Nigeria is one of the African countries with a great cultural heritage which is proudly kept and protected by her people. From the south to the west, east and northern parts of the country, Nigerians are a proud set of people who are always prepared to go any length to preserve their cultural heritage.
For this reason, NAIJ.com visited the Osun/Osogbo grove, where the dreaded Osun goddess, known as Yeye Osun resides and where the annual Osun/Osogbo festival takes place. The festival is always being attended by other African nations, as people also come into Nigeria from far away Brazil, Peru, Cuba, America, Germany UK, among other countries of the world, a sign that Osun is one of the most cherished states in the origin of the Yorubas especially. During the visit to Osogbo, the Osun state capital, our correspondents met the Chief priestess Chief (Mrs) Adedoyin Talabi Faniyi, the adopted daughter of Madam Susanne Wenger (the late Iya Orisa of the grove), who gave a good account of how things work in the grove. Before our entrance to the courtyard, the Chief priestess was seen appeasing the gods of the river. “Yeye ooo, Omi ooo,” she said in Yoruba, meaning “My mother, water” just as a way of reverencing the goddess that resides in the water. On entering the courtyard, we were made to put away our shoes as it nobody was allowed to wear shoes inside the sacred grove, as our cameras were barred from entering the Osun shrine where sacrifices and requests are being made. Apart from the unseen ‘powers that be’ in the shrine, our correspondents gathered that the forest is a dangerous one at night because of the wild animals that come outside to ‘play’ when the people have left. Even the chief custodian of the river who ‘feeds’ the Yeye Osun told our correspondent in Yoruba that, “I cannot stay inside this place beyond 4pm. Ask people around, anything that happens to you after this period is totally your business.” The Osun goddess is also known to be a mother of many children as the “Osun Olomoyoyo” image inside the shrine depicts. Many barren women have reportedly visited to have the river goddess help them with child bearing with several promises made to bring something back for the deity. While many of them have remembered to fulfill their promises, some others forgot in transit and have been dealt with by the Yeye Osun.
And until they trace their steps back here to pay their vows before the Yeye, they shall continue to have problems with their children, regardless of where they reside,” Chief Faniyi explained to our correspondent. During our visit, a woman and her husband were seen with the chief priestess, going towards the river to appease the goddess of many children. And after whatever sacrifice that is made to appease the goddess of the river, our correspondents gathered that nobody is allowed to look back as anyone who does will live with whatever consequences that follows. Oro yeye oooo