I used to befriend one of the younger nieces of Alaafin. By their tribal mark, you will know Oba Adeyemi’s lineage., old or young.
But I didn’t attach much cultural importance to my friend’s lineage or tribal mark until we went to a local bukateria & palmwine joint at Asejire, Ibadan. (I know some natty congosis like Chief Oghene Olu Dester Simple Fash & Tomilola Ayoade aka Ebora Malaika, will know this elder’s sitting..
As we settled down at the arena to eat and “imbibe” palmwine, I was surprised when an elderly woman in charge of food suddenly started chanting: “Kabiyesi o, Baba wa Alaafin, Iku Baba Yeye, Omo Iku, ti Iku o gbodo pa, Omo Arun ta run o gbodo se…” “Baba wa Alaafin n’ko o, e ba wa ki won lafin o”, the elderly woman almost knelt down for my lady friend. What prompted her reaction was simply the tribal mark on the face of my friend and her facial resemblance to the highly respected Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111..
The second surprise , despite the fact that we both ordered for our choice of food at the same time, the woman decided to serve the beautiful Alafin’s niece first. I jokingly protested immediately against this obvious cultural alienation on why mama should serve her first and not me.
My grounds of protest to Mama are valid: One, I am a man, a superman for that matter that should be served first,, two, I am the “sugar daddy” that would pick the bill, (then I was still in the sinful world) three, I am an Egbaman from Abeokuta where modern civilisation started in Yoruba land and Nigeria ever before Yoruba towns like Oyo, Ibadan, Ijebu, Osogbo, Ile Ife, Eko. Ilesha, Ekiti, Ondo, Akure,, Ogbagi, Iresi (not rice pls) and other towns struggled to come in contact with modern civilization.
Mama just smiled at me with the remnants of her barely surviving teeth that might have been chemically variegated by the dedades of over consumption of Amala and Abula. She responded that: “E ma binu Baba wa, owo yin na la na, sugbon, mi o leri Alaafin ni le, ki nkoko safu yin, ko da, ti e ba je Alake ni, Alaafin Iku Baba Yeye ni nkoko safu, nitori orisa wa nun” (Don’t be annoyed our father, I know you will pick the bill, but I cannot see “Alaafin” (the lady) and serve you first, even if you were to be Alake of Egba land, I would still serve Alaafin first because he’s our deity..) We laughed it off.
This is a typical example of how Alaafin is held in awesome culturally by the Yorubas, especially, of Oyo stock. This respect is derived from the historical and traditional role and almost mythical influence of the Alaafin revered stool before the collapse of the old Oyo empire.
The bad news coming from the Alaafin’s palace in recent times involving some of the King’s young beautiful and educated Olori (queens) vs Alaafin is both an eyesore and “earsore” this is putting the highly exalted throne into disrepute and unnecessary controversy. This is not good enough.
As a culture activist, I once strongly advised Alaafin’s public image managers (if any) not to promote the King’s penile efficiency by overemphasizing his matrimonial adventure with these young lavishly elegant ladies over and above Oba Adeyemi’s immense contributions to Yoruba cultural history, tradition and socio-economic development.
Alaafin himself should show more circumspection in his royal voyage into the hearts of young ladies. There’s more to the Alaafin stool beyond projecting the Oba as a sturdy “sex philanthropist” before our digital youths who are barely cultural history conscious. I stil stand by my advice.
A lesson from the revered royal throne of Oba of Benin may be necessary here.
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