She is royalty personified by her complete Aso Oke attire, truly depicting an Egba princess she is. Though engaged as an official compere at the 61st birthday of the Olu of Itori, Oba Abdulfatai Akorede Akamo inside the deluxe King’s Court in Itori, Ogun State on October 1, 2021, to those who quickly connected with her face and voice on social media, she is a Yoruba culture amazon. At 37 years, Adejoke Somoye, famously known as Ewa Ede, has elected to recover Yoruba Language swept away by wave of foreign influences, particularly Queen’s language. In an interview with TUNDE BUSARI, she declares war on further erosion of her mother tongue. Excerpts
Are you aware your fame is on ascension lately?
(Smiling) Let me just give glory to Eledumare (God) for everything, including what you just called fame because without Him I am nobody. In fact, I am still nobody because I don’t see myself as anything. Eledumare is everything; He is the one who has power over everybody.
Are you often told you are popular on social media?
I am not told but I know that everyone who goes to social media to address public is famous. So, if what I do on social media makes me more accessible to the general public, it is in order, and I thank God and public for that.
How did you start your public presentation on facebook, where I actually spotted you?
I started about a year ago.
What motivated you?
I woke up to reality that social media is a global stage where everybody, who can read and write, goes to interact with friends and colleagues. I realized the coverage of facebook and related it to my programme, in terms of reaching as many people as possible. That was the main motivation to try.
Did you have in mind that your programme would be accepted?
I did not think of whether it would be accepted or not. Rather, I was thinking of impact which my programme would have on true sons and daughters of Yorubaland at home and outside Nigeria. My core mission was and still is to spread gospel of my language, a special language, which can compete with all other languages in the world. I am not exaggerating but saying the truth. Yoruba Language is rich and precious to me and should be precious to every true son and daughter of Yorubaland.
I observe you don’t script each episode of your presentation on facebook, am I right?
Yes, I don’t do script before I go on air. It comes to me naturally in a way I can’t explain. I am empty before I set camera, but moment I face camera, messages would come, then I deliver. I only deliver those messages.
From where do those messages come?
They are works of Eledumare.
Are you saying you are sent by God to deliver those messages?
That is the best explanation because those messages are heavier than what I should jot in a book and recite to public. Let me say that my messages to the Yorubas are divine. It is so mystical that at a go, I can record four episodes as messages keep coming. I only need to change my clothes to differentiate one from the other. So, it is beyond me. It is God’s assignment I am doing.
How beneficial is this programme to you?
I may not understand what you really mean by benefit but I can say it that I am okay, especially that it is my choice, not that I am trying to impress public. That you identified me in this hall and interviewed me is a benefit, which I am happy for. Benefits should not be restricted to Naira and Kobo; that is the value which Yoruba culture teaches; Omoluabi should come before any other thing. We don’t worship money in our culture. In fact, if source of your wealth is questionable, you will be treated like an outcast with your money. I am happy for where I have reached in propagating my culture.
Can you name where you have taken your act to?
I have been to UK, Brazil, Spain and Trinidad and Tobago where I attended symposium and festivals. I am okay by these accomplishments because I go out and make impacts on people.
Aside this presentation, what do you do for a living?
I am a freelance broadcaster based in Abeokuta.
Which school did you attend?
I attended Abeokuta Girls, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and University of Lagos, where I read History and International Relations. I completed my degree in 2014 and served immediately. I was redeployed, and served in the Alake Palace. It is all about promotion of Yoruba culture.
What do you tell Yoruba readers at this final note?
I want to repeat that they should not disrespect their language and respect foreign languages; it is not fair. They should not wait till same foreigners return to Yorubaland and teach Yoruba Language. It is getting to that level gradually, going by number of foreigners who show interest in our culture generally.