FACT UNDILUTED ON NIGERIAN TRADITION! Origin of IFA, Dangers of Voodoo mythology …True story of Adeola Fagbamile, divinely saved by God from Ifa ritual * Confession of a lady called by Ifa Oracle as a priestess: ‘I felt I was going to die, I could not sleep, until I relocated to Australia’ * PLUS why last names bearing Ifa are tied automatically to Ifa ancestry, Egungun (Masquerade) connection *BY TADE ORIYOMI/REPORTER, SOUTH-WEST NIGERIA


FACT UNDILUTED ON NIGERIAN TRADITION!

Origin of IFA, Dangers of Voodoo mythology

…True story of Adeola Fagbamile, divinely saved by God from Ifa ritual

* Confession of a lady called by Ifa Oracle as a priestess: ‘I felt I was going to die, I could not sleep, until I relocated to Australia’

* PLUS why last names bearing Ifa are tied automatically to Ifa ancestry, Egungun (Masquerade) connection

BY TADE ORIYOMI/REPORTER, SOUTH-WEST NIGERIA

TRADITION IN AFRICA IS SEEING AS A SYMBOL OF RELIGION OF SOME SORT BY THE PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS OF AFRICA’S MOST POPULOUS BLACK NATION. There is a strong mythology that worshipers of IFA-the deity of wisdom are immune from any physical, spiritual and emotional attacks on the soil of Nigeria. The true story of a Nigerian 29-year-old lady, ADEOLA FAGBAMILE, on Asylum approved status resident in Australia has revealed the dangers inherent in having a last name traceable to Ifa in Nigeria.

Adeola confessed to our reporter that she was born in Okitipupa, Ondo state to the family of IFAGBAMILE, which literally translates ‘IFA: The Deity of wisdom saved me.’ This former undergraduate of Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos narrated how she narrowly escaped from the hands of ritualists who were out to ‘kidnap’ her under the cover of darkness and planned to move her to the Ifa oracle palace in Ondo state for refusing to obey the calling of divinity by serving as a complete worshiper, in form of priestess to Ifa.

Her words: “My names are Adeola Ifagbamile, to which I shortened ‘Fagbamile’, meaning Ifa, the deity of wisdom saved me.’ I had this uneventful and horrific encounter four years ago in Ikeja, Lagos, my place of residence. My late mother, a Christian catholic devotee who had died during my 15-year-old birthday normally sit me down every night after our dinner to tell me of the danger that followed me as an only child with the Ifa-bearing last name.

When I became 22 years old, my father, a Muslim sat me down and repeatedly tell me that only God’s divine grace could save our family from repercussion of Ifa’s oracle as I was destined to serve as an Ifa priestess. Rejected my father’s position. I gave my life to Jesus Christ out of the fear of constant bad dream I was having almost daily.

Whenever the night time was approaching 7pm daily, I had to pray very hard, take 2-4 tablets so I would sleep. Unfortunately, I could not sleep even then after I must have swallowed 2-3 of sleeping tablets. Each time I closed my eyes I used to frequently see ‘Masquerades’ known as Egungun in Nigeria. For many years, I battled this spiritual attack. I finally gave up on Nigeria and relocated to Australia after my father committed suicide…with a note in his handwriting that he killed himself after he repeatedly heard voices in his dream warning him to kill himself since he could not force me (his daughter) to come over to Ondo state to serve Ifa as a priestess. I kept running from Churches to Churches all over Lagos in search of solution to my ancestral problem as an Orphan. Not until I met a Nigerian prophetess in Surulere, Lagos who warned me that until I depart Nigeria to a far country…by no longer stepping upon the sand of Nigeria is the only time I can be freed from the Ifa ancestral calling. I sought for visa to Australia as a visitor and on arrival, I told the Immigration I am filing for Asylum immediately since I noticed for the first time that I slept all through in the flight without even having any of such Egungun (Masquerade) dream at all. Eventually, I was offered Asylum. I have been sleeping like baby here in Australia with no more sleeping tablet. I am sharing this so that other people passing through similar occurrence should know what to do. This true story reflects the challenges facing anyone having their last name having Ifa ancestral name. Based on what I passed through in Nigeria under the ancestral Ifa worshiping calling, it is impossible for anyone with last name of Ifa to escape the deity’s repercussion inside Nigeria. ”

For the records, Yoruba traditions have been important in framing modern culture in Nigeria, and parts of many other African nations. Yoruba immigrants are also well established in other countries through out the world, including Brazil, Cuba, and the USA. Although many modern Yoruba are now Christian or Moslem, the Yoruba culture and historical attitudes about work, markets, and self‐employment are still critically important in framing our understanding of the economic structure of these communities.

Ifa is one of an interrelated network of religions with African roots, including Vodou, Santeria and Sango Baptism, that appear to be gaining popularity in the United States, including in Maryland, as some African-Americans seek a spiritual experience firmly grounded in their own cultural heritage

One of the traditional practices of the Yoruba people is Ifa worship. It is a practice which originated thousands of years ago. It is a very ancient religion of the mysteries and messages of Olodumare revealed to man by Orunmila.

Ifa is a system of divination and religion of the Yoruba people. It also refers to the verses of the literary corpus that is known as Odu Ifa. Ifa Yoruba religion is practiced not just among the Yorubas in Nigeria but also throughout West Africa, the Americas and the Canary Islands. It also plays a critical role in the culture and traditions of Candomblé, Santería, Palo, Vodou, Umbanda, many other Afro-American faiths and in some traditional African religions. The Grand Priest of Ifa is known as Orunmila. The belief is that Orunmila was sent to the earth by Olodumare (the creator of the universe) to bring the Laws of Olodumare into this world.

According to Yoruba mythology, Ifa oracle was founded by Orunmila in Ile-Ife (the city believed to be the source of the Yorubas – Orirun Ile Yoruba) after Orunmila had initiated himself and his students Aseda and Akoda. Another mythology suggests that Ifa religion was brought to Ile-Ife by Setiu, a Nupe man who settled in Ile-Ife. Another history book titled The History of the Yorubas from the Earliest of Times to the British Protectorate written by two Nigerian historian Obadiah Johnson and Samuel Johnson tells us that Ifa was introduced to Oyo by Arugba, who was the mother of the 8th Alaafin of Oyo, Onibogi. She initiated the Alado of Ato and gave the rites to initiate others to him. The Alado then initiated priests in Oyo Empire.

Ifa as an indigenous knowledge refers to the system of divination and the verses of the literary corpus. Yoruba religion identifies Orunmila as the grand Priest; as that which revealed oracle divinity to the world. Such is his association with the oracle divinity: in some instances, the term “Orunmila” is used interchangeably with Ifa.  

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