When royal fathers danced for Alaafin in Osogbo

The Timi of Ede, Oba Muniru Adesola Lawal Laminisa; the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; the Eburu of Iba, Oba Adekunle Adeogun Okunoye; the Alapomu of Apomu, Oba Kayode Adenekan Afolabi; the Alara of Ara, Oba Olubayo Windapo; the Ona Onibode of Igboho, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adetoyese Jayeola were a delight to watch yesterday in their flowing traditional costumes when they all rose in unison and hit dance floor in response to a live performance by the Alapaaro band based in Osogbo.

For about 30 minutes, the above listed monarchs were in traditional vibe reminiscent of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, reputed for his sharp ears for drum and acclaimed dance skills.

The event, held inside the lecture theatre of the Centre For Black Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo, the Osun State capital, was what was called Roundtable and a Day of Tributes for Oba Adeyemi who had joined his ancestors on April 22, 2022 at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital while his burial rites were performed the following day in Bara, Oyo.

The Orangun admitted that the rhythm of the dundun and sekere became irresistible such that he had to reach out to the Timi of Ede to lead other monarchs to the stage.

“I had a feeling that Baba Alaafin was watching us as we were doing what he would have done were he at that occasion. That was what he lived for. He taught us to be proud of our culture and demonstrate it publicly as we all did with joy,” he said.

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The Eburu similary noted that Oba Adeyemi was Yoruba culture personified who would do anything to proclaim his Yorubaness at home and abroad.

“He would go abroad with his wives and show them off to the whites who expressed happiness and struggled to snap pictures with him. There is no argument on the fact that Baba was our pride of whom we are also proud. If time had permitted me to read all I have in my paper, you would have seen more virtues of the Alaafin,” Oba Okunoye said.

The Timi was almost unconsolable reflecting the fatherly status of the Alaafin right from his early years on the throne in Ede, saying he would continue to miss him as a father who showed him direction and also supported him on how to be self-sufficient to earn respect of his subjects.

The Alapomu affirmed that he was lucky and grateful to God to have hosted the Alaafin in his second anniversary held in March, 2022 in Apomu. Oba Afolabi recalled some of discussions he had with him and charged all to work for defence of his legacy.

“We have an attitude, which is to mourn for a brief period and forget the deceased soon afterwards. We should not forget Baba Alaafin because if we forget him, it will amount to disservice to what he worked for as a consistent promoter of our culture and tradition. I mean, his legacy must be preserved through museum,” he proposed.

The Ona Onibode also disclosed that to the credit of Oba Adeyemi was elevation of more than 10 towns in Oke Ogun to beaded Crown wearers including himself.

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The unassuming Alara remarked that he was glad to have attended the occasion , saying Oba Adeyemi deserved the session.

“It was an historic gathering for him as a king who was revered by other kings. Comments so far made have made a clear attestation to the type of life he lived, leaving behind many lessons for us to learn from him, Oba Windapo opined.

A US-based Professor of History, Toyin Falola anchored the paper presentations by some university scholars and top media practitioners as well as the trio of the Alaafin’s confidant, His Eminence Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu (rtd), the Alaafin Culture Ambassador, Dr Paula Gomes, a Portuguese, who holds Yoruba culture in high esteem, and the Araba of Osogbo, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon.

Ladigbolu allayed fear expressed that a replica of Oba Adeyemi’s landmarks might not be in sight. He backed his submission with reference to some reigns before him, concluding that Oyo had always been blessed with achievers in the palace.

“The Ikubabayeye’s transition can’t and won’t be the end of more accomplishments in the history of Oyo.  Yes, he has raised the bar; his successor will continue from there,” he said.

Gomes, a Sango devotee, who also traced history of her relationship with the Alaafin to 2010, made a passionate appeal to the Yorubas to appreciate and protect their culture, warning that the current erosion of the culture would be counterproductive in the no distant future.

“I want to beg of you to please encourage your children to understand and practise your culture so that you won’t go to Brazil and Cubs to look for Yoruba teachers for your children. That was the worry of Baba Alaafin which he was discussing with me. He was my father, and that was what I called him,” she disclosed.

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The educative session had as interlude live performances of drummers, dancers and, especially Ijala chant by Chief Alabi Ogundepo who revealed through his poetry that Oba Adeyemi attended his 80th birthday ceremony in Saki in 2021.

Professor Siyan Oyeweso, the principal organiser, was appreciative of the turnout, and specially thanked a former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola for his support for the Centre.

The Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdur-Rasheed Olabomi, the Sobaloju of Ede, Chief Adedeji Aderemi famously known in theatre world as Olofa’na, Omoba Wale Olayemi and a delegation from Oyo were also in attendance .

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