The ancient memory of woman, and how she is “supposed” to be, is a discussion, rarely held, by far too many. What does it mean to be a, natural woman? Of course, I don’t simply mean the traditional work of cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. What does it truly mean to be a natural woman, as it pertains to her Earthly, spiritual, and emotional presence? What does it mean? When we reflect upon the very existence of the term, woman, what is her greater connection to the cosmos? How is she destined to move, navigate, create, elevate, share, and spread a wellness of love, among women, and the overall community, as a whole? What are her treasures and how does she ensure they create balance among those, in her midst? Envisioning such a woman through the arts, establishes a re-aligning between fiction or reality. When we speak of “fiction,” we have been presented with a Being, which is supposedly “not real.” Yet, how true can that really be? When discussing the factor for there being a greater power, we think of creation, divinity, and there being a certain belief system. However, what if within that world, there were many worlds, where fiction lay? What if those creatures, wealth of magic, and others, we have only envisioned, through our fantasies, have come to arise through a different lens? What if? What if we were granted with infinite possibilities for seeing the reality of fantasy and fantasy’s reality in our every day life? What if we saw it, through a certain woman?
When particular words are foreign to you, it is only necessary that you dig a little deeper in order to understand its authenticity. Words are energies. They are affirmations for people and their shared existence. Based on their culture of origin, they have a certain meaning. So, let’s delve further. There are certain words in this song, by I.K. Dairo. It is called, “Ise Aje.” Let’s take this one at a time. For starters, we have the term “Aje.” It’s amazing what perception can do. How the authenticity of a term can be altered, when its definition has not been found from the very people, who have birthed it. For example, a quick Google definition of the term “aje” defines it as “witchcraft.” What is interesting is that the energy of its initial tongue, does not even match its English translation. When you are in tuned with words-even if the language is foreign to you-you can feel the falsehoods (and errors) within a translation. Fast forward to the next stage.
Connecting to one Yoruba source, the meaning of ” aje” takes on a different connotation. For in the very guise of Yoruba cosmology, we have certain divine energies. Based on one Yoruba organization, the term “aje” refers to an orisa, who is symbolic of good fortune, wealth, and financial blessings. Hmmm. . .Interesting. It’s an extraordinary contrast to a quick, online definition on Google. Furthermore, it goes to show the role of bias, prejudice, ignorance, and power dynamics, when interpreting words from another culture. Lastly, it is also indicative of the disdain for the feminine, during certain periods of the European or “Western” world. Imagine that! What was defined as a source of evil, was actually a blessing for good! Then, we examine the term, “ise.” Further research found that the term is actually from the Igbo language. What is very spiritual regarding this term is that it is used by the Igbo people, after prayers. Again, a quick translation from Google, states that “ise” (pronounced isee) means “action.” And yet, the authenticity of the word is not illuminated! Further investigation has also shown that the term “ise” means “let it be so” and it is equivalent to the number, 5! For the Igbo people, the number 5 is representative of the following: love, children, peace, life, and wealth. So, you see it is more than just a representation of numerical value. On the contrary, it is the honoring of a particular manifestation. Now, that we have broken the richness to the terms, “Ise Aje,” let’s delve further into, the song! A song performed, by none other than. . .
Listening to the song, and with this previous information, we observe a union between the Yoruba and Igbo people. Putting the words together, we are left with the story, which is about the invitation of one divine energy (orisa) to spread blessings, wealth, and abundance among the area. It is a celebration, a prayer, and a call for that very Spirit to enter a community, or place. The tonality of the song, the rhythm, and the instrumentation, highlights a Spirit of gratitude. It is performed in a steady and comforting rhythm. Whether you are not Igbo or Yoruba, even if you do not understand what is being said, you still want to be part of such happiness. After all, who wouldn’t want to be in a certain spacing, where luck and blessings are sure to be in abundance? Healthy vibes are healthy vibes-no matter where they derive from. Of course, I.K. Dairo is the main singer. Yet, he is surrounded by other vocalists. Translation: He is not alone in his desire to call in, blessings. In fact, a collective calling for those energies of wealth and good luck ensure that a person’s energy is heavily supported, in their call, and desire for blessings. Of course, “ise” affirms that the prayers, and music accompanying it, will not be, in vain!
I.K. Dairo’s voice is of a certain high-pitched timber, when performing this song. That is a lesson, in its own right. Could you imagine this energy (orisa) floating through certain waters, and plains of Nigeria? Could you imagine that as this orisa is floating, it is reigning down blessings, upon blessings, for those who have asked or it? Now, imagine that such is the song to do it? What does this orisa look like? Is this Divine energy smiling, while releasing an abundance of happiness and reassurance that things are going to get better? That things will be alright? What is it releasing? Shall we go deeper? How is it a blessing for the current state of Nigeria, within these given times? It’s these song-these precious songs, by legends-which reminds this certain culture of Nigeria, that things are going to be alright. Everything is going to be alright. Time always mandates that nations get better! Always! When circumstances and situations are depicted as being in a state of hopeless, just remember that they can never stay there, for long!
The words are reinstated-“Ise Aje. Ise Aje.” The continuation of their presence always mandates so. It’s why such sacred words must maintain their flow. Like water-like Nigerian waters-they must always move. Abundance is not destined to be contained; only to stay in one place. It is a necessity for it to, move! For in moving, it is permitted to navigate throughout different areas, so that beautiful Spirits, (spread near and far) can receive the gifts (and blessings) for the orisha-whose blessings has been affirmed by an Igbo tongue. It’s a necessity.
This interesting mix of song between Igbo and Yorubas brings a peculiar dynamics, for the calling of beauty. It goes to show the sacred blessing, which has been invoked, in the combination of these two cultures. For they have created a unique perspective in how two different cultures, can make it, work! And, how they so majestically align with each other; creating a sense of balance, has taken place! As Igbo people highlight the sacredness of the number 5, let’s not forget about the number, 2! They are two cultures for the treasures of holistic delights; making sure that both groups play their part in evoking a necessary wealth, for a healing land; and the sacred Divinity, supporting it!