The dominant religions in Nigeria are Islam and Christianity, imported to West Africa generations ago.
But traditional African religion has not been forgotten, especially among the Yoruba ethnic group as traditionalists still practice across the nooks and crannies of the country without much hindrance except for the acceptability by the general populace.
But these piece is not about the traditional religion in Nigeria but rather about a devoted traditionalist who hold fast his faith the Yoruba culture and heritage even at a tender age thereby making sway and projecting the through African religious beliefs and perspectives.
Chief Olayode Ifagbohunmi ifadola, an Ifa traditionalist was born in an agrarian area called Isara in Remo Local Government area of Ogun state over 30 years ago and has embraced Ifá which is being refers to the system of divination and the verses of the literary corpus known as the Odú Ifá. Yoruba religion identifies Orunmila as the Grand Priest, as he who revealed Oracle divinity to the world.
Deep Dive into his early life revealed that before his birth, there was a premonition ( Prophesy) to his parents that the baby to be conceived by the couple (Parent) would later be a glorious child but will take a different path to his greatness through the traditional religious practices in a unique way.
True to the prophesy, when all of his peers choosed to pursue Western education with aim to attain greatness in life, Ifagbohunmi Ifadola thread the path that his creator has cut out for him and whenever he is being asked why Ifa divination, he always boasts to say “if I choosed otherwise, I may not succeed in life” as mysteriously prophesized before his birth.
He acquired some rudimentary western education through correspondence programmes only later in life because his parents had preferred him being trained in indigenous knowledge system.
To sharpen his skills, he received training in the Ifa Divination system, an embodiment of the Yoruba wisdom bank as apprentice with renowned priests all over the Yoruba nation.
After rigorous training under several masters, he was appropriately initiated as an Ifa priest, using his gifts to better the lots of the people in Ogun state and beyond.
Apart from being an Ifa priest, Ifadola has popularized his expertise through herbal practice, all of which he has proved to emanate from the wisdom of Ifa, helping countless of people in need based on Ifa divination.
Chief Ifagbohunmi ifadola deep-rooted traditional beliefs has made him stand out among his peers even at his tender age with patronage that spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria and beyond and as well culminated to his mission to establishing a traditional institution where young Nigerians will be taught on the benefits inherent in knowing one”s cultural heritage deeply.
In a recent chat with The Nigeria Standard, the renowned Ifa Priest noted with dismay how virtually all regions in Nigeria have been touted to have lost a large chunk of their cultural heritage to foreign cultures and values, but the Yoruba culture in South-West Nigeria has been touted as the worst affected in this regard.
He noted that holding tight to one’s culture and tradition could pay off in the long run, as citizens of countries from other parts of the world often travel far and wide to study and learn more about the cultures of other climes through processes such as tourism.
This according to the traditionalist, means culture and tradition can serve as a means of revenue generation for the entire states of the South-west.