Proudly “Ara-Oke” Up-Country-Man!
“Ibi ojubi ba’se beru bee lasebomo.” Nigerian-Yoruba proverb
Two decades ago, away from home, to the city was the first time, I ever heard the demeaning word “Ara-Oke’. However, the very incident marked my ever travelling to the big city, Lagos.
So, I never took it in, as such, because I was not bothered.
During one of my pranks the other time with my host, an old illiterate woman; the derogatory remark was let out again. This time my anger was let loose like a heavy thunder during dry season.
“Ara-Isale enough is enough of this nonsense name calling,” I responded back to the old woman, in a super-charged-angry tone! She was shocked and dumbfounded at my saucy-sudden-outburst.
Eventually, she came to her senses and pleaded with me that the insulted name I just called her was worse-off than the name she earlier described me.
Ever since that incidence occurred, we’ve become best of friends before I left for home after the expiration of my long-term break.
Having heard of my ugly episode, I believe you, my readers, have your own side of the stories of “Ara-Oke” name calling to tell.
The word “Ara-Oke” is a term of contempt reserved for the Yorubas from the interior. Often time, it’s commonly used among the city dwellers, majorly Ogun and Lagos State dwellers believe to be civilized.
Moreover, the so-called elites feel they are the first class Yorubas. Hence, they viewed other Yorubas from the hinterland as second class Yorubas.
Besides, this tribalism predates independence according to late eminent Hon. Adegoke Adelabu.
In fact, tribalism to fellow tribesmen is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into our unity as Yorubas, and must be stopped! It’s time we called a spade a spade and foster love and equity among fellow tribesmen.
The crux of our problem is the message of divisiveness, through holding others in contempt! Whether you’re from Oyo, Osun, Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, kogi, Kwara and Oke-Ogun States or the so-called elite states, Lagos and Ogun States, we’re all the same. No one is more superior to the other in terms of civilization, as it were.
The fact that you reside in Lagos or Ogun State does not make you any better than those who live in the interiors parts of Oyo, Osun, Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, Kogi, Kwara and Oke-Ogun States.
Spread the message that we’re better together than when apart!
Remember: “Ibi ojubi ba’se beru bee lasebomo.”