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UK-born Yorubas And Their Way Of Life

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UK-born Yorubas And Their Way Of Life

There are Yoruba successful home-owning adults who were born and bred in London and have never been to Nigeria in their lives, yet they speak Yoruba. They bear some of the thickest Yoruba names you have hardly heard, even in Nigeria. Anuoluwabamise, Diekololaoluwa, Fehintola. And they don’t shorten it to Anu, Olu, or Fehi. They bear it as it is, and if you can’t pronounce it, that is your wahala, not theirs. Meanwhile, when they speak English, you must stand at attention. Their accent is kissable!

They attend Aladura and Celestial Church (I kid you not!) without shame and with white garments. Their lead singer in the choir is an oyinbo girl that sings in Yoruba. You heard me right! And every Sunday after church, they were Aso Oke with abeti Aja. Some of them still do odu Ifá. They have their local Babalawo, who does spiritual work on weekends and is an investment banker at Canary Wharf financial district on weekdays.

Do not play with the instrumentalists at Celestial Church in London! Not at all. Pop stars hire them as studio session musicians and to tour with them. Those guys are second to none in their musicology.

These are the people who have been making King Sunny Ade and KWAM 1 rich by regularly attending their shows in London and all over Europe. If you grow up in and around Peckham and Camberwell, you are likely to speak Yoruba.

Yet, you, who are based in Lagos and Abuja and have never seen how Murtala Muhammed or Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airports look inside, bear Anthony Martins, Campbell Collins, and Jennifer Peters. You speak through your nose and murder the letter R in your fake accent. You attend Christ Embassy and fry your hair and dress on point (often on credit). Your native language is too local for you, and when your own mother comes to visit you from the village, you are embarrassed and even sometimes lie that she is your house help.

How many enslaved people were taken from Africa to the Americas? Tens of millions. But only the Yoruba enslaved people kept their culture. All other cultures were wiped out.

Do you see that Yoruba culture that you look down on? It is the highest culture on Earth.

By Reno Omokei

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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