WHO IS APETEBII?
Apetebii is the wife of a babalawo. She radiates the spirit of confidence, kindness and influence. Apetebii gets things done because she recognizes high standards and appreciates excellence. The Yoruba tell us, Akíkanjú wọgbó, o ṣòwò igba èèyàn. An illustrious person enters the forest and does enough trade for two hundred people. It means that one illustrious person accomplishes enough for many ordinary people.
Not only that, Apetebii is a leader who knows how to make us feel compelled to support her efforts and invest in her as a person. This is what prompts the Yoruba to say, Bí èèyàn-án bá ṣeun ká sọ pé ó ṣeun; bí èèyàn-án bá ṣèèyàn ká sọ pé ó ṣèèyàn; nítorípé, ohun tí a ṣe, ó yẹ kó gbeni. If a person deserves gratitude, we should say that she deserves gratitude; if a person is kindly, we should say that she is kindly, because one should reap the rewards of one’s actions. It means that a person’s goodness should be publicly acknowledged. Because she leads with love, we genuinely want to see Apetebii succeed.
THREE PROMINENT APETEBII
The Holy Odu is filled with examples of the relationship between apetebii and babalawo. At various points, Orunmila married Iwa [Character], Aje [Wealth], Ose [Devotion], and numerous princesses. In some cases, Orunmila was significantly challenged by the marriage. In others, he was blessed beyond imagination. Here are just three examples of prominent apetebii who made meaningful contributions to the life and divine mission of Orunmila:
In every instance, Apetebii is a woman whose unique identity and make ordinary men ineligible partners. The Yoruba say, Pooko nídìí, a fìhà jókòó. The coconut shell has a bottom but rests on its side. It means that unconventional people will always do things differently. Apetebii is oftentimes unconventional, even to the point of being complicated: Odu was so jealous of other women, she refused to even allow them to see her. Aiye was so headstrong, not one of the Irunmole was willing to make the sacrifices necessary to sustain her. It was only Orunmila who was capable of winning their admiration and trust.
The Holy Odu IrosunOse teaches us that Olodumare has specially blessed the union of babalawo and apetebii and characterized it as the epitome of success:
Ifa let my sacrifice be accepted
Ela let my rituals go up to the heaven above Irosun seso
Irosun seso Cast Ifa for Orunmila
And initiates Osun, the wife of Bara Agbonniregun into Ifa
On the day they were coming from the heaven above as a team to establish the foundation of the earth plane
They were advised about the earth plane where they were going
They should offer sacrifice of victory , harmony , peaceful coexistence and victory because of the witches
They would be angry with them because of the beautiful things they would to do to better the lives of humanity
They would heal the sick
The lame or the cripple would walk
Those who were afflicted with ajogun
Will see the light of Olodumare and absolute victory
The negative work of the great magician would have no evil effect on the lives of men
The sacrifice prescribed by Ifa to Orunmila and his wife would deter evil dreams
Those who intend to spoil their business or work and cooperation
Would be nailed to ground by the sacrifice
Orunmila quickly offered the sacrifice
The witches returned quickly to the middle way between heaven and the earth
That is how Orunmila and Osun achieved victory and overcame all misfortune
Then Orunmila spoke of his priest thusly;
All the paths I tread will give way to success
This was Ifa's message to Orunmila and Osun
When they were coming from the spiritual plane to the world
They intended to extend goodness to the lord of Ife and all men throughout the world
Now, witches of the universe, I give you obeisance Oh!
Yes, the witches of the world
Let my sacrifice be auspicious, and my ritual be accepted
Let my sacrifice go to the place of acceptance without hindrance
Oh ye the witches I give obeisance to you, and salute you
Oh ye the witches
Let my hand work and the work of my wife be successful and fulfilled
Oh ye witches of the universe
Oh ye witches
- Holy Odu IrosunOse
The Yoruba say, Agbe ló laró; àlùkò ló losùn. To the Blue Touraco belongs indigo dye; to the àlùko belongs camwood stain. It means each individual has his or her unique qualities. Apetebii and babalawo are an inseparable pair, who combine wisdom and compassion to govern the world with positive influence. For this reason the babalawo routinely gives thanks to Olodumare for Apetebii and sacrifices for her well being.
FULFILLMENT OF DESTINY
The Yoruba say, Orí ò mọ ibùsùn; ì bá ma tún ile ibe ṣe. The head does not know where it will finally rest; had it known, it would have tidied up the place. It means, If one knew where one’s destiny would lead, one would do whatever one could to cultivate the place. When a woman discovers that she is apetebii from heaven, it creates a unique opportunity to set the stage for the fulfillment of her destiny.