From America with tribal marks
I’m true son of the soil – Oba Adefunmi, African-American artiste
By SOLA BALOGUN
Saturday, January 12, 2008
He is an American youth who is in love with African culture, but youthful Oba Adegbolu Adefunmi II, the Oloyotunji of Oyotunji in South Carolina, USA told Blockbuster that he is full Yoruba both by birth and by inclination.
The young American artiste and Yoruba monarch, who wears bold tribal marks on his face arrived Nigeria on Tuesday in company of his sister and chiefs. He said his mission in the country is to fraternise with kinsmen at home and to open new channels of promoting Yoruba culture, particularly music, dance, festivals and craft.
Oba Adefunmi was received at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport amid songs and drumming by his Nigerian subjects and apogees. Prominent among these were the twin artistes- Princes Taiwo and Kehinde Olabode Ejiogbe, who welcomed the royal father with unique Yoruba songs and chants.
On sighting him at the arrival hall, drummers went into wild jubilation while entertaining the Oba and his entourage in diverse tunes. The ceremony created a lot of attraction as passengers and people around the airport watched with keen interest. The monarch was accompanied to a waiting jeep by singers and drummers.
He said: “I am here to meet and fraternise with my people. As the reigning Oba in Oyotunji, USA, I found it necessary to come to my cradle and unite with my kinsmen. I am also a singer and poet. I sing Yoruba songs and participate in Egungun festival in America. My tribal marks make me a true Yoruba. In Oyotunji, a community in South Carolina, every true Yoruba wears tribal marks as part of our culture and a sign of our link with our roots.”
Oba Adefunmi is visiting many royal fathers in Nigeria, including His majesty, the Ooni of Ife. He will also visit Inisa, Osogbo, Ile-Ife as well as Benin Republic to meet his brothers and sisters.