We Never Die

We Never Die

“Òkú is not dead,” said Iya Oyo. “In our [Yoruba] culture, we do not die.”

“How is that possible?” I asked her, astonished.

“We already defeated Ikú (Death),” Iya Oyo announced. “The defeat of Ikú is what the Odù Ifá called Ọ̀yẹ̀kú focuses on. Olójòǹgbòdú, the wife of Ikú is the great woman who accomplished the defeat of Ikú, and since then we no longer die.”

“Olojongbodu was the wife of Iku (Death?” I exclaimed. “And she effected the defeat of her husband? Is that not a betrayal?”

“Iku was bad,” Iya Oyo said, “and to be eliminated.”

“But she was Ikú’s wife,” I reminded her. “She was supposed to protect him.”

“It is the person nearest to you that can most easily harm you,” Iya Oyo informed me. “That is why we say ‘Ará ilé ẹni níí ṣe ni: your kin is your jinx.”

“Please tell me more about Olójòǹgbòdú and Ikú,” I requested.

“Not today,” she replied. “Later. But reflect on the word ‘Kú’. What does it mean?”

“Ku means to die,” I answered her.

“In that sense, ‘Ò kú’ means ‘Does not die,’ can’t you see?” Iya Oyo said. “The ‘Ò’ of Òkú is what defeats the ‘kú’ because in fact it is a short form of ‘kò’ which means ‘Does not’.”

I thought of dìde, (stand) and kò dìde (does not smile). It can be shortened to ò dìde. (doesn’t stand).

Sùn (sleep) and kò sùn (does not sleep). It can be shortened ò sùn (doesn’t sleep).

Jẹun (eat) and kò jẹun (does not eat). It can be shortened ò jẹun (doesn’t eat).

It is the same way that kú (Die) and kò kú (does not die, can be shortened to ò kú (doesn’t die).

Nowadays, when my friends transition, I remember Iya Oyo’s lesson that the Òkú is not dead.

May Ikú remain defeated forever and ever.

In the Yoruba Alphabet, I wrote Òkú (Death) to further kill Death, as you can read in the picture.

We know the name of Ikú, and with Ọ̀yẹ̀kú we kill it.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *