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The Way of our fathers: Action first before command

A post made by a Professor of African history, Moyo Okediji inspired this post. The Post is replicated below:


ÀṢẸ in Yoruba

ASHE in North America (United States, Europe, Afro-Caribbean, Canada)

AXE in Brazil.

ACHE in Cuba.

ÀṢẸ, ASHE, AXE, ACHE emanated from the Yoruba Àṣẹ.

There are now attempts to equate the word Ase with the Biblical Amen.

Amen, in its Hebrew origin, means "truth" or "fact."

ÀṢẸ, on the other hand, is a command word.

ÀṢẸ is not the truth, or a fact.

ÀṢẸ is used to affirm, advocate, uphold, dominate, control, rule, sustain, command, encourage, assert insist, avow.

ÀṢẸ is power, authority, pronouncement and declaration.

ÀṢẸ comes from the skillful use of ọ̀rọ̀ (language), and ìṣe (action) to realize the impossible, difficult or mysterious.

ÀṢẸ, a noun, comes from Ṣẹ, a verb.

Ṣẹ is a verb of enforcement and transformation.

Everything contains its natural or organic ÀṢẸ.

When in full tune with yourself, your words become the ÀṢẸ.

When out of tune, your ÀṢẸ does not work.

Èèwọ̀ is what negates ÀṢẸ and makes it worthless.

If you pay attention, you will discover the Èèwọ̀ that is associated with yourself, your associates and your destiny.

Your ORÍ will reveal your Èèwọ̀ to you.

Once you avoid your Èèwọ̀, and focus on your ÀṢẸ, all things seemingly impossible become possible for you.

All the roads that appeared closed open up with ÀṢẸ.

It is important to understand the role of Ìbà in ÀṢẸ.

Bí ekòló bá júbà ilẹ̀, ilẹ̀ á lanu.

Mo júbà kí ìbà mi ṣẹ.

We will explore ÌBÀ some other time.

Kó ṣẹ, kó ṣẹ ni ti ìlákọ̀ṣẹ.

For some, your words are your ÀṢẸ.

For others, it may be in the way they walk--their legs bring them their ÀṢẸ.

Some find ÀṢẸ in their jobs.

The ÀṢẸ of some lies in their cooking skills.

The ÀṢẸ of the òkété is in its long tail.

The ÀṢẸ of Ewuro is in the bitterness of its leaves.

The ÀṢẸ of obi is in breaking to two or more lobes.

Your Ọ̀pá Àṣẹ is in your hand.


If you look at the message above, again,  it espouses the Omoluabi ethos. It married prayers with action! This is contrary to what most people think and do today. They pray first before taking action.. but this one compels workable action before prayer..

It says that you can find your Ase in your job! Or your skill. It then went on to encourage you to also find things that can negate or prevent your success and fix it. That is the way of our forefathers!

Gosh.. no wonder poverty was not rampant in their time.  people who wanted to be blessed are first taught to discover who they are before they go for the blessing. They are first told to find a job that suit their nature, their personality and are assisted to discover my of what will lead them to success.

I also see this may be why the Yoruba culture do some prayer during "freedom" before they start doing actual job. "Freedom" is a local graduation ceremony which is conducted after a young man or woman has completed his mandatory training in a vocation. It basically involved blessing their tools and works while also serving as a medium to introduce them to the real world of work. Friends, families are invited to celebrate both the (now former) boss, parents and religion clerics are invited along with other elders to bless the celebrant. 

During the ceremony, they will be told to come with their instrument of works; depending in what they do, and this is blessed.

But today, people will first be told to go and pray before they get tools to work! they will camp in churches and mosques nights of vigils and fasting before they are told to learn a trade and master the skills.

We need to return to our root! I am pretty sure that almost every African society have this system. 

For instance, professor mentioned that Ase can be in your job or skill. But you must find it and also find what will prevent you from getting it. What will prevent you from getting it is your Eewo.

It is action first before a command..

Today, young people are told to go and pray first. Pray for job.. pray for guide etc. While the culture preached a reverse of this where you you will be told to go and learn a skill or a trade first and find your calling. Then you will bring your trade instrument for blessing to receive prayer and Ase!

How did we skipped this simple time tested  ethic that brought prosperity to our land and embrace strange ones that has brought nothing than desperation and poverty among our youth? The more we subscribe to the later, the more poverty increases.. Many young people went to school and still don't know what are capable of doing. Our schools teach general subjects.  

It is not strange these days to fine many young people serving (NYSC) but do not have a specific plan on what they want to do after services. The major answer you will hear to simple question as what is your plan after service is: I pray i get a good job! Others simply don't have idea how to start and where to start regardless of their academic grade.  Praying for good job is the general mindset of majority youths today. And this is accompanied by the regular visit to religion cleric and miracle seekers to FastTrack the process.

Work and pray.. and not pray and work is a workable and time tested solution to poverty, unemployment and social crisis confronting us today. All of these could have been harnessed earlier if we didn't lose focus of our root.

I am Isqil Najim

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