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Ooni @49: Celebrating the Birth of a Deity in Royalty

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By Jimoh Olorede
On October 17, 1974, a quadragenerian deity older than a centenerian was born and named Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. Exactly nine years ago, precisely on 26 October, 2015, the symbolic Enitan ascended the throne of his forebearers as the 51th and current Ooni of Ife, and the 2nd Ojaja to so be enthroned as he was coronated on 7th December, 2015.
As Ooni of Ife, an ancestral ancient city, the capital and principal religion Centre of the Yoruba Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, is, by divinity, an heir of an ancestral progenitor, Oduduwa, a Yoruba divine King, legendary founder of the Ife Empire and a creator deity in the Yoruba religion. And as an heir of Oduduwa, (Odu-ti-o-da-Iwa) meaning “the quintessence of behaviour” and “the reservoir of culture and manners”, His Imperial Majesty, Ojaja II, is an exemplary deity, by which I mean a supremely good and powerful King.
The Ooni reigns supreme, but Ojaja doesn’t delude himself with absolutism; so, his supremacy resides in his quintessential behaviour while his sovereignty in Yoruba Kingdom is derived from his powerful mastery of good relations with humans and non-humans, — being a deity!
Before his Majesty’s accession, the Kingdom of Ife was, of course, very known. However, the Kingdom became renowned after Enitan’s accession. His name “Enitan” meaning” a historically symbolic child”, is a reminiscence of the historic essence of our cradle.
Never and ever would a self-acclaimed deity (ebora), either of Owu or elsewhere, dare order this divine deity to “stand up” and “sit down” like a teenager tied to his mother’s apron strings. If he dares the divine deity, his tongue, no matter the tong he belongs, will wrench and rend asunder by thunder for refusing the ignoble oder.
His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi is a divine deity who always respects his royal duty. In April 2021, for instance, I was at the Flag-off of the First Edition of Osun Food Support Scheme, a laudable programme packaged to cushion the effect of coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable residents of Osun State by the immediate-past administration of former governor Adegboyega Oyetola, who is now the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy.
On arrival of the ex-governor to the venue of the programme at the State’s Civil Service Commission in Osogbo, the deity, Oba Ogunwusi, of his volition, stood to honour Mr. Governor. And in reciprocation, the governor, also known for his devotion and respect to the divinity, bowed in adoration and glorification to the deity, Ooni, the Ojaja II.
A deity in royalty honouring an official duty because of his royal divinity, Oba Ogunwusi as Oduduwa symbolic and personified, is an epitome of quintessential behaviour and reservoir of culture and manners. He roars like a lion, but acts like a dove. His vision as well as foresight is as sharp as the Eagle’s. When he walks in company of his sacred royal entourage, the ground and animate creatures within tremble for fear of being crumbled. As I would for my Valentine, I celebrate this deity in royalty on his elephantine birth anniversary.

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