One of the things that is very
consistent in the History of Yoruba people and family nations has been that
King Lamurudu was a powerful hunter who had several children and one of
Odua or Oduduwa the last child, became the founding ancestor of the Yoruba
people and family nations.
Our prehistory is based on oral traditions and,
like all oral stories, subject to change by omission and commission -- after
some thousands years of told and retold. When groups and family nations have
found their niche and security within the land, independent of one another,
different stories about groups' origins become more fashionable.
advent of colonialists did not help our history. It was like the 'sermon on
the mount' -- "Give ye not that which is sacred to the dog, neither cast
your pearl before the swine, for the swine would trample them under their feet
and the dog would turn and rend you." For some thousands of years we have given
our history to alien powers; as we use their expertise and their language to
interpret and write about who we were and are.
The situation was made more
complicated as colonialists (another alien powers) moved in and
assigned different alphabets to the spoken words of similar groups within
For example: Some groups were assigned the letter C, some got Z and
another got S -- for similar sounds. In one similar sound, some groups were
assigned Ch, or Sh, or, even S. Some group received the K and others
received the Q for similar sound, and so on and so on. Each group accepted
its alien alphabets without reexamination and change. Furthermore, isolation
of groups from each other led to different pronunciations of words and their
uses took new, but related, meanings.
Please allow me to digress a moment.
I went to see a Ghanian colleague in Richardson by Dallas in Texas. He and I
went out for a couple of hours and, upon return, his wife welcomed us back
home with the word that sounded like Yoruba "eku aabo,"which means "welcome"
in Yoruba. But I was wrong. She was speaking her Ghana
language when she said "akwaaba," which means "welcome." Another group in
Ghana spells the same word "aquaaba."Our languages and symbols, highly
codified by our ancestors in order to promote survival, could be very useful
in determining our true history.
We must look at prehistory and other
available references from ancient times related to oral prehistory and our
cultural symbols to correct the mistakes in written history.
Last year I wrote: "The Yoruba language is excellent in what is called "euphony." Euphony
is a method by which one makes a phonetic change to make a word or phrase
pleasant to hear or pronounce. For example, in Yoruba, "li" or "ni" can
interchange. Some Yoruba ethnic can say "ni ana" or "li ana" which means "as
yesterday." "Ni oni" or "li oni" which means "as of today." For the sake of
euphony, both phrases become "lana" and "loni" respectively. Now, let us
apply the same to Nimrod, Nam'Ur-ud and the father of O'dua -- Lamurudu.
First, take out all vowels in each name. Nimrod will become NMRD, Nam'Ur-ud
will become NMRD. For the sake of euphony, replace the "L" in Lamurudu with
and you have NMRD. Lamurudu was the beginning of ena; the inversion or
of letters, words, syllables or sentences in order that the sense is
disguised. Lamurudu is thus concealed.
It has now become an instinctual
response for the Yoruba to trigger the "u" sense upon contact with Arabic
names, which have their root in Aramaic, the language of the Canaanites. Ask
yourself this question: How did the Greek come to have the "Staff of Orion"
and the Yoruba also have the "Opa Oranyan?" Orion and Oranyan are the same
But our elders would exaggerate some words. Oranyan
became Oranmiyan -- the same utter confusion. The Greek and the Hebrew
borrowed a lot from their Canaanite masters from prehistory. The art of
writing came from the Canaanites. The Hebrew, the Arabic and the Greek
borrowed from the Canaanite. Some older dictionaries would let you know
But modern dictionaries have begun to omit the Canaanite as first in
is purposeful. For example, the letter "O" is used by the Canaanite to mean
"end or completion." It is "omega" in Greek which means "end." The word
is Aramaic/Arabic for "prayer" or "supplicate before God." In Arabic "Ya" is
"O." Therefore if you named your child "Ya'dua" and I named my child
we are both thanking God for answering our prayers for giving us the child
The name is usually given to the expected last born son. In
modern Yoruba, a'dua has acquired the letter "r" to become "adura.
the deluge, after a few thousand years with the kingdom under water and
deserts, other people, including the Hebrew, invaded with confidence to take
over the land gradually because the great king was gone. The Canaanites
scattered under different names to hide because of persecution, genocide,
splinter groups and within group fighting. One group became Yoruba, which
was 'Yerubbaal' -- the 'People of Baal'. Baal was a monotheistic God.
new names for the one and only God, the word 'Baal' was absorbed from the
Canaanite into Hebrew to mean 'lord or master of the house' and it is the
same as 'baale' in Yoruba. The people further changed the identity of Baal
Please make the effort to go to a good museum where you can find the
drawing of the Canaanite God Baal and compare it with any statue of Shango.
And for that matter, we should compare the sculptures and arts of the
Canaanites (Phoenicians) with that of the Yoruba, Benin, Asante and others
for similarities. And we should not allow any stolen history found in the
Testament cause us to shy away from our prehistory. The Canaanite word "ilu"
gave us Olu, Eli and Ala. The same people gave us "ob" from which Obd, Abd
and Oba came. For example in the Bible, we have OBADIAH which is "servant of
God." It is oxymoron when our Yoruba ministers call God "Olorun-oba." the
Owner of the Heaven cannot also be called the servant. Olorun by itself is a
great attribute for God. Oba in prehistory was the servant of the people
appointed by the King to administer his territories -- conquered or
acquired. At that time, Obas were like Governor Generals under the British
rule in our present day. They were not meant to equal the status of the
same line of conversation, the deity "Obatala" in Yoruba was the 'servant of
God' and God is 'Ala Ta Ala' in Islam. The time is now for our linguists,
lexicologists, educators and simply ordinary persons to help update the
Yoruba Dictionary to include the roots and origins of words. Our alphabets,
developed by a European anthropologist, only put us further away from our
origin, especially those letters that carry a dot along with them.
example, the letter 'O' as in 'imo' and 'ino'. Both words mean 'light'. But
in Aramaic and Arabic, the words 'light' will be 'ur' and 'nur'. Let us
declare our own Age of Enlightenment with the new millennium.
Author: M. Kayode Oladale Molake