” Ìwọ lo kókó ṣẹ̀mí lọ́wọ́”, Iya Sunday said and my casual response of ‘ehnn‘ didn’t make it seem any special to me, until I realized the value and its significance. I wasn’t told this, until my mum personally gave me her profit of the day on one particular Sunday evening telling me to give it to her and also pray for her saying “Ajé á wá o”.
Ajé: the Yoruba concept of wealth creation has been firmly embedded in the Yoruba culture such that it is believed to have a persistent influence on the economy; profit making at the market and anything in relations to money. Therefore, Ajé is believed to be the Yorubas’ avatar of wealth ,profit sustainer.
Colour me intrigued and curious by the Ajé concept, I further went in search for more understanding to it. Apart from being invoked by individuals, as it’s seen as a hallowed being worthy of being worshipped and respected, I have witnessed individuals wishing themselves in Yoruba saying “Ajé á wọgbá” and sayings like “Ajé arìn gìrìn gìrìn w’ọjà o” for it is seen as words that bring good fortune to business.
However, a stroll down the Yoruba cosmology, Ajé, who is believed to be the goddess of wealth didn’t just happen like a twinkle of an eye, but has its history dyed-in-the-wool just like every other Yoruba gods sent by the Almighty God(Olódùmarè). Ajé was one of the 401 deities sent to the earth by the Almighty God (Olodumare) to form the world’s first society called Ife Oodaye, while Ogun, Oranfe (Sango) and Oduduwa were deities of iron, fire and prayers respectively.
According to Yoruba mythology, Ajé is the founder of the world’s oldest market known as Ejigbomekun located in Ile-Ife. He was and still remains the custodian of the market. The significance of Ajé to the people of Ile-Ife is that the deity was their kinsman who lived in the town where his shrine is domiciled till date.
In addition to how Ajé came into the Yoruba Cosmology, His Royal Majesty(The Monarch of Onigbongbo in Ikeja, Lagos) Oba Yusuf Olatunji,narrated in oral tradition, that a certain “riri” who was in search of a child, went to consult an “IFA priest “, an herbalist who isn’t only the guardian of the IFA Oracle, but an image father of divination. The herbalist in turn prescribed a sacrifice to the progenitor of IFA known as “Orunmila”. Orumila having been pleased with the sacrifice, granted riri three children namely “oja”,”ona” and “ile”
As this very faithful day of history came to light, riri had requested of her kids, to be permitted to ease herself on their grounds on earth, of which only ile yielded to her plead that result into an excretion of wealth and profit. This “excretion” birthed AJE by being a spirit and into “ile”_ AJE entered. Ever since then, AJE has been the working spirit that comes into one’s stall or office place upon being summoned, or as it wish pleases to grant to fortunate individual tons of profit as it leaves unannounced. The same way it enters, unannounced.
Further appreciation and emulation displayed by Yorubas, is being seen, by endearing the name_ AJE to describe a woman of african ancestry as AJE. A woman who wields myriad acean of creativity spirituality and cosmic power. Its is also being given as names to kids, perhaps to portray the exact virtue of AJE. We also have AJE as the name beginning the first working day of the week ,a significant day with a significant name. A better comprehension of AJE made me realise its importance not just been lip serviced alone,but its evident activation tested,sometimes by a first buyer of an item.
Ajé a wa o!!