Monday, January 22 2007
Head of the Yoruba tradition worldwide, Supreme Leader Araba Agbaye Chief Adisa Aworeni Mokoranwalei, is currently on a two-week visit to this country. Considered the “pope” of Ifa and Orisa worshippers, Agbaye is second only to the King of Nigeria, His Royal Highness, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubisi II.
His eminence was born in Oke Itase, Ile Ife and is a direct descendant of Orunmilla. He is overseer of all practitioners of the Yoruba tradition and religion, and his duties include influencing the teachings and ethics of the Ifa tradition as it was passed down for generations.
He is also the instructor and guide to all Ifa and Orisa priests, priestesses, Babalawos and Iyanifas worldwide and he is responsible for all ceremonies and festivals pertaining to the King of Nigeria HRH Olubisi II.
He often shares his wisdom of Ifa and Orisa with the objective of unifying them as well as all Egungun priests and priestesses for the sole purpose of upholding the Yoruba tradition.
Agbaye is determined to spread the wisdom of Ifa to try to control the world’s present state of confusion and chaos. He has many chiefs under him, both spiritual and honorary, including former President Chief Olokun Igbaro A.N.R. Robinson.
Eight spiritual chiefs stand at his left and eight at his right, with six who stand under him and all other honorary chiefs.
The Araba Agbaye is also the managing director of the Mokoranwale Sawmill Industry, which he owns.
After meeting his eminence in 1997 at the Fourth Orisa World Congress, Iyalorisa Makeda, Joan Cyrus was bestowed a spiritual chieftancy of Chief Iyalode Awo Agbaye (Mother of the World) Ifa Korede Oyayemi, on her visit to Nigeria in August 2001. She was then initiated by His Eminence after consultation and divination at Ifa’s Temple at Oke Itase.
It has always been the desire of His Eminence to visit Chief Iyalode in her native country and now that he is here, Chief Iyalode says that his arrival is a “blessing in disguise to all Yoruba worshippers and our country as a whole. We should embrace this opportunity to welcome him in peace.”
Yoruba and Benin Kingdom: Ile Ife The Final Resting Place of History By Kunle I Sowunmi