Popular Ifa priest, Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon needs little introduction in Yorubaland. He’s a man who has paid his dues in that area. He’s a voice to reckon with. He is well exposed, having travelled to many parts of the world, at the invitation of organisations, institutions, colleges and Universities and Local Government. He’s one of the traditionalists many look up to for traditional ways to get out of this sudden nightmare of the deadly pandemic ravaging the whole world.
In a recent Instagram Live Chat with City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, Baba Yemi Elebuibon revealed 3 natural ways people can boost their immune system against the deadly Coronavirus.
Just in case you are reading about this icon for the first time, lets quickly tell you a bit about him.
He was born in Osogbo, Osun State. He comes from a family acclaimed to be one of the authorities on Yoruba traditional institutions. He is direct descendant of Olutimehin, one of the co-founders of Osogbo. He began his priesthood training at age 4. He received his formal education through correspondence courses. He never saw the 4 walls of primary or secondary school and not even a University. Before his birth there was a prediction that he would be an Ifa Priest and so, there was no need for him to go to school.
His parents insisted on his thorough grounding in Culture & Tradition through his apprenticeship with renowned priests of the day.
Araba Ifayemi is a poet, performing artist, play write, herbalist and practising Babalawo (Ifa priest). He has published several books and scholarly papers on various aspects of Yoruba traditional religion and culture. Araba Ifayemi is also a recording artist with several credits on Yoruba poetic genre known as Ewi. His most social commentaries and parallax snaps cultural philosophy. His traditional morality drama, Ifa Olokun Asorodayo called from Oduifa, was presented on Nigeria National Television Network popular series.
Araba is an international scholar-in-residence at San Francisco State University in California, USA, where he lectures on African Traditional religion and philosophy. He is the founder of Ancient Philosophy International, Osogbo, Nigeria a Centre dedicated to teaching African traditional religion and performing arts. He has trained a lot of students and initiated many into the tradition. Yemi numerous awards and recognitions include lifetime achievement chieftaincy as the Araba of Osogbo a title that elevated him to a venerated position in the priesthood hierarchy. He has also been honoured with a doctorate degree of the Brandice University USA. He is an associate staff at Institute of Cultural. He was appointed a Vice-Chairman of Board of Traditional Medicine, Osun State. He is also the current President of International Congress of Orisa tradition and culture, Nigeria Chapter. He maintains a botanical and mini-museum at his House of Culture that has become a must-stop for visitors to Osogbo for the city annual Osun Festival.
What is your take on the ongoing pandemic?
This is not the first time we would experience pandemic. Some could happen through our mistake or something we brought upon ourselves while it may be from God. The one we are experiencing now, I see it as what we brought upon ourselves, which can be prevented if we follow the laydown rules and adhere strictly to the warnings. Everything has its own taboo.
At every dry season, there are always different diseases, especially the one called Measles, Yoruba call it “Igbona Olode”. Anyone infected will be asked not to come out in the afternoon and night. Measles is also a pandemic and there are lots of antidotes to tackle it.
It was the civilization that made us neglect some of these antidotes. Our forefathers have strong traditional antidotes that they normally give to anyone suffering from this pandemic; like if you give the infected person ordinary Snail water and Palm oil, the person will be okay, unless it is a chronic one; and once it’s a chronic one the infected person will be seeing all manners of things or could be speaking incoherently, just like what they told us that anyone suffering from Covid-19 will not be able to breathe properly.
There are spirits attached to all these pandemics, and once you do the necessary things they disappear.
Everything has changed now. Like I said civilization has made us forget some of these safety precautions and antidotes, but either we like it or not, we must use all these antidotes because that is how God created us. Even in China where this pandemic emanated from, they have herbal/traditional antidotes they are using to fight it. That is why you see them coming out of it and their economy is rising back because they did the necessary things. This is the time for us to come up with our own natural solution. We need to be proactive now in other to save our economy so there won’t be any disturbance and crisis.
Why did you say we brought it upon ourselves?
Covid-19is as a result of human error, we brought it upon ourselves. It is no more news that the whole thing started from their laboratory in Wuhan. That is why I said it is human error.
What do you think we can do to get out of this?
We are suffering this because of our inadequate preparation. Many things are not working in this country. Had it been that we’ve put so many things in place before, especially in our health sector, it won’t get to this stage. Many countries already have different department to take care of so many things even before it started, but not in our own country. That is what makes us suffer the pandemic more. The only thing we can do now is to observe the necessary precautions.
Let’s follow all the guidelines as instructed by the government. And it is important for us to start using some of these natural antidotes in our various homes.
What are the natural antidotes we can use?
Original palm wine is good at this period, not too much of it, so you don’t get drunk. Likewise what Yoruba called “Ewa Eyan” and “Efo Yanrin” (Wild Lettuce). It is good to cook wild lettuce (Efo Yanrin) with snail. It helps in fighting measles and to boost the immune system. Like I said earlier licking the mixture of snail water and palm oil is good also. All these are very good to boost our immune system.
Some people said taking lemon, garlic with warm water can also help, what do you think?
Those ones are herbs and they are also good.
Has the government ever approach you for herbal solution since the pandemic started?
You know our governments don’t really believe in herbs, they don’t believe in the traditional solution. They prefer to go abroad first; it is when it didn’t work they will now come back to us. If WHO did not approve the use of herbal medicine they won’t use it. But many countries that have provided a solution so far did not wait for WHO; not even now that people don’t even trust WHO anymore. But it is high time for us to discover ourselves and find ways to tackle the pandemic on time.