UNIOV Presents Ocha Soul Part 1 LP (2018)
Afro-Cuban Orisa music blended with deep soulful melodic chords and rhythmic percussion and vocals. This album is driven by the ancestral voyage through love, focus, and determination to the ultimate reality. We call it Orisa Our Way.
Produced by DJ Oba for Ifa Music Group LLC. Vocals & Vocal Arrangement by Oba and Olori
Album artwork by DTD Multimedia
MESSAGE FROM OUR ELDERS
(Oluwo) Baba Medahochi Kofi Omowale Zannu Sangodele Mogbarimu Ajinaku El
WE want our community to be a good community where Leadership and Elders are respected by all, also the children. It is a good community where the young have respect for their fathers and mothers and the larger community; our extended family. No person should attempt to do damage to another. If there is even one person who puts others in a ad light, or does damage to them, then the community becomes bad.
Order, it is said, is the first law of the spiritual sky. Therefore, the first great consideration of our community is ORDER. We must know what the world was like in order to know how to re-create it.
Odomakoma (Ultimate Reality) first created order.
A young pond fronds always rises higher. YOUNG PEOPLE, TAKE IT TO THE FUTURE!
Photo courtesy of UNIOV
Still Building: The United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun
and New Afrikan Independence Movement
By Dr. Kwame-Osagyefo Kalimara
August 28, 2013 is the second anniversary of the birth of the United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun. It was in 2011 that it joined the movements seeking independence and sovereignty from the United States of America Empire. The United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun’s modern predecessor came into being on March 28, 1968 as the founding of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika. It claims that the five states (Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina) minimally belong to New Afrikan people in North America. 500 Black Nationalists from all over the United States were the convenors of this Black Power Conference held in Detroit, Michigan.
Queen Mother Audley Moore, a former Garvey supporter, is considered to be the mother of the new Nation, as El Hajj Malik Shabazz/Malcolm X is considered the father. It was their ideological ideas which gave shape to the Nation’s formation. Queen Mother Moore was in fact the first to sign the Declaration of Independence at the Black Power Conference. It is significant to note that Oba Efuntola Adelabu Oseijeman Adefumi I, Founder of the Oyotunji African Village (1970), was a Minister of Culture of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika. He was a student of Queen Mother Moore who was a staunch advocate of an independent nation in North America for New Afrikan people, survivors and victims of the MAAFA (the enslavement and genocide of millions of African people.)
The idea of the creation of the United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun was birthed in its founders, Oosalase Ifanduguwa Efundeji El and Orisayomi Ifanrewaju Zannu Efundeji Bey, when they were students of (Oluwo) Baba Medahochi Kofi Omowale Zannu Sangodele Mogbarimu Ajinaku El. Baba Medahochi, an advocate of New Afrikan Vodun – an eclectic spiritual practice of various Afrikan traditional (religious/spiritual) customs and rites – himself was a “citizen” of the New Afrikan Nation. Orisayomi was his last initiate, undergoing rites to become an Obatala priest at that time.
Oosalase was installed as Oba of the United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun on August 28, 2012 as leader of this movement. The Leopard is his family totem. Orisayomi was installed as “Afahari Mku”, which in the Swahili language means Royal Ruler. To overt confusion, using Yoruba in her title was omitted. Baba Medahochi was an advocate of the understanding that Swahili is one of the languages New Afrikans can use because no one Afrikan ethnic group can claim its primacy. Moreover, since Orisayomi was initiated by him, it is fitting that Swahili be used to honor him in the process. Both Oosalase and Orisayomi were installed jointly as equal leaders. It was a “roots” reading of Oosalase which revealed his royal lineage as Oba, however, with the caveat that his title would not be complete without the elevation of his wife Orisayomi as his equal. This ancestral reading announces a shift from patriarchy to joint leadership. It signals a movement to end patriarchal rule/male domination. The evidence of Gelede societies in Afrika and Gelede New Afrika here in the South speak to that fact that the Empowered Sacred Mothers are speaking aloud that patriarchy must end.
The Elders of the United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun created the rites and rituals of leadership for Oosalase and Orisayomi. Both took the following Oath:
We are servants of Our people guided by Our ancestors, deity and Our Ori.
We acknowledge the past – the contradictions of greed and sharing, the forces of imbalance/dis-ease and balance/harmony.
Wisdom requires us to visualize a better community and world, possessing the best in which Ultimate Reality offers and provides.
Wisdom requires us to work to bring into manifestation a better material condition.
As We lead, We shall judge and rule with fairness and compassion.
We acknowledge the sweat, tears and blood of Our people in combating the ills of society and world.
We also acknowledge the fruits of the blessings of life and living and the best Our people have given to the world.
If We fail in Our responsibilities – dishonoring Our lineage, We shall relinquish Our titles/positions opening the path for better leadership.
Most new movements always come under some form of criticism. The United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun is no exception. Are they authentic or legitimate? On the larger scale We see this with the very practice of Ifa where Priests are initiated by Our own people in the Western Hemisphere. It did not matter that We have been doing Our own ritual and initiatory work throughout Our collective enslavement to the present. There are groupings of Nigerians (ethnically Yoruba) who maintain that their Ase/power and authority is absolute and anything We do is secondary. There are groupings of Cubans who have a similar, yet different, edict. In the West they claim primacy. In fact, some boast that they have more Babalowo in Cuba than there are in Nigeria. What is troubling about all of this is that it disrespects Our contributions to the study and practice of traditional Afrikan religions and what We have done in the absence of their participation in Our creations and practice. Moreover, there is no analysis of the fact that these communities are, as is the world, oppressed and exploited by white supremacy/imperialism. We all share a common enemy. We all have valuable knowledge and experiences to share to ensure victory in Our restoration movement to create a better world.
Unfortunately, on a lesser scale, We also observe criticism within the United States Empire. There are advocates who claim to be the supreme authority of Yoruba people in the entire Afrikan Diaspora. Whether one deems this assertion as arrogant, evidence of narcissism or just plain naivete, the fallacy is blatant. No person can claim any authority to rule New Afrikan people in the Western world. All authority requires consent of the people themselves. In Brasil, there a thousands of Candomble houses just in the state of Bahia alone. Mae Stella DeSantos is the leader of the Ile Axe Opo Afonja (founded in 1910), perhaps the best known house in Brasil. With Mae Stella’s prominence, she claims no such supreme authority over the spiritual nations (Yoruba based practices) within Brasil. She was nominated in 2005 for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Wande Abimbola is recognized internationally as an authority on the study of Ifa and Yoruba cultural traditions. UNESCO has even awarded him resources for the creation of an institution to train practitioners of Ifa. In 1981 Dr. Abimbola was installed as ÀwíseAwo Àgbàyé by the Ooni of Ife on the recommendation of a conclave of Babalawo of Yorubaland in West Africa. Even he does not claim supremacy of any sort over peoples or their lands.
It should be noted that in South Carolina there resides the Gullah-Geechee Nation. Queen Quet in 2008 and 2009 presented to United Nations forums on the struggles of its peoples in securing human rights. There is no supreme claim within that reality either.
Within Our cultural traditions there is a check and balance system set into place that will not allow deceit or perpetration to carry on for long. Spirit itself will see to it. In addition, Spirit is ever growing and ever changing. What may have been apropos in one situation, location or time could become detrimental in another. Prescriptions become adaptable to the climate in which they are needed. Spirit will never be chained.
What the United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun must be lauded for is its thirst for historical knowledge and insights of all of Our traditions and culture. It seeks to structure the best of the ancient practices, while looking into and extracting new innovations of socialization and governance. The cornerstone of the building process is good character, integrity and courage. Let us examine their work.
Co-founders of Annual Osun Festival, Atlanta. Founded in 2006 along with Awo Fasola & Iya Osuntoki Odunade (currently run by Egbe Osun Atlanta)
Certificate of Recognition for Dedication of Services to Yoruba Culture, May 2009, presented by Oyotunji African Village, South Carolina
May 2011 – Oosalase and Orisayomi were tried, proven and found worthy and was presented with Diplomas for Sheikdom from the Moorish Hall of Learning by National Grand Sheik, Nobel Dawyid Ali-El.
August 2011 – Oosalase received Oloye rites for Olori Aaje title by his elders in Atlanta. Officiated by Awo Ason Gbehanzin Zannu Ajinaku. Title acknowledged at Kings Day, October 2011 in Oyotunji African Village, SC.
November 2012 – Kukanga Fraternal Order (Rites of Passage for young men)
2012 – Present, Spirit Sundays Atlanta, GA
August 2013 – Inauguration of Spirit Sundays Jackson, MS
2011 – Present, Olude Ibeji Children’s Festival Atlanta, GA
2013 – Present, Gelede Festival Atlanta, GA
In March 2013 the United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun received international recognition when the installation of the Oba of Atlanta was officiated by Alaiyeluwa Oba Ifasunmibola Awolade Aremu Ajori-Iwin of Ogbomoso Land, Oyo State, Nigeria. Although this is indeed an important honor, it is the service of Afrikan people which is paramount. Our work must be impeccable. Our service must evidence love and compassion. Reparations necessitate the healing of the spirit of Our ancestors as well of those bodies broken by centuries of abuse. Afrikan people welcome the United Nation of Ifa-Orisa-Vodun into the New Afrikan Independence Movement, building “a better people, for a better world (from the New Afrikan Creed).”
Free the Land!!!