The dialect of the Eegun people is distinct
The dialect of the Eyo people is distinct
Nonetheless, all people cry the same way
This was Ifa's message to Buuku, Omolu
When going to select Ogun as her husband in Saki land
She was advised to offer sacrifice
- Holy Odu OgbeOyeku
Nana Buruku (also known as Buuku, Nana Buukuu or Omolu) was an extremely successful woman, who had made herself ver wealthy. She was especially known and revered as an advocate for women's rights and a protector of children. She defended them against aggression from men, be it fathers, husbands or otherwise. As such, among the men it was known that having a healthy fear of Nana Buruku was the beginning of wisdom. Not only that, Nana also protected women against unscrupulous in-laws, who would attempt to cheat widows out of their deceased husbands' estates. And so it was, that people would make any required sacrifice because Nana Buruku was more than capable of delivering positive outcomes.
At the same time, however, Nana was able to support other women's marital needs but she was not able to find a husband for herself. First of all, the majority of men were simply intimidated by her reputation. More significantly, Nana Buruku was proud to a fault. Her experience made her arrogant and dismissive of men. In reality, she saw to real need for men in her life, accept to keep them in their place. Consequently, she never missed the opportunity to shout men down and talk over them in conversation. The few men who might have been attracted to her were soon turned off and kept a safe distance from Nana Buruku.
Nana Buruku faced a dilemma. Even though she was not interested in male companionship, she did desperately want to give birth to a child of her own. Because she had no affection for men in general, she only had two criteria for the man whose children she would bear: Firstly, he must be strong and vigorous. Secondly, he must be a leader of many. As such, Nana Buruku narrowed her search down to Ogun who was living in the kingdom of Saki at the time. He was known for his strength and charisma, which had drawn multitudes of followers and supporters to him.
When she decided that Ogun was the ideal candidate for the task at hand, Nana went to consult Ifa. The Holy Odu OgbeOyeku emerged and the babalawo advised Nana Buruku that she would soon marry a mighty man. She should sacrifice to Orisa Ogun and demonstrate a high level of respect to her husband. Failure to do so would result in regrettable outcomes. Nana listened to the awo's advice. And after some thought, she decided that it was enough to know that she would be successful at securing Ogun as a husband and had no need for the sacrifice and observances. And so, without even a word, she stood up and walked out of the consultation, to the amazement of the babalawo present.
The wedding of Nana Buruku and Ogun was a sensation. Everyone from miles around came to participate and enjoy. And for her part, Nana went out of her way to let everybody know that she was in charge and calling all the shots. They say that love is blind and so, Ogun was oblivious to the position his wife had taken, much to his detriment. Even after the ceremony, Ogun continued to serve his wife with true devotion. When he noticed her clients coming to the house in great numbers, Ogun made sure his people were there to help conduct any rituals. He even gifted her a sharp steel blade to perform sacrifices and skin animals.
Nothing that Ogun did impressed Nana Buruku. In her estimation, he was merely doing what he was obliged to do as a husband. By her standard, any man who failed to do any and everything to please his wife really had no business her life in the first place. According to Nana, it was a man's pleasure to serve a woman. And so, she felt no need to cook him food or bring water for his bath or perform any other wifely duties for Ogun. Whenever Ogun would advise her on how to do things, Nana would shout him down.
In less than three months, Ogun became the laughing stock of Saki. His other wives were astonished by the way their husband had been laid low. Eventually, he went to have a conversation with Nana Buruku about his dissatisfaction with the quality of their relationship. She agreed, but as soon as he began to speak, Nana lost interest. She completely ignored her husband. It was then that Ogun became visibly angry. When Nana saw his response she quickly shouted him down, telling Ogun that if he was so unhappy with her, he should just hang himself or drown himself in the lagoon. Nana cursed and abused Ogun in a way that nobody had ever done before. Then, she even went so far as to spit in Ogun's face. By that time, the entire family had come out of their rooms to find out what was all the commotion about. Nana continued on her tirade with greater enthusiasm, much to the amazement of everybody present. In the end, she started to push Ogun, telling him to get out of her room.
That was the last straw. Ogun became livid. He was shaking with rage. When he finally spoke, fear was awakened Nana Buruku. "I will not allow you to disrespect me in my own home any longer! Who are you? What do you represent? Who do you think you are? Where is your decency?" By the time Ogun had finished speaking, he had shaken his humanly garments and appeared as an Irunmole. He continued, "I will spare you my wrath today. But leave my home at once and take nothing I have given you, including the steel blade. From this moment forward, you shall be forbidden to use any metal tools. Now, leave my sight before I change my mind about you!"
And so it is, that Nana Buruku must never use Ogun's implements. Instead, she only uses a bamboo knife for making sacrifices and skinning animals.*
*Popoola, Solagbade. Ifa Dida vol 2. page 57
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.