Tuesday, 10 November 2020


There is an Ifá Story that told us of when Ọ̀rúnmìlà sent his wife, Ìwà, packing out of the house, accusing her of untidiness. 

Ìwà left and went back to her father's house but things did not remain the same again for Ọ̀rúnmìlà. Negative things started happening to him and he found out that it was because he had lost Ìwà. 

He searched everywhere on earth for Ìwà but couldn't find her, then he went to heaven to look for her. He found ìwà in heaven in the house of her father, Sùúrù. 

He pleaded strongly for Ìwà to return with him to earth but ìwà refused and said henceforth humans will be the ones responsible for shaping their character, hence the saying, Ọwọ́ ẹni la fi ń tún ìwà ara ẹni ṣe.

(ìwà is the Yoruba word for character)

Now, this Ifá verse might be applicable in the society in the two following ways:

1. As a social philosophy (larger society).

It can be used as a story for moral instruction on the importance of good character in man's life.

2. In Divination (individual)

The enquirer could be told that his wife is a very strong pillar to his success and that negative things have started happening in his life because he had divorced the woman. It might also be coming out as a warning for him not to divorce his wife. 

Ifá was/is used both as a means of teaching morals to the larger society in Africa and used as a means of helping individuals maintain order in their lives considering that life is deeper than what their five physical senses alone can perceive/fathom.

For our African society to revive it's cultural values of chastity and Ọmọlúwàbí, the teachings of Ifá must be developed by the academia and used as a means of teaching the native wisdom to native African people in order for Africans to be able to live according to their values which we will all agree is nothing short of absolute, perfect holiness - being in unity with nature. 

The African esoteric philosophy of life must also be a part of the African educational system because Africa knows that there are forces beyond human forces that influence human experiences. These forces are mentioned in their different names in the Ifá Corpus and the interfacing interactions that man must have with them to create a order in their personal lives and in the entire universe are well detailed, though in crude oral form. There should be absolutely no reason why there can't be a budget from African governments for the development of indegenous philosophical knowledge.

What about the Osanyin traditional herbal medicine knowledge which is also contained in Ifá? Are we going to neglect such multitrillion whatever currency potential market because the priest of a certain St. George's Cathedral or St. Mary's Church said that herbal medicine by Osanyin followers are demonic? 

Many of the clergies patronize these herbalists in their personal lives. 

We all Africans must know that the African Christian priest is simply doing the job his employer pays him to do in order for him to make ends meet, but he doesn't neglect his root. Those of them who know the truth never ignore their root. But their job description tells them to discourage such things. It is now left for you to use your sense.

But I think it is high time we stopped that hypocrisy. It is time we stopped it. 

Government SHOULD fund Ifá knowledge, especially the Philosophical and Medical Part.

Ayobami Ogedengbe

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