Tope Alabi, ‘Aboru Aboye’ and Religious Bigotry

Professor Akinyemi Onigbinde

By Akinyemi Onigbinde

I have been enjoying the debates amongst supposed Christians on Tope Alabi’s new song, where she ‘stole’ the deep essence of our rich Yoruba evocative spiritual language, ‘Aboru, Aboye’, and I can see alienated souls, displaying crass cultural illiteracy at the altar of religious bigotry. And I laughed.

However, I am consoled by Bertrand Russell great work, ‘Why I am not a Christian’.Please, let the archbishops and G.O’s of Christian faith remind me, at christmas season, whether the annual festival is, truly, in celebration of the birth of Jesus, the christ, whom they all regard as their ‘father and saviour’.Truth is, I know well enough that any imported religion that cannot synchronize its messages, nuances and liturgies with the cultural imperatives, embedded in the language of the homeland, will hardly germinate and blossom.

Christianity, for all its bravado, remain external to Yoruba peoples spiritual consciousness.If in doubt, ask your mother or grandparents who their spiritual consultants were when you showed signs of non diagnosed illness. And this was in spite of their relationships with the church, the supposed ‘body of christ’.

As for Rev Ajayi Crowder, he was rather ignorant to have equated Esu Odara, one important pantheon of Yoruba religion with Satan, the fallen angel.He did Yoruba spirituality a great harm.Did’nt he know of ‘Esugbayi’ or ‘Esubiyi’? My ancestors weren’t that demonic to have named their sons after Lucifer. Esu was, and remains a central figure-member of the gods, Eledumare’s cabinet.And I should know.

As the custodian of the patrimony of Obatala, the arc angel, the second in-command to Eledumare, God in Yoruba cosmological belief template, I should, and I know the place and importance of Esu, and his relationship with the Almighty Eledumare.Please, accord this Onigbinde his deserved espect, because ‘Igbin’ is the drum, solely devoted to the celebration of Obatala

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the follies of many of the posts, but let me tell those bigots, shading Tope Alabi, accusing her of sliding away from Christianity towards idolatry, that I didn’t see any spirituality in the song I listened to.My time, listening to the clip, would have been better utilised listening to an Ayinla Omowura’s classic, ‘Ogun Ajo’bo’

*Akinyemi Onigbinde is a reired  Professor of Philosophy