The culture that teaches that a king could become a slave and a slave could become a king in their midst and that the way a child is born is the same way a slave is born put the Yoruba culture up front amongst world cultures, East, West, North and South. In Western Nigeria it is not so much where you come from but how willing to assimilate and be accommodated as one of theirs, never had ethnic roundup. Always survive by their wish for others sometime to a fault.
Western Nigeria is unique with its cultural accommodation and assimilation irrespective of any ethnic group in search of success. The Western part of Nigeria and the surroundings are occupied by the Yoruba and their cousins. What stands out is that more Nigerians have been more successful inside this western part of the Country than inside or outside of Africa. Indeed, many Africans got their clean breaks in the West. It could be the water, food or the air they breathe in but the fact has more to do with accommodation of others to strive and prosper to their highest potentials benefiting their host.
Many historians have credited Lagos at the seaport as the commercial junction even before the Country became Independent or made Lagos its capital. Lagos was not the only place made the capital of Nigeria. Looking deeper into the origin of the accommodation enjoyed by those that came from far and wide, point to a cultural history of people. Before the Yoruba fought fiercely within during slavery, they were united by culture and religion of Ife spread across West Africa.
However, Ibadan not Lagos was the most accommodating place in Western Nigeria contrary to the general belief shared in the Country. Indeed, it was the political melting pot where outsider could be crowned their leader out of accommodation; but only with Ile-Ife assimilation. It was an unprecedented example worthy of praised, but never enough for political opportunists that would stoop to conquer. No accommodation anywhere else in the world, without assimilation.
Accommodation of different groups of people did not start in Lagos, it is a Yoruba culture brought into seashore by children of Ogunfuminire father of Eko Omo-Onile, one of the earliest Awori from Ife.
There are very few societies in the world that fully embraced equally-born philosophy as the Yoruba until 18 or 19 century. Not the teaching of the world ancient religions or governments that focus on themselves first. Until lately, women were considered a fraction of a man in the western civilization and slaves were blessed by most world religions to expect freedom only in heaven. While western countries now champion equality, they are Johnny-just-come-lately.
The Yoruba method of accommodation and assimilation to attract other ethnic groups squarely fall on their skills in traditional medicine, mathematical skill counting into thousands to millions, marks as beauty on women and men bodies where they cannot be easily visible and of course in arts and carvings that others recognize as tattoo, ethnic marks to the distinguished. Those that could neither read nor write saw it as Chinese or musical writings puzzling the uninitiated.
Every town and community wants their Oba, governor and president. Yoruba will survive these rivers and problems, since they wish for others what they wish for themselves.
Source & Written By: Farouk Martins Aresa.