Hubert Ogunde did the opera “Yoruba Ronu” fifty years ago.

It means Yoruba, use your sense.

We are now beyond the stage of Yoruba Ronu.

We are now in the phase of Yoruba Dide.

Yoruba dide means Yoruba, stand up.

Let us begin with Yoruba historiography.

There is a difference between Yoruba history and Yoruba historiography.

Yoruba history is the study of Yoruba life from the beginning to the present.

Yoruba historiography is the study of how Yoruba history has been written.

Yoruba history has been badly written.

It has been written from two perspectives.

The first perspective is from the lens of those who sought or are seeking to dominate and conquer the Yoruba people.

The second perspective of Yoruba history is from the lens of those who mean well, but lack the necessary ideological education to understand that history is an ideological subject.

No history is passive. All history has a purpose.

We must always ask the question: what is the purpose of the writer of the history we are reading?

Many historians will tell you that their purpose is to tell the truth.

But whose truth are they telling? The truth of the dominator or conqueror, or the truth that sets the people free?

Ogunde did not say Ekiti ronu. Or Ijebu ronu. Or Oyo ronu. Or Ijesa ronu. Or Ondo ronu. Or Owo ronu. Or Igbomina ronu. Or Egba ronu. Or Ikale ronu.

Ogunde said Yoruba ronu.

The first ironu that Yoruba people must do is to find out from history how we have come to detest the bond that unites us, the bond of being Yoruba.

It is easy. Our indigenous literature explains to us that we are from Ile Ife.

Now listen: there are none of our indigenous literatures saying we are from the Middle or distant East. The idea that we are from the Middle or Distant East was planted in us by outsiders.

Ifa, which contains our history, states clearly that our ancestors are from Ile Ife; not from Egypt; not from Saudi Arabia. We are all from Ile Ife.

Exotic and cool as it might sound to claim we are from these distant places, no, we are not Egyptians or Arabs.

Also, people say that Ifa does not have the word Yoruba in it.

True. But Ifa does not have everything in it.

Ifa does not have my name Moyo Okediji in it.

But that does not mean that I am not Yoruba.

Ifa uses symbols.

Symbols are theoretical ideas meant to be extended and interpreted.

Symbols enable us to reach hidden truths.

Symbols must not be taken on the face value.

In all, there are less than 20 cities and towns cited in Ifa.

Yoruba country has more than 20 cities and towns.

Yoruba people began fighting among themselves when outsiders sacked Ilorin, and Islamized it.

The 17th and 18th-century war that broke out among the Yoruba people was what caused us to begin to cite our micro identities as Ekiti, Egba, Ijebu, Ondo, and so on. Each micro identity separated itself from the others, for the sake of self-defense.

It was during that war that the principal aggressor, the Oyo, became stereotyped by the other groups.

The Ekiti people would say, “The other Yorubas are attacking us.”

So would the Ife, Ijesa, etc.

Each group would say, “The Yoruba are attacking us.”

And because the main aggressors of the war were the Oyo people, who shifted south when the Mohammedans sacked their capital called Oyo Ile, the Oyo people became identified as the Yoruba military.

But the war is now over.

Let us move on.

Let us come together.

Let us remember Ogunde’s admonition that “Yoruba Ronu.”

Let us not fragment into Ijebu ronu. Or Oyo ronu. Or Ijesa ronu. Or Ondo ronu. Or Owo ronu. Or Igbomina ronu. Or Egba ronu. Or Ikale ronu.

Àgbájọ ọwọ́ la fií sọ̀yà

Ọwọ́ kan ò gbẹ̣́rù dórí.

Ogún débodè.

Atiro mẹ́sẹ̀ ó le.

Next time we will explore the origin of the word Yoruba.

It is our autochthonous word.

Don’t believe the propaganda of the enemy that it is not autochthonous.

Yoruba Dide.

Build your nation with pride and courage.

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