I have heard ‘Sábàdà’ so many times over the years, usually during events when the drummers were doing their job. The word is associated with people of Modakeke. The drum message goes:
Sabada ni e lu fun, Modakeke lo ti wa – (Beat sabada for him, he is from Modakeke). For some reason, like intoxication, people will rise up to move their hips in rhythmic fashion – they’d dance for the recognition.
Once you get the grip on Yoruba language, it is not hard to decipher the meaning of any words, knowledge of accents and dots makes it a lot easier – creativity with words is endless.
However, looking at the word ‘sabada’ on its own – the meaning beats me. And interesting enough, a few elders I know agreed it to be a new word, perhaps in use in the last 30 years or so (yet to get hold of the relevant book).
As with all other languages of the world – language does not exist on its own, it evolves, changes, improves by the events of the society and the people therein – adding to the beauty of it all.
But where does Sábàdà come from and why is it associated with this group of people, the Modakekes?
Ẹwà Èdè – Beauty of Language
I found out that Sábàdà is a relatively new word coined Dr Oladiran Ajayi who was once a lecturer at University of Ibadan Chemistry Department and a passionate writer on the issue around Yoruba culture & tradition and how Modakeke-Ife fits into it.
This post isn’t about Sábàdà alone, it is more about how peaceful co existence facilitates progress.
Dec 26th 2015 was 32nd Akoraye Day – it is the town’s own festival to celebrate gift of life. It would have been the 34th but we missed two years 1997 & 2000. Read about that here
History, I have found is powerful. Knowing the past allows us to plan to execute actions differently if we ever expected different results.
On this day, I was with a friend, she is a fellow Modakeke and her husband is mixed (not race) His father is from Modakeke and Mother from Ile Ife. (what an irony) Our talks was all around our town, how we all are hoping that permanent (not pretend) peace reigns.
Permanent peace here means people in both towns and villages can go about their business with no fear for their lives.
“Oh well, let’s thank God now, abi? At least there’s more awareness and something promising is happening.” I said.
Then a text message about Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II came through that reads “Oba Enitan Ogunwusi is also present.” I showed the message to the adults around me – everyone was happy!
We were over three thousand miles away, all lived through the last 35 years and for the first time a monarch, in our lifetime deem it fit to step on to the soil next door to jubilate with fellow Yorubas, fellow Nigerians and fellow humans – well, Ooni Ogunwusi is making history and a positive one.
When people follow what they communicate with actions, then it means a lot.
I have heard and read online about Ooni Ogunwusi’s insistent on bringing back permanent peace both in towns and villages – that is commendable.
My two kobo here is that – B’ina ko ba tan lori, ẹjẹ kii tan lekanna – (Lice infested clothes encourages ones fingers to be feasted on).
E f’ori jin omo, to ba se bi owe o.
I am not suggesting this will be an easy task given our long history, however, I hope Ooni Ogunwusi would look into making it possible for our farmers to return to their farms and villages. These are the people who managed to survive the massacre in the farms between 1997 and 2000. Residents of both towns were affected. Some of these people are still picking up pieces of their lives after 18years.
I know this is a lot to ask, but then again, Ooni Ogunwusi is Enitan (person of history), you have the authority to change the course of history – mend the broken hearts.
K’ade pe l’ori.