The door suddenly blew open while conversing with Ade Kunle in my living room. Thinking it was merely the wind, I arose and shut it again.
But it wasn’t the wind, Ade Kunle explained.
It was a Spirit. A powerful, familiar one. It was Baba Aseda, a man we both revere as a father because he’s always been there for us. Through the power of orisa, he has guided us through many challenges over the years.
Aseda is one of the 16 major Ifa diviners in the world, and in the spring of 2003, he initiated both of us into the orisa tradition.
He is without doubt one of the driving force behind what I do – and what my ancestors insist I must become.
According to Ade Kunle, the front door swinging open was Aseda’s way of making sure his presence is felt, proof that he’s listening to our conversation and monitoring every word.
I don’t doubt this but why was the old man visiting now?
Because I had just inquired about a secret, a mysterious, spiritual power that both Aseda and Ade Kunle have knowledge of. I know nothing about this power and was hoping, once again, that Ade Kunle would tell me about it, or at the very least, give me a hint.
Opening the door and entering in Spirit was Aseda’s gentle way of saying certain secrets must remain secrets. However, I’ve been told that eventually I will understand this mysterious power on my own.
I love mysteries and the Yorubas safeguard many of them. In Yoruba culture, just because an elder knows your destiny, don’t think that he/she will reveal it to you all at once. You’ll be waiting for a long time.
A little information now and a bit more information later, perhaps. I’ve learned to be patient. If the seers reveal everything to you how can there be room for self-discovery and self-mastery? It’s similar to wanting to be buff without going to the gym.
I was grateful for Aseda’s surprise visit in Spirit and was happy to finally see Ade Kunle in person again. It’s been more than a year since the brutal U.S. recession forced him to leave Oakland, CA and move back to Nigeria.
I looked younger, he told me, better than I looked when we last saw each other. I was happy to hear that. Who knows? Perhaps leaving Corporate America to work on my film miraculously restored my youth.
Ade Kunle looked good, too. A lot more gray flecks in his beard, though. And a lot more pensive than I’ve ever seen him before.
“I’m not the same Ade Kunle as before,” he tells me. The elders have taken him to deeper places, he explained. And he’s been exposed to strong rituals. Rituals far beyond the understanding of many in the Diaspora.
And he hinted at other mysteries: powerful medicines and soaps that he brought from Nigeria, powerful people that I will meet during my next trip to Nigeria, spiritual things that the elders are doing to support the upcoming film.
How he managed to get strong medicine into the U.S. was fascinating. At the airport in Nigeria and at each layover on his way back to Oakland, he uttered powerful incantations in Yoruba each time security personnel reached into his carry-on bag to try to take the bottled-liauids per airline regulations.
My conversation with Ade has inspired me all over again. There are many things that I dislike about Nigeria: corruption, mismanagement at every level, grinding poverty and pollution, hostility in high and low places.
Yet the more I journey into his culture, the more I realize I am a Yoruba at heart and have the backing of powerful souls that have a lot to say to the world. My task is to humbly step aside and allow these souls to speak.
For the first time in a very long time, I look forward to returning home.