A Case For African Taditional Religion

an african babalawo popularly called priest in his shrine
An African Babalawo in Shrine

We don’t need much statistics to prove that a majority of Africans are now Christians or Muslims! We seem to have abandoned our tradition, our norms and values and now our religion! A few of those who still practice the African Traditional Religion do so in secret.

In villages and even in big cities you often see rituals in calabash on T-junctions (an important practice of African Traditional Religion) and you will ask yourself, why is there nobody to claim these rituals as theirs? Or perhaps you will say if everybody claims to be a Christian or Muslim who are those left in the African Traditional Religion?

Further questions will be, is the African Traditional Religion dying? Is it slowly going into extinction? Are Africans ashamed of their own religion? Or perhaps why should they be?

One sure answer is that our religion is dying and we are doing nothing about it and if we do nothing it will be in the same category with the Tasmanian tiger (an extinct animal)  or the dinosaurs.

Two words that best describes the practice of the African Traditional Religion are  ‘Misery’ and ‘Mystery’.

Let us take a look at some of the world renowned religions viz Christianity, Islam Judaism. They all have books (Bible and Quran as examples) detailing their practices which makes it easy for their believers to follow up. The case for ATR( African Traditional Religion) is different. It is all clouded and drowned in mysteries.

Let’s take a look at Prof. Ogunbemi’s stance on this issue in his book titled ‘God, Reason and Death.
He said, ‘An important practice of African Traditional Religion (ATR) is rainmaking, there are many rainmakers in Africa and yet drought appears to be one of the causes of famine in the continent. Over the years the supposed rainmakers have shared their science with many people.

To maintain sovereignty , Rainmakers would rather keep it a secret than to share the secrets or write on it. Let’s be clear, it is not only rainmaking that has suffered, many other aspects of ATR are pretty much the same. While many people will be skeptical about the rainmaking part, i can assure you that ATR experts are well endowed with knowledge of healing herbs, orthopedics, meditation and so on.

Well, that’s for the mystery part. It’s high time I took a look at the misery angle and how it has affected the African Traditional Religion which I will discuss on the second installment of this post. To be continued.

Drop your comments and ideas.

Read a Related Post On Open Letter To God

Written by Alimi Taiwo Hassan for Wikeria
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