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ADESEYE, ‘Bifatife Olufemi

Yoruba Ifa Archetypes in Agogo Eewo as a Model for Cultural Re-Orientation

‘Bifatife Olufemi ADESEYE, PhD

Department of Theatre and Media Arts

Federal University, Oye-Ekiti

Ekiti State, Nigeria

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GSM: +234-811-202-5755 +234-803-471-5723


The Nigerian film industry, more popularly known as, Nollywood, is replete with movies which depict the African traditional religion as evil and backward. The familiar trend in most of the films is that, an Ifa priest (or his equivalent) is consulted for evil purposes, which range from harming an innocent fellow, or at best manipulating the future of such persons for selfish gains. In most of these situations, an Islamic cleric or a Christian pastor is invited for intervention which is always successful, thereby projecting the foreign religions, ‘good,’ to triumph over the Ifa (traditional) religion, ‘evil.’ This gross misrepresentation of what the Ifa corpus stands for in the Yoruba worldview can be blamed on ignorance, Western colonisation and ideological brainwashing superimposed by the influence of foreign religions. In this sea of controversial films, Tunde Kelani’s Agogo Eewo is one of the few films, which stand out, projecting the Yoruba Ifa corpus in its true light.This paper therefore interrogates the use of the Yoruba Ifa corpus in Nollywood films generally, and reviews its positive portrayal in Agogo Eewo. This study finds that the Yoruba Ifa corpus, as projected in Agogo Eewo, is an embodiment of knowledge, wisdom, philosophies and divine messages capable of providing national caution and proffering lasting solutions to the various socio-cultural, economic and political calamities, which have besieged us as a nation. It recommends an in-depth study of the Yoruba Ifa corpus for a proper representation in Nollywood films, towards effective cultural re-orientation.

KEY WORDS: Yoruba Ifa Corpus, Nollywood, AgogoEewo, Cultural Re-orientation.