MY FATHER -THE TRADITIONALIST

I like the way my Dad brought us up; to appreciate our culture, to learn about it and to be proud of who we are, never to keep secrets, so one person does not think he can use something against you and cause us to do something as unthinkable as Suicide.

So, some time ago, one of the companies I had taken a loan from called to say they will publish my name in the newspaper.

Wait! Is that supposed to be a threat?

Good-a-thing!

You are offering me 600,000 naira worth of free publicity. I am all for it!

Who knows? It may be that one great person will discover what an amazing person I am and even learn about my business (at Wehla M Stores https://ewaade.com/shop/) and decide to place a large order that will change my life forever.

You see, like God; my father taught me to know myself, to believe in myself and to know there is just one version of me and none can be better, he taught me “never to blend in“. You are not born to blend in, but to stand out and everywhere you go too! You are a Super star and must never play second fiddle to anyone.

Have you lost your dad? This post may make you emotional. May God rest his soul

If I want something (and he thinks this thing is absolutely stupid, something you should not even dream of having), he gives it to me and then makes me learn why I should not have desired it.

He shows you (by giving you) why your choice is a wrong one. If you are a very stubborn child or lagging in some way, he ensures you know your weakness but never ‘puts you in a box’and ensures you find strenght in your weakness.

If someone calls you an Olodo, he will tell you all the ‘great olodos’ who made it in life.
He teaches in wisdom; humility, how to maintain and cherish relationships, generosity, etc and ensure you learn about all of these.

We grew up;

  • drinking agbo (herbal concoctions); he still made me one last week for a bad headache I got from sleeping too late at night,
  • using the ose dudu(black soap) to bathe and applying on injuries of any kind, etc

because he believes that traditions that are not sinful are not meant to be discarded.

I went to a Prestigious Secondary school. After a while of mixing with all the rich children who traveled out of the country at will, all I wanted to be was an oyinbo, I wanted to blend in, to be like these Children from these wealthy backgrounds.

In my quest to blend in, one day, they asked why my Parents would name me Aina like “don’t you have any normal Yoruba name?”, I went home and asked my dad, it brought tears to his eyes, he mentioned all the great places that were named after Aina, I wasn’t satisfied, then he shouted; “go and change your name then!” The name Aina falls within the category of names the Yoruba call “orúkọ àmútọ̀runwá  “, literally, the name a Child has brought from heaven. So, certain circumstances must surround the birth of a Child before he can be given any of those names. A child is named Aina (male or female in the days of old, but in modern times, the male is called; Ojo) if the child is born with the umbilical cord wrapped around the neck. The Yorubas will say; “o gbe olubi k’orun w’aye“; that is the child has come with the umbilical cord draped around the neck; they see it as a symbol of victory for the child and the mother who passed through such difficult delivery, hence they say this proudly and have special (Oriki) panegyrics for Aina. While the normal Yoruba names are the names the Parents choose to call the Child. I have ‘none’. My two Yoruba names are Aina and the other one; Abosede; a Child born on a Sunday. So, my two names are “orúkọ àmútọ̀runwá“. Some Yorubas consider this style of naming a Child to be quite old-fashioned and frown at it while others are uncomfortable with people knowing the conditions surrounding the birth of their child.

Today, I permit only those dearest to me to call me Aina, I love the name

ORIKI AINA (Panegyrics)
Aina in Yoruba is a female child that has her umbilical cord tied around her neck at birth. Ojo is the opposite of Aina. Aina orosun roolo;O ni guda ibi; A ji nawo ara…

 ORIKI AINA (Panegyrics)
............................
DEFINITION:
Aina in Yoruba is a female child that has her umbilical cord tied around her neck at birth.Ojo is the opposite of Aina.
MEANING OF AINA:
Not to be beaten(Eni tia ko gbodo na).
ORIKI:
Aina orosun roolo;
O ni guda ibi;
A ji nawo ara;
Aina keke legun;
Eni a be be be ko to seso;
Tibii ko je ko r'oko ni;
O lepo ni kolo;
O lagbagba nibawo;
O l'adie l'aba;
A ji b'oba re; (the one who is born to dine with the King; royalty)
Egungun gbangba n'isasun Obe;
A ji j'eran to tobi.
Aaaaaaina oooooo!
(Credit: https://www.facebook.com/bbabatundeariyo/posts/oriki-ainadefinitionaina-in-yoruba-is-a-female-child-that-has-her-umbilical-cord/2413220538903111/ )

I wasn’t up for the local stuffs, I always spoke the English language and practised it, I wanted to eat Kelloggs cornflakes and travel the world too like the Children of the rich at my School.

It continued all through Secondary school up to University and even after I graduated. I had to spend some time at home before the compulsory Youth Service.

One day, my father was fed up and exclaimed; “How can someone give birth to Children who speak English language all day long? and mandated all of us to speak only the Yoruba language at home. Even though he is well educated and speaks English fluently, he is of the opinion that one must never throw his culture away.

I had had it! What’s the crime in speaking English? English rules the world, mahn! but my dad was not having any of it. Anytime I broke the rule, he flew into a rage (this was quite unlike my dad).

Then I met my friend, Adeoluwa (he was quite the oyinbo), his mum and every member of his family too, they were quite sophisticated and had attended prestigious schools too but Adeoluwa typed and texted in Yoruba. Cool. So, I began picking interest in the Yoruba language too.

So, Dad made it compulsory to greet only in Yoruba and do it the traditional way. After a while, I developed interest. Now, I read and write Yoruba (even with accent marks) perfectly, even though I don’t speak really well (I pray I upgrade and very soon too), each time I have a question, I have my Yoruba dictionary to always fall back on; my dad.

Proceeding from this, he made us develop interest in wearing the local fabrics too; the ankara, the adire, the aso oke, the iro and buba, lace and having them made in Nigeria. Today, it’s difficult to catch me in Church without my Traditional head wraps because I finally ingrained the Old man’s Culture.

I sprinkle my write-ups with Yoruba too, you must have noticed. 😁

So, please read my latest write-up (first published in 2013) on one of the goddesses of ancient Yoruba Spirituality, Ọ̀ṣun , she is still revered and worshipped today and the Osun-Osogbo Sacred grove is one of the only two UNESCO approved World Heritage sites in Nigeria.
(Do you know what it means to have a World Heritage site in your country?)

I wrote this in 2013 and republished it only today;
*Osun- the goddess of fertility (The belief in the one true God- an exegesis)

https://ewaade.com/2019/11/21/o%e1%b9%a3un-the-goddess-of-fertility/

Thank you for reading to the end. My dad is 70 years old on the 1st of January, 2020 and I am so excited, may we live long enough to witness our children make a broadcast message for us like Ewaade😋🤣

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