Cultures and TraditionsYoruba

Oriki Oyo (Eulogy of Oyo)

Alaafin of Oyo / Oriki Oyo
Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III

Oyo is an ancient town in Oyo State, South-Western Nigeria. It was founded as the capital of the Oyo Kingdom in the 1830s and known to its people as ‘New Oyo’ (Ọyọ Atiba) to distinguish it from the former capital to the north, ‘Old Oyo’ (Ọyọ-Ile) which was deserted as a result of rumours of war. Its inhabitants are mostly of the Yoruba people, and its ruler is the imperial majesty Alaafin of Oyo.

The major market in the city is Akesan or Àkèsán market, also called Oja Oba (King’s market) or Akesan Baale Oja (Chief of market), it’s very close to the Alaafin’s Palace, which is opened on a daily basis unlike the other marketplaces, such as Ajegunle market, Irepodun market, Omo-Oba market, Iware which is opened for a five-day interval, and Sabo market (five days).

Below is the Cognomen/Eulogy of Oyo (Oriki Oyo) and its English translation. Enjoy!

Oriki Oyo (Eulogy of Oyo)


A ki rọ’ ba fin la lẹ de Ọyo
O ya ẹ jẹ a lo ree ki Alaafin
Ọmọ a jowu yọ kọ lẹnu
A bi Ila tọ-tọ lẹhin
Pan-du-ku bi soo ro
Ibi ti wọn ti ni ki Olowo gbowo
Ki Iwọfa sọ tọ wọ rẹ nu,
Ṣe ko le ba di’ ja, ko le ba di apọn
Ki Ọba Alade le ri n jẹ,
Ọyọ mọ l’ afin Ojo pa Ṣẹkẹrẹ, ọmọ Atiba
Babalawo lo d’ fa, pe ibiti ilẹ gbe yọ ni aye wọn,
Ọyọ ode oni,ni Agọ-Oja, Ọba lo tun tẹ, laye Atiba Ọba,
Adebinpe O Sakẹkẹ, Adebinpe, eji ọgbọrọ, Alade lẹyẹ Akande,
Ọba, aji bo ‘yinbo se le ri,
Ọba taa ri, taa ka po la po, taa kọ fa, lọ fa,
Taa ka pata,lo ri Apata, Bẹmbẹ n ro, imulẹ lẹhin agbara,
Ọdọfin ijaye,o jẹ du ro de la kanlu, ọmọ a ja ni lẹ ran gan-gan,
Eji ọgbọrọ,Alaafin Atiba, Ọba lo ko wo jẹ, Ko to do ri Ọba to wa lo ye,
A ji se bi Ọyọlaa ri, Ọyọ O jẹ se bi baba eni kan-kan
Pin ni si lọ ‘mọ Erin t’ n fọ la ya ‘gi,
Ọyọ lo ni ka rin, ka san pa, ka gbẹsẹ, ko yẹ yan,
Oko ala kẹ, ọmọa fo ko ra lu, t’ wọn o ba mọ Erin,
Se wọn o gbọ‘hun Erin ni,
A ji sọ la, ọmọa jo wu yọ kọ lẹ nu.

Translation

Oyo, descendant of the Alaafin

Rain must not beat the sekere

Child of Atiba

You urge the creditor to demand his pay

Yet you also urge the hireling debtor to repudiate his debt

So that conflict may ensue

For the benefit of the prince/princess

Oyo plants the ‘corn of trouble’

In another man’s backyard

That one must not harvest it

Neither must he weed it off

Child of death who cannot die

Child of pestilence who cannot be tied down by sickness

Child of calamity whom calamity cannot afflict….!

(Note: sekere is a musical instrument made with beads or cowries strung around a large gourd)

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (July 20, 2017). Oriki Oyo (Eulogy of Oyo). OldNaija. Retrieved from https://oldnaija.com/2017/07/20/oriki-oyo-panegyric-of-oyo/

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