Was it by mere coincidence that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi and Nigerian billionaire business woman,Folorunsho Alakija, in separate interviews granted both of them recently by different media,gave pride of place to “ORI”(Yoruba word for Head )being part of the body to which is associated the idea of primacy,chieftaincy ,headship and captaincy ?
When Nigerian music lovers,particularly youths also sing with ferocious hilarity ,jumping and shouting as they dance to the golden music of Adekunle Gold that “Dangote and Otedola” ko lori meji “(Dangote and Otedola each does not have two heads ),what message are they trying to convey about the same “Ori”(head)being the concrete part of the body ,personifying luck,fate and destiny.”?
Doing justice to the subject in an exclusive interview documented in a video titled :”Treasures of our Ancestors”,the Oonirisa explained that it was a herculean task as he assembled the world-class archival resources in which “Ori” and other issues of high traditional importance to Yoruba featured prominently.
In a chat with the Punch as she turned 70, the billionaire business woman who is involved in the fashion ,oil ,real estate and printing industries also explained how God confirmed to her in dream about the sacredness of “Ori” head and how it became a rule in her family that none of their children should come home with funny hairstyles.
With his sacred obligation to enlighten the world about the authentic story of the origin and identity of the Yoruba race ,the Oonirisa who stated that he had consulted widely on Yoruba archival resources which he described as materials which are rare globally, submitted that it is in Ori,the spirit head, that all senses of human existence reside.
“Ori is Spirit head for everything one does ,for that’s where the greatest thing emerges. Mythologically ,Ori used to be a unit , and after consulting with the eyes,brain,nose,lips,ears and neck, all the parts of the body of man agreed to dwell where Ori is, as it is the brain box where reasoning and power reside.
His Imperial Majesty added:”It is from Ori that the transition of divinity equally resides
To have a head is to have a sense of direction;Ori shall forever be relevant as the headship in dynasty ,and Yoruba do not joke with it while we pour libations to Ori to lead us a right. ”
Answering question on her Apostleship and dress sense,Alakija explained :”By November this year , it would be two years that God told me (in a dream) to stop wearing wigs .”
“When I woke up ,I said God,If this is you speaking ,then you have to confirm it through others before I would take any step.”
“About ten days later,I got a call from a married couple that God said “No more wigs” I screamed and right there ,I undid my braids and did an afro to work. ”
“Meanwhile I had just bought twelve wigs of different types and colours at a TD Jake’s event,I wore a black and white wig and again at the crusade .That was the last time .”
Curiously,my own attention on this development could not but watch with keen interest, the golden lips of the Oonirisa and the Nigerian billionaire woman over their sacred treatment of this vital part of the body ,having myself sometime last year, addressed the importance of head ,Ori,as a seat of destiny which must not be toyed with.
Discussing the head as a sanctuary of the divinity under the title:”Shun your “kadara” and get “kodoro” meaning shun your seat of destiny and you mar your luck and fate, I expressed dismay at how people especially the youths often fail to accord dignity to their heads,even though they echoed like cats in chorus ,songs that idolized Ori as a reality in human person .
: It is common trend to hear people sing different songs by music idols celebrating Ori as the sacred place where the governance of mankind’s actions spring and here, mention should be made of Hubert Ogunde ,I.K.Dairo and Adekunle Gold among others whose music were testimonies of the prominence of head as foreknowledge of a man’s destiny.
According to Hubert Ogunde’s lyrics:
“Bi o ba maa laya,
Bere lowo Ori re,
Bi o ba maa ko le,
Bere lowo Ori re.:”
(When you want to get a wife,
Ask your Ori,head,
When you are about to build a house,
Consult your Ori ,head…”
It was same thing with the Music genius,I.K.Dairo who thus sang:”
“Ise Ori ranmi mi ni mo Nse,
Eni ba jale lo bomoje. ”
(It is the errand which Ori head sent me that I am running,
It is him who steals that disgraces manliness.”
With the savvy generation,the music by Adekunle Gold is saying the same thing,but the rendition is however ,daring the youths to take the bull of economy by the horns and reach out to the topmost mountain where money resides,afterall, billionaires like Dangote and Otedola do not carry two heads on their shoulders .”
“Baba God O,
Emi na fe wa Range Rover,
Dangote Olori meiji
Na beg I beg O;
Pick up the call.
Emi na fewa Bentley,
Otedola O lori meji,
Pick up the call
Na beg I dey beg O.”
What has however sparked off fury into my own Pen today is the way too many youths are paying lip service to Ori (head) through the way they are desecrating the sanctity of their heads by the careless manner in which they handled their hairdos ,yet singing glowing tributes to the head as the seat of divinity.
I had once watched to my chagrin ,the suicidal way in which a young lady ,riding on an okada motorcycle, got her flying hairdo, laden with a web of heavily coloured attachments (braids),trapped in the spoke of a moving okada and this accident eventually wheeled both of them crudely to a halt on the crazy lane .
As pedestrians attracted to the scene by her shout for help ,fought tooth and nail to disentangle her wig(already fragmentized into tatters,) from the okada wheel,it became evident that she had escaped with injured neck ,even amid jeers by same samaritans who could not help tongue lashing her for her frivolous hairdo in the name of fashion.
Much spirituality and ideology could be gleaned wisely from the intelligent application of the word :”Ori” (head ) in Yoruba religious discourse .
For instance, the author of “The Vocabulary of Yoruba Religious Discourse, says that when an English man cries:”Oh me ! “,a Yoruba man says :”Ori mi O” (O my head )An ill-fated person is called :”Olori buruku ” a person with a bad head” Luck is called :”Ori ire ,” head of goodness ”
This is why the head is seen as the source and the “ever present place ” of both blessing and curse .
“Oh my head ” in English is :”Ori mi o ” in Yoruba ,and with the head (Ori,) being the source of both good and bad luck, is it not therefore possible to cleanse a person’s luck and change his or her ill fate by simply buying and wearing a good and expensive wig in replacement of the natural hair of “ori buruku”?
IDEOLOGICAL DEDUCTIONS FROM THE HAIR YOU WEAR.
Much spirituality and ideology could be wisely gleaned from the intelligent application of the word :”Ori” (head ) in Yoruba religious discourse .
For instance, the author of “The Vocabulary of Yoruba Religious Discourse, says that when an English man cries:”Oh me ! “,a Yoruba man says :”Ori mi O” (O my head )An ill-fated person is called :”Olori buruku ” (a person with a bad head”)while Luck is called :”Ori ire ,” (head of goodness ” ) This is why the head is seen as the source and the “ever present place ” of both blessing and curse .
Since what :”Oh my head “in English is what :”Ori mi o ” is in Yoruba ,with the head (Ori,) being the source of both good and bad luck, is it not therefore possible for someone living in one of the God-forsaken streets of Ajegunle in Nigeria to cleanse his or her luck by changing his or her ill fate through buying and wearing a good and expensive wig designed and made in America, even in replacement of his or her natural hair of “ori buruku”?
Probably this is what the African woman is trying to achieve by her rejection of her afro hairdo for the imported wigs of many colours.
The Oonirisa has done his beat ;The Adimula has even hit the streets for the sake of buying back our youths from colonial mentality through telling our own story ourselves , it is up to us to either run with the Ooni’s philosophy or continue to oversecularize and overtopicalize things that require simple common sense and native intelligence.
It has also taken the divine intervention of a billionaire business woman in the person of Alakija to preach the virtue in staying true to womanhood, bringing sense to the Nigerian ladies that self emancipation or woman liberation is a charity that begins from home and it goes beyond mere Affirmation Action doled out from the National Assembly.
Just as I shall be expatiating on all the Spiritual and ideological deductions to the hair you wear in the concluding part of this article,I shall prove wrong the notion in the song that “Dangote Kolori meji; Otedola Kolori meji .”