|Tuesday, October 6, 2020|
y father of blessed memory, Alhaji Ibrahim Akéwúkanwó Balógun was a great Islamic preacher, and tolerant of other religions. He used to sing this song in my rustic townlet while he preached to everyone what I call "universal sermons" in those good old days. The song goes thus:
"Atúnb?`tán" l'oju l? fún àw?n ?m? ádámà, ?ló?hun j?´ àtib?`tán tiwa ó dára, ?ló?hun j?´ ká atú-nb?`-tán táwa ó dára."
NB: Atúnb?`tán is widely believed in Yorùbáland to be a legacy or bequest.
The song is roughly translated thus:"
"The legacy we live behind when we're no more matters, may God give us the insight to live a good legacy behind."
When I was growing up, one of the prominent sermonizing phrases I used to hear from my father was "Atúnb?`tán" (Atúnb?`tán is translated as a legacy in my rustic town). Anytime my father preached, "Atúnb?`tán" became a phraseological tune that usually captured my tender and innocent mind. Though, as a young inquisitor, "Atúnb?`tán" was a phrase that prodded my inquisitive mind, and as time went on, the fear of my "Atúnb?`tán" became clearer to define my value and shape my life forever. My gentle and easy-going father succeeded in catching his numerous young children "young" with his beautiful legacy and values. Values are principles, standards, or qualities by which we live our lives; our values shape the person we become, and our actions to our neighbors and humanity reflect those values.
Meanwhile, posterity is known to judge every role we play in our generation. Some people call the recompense of our roles as Karma. Karma and posterity are entwined with precision at judging the redistribution of rewards for our deeds and antecedents. Posterity and legacy have always worked in concert with the positions we deliberately or indeliberately place ourselves in our epochal years in this odd but beautiful world.
My late father, Alhaji Ìbràhím Akéwúkanwó Balógun and Alhaji Àyìnlá ?m?wúrà saw tomorrow in their individual cultural and religious capacities, they leveraged on their talents and played a good role in their attempt to shape this controversial world. Àyìnlá ?m?wúrà died several decades ago. My father died more than a decade ago. But both have deconstructed the power inherent in "Atúnb?`tán"-legacy. The power of "Atúnb?`tán" in the lives of these two unique men has continued to shape my life and the lives of other Yorùbá people of my generation.
Sadly, most of my contemporaries in this generation are losing their beautiful cultural identity and religious beliefs to cyberpunks, and the evils of social media. Social media is doing more harm than good to our Yorùbá socio-cultural nuances. The current generation of YORÙBÁ children is being consumed by ignorance and the misinformation and disinformation tools available in the cyberspace. It's not uncommon to see the level of blissful ignorance of our generation. The lyrics of music and religious sermons the current generation of Yorùbá children listen to are antithetical to the golden memories of these great men and women in Yorùbá (Àyìnlá ?m?wúrà and other Yorùbá geniuses) who had seen tomorrow (our current generation).
We must go back to the basics. We must give kudos to the advent of Christianity in sub-regional Africa, particularly, Nigeria. The majority of the accomplished intelligentsia and early literate individuals from the southwestern and eastern parts of Nigeria were beneficiaries of Western education through churches. Unlike personal gains and profits-oriented ventures (mercantilism) of most of today's churches, the advent of Christianity in Nigeria positively impacted Nigerian western education and civilization.
The profits of early Christianity and churches were the building of human capital and the capacity utilization of human resources. But today's Christianity or churches hardly mentioned eternal salvation in their sermons. You can seldom read Jesus Christ and salvation from their websites, rather, prosperity and worldly and mundane life are today's sermons' insignia and evangelism. Islam is not left out of this bastardization of religion. I am extremely happy that my father made me know Islam before I knew the intolerant Muslims and unrepentant fundamentalists fouling the beautiful religion of Islam.
Lastly, the attempted moral lesson from this article is to remind and encourage the smart-culturally-intuitive Yorùbá children amongst this generation to preserve our magnificent culture. We must assist them in the revival, and polishing the undying "Atúnb?`tán" (legacy) of our progenitors. Our forefathers saw tomorrow and gave us the tools to counterbalance the evil of every generation. We must preserve the legacy of our forefathers from being impeded or reconstructed by these takasùfé and hip-hop children of this gullible generation.
Listening to Àyìnlá ?m?wúrà, and my nostalgic experience with my brilliant and humbled late father, Alhaji Ibrahim Akéwúkanwó Balógun, gives me the opportunity to teach my children moral values, respect, and "Atúnb?`tán." The "Atúnb?`tán" (legacy) of these men and other sages encourages me to a state of the inquest, or ascertain facts; and it also soothes my insatiable quench for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of how to live a beautiful life. Though I am a fallible human being, I strive had to use my critical thinking faculty to process any challenges I face. Critical thinking is the ability to evaluate options, analyze alternatives, and make informed decisions. Kudos to my late parents and the late Anígilájé who have shown me the nuances of Atúnb?`tán and the power of critical thinking skills. You sometimes never recognize your planting (worth) until you begin to harvest the fruity consequences of the intentional and unintentional good d(seeds) you have planted.
Late Alhaji Ibrahim Akéwúkanwó Balógun and Alhaji Àyìnlá ?m?wúrà lives were devoid of the blemishes of this info-war and deficient generation. The two men were ahead of their times. They saw tomorrow, and they're living beyond their generations.