ÀMỌ̀TẸ́KÙN: No kidding
The Yoruba forests have already lost too many animals to local hunters who spare nothing with life in the bushes.
And the Yoruba language has lost too many words to the brainwashed indigenes who refuse to speak the language or pass it down to their children.
It is not a good time to ask for the meaning of Àmọ̀tékùn.
The meaning is totally lost, to be honest with everyone.
I have two Yoruba dictionaries. One says one thing and the other says the opposite.
We know for sure what ẹkùn means. It is the leopard.
But there are others who claim it is the Tiger, against those who argue that there is no tiger in Africa, that it is an Asia-based beast.
Àmọ̀tékùn, we no longer know.
There is the discussion that the amotekun is a cat with two tear-drop lines on its face.
Almost all big cats fit that definition.
How many living Yoruba people have seen an Àmọ̀tékùn —either in the zoo, or in the forest, and said, “Hey, look at an Àmọ̀tékùn!”? Zero. The forest went, just like the language, alas.
But all is not lost. We are the architect of our own destiny.
Let’s look at the word Àmọ̀tékùn, and see what it suggests.
There is –ẹkùn at the end of the word Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn.
The first two syllables of the word (Àmọ̀t-) means À mọ̀ tó. That phrase implies “Something that looks like an ẹkùn, but is not quite exactly an ekùn.”
That eliminates the kìnìún, which we all know is the Lion, regarded as the oba (king) of all animals.
What else looks like the leopard, but is not exactly the leopard?
Some people have said it is the cheetah. The cheetah looks almost exactly like the leopard, but it is leaner, faster and more aerodynamic.
But there is really no need to ask the question “What does the Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn mean in English?”
We will not agree on any meaning.
It is our language, our people, our culture. Whatever we agree that a word means, that is what it means.
The more ambiguous, the more elusive the meaning of Amotekun, the more perfect it is for our purposes of self-defense.
Let us just say we are the Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn. We owe you no interpretation.
When you see us, you will know what we mean.