not forget where we are coming from because whoever forgets where he or she comes from will have himself or herself to blame. She said before the two known religions were brought to us, our traditional religious beliefs were the ones guiding the world without problems. But ever since we all accepted the religious beliefs from the West in our lives, things have been falling apart.

We are all advised not to forget our ancestral heritage because if we do not know where we are going, we should at least know where we are coming from. In conclusion, Osun festival in Oshogbo is a tourist center being visited by so many visitors all over the world. And the onus is on all of us to protect our ancestral heritage. Osun a gbe wa o!

Osun Seegeese, Oloya a yu,

Awede werisa,

Iya Alaro, Iya Olodo,

Onibu ore, Ore Yeye Osun,

Seleru agbo l'Osun fi n womo,

Ogbara agbo l'Osun fi n womo,

Osun dakun gbemi bori ota mi o,

Omi o, Ota o,

Edan o, Agba o,

Ore Yeye Osun!!!

Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2020

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