“What is the role of Ile-Ife historically? For the Yoruba people?”, Henry Louis Gates Jr. begins. “Ife’s like knowledge, universality,” he adds, “we have all decided that Ile-Ife is where we are from.” In a conversation on Yoruba culture and origin, Soyinka speaks on the significance of Ile-Ife in black race and its place in history.
The Nobel Laureate points to Ile-Ife as the spiritual home of the Yoruba people for those who believe in reincarnation and revitalisation. He emphasised that while other races might determine where they are from, the Yoruba people have decided Ile-Ife as the source. Henry Louis Gates ignites the conversation towards great artistry production in Ife and underscored how natural Ife’s sculptures work come out so original and complex.
Ile-Ife is currently under Oba Ogunwusi, Ojaja the Second. As the source, Ife is highly regarded as their spiritual home and origin of mankind by the Yoruba people.