Witchcraft is not evil-Rachael Mueller

TEMPLE OF WITCHCRAFT’s banner displayed at the event

BoN interviewing  a self -professed Witch  Rachael Mueller

 

The  environment was colourful.  It was during the PAGAN PICNIC at  St.Louis, Missouri, America. Taiwo Abiodun  (BoN) was at the event where he interviewed some of these Witches.

Mueller says Pentagram is for protection

     .

BoN with the some of the Witches

They displayed different types of books of their profession. They  are books on  Witchcraft,Wizard, Palm Readers, Tarrot, Palm Readers, Magic Books like The Blessing Cord, THROUGH  THE FIRES,WITCH’S COIN,Wirhc Heart, Foundations  of The Temple,Living Years  of Witchcraft, The Three Rays of Witchcraft, The Plant Spirit Familiar , The Casting of Spells , The Green Lovers.Infact the event

 

INTERVIEW WITH RACHAEL MUELLER 

Rachael  Mueller is a Witch,Occultist, Shaman and a teacher at the Temple of Witchcraft, St.Louis, Missouri , America.She spoke with taiwoabiodun.com

CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF 

My name is Rachael Mueller . I am a Witch. Witchcraft is not a bad thing , it depends on the person who wants to practise it. Its really about tapping into. A lot of people in the temple are not not doing it because they want to harm people. They trying to work through emotional and blocks ..its really  a system trying to help people to grow, what a healthy and appropriate ways to respond to things.

BUT PEOPLE THINK ITS  NEGATIVE

No. It can be used for good or bad thing. Its like electricity , its neither good nor bad, positive or negative .You know electricity can be used for a good thing   and for a bad  thing . So I think people that have experience with ….for a bad thing will think witches are bad, that is not the case , they chose to use it in a certain way. Trees and stones have a spirit about them. Just like we have  people  who are good people , when you talk to them you can feel a good relationship.When you meet people  that are bad  people or challenging people so I think we try to do so we go to Mystery School of Witchcraft to teach people how to have a more appropriate relationship  in building those spirit. , steering people towed divine love , divine will, divine wisdom trying people understand witchcraft . We try to raise awareness , use the tools of witchcraft to being about ..

Books displayed at the event

DO YOU FLY AT NIGHT?

No. I do believe in things like  you can project  your conscience to different areas .

WHEN YOU  DIE WHERE DO YOU GO?

There is upper world and there is a lower  world, I think the lower world you go to is exactly how you imagined;…..

IS YOUR HUSBAND A MEMBER?

No.When I met my husband , his parents and his grandparents  were never  raised in church .He never worked to concern himself in spirituality .So when he found out that I was interested in being a Witch , he asked a lot of questions.

Witches can heal . Witch is not always a bad thing it is how you do it..If you are trying to heal a disease they can heal  hex the disease.

HOW DID YOU GO INTO IT?

I had to go into Seminary .I almost became a Professor .I was about to be a professor of Religious Studies while working at the University .So the papers  I was writing ……

When I think  about my  spirituality world does that really resonate the most  , I began to look around and came across Christopher Pens ,  that’s how the thought , and his books spoke to me .I started to explore and he really spoke to my soul , this is the part I was looking for (been what I wanted to do , as a Witch)

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

I am 55years of age.

Pentagram hanging loosely

If you take the word ”Witch” where were its roots, some people get the idea that to be in shape things , it actually  means ”Holy” so I see it been  WItchcraft  ”Holy craft”, can you  really find that spark  not just in me  or in you and responding …

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS PENTAGRAM?

It is a symbol  of protection and you find it in a  lot of different cultures  whenever you find looking for religious systems when a symbol keep showing up it means they are all using it for the same reason., you find it also in Hinduism .We have a school  where I teach people about Witchcraft.

WHAT DO WE CALL  A MEMBER OF WITCHCRAFT? 

We call them ”Witch”, but we like , some people are uncomfortable with the word ”Witch” , some call themselves Magic workers, Spiritualist , some call themselves Shaman,

SO WHAT DO WE CALL YOU?

Witch

 

 Today in Nigeria there have been arguements whether  the above programme should hold or not. Responses are expected on this topic and story  and your response will be published.

WATCH THE VIDEO  AND LOOK OUT FOR THE PART TWO OF THIS STORY WITH ANOTHER INTERVIEWEE IN AMERICA .

Healing power of Egungun Aje in Ijero -Ekiti

Are you looking for the fruits of the womb, seeking for job, wants healing or wants to solve your marital or any  problem?. Go to  Egungun Festival in Ijero Ekiti , submit yourselves to  flogging by the Egunguns, or Egungun Aje or Oko Egungun and you will give testimonies the following year!. It is real. taiwoabiodun.com reports

Masquerades  beating / thrashing spectators

 Ijero -Ekiti  ended their   seven days of their Ogun/Egungun festival where  people voluntarily submitted  themselves to be flogged by  Masquerades

It was exciting but painstaking .It was  fun  but a painful one. These masquerades of different ages , sizes  and status   flogged women and men , young men and ladies irrespective of  their  status and conditions  .

The Masquerades  flogged  those looking for the  fruits of the womb. They whipped   those looking for job, or having marital  problems and seeking   solutions to their problems .

 

No, the Masquerades did not use their power or  force . Those   flogged   willingly and happily submitted  themselves for flogging   , yes they  voluntarily released themselves for whipping or caning by these Masquerades. These ‘victims’  happily  received  their ”blessings” in  good faith and thanked their stars for  having the opportunity of being  flogged  as they  prayed along .

RESULTS FROM THE FLOGGINGS

Yes, the following year those flogged would  come back to tell stories of joy , give testimonies of the blessings they received from the floggings from the Masquerades.Many said they had babies, got jobs, promoted at work among others. It is real , not  a story. That is how the Ijero- Ekiti in Ekiti State celebrate  their Egungun festival annually .

 

 Ajero of Ijero

Watching the  over 500 Masquerades  comprising the young  and middle- aged ones as they all trooped out in their number with their long canes. They were all ‘dressed’ in their palm-fronds and covered their faces with different types of well -carved wooden masks. It  was interesting .

On that day they   shook the town to its foundation as they were  everywhere , they danced round the town with their canes .They  ran  around like a spirit-possessed man,they  pursued their  spectators and  visitors     while the the metals on their ankles would be making sound .At a time they all gathered and said  loud prayers in their native language .This has become an annual ritual as individuals pray for the town.
For Ijero Ekiti, the Ogun/ Egungun festival  lasted for seven days  as the   townsmen or natives  irrespective of their religious  belief went into frenzy in their wild jubilation believing their  ancestors  have come from the world beyond to deliver them  and solve their problems . Visitors, natives from far and near were present to witness the historic festival which   had been in practice for over 1,000years.
   According to Joshua Oyewande  Olukolade , one of the community leaders  ” the festival lasts for seven days and it has been on for over 1,000 years.It brings the sons and daughters of the town together , people  come from United Kingdom ,  United States of America and from far and near to watch and especially for prayer which is efficacious .Now I came with some of my friends from Enugu to witness this historic festival”.

 

 

 Abiodun, Femi and Oyewande watching the activities

EGUNGUNS ARE OUR ANCESTORS FROM HEAVEN
Narrating how it started, the town’s monarch and head of the community Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole the Ajero of Ijero stated ”This festival is called Ogun/ Egungun festival, we spent two weeks in preparation for it for the farmers would be at home to observe Ogun for they use Ogun’s implements like cutlass, hoes, and iron materials in their farm .That is why the Ijero sons and and daughters would come home  to celebrate and another means of  re-union of families. And our new calendar year starts when we ends the Ogun festival. Some communities only worshiped masquerades whereas we do  worship both Ogun and Masquerades together and it is only Ijero that observes that in Yoruba land!”, the monarch boasted .
On the Egungun festival the monarch said “For the Egungun festival we believed our forefathers came from heaven to stay with us for seven days and after the seven days they go back to heaven where they came from. And when sending them off all sons and daughters, visitors and friends would raise their voices to high heavens and  pray, ask for whatever they want   and for the progress of the town.The significance is to celebrate our ancestors and assess ourselves, improve on ourselves and move forward.”

 

Abiodun during the interview

EGUNGUN AJE OR AKO EGUNGUN
Among over 500  masquerades is the most powerful one called ‘ Egungun Aje , or Ako Egungun  which is known to be very powerful and highly efficacious in prayer .According to the custodian of the Egungun Aje ,High Chief Samuel Obafemi the Aasan of Ijero  of Ijero Ekiti, ” I am the custodian of Ako Egungun  also known as Egungun  Aje , and in Yorubaland  it is only  the Ijeros that  have  this type of masquerade which is in Ijero Ekiti here .It has been existence  for over 1,000 years and ordinary person cannot wear it , whoever wears it has to be from the family of Egungun Aje or Ako Egungun and must be initiated into it .The Aje Masquerade (Ako Egungun) has and  holds a long spiritual cane he uses to cane people to receive  blessing”. According to Obafemi  , it is a blessing if one is caned by the Egungun for  it is believed the cane  has  both physical and spiritual healing thus many begged him to be flogged by Ako Egungun“.

Custodian of Egungun Aje

Corroborating Obafemi,  Oyewande said ” Yes ,it is true  , we call the cane Esisan and is being used , and the people holding them are families of Asosanyin .It is the biggest  masquerade and his cane is believed to be effective for any blessing so people even begged him to cane them.There is no bitterness in flogging people with it rather they offered themselves to be caned .It is believed that when one is caned by Egungun Aje this year  he would be praying to be caned next year .If it is a woman looking for the fruits  of the womb and she is being whipped by the masquerade that means her prayers has been answered for she would bring her baby next year , many can testify to this, go and do the research  ” , he boasted .

 

HOW EGUNGUN AJE CAME TO BE
On how Egungun Aje came to be , the monarch explained ”in the days of yore when children were falling sick and  were dying our forefathers brought Egungun Aje out to come and rescue the town and it cured people and released  them from bondage. So those who  fell sick were healed while progress came to the town  and it waded off calamity from the land.That is why we have been celebrating and worshiping Egungun Aje , we also called it Ako Egungun ( husband of all the Egunguns ).
On that evening the arrival of Egungun Aje charged everywhere as there was huge cries of happiness of his arrival while many ran to him to be whipped with his cane. Many begged him to cane him. A young man , Yemi Olutayo said he offered himself to be caned to receive his ( Aje Egungun) blessing .” I am glad for having the opportunity to cane me , it is a physical and spiritual blessing .I know he has answered my prayers  and my life cannot be the same again as things will improve for me next year”.

VIP women in the town at the festival

Princess Iya Seyi ( aka Iya Sewooo) said ” I struggled to get to where Egungun Aje is but  the crowd was too much , but I have prayed with his name to let me grow old and let my business flourish “

 

They all waited patiently till 8pm for the arrival of Egungun Aje or Ako Egungun to remove his mask.They raised their voices and prayed .And immediately the Egungun Aje removed his mask, they all jubilated believing their prayers had been answered.

As if they were congregation in the church the over 20,000 people who thronged the place raised up their voices and started praying in the name of Egungun Aje , to the surprise of this reporter .
Dr.Femi  Ayo Ajai , who came from Aramoko Ekiti said ” it is a belief and I must confess to you all their prayers had been answered .That is why people come all the way from America, London and all places to receive blessings from Egungun Aje .I have never for once missed this festival ,It is interesting and adventurous”.
At 8 o’clock in the evening  ( Sunday ) over 20,000  spectators including the monarchs from the neighboring towns and  chiefs  waited to receive prayers from Egungun  Aje  and everywhere went wild .Prayers were offered and immediately the  Egungun Aje removed the wooden mask  from his face to be seen , it was all over .And while many dispersed others were glued to where they were standing, praying!.

Who knows Egungun Aje might answer your prayers , so make sure you do  not only witness the Festival next time but also allow the Masquerades to flog you and be free from your bondage.

 

 

KURUNMI OF IJAIYE:Where was he buried?

 

Salami showing  Kurunmi’s  masquerade’s regalia to Abiodun

………Three slaves were killed and used as pillow and bed to bury Kurunmi

……The Osse river was parted into two and Kurunmi was buried inside the river

……..Where Ijaiye war was fought did not grow grass till today

…….Those who stole Kurunmi’s Masquerade regalia became blind and confused

Kunrunmi was a Generalissimo in Ijaiye , who waged war and  fought Bashorun Ogunmola of Ibadan. Controversy trails over  the nature of his death and burial. And up till the moment of writing this story , there is no evidence of his tomb anywhere

KURUNMI BURIED IN OSSE RIVER?

Pa Adio  who is a native of Ijaiye and  cannot be less than  100 years of age gave a heavy sigh as he narrated the story his grandfather told  him , he said  ”Aare  Kunrunmi  died in his house after the war between Ijaiye and Ibadan,  and was buried  in  the  Osse river”. This reporter asked how could a man be buried inside a river or water , and he started the story  “As the custom was in those days while  burying a king, slaves who would run  errands for him and who will  accompanied him in his journey would be  killed  and buried along with him , so three slaves were buried  along with the Are Kunrunmi  .The people, his soldiers  used  their spiritual power to stop the flowing of the river  and buried the Generalissimo alongside with the three slaves   and after the burial the water was commanded and joined  together again!.”

 River Osse  where Kurunmi was said to have been buried

Another version narrated by  another man in the town said ”When  the Aare  was about to be buried,  three slaves were selected , while two were beheaded and used as a bed in the grave but  the third slave who could have been  used as his pillow ran for his dear life and was not  caught .The escaped slave went to inform the Ibadan people that he knew where Are   Kurunmi was buried and  Basorun  Ogunmola sent for the head to be  cut and be  brought to him to serve as a cup for drinking water   but when they got there they discovered  that the body of Kurunmi had been removed !”

While another version  said Kurunmi  out  of shame and frustration  committed suicide by plunging into river Osse  .Another said  he was killed  by enemies and buried by the Osse River  while another said  he was killed in the war  and was brought home for burial, but there is no burial ground where he was buried  up to date,  according  to  Adio .
But Alhaji  Shehu Tijani disagreed with Adio and  said “Kurunmi’s body was removed  from  the river bank  to  another  place in the town and  it was only one   female daughter  he had called Iyagbogbo  who knew  where he was buried till date!” Tijani said with confidence and total conviction .

Mystery of the River Osse and Onponrin
When this reporter got to the Osse river , it flowed heavily , and according to  Arawunmi Fatai a security officer at Ijaye High School ,who  is also a native and a  masquerader ”  The river is mysterious  till date for  many  strange things happen on the  river,  at times smoke comes up from the river , and a rainbow sign comes up while everywhere would be shaking , one’s head would get swollen thus informing us that the powerful Are Kurunmi  is still in the river”, the security officer  told this reporter.
Tijani said ” At Onponrin there are some areas where grass failed to grow this was because it was part of the spots of war .The war raged on for years and it consumed lives ! Till date grass does not grow here again “.

Tombs of Kurunmi and Bowen
To many students ,the name Kurunmi is  synonymous to Ijaiye. About  eight students interviewed by this Reporter  claimed to know the history of Kurunmi. Adams Owolabi who is an ex student of the school said the school has the tombs of the two titans ,the Kurunmi monument and Bowen’s  tomb.”We were taught in School that these two people fought war, one used the Bible while the other , Kurunmi used gun.This school, Ijaye High School was formerly named after Kurunmi until some years later when it was changed to Ijaye High school.I think the school should be called Kurunmi High School”
At the gate of the school one could see the two monuments ,but sadly enough the two are unkempt as the wordings inscribed on them   have faded ,and hardly  can one read the letters on them .
On Bowen’s monument are the following words engraved on it
“TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE REVEREND AND MRS THOMAS J. BOWEN WHO BEGAN BAPTIST SUNDAY SCHOOL WORK IN IJAYE  ORILE ,NIGERIA ON JANUARY 22, 1854.
SUNDAY SCHOOL DEPARTMENT ,NIGERIAN BAPTIST CONVENTION APRIL 21, 1979

While  Kurunmi’s own reads
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE MEMORY OF THOSE HEROIC DEAD WHO HERE ON LAND GRANTED BY KING KURUNMI IN 1852 CREATED THE FIRST MISSION HOUSE ESTABLISHED THE FIRST CHURCH AND LAID THE FOUNDATION OF BAPTIST WORK IN NIGERIA
NIGERIAN  BAPTIST CENTENARIAN    1850-1950
According to   Fatai,   “the two monuments  show how these two powerful men came to unite in death for their monuments  were placed side by side  yet the two believed in different religions. Bowen brought Christianity and built  a church which is the first First Baptist Church  in Nigeria here  in Ijaiye while Kurunmi was  a warrior who believed in Ogun, the Yoruba  god of Iron.It is great to come here and preserve this place as a tourist centre” .

Mysterious Kurunmi’s masquerade!
The room where the  Kurunmi’s masquerade regalia was kept is dark. In fact  about  four people brought out the basket where the regalia was kept. Pa Tijani Salami who is the custodian of  Kurunmi’s masquerade spent  over 50minutes to unwrapped the regalia  as pieces   of clothes attached to  it are up to 3,000 shreds made from local fabrics to foreign ones .

Also attached with the clothes are  uncommon carved wooden  mask, monkey,and baboon’s skulls .Fear gripped this reporter as the material was unwrapped  when he requested to have a glance! .
In fact,  the man in charge  of the masquerade ,  Salami said the masquerade  was inherited by him  for  he is from Kurunmi’s lineage.His words” This is Kurunmi’s masquerade’s regalia and sword  he used during his  conquests , and I am the custodian of it .If you look at my cheeks  you will see my facial marks and that is how Kurunmi had it .One  becomes its custodian by inheritance.This material is well over 120 years  old , in fact it was there before i was born .After  the death of Kurunmi it was inherited by  one Odeyemi, then to Biobaku who was in charge , after his exit  it was handed over to Gbileomo   and again when he died   I took over  from there.One of my children will also inherit it when I am gone .It does not go to anybody anyhow , never! .The regalia  is very heavy and we offer sacrifices  like goat, chicken and other things  and  sacrifice to it all the time .We must not forget to offer sacrifice  at all .If we don’t do  it then calamity might befall this town.”,he swore .

The young man

 


He went further, ” Nobody can steal it , infact  it is on record  that it  was once stolen some years ago and I believe they wanted to sell it to those who needed artifacts but when the  robbers got to the Osse River they could not  go further again as they  were hearing sound  and voices  of human being  coming out from the regalia and they had to drop it”.


Another man who is also a masquerader , Gafari  Ege  corroborated the story and said”those who stole the regalia became blind , when they faced Ibadan they  would again faced Ijaiye , again when they faced Ijaiye they would again faced  Ibadan !.They became blind and confused .They said strange human cries was coming out from the regalia.No one steals the material and go scot free.No one steals it and live!.It is not meant to be  stolen.Those who  stole it were later caught and they died afterwards. Other masquerades run away from it , for it is powerful!”

Undeveloped town
The  natives  are not happy that the town , Ijaiye is not developed .According to Pa Tijani , “we are being used , many of these theatre artistes would come here and used these places to shoot films and would later go away smiling  to the bank but will not come here to assist in its development .Not only that ,some government officials came here few years ago and promised to come  back and assist in putting Kurunmi’s statue here  but they came here  and erected  only two poles and left .We heard nothing from  them again.Many people come  from overseas to see all these monuments  like the River Osse,  the spots of war , the mysterious palm tree that sound like the booming of gun during the war to wade off enemies , Oponrin-the spot where  they waged war and where  grass does not grow again , the Ogun Shrines of Kurunmi and many others but nobody speaks about the development of this place .Where we have the monuments of Kurunmi and Bowen’s are not properly kept .We are being forgotten and our  heroes too are forgotten .If  it is in Overseas they will appreciate what we have  here but here nobody recognizes us.We have been constructing this palace for a longtime,nobody comes here to look at our effort and assist”.
However , he said ” we appreciate people like  Senator …….Lanlehin , Yemi Aderibigbe  who are really trying for us .We need more assistance ,we don’t want our history to die.They should cooperate and build a  monument I remembrance of our hero,Kurunmi.”

Taking some shots of Osse River

Meaning of Ijaiye
Ijaiye spread all over Yorubaland , but this is Ijaiye  Orile  the hometown of Kurunmi the warrior , said   Tijani .According to Tijani ,Ijaiye means we  fought  and  survived  the war (A ja ajaye) .Tijani said  since the Ijaiye people were warriors  and always conquered  wherever  they fought and on their return  would give a public  cry that  they had survived  the war!  .This is the original source where all other Ijayes spring from. All the places known as Ijaiye today left from here to Abeokuta, Lagos,Egba among others , Tijani  boasted .
When this reporter demanded for Kurunmi’s photograph , another controversy started while some said they would look for it others laughed hysterically saying there is no picture of Kurunmi but a caricature of the late Ijaye Generalissimo can be carved to represent him.What a man of controversy!

 

Ijaiye Town

The town is small yet it has produced many great leaders , Yoruba Warriors and  great politicians .
Ijaiye  town  is about 20 kilometers to Ibadan.  The town is quiet, the people are mostly agrarian  There is no signpost to welcome visitors to the town. Most of the buildings are dilapidated . Painfully, they all agreed that they have notable people but contributed  with little to develop the town .”There is no signpost here to welcome you to  our town.This is Ijaiye town ,  the historical town of the Yoruba legendary warrior , Are Kurunmi, of which the late Professor Ola Rotimi  wrote his story  from ” , Alhaji Shehu Tijani lamented  as he welcomed this reporter to the ancient town.
To many,the story of Kurunmi and his exploits is fiction while others believe it is true  with the facts available and of course the monuments and relics of war!

Kurunmi’s house
At the frontage of  Kurunmi’s house are Ogun  and Sango shrines  while a big baobab tree is standing ‘majestically’ there like the ones in Yoruba Palaces,showing  the symbol  and authority of  a King   and   also that a Generalissimo  once  lived here.   Today  we can only  meet few of the  grandchildren of the late Warrior who died in 1861 .He did  Not have surviving direct children again .In  Kurunmi ‘s house is a small bungalow where   Pa Layiwola  Adio who is over 100 years old lives .The centenarian is  one of the grandchildren of Kurunmi  and who is among  the few   old men in  the town.The old man still  have scanty story of Kurunmi. Adio  referred  the late  warrior  as Aare  throughout the interview  to describe Kurunmi  , He said “the Are  was surrounded by many myths.My father told me how  powerful  Are was , that he was feared and respected because he was powerful with his juju!”.
Another Historian in the town lamented over the loss or disappearance of what could have been monuments and  antiques,he said   ” There were houses without windows  and these  were where those  who erred served their punishment in Kurunmi’s palace. There was one that served as the house of Ogun,a Yoruba god of iron. Another too served as  spiritual incubation where the great warrior  stayed for days communicating with  his ancestors!.In some of the rooms no man born of  a woman dare  venture to enter , some  of the rooms too are forbidden to enter by any woman  while only a lion – hearted man who was sure of himself could go in there.In  some of the rooms too one needed  to bend down  before entering ! .Today, these are no more ! “
But Aare’s  house where his family  now live is a structure of a building that is as old as the creation.There are mud  brick buildings that  have  fallen and some of the walls have caved-in.The wooden frames have weakened  while some of the windows are no more , these are some of the houses in the vicinity of Kurunmi’s house today!

His  Exploits
The late warrior was said to have invaded many towns and  conquered .He was said to have  had harem of wives and  hundreds of slaves and warriors  he led for  he was a Generalissimo with powerful juju and was powerful   .He was invading towns , and annexing them all until he tried the Ibadan town which eventually failed him .According to Pa Adio “We heard that Aare Kurunmi refused to pay homage and give royal gifts to the then Alafin of Oyo,   Adelu who succeeded his father, Atiba  .When  Adele discovered that  Aare did not support him  he then sent  a message to him to chose  whichever one that suited him  :either peace or war but Kurunmi chose  war. While all  the neighboring towns like Ede, Ibadan ,Egba pleaded with him to chose peace but  he refused  until he was defeated”, he said.
Another version said the Generallisimo   waged war with the Ibadan who were led by Basorun Ogunmola , and  he fell  in  the war.” My great father   said  when the Ibadan met the Ijaiye , the war became bloody.Then it was recorded that a  Christian Missioner  Bowen  who was the founder of  Baptist Church pleaded with Kurunmi not to wage war but to embrace peace but Kurunmi came with annoyance and brought out gunpowder and Bible  and told Bowen he would pick gunpowder since his generation was noted to be warriors while Bowen picked Holy Bible and said he was there to establish a church and preach the gospel.Bowen then left Ijaiye  for Abeokuta to settle”, he  added.
Kurunmi was very powerful and so much  believed  in the efficacy of  Ogun the Yoruba  god of Iron, no wonder at the frontage of the house  under  a big tree are Ogun shrines where he used to worship the  god of Iron , the shrines are there till this day.
Pa Adio continued”The war between Ijaye and Ibadan  was heavy with casualties , and according to what we  were told here  as thousands  of Ijaiye   died in this war! If you walk eight miles from this town towards East, West, North  and South you will discover a lot of clay pots, mud houses and shrines buried there thus evidencing that some people had lived here over two hundred years ago ! .They were probably buried here.We have excavated a lot “.
Asked of the five children of Are  who died in the war, the old ma said “a  lot was told about the war. The Ibadan war was the heaviest where casualties were much.I remember that over  141 towns defended Ibadan when she waged war against  Ijaye. We were betrayed while Alafin was against us . And  you know  if one town faces over 141 towns it is a big problem and that was how  Ibadan  won  the war against us! . They feared and respected Aare  Kurunmi .His five children later died in the war while the skull of one of them was brought to  him , thus he was shocked beyond doubt .He became devastated and dispirited”.

How Basorun  Ogunmola was forced to eat ashes
Another version ,according to Tijani  said “Kurunmi captured Basorun Ogunmola alive and  he was brought  to Ijaiye where he was chained and was fed with  ashes  in the palace.That is where  the Ibadan natives  got their panegyrics ‘Ogunmola, son of Ibadan  who  survived death  in spite of  eating the ashes!( Ogunmola omo  a la eeru ma ku) .The story continued that in the night one of Aare Kurunmi’s wives betrayed him as she secretly went to unfetter Basorun Ogunmola and  assisted him to escape back home(Ibadan) .When Basorun Ogunmola got to Ibadan he   went to re strategize and later invaded  with over 141 neighboring towns who supported him to win  Ijaiye  in the war! .Not only this  it was also revealed that the River Osse ,a mysterious river  which must not be passed through by non  indigenes  was demystified  and the taboo was broken. The secret of its taboo  was leaked  to the  warring enemies (Ibadan) who passed through and demystified the spiritual aspect of the river  and since then it began to dry and made Ibadan to conquer them(Ijaye)”, Tijani added

Controversy over Kurunmi’s death
While many said Kurunmi  out  of shame and frustration  committed suicide by plunging into river Osse  .Another said  he was killed  by enemies and buried by the Osse River  while another said  he was killed in the war  and was brought home for burial, but there is no burial ground where he was buried  up to date. But according  to  Adio ,  Aare  died in his house after the war and was buried  by the  Osse river, he explained  further”when they wanted to bury him  they had to bury three salves along with him as the custom was .They used their spiritual power to stop the flowing of the river  and after the burial the water was commanded and joined  together again!.”
Another version narrated by  ?…..said When he was about to be buried three slaves were selected , while two were beheaded and used as a bed in the grave but  the third slave one who could have been  used as his pillow ran for his dear life and could not be caught .The escaped slave went to inform the Ibadan people that he knew where Are   Kurunmi was buried and  Basorun  Ogunmola sent for the head to be  decapitated which he wanted to be  used as a cup for drinking water   but when they got there they discovered  that the body of Kurunmi had been removed .
But Alhaji  Shehu Tijani disagreed with Adio and  said “Kurunmi’s body was removed  from  the river bank  to  another  place in the town and  it was the only  female daughter  he had called Iyagbogbo knew  where he was buried till date!”Tijani said with confidence and total conviction .

Mystery of the River Osse and Onponrin
When this reporter got to the Osse river , it flows heavily , and according to  Arawunmi Fatai a security officer at Ijaye High School , he is also a native and a  masquerader ”  The river is mysterious  till date for  many  strange things happen on the  river,  at times smoke comes up from the river , and a rainbow sign comes up while everywhere would be shaking , one’s head would get swollen thus informing us that the powerful Are Kurunmi  is still in the river”, the security officer  told The Nation.

Tijani said ” At Onponrin there are some areas where grass failed to grow this

was because it was part of the spots of war .The war raged on for years and it consumed lives ! Till date grass does not grow here again “.

Tombs of Kurunmi and Bowen
To many students ,the name Kurunmi is  synonymous to Ijaiye. About  eight students interviewed claimed to know the history of Kurunmi. Adams Owolabi who is an ex student of the school said the school has the tombs of the two titans ,the Kurunmi monument and Bowen’s  tomb.”We were taught in School that these two people fought war, one used the Bible while the other , Kurunmi used gun.This school, Ijaye High School was formerly named after Kurunmi until some years later when it was changed to Ijaye High school.I think the school should be called Kurunmi High School”
At the gate of the school one could see the two monuments ,but sadly enough the two are unkempt as the wordings inscribed on them   have faded ,and hardly  can one read the letters on them .
On Bowen’s monument are the following words engraved on it
“TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE REVEREND AND MRS THOMAS J. BOWEN WHO BEGAN BAPTIST SUNDAY SCHOOL WORK IN IJAYE  ORILE ,NIGERIA ON JANUARY 22, 1854.
SUNDAY SCHOOL DEPARTMENT ,NIGERIAN BAPTIST CONVENTION APRIL 21, 1979

 

While  Kurunmi’s own reads
TOTHE GLORY OF GOD AND THE MEMORY OF THOSE HEROIC DEAD WHO HERE ON LAND GRANTED BY KING KURUNMI IN 1852 CREATED THE FIRST MISSION HOUSE ESTABLISHED THE FIRST CHURCH AND LAID THE FOUNDATION OF BAPTIST WORK IN NIGERIA
NIGERIAN  BAPTIST CENTENARIAN    1850-1950
According to   Fatai,   “the two monuments  show how these two powerful men came to unite in death for their monuments  were placed side by side  yet the two believed in different religions. Bowen brought Christianity and built  a church which is the first First Baptist Church  in Nigeria here  in Ijaiye while Kurunmi was  a warrior who believed in Ogun, the Yoruba  god of Iron.It is great to come here and preserve this place as a tourist centre” .

Mysterious Kurunmi’s masquerade!
The room where the  Kurunmi’s masquerade regalia was kept is dark. In fact  about  four people brought out the basket where the regalia was kept. Pa Tijani Salami who is the custodian of  Kurunmi’s masquerade spent  over 50minutes to unwrapped the regalia  as pieces   of clothes attached to  it are up to 3,000 shreds made from local fabrics to foreign ones .Also attached with the clothes are  uncommon carved wooden  mask, monkey,and baboon’s skulls .Fear gripped this reporter as the material was unwrapped  when he requested to have a glance! .
In fact,  the man in charge  of the masquerade ,  Salami said the masquerade  was inherited by him  for  he is from Kurunmi’s lineage.His words” This is Kurunmi’s masquerade’s regalia and sword  he used during his  conquests , and I am the custodian of it .If you look at my cheeks  you will see my facial marks and that is how Kurunmi had it .One  becomes its custodian by inheritance.This material is well over 120 years  old , in fact it was there before i was born .After  the death of Kurunmi it was inherited by  one Odeyemi, then to Biobaku who was in charge , after his exit  it was handed over to Gbileomo   and again when he died   I took over  from there.One of my children will also inherit it when I am gone .It does not go to anybody anyhow , never! .The regalia  is very heavy and we offer sacrifices  like goat, chicken and other things  and  sacrifice to it all the time .We must not forget to offer sacrifice  at all .If we don’t do  it then calamity might befall this town.”,he swore .
He went further, ” Nobody can steal it , infact  it is on record  that it  was once stolen some years ago and I believe they wanted to sell it to those who needed artifacts but when the  robbers got to the Osse River they could not  go further again as they  were hearing sound  and voices  of human being  coming out from the regalia and they had to drop it”.
Another man who is also a masquerader , Gafari  Ege  corroborated the story and said”those who stole the regalia became blind , when they faced Ibadan they  would again faced Ijaiye , again when they faced Ijaiye they would again faced  Ibadan !.They became blind and confused .They said strange human cries was coming out from the regalia.No one steals the material and go scot free.No one steals it and live!.It is not meant to be  stolen.Those who  stole it were later caught and they died afterwards. Other masquerades run away from it , for it is powerful!”

Undeveloped town
The indigenes are not happy, according to Pa Tijani , “we are being used , many of these theatre artistes would come here and used these places to shoot films and would later go away smiling  to the bank but will not come here to assist in its development .Not only that ,some government officials came here few years ago and promised to come  back and assist in putting Kurunmi’s statue here  but they came here  and erected  only two poles and left .We heard nothing from  them again.Many people come  from overseas to see all these monuments  like the River Osse,  the spots of war , the mysterious palm tree that sound like the booming of gun during the war to wade off enemies , Oponrin-the spot where  they waged war and where  grass does not grow again , the Ogun Shrines of Kurunmi and many others but nobody speaks about the development of this place .Where we have the monuments of Kurunmi and Bowen’s are not properly kept .We are being forgotten and our  heroes too are forgotten .If  it is in Overseas they will appreciate what we have  here but here nobody recognizes us.We have been constructing this palace for a longtime,nobody comes here to look at our effort and assist”.
However , he said ” we appreciate people like  Senator …….Lanlehin , Yemi Aderibigbe  who are really trying for us .We need more assistance ,we don’t want our history to die.They should cooperate and build a  monument I remembrance of our hero,Kurunmi.”

Meaning of Ijaiye
Ijaiye spread all over Yorubaland , but this is Ijaiye  Orile  the hometown of Kurunmi the warrior , said   Tijani .According to Tijani ,Ijaiye means we  fought  and  survived  the war (A ja ajaye) .Tijani said  since the Ijaiye people were warriors  and always conquered  wherever  they fought and on their return  would give a public  cry that  they had survived  the war!  .This is the original source where all other Ijayes spring from. All the places known as Ijaiye today left from here to Abeokuta, Lagos,Egba among others , Tijani  boasted .
When this reporter demanded for Kurunmi’s photograph , another controversy started while some said they would look for it others laughed hysterically saying there is no picture of Kurunmi but a caricature of the late Ijaye Generalissimo can be carved to represent him.What a man of controversy!

Haa! Oba Ogunoye III must read this

Since the Prince has become a King , he is no longer called a Prince but Monarch, Royal Father , Kabiyesi, Oba ,Alaiyeluwa , Igba keji Orisa  therefore  his lifestyle has changed while he has to abide with many rules and forgo many things , taiwoabiodun.com writes

Respect:Ondo state governor bows to greet the Olowo-elect

GREETINGS

Haaaa eewo ni o,  Agbedo. Nba. No, no, Oba Alaiyeluwa igba keji orisa MUST not prostrate to greet ANYBODY again. Haaaa , eewo Orisa ni o,it is forbidden .He has prostrated for the last time to the Omolowos and Chiefs .  Whether old or young , and no matter your position in the society an Oba must not prostrate for you.

The Ondo state Deputy governor bows too,  it is compulsory

Picture above shows how the  Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu  bowed to greet the King-elect. The deputy Governor also did the same thing.Let the head of State come , he will bow down to greet the monarch if he cannot prostrate!.In fact his family members must now bow irrespective their status.If you are a Clergy man , or a Professor you must respect the throne and the crown, yes you must bow or prostrate to greet the King!

The  Oba –elect had prostrated and greeted the Omolowos and the chiefs for the last time when he was announced as the winner.

Se e raye? See life! Before he became the Oba he was bowing down to  his boss, the State governor Rotimi Akeredolu , now the reverse is the case!. That is tradition for you. Let the Head of state come to him, Olowo will not prostrate for him,That is our first class traditional King in Yoruba land. 

In response to these  greetings   the Monarch would either   shake hands with the highly rated personalities if he wishes or raises his fly whisk to acknowledge their greetings. 

The moment he became an Oba , he  will  no longer prostrate to greet anybody even his own mother who is in her 90s must kneel down to greet him. Now the old and the young will prostrate (if men) or kneel  (if women) down  to greet him. Remember Ebenezer Obey’s song   ” A ki k’Oba ni n’aro,  idobale laa k’oba oo toto oo Oba Owo ooo’’( You prostrate to greet the King).

COVERING HIS HEAD

 Before Prince Ajibade became Oba he was free to  leave his head  open and  not wear a cap. But now as he has become a Monarch he can no longer leave his head bare open.And just any barber cannot barb his head

No cap here but now must cover his head always

again.He will rather call the Barber to his compound to cut his hair. He has become Alaiyeluwa , Kabiyesi Alase Ekeji Orisa ( second to God). It is believed that no one should see a Monarch’s head  whoever does that will remain wretched for life. No wonder all Monarchs wear cap at least to cover their heads. While some even wear their caps in the church  but few others  would not believing that God should be honoured .

HIS WORDS

Oba’s  words have become ase, thus whatever he says  will  surely come to pass and whoever he prays for  or curses, all  will come to pass.

BEADS

It is mandatory for him to be  wearing beads  called akun or akon on his  ankles or wrists  and also on  his neck .It is not just any beads  any  but special beads that befits  his status.

HIS SEAT:

The royal father must not just  sit  on any chair .His special royal seat is carried to wherever he goes as he must not sit on any chair in the gathering .Meanwhile he is now restricted as not all functions  will he  be going.

Yes, position has changed, wears his cap and the gov bows, it is compulsory

EATING

Haaa! Oba must not eat in the public , this is forbidden. Kai! Eeewo ni o. So therefore Olowo  can no longer  eat in the public places or go to the eatery to eat. This is a taboo for one should not see the King’s mouth or see how he puts a morsel of pounded yam or amala  into his mouth.

Fly whisk and Beads: These are royal signs .He would be going about with  a  decorated beaded fly whisk (irukere)  and beaded walking stick ( opa ileke) now, he would raise it up to respond to  greetings. And he must not dance in the public  except the traditional festivals like Igogo festival.

OUTINGS

He will no longer go out alone as he would have his ”Guards’’ and his chiefs who will be adjusting his agbada and be saluting him while others would be blowing  special traditional trumpets and showering panegyrics ( oriki) on him. 

He is no longer the  Ajibade Gbadegesin but His Imperial Majesty ,  the  Olowo of Owo, the  Ogunoye III.  He has become Orisa.All hail the King!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palm wine is their medicine in Ila Orangun!

       Ila ko n’ise meji, emu n’ise won [Ila has no other        business but palm wine tapping]

           Akiwarapa a b’ito funfun l’enu,
         Iyawo elega
     Akiwarapa a b’ito funfun  l’enu , o wo’lu  l’aaro,

 bo ba d’ale ariwo a ta,

   a ni B’o o lo Ko o m’aalo,

  iyawo elegbe fati abi elegbe run

( Epileptic man  that foams  from the  mouth. When he  arrives in the morning he remains gentle but in the night he threatens his wife saying  ‘Go if you want to !’. The next day he   begs his wife for forgiveness]

WELCOME TO ILA ORANGUN

As the commercial bus  drove past , the palm -wine trees on both sides of the road  were the cynosure of all while the aroma of  the palm- wine wafted in the air. As the vehicle was running fast the trees too were running backward while  the scent increased.Funny!.

 

 

  A palm-wine tree in Ila Orangun

    Some of these palm-wine  trees are tall while  some are of average heights  of different shapes while  their palm-fronds with their green leaves showed how healthy  the trees are  in  the   environment.  The  fresh breeze coming from the areas was felt as the sound of the ‘slapping’ of the leaves could be heard- no thanks to the evening breeze. From afar off  one could see different sizes of gourds attached on the palm-wine trees.                                                                       

    Prince Oladosun, Halimat and others

A man   unconsciously  cried out  ” Je nlo de’mu mi , agbe mi yio ti kun” [Let me go and ‘offload’ my palm wine, my gourds would have been filled up] , while everybody  in the  commercial bus burst into laughter.

   Another passenger responded ” I have left  Lagos   where we  drink ‘chemical’, and I am going back home to drink fresh palm -wine”, he added ”I take two kegs of palm- wine to Ibadan to sell every week end”.

 Other  passengers debated on   the advantages of palm -wine over alcohol. In  a jiffy,  the topic of  the local wine  turned many  passengers to overnight ‘Medical doctors’, ‘Nutritionists’, Chemists’ ‘Pastors’ and ‘Counselors’ as each brought his own views on the wine while the argument almost resulted to exchange of hot words and fisticuffs.

            

While the argument continued the vehicle  arrived its destination ,  Ila Orangun town. 

PALM -WINE IS OUR BUSINESS

Four elderly men coming back  from the farm with  their gourds foaming from their mouths were sighted  . This reporter approached one of them for interview   who was jovial and turned the interview to a comedy , as he went  into action, singing ” Ila ko n’ise meji, emu n’ise won” [Ila has no other business but palm- wine tapping].

Another one boasted ” Have  you tasted it? .Have you drank our wine?. Have you been to  our  forest to see our gold?. You will marvel  seeing how Ila Orangun town is  blessed with precious ‘gold’ . We  are  the biggest supplier of  palm- wine  in the South -West of  Nigeria, if you are in  doubt then go and ask”. 

One  Nosiru Shiitu  who lives  in the town stated ”Our wine  is different  from the chemicals you people take  in Lagos .Our wine  is fresh , undiluted  and medicinal. It cures malaria fever, we mix  it with other herbs and roots and use it for one thing or the other”, he boasted.

       

     STORIES, STORIES IN PALM -WINE JOINTS

   It was a Friday  around 6pm , the sun had gone down and everywhere was bubbling as  civil servants  had returned home, farmers and artisans too had retired  home and  all went out to cool down with drinks. Some were in the Beer Parlor sipping their beer with pepper soup and bush meat while others in Palm- wine joints cooling off.

Different types of cars, motorcycles and bicycles were packed  on the streets while long benches, wooden  and iron chairs were used as seats in Palm -wine joints. Some however  sat on  concrete cement    as the sight of gourds, plastic kegs and cups with calabash cups (aha) were offered. Customers were served , those who were anxious to drink served themselves and told the woman how many they had taken.Here, the literates and illiterates discussed all manners of topics from social to politics.They threw banters not minding their status, religion, or sex.

Stories of all kinds were told, two hunters spoke about their adventures, one narrated  how he met a Fairy (Iwin) while another old man described   how he killed a tiger  with his dane gun. An old man who had fewer teeth in his mouth   caught attention of everybody as he narrated how fought in  Germany. He described Adolf Hitler’s bunker, and threw  everybody  into suspense . The old  man gave the graphic  details of  the German war   and when he was   highly ‘ charged’  he    started   gesticulating and  punching   the air with his  fists as he was   expressing his  views to  drive  home his  points .

In another scene  some young men   were  dancing to  the African Kennery, Orlando Owoh’s music  blaring from the giant hifi speakers  placed in strategic positions. Palm -wine is  what  brought   them  together!.

               

BoN   posed with a statue in Ila Orangun

     The ancient town ,Ila Orangun is popular not because  of the political gladiators they have  or because of the politics they practice but it is popular and well known as the only  town in the South  west that  has the highest number of  palm wine trees and  also trade in the palm wine business .
Virtually almost  all households   in Ila Orangun sell palm- wine and it is said that the best palm wine   is from the ancient town.
One of the prominent sons of the town, Prince Olusegun Idowu Oladosun said  “This town generates 80per cent of her earnings from  the proceeds  of palm wine.There is hardly any household that do not trade in palm-wine  from natives to  non -natives. My forefathers were palm wine tappers. From my   great grand mother down to my mother were  also palm -wine sellers.We  brew  palm -wine, it is our own industry and our great source  of income”.
A palm -wine seller, Halimat  Olawole  who  is in her 70s, said “I inherited  this business from my parents . They were both  palm wine tappers and  sellers. Our own palm wine is the best in the country, we don’t mix  our palm wine with chemical. My forefathers were palm wine tappers. When they   traveled and settled down  in other places like Ile -Ife  they were  doing the same business till they died”, she continued ” my father’s  name was Gbadamosi ,  my father had no  other job than  tapping palm wine. And his wives had no other job than selling palm wine” .
Prince  Oladosun described  the town that it  has no other medicine than palm wine ( Ila k’o l’ooogun , emu l’ogun Ila), he said ” the only job we have here is palm wine tapping from time immemorial and  we are  also into farming”.
Apart from being our business  , palm- wine  cures all ailments Suleiman Oluwarotimi said , raising his voice .He said ” any child  that is sick and given this palm wine must be healed if  he did  not  recover then  we believe the baby  is a bastard.”
For Aremu Joseph   who is non native (from Ekiti) but had worked and retired in  Ila Orangun have this to say ” this is how we drink it here , I am from Ekiti state. I am happy to have been caught here  drinking it, palm wine is good  for your health  but one should not abuse it and then  drink to stupor” , he cautioned .

EXPENSIVE JOKE

Another non indigene , Bamidele Adeagbo  said “I am from Idanre in Ondo State .My father was a palm wine tapper  , my father once told me a story that the keg Ila people  has is called their hernia and this used to annoy them . I  fought over   over it  several times  until  we later knew it was just a joke, but an  expensive one”.

As they were happily drinking , a man reminded others  not to leave the keg standing upright as Ogun could appear to them, he then narrated how Ogun in annoyance beheaded some palm-wine drinkers when he met the gourd standing as if it was filled with palm wine, and when he met it empty he beheaded all of them and since then it has been the practice to be placing empty gourds lying down instead of standing or sitting .

A lady who was seen assisting her mother serving palm wine Silifatu Azeez, said “I am assisting my mother to sell palm wine  and I  am understudying it  in order to continue the business when she is old .The business runs in the family”. While the mother interjected ” Any job you are doing and cannot leave it   for your children to continue  is questionable”.

 PALM -WINE’s TABOOs
But  are there   taboos for Palm -wine tappers?  . Yes , there are , two old men chorused. Among the most important taboos is   “Thou shall not taste a pint  of   palm wine  before climbing the palm wine tree, whoever does this will be blind! “. However  this was punctured by an elderly man who said ” it is not good for a palm wine  tapper to get drunk before climbing the palm tree!”, he explained further, ”You  see we have seen a lot of people in the past who got drunk and when they got up there jumped down from the tree top not knowing again the high level they were”.

Another man said ” You must not  smoke cigarette while tapping” , Why? ”he could miss his way while looking for matches!”. All these taboos are for safety reasons, according to the men who said they adhere strictly to these taboos.

       

SONGS FOR PALM WINE

Chief Yusuf Olaboye described the Ila Orangun as a rich cultural place where songs are rendered  for  palm wine , with his melodious voice he sang in praise of the palm wine :
Ope wewe lemu re ndun, Mo ba’La roko. Ila a muludun,
Mo ba Ila roko oo     (The wine from the little palm tree  tastes fine , I will go to the farm with Ila people . Ila makes the town to be merry , I will go to the farm with the Ila people ),
Ila Ko n’ise meji Emu n’ise won( Ila has no other business than palm wine business).

Yes, this is Ila Orangun the home of Palm -wine, the place of    epileptic ‘victim’ foaming from  the mouth.(‘Akiwarapa  abito fun fun lenu’)

    ILA HAS ORIGINAL CROWN

    Ila Orangun is respected for their crown  which they said its original and not controversial , since it is believed that he ( Ila Orangun) is a direct son and crowned Oduduwa son, no wonder they sing
Ila l’ade wa, nwon o w’Ade ka ( Ila is  where  the crown is , they don’t need to search for  crown elsewhere ).

Before this reporter’s departure songs were rendered , Yusuf Olaboye sang  Iyan lounje Ila ati Emu.
Abeke Momodu another palm wine seller  rendered her own thus :Awa la lemu ni’la Orangun, Ila lo lemu , Ila lo leemu eeemu aroso o. , Ila lo lemu , emu aroso( We are the owners of palm wine in Ila Orangun. Ila owns the palm wine , fresh and undiluted wine )        
While the septuagenarian palm wine seller , Alimotu gave the  palm -wine its panegyrics thus:

Akiwarapa a bito  funfun lenu,
         Iyawo elega
     Akiwarapa a bito fun fun  lenu , o wolu  laaro,

 bo ba dale ariwo a ta,

   a ni Bo o lo Ko o maalo,

  iyawo elegbe fati abi elegbe run

( The epileptic man that  foams from  mouth. When he  arrives in the morning he remains gentle but in the night he threatens his wife ‘ Go if you want to !’.  He begs his wife for forgiveness the next day)

 

Osirigbongbo the Ijero -Ekiti Warrior

                    ….pound  him with  pestle to  wake – up

                    .…. used bare hands to fight in war

                .………did not die ,went into the ground

         The   statue is  gigantic, intimidating, historical and the hero is  full of incredible character. What the statue is built upon  is as strong as the Warrior  himself. Standing by his side one looks like a dwarf. A curious look at the statue one could see amulets  leather strings (ifunpa) and gourds (ado) tied  on his wrists and legs  . 

  The  Warrior  is holding  animal  horns stuffed with some mysterious concoction or substances laced  with powerful spiritual words of mysticism called  African power (Ase)   . His  pouch is  strapped  across  his shoulder as he  proudly displayed  his   instruments of war  with two hands, they were his weapons :voodo or  juju of which the Yoruba  would call  oogun abenugongo (protruding powerful charm).

His man-mountain statue  s  is frightening, his  words were powerful and wielding the scepter and spiritual authority while his actions were unchallenged able! . His appearance was terrifying as Yoruba would call him the fearsome one   (erujeje).

 He was one of the powerful Yoruba Warriors in the days of old.

              

Ankles decorated with charms

He was the most giant man in the land  of Ijero- Ekiti.No man born of a woman can  look at his face. A  lily- livered cannot look at him twice .The  Warrior   was  enfant terrible.

            A POWERFUL WARRIOR

     According to HRM the Alajero of Ijero, Oba   Joseph Adebayo Adewole ,the man called Osirigbongbo was a mysterious and powerful man, he said     ” the man called Osirigbongbo was always  woken up by beating him  with pestle ( omo odo ). His body was full of juju. In  war , he depended on his juju and  he used bare hands to fight  when his enemies   were  using gun, knives and cutlass as war tools”. He was a combination of mysticism and voodooism. The monarch  added ”he was surely the undisputed mighty man tearing his enemies apart  with his bare hands in  war and then used  their tights as weapon (cudgel )  in war” .What a terrifying statement!

 And  what if  Osirigbongbo suddenly appear and challenge  defacing him? .God forbid!

  No man has ever been feared or respected or loved more than him in the land. That is the life and times of the man called Osiri Gbo N Gbo

 

 Body  decorated with  juju

Alajero said ”His contribution to Ijero community can never be forgotten ”. No wonder his giant statue  is placed at the centre of the town showing him the recognition, appreciation and love  bestowed on him after he had departed centuries ago.

    And the name,Osiri Gbo N Gbo with the description of him with the statue’s size surely showed he was what they called .

         OSIRI-GBO-N-GBO THE WARRIOR

 At the center of the town is a giant statue of one of  those who rescued the town( Ijero) from being conquered by enemies.

      An educationist and one of the community  leaders Joshua Oyewande  Olukolade described  how Osirigbongbo looked like  “the man , Osirigbongbo , according to our forefathers was very, very   giant  with intimidating figure , and his stature  was useful to the town as he used to to help  the town from being plundered. Being a warrior , Osirigbongbo was always ready to rescue the town from being  taken into captivity”.

 Olukolade who is one of the most respectable man in the community and who also serves as the mouthpiece is proud of his community of having such History , he said ” we should appreciate our legends.I love this great town for erecting the statue here to let the unborn children see .”

The monarch described the warrior’s  conquests thus  “On his war exploits ,Osirigbongbo would go to war without war tools .When he gets  to the hottest war zone he would go for   his enemies’ leaders,  used his bare hands to tear them  apart and would use his victims’ torn legs  as a baton fighting the  war”.

                HIS  STRANGE FEEDING HABIT 

     Oba Adewole  said” we were told by our forefathers that Osirigbongbo used to eat  a morsel with the head of a cow .He was said to have  giant muzzle  .He ate a morsel of pounded yam with the head of a cow”.  Another mind-boggling story from the man -mountain warrior!.

               HE ENTERED THE GROUND ALIVE!

        Many strange stories  were told  about him, some said  he  entered the ground at Oke -Agba where he was born AND   did not die , but instructed  his townsmen to call upon him when in crisis . He also instructed them  to use pestle  and  beat the spot where he entered the ground three times  for him to  come out. Unfortunately   some mischievous natives cried wolf three times  when there was no wolf.They raised false alarm  three times and he came out the three times and killed many of them , when he later realised it  was a false alarm, it was too late. Seeing the massacre  he did, he never came up to rescue them again, Yewande said.

         Although the statue is conspicuously  located  in  the center of the town . The location   is used  as a rallying meeting point and of course where town criers make necessary announcement. One thing is still certain, the statue is revered and when there  are problems the man is offered sacrifice to to appease him.

Though the place looked  unkempt as some people offer sacrifices under it , paste advertisement papers on it and defaced it  , yet it is still honoured and revered and offered sacrifices when the need arises.

There should be a POST NO BILL warning  on the fence and the statue should not be defaced. 

And   what if  Osirigbongbo  suddenly appear and challenge those defacing him?.

God forbid.

‘How Oba Kolapo Ogunoye saved me’

She is hilarious. No dull moment with her .Not many people know her real name as she is only known as E ku Feee. She was rescued by the late Olowo of Owo, Oba Adekola Ogunoye II when she was in trouble


Madam Oluwafunke Samuel ( aka E ku Feee)
Looking at her she is simple, but when she opens her mouth to talk one would think she is a comedian and if care is not taken one could break his ribs as she speaks.
MY STORY
”My name is Oluwafunke Samuel. I live in Emure Uli, Owo, Ondo State . I always come to the King’s Market (Oja Oba) to sell my E ku Feee . I am in my late 60s. My story is an interesting one .I once had conflict with some market women about 30years ago when the late Oba Adekola Ogunoye II was on the throne”.
She continued ” sincerely speaking there was a rule in the market that nobody should sell powdered corn ( elekute) but due to the poverty I found myself I went ahead selling it . It was my grandmother’s business. Some years after her death I was financially down and I had nothing with me . I then decided one day to start the business , and I took her materials , set up the business and started producing and selling it.Though I lived in Emure but always go to Oja Oba ( King’s Market ) where there is market for the product ”, she said , nodding her head.


MY ARREST
However she was arrested , she said ”When the market women caught me selling the banned product they arrested me and said I flouted their rule , all my pleadings that I was trying to sustain myself felt into their deaf ears. They asked me to walk -over a local knife and that I must pay a live cock and pay some fine. I walked over the local knife but refused to pay all the fine telling them that I am a Christian and that I know Jesus and did not believe in their Tradition. My product was seized and it became a serious matter ”
OBA ADEKOLA OGUNOYE RESCUED ME
Madam E ku Fee was talking with all seriousness yet laughing. She said ”I was taken to the palace of Olowo of Owo , Oba Adekola Ogunoye II, who was a no -nonsense man . The Market leaders were all sure and certain that they would win me and get justice . I remember some high caliber of High chiefs and community royal fathers who were present including High Chief Adelanke Ajana the late Chief Priest of the town with some market leaders.
INTERROGATION
”When I was interrogated by the late Ajana and Oba Ogunoye and asked what I was selling , I said ”I am not selling powdered corn but selling E ku feee, (Aroma)”. They asked again what I was selling I kept on saying that I was not selling powdered corn but selling E ku feee, they all looked at one another . With confidence and pity I insisted that I was selling E ku feee but not powdered corn. They all burst into laughter. The Monarch then asked them to leave me alone that I was looking for what to eat .Since then they have been calling me E ku feee.That was how the late Monarch, Oba Adekola Ogunoye rescued me, and this I can never forget till my dying day.”
HAWKING
While hawking her product she said ”I would scream on top of my voice advertising my product that they should come and buy E ku feee, and they would call me to buy. I have used the proceeds from E ku feee to train my children in school in the university ,from the proceeds I have built house and still feeding from it today.
CALL ME E KU FEEE
Though E ku fee love journalism but said ” they are not well paid . I have an uncle who did it for many years but came home with nothing to show for it .Asked about her E ku feee again, she said ” when I am frying the corn its aroma wafts everywhere, when I ground the corn the aroma wafts everywhere and when I mixed it with palm oil and groundnuts its aroma wafts in the air and everybody will know its E ku feee.Asked what is her response when greeted or hailed as E ku feee, she said ”I will pray for them that A dara fun e, Aye a ye o”( It will be well with you, You will live well).
E ku feeee, E ku feeee.

Stones that ‘become’ kings

                      ………..   Nobody can count the stones

                    ………The stones are sacred

 

These Chiefs are explaining some points  about the  sacred stones

                                CAN YOU COUNT?

Are  you a good mathematician or a good Accountant who can count and get an accurate answer to figures? .If you are sure of yourself then don’t be disappointed when  you fail this simple arithmetic. If you are very sure of yourself then come to Ijero- Ekiti to make effort and count the number of these stones in the above brick fence,

  Outside  His Royal Majesty Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole  the Alajero of Ijero’s  palace is a sacred place where hundreds of   stones are  neatly kept in a circle  and guarded by concrete  wall with sharp and pointed  irons to protect the stones.

Looking at these stones one may be curious to ask  over 1001 questions , ”what importance  are these  stones?.Are they precious stones?. What are these stones doing here?.Why are they  here and for how long have they been here? . What could have been the reason for  ”dumping” them  here?. Are they gold?”

                                       SACRED STONES

 In Ijero -Ekiti this place has become a sacred place thus it has become a Tourist  attraction Center . It is  sacred . It is  kept neat always .Speaking with the   monarch , the Alajero of Ijero  who doubles as the traditional ruler and head of the community , he said ‘‘ each stone represents a king that had passed away and that is how it has been from time immemorial”, he continued  ,” nobody can count the number of the stones and while counting the number of these  stones you get confused , and that   is mysterious’‘  .

He continued ”If you start  counting the stones one, two, three you would miss it and will never be able to finish counting them as you would get confused”.

 

He continued   ”if you go back  and start  counting again you will get confused no matter how smart or brilliant you are. No man in this town knows the number of the stones deposited here”, he said beating his chest but quickly added ”It is only the Oloris   (wives of the Monarch) and the monarch himself  that know  the number ”.

He explained further as he emphasized on  the ”holiness” of the place , he said ”the place is a sacred place and one must not go into the place, or throw things or rubbish into the place, whoever does that would see its repercussion. No one ever tries  it”, he said with all seriousness.

           A  STONE REPRESENTS A DEAD MONARCH

Still on the stones , the king said  ”the sacred place where we keep these stones started long time ago when our forefathers were not educated , so whenever a king dies the community would place a stone there”. So if you want to know how many kings that had passed away you will have to count the number of stones there. Despite our civilization , education and modern world we refused to jettison the idea”.

When  contacted  , Mr. Yewande  Joshua Olukolade who is  a native of the town  with  two Master degrees  confirmed  the story . When reminded that the town is among the few towns in Nigeria who can boast of at least five graduates from each household   but still using the stone age method  to record their monarchs’ deaths   Olukolade  disagreed, he said ” it is true we are educated but we cherish our culture and tradition  our forefathers left behind.We met them doing it and we shall continue irrespective of our education.

However , the monarch who is a lover of tradition and culture said   ”When I pass away too a stone would be placed  there, and that would be my own stone”.

These stones represent the number of the departed Kings in Ijero-Ekiti.