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World Ifa And Orisa Festival 2024; Ile-ife Or Ekiti

As a Babalawo, I count myself very lucky to have been tutored by two of the best
Babalawos in the world in person of Dr. Solagbade Popoola Fmr. President of the
International Council for IFA religion and Araba Ifaleke Awurela founder and Pioneer
of Ijo Orunmila Apapo Odu.
Both have vast knowledge of IFA albeit distinct character traits which have shaped
my life and altogether influenced every part of my journey as a priest.
Although I have numerous tutors, these two great Awo’s stand out in my journey to
priesthood and I can continue to sing their praises to high heaven due to their
impacts on my life, coupled with the unwavering support showered on me despite my
Dr. Solagbade Popoola, having recently passed on the mantle of leadership to his
new successor Dr. Ifakayode did tremendously well in propagating IFA into the nook
and cranny of the world that he went as far as Japan in an attempt to spread the
sacred knowledge of our spirituality.
His works speak for him and I hope that his successor will be able to put in more
effort to surpass his lofty achievement as the president of ICIR as he undoubtedly
surpassed his predecessors combined. I am sure that if the Late Professor Idowu
Odeyemi his predecessor was still alive he would agree with me on this.
Dr. Solagbade Popoola’s influence on IFA spirituality either in Ile-Ife, Ekiti, or
anywhere else in the world cannot be looked down upon even as much as he is the
pioneer and current project lead of the world Ifa and Orisa festival in Ekiti, a decision
that has caused so much dissident within the Isese community.
The festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and I don’t believe that it will
come to an end soon.
Araba Ifaleke Awurela’s influence in my life and the Isese community is alarming. I
doubt if I have met any Babalawo whose work rate matches with him anywhere, he
rarely sleeps and he has devoted every breath of his life to the service of Ifa and the
My first visit to Oke-itase and meetings of the Council of Araba were orchestrated by
him, I have been opportune to be part of important committee works within the Isese community due to his influence and most especially because of the father/son relationship that I share with him as he is also my Oluwo.
Araba Ifaleke Awurela is a leading force in the Council of Araba and a member of the Board of Trustees. His influence in organizing the World Ifa festival, Ile – Ife is unmatched.

Although childishly I almost ruined the relationship I have with Dr. Sologbade Popoola, it took the intervention of Oluwo Aresa to straighten my thought process so that I would not be caught up in a battle that is beyond me.

It also took the maturity and openness of Dr. Solagbade Popoola to overlook my misdeeds. Aside from the fact that I would not be attending any of the World Ifa festival in
Ekiti or the World Ifa festival in Ile-Ife majorly because I am currently writing my
exams, I want to also believe that like myself other young people are caught up in this dilemma of whether to attend the pilgrimage in Ile-Ife or to attend that of Ekiti.
It behooves me to ask, World Ifa Festival Ekiti or World Ifa Festival Ile-Ife Where do I meet with Orunmila? Is having two separate pilgrimages a blessing or a curse for us? Those who are scholars of Ifa should debate on this, I am only but a student.

I am writing so that young people would borrow a leaf from my thought process and focus on that which is the more important task for our generation, because, In the end, we are all laborers of Orunmila, rebuilding his plantation while helping one Ori at a time. Each laborer is worthy of his/her due for profit and pleasure to be the

The Popoola’s of the world and the Ifaleke’s of the world have made indelible footprints in Ifa and Orisa that time cannot override, they did what they thought best for their generation putting sweat and blood to see that the challenges of their generation were not brought forward into ours and it is in that spirit of excellence that we must find our feet and tackle the problems confronting our generation head-on.

It would be stupid of my generation to focus on the unimportant while allowing the discord set within our camp to deprive us of the blessings associated with collaborative effort; one important trait I would forever respect Araba Agboola Awodiran of Oworonshoki for. We need as a generation of Awo to look beyond our disparity, to tackle challenges that undermine our collective interest.

Our organization is poor and we must ensure that we begin to enforce an organized structure that would implement checks and balances into our system. The disorganization is sickening, Ogboni’s and other fraternal organizations must have byelaws that guide and help with checks and balances to mitigate the heinous crimes committed in the guise of a fraternal organization. We cannot continue to leave the reins of our affairs into the hands of just anybody from the grassroots level
to the apex body in our community.

The Isese community lacks proper oversight, which is why anything goes and our system is very porous; another reason why we cannot project or produce standard learning principles in becoming a Babalawo, olorisa, etc. there is no organized template to ascertain that a person is properly entrusted with the esoteric wisdom of our spirituality and that he is qualified to be called a priest or priestess.

These and many others are the issues that we must address, we must be willing also to tell ourselves the bitter truth as a family while facing the challenges headlong if we do not want to wallow in the misery of our ignorance and over-bloated ego. We are not our fathers and we cannot afford to inherit enemies and battles that are not ours
to fight in the first place.

Either you attend the festival in Ekiti, or you attend that of Ile-Ife, let us take a look at Ifa, should we not fail to learn from Orunmila that he speaks both in Ekiti and in Ile-
Ife and he speak through the sacred odu delivered on both grounds.
Should it not bother my generation how to utilize the outcome of those divinations to shape our society, advance our technology, propose developmental policies to government, and make groundbreaking agricultural research and scientific development that positions us as the light of the world?

Do we still want to continue to debate on Ekiti or Ile-Ife? Or Do we focus on other pressing developmental issues?
Whichever the case may be please pray for me and send my regards to Orunmila (B.A) let him bless my memory that I come out in flying colors after my exams.
Aboru Aboye Abosise
Olawole Olakunle .M.
Founder, SIOS (School Of Ifa and Orisa Studies)

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