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Cultures

Oriki Ilorin Afonja (Panegyric of Ilorin)

Are Ona Kakanfo Afonja | Oriki Ilorin Afonja
Are-Ona-Kakanfo Afonja of Ilorin

In case you have been searching for the oriki of Ilorin Afonja, you have landed in the right place. Ilorin is a city, traditional emirate and the capital of Kwara State in Southwestern Nigeria. The city is located on the Awun River, a minor tributary of the Niger.

 

As of the 2006 census, Ilorin had a population of 777,667, making it the 7th largest city by population in Nigeria. Below we present oriki Ilorin Afonja, the panegyric of Ilorin to the descendants of Afonja.

Oriki Ilorin Afonja

Ilorin afonja enudunjuyo

Ilu to jinna s’ina

To sunmon alujana bi aresepa

Ilu tobi to yen, won o leegun rara

Esin l’egungun ile baba won

Akewugberu ni won

A s’adura gbore

Aji fi kalamu da won lekun arise kondu kondu

Won e lu lagbadu

Kewu ni won n ke

Eegun wa bura

Bo ba denu igbo ri

Paka wa bura

Bo ba d’igbale

Ero iwayiopo wa bura

Be o ba l’obirin

Ayidopo laya nle omo egbirin ote

Nile opo omo laderin

Opo korobiti ajagun ajase

Opo k’aja ka r’oyo naa

Abidesu ko je a wo eni to l’oba

Omo opo o gboro

Won pe n koju e s’ina

Ina o gboro

Won pe n koju e s’omi

Omi o gboro

Won pe n fi ponti to le

Oti to le o gboro

Won n f’omo to buru

Omo wo wa lo le tio gboro

Afonja o gboro

Ni won ba koju omo ponilewa s’ogun

Ogun naa l’afonja lo tio pada wa’nule mo

To fi lo te ilu Ilorin

Ilorin afonja ti nje enudunjuyo.

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Cultures

Oriki Offa – Eulogy of Offa Town in Kwara State

Oriki Offa
Olofa of Offa Palace

Offa is a city located in Kwara State with a population of about 100,000 inhabitants. Offa is notable for its weaving and dyeing trade, using vegetable dyes made from locally grown indigo and other plants. Offa is also well known for the cultivation of sweet potatoes and maize which formed part of the favourite staple foods of the indigenes in the town.

 

Offa in one of her eulogy is being addressed as the home of sweet potatoes. Cattle, goats and sheep are also raised in the environs. The key religions practised in the town are Islam, Christianity and traditional religions.

Below is the long and short version of the Eulogy of Offa (Oriki Offa). Enjoy!

Oriki Offa  Short Version:

Iyeru-Okin, Omo Olofa Mojo, Omo Olalomi, Omo abisu Joruko , ijakadi loro toffa toffa, Ija kan ijakan ti won nja lofa lojosi, Olalomi oju talose, Osoju ebe lala, O si soju poro ninu oko, Ibasoju oloko, iba lawon, Omo ‘laare, Omo bu re, ikan o gbodo ju kan, Bi kan ba ju kan nile olofamojo ogun lon’da ni ile baba wan, Omo omaka, Omo osa oje ba mi ki anomo. Omo olalomi ni mori, Mo dasa lami lapa, Iyeru okin ni mori, Mo dasa lami lobe, Mi o pe e mo lami sugbon, E mo je ko jinle lapa mi, Ijakadi loro ofa.

Oriki Offa Long Version:

Ede okin olofa mojo, olofa omo ola nlomi ab’isu joko ijakadi loro Offa, ija peki abe owula, bi ko ba se oju ebe l’Offa, as óju poro l’oko, iba soju oloko iba la won, osoju agunmona  l’Offa , O soju agbele yarara, o soju aporuba ka ‘ko, kinni se kagun-kakanrun ni ile oba, oka ni se kagun kankanrun, Agbado ni agun-mona l’Offa, Eree ni agbele yarara, isu ni aporubu ka ‘ko, omo odi meta mete meta me ti nbe l’Offa mojo, odi iwaju  ti olusan, t’ehin ni se ti olumiran, t’arin gungun ni se ti olugbenise omo ayejin, omo odo meta meta ti ntun nbe l’Offa mojo, okan  ni apa erinla boo un ki oun dókun, okan ni apa agbo boo un ki oun d’osa, okan ni ki apa akuko gagara  boo un ki oun di agunloko l’Offa oba ni okookan Offa ti t’agbo ra, ododo won ti to erinla pa sugbon ni okan ba d’okun, ti okan ba d’osa nibo ni ako omo yebiye wonyisi.

Eyi ti won wapa akuko ganga boo a ni owa di agunloko l’Offa olofa omo la ki Offa kun tele, olalomi ede okin olofa mojo Olofa Omo laare ki o dogba, okan ko gbodo ju kan bi okan ba ju kan, oba ni ko won roro, oba ko wa ri ti awa d’iran peki mob a odofin dimu, mose ojomu Karin, mo fi ehin saawo ra’le l’Offa o m’aka Arijasoro, olalomi lo laare.

Offa o m’aka egun wole l’Offa to ju ti omo okuta meta nsese, okan ko mi lese okansemi  pele, okan semi nrora, Okan n’gbati emi mona , kinni mo wade ilu ete okan n’gbati emi ko mona kinin mo wa de ilu ero Okan n’gbati emi mona , kinni mo wa de ilu awon-won ni ile olalomi ti omi ti won ti oju lo Ede Okin timo ri okin bamuiti mofi abata sin ese l’Offa ti mo wari abelenje boju mo la k’Offa okun keekee Aral ale, olalomi omo orubo nla ti osubu l’aro papa ni ohun bata, oki mi o nla mi, olalomi tani osehun ninu ara won ileyi ko gbaye, a ko lo si loffa nigbati iloffa o gba wa a ko lo s’Offa oro nigbati Offa oro o gba wa, a ko los’Offa irese nigbati Offa irese ko gba wa, ako losi igbolutu  nigbati igbolutu ko gba wa mo, a tun pada si Offa Eesun nigbati Offa eesun o gbawa mo ni awa kowa si Offa Arinlolu olofa se pele o aro ko ya bumu, Ede olele aro ko ya buwe Ede olele aro ko ya buboju igun ni a rini a dasa geru, Akala nia rini a sasa l’edo olofa imole ni arin ni a wa dasa lami labe lapa se olofa lo ni omo , ko si Eku ti oju Offa o di oyo olofa ni oni omo gbengbeleku ni ara yoku nsan ni nwon ki olalomi iyeru okin.

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Cultures

Tribes in Nigeria- The Ogba People

Ogba People

Rivers State is considered the sixth-largest geographic area in Nigeria according to 2006 census data. The state has an indigenously diverse population with major riverine and upland divisions.

 

In addition to these, the state has at least, fifteen autochthonous ethnic groups residing within Rivers State’s boundaries. Amongst these ethnic groups are the Ogba people. Situated in the extreme south-west of Igboland, in the modern Rivers State of Nigeria is the Ogba people (also called the Ogbah). Basically, they are indigenous Igbo-speaking people.

The Ogba people comprise fourteen extended families divided into clans and occupy an area of about 600 km² in the Niger flood plain. Oral history and folklore have it that these wonderful set of people migrated to what is now called Ali-Ogba from the area of the then Benin Empire across the Niger about the 16th century.

Though they are an indigenous Igbo speaking people, they are, however, in the real sense speakers of a unique dialect of Igbo, referred to as the Ogba language. This particular dialect of the Igbo language consists of the Egi and Igburu Sections. Both sections actually speak one dialect with little variations from each other.

The Geography and the economy of the Ogba People The Ali Ogba people are blessed with the abundance of rainfall, reasonably so, because of the geographical orientation of their habitation. Their geographical location enables them to enjoy an all year round high temperatures averaging 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the day, and a night temperature that ranges from 65 to 70 degrees. Also, the area has at least ten months of rainfall totaling over 80 inches per year with very high humidity in the summer months.

The climatic conditions and topography support a wide variety of plant and animal life. The flora consists of economic trees especially oil palm trees and a variety of plants species of great pharmacological value as a human elixir. In addition to these, the physical landscape of Ali-Ogba presents a variety of natural resources: relatively well-drained land and rich soils in many areas, freshwater rivers, creeks and wetlands, secondary forests and abundant sunshine and rainfall all year round.

Ogba Tribe

Underneath the earth, surface are pools of natural gas and oil. It is one of the major producers of Crude oil that fuels Nigeria’s economic development in recent decades. According to current oil company records, no local government in Nigeria produces as much crude oil and gas as the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (ONELGA) local government As a result of these endowments, the natural environment supports an agricultural economy based on fishing and farming for production of a wide variety of crops such as cassava, yam, maize, coco-yam, plantain and banana, including many vegetables such as okra, pepper and different types of melon.

In addition, fruit trees such as paw-paw (papaya) oranges, guava, mango and pineapples are widely grown in gardens around buildings in the communities. Thus, in many respects, Ali-Ogba mirrors other upland communities of Rivers state in the production of a variety of agricultural products.

References

Ellah, Francis J (1995). “Ali-Ogba: A History of Ogba People”. www.africanbookscollective.com. Fourth Dimension Publishers.

Image source: Edo Delta Movement

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Cultures

Oba Orompoto – The first Female Alaafin of Oyo

Oba Orompoto

Oba Orompoto is the first and perhaps the only female Alaafin of Oyo. She was known for her bravery and tremendous achievements during her reign.

Who was Oba Orompoto?

Oba Orompoto was the seventh Alaafin of Oyo; she was the sister of her predecessor, Eguguoju. Orompoto assumed the throne because there was no male successor within the royal family at that time (better still, the available males were too young to rule).

 

It was speculated that her reign lasted from 1554 to 1562.

Oba Orompoto was a fierce warrior; she was feared even by her male counterpart. During her former reign as a regent, she made the biggest and final attack to obliterate the Nupe to ensure they never threaten Oyo again.

Coronation of Oba Orompoto as Alaafin

The mystery behind the coronation of Orompoto as the Alaafin of Oyo will forever remain a puzzle.

The Oyomesi who were in charge of installing a new Alaafin were not willing to crown Orompoto king. According to the Oyomesi, it was an abomination for a woman to rule over the empire.

In order to disqualify her from ascending the throne, she was given an ultimatum of seven days to become a man so she can be fit for the throne. Immediately after this pronouncement, Orompoto started dressing like a man wearing Agbada and fila (cap).

On the seventh day, Orompoto unveiled her upper part and it was completely flat, no breast! The Oyomesi were not impressed, they felt it was possible for a woman to have a flat chest.

So she went on to remove her trouser and according to oral tradition, not only did the Oyomesi saw a penis, a scrotum was seen dangling between her legs. Immediately, everyone dropped on their chest and chanted Kaabiyesi oooo – she was immediately enthroned the Alaafin of Oyo.

Oba Orompoto is regarded as the first transgender in history. She was popularly known as “the custodian of the vagina that kills evil plots”.

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Cultures

How the First Plane Crash in Nigeria Happened in April 1942

Site of the first plane crash in Nigeria
Site of first plane crash in Nigeria which is now a tourist attraction

The first plane crash in Nigeria happened on the 12th of April, 1942 on a hill called Igbo Ilapa in the quiet town of Ikogosi, Ekiti State.

Besides being famous for housing a popular tourist attraction where warm and cold springs meet, Ikogosi happens to be the first place where a plane crash incident occurred in Nigeria.

 

How did the crash happen?

The 2nd world war was ongoing when a cargo plane which was carrying arms and ammunition (including explosives) crashed at Igbo Ilapa in Ikogosi. The explosives made the crash a fatal one as they kept exploding for hours.

First Plane Crash In NIgeria

This set the whole of Igbo Ilapa, now called Igbo Baalu (forest of aeroplane), on fire and destroyed every living and non-living thing in the environment. OldNaija gathered that the pilot, with great efforts, manoeuvred the plane to crash on the forest-cloaked hill instead of the quiet town which would have left many people dead and several properties destroyed.

Till this very moment, two hole-riddled engines and other body parts of the plane can still be found on the hill.

And for Nigerian owned plane, the first crash was recorded on the 20th of November, 1969. The plane, DC-10, was owned by the government. The plane took off in London and crash-landed in Lagos. 82 people, including the plane crew, died in the crash.

This post was first published on OldNaija on April 2 2017.

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Cultures

Iria Festival in Rivers State where Maidens Dance Half-Naked

Iria Festival

Long before the advent of colonialism, Nigerian tribes have their unique ways of performing traditional rites, some of which have gone into extinction while some are still practised till date.

 

These rites are performed on occasions such as childbirth, death, coronation and many more. One of these occasions that call for a traditional rite is the transition into adulthood.

The transition to adulthood is a very essential stage in Nigerian traditions. It is believed that this is the stage when young boys and girls decide how their future will turn out.

As aforementioned, each tribe has its own way of performing rites, for example, in Northern Nigeria, Sharo festival is the traditional rite of transitioning into adulthood while Iria festival is that of Okrika, a town in Rivers State, Southern Nigeria. You can read more about the sharo festival here.

The Iria Festival

The Iria Festival is an annual ceremony of transition into womanhood which is held at a market square in Okrika, an ancient town in Rivers State, Nigeria. It is dated back to the 16th century.

Iria Festival Maiden

Maidens with bare breasts are initiated by the people into womanhood. Virgins are presented and kept in the fattening room, where they are taken care of for the festival.

The process in the fattening room includes feeding the young women, pampering and getting them ready for the real task ahead which is dancing half-naked at the market square. This will ultimately transform them into the maturity stage.

At the market square, chiefs and heads of families are gathered with the people to watch the dancing young virgins, who only cover their lower body and leave their breasts bare for everyone to see.

The natives of Okrika do not allow pregnant maidens to participate in the festival. The old women, called ‘Gbenerime’, easily spot out those who are pregnant among the maidens and get them disqualified.

We gathered that when time is due, the girls come out of the fattening room looking pretty like angels with bodies painted in black patterns and their hair tinted yellow.

Given that family members, friends, associates as well as spectators are in attendance at the grand parade, some of the girls get suitors at the festival. The breasts is one of the criteria for the judging of this event.

For the parents, it is always a delight to have a daughter who has kept her virginity as well as the family’s honour. In times past, if a girl failed to undergo the puberty rite, it was believed she would find it difficult to have a child.

For those who were disqualified, it became a source of embarrassment to the girl and her family who became an object of mockery.

Rivers State

Elucidating the age-long practice, an indigene of Okrika said, “the Iria is a very ancient festival of the Okrika nation organised by various towns, particularly in December and January period. All the 10 communities of Okrika used to practice it. But for the past 10 years, only two communities, including Ogu, have been practising it. Young girls between 16 and 17 years are advised by their parents to participate in the Iria ceremony. Those who, at that age range, had yet to be deflowered in those days celebrated the Iria ceremony.”

Iria Festival has lost its vibrancy over the years because of Western education and the Christian faith which have conspired to make parents not enter their maidens into the festival. They describe the Iria practice as fetish and the act of dancing half-naked as against their religion.

Watch a video of Iria Festival below

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Cultures

Fifty Igbo Proverbs and their Meanings in English Language

Igbo People | Igbo Proverbs and their meanings
Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria

Proverbs are popular sayings that provide nuggets of wisdom. They are simple, brief, and popular sayings or phrases that give advice and effectively embodies a commonplace truth based on practical experience or common sense.

 

The Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria are known for their witty sayings which they employ in their everyday life. Below, we have provided 50 Igbo proverbs and their meanings in English language for Igbo and non-Igbo speakers.

Igbo Proverbs and their meanings

Igbo Proverb – English Meaning

1. Eze mbe si na ihe ya ji-achiri ihe egwu ya aga njem bu maka ya ezu ndiegwu. – The tortoise said that it always travels with its musical instrument in case it meets other musicians.

2. Gidi gidi bụ ugwu eze. – Unity is strength

3. Chọọ ewu ojii ka chi dị – Make hay while the sun shines

4. Eze mbe si na olu oha di mma, mana oriri oha na-aka ahu. – The tortoise said that many hands at work is enjoyable, but many mouths to feed can be embarrassing.

5. Ihe ehi hụrụ gbalaba oso ka okuku huru na-atụ onu – Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

6. Oge adighi eche mmadu – Time and tide wait for nobody.

7. Si kele onye nti chiri; enu anughi, ala anu. – Salute the deaf; if the heavens don’t hear, the earth will hear.

8. Ebe onye dara ka chi ya kwaturu ya. – Where one falls is where his god pushed him down.

9. Ihe di woro ogori azuala na ahia. – What was secret is revealed in the market place.

10. Ewu nwuru n’oba ji abughi agu gburu ya. – A goat that dies in a barn was never killed by hunger.

11. A ma ka mmiri si were baa n’opi ugboguru? – Who knows how water entered into the stalk of the pumpkin?

12. A chuo aja ma a hughi udele, a mara na ihe mere be ndimmuo. – If the vulture fails to hover at the end of a sacrifice, then you know that something happened in the land of spirits.

13. “Nwunye anyi, nwunye anyi”: ka ndeli bia ka anyi mara onye o bu nwunye ya. – “Our wife, our wife”: come midnight and we will know whose wife she really is.

14. Nwunye awo si na di atoka uto, ya jiri nuta nke ya kworo ya n’azu. – The female toad said that husband is so sweet that when she got married, she carried her husband permanently on the back.

15. Ugo chara acha adi(ghi) echu echu – A mature eagle feather will ever remain pure.

16. Onyeubiam adi(ghi) aza “Omeokachie.” – An indigent does not take the title of “Omeokachie” (i.e. one who completes whatever he puts his hand to)

17. A tuoro omara, o mara, a tuoro ofeke, o fenye ishi n’ohia. – If you tell a wise one, he understands; tell a dunce, he runs into the bush.

18. Otu onye tuo izu, o gbue ochu – Knowledge is never complete: two heads are better than one.

20. Nwaanyi muta ite ofe mmiri mmiri, di ya amuta ipi utara aka were suru ofe. – If a woman decides to make the soup watery, the husband will learn to dent the Garri before dipping it into the soup.

21. O na-abu a si nwata wuba ahu, o saba afo ya. – Tell a child to wash his body, he washes his stomach.

22. Akwukwo juru n’ohia, ma a baa a choba okazi. – There are various leaves in the bush, but people go in to look for okazi leaves.

23. Agwo emeghi nke o jiri buru agwo, umuaka achiri ya hie nku.               – If a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood.

24. Ukpala gbabara n’ikpo okuko na-ala ala mmuo. – The grasshopper that runs into the mist of fowls ends up in the land of spirits.

25. Onye a kporo apari, o na-ehi n’amanna ya, abughi apari. – A presumed fool who sleeps in his father’s house is not a fool.

26. Ndi na-eje mposi abali na-ahu ukpana ndi mmuo. – Those who defecate at night see the ghost grasshopper.

27. Nwata bunie nna ya enu, akpaamu ya ayochie ya anya. – If a child lifts his father, his scrotum will blindfold him.

28. Onye hapu onu ya, uguru arachaa ya. – If one fails to lick his lips, the harmattan will do it.

29. Okuko si na ihe ya ji-ele anya n’enu ma ya na añu mmiri bu na ihe na-egbu si n’igwe abia. – The chicken says it looks up when drinking water because what kills it comes from the sky.

30. Ijiji na-enweghi onye ndumodu na-eso ozu ala n’inyi. – A fly that has no counselor follows the corpse to the grave.

31. Ura ga-eju onye nwuru anwu afo.  – A dead person shall have all the sleep necessary.

Igbo people

32. Ula towa uto, ekwowe ya ekwowe. – When sleep becomes enjoyable, we snore.

33. O bialu be onye abiagbuna ya, mgbe oga-ala mkpumkpu apukwana ya n’azu. – May one’s visitor not constitute a problem, so that on his departure he will not leave with a hunchback.

34. Nwa ovu na-eto, o di ka o ga-aka nneya. – When the baby wren is growing, it looks like it would be bigger than its mother.

35. Okuko na-arogoro ite onu, chetekwe mma gburu ya. – The chicken frowns at the cooking pot, ignoring the knife that killed it.

36. Ihe ka-nte bata n’onu nte, nte etefu.  – When something greater than the pigmy cricket enters its hole, it takes off.

37. Uzu na-amaghi akpu ogene lee egbe anya n’odu. – The blacksmith who does know how to forge a metal gong should look at the tail of a kite.

38. Oke oshimmiri anokataghi rie onye obula nke o na-ahughi ukwu ya anya. – The ocean never swallows a person with whose leg it does not come in contact.

39. Onye buru chi ya uzo, o gbagbue onwe ya n’oso. – He who walks before his godly guardian does the race of his life

40. Okuko nyuo ahu, ana achuwa ya oso. – When the fowl farts, the ground becomes a nuisance.

41. Okwulu anaghi amiri ote ofe. – A master chef is not blessed with a good harvest of okra.

42. Mmiri riri enyi ka mbe huru na-awa ogodo: o ga-efe mmiri a efe ka o ga -awu ya awu? – The tortoise gears up to besides a river that swallowed an elephant: is it going to fly over this river or just jump over?

43. Ohia woro gi nku, sere gi onu – The forest that denies you firewood has massaged your neck.

44. O bia mgbe Alio Ene gburu atu, ya biakwa ma atu zogbuo Alio Ene. – He who calls whenever Elder Ene kills a deer, let him call if the deer kicks the living daylight out of Elder Ene.

45. O bulu na i taa m aru n’ike, ma i zeghi nshi; mu taa gi aru n’isi, agaghi m ezere uvulu. – If you bite me on the butt, despite the danger of sinking your teeth into fecal matter, then if I bite you on the head, I will disregard the danger of sinking my teeth into cerebral matter.

46. Okuko mmanya na-egbu ahubegh i mmanwulu ara na-ayi. – A drunken fowl has not met a mad fox.

47. Nwaanyi anaghi-eji na nwunyedi ya kwere ya ekene nke oma kpowa ya ogo. – A woman does not regard her sister-wife as sister-in-law just because she (her husband’s other wife) accepted her greeting gracefully.

48. Onye si na ya anaghi ata anu nkita, ya arakwala mmiri ofe ya. – He who abhors dog meat should not eat dog-meat soup.

49. E lewe ukwu Egbue ewu. – A buxom waist that makes her man (husband) kill a goat for her when he looks at it.

50. Ihere adịghị eme onye ara ka ọ na-eme ụmụ-nna ya. – Relations are concerned mostly with a person’s behaviour.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoy these Igbo proverbs and their meanings, kindly drop a comment below and share on social media. Also, feel free to add your Igbo proverbs and their meanings using the comment box below.

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Cultures

Yoruba Folktale: How Aaye And Aigboran Became Enemies

Yoruba Folktale; How Aaye and Aigboran became enemies.

A long time ago, there was a man called “Aigboran”. He got married to a very beautiful woman whom he cherished and worshipped like a god. Everybody in the village of “Ojutaye” knew that Aigboran’s wife was the most beautiful woman in the village.

 

Instead of the man to be happy about his luck, he was very much disturbed about the beauty of his wife that he started monitoring her around the village. “Aaye”, the beautiful wife was a trader who sells beans like other women in that village. A lot of the village men always made jest of her.

One day, one of the closest friends to Aigboran was playing aayo olopon among other groups of men as Aaye was passing with her calabash of beans, he called “Aaye, Eewa re nda mi lorun… ma ta ewa fun mi, eewa re ni mo fe ra, se wa taa fun mi? (Aaye, your beauty is mesmerizing me, don’t sell beans for me, it’s your beauty I want to buy, will you sell it to me?

Other men in the group joined in the jest and refused to pay Aaye, everyone insisted that such beauty was not meant for one man but the woman just carried her calabash and left in tears. The rumour of what transpired between the men and Aaye got to Aigboran, the husband. Then he decided to be more watchful. He consulted an herbalist and asked him to put “magun” (thunderbolt) on his wife.

The herbalist advised him against such wicked acts, but he refused. Aigboran went ahead to Orunmila. Orunmila said he could never assist Aigboran in such bad acts, Orunmila, however, consulted Ifa and ensured Aigboran that his wife was not having any extra-marital affair. Aigboran did not believe Orunmila; he wanted to be very sure nobody in the village was sleeping with his wife. All the warnings of Orunmila fell on the deaf ears of Aigboran.

He went to Esu, who gave him a solution to his problem. Esu taught Aigboran how to remove his eyes and pasted it on the calabash of Aaye whenever she was going to sell beans. That was how Aigboran made sure his eyes went with his wife whenever she was not in the house. When she returns, he would remove his eyes from the calabash and put it in their sockets again. That means Aigboran would be blind until his wife return from her trading.

One fateful day, Aaye sold her beans together with the calabash to a man who wanted to do a ritual. She was glad to sell because the man gave her a huge sum of money. She got home and started counting her money when her husband asked from inside the room.

“Aaye mi, Ni bo ni Igba ewa re wa? Mo n wa oju mi o?

(Aaye dear, where is your calabash of beans, am searching for my eyes?”

Aaye gladly and innocently informed the husband that she had sold the calabash together with her beans for large sum. Aigboran screamed on top of his voice and started weeping profusely. He narrated to his wife how he used to remove his eyes to monitor Aaye whenever she was going out to sell.

Aaye, out of fear that his husband had become blind since she could not locate the man who bought the calabash, ran away from her husband till date.

A good Samaritan helped Aigboran to Orunmila’s house but Orunmila told Aigboran in simple terms: Ti aba ri Aaye, O leri oju re o”. Airi oju re, lowo Aaye lowa” (if we cannot find Aaye, you can never get your eyes, You can’t get your eyes, because it’s in the hands of Aaye). That was how Esu laalu caused Airoju Airaye in people’s life till date. Of course, Aigboran remained blind till death because Aaye could not be found in the village or anywhere around.

This generated the popular sayings of the Yoruba Kingdom on  “Airoju Airaye” whenever there is trouble or chaos till today.

Key Words and its Yoruba meanings

  • Aaye: A Yoruba word for Alive or space.
  • Aigboran: Disobedience
  • Ojutaye : The name of the village. Ojutaye means an open space that can be viewed by everybody around.
  • Ayo Olopon: An indoor game in the Yoruba culture.
  • Magun (thunderbolt):  The Yoruba traditional uses this thing on a woman to detect if the woman is promiscuous. If such woman had been laid with thunderbolt, the man having a sexual affair with the woman will die immediately after the sexual act.

Thanks for reading.

Written by Tolu Akinwale

Categories
Cultures

All You Need To Know About the Igbo People of Bioko in Equatorial Guinea

Igbo People of Bioko
Igbo People of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea, located at the Eastern end of the Gulf of Guinea, West coast of Africa, is the only Spanish speaking country on the continent.

 

The tribes dwelling in this country include the Bubi, Fang and the Igbo people who are also a dominant ethnic group in Nigeria.

The Igbo people of Bioko, as officially declared by the government of Equatorial Guinea, is the third-largest tribe after Fang and Bubi tribes, and occupies a small area in Bioko. They speak Pidgin English, Fang, Igbo and Bubi indigenous languages, as well as Spanish, the official language of Equatorial Guinea. Nigerians call the country “panya”, a corrupted version of the word “España” (Spain) which is pronounced Espanya.

Their communities are small compared to Bubi and Fang. Majority of them migrated to Bioko from Arochukwu, Abia State, Nigeria.

Igbos of Equatorial Guinea, numbering 33,500, are no longer unreachable. They are part of the Igbo people cluster within the Sub-Saharan African affinity bloc, this group, though a minority of people ranking third-largest in Equatorial Guinea, a country with a total population of 1.2Million people.

Their primary language is Igbo. The primary religion practiced by the Igbo is marginal Christianity, a form of religion with roots in Christianity but not theologically Christian.

BIOKO (Formally Fernando Po)

Formerly known as Fernando Po, Bioko is the largest region in Equatorial Guinea, the inhabitants speak Pidgin English, Spanish foreign language, Fang, Igbo and Bubi indigenous languages.

Igbo People in Equatorial Guinea

The original inhabitants of Bioko are a group of people called Bubi, descendants of mainland Bantu tribes who fought and defeated the Fang and pushed them to inland part while they occupy the coastal areas. The Fang is also an ethnic group in Cameroon.

Bioko also is home to descendants of former slaves who were freed in the nineteenth century. Many Bubis have recently immigrated to the continent, and along with other, smaller Bantu-speaking tribes, comprise the remaining 10 per cent of the population in Rio Muni. Minority tribes include the Kombe, Balengue and Bujebas.

Most people in this region speak in their tribal languages, either Fang, Bubi, or Ibo, all of which are in the Bantu family of languages.

National Identity

Equatorial Guineans identify first with their tribe or ethnic group and secondly with the nation.

The current country was formed during Spanish rule, linking the main island of Bioko with the mainland territory, despite the fact that the two were culturally distinct.

Since the unification of the two, there has been some intermingling and migration, particularly of mainland Fang to Bubi-inhabited Bioko.

Bioko

The Fang tribe itself is not limited to the Rio Muni area but extends also north into Cameroon and south into Gabon.

Ethnic Relations

Legally, there is no discrimination against ethnic or racial minorities, but in practice, this is not the case. The Bubi have experienced persecution under the post-independence government.

Prior to independence, the group formed a majority on Bioko. However, since 1968, many Fang migrated to the island and a small subclan, the Mongomo, has dominated the government.

There is resentment and violence not only between the Bubi and the Fang but also between the Mongomo and other Fang subgroups.

Independence of Bioko

The Bubi, a warlike tribe, are leading the independence struggle, a proposed country that includes the Igbo minority and Fang, though there is no record of any opposition to the demands for Republic of Bioko by Fang and the Igbo.

As regards the language, Igbo is a recognized official language in Equatorial Guinea and it has been confirmed that the people still speak the Igbo language which has some form of deviation from the modern Igbo spoken in Nigeria.

Some people who have seen them said they say, ‘bia ikaa’ for ‘come here’.

Thanks for reading.

Categories
Cultures

How FESTAC ’77 was Celebrated in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977

Nigerian delegation with a sailor holding the FESTAC '77 sign at the opening ceremony. © Marilyn Nance
Nigerian delegation with a sailor holding the FESTAC ’77 sign at the opening ceremony. © Marilyn Nance

The Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, popularly known as FESTAC ’77, was a boisterous cultural celebration which took place in Lagos, Nigeria, from January 15 1977 to February 12 1977.

 

FESTAC ’77 celebrated the cultures and traditions of Africa and as well presented African artworks, literature, religion and music to the world. The history of FESTAC is traced back to the 1940s when certain ideas were developed on Pan-Africanism and Negritude by Senegalese president Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aime Cesaire and others.

Festac 77 Crowd at Nigeria’s National Stadium in Surulere, Photo by Tam Fiofori
Festac 77 Crowd at Nigeria’s National Stadium in Surulere, Photo by Tam Fiofori

FESTAC ’77 was the largest pan-African gathering as at the period it was held. Nigeria was called upon to host the second Festac festival after the end of the first one which was held in Dakar, Senegal from 1st to 24th of April, 1966. The festival was to take place in 1970, but due to the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970), it was postponed to 1977.

FESTAC ’77 was attended by about 17,000 people from 56 nations. The festival paved way for the construction of Festac Town and the National Theatre in Lagos. The Nigerian government built Festac Town to accommodate the 17,000 and above participants. The main reason Festac Town was built was to cut the accommodation problem and pressure Lagos was likely to face during the festival.

Crowd at the opening ceremony on January 15, 1977. PHOTO: TAM FIOFORI
Crowd at the opening ceremony on January 15, 1977. PHOTO: TAM FIOFORI

The festival commenced at 9 a.m on the 15th of January, 1977. The opening ceremony took place inside the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, where many participants held a parade to welcome visiting dignitaries and the Nigerian Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo.

FESTAC ’77 has the royal Benin ivory mask of Queen Idia as its emblem. A Sango priest entertained the crowd by setting the festival bowl aflame and a thousand Pigeons were released to signify the liberation and oneness of the Black nations.

King Sunny Ade & His African Beats – Vol. 5 - Festac '77 cover with Queen Idia emblem.
King Sunny Ade & His African Beats – Vol. 5 – Festac ’77 cover with Queen Idia emblem. © Discogs

Several dramas and musical shows were staged at the Tafawa Balewa Square in the afternoons and evenings. Musicians like South African Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Louis Moholo, Sun Ra Arkestra and many more rocked musical concerts and sent their fans dancing wild.

Attending countries exhibited their artworks at the National Theatre, at the Nigerian National Museum and some other places around the Tafawa Balewa Square.

Regatta in the occasion of Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, 15. January - 12. February, 1977, Lagos. © Halina Rautavaara
Regatta in the occasion of Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, 15. January – 12. February 1977, Lagos. © Halina Rautavaara

“At the Square, each country represented at the festival was given a booth to exhibit their paintings, musical instruments, woven cloths, books and art objects. Some other notable exhibitions that took place were Africa and the Origin of Man, which was held at the National Theatre, and Ekpo Eyo’s 2000 Years of Nigerian Art, which included Nok terracottas, Benin court art, Igbo Ukwu, Ife and Tsoede bronzes and art objects“.

Another exhilarating event at the festival was the boat regatta held at the Queen’s Drive Foreshore in Ikoyi, Lagos, which lasted for three days. The participants of the boat regatta were mainly from Nigeria. More than 250 boats carrying acrobats, masquerades and singers displayed at the occasion.

Grand Dubar in Kaduna State, 1977. © Halina Rautavaara
Grand Dubar in Kaduna State, 1977. © Halina Rautavaara

FESTAC ’77 participants also attended the Dubar festival in Kaduna which lasted for three days. There was a gallant display of horse riding, masquerading, Kakaki trumpeting and many more.

List of countries that attended FESTAC ’77

Kenya, Zaire, Congo, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Mauritius, Niger, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Malagasy, Mauritania, Botswana, Lesotho, Chad, Central Africa, Upper Volta, Morocco, Angola, Senegal, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Ghana, Libya, Zambia, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda and Gambia. Some South American countries were also present at the festival, e.g Guyana, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and so on represented the Caribbean. The United States of America also sent their representatives from different countries.

United States delegation at FESTAC '77, Lagos, Nigeria.
United States delegation at FESTAC ’77, Lagos, Nigeria.

An anthem was written for FESTAC ’77 by Margaret Walker from Alabama, USA, while the music was produced by Akin Euba from Nigeria. Below is the lyrics of the anthem titled, For My People.

FESTAC ’77 Anthem

1. Let a new earth arise
Let another world be born
Let a bloody peace
Be written in the sky.
Refrain: Festac 77 is here

2. Let a second generation
Full of courage issue forth
Let a people loving freedom
Come to growth
Refrain: Festac 77 is here

NEW NIGERIAN, Monday, 17 January 1977. FESTAC Festival, 1977.
NEW NIGERIAN, Monday, 17 January 1977. FESTAC Festival, 1977. ASIRI.

3. Let a beauty full of healing
And strength of final clenching
be the pulsing in our spirits
And our blood
Refrain: Festac 77 is here

4. Let the martial songs be written
Let the dirges disappear
Let the race of men now rise
And take control
Refrain: Festac 77 is here

FESTAC ’77 will forever remain a remarkable celebration in the history of Nigeria.

References:

  • BKV Editor 3. (2020, May 23). Sun Ra & Africa. The Complete File on the Arts and Media in Nigeria.
  • University of Michigan. African Art After Independence, 1957-1977.