Story behind the yoruba adage: Omodé gbón – the Àgbà gbón. – L’afi dá Ilé-ifè

Story behind the yoruba adage: Omodé gbón - the Àgbà gbón. - L'afi dá Ilé-ifè

In the midst of the 16 century, the Oòni of Ifé, Oba Ògúnjémilúyì was the king over the kingdom of Ifé, while Oba Adèdìgbòlù is the ruler of the whole Òyó empire, then the Òyó empire is so strong but it’s still under the central control of Ilé-ifè!


The Òyó empire has conquered so many land and expanded beyond imagination of Yorùbás, and this add to our pride as a race, a tribe and an ethnic group to be reckoned with.

For at this time was the first time the Yorùbá kingdom will be extended as far as Dahomey, Benin, Togo and far nations.


The Aláàfin of Òyó one day called his chiefs together and tell them the remaining land to be conquered, and what is it was the question asked!

The king replied, Ilé-ifè, the king told them of his ambition to overthrow the source of Yorùbá race and make himself the king, his chief replied in affirmative that they are all in support, but there is just one thing, no one has ever dare to wage war against such a city, it’s sacrilegious and a taboo to do such, so the chief and the king counsel thought of a subtle way to wage a war, and the devil inspired them enough to think of an idea.
They were to send a full grown bull over to Ilé-ifè with a message that in the next full moon the city of Ilé-ifè should send the bull back to Òyó when it has conceive and bring the child along.


When the King ( Oòni of Ilé-ifè) heard this he was troubled and was totally unbalanced for days, by the time he could gather himself together, weeks have gone by, he managed to call all the chiefs together and telling them the message he got from Òyó, they all could understand the subliminal message in there, Òyó wants war and nothing else, and Ilé-ifè is already boxed to a corner awaiting the last blow, by the time the message got to the whole community each one was seen leaving by the night, as Òyó started preparing there armoury ready to conquer once and for all.

The last resort, the Oòni after his chiefs couldn’t help him sought for the last time the advice of the youths who refuse to leave, the youth leader told the king not to tremble anymore as they will bring him a reply tomorrow, none of this words entered the ears of the king even as Òyó soldiers approaches.


The morning came and the youth leader told the king the answer to the message of the Òyó empire is simple, they will send an adolescent boy to Òyó with the message that when the boy is pregnant they (Ile-Ife) will bring the pregnant bull with his children, when the King heard this he was amazed at the wisdom of the youths, and he subscribed to it and immediately horses were made ready to relay the message.

BY the time they journeyed to Òyó, the soldiers have left for Ile-Ife to destroy it but the youths were not disturbed by this because the hope of there nation rest on there message, they held there piece and approach the Aláàfin telling him the message from the Ooni and presenting the boy to them, with a message that when the boy is pregnant they (Òyó) should come and collect the child of a bull too, when the Aláàfin and his chief heard this they were startled and lost in thought at how they could checkmate them this way, knowing fully well that this deed is now in the open and if the whole community knows that that is what they are doing they will resort against him for this operation was secretly masterminded.


The Aláàfin ordered immediately back to base all his soldiers, but by the time the soldiers heard this news while they were just a stone throw to the city of Ilé-ifè, they decided to doubt the message and in the midst of this argument they picked up arm against themselves by doubting and accusing each other of betrayal and conspiracy, the soldiers of Ilé-ifè watched at far distance as the army of the great Òyó empire made an end to themselves, by the evening it was counted that two-third of the entire Òyó army is dead, when the Aláàfin heard this to save his face from shame he immediately went in and commit suicide.


The youths of Ilé-ifè returned back home to a glorious celebrations as the Oòni himself made them all wealthy and promote them into different council, in the midst of the celebration he made a speech that today is the day he knows that
Omodé gbón – the wisdom of the youths


Àgbà gbón. – the wisdom of the Old
L’afi dá Ilé-ifè – is the core of creation of Ilé-ifè!



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