A new praise-poem by Amore David Olamide dedicated to the city of Ìbàdàn, the capital of Ọyọ State in Nigeria. Founded in the 19th century as a warriors camp, Ìbàdàn has grown into one of Africa’s most populous cities.
According to local historians, Ìbàdàn was founded by a military commander from Ilé Ifè called Lagelu in 1829. Lagelu chose the forest site to be a camp for warriors as its elevated hills made it easy to defend. The city-state became a wealthy trading centre ruled by a warrior class rather than the traditional kingship institutions that dominated other Yoruba cities. Ìbàdàn’s military associations led to the city being nicknamed idi Ibon (“butt of a gun”).
Ìbàdàn, the home of heroes
Who could not be opposed
After eating the bush mango.
Ìbàdàn, the land of warriors
Who do not fraternise with pacifists
For flaring up violence in the street
Is what they take satisfaction in.
Ìbàdàn, the land of Bravehearts
Who takes pleasure in waging war
And they are offsprings of combatant
That many defines have valiant.
What there is left to explicit
About the land of mysticism
Of you who see war and dances;
Of you who sees war and rejoices
Those who never flee from battleground
Those who never run away on the battlefield.
Maybe I should particularize you in poetry
Of your warriors who never take a spill
The kingdom of Aláàfin (1)
That many render panegyric.
The pickney of Àsabarí Hills (2)
That many seek for asylum
The descendants of broken wall
Who has unflagging enthusiasm?
You who is touchy for criticism
You who love to deliver a tirade
You, who is pretty thin-skinned
In the house of Olúyọ̀lé. (3)
How about the formidable Ògúnmọ́lá (4)
The indomitable at the battleground
One who perceived a knock on his door
And was never anxious
He says if it’s not the talebearer
It will be the naysayer.
This eulogy will be inaccurate
If I do render a merited homage
And acclaim Ìbàdàn as the city of Ibikunle (5)
One who has a hair-raising territory
And acclaim Ìbàdàn as the town of Àjàyí (6)
Who beheaded the buffalo imperiously.
Tell them about the city of Látọsà (7)
The nobleman and leader of the Oyo empire
Offspring of the one
Who devour the snail and the carapace
And uses the shell water to get going again.
Ìbàdàn do not dust up like the day before
You who battled with your neighbors in war
You who do not make friends with a nervous nellie
You who despise agitation.
Ibadan, the visionary city
Where thieves exculpate over the Supreme being
The benevolent town
Where the pigeon brings forth water for the indigenes.
Asejire is our source of life
Said the Ìbàdàn descendants
For everyone has an undesirable feature
Brawling is the flaw of Ìbàdàn.
by Amore David Olamide
- Aláàfin: The ruler of Oyo Empire.
- Àsabarí: A region that has experienced an influx of asylum seekers.
- Olúyọ̀lé: Oluyole is a Local Government Area in Oyo State.
- Baṣọ̀run Ògúnmọ́lá: A Yoruba tactician and warlord from Ibadan.
- Balógun Ìbíkúnlé: The great ruler and commander-in-chief of Ìbàdàn forces in the nineteenth-century. See Oriki Inagije
- Àjàyí Ògbóríẹfòn: A warrior from Ìbàdàn.
- Ààrẹ Látọsà: A warrior from Ìbàdàn.