I am Yoruba, an Awori. I have been for 32 years. I lived in my homeland for 31 years. I was imbibed into Islamic practice, completing the Quran and memorizing maybe a third of it alongside some many hadiths before I had my walima in 1999 when I was 9.
Growing up, I had more of a muslim identity, one that remained with me until my third year in the university. I would say MalcolmX was my entry into an individual’s quest for personal truths and convictions.
For a couple of years now, my worldviews have changed. I am no longer interested in the Muslim paradise, nor scared of its hell. I am indifferent to sitting beside Jesus. It is okay if you fancy those, I respect it, a reason why I get red when you fail to respect mine.
This change has really got me to value and take responsibilities for my actions. As poor and small as I am, heaven knows I love people even to the point of discomfort. I do not love them to gain any reward from a deity. It is just the normal thing to do since I feel good knowing that others love me.
Also, my disinterest in heaven has led to a crazy appreciation of life and the goodness that comes with it. It has led to an increase in the love and appreciation I have for nature, places, sex, food, friends, and family.
I also hate my enemies, Nigerian politicians especially. I do for the same reason you hate Satan. I just find it unnatural to love those that steal from me. I hate those that hate me. It doesnt matter whether you’re family. I hold nothing as sacred except water. I have a reputation for throwing petrol and fire on the nonsense called Family ties when I see vivid evidence of treachery.
My repudiation of these foreign religions is for the most part hinged on something inside of me that tells me it conflicts with my identity as a Yoruba. Although weak, history told me about Sango, Ogun, and Obatala. I read a little about Oya, the beautiful goddess of rain. There is nothing in the records of Muhammed (peace be upon him) and Jesus that these people did not meet and surpass.
As my worldview keeps evolving, one of the things I look forward to is to make a beautiful cloth for the masquerade of my father’s ancestors in Ibereko, and partake actively in the festival. Also, I hope to get someone to teach me how to write Yoruba, and the histories of my people.
The sophisticated counting system of the Yoruba, the adage and practices, medicine, not to mention the Ifa corpus are mirrors into the loss we have suffered since the word “idolatry” was imported into our minds.
…my intention was to write about the title up there but my little brain got distracted. Ill be back.
Written by Modiu Olaguro