As a Yorùbá, it is not new to us the position our dear Olódùmarè holds in our hearts. But whom do we think next after God Almighty?

Let me start by using set theory as an illustration, we can see clearly how individuals represent a subset of family (ìdílé) and each family, a subset of race (Ìran tabi ẹẹya).

Illustrating Yoruba race and the need to protect the democratic republic of the yoruba blueprint

Race is the superset!

As we can see everyone belongs to a member of a family and collectively belongs to a specific race (ìran tabi ẹẹya).

What this means is that behaviourally, when you do good to your race (ìran tabi ẹẹya), you do good to yourself and your entire race. When you put your race first, you indirectly putting yourself and generations first.

As long as we are not in silo, what we do and don’t directly or indirectly affect entities around us. Therefore the need to think outside of individualism, think more as family and most as a Yorùbá (Ìran).

Yoruba is a nation and as such it’s crucial to put your nation first above family and individualism. No matter how high you rise, your greatness can never surpass that of your nation. You are nobody in the world if you can’t be identified with a particular group of people – a specific tribe, race, ethnic nationality because, at the end of your journey, that’s what people will use to describe and remember you.

Your identity as a person has so much to do with where you’re from. Let’s consider the footballing world, using some of the iconic star players.

Ever wondered why a player will sometimes feel bad despite recent performance at club level when they get snubbed by their nations’ international call ups?

Or have you asked yourself why Messi of Argentina would accept to feature for his nation after retiring?

The answer is they believe nation’s first! Nation (your identity, your race, your ethnic nationality) should come above your personal ego or ambition. According to Messi “I seriously thought about leaving, but my LOVE for Argentina and this jersey forced me to return.”

Although not all players do realize this theory, those who understand their identity do and cherish the moment. These footballers know that at the end of the day – the whole greatness at club level, they would only be much remembered by their country people. Today, it’s not Okocha from Bolton Wanderers but the Okocha of “Nigeria”; Many can’t even remember he played for Bolton.

Messi and Ronaldo for example are sent to uplift the glory of the Argentines and Portuguese respectively. As a yoruba man, you’re sent to the Yoruba race to uplift the glory of the Yoruba in the world.

Therefore, see and think of your nation’s development as your personal responsibility. Because at the end of your journey, the number one likely question might be what were you able to do for your people? What impact do you have in the life of your people? ‘People’ here are not just the subset but the superset, in which God created you into.

There is a reason you are not a Chinese, Indian, or English, or Spaniard but a Yoruba. Do not let your creator down. After God Almighty, your race (people you identify with) comes next.

“Ti ìran ko ba bọ ninu ìgbèkùn, ìdílé tabi ẹda kankan ko léè gberi.”

Nation (superset) promotes individuals’ subset. And no one can be greater than his or her nation.

Why Should You Think Yoruba First?

  1. Think Yoruba first because it’s the right thing to do.
  2. Think Yoruba first because before you were born, yoruba has been in existence. The Yoruba language, culture and traditions have all been existing before you and will be till the end of time.
  3. Think Yoruba first because your unborn generations, i mean the children of your children CANNOT be of another tribe except Yoruba.
  4. Think Yoruba first because no matter how far and wide you travel the world or food you eat outside of Yoruba land, Your DNA will always carry that of a typical Yoruba.
  5. Think Yoruba first because it’s who you are. It’s your identity and you can’t change that.
  6. Think Yoruba first because no matter how high you rise, you can never rise above your nation.
  7. You are one of the tribes today because your ancestors thought Yoruba first and prepared a future that you have presently. If you don’t think of Yoruba first, there will be no future for your generation.
  8. Chief MKO Abiola thought Yoruba first and whenever he saw a Yoruba man stranded, he would help because as the saying goes, oju ti ore mi, oju ti mi. If you fail to think yoruba first, in the long run, you will not only bring shame to yourself but your entire family.
  9. Think Yoruba first because your legacy as a person can only be remembered, attributed with the people you identified with. You can never forever live in the hearts of strangers or enemies but that of your people. Today, Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo lives on in our hearts even though some of us don’t get to know him.
  10. Think Yoruba first because no matter what you own in this world cannot be protected by other tribes as much as your tribe will.
  11. Think Yoruba first because it’s the only way we can develop into greatness.

My fellow Yoruba, ask not what Yoruba will do for you, but what together we can do for the greatness of the Democratic Republic of the Yoruba. If we can think it, surely we can do it!