Alaafia awon omo orisa gbogbowa! Greetings to all Orisa devotees in Republic Trinidad & Tobago.
As I attempt to address us all,I pause to pay respects to all First Nations Inhabitants resident in our land to whom we owe a depth of gratitude. These inhabitants and indigenes of this land ,though now disempowered , offered their shelter and support to those of us who arrived here via the inhuman and infamous Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.
Adupe lopolopo for your compassion and hospitality then and now.
We are about to close gregorian calendar year 2015 and begin 2016.
I give thanks to Eledumare for the bountifullness and blessings that were showered on me as a person and upon my family and our organization Egbe Onisin Eledumare.
I further give thanks to the many blessings and growth that the entire Orisa community in Republic Trinidad & Tobago experienced during this year.
There was soo much to be grateful and thankful for. We have all grown.
During gregorian year 2015, some Orisa devotees who were still married in philosophy to the inherited Orisa structure and theology that was left for us by our grand parents were able to make the leap forward and embrace the Ancient theologies of our great,great grandparents and embrace Ifa and Yoruba and African sacred sciences. Several devotees took the one hand of Ifa, some initiated as Babalawo elegan, others got initiated into Egungun, ithers into several other Orisa.Many organizations held grand events celebrating the Orisa.
There were Festivals to Oya, Olokun, Sango, Ogun, Egungun,Yemoja,Ibeji and many more Orisa.
The moral and ethical standing in our community was high.Our priests and priestesses respected themselves,were not involved in criminal activities and many were searching for ways to collaborate and unite as we battle against the prejudices that we all face as Orisa devotees and African Traditional Spiritualists.
Elevation ceremonies saw at least one devotee attain a chieftain title that was conferred by Babalawo/Chief Solagbade Poopola on Agba Pearl Jones an initiate of Egbe Onisin Eledumare now holding the position of Iya Egbe of Osun/Osouna Motivational Center led by another initiate of Egbe Onisin Eledumare Agba Osunreiki Kambiri Olukayode – Charmaine De Sousa.
Awo Ifaseun Ifagbamila Avery Amon successfully led efforts to initiate Isese Day 2015 activities at the Center for Excellence. Involved and included in the Isese Day 2015 events and activities was the visit of Araba of Osogbo Oba Ifayemi Elebuibon, who conducted lectures and did initiations and Ifa readings while here.
The Committe overseeing the rehabilitation and renewal of activities of the Council of Orisa Elders also held meetings to accomplish that end.
Impacting on Trinidad & Tobago Orisa life was the installation and coronation of Alayeluwa Kabiyesi Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II – 51st Ooni Ife.
Not all was triumph. There were challenges.
Among the challenges that the Orisa community faced was the confiscation of an ide Ifa from a student who is a member of the Orisa faith. This matter is still ongoing and so we shall be limited in our comments here. However it is noteworthy that members of the national Orisa community came out to register their displeasure and support the parents who have agreed to take legal action.Among the supporters were the Council of TraditionalAfrikan Chiefs of Trinidad &Toobago, Ile Isokan, Egbe Onisin Eledumare, Ita Oosa,and the Egungun Society.
Also of significance in this year was the transition of Donald “JuniorNoel”, who was well-known for his contributions to North West Laventille Folk Performers and to ritual drumming throughout the length and breadth of Trinidad & Tobago.Junior transition will impact significantly on the Best Village forum and he will be missed by many in the Orisa community.
His burialrites were presided over by Micheal Osouna ak.a. Sugar Aloes,and involved, Richard and Babalorisa Awodele Brooks among others officiating.Members of the Council of Traditional Afrikan Chiefs of Trinidad & Tobago were also represented at the burial rites. Afrika House proprietor Awo Ifaseun Avery Amon was also present. Awo Ifalade – Br. Knocker was also among those paying their respects during the burial rites.