Meet Babalawo in Nigeria (Ilobu, Osun State), Ifayemi Abifarin Alabi.

Meet Babalawo in Nigeria (Ilobu, Osun State), Ifayemi Abifarin Alabi.

Can we meet you?

I am your son. I am a Babalawo by the grace of Olodumare. I am from Ilobu, from the family of Abifarin Alabi. My name is Ifayemi Abifarin Alabi, Arifanlajogun from Ilobu. My great grandfather was a Babalawo, likewise my own father as I inherited from my lineage at Ilobu in the house of Totoola. My name is Ifayemi Arifanlajogun Abifarin Alabi, the Awise Awo of Ilobu. May our prayers be answered. We won't experience hardship as we would always have rest of mind. Ilobu, your home, and Nigeria at large won't be destroyed. There won't be any invasion of war in Nigeria and every one of us.

What is Awise?

Awise is a Babalawo's Chieftaincy title. Awise is an important title. The meaning is that God is the one who has all the authorities. God gives all Babalawos the authority. Awise is a special position among the Babalawos of a town.

What is ifa?

It's Orunmila. Orunmila is a prophet of God. Nobody gave birth to Orunmila. Orunmila is a prophet of God sent to come and say the truth to people and help the people of this earth. He came to make this earth a better place. Orunmila wasn't given birth to, rather he came down from heaven to the earth in Ile Ife, God is the one that sent him to come and teach us good things.

What is the difference between Orunmila and Ifa?

Orunmila is Ifa, he has no other names other than Ifa.

How did Orunmila came to the earth?

Orunmila came from heaven to Ile Ife, God sent him to do good things on earth, Orunmila descended down from heaven.

Could you please tell us why Orunmila came to the face of the earth?

Orunmila came to the world to make this earth a better place for humans. Anyone that does not have a child, when such a person consult Orunmila, he/she is going to give birth to a child. Anyone that does not have a house or money, when such a person gets to Orunmila, he/she is going to be rich and have a house respectively. Orunmila came to save the people of this world. Anyone that is sick, Orunmila would heal him or her. Orunmila came to do good things on earth not evil.

How did you start your ifa journey?

I inherited ifa from my family lineage. My great grandfathers were Ifa Priests. I am their great grandchild who inherited Ifa from them. I didn't hear any bad story of how they practiced Ifa during their time. They practiced Ifa excellently of which they didn't compromise it with anything. I, Ifayemi inherited ifa.

Can one inherit ifa or learn it?

One needs to learn ifa. I also went out to learn more knowledge about ifa somewhere else, my father did the same thing. If you inherit ifa, you still have to go elsewhere to acquire more knowledge about ifa.

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen to the chants).

Our great grandfather also inherits ifa, they also learned more knowledge about ifa elsewhere. We, the great grandchildren went elsewhere to learn more, though we inherited it but we still went further to learn more knowledge about ifa.

Please tell us how you studied Ifa.

Learning ifa is a good thing if God gives you the understanding of ifa. Our fathers say that "it is because of one personal benefit that made one to learn Ifa." Ifa is good thing but many people don't understand, many people take us for granted. Ifa is what we, Yorubas inherited Even before the coming of Jesus. They gave birth to Jesus and prophet Mohammed but Orunmila wasn't given birth to, but Orunmila descended from heaven, Orunmila came from heaven to ILE IFE. In the path of Irunmole, Isese, there is no family that does not have Isese, a large numbers of us converted to Christianity and Islam as we were all born into Isese. Orunmila is the owner of Africa, Jesus is the owner of Jerusalem, while Prophet Mohammed is the owner of Mecca, Orunmila is the owner of Africa. Yorubaland Ifa is a good thing to learn because ifa will not let you fail in life; Ifa protects humans against tribulations; but when one has Ifa, such a person won't fall, some people die because of taboo.

(CHANTING IFA - click here to listen to the chants).

Some people die because of taboo, such as the food they eat, their behavior as they disregard, this is why they are getting into trouble. If one walks in the path of Ifa and the Irunmoles, such a person won't get into any spiritual trouble, ifa will tell you how to do things, Orunmila is a guidance. If you follow isese, you will be successful, there won't be untimely death as it's rampant these days. In the olden days, our ancestors lived long they didn't see the death of someone who is around 60/70 years as a good death during their time.

Nowadays, some people celebrate the death of 40 years of people as you can see that this didn't happen during the time of our ancestors. It is because a lot of people disregard their ancestral path, this is why they are in trouble. God would keep guiding us, we will not fall into trouble. You see, learning ifa, ifa is good, taboos are in ifa, Babalawos don't joke with taboos in Ifa, whoever keep to their taboos won't die young. Such a person would live long.

Please tell us more about how you studied Ifa.

I learned ifa from my grandfather, Ifatoki Adeleke Abifarin Alabi, I learned ifa from my father, my biological father's name is Awosanmi Arifanlajogun, I learned ifa from him, after that, I moved forward to learn more about ifa elsewhere.

Could you please tell us about Etutu and Ebo?

You see, Babalawos don't have charms, are you with me? Babalawo is different from Herbalist, likewise Alfas, are you with me? Babalawo has nothing other than Etutu which is expected to be successful. Etutu make people's life to be successful. When a Babalawo makes sacrifice (Etutu) for a town, such a town would be great. Let's take for instance, the Osun Osogbo Festival that was celebrated recently, Etutu was carried out when such a sacrifice is done in town, such a town would be great. Babalawos only have Etutu not charms. The sacrifice (Etutu) that we offer usually got accepted by God. We have Etutu.

Why do some Babalawos charge too high for Ebo and Sacrifice?

You see, as you earlier said, I said earlier that life has turned upside down. Our ancestors in the olden days, when they offer sacrifice with all the necessary materials, such a sacrifice usually got accepted by God. No matter how dangerous a war may be even dangerous more than that of Boko Haram, when a sacrifice is offered such a war would be conquered. But nowadays, people don't want the truth any longer.

Some Babalawos can offer sacrifice with some offering materials, such a person prayer would be answered, then the person would go to Church to thank Jesus, this is one of the reasons why Babalawos inflate the cost of sacrifice, because they don't appreciate Ifa. Babalawos depend on Etutu. So they go to Church or Mosque to thank their prophets there.

Was it Anobi that did it or Ifa/Irunmole?

Such a person was supposed to come and appreciate the Irunmole. So some Babalawos do feel that when they make the sacrifice simple, they would end up going to their Church. Do you understand? Orunmila don't make things difficult for people.

(HAILING ORUNMILA - click here to listen).

Orunmila help the helpless people, but unfortunately, people don't want the truth any more, what exists now are lies, Babalawos don't lie as Etutu is a good thing.

Can Isese make one to enter hellfire?

Thank you, my Baba, some people are saying there is hellfire in heaven, help me ask them if they have gone to the heaven before and saw hellfire there. Are you hearing me? Everybody would reap whatever he/she has done on this earth. Who has seen God before? Who has died and saw God in heaven? To say someone would enter hellfire is a big lie. Whatever we have done one earth would be rewarded on earth, nothing is done on earth without accounting them. Those people that are saying that a religion would get them to paradise, nobody has ever gone to heaven before to know what happens there, they are saying the idolaters would enter hellfire, who don't offer sacrifice among them? We all offer sacrifice. When you eat, you have offered sacrifice because one's stomach is the most demanding Orisha, we are all Orisha worshippers except when you don't eat, then you are free from Orisha worshipping. The Orisha in your stomach which you feed three times daily, is that not an Orisha?

Only a fool would say some people are idol worshippers. No Orisha is more important than that of our stomach. If you don't eat breakfast, when it's time for dinner, it would be demanding for food, you must quickly eat the three square meals - that's an Orisha. We are all Idolaters, nobody is exempted.

They say "Ori Laba Bo Abafi Orisha Sile" could you please explain this?

You see, what is the best is to be truthful. Truly, one's head usually favors, Orishas favors, it all depend on how best one appease the Orisha. But people don't say the truth any more. Truly, head usually favor people, Orishas equally favor, because people don't say the truth anymore, that is why the adage came to life. Orisha exists, we should just be truthful.

Please preach to us from the Holy Odu Ifa.

What is killing people these days is the forbidden things that they do such as the food they eat. Also the type of job people do. They think that they are under a spell which is not, they didn't do consultation before they embark on whatever they do. Some are doing the work that doesn't align with their destiny. Ifa is good as Orunmila is a guidance, Orunmila don't lead people astray, that is when one finds a truthful Babalawo, Orunmila don't lead people astray. As I am talking to you, when I was learning Ifa as a child, I told my father that I didn't want to learn again, I told him I would like to become a Barber. Later on, I went to one of my late elders who was vast in Ifa, I consulted Ifa from him, he told me that I would become an Ifa Priest, I didn't believe him, I told myself that my father had hinted him secretly. I went to another Babalawo, he revealed the same thing, I insisted that they were all lying to me. It was when I went to Lagos and gone to different Babalawos to cast Ifa, I met a Babalawo who didn't know my father and he told me that I would practice Ifa to be successful, it was that time I believed the prophesy. Did you notice how I wasn't taking the revelation serious? Later on, I realized that Ifa is real.

You see, all of us can't be Babalawo. Olodumare has destined our lives. You see, Ifa is what we should all hold on to, with taking what is forbidden serious just as how Orunmila did, when you don't eat what is forbidden, you will live long, but whoever eat what is forbidden would be in trouble. We shall never eat what is forbidden, our present elders who are still alive, may God spare their lives and our own lives as well as their grandchildren. You see, there are Babalawos. Truthful people still exist but liars are more than the truthful ones, there are truthful ones among the priests by the way.

Ifa is truthful. Had it been Ifa tells lies, as I am, I am very inquisitive, for instance, in the mosque when money is contributed, nobody ask about the whereabout of the money contributed. But reverse is the case in the home of Ifa, money contributed in Ifa temples are used to do something in the temple and support the priests. There is no Religion like the Traditional Religion. We are all traditionalists, as some are practicing it secretly. May Ifa help us, Nigeria won't be destroyed, our various towns would be destroyed, we won't be in trouble by the power of Ifa. As you said that Ifa should be used as the reference, first of all, we, the people of this earth came here to trade, this earth is the market, we should be kind and nice, we came to trade on earth, this earth is not where one should take too serious as if one won't die, it's a lie. Olodumare won't ask you for your religion other than your behavior to others. May our behavior never get worst.

Please preach to us from the holy odu Ifa.

Firstly, as I was saying...

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen).

Babalawos don't lie to themselves. Any Babalawo that lies would be punished by Ajagunmale in heaven. Ajagunmale is also a messenger of God, he is the one that judges the deed of all Babalawos on earth. His name is Ajagunmale in heaven, he is a messenger of Olodumare in heaven, that is why Babalawos shouldn't betray themselves. Any Babalawo that betrays his fellow Babalawo would be judged by Ajagunmale in heaven. We should all be kind on this earth. All of us that are Yorubas won't experience problems and calamities. Our ancestors depended on Etutu more than making charms during their time. Only Babalawos know how to do it and no other spiritualists. Babalawo won't make charms, Babalawos do sacrifice, sacrifice cast our bad energies out of the city and then  brings positive energy into the city, it will not let any war take over the town. Babalawos don't do charms other than Etutu/Ebo.

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen).

Babalawos offer sacrifice. Only Sacrifice can solve the security challenges that we have in Nigeria. Nothing is more than the offering of sacrifice. Only Babalawos understand the secret of Etutu and no other spiritual leaders. Why can't they consult a Babalawo to cast Ifa on the challenges of this country to be solved. Is it good the way people are suffering? We Yorubas are implicating ourselves. Because there is no truth again in Nigeria, the few ones that one feels is truthful would end up being a liar. The majority of our Babalawos nowadays are liars and scammers. Alfas are scammers, even Pastors. So, who are the truthful ones to run to? Meanwhile, truth still exist on earth. But where can one find the truth? May Olodumare shower rain of blessing into Nigeria and save us from wars. By the power of Olodumare and the Orishas which are from Ile Ife, the ones from Ile Ife are the ones we can plead with. We are all from Ile Ife, both the white and black race. We won't be conquered by any war, we would all be successful.

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen).

Our treasures in Yorubaland won't ever fade away. As you are seeing this earth, it's moving forward not backing and it's expanding, but as Yorubas, we should all know that there's nothing important than sacrifice when you have a good Babalawo, ensure you always offer sacrifice for you to have a long life. May we all have a long life and be saved from wars (amen).

Your prayer and word of advice.

Our prayers would be answered. To all Nigerians, this country won't be destroyed and won't be conquered with wars. There are good Babalawos in Nigeria, as many as possible. Orunmila practiced his priesthood to so many places, there are good Babalawos everywhere in Yorubaland. By the Grace of Olodumare, we won't misbehave. Evil things won't befall us.

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen).

(Prayer Section: Repeating the prayer points). Orishas exist and whoever says Orishas/Ifa don't exist is deceiving himself or herself. We will not experience the anger of the orishas. But those of you who have abstained from their own ancestral religion, God will change their mind. We won't experience hardship as our ways would be opened. So shall it be with honor to Esu.

Does it mean that it is recommended to learn Ifa at a tender age?

At a tender age, one can quickly understand the knowledge of ifa. It is equally possible to understand Ifa as an adult, am I communicating? You can still learn when you are an adult, am I communicating? We have some of our Babas who studied Ifa at the age of 60 years and then became successful in it, am I communicating? As long as the person is intelligent, he/she would understand Ifa easily. One can learn Ifa anytime but it's good to learn Ifa at a tender age. When one learns Ifa at a tender age, such a person would perfectly understand it much better. You can learn ifa at any age.

Why there isn't a unified ifa book yet?

There are some of our great grandfathers, some are dead while some of them are still alive. May God give them long life and those that have died, may their soul rest in peace. You see when it comes to learning ifa, during the time of our ancestors, Ifa wasn't written down, it used to be memorized. But nowadays, reverse is the case, apart from memorizing Ifa, Ifa apprentices record Ifa with their phones nowadays as you can see, the children of today’s Babalawos, many of them have sold out their father's Ifa. We taught the white Ifa and initiate them into it, now they are teaching us Ifa which is not supposed to be so, that is not good. They have sold all our ancestral heritage to the white, that shouldn't be. On the long run, the white people would end up teaching Yorubas Ifa, that is not good. Because this is our ancestral inheritance. But because of money, they have sold out Ifa a lot. During the time of our ancestors, Ifa used to be memorized and wasn't written down, such as as how I studied Ifa from my father Ifatoki Adeleke, my father didn't allow us to write Ifa down, he insisted that I should memorize the Ifa Stanzas. He assured me that I'd understand it, then I did indeed. They are what I chant up till today. We didn't write them down. Memorization of Ifa still exists today as you know that the world has civilized nowadays.

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen).

The right things do not exist anymore, we are merely trying to cope with the situation, everything has turned into civilization.

What makes Babalawos stand out from other spiritualists?

Orunmila is a savior, Orunmila is a prophet of God, God sent Orunmila to make this earth a better place.

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen).

Ajagunan Ibadan used to save people. Ajagunan Ibadan is Orunmila. Orunmila used to save whoever went to him for help. Likewise, Orunmila passed on the same power to Babalawos, this is why Babalawos can save people as well. Babalawos don't kill or do evil things. Babalawos make things to be better.

(CHANTING IFA STANZA - click here to listen).

As Orunmila is the Ajagunan, all the true Babalawos are Ajagunan. Babalawos are the messengers of Orunmila. Orunmila do not kill people or do evil to people. Babalawos do not do money rituals. Whoever calls himself a Babalawo and do evil things, such a person is not a Babalawo. There are true Babalawos and there are fake Babalawos. Orunmila is an Ajagunan.

Could you please tell us how Babalawos solve people's problems as other religion focus on fasting and prayer?

You see other religions - Islam and Christianity. Babalawo is a savior than Christians and Muslims. Babalawo don't lie. When you meet a Babalawo, he will reveal whatever Ifa says to you. He doesn't deceive people or lie to people. Babalawo is a good messenger of God on the earth. Even Muslims and Christians go to Babalawos for help. They practice the religion for them as a means of livelihood. Nobody says the truth on earth anymore. Do not compare Islam and Christianity to the Traditional Religion. Babalawos are truthful people and they are saviors. Both Muslims and Christians go to Babalawos for help. We are all traditionalists, they are just covering up with their Religion. Okay, let them stop doing some spiritual things to themselves, we are all Traditionalists, it's not good for one Religion to be rubbishing other Religions. Christianity, Islam is popularly called a hard Religion. Did you hear the name? Hard religion.

It's not good for a Religion to be rubbishing other Religions. You can't see traditional religion rubbishing other Religions. Islam and Christianity, they're the ones rubbishing other Religions. They talk bad about those who practice Egungun. They are from a particular Orisha lineage we are all from Isese source. Those who are dogmatic are the extremists we have them in my street here that were born into Isese. They called themselves Alfas/Muslims, they fight Traditionalists, but we, traditionalists don't backbite. We don't fight, we are not arrogant. It's a good Religion and a peaceful one, and a Religion loved by Olodumare from heaven.



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