In Social Studies class, Young Nigerians are led to believe that everyone in the country practices either of 3 religions – Christianity, Islam and traditional religion.
But few of us actually took the time to deconstruct the last part. Traditional religion is not a monolith and yesterday, we got a reminder from a very unlikely source. A new rapper from Atlanta called 21 Savage sat down with the Breakfast Club and talked about what got him through getting shot six times 3 years ago. According to the rapper –
I always said that (I’m here for a reason), even when I was in the hospital, I used to say that… I’m spiritual, I’m Ifá, my religion is Ifá… It’s a Nigerian religion
Ifá originated in Yoruba land, it is a religion and system of divination that’s practiced throughout West Africa, the Americas, South America and the Canary Islands, little did I know that a 23 year old from Atlanta would be a disciple too. Ifá is practised in the form of a complex religious systems and other Afro-American faiths, as well as in some traditional African religions.
There’s no telling where 21 Savage might have picked Ifá from and become a disciple. However, he does work closely with a producer of Nigerian-descent Sonny Digital and who knows, he could actually be of Nigerian descent himself.
If you’re feeling experimental, you can listen to some of his music below. There’s no reference to his religion though.