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All protocol observed. As a cultured society and for the occasion of this nature where we have the gathering of custodians of our cultural heritage, the generalissimo who is the defendant of Oodua nation in person of Otunba Gani Adams and the Kaabiyesi Alayeluwa hereby present and other important personalities present in this traditional event. It is important not to forget our track as Africans, as Nigerians and of course as Yoruba the offspring’s of Oodua. It is in our character to always respect the elders and our contemporaries in form of IBA, the homage as been taught by my master, an Ijala Chanter (hunter’s praise song); Odetoogun Akanmu A- roko-ma-kegbado, Agbe tii roko tii da koko si baba Belawu. Meaning, Odetoogun Akanmu, he who clear the bush and never clear the maize, a farmer that clear the bush and spare cocoa trees. I chant....”
I will therefore commence this paper presentation with homage, my homage from our traditional religion, Ifa, to be specific from a principal Odu known as “Ika meji”.
I recite “Elemo nikaa…..”
Before anything it is important to know what culture is, in summary, culture is the entire ways of life of any given society which includes their believes, their religions, burial rights, marriage, obaship institution, arts and crafts, moral instructions and of course the complete ways of life of any society which is being passed from one generation to the other.
One of our cultural heritages is religion. Every tribe on earth has its religion, the belief in God and His messengers. Likewise the Yoruba as a nation believes in Olodumare as the creator of heaven and earth and all that is there in and ORISA as the ministers of Olodumare on earth.
There are lot of research works on how religion came into existence some believed that GOD was invented by the poor because they were of the opinion that it is only GOD that can save them from the “power that be” hence the saying “God dey na poor man prayer”.
In Yoruba nation we never see orisa as God but rather as the representative of Olodumare just like the ministers to Mr. President. i.e. Osun, Ogun, Ifa, Obaluaye, Sango, Obatala, Yemoo to mention but a view.
Today our focus shall be on Ifa as the encyclopedia of life: IFA is the voice of Olodumare while Orunmila is the messenger that is Ifa is the message Orumila is the messenger but in some occasions people do refer to Ifa and Orunmila as the messenger.
“Ifa bara elesin oyan
Orunmila bara Adagbaa Ojomu
Gbolajokoo omo okinkin
Ti’ i meyin erin fan ….”
Ifa is paramount among the Yorubas and during the era of slave trade Yorubas were highly respected for their knowledge of Ifa or Vodoo, to predict the future and to know what the future has in stock.
IFA is the encyclopedia of life because Ifa embraces almost everything in life and this has been in existence before the adventure of other religion Christianity or Islam.
EDUCATION: Ifa believes in giving sound education to our children and he is completely against ignorant as we have it in Oturupon-Owonrin
“Baa ba ti ji ogbon ni ka maa kora wa
Ka ma ti kutukutu pile were
Oro taa ba ro ti o gun un
Ikin eni ni ka maa ke si”
which shows that if appreciate knowledge.
IFA being referred to as the deity of wisdom has an Odu for numbering ie. Ejiogbe I recite.
“Ifa lo deni mo lo deni
A difa fun Nini Ola tii somo won lode iteni
Ifa lo deni mo lo deni…..”
But to some people they are of the opinion that we have this numerics through Western Education but rather it came through Ifa.
PATIENCE: Ifa “baba dudu oke igeti”
Ifa knew that there is nothing we can achieve in life without being patience, and we all know this as a matter of truth patience and endurance matter’s in our daily activities and Ifa being an encyclopedia of life also believes in this as we have it in OGBE YONU:
Onibinu ni yoo so ibi oun ti wa
Alajangbila eniyan nii fira ree han
O tun ko se re de oruko nii so ni
Adifa fun Oka, o l’oun o jalapa nirawe nile Oniyanja
Adifa fun sebe, o loun o jalapa nirawe nile Oniyanja
Adifa fun Ere, o loun o jalapa nirawe nile oniyanja
Adifa fun Nini, o loun o jalapa nirawe nile Oniyanja
Nini nikan ni nbe leyin ti n sebo
Looto a mu Nini joba, Oka losiwawu, oun lo ba se re je
Looto a mu Nini joba,
Looto a mu Nini joba, Sebe losiwawu, oun lo ba sere je
Looto a mu Nini joba
Looto a mu Nini joba, Ojola lo siwawu, oun lo ba sere je
Looto a mu Nini joba
Our religion of today teaches the TRUTH but the truth being echo is on our lips not in our hearth but to IFA, TRUTH is very import and nobody can make heaven without being truthful but this truth is no more in our society as against the preaching in the church and mosque but everybody know the bitter truth that you can only find the truth in our traditional religion.
Puropuro ku, o ku si gbo ina
Sikasika ku, o ku s’odan oorun
Sootosooto ku, o ku gbedemuke, o fehinti amuleke
Orunmila Awo Aye lo difa fun Aye
Nigbati won nse Aye, ti Aye to roju, ti Aye ko jo
Won ni ki won o kara nle ebo ni ki won o se
Oloooto nikan ni nbe lehin ti nsebo
Nje sotito sododo, soore masika
Otito abona tooro, osika abona gbara gada
Sotito sododo, sododo sotito
Eniti o sotito ni imole ngbe
RELIGION: “In everything religion” Nigerians of today are highly religious but only religion other things that surrounded the religion are neglected we can never deceive God. That is the reason why we have places of worship here and there but our heart and ways of life are very far from God. When some religious group is observing their fasting that is when evil deeds are reduced to minimum. Level but in Ifa religion, we were taught to serve Olodumare deligently and not as hypocrites so that we can live long as we have it in Ogunda meji
Buruburu laa yika
Gborogboro laa dodobale
Ka dodobale ka pa igbonwo mo pelu
O laduru ire tin ma nse funni
Adifa fun eni to mosin ope
Tii yoo jaye edu pe pelu
Ifa mo mosin ope je njaye edu pe more
TABOO: Ifa said so much on taboo otherwise known as eewo, most of the problem being experienced by mankind today is our failure to reference eewo. In the olden days, our forefathers jealously guided taboo because they knew they were saving their lives. This taboo can be categorized into divisions ranges from health, or sickness, personal, family, town, religion, association to mention but a few.
This day, taboo is no more acknowledged and this is the root cause of every problem.
This taboo is like a guiding angel which giving it a reference will determine how successful one will be in life, as we have it in Ifa corpus. IROSISUN MEJI
“Beeyan n sehun eewo
Benikan o bi i
Bo ba pe ohun ti n bini a maa bini
Eewo a si ma beere
A difa feni ti baba re o ku
Tio yoo jogun iya e"
Our failure to reference eewo is responsible for some evils and abnormalities being experience in our society for now. Can we all see what evil we are doing to ourselves with our failure to keep to eewo which is the guiding principle of our fore-fathers.
I therefore advised that every fathers and mothers should know their children's eewo and teach them on how to keep away from it so that it can be better for them in life. For this is our culture and of course this is our heritage, let us protect it.
Ifa is the encyclopedia of life that is why its difficult for anybody to leave his live without making references to Ifa in his daily activities no matter his or her religious belief.
For instance AJE. Aje is the Yoruba deity for commerce or business activities, because Ifa is the encyclopedia of life that is why it is possible to ask the question from any Muslim or Christian that
“Se Aje n wogba” the person will reply positively that
“Adupe” they would have forgotten that Orisa ni Aje.
Music: most of the music we dance to are orisa or Ifa songs and our religious leaders dance with all their strength without taking into cognizance that this is Ifa song except you don’t dance to Sunny Ade’s Juju music which he took from Ifa: IROSUN MEJI
Ada n ko ada roko
Ada n ko ada rodo
Ada n ko ada foro mo jogan
A difa f’eleko idere
Tii yoo loro kale o to le
Ifa maje kale oro o le mi
Eleko Idere soo loo jere
O roso dudu, O gbaja pupa
O fapoti tidi o le kenka
Eleko idere soo lo lere
In conclusion, Ifa the precious voice of Olodumare brought to mankind by Orunmila one of the ministers of Olodumare on earth being Encyclopedia of live encompasses our ways of live both living and non-living human and non-human and nobody can live his life as expected without Ifa as a reference therefore this is our religion our tradition, our legacy and this should be our way of life.
Thank you.

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