…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Renowned Gospel Musician Tope Alabi Urged to Conduct Ancestry DNA Test
Renowned gospel musician, Tope Alabi, has been advised to undergo an ancestry Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) test to verify her heritage.
The suggestion comes after Alabi incorporated a Yoruba traditional greeting, ‘Aboru aboye,’ into one of her recent songs, which is predominantly a worship song.
An Ifa-priest, Oluwo Jogbodo Orunmila, emphasized the importance of Alabi conducting a DNA test to determine her ancestral roots during a recent interaction with journalists.
In a viral music video, Alabi and her backup singers referred to themselves as ‘ebo,’ a term that signifies sacrifice.
However, they stressed that they are ‘Aboru Aboye,’ indicating that they have been accepted as sacrifices by God.
Responding to the situation, Orunmila, who serves as the chief priest of Iledi Imule Agba in Oyan, Odo Otin North Local Council Development Authority in Osun State, stated in a media chat on Monday that Alabi has consistently used terminologies associated with traditionalists.
He pointed out her use of phrases like ‘Eledumare’ and other expressions typically associated with Orunmila (the god of wisdom) and Yoruba deities.
Orunmila explained that these utterances suggest that Tope Alabi may have a connection to the Ifa tradition and advised her to seek guidance from knowledgeable teachers to gain a better understanding of the tradition.
He clarified that identifying with Ifa is a matter of personal choice, and it does not prohibit individuals from affiliating with other religions while being under the guidance of Ifa.
Orunmila emphasized that Ifa is known for its embrace of secrecy and only identifies those who willingly choose to be recognized.
Regarding the phrase ‘Aboru Aboye,’ Orunmila explained that it is not a common lexicon used by everyone but rather specifically employed by Ifa initiates, including Babalawos (male Ifa priests) and Iyanifas (female Ifa priests), as a greeting.
He further elaborated that the phrase ‘Aboru Aboye’ is often accompanied by ‘ni Ile Ifa,’ which translates to ‘May everything, including sacrifices, be accepted in this Ifa household.’
Orunmila delved into the origins of the phrase, tracing it back to the Odu Ifa Ogunda Meji in the Ifa corpus, which recounts the stories of three women—Aboru, Aboye, and Abosise—who provided special assistance to Orunmila.
According to the legend, these women played a crucial role in Orunmila’s consultation with Olodumare, the Supreme Being, to alleviate a plague in Ile-Ife.
To honor their power and kindness, Orunmila decreed that anyone seeking to meet with an Iyanifa or Babalawo must first pay homage to Aboru, Aboye, and Abosise.
The controversy surrounding Tope Alabi’s usage of traditionalist phrases in her music has sparked discussions about her ancestral background and religious associations.
The Ifa-priest, Oluwo Jogbodo Orunmila, has provided insights into the significance of the phrases used and suggested that Alabi may have a connection to the Ifa tradition.
The call for her to undergo an ancestry DNA test adds another dimension to the discourse, highlighting the importance of understanding one’s heritage and cultural influences.
It remains to be seen how Alabi will respond to these suggestions and whether she will further explore her ancestral roots within the context of her music and personal beliefs.
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