A new poem by Amore David Olamide. Oba Adéyẹyè Ẹnítán Ògúnwúsi Ọjájá II is the current Ọọ̀ni (the traditional ruler) of Ilè-Ifẹ̀. The Ọọ̀ni of Ilè-Ifẹ̀ traditionally serves as the spiritual head of the Yorùbá people.
The masquerader will pay homage to Alágbaà (1)
All birds shall pay homage to Ọlanfẹ (2)
The mouth shall pay homage to the stomach
For the stomach is father of all òrìṣà.
But as for me the court poet
I will pay homage to the ruler of Ilè-Ifẹ̀
As for me the rhapsodist
I will pay homage to the scion of Ayikiti. (3)
I shall pay homage to you Ogunwusi
To safeguard my words from ill will
For it’s the abstention from greetings
That gets the mouth sniffed in Ìséyìn. (4)
I have extended greetings to the homebound
I have extended greetings to the ones returning from trip
I have paid homage to ayé
And my extolment to Olódùmarè.
Adéyẹyè, I shall eulogise you today.
Do not emerge like a wrathful deity
Because I acclaimed you by name
For it’s by name we panegyrise the majesty
It’s by name we regard the potentate.
When Ọbàtálá, the fashioner of human beings
Demanded for a king
They summoned for Onirisa
And the elders adorned him in white.
How do I pronounce your name?
You the glamour king
How do I particularise your poetry
Offspring of boulevardier
The delegate of Adimula (5)
You who take the namaskar of other kings.
Since you became a designated King
Deaths and penury
Have remained in the jungle
The descendants of Etiri ogun
Since you became a king
Birds fly and sing
Rats do scamper and squeak.
You who performed unprecedented feat
Posterity shall acknowledge your name
You who the dunghill turned to a sandy plain
We shall have your name appraised.
There are no two suns for the day
Only the radiant one from Ifè Ooyè
There are no two Kings for the throne
Only the one with the primordial crown.
Ojaja! The rarefied one that knows the eyes of the land.
One who sees through the visionary eyes of Opele (6)
There is no match for your immortal crown.
by Amore David Olamide
- Alágbaà: Chief head of masquerade.
- Ọlanfẹ: A Yorùbá proverb describes the ọlanfẹ bird as “the father of all birds”.
- Ayikiti: Ayikiti ninu Aran is a direct ancestor of Oba Adéyẹyè Ògúnwùsi and reigned from 1878–1880 as the 44th Ọọ̀ni of Ilè-Ifẹ̀.
- Ìséyìn: A city located in the Nigerian state of Oyo.
- Adimula is a praise name of Oduduwa, the Yorùbá divine king who briefly ruled Ilè-Ifẹ̀. Deified after his death, he ascended to the Yorùbá pantheon as an aspect of a primordial divinity of the same name.
- Opele: Nuts from the opele tree (schrebera golungensis) are tied in a chain and used for divination in the Ifá religion.