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Yoruba Heritage! Be Proud and Hold on to the Ancient Cultures -Prof. Banji Akintoye

prof adebanji akintoye
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An 81 year old widely traveled Yoruba sage has stated reasons why the Yoruba indigenes should remain proud and hold on to the ancient cultures and not throw them away because of civilization. He also advised the ‘South-westerners’ not to get used to poverty and find their way out of it earnestly.

He said these words during his talk at the second edition of the Yoruba Historical Conversations organized by the DAWN Commission (Development Agenda for Western Nigeria) at the Commission’s 10th Floor, Cocoa House in Ibadan on Friday, August 12, 2016.


Coordinating Head of DAWN Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye

Prince Aeleke

Prince Adeleke reading Baba’s Autobiography

professor adebanji akintoye

L- R: Mr Dipo Famakinwa, Prof Abebanji Akintoye, Mr Adewale Raji

The Guest Speaker, Professor Adebanji Akintoye born in 1935, studied history at the then University College Ibadan, where he was awarded PhD in History in 1966 when he became a professor and director of the Institute of African Studies from 1974 to 1977. He has also taught African history in Universities both in Nigeria and in the United States, the Nigeria-born writer has authored many books, written chapter in many joint books and commissioned several articles in scholar journals. He took a leading part for some time in the politics of Nigeria; he walked closely with Chief Obafemi Awolowo. His work has been described as Arabian origins propounded by soft scholars as the name sounds.

Mr. Dipo Famakinwa

Director General of DAWN Commission, Mr Dipo Famakinwa

Professor Adebanji Akintoye

The Guest Speaker, Professor Adebanji Akintoye

Professor Adebanji Akintoye

Baba giving his unscripted speech gracefully

Dignitaries present at the event includes the Director General of DAWN Commission, Mr Dipo Famakinwa, the Group Managing Director of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr Adewale Raji, the coordinating head of DAWN Commission, Mr Seyi Oyeleye, Professor Richard Olaniyan, Legal Adviser of Odu’a Investment Company, Mrs Sade Bello, the sole administrator of BCOS, Mr Yanju Adegbite, CEO of Jetheights Limited, Mr Ayo Alao, Mr Wale Adelaja, baba’s second hand, representative of Professor Tayo Adesina amongst others.

dawn commission

L-R: Mr Wale Adelaja, baba’s second hand, Mr Dipo Famakinwa, Prince Adeleke, Prof Richard Olaniyan

an overview of the event

An Overview of the event

overview of the event

Another Overview of the event 

There are so many reasons the Yoruba folks should remain proud and stand for what they believe; it’s high time we stopped hiding over the ‘covering’ of the government and stand on our own as a nation and entity. The 81 year old man of great in-depth of wisdom and knowledge shares unscripted historical cultures and assets Yoruba people shared in old times. Baba gave a very mind-blowing empowering ‘talk’ which lasted for about an hour; the following are the paraphrased proclamations from his one hour ‘talk’ at the event:

I want to congratulate you all for been members of the Yoruba nation. Our history in comparison with other people and what I find all the time, sometimes it’s my own imagination, for instance, on this continent of Africa, a black world in Africa, our great grandfathers somehow managed to do something that no other nation did, that is we built towns and cities with walls and palaces and huge market places and so on.

“There’s a great city of Oyo Ile that later perished, that’s something we must recreate by the way, we can’t leave that great piece of our history in the jungle forever, we have to recreate that city, we have to go back there”.

In Yoruba land, we are very unique, every City was surrounded with a wall, our own walls were built with a very big interior trench so that any enemy who’s going to attack will first of all have to go into the trench and find his way up, that’s how we build our city walls and perhaps the greatest of those walls is what is now in Ijebu Ode, the city wall that is known as the Eredo.

“Some people have done a research in Eredo, in Ijebu Ode city wall and they have told us in their report that it is one of the largest man-made structures on earth, it’s seen from satellites, and they said the amount of earth that was dug out of the Eredo is at least a million tonnes of material more than the material that built the great pillars in Eygpt.

Mr Ayo Alao

CEO, Jetheights Limited, Mr Ayo Alao during the question and answer session

Mrs Sade Taiwo

Mrs Sade Taiwo

Mrs Sade Taiwo from NISER asking a question


The man nicknamed Parrot asking a question

There’s no other continent like black Africa who ever built anything like towns and cities that we built

In 1533, one Portugese explorer came and said in Lagos tell Egypt, there’s a large city here called Gebo, that’s Ijebu Ode surrounded by a famous wall, Eredo, Ijebu Ode was at that 400 years old as at that time and It’s not the oldest of our cities, there are other cities which were much more older, Ife, first of them all, far east today is Benin Republic, Ila Orogun, Ondo and so on. All those cities are great old cities”.

We Yorubas don’t have any new city all over Africa; most cities were built by Colonialist rulers in the course of the 20th century.

“We had cities everywhere, all over our homeland and these are not new cities, they are old cities, the only cities we can call new cities in Yoruba land are the few that we built in the 19th century, not in the 20th century, that we ourselves built, we built Ibadan, Abeokuta, Sagamu, Oke Odan in Agbado, Ayegbe in Ekiti in the 19th century, Ibadan was a small Egba village, large numbers of people freed from troubles from other part of Yoruba land, came and settled and develop into a great city immediately and it became our most dynamic city, led mostly by our young men.

Yorubas didn’t live in small houses; there was nothing like me and my family in our own little house in Yoruba land in every town and city. Our ancestors lived in large family compounds called ‘Agbo-ile’. The Agbo-ile was one large building with different courtyards, sometimes there are as many as 60 families in the large Agbo-ile.

“We are the people, who mastered the act of collaboration, collaboration was the main factor, and it was not only in the building of houses, or the building of palaces or in the building of market places or the building of the city walls, it was also in the making of the individuals economic life. Collaboration was developed into powerful institutions”.

tell them on a particular date I want to make my farm, and I want you to come and work with me and they would gladly come, he didn’t have to pay them anything, all he needed to give to them is food and maybe palm wine for the day as they are working, then when it is time to make the heaps the other group come back to help to make the heaps  so at the end of the day, one single person will make a very large farm and will be able to sell surpluses of food, that’s how we were able to produce rich men from among our families. There were rich farmers from Yoruba land”.

“A white man who travelled to a Yoruba land became very sick apparently with malaria, and he was given a medication, called oshaun (herbal concortion), and was he was cured immediately. Yorubas had highly developed knowledge of Medicine”.

“The Yorubas created the king, the king is the ruler, he’s the ori ade, ikeji orisa. The councils make the laws, but they dare not say they made the law, the king made the law! It was strictly forbidden for the king to make any law himself, if he did that he would be removed from the throne, he had to sit with the councils of chief where they will make the law. There was a beautiful balance of power in Yoruba land, very respectable government”.

“Yoruba people created a great institution to guide the conducts and behaviour of rulers and chiefs, an institution known as Ogboni. All important people in the society were members of the Ogboni. A group of honest leaders, Iledi is known as the place of meeting, where people were given trial. Ogboni members were known for their surreptitious attribute.  Members were men of integrity. You can’t lie because you are under a powerful oath which prevents you from telling lies; it is openness all the way”.

“Yoruba people should not forget their source because of civilization, remember, a river that forgets its source will get dry. ‘Separate’ yourself from Nigeria, don’t wait for government to do what you can do yourself, ‘leave’ Nigeria and go your own way”.

Dear reader, the above is just a tip of an iceberg, but I believe you must have picked one or two things from this summary on the Yoruba Historical conversations.

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Conclusion from the Director General of DAWN Commission, Mr Dipo Famakinwa:

He said, “It’s a challenge for Yoruba people to bring out the ‘yorubaness’ in us. We need to create an expulsion ‘mentality’ as Yoruba people. Look into what Nigeria has not stopped you from doing and how much of it are you doing. Development is going to start from ourselves through diverse spectrum. Sustainability will keep our country stand”.

Questions were asked by various individuals present at the event and they were given precise answers by baba.

Odu'a museum and hall of fame

Entrance of the Odu’a Museum and Hall of fame

tour to museum

Professor Akintoye and other guests on tour to the Museum

Yoruba Masquerede

The Aladoko Masquerade

Yoruba cultural art

Decorated Walls And Doors of the Museum

Yoruba warfare implements

The Yoruba Warfare Implements

There was an institution called owe, which means one person announces to his relations and

After the mind-blowing lecture, the Group Managing Director of Oodua Investments Limited, Mr Adewale Abiodun Raji took the Guest lecturer and dignitaries at the event on a tour of the famous ‘Oodua Museum’, where Yoruba historical objects and ancient warfare materials, kitchen wares, arts like the Agogo Amo, Ide Owo, Iba Ogun, Ade (Owo Eyo), Ade Oba, Aladoko Masquerade frame, old Television were kept located on the 24th Floor of the Cocoa House.

The Hall of Fame was also visited. There, pictures of the great Nigerian heroes and heroines like the late Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, and Herbert Macaulay amongst others were freely exhibited.

Guests also watched a 15 minute video clip on the first Western television in Nigeria created by the Yoruba folks, launched by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1958 in the enclosed cinema in the Museum.

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