Meet Babalawo in Nigeria (Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State), Yisa Lamidi Olakunle.

Meet Babalawo in Nigeria (Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State), Yisa Lamidi Olakunle.

My name is Yisa Lamidi Olakunle, the son of the Olori Awo, Odo Ado. Ado-Ekiti is categorized into three. Oke Ewi, Oke Ila and Odo Ado. My dad is the one you just watched his video, I am his son, I am the one he gave the spiritual power. As I said earlier that Ado-Ekiti is categorized into three. There are three Chief Priests in Ado-Ekiti. Oke Ila Chief Priest, Oke Ewi's Chief Priest and Odo Ado Chief Priest. But Odo Ado is the lead. Ado-Ekiti indigenes originated from Odo Ado. Whenever the king wants to pray for Ado-Ekiti, he must call upon my dad. This is where we attend to our clients. I And my dad are always here even though we don't live here. Baba is already aged. I wish Baba long life because I have learned much from him. In the past, I was an interpreter in the church. But whenever I sleep, I used to dream, seeing myself cast Ifa in my dream. Even my pastor told me he saw me in his vision with bead on my neck. He questioned me concerning who we are in our lineage. I later told him I am the son of the Chief Priest of Odo Ado. Pastors and others were telling me that my path is the traditional religion. Because I didn't answer the call of being a priest, I began facing challenges.

So I later decided to join Baba in the spiritual line. He began to teach me the traditions. Even though it is an inheritance which is most times easy to understand. He started teaching me gradually. The rate at which I quickly got the knowledge got my dad surprised. I began to assist my dad to cast Ifa for clients. Despite the fact that I'm educated, I could not resist the call of this Ifa Religion. I produce books and I am a lecturer. Some of my books are in some bookshops in this Ado-Ekiti. Because they say ways don't close for the dawn, this is the reason I took this calling seriously. Since I have been doing this job, I never regretted it. My dad only thought me the charms to make life better for people, not the other way round. I don't do money rituals. Mine is to plead with Ifa or Osanyin for help for people. I thank God that prayers are being answered.

What is the spiritual help you and your father can offer people?

No one exists on this earth without an Odu Ifa. Whoever knows his or her Odu can come for further investigation, for prosperity's sake. For those who do not know, we can investigate for such a person, in order to know the dos and don't in his or her Odu. My advice to my people is that you should not call our traditional spiritual materials evil. The black color doesn't mean evil, rather it's being used to preserve the content of the charm. Ifa guides the usage of our charms, this is why we consult Ifa first. If you have any challenges whatsoever, don't just sit, relax and give up. He or she should make some inquiries on what to do to get a solution. It is difficult to leave what one is worshipping and begin to live a luxurious life. Even though one is wealthy, such a person must not forget his or her origin.

My name is Yisa Lamidi Olakunle. The son of the Chief Priest, Odo Ado (Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria).

Can you tell us why your name is a Muslim name?

What happened is that, sometimes, I may sleep, then dream of seeing myself in the Mosque, seeing myself in the Church, seeing myself in this place (shrine). As you can see, it's tripartite. But when I was growing up, I grew up in Islam. But in the year 1991 when I finished my secondary school education, things changed negatively for me which lead me to the Church. Even at that, my condition didn't change for good which also affected the the release of my secondary school examination result for two years and my higher institution's result. I didn't know it was because I refused to answer the call of being a Babalawo. Even when I was going to the Church, I was prophesized to, that I would be an Ifa priest. I used to hate this traditional religion to extent that I didn't set my eyes on my dad for three years. But when I started getting these prophesies, I had to have a rethink. Because I didn't answer the call of becoming a Babalawo, I lost one of my daughters. But when I later accepted to be initiated into it, things started getting better for me.

In fact, when I started practicing this Ifa Religion, I've been very effective with my prophesies. For instance one woman came to my father for consultation, I was the one who prophesized to her and it was accurate. The woman was happy to know that I'm taking after my father. Even when I was celebrating my Ifa last time, she was the one who sent me money for the celebration. Since that time, I started experiencing success. Even the woman brought her friend to us who was looking for the fruit of the womb, her prayer was later answered. We used to pray for all our clients during our Ifa celebration days.

Are you a Babalawo or Herbalist?

I am a Babalawo and Herbalist. They are in our lineage - Ifa and charm making. Good Charms. Ifa is in my lineage. What I can say to that question you asked is that I understand Ifa and Charms. Baba taught me everything. Baba usually gives me support on everything I do. Even when Baba traveled abroad, I was the one in charge. This job took him abroad, as you can see he's a good priest, if not, no one would have supported him that much. Our clients do appreciate God through us. Baba taught me everything I do.

Could you tell us about Odu Ifa?

I know all the Odu Ifa and I can praise them. There are 16 main Odu. Such as Ogbe, Oyeku, Ogbe Meji, Oyeku Meji, Ika Meji, Osa Meji, That is Iyami's Odu, Irete Meji, Ose Meji, Owonrin Meji, Ogunda Meji, Irosun Meji, and so on and so forth. And we have minor Odu that are more than 200. Such as Irosun Ika, Ika Irosun. This is just like permutation and combination. There is a way the Odu are joined together. Ogbe can be joined with Ika which would give Ika Gbe.

Can you educate us with any of the Odu Ifa?

Among the main Odu, I am going to choose 2 for the education and also choose 2 from the minor Odu. Take, for instance, Ogbe Meji.

(PRAISING ODU IFA OGBE MEJI - click here to listen).

What that Odu Ifa teaching us is that... Whoever is endowed with good destiny should not be proud, he or she must be humble. He or she must not be talkative to avoid failure. This ifa says the person whom this Odu appears to must not be a proud person because such a person is a successful person, but the person would suffer before his or her fortune comes. This is why salt is being used as an offering to Eji Ogbe. Then Odi...

(PRAISING ODU IFA ODI MEJI - click here to listen).

I just told you about the 2 main Odu Ifa. We also have Oyeku Meji. But before I talk about Oyeku Meji, I'd talk about Odi meji, so when Odi appears... It is an Odu of fame. If, for instance, it's Ogunda Odi, such a person must be careful with women for his success to get to him. For Odi, it is talking about success from afar. Ogunda Odi is talking about someone who ought to have been initiated into Ifa for success to come but refuses until he or she does so and later receives the expected success. It also talks about being watchful of friends in order to avoid betrayals. We also have Oyeku Meji.

(PRAISING ODU IFA OYEKU MEJI - click here to listen).

Oyeku Meji says one should not be going out at midnight. If someone is sick and Oyeku Meji appears to the person, and when the offering is made then the person later realized that someone close to him or her falls sick, it says the person must not visit the sick person because the person is the one behind what he or she going through. This Ifa also says, the person should not be going to his concubine's house instead she should come to his place. If the person is yet to get married, he should not have too many girlfriends, if not he might be killed as a result of numerous misunderstandings.

What are the benefits of Odu Ifa to humanity?

There are 256 Odu Ifa. The main Odu is 16 in number while the minor Odu is 240 in number. What baffles me is that some people don't know their Odu. It is important to know one's Odu. But whoever knows his or her Odu, he or she should know the dos and don'ts of his or her odu and the benefits of the Odu. And whoever does not know his or her Odu can get in touch with me, I would explain. All humans have Odu. We are all children of Oduduwa. Our Odu is our guide on how to live a successful life. Odu has benefits.. Whoever is facing some challenges should know his or her Odu. Such a person can get in touch with me for further guidance. Whoever does not know his or her Odu is like someone who is in the jungle. But when such a person knows his or her Odu, such a person would know how to go about his or her life with offerings.

If Osa Meji is one Odu for example... Such a person must always take care of witches and wizards. That does not mean worshipping of Orishas because our tradition is the origin. We've forgotten our traditions is the reason why western tradition dominates us. Even the westerners are now initiated into Ifa and almost taking over. Whereas they initially condemned our traditions and religion - they took away our artifacts. They do condemn our black medicines. The black color in our medicines is for preservation. Not all leafs we recite an incantation to, for them to be effective. Some people don't like incantations. What I'm trying to say is that... Whenever we burn our medicines then turn black, it is for the preservative measure. Even the west have their own means of preserving their medicines. I don't want us (blacks and Nigerians abroad) to forget our religion. Though all of us can't follow the religion, but when something is not clear to you, you can consult Ifa in order to get a solution. We can pray here and it would get to such a person even abroad - it works with the breeze. It is exactly like how pastors pray. The same concept goes to Ifa Religion.

I don't want people to be condemning our medicines because they are black in color - the blackish color is for the preservative measure. This is the main reason why many people are avoiding this religion. I do consult Ifa before I prescribe offering or medicines for people. I don't even use black soap as I am, I use white soaps, because some people dislike anything black, it shouldn't be. So all herbs are endowed with powers even without any incantations, some of the herbs work. Just like the Odu I praised earlier, did you hear anything bad in them? No, they are for guidance on how to live and solve problems. So there are countless benefits of knowing one Odu. Such as someone looking for a fruit of the womb, travelers who wish to ensure safety in his or her journey, someone who wishes to travel abroad, because witches might be blocking such a person's way to get a visa. You should not be saying you didn't offend anyone or nobody offends you, don't think that way. They can intentionally block your success. Why I'm saying this is that someone who wants to travel abroad should ensure he or she consults Ifa to guide against any blockage. But when your Odu is known, your problems won't be complicated.

Tell us about "Etutu."

As the name implied, "Etutu." It has what is called wellness. We say offer for wellness. Etutu means sacrifice whereby the materials must be looked for. Then prayers must be pronounced on the sacrifice (Ebo). Then we say sacrifice is accepted. This is what Etutu means. Etutu has materials, but I can't be talking about them on air. Etutu is very important. When the warning of Etutu is pronounced, it is important to follow the instruction. Some could give 7 days ultimatum. Even, for instance, the Ogun Orisha is by 7 praying towards to provide food. Ogun has its own sacrfice materials such as dog. Some use chicken. If such a person's problem is very critical, a hot cutlass is used to cut the dog. When its blood touches the ground, we say the problem is over - this is another means of Etutu. Such a person may be told to touch the blood of the dog with his or her longest finger and put it on such a person's head. There is Etutu made of concoction. This type of Etutu is dropped on a T junction. When this is done, the person would see how his or her problem is solved in the dream. The reward for Etutu is wellness. When Etutu is done, the door of closed success opens. This is what we call Etutu and the work of Etutu are many. And I think I have explained some of the works of Etutu.

Why do Babalawos plead with witches and wizards unlike how other religions fight with prayers?

Babalawo don't really beg them per se... They were created by God. When we say "Plead of Elders" does not mean we beg them per se... It is like a warning that they should release the victim. They are also one of the messengers of God. What happens is that consultations are made to know what they want, then Etutu is prepared for them. It is possible that the victim offends them... They don't just strike or get upset. For instance, you heard what my dad said that witches were angry because he refused to answer the call of being a Babalawo to deliver people. But when he answered the call, his ways opened. They don't just get upset. But when they get upset and Etutu is offered for them, then still they refuse to forgive and forget, there's a way elders go about it. That's why you see them confessing and running mad on the street. They were created by God also. They do both bad and good.

I'm not condemning or supporting them because they were created by God as we were created. Whatever one cannot create should not be condemned. What I know is that, witches are meant to be pampered. Even apart from talking about the anger of witches, take, for instance, say two people are fighting, sometimes the guilty one demands an apology from the innocent one. You know it is difficult? The guilty one should apologize. Possibly, he or she doesn't know the natural power he or she has, then such a person begins to have problems. Such a person's mother might be the one fighting for him or her. Such a person's head might also be the one fighting for him or her, then people would say witches. Some people are the cause of their own problems but ignorantly allege witches and wizards.

What advice can you give to the viewers?

My advice to the viewers is that they should not be rejecting our traditional medicines because of the color (black) thinking they are fetish. The colour you see is for preservation. We do Ifa consultations before medicines are prescribed. If you are facing any challenge and you have tried enough to solve such a problem, do not relent. Such a person should seek for help by getting in touch with me.

Where do you attend to your clients?

My dad and myself make use of this place to attend to our clients, even though he is aged, he still attends to them. Even when he travelled abroad, I was the only one attending to people. When my father came back, he was told how I performed excellently. People initially told my father that he should train one of this children on this spirituality, he replied such a child would show interest willingly later. I used to dislike this religion in the past until I realized my father did no evil. What he taught me is what I'm doing. I pray for long life for him. He has shown me the way which will never close during my time. Whoever is interested in this path can get in touch as I pray that your way will never close. May your prayers answered.



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