Isese Day: Significance for Humanity and Civilisation

Prince Jide Adelaja Akinyooye

The indigenous religion of the Yoruba people, Isese*, is dated as having *begun as early as 500–300 B.C.E, according to existing archaeological evidence*.

The Isese Day, has been set aside in Yoruba speaking states in Nigeria to celebrate the indigenous Yoruba culture and traditions as well as the preservation of the Yoruba heritage

Furthermore, the Isese festival, marked annually on August 20, is celebrated by adherents of the Yoruba traditional religion.

The day is commemorated by several processions and worships of the multitude of gods that make up the Yoruba traditional religion pantheon.

Isese Day celebrates the Yoruba traditions and religion in a display of culture and spirituality.

Isese is the Yoruba word for Tradition.

The appropriate greeting for Isese Day is “Isese l’agba”
used to denote different kinds of festivals held by adherents of the Yoruba traditional religion or culture in Nigeria and Cuba, Brazil, the United States, Benin, and other countries.

Yoruba is spoken in the West African countries of Nigeria, Benin Republic, and parts of Togo and Sierra Leone, therefore constituting one of the largest single languages in sub-Saharan Africa. Yoruba is also spoken in Cuba and Brazil.

The Yoruba tribe constitute about 35% of Nigeria’s total population and are approximately around 40 million Yorubas over the region of West Africa with a large ethnolinguistic group or ethnic nation in Africa, and most of them speak the Yoruba language.

Among the several Isese festivals celebrated majorly by the Yorubas are Eyo, Igogo, Ojude Oba, Obatala, Olojo, Oro, and Sango festivals.

There is no doubt that foreign religions and traditions have dominated some parts of African continent.

The introduction and recent popularity of Isese Day through government approved Public Holiday in South West part of Nigeria is a pride to Yorubas that are custodian of Isese….

Just as like Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) and Jesus Christ of Nazareth are divine messengers from respective origins are so many divine messengers from Nigeria.

These includes, Obatala, Eshu, Oya, Osun, Ifa, Sango among others.

They (more than 200 in numbers) are often refers to as Irunmoles.
According to the tenets of the Yoruba religion,

Obatala is one of the oldest of all of the orishas and was granted authority to create.

Obatalá is the kindly father of all the orishas and all humanity.

He is also the owner of all heads and the mind.

(Obatala, Baba Mi Alase, Kabiesi Mori-Mori Tii Mori Omo-Tuntun, Baba Mi Opagida Sogideniyan

Obatala My Authoritative Father That is empowered to mould humans with supernatural power to transform trees to humans).

All these fact does not erase the fact that Eledumare the Creator the universe is the supreme of all creations including all orishas.

Yet, people within the confine of Yoruba traditions and religion believes that Obatalá is the source of all that is pure, wise peaceful and compassionate.


There is no family in Yoruba Kingdoms without original religion and traditions.

For instance, the people of Oyo and Ede are known with Sango

while the people of Ifon-Orolu are known Obatala, especially that the first Olufon; Aladikun Akogun Erujeje Adugbo was the first child of Supernatural Obatala.

Having identified that there are more than 200 supernatural beings that constitutes different orishas (Eni Orisa Da – meaning;

Those that are specially created).

There are special day or season for festivity of respective “gods”.

Therefore, Isese Day is demonstration of uncommon love and unity for joint celebration of Yoruba traditions and religion.

This unification is a challenge for those engaging in criminalities under the guise of other foreign religions and traditions.

Therefore, the Obatala Descendants across the globe have more responsibility to ensure wider coverage, proper coordination and organization of Isese Day.

The Obalesun of Ile-Ife who is spiritual Head of Obatala Descendants* has been playing a prominent roles in advancement of Obatala course and this needs to be fully supported.

There are lots of prospects and room for developing Yoruba traditions and religions*.

The foreign people are making concerted effort to overtake Nigerians on our cultural heritage and values.

Many thanks to the government for keying into the ongoing efforts to develop our original roots*.

A Ku Odun Isese Gbogbo Kaaro Ojire!

Eruwa Daadi! Ajebatala!! Ajebatarisa!!!

Prince Jide Adelaja Akinyooye is a Chartered Accountant from Ifon-Orolu Kingdom

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