Biography of Ifayemi Elebuibon, the Araba of Osogbo land


The history of high Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon started when he was born in Osogbo after her mother suffered from difficulties of abiku(child destined to die young), she consulted ifá priest to see to her problems and she was told to take Osun water and drink from it. After nine months, she gave birth to Osundagbonun(Osun fordids concoction) which is Ifayemi Elebuibo’s middle name. He was birthed in 1947 in the then western Nigeria to the family of a traditional priest and during the reign of Lagunju who was the monarch of Ede land then. He was then nicknamed after the monarch, “Lagunju” which was in accordance with the traditions and practices then. His father is an Ifa priest, hunter and farmer while his mother is a trader.

His mother was the youngest of a the six (6) wives his father married; his father had eighteen(18) children and he happened to be the third(3)surviving child of his mother. His family belongs to the authority class of traditional institutions in Yoruba land. His family is a direct descendant of Olutimehin, one of Co-founder of the City of Osogbo.

Ifayemi was not yet born when his father appointed Ifaniyi as his master to teach him ifa, but he started the apprenticeship squarely at the age of four(4).Many of his siblings have embraced other religions like Islam due to civilization. Due to the old age of his da and that he can die anytime, he taught him so many strong and heavy charms while he was still young which made him posses many powerful charms and know several chants and incantations at his tender age. He learnt ifá for ten(10)years and six months.

During the time of Obafemi Awolowo In 1955 When the free education began in the western Nigeria, Ifayemi’s dad did not allow him to enrol for school because he wants his kid to focus on the Ifá learning. However, He received his education through reciprocal exchange of civilities and conversation between persons by means of letters.

In his zeal for education, Ifayemi receives lessons from his co-apprentice after they returned from school when he was at Bàbà Faniyi place. Apart from being an Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon also writes poem, play writer, performing artist and book publisher/writer whose books are mainly focused on Yoruba traditional culture. He is also a recording artist whose works have been complimented to chants(ewì) and other Yoruba poetics which portrays the snap of cultural philosophy. His traditional drama titled “Ifá olókùn asọ́rọ́dayọ́” culled from Odù Ifá was showcased as series on Nigeria Television Authority(NTA).

Chief Yemi Elebuibon is an international traditional scholar who lectures African traditional religion and philosophy at the Black studies department at San Francisco State University in the United States of America. The Ancient Philosophy Centre in Osogbo was founded by him. However, he was an associate staff member in the department of African languages and literature at the Obafemi Awolowo University(formerly University of ife). He also lecture at Wajumbe cultural institution in California.

Among his remarkable awards and excellence include the lifetime chieftaincy achievement as the Araba of Osogbo which heightened him to many high positions in the priesthood world. The Brandice University, USA honored him with a doctorate degree.

There’s a mini museum at his Osogbo residence which has become a must visit for travellers, visitors and tourists.

Apart from being a traditional priest, chief Ifayemi Elebuibon has written several books; soul journeys of a priest in the wonderland, the healing powers of sacrifice, Apatebi:the wife of Orunmila, ogota ewì and lots more.

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