Oriki Ibadan: The Eulogy of Ibadan & Meaning

Ibadan is the capital of Oyo state and the most populous in the state. It is also the third-largest city on the African continent.                            The city of Ibadan is known for its ancient civilization and tranquility. Many who reside and love Ibadan will always speak of the relative peace of the city. Ibadan is another economic powerhouse of Nigeria just like Lagos state, due to the companies that attract investors as well as  tourist attractions in the city. Ibadan is also referred to as the city of great warriors due to its tales of war victories in the past. The Yoruba people of Western Nigeria are known for their rich language customs and traditions of which the art of Oriki (eulogy or praise poetry) is one. The people of Ibadan, in particular, have a rich history and heritage that make them one of the most popular tribes in Yoruba land and Nigeria.

Oriki Ibadan The Eulogy of Ibadan

Location of Ibadan

Ibadan is a city in Oyo state in the Southwestern part of Nigeria, northeast of Lagos state. It is also near the Federal Capital Territory, located 530 km southwest of Abuja. Ibadan is the capital and most populous city in Oyo state. It is also the largest city by geographical area in West Africa. With a 3,080 km² land size, it is the second-largest city in Africa after Cairo in Egypt.

History of Ibadan in Oyo state

According to most historical evidence, Nigerian development started from Ibadan where the first dual lane in West Africa was firstly constructed at Bodija road in Ibadan. The first higher institution in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan was established in 1959. The first teaching hospital in West Africa is the University College hospital located in Ibadan. The first skyscrapers built in Nigeria are also located in the commercial centers at Ibadan. In terms of economic growth, Ibadan has housed some of the first companies in Nigeria such as the Cocoa House, the headquarters of the Oodua Investment Company. Other notable skyscrapers in Ibadan include Femi Johnson glasshouse, CBN building, United Bank for Africa, Oxford building, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria’s Building, among others. The Obafemi Awolowo Hall in the University of Ibadan is said to be one of the tallest hostels in any West African university. Ibadan also houses the cultural centre, Mokola and the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium Oke-Ado, formerly known as Liberty Stadium.

Oriki Ibadan; The Eulogy of Ibadan and Meaning

Ibadan is known to be a relatively peaceful city. Indigenes of Ibadan are known to be hardworking and fun-loving with vibrant nightlife. Due to the rich heritage of Ibadan, the city has its own Oríkì, which in English is called praise poetry. Oríkì is a cultural phenomenon common amongst Yoruba-speakers of West Africa. In the Ibadan Eulogy, you will mostly find the theme of war and victory. Names such as Oluyole will come up. Oluyole was a distinguished army commander from Oyo who contributed immensely to the military and economic development of Ibadan when the city was established.

Below is the oriki of Ibadan and its translation.

Oriki Ibadan

Ibadan mesi Ogo, nile Oluyole.

Ilu Ogunmola, olodogbo keri loju ogun.

Ilu Ibikunle alagbala jaya-jaya.

Ilu Ajayi, o gbori Efon se filafila.

Ilu Latosa, Aare-ona kakanfo.

Ibadan Omo ajoro sun,

Omo a je Igbin yoo, fi ikarahun fo ri mu.

Ibadan maja-maja bii tojo kin-in-ni,

eyi too ja aladuugbo gbogbo logun,

Ibadan ki ba ni s’ore ai mu ni lo s’ogun.

Ibadan Kure! Ibadan beere ki o too wo o,

Ni bi olè gbe n jare olohun.

B’Ibadan ti n gbonile bee lo n gba Ajoji;

Eleyele lomi ti teru-tomo ‘Layipo n mu,

Asejire lomi abumu-buwe nile Ibadan.

A ki waye ka maa larun kan lara,

Ija igboro larun Ibadan.

English translation

Oriki Ibadan (Eulogy of Ibadan)

Ibadan is the glory, in the house of Oluyole.

The town of Ogunmola, Olodogbo Keri in battle.

The city of Ibikunle, Alagbala Jaya-Jaya.

The town of Ajayi, he heard the mosquito wearing a cap.

Latosa city, the president of the country.

Ibadan the son of Ajoro sleep.

The child will eat snail, use the shell to wash it.

Ibadan Maja-Maja like the day before.

The one that fights all neighbors in war.

Ibadan is not a friend who doesn’t take him to war.

A lot of worship! Ibadan asks before you watch it.

Where the thief lives, he is fighting for God.

As Ibadan is getting smart, that is how it gets strangers.

It’s the pigeon that has been caught by the child ‘ Layipo.

Asejire is the water of Abumu-Buwe in Ibadan.

We don’t come to the world to be sick,

Street fights in Ibadan.

Towns in Ibadan

  • Bodija
  • Agodi G.R.A
  • Oluyole Estate
  • Iyaganku G.R.A
  • Ekotedo
  • Samonda
  • Adamasingba
  • Onikere G.R.A
  • Agbowo
  • Orogun
  • Old Ona
  • Apata Ganga
  • Basorun
  • Eleyele
  • Iyaganku
  • Okebola
  • Odinjo
  • Jericho
  • Idishin
  • Ikolaba
  • More plantation
  • New Bodija
  • Academy
  • Odo Ona Oga Taylor
  • Oke ado
  • Molete
  • Olomi
  • Odo Oba
  • Ososadi
  • Inalende
  • Yemetu
  • Oje
  • Oke
  • Aremo
  • Eleyele
  • Olorunsogo
  • Ojoo
  • Alakia

Social amenities and infrastructure in Ibadan

The first technical University in Africa was established at Ibadan in 2013. The first airport in West Africa is also located in Alakia area, Ibadan near Nigeria Breweries.

Learning centers and Institutions

Ibadan has famous and well-stocked libraries and is home to the first television station in Africa. The city has two zoological gardens, at the University of Ibadan and Agodi Gardens where you will find a botanical garden, swimming pool, and leisure spots.

Museums in Ibadan Oyo

Ibadan holds remarkable tourist attractions such as the museum inside the building of the Institute of African Studies. This museum exhibits several remarkable pre-historic bronze carvings and statues.

Bower Memorial Tower

The Bower Memorial Tower is located to the east on Oke Aàre (Aare’s Hill) The Bower Memorial Tower can be seen from practically any point in the city. Tourists enjoy an excellent view of the whole city from the top of the tower. Other attractions in Ibadan include Mapo Hall which is referred to as the colonial-style city hall located on top of a hill called Oke Mapo or Mapo Hill. (“oke” is a hill in Yoruba). There is also a Wonderland amusement park at Bodija.


1 thought on “Oriki Ibadan: The Eulogy of Ibadan & Meaning”

  1. The author really tried ???? . some of the English translations are not correct. The last two verse is totally not translated well.” No one is born without weakness, Street fighting is our weakness

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