Ife lifestyle

Ife Had me Gassed, Here's Why

15:00Lade Ibikunle

Inside the Ooni of Ife's palace in Osun State Nigeria lies statues, monuments, markings, etc all of which tell rich stories that form the bedrock of the Yoruba race. Of all the tales  I heard on my visit to the Ooni's palace, one stood out most to me and that's the one I'll be sharing with you all today. But before I delve into the story, let me warn you quickly.
If you find yourself in the palace, please walk along the stipulated pathway given by the palace guards. I got carried away and mistakenly stepped on a 'shrine' 😱. If you see the way the palace priests sent for me. These priests have the right to pass death sentence on people so you can imagine my fear. I approached them with my game face but seriously trembling on the inside. They bombarded me with questions which I answered politely. After realizing I was a JJC in the palace, they allowed me go but told my to go get them Schnapps and a sachet of pure water which I did not buy btw. So please be warned. I probably met the good cops that day, yours might be different.

On to my juicy tale. After moving from one court to the other, we got to this secluded temple-like court that was met with  deafening silence. The palace guards warned us not to take pictures once in the temple.

Legend has it that there there was a man who descends from heaven everynight with a chain tied around his waist to weld some farm tools which he would later sell to people. He never spoke to anyone and he will usually mark his wares with stones that matched the amount the tool is going for. His tools were of good quality and soon enough, the tale of this badass blacksmith spread like wild fire across the land.
Among those who heard about him was ofcourse the Ooni of Ife and he sent some guards to the blacksmith demanding his attention at the palace. The blacksmith sent the guards back to the Ooni with a message that he cannot move from where he is (I guess his chain was not long enough to leave that perimeter). The Ooni sent another message begging the blacksmith to teach some  the his people how to make these tools so they become entrepreneurs too. The blacksmith accepted after much begging and the guys started attending classes. In appreciation, the Ooni gave the blacksmith a woman to meets his needs. And the story gets interesting from here...

The apprentices soon learnt the skill and graduated to set up their own businesses but people kept buying from the original blacksmith and not them. In their rage of jealousy, they called the blacksmith's wife to inquire about the source of the blacksmith's power and how they can kill him. The wife was initially hesitant but when they promised her wealth and all of that, she agreed. After much pestering about the blacksmith's source of power by the wife, he later succumbed and told her. He said the chain around his waist was where he got all his powers from. On her next visit with the apprentice, the wife revealed her new learning and soon, they concocted a plan.

On this faithful day, after the blacksmith conducted his business, he was met with a tantalizing plate of yam with palmoil and salt sauce accompanied with a keg of palmwine (this was his favorite meal in the world). He asked what the celebration was and his wife told him that some villagers just thought to appreciate him for all his good works. The blacksmith was immensely happy. He had never received visitors and no one has reached out to him in this manner before. So with gratitude in his heart coupled with the fact that that was his favorite meal, he dug in and finished the food. After consuming the meal, he fell into a deep sleep and the enemies struck!

The apprentices came in on hearing the blacksmith was asleep and cut off his chain. The part of the chain from the sky went back up leaving the blacksmith as he was disconnected from chain. The blacksmith immediately woke up and realized gbege had happened. He look at his apprentices with disappointment, said some incantations and immediately the apprentices turned blind. He then commanded the earth to swallow him up, forming some sort of rock mass in his wake. His tools also turned into rock masses. After this happened, the apprentices regained their sight and made a plan to behead the apprentice's wife cos they felt she betrayed them.

Till this day, the rocks of the blacksmith and his tools exists in this courtyard called Ile Ase (House of Prayer) where people come all over the world to worship and also offer palmoil and salt (no Yam). The courtyard also performs some lowkey CIA duties. Once it's suspected that someone is lying about a matter, he/she is taken to the courtyard to swear and if such a one is guilty, they'll die in 7 days! Gbam! So you don't want to mess around in that courtyard o. Just a friendly warning.

Moremi Statue

I also have stories on Moremi and Oranmiyan but that shold be for another day cos this post is long enough.

Thank you for making it through to the end. Did you enjoy the story? Have you ever heard it before? have you ever visited the Ooni's palace in Ife? Let me know in the comment section

If you are a blogger and you have posts about places you have visited within and outside Nigeria, please leave them below. Would love to read them

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  1. A very interesting blog post! I read it while drinking my morning coffee - the thrill. Thank you for sharing this experience and I will be waiting for the Moremi story.

    PS: You broke so many rules! I couldn't... lmao!
    Oréoluwa’s blog

    1. Awwwn Ore. Thanks a bunch. Glad you found it interesting. Yes I broke plenty rules, I just can't help myself. I think my days in Bowen is still affecting me

  2. Totally love this post! It is culture rich and educative.

    I love your reenactment of the Moremi's statue pose.


    1. Thank you gift. Glad you found it interesting. Yeah, that Moremi is my best!

  3. Totally love this post! It is culture rich and educative.

    I love your reenactment of the Moremi's statue pose.


  4. This is my first time reading of the story. It's an interesting one I must say. Yoruba history is full of interesting stories such as this.. ha. You captured the place well...good angles :)

    1. Thanks Seun. Our Culture is definitely rich in culture and stories. Thanks for stopping by dear

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