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Oro Siso and the Law

The Yoruba accord great respect for those who use the language with great expertise and intellect. The language is rich in idioms and proverbs and like the Yoruba, the legal profession equally accords great respect for the intelligent and expert use of language. The proficient use of the Omoluabi virtue of “Oro Siso” (spoken word) is a virtue that is lauded and greatly valued in the legal process.

The courtroom is a necessarily adversarial place. Frequently, unpleasant and difficult topics are discussed and aggressively contested. Emotions run high as justice is pursued through the trial process. A person who espouses the Omoluabi philosophy of Oro Siso will not only get along but excel in this confrontational environment.

The ability to communicate forcefully, accurately, and with immense precision without compromising the position for which you are advocating is a skill. Keep in mind this is all while maintaining an attitude of civility and respect for both your opponent and a system that may not always rule in your favour. These crucial elements are what it takes to be a successful advocate in the justice system. These same skills are also what is required of an Omoluabi.

Oro Siso

Have you ever asked yourself, why are you going to school? How will what we learn help us in the future? Honestly, I have asked myself this question many times. How will school help us? How will writing French properly help me? I already know how to speak the language, so I don’t need school (that is what I told myself). Then, I remembered what my parents told me; they told me most of the time that what you write is what you will eventually express. Which means, if I write: I love my mom, when I go to talk, I will eventually say “I love my mom.” Because that’s how I often write it. At that moment, I realized that it was very important that I must take my studies seriously, especially in the French language.

I must make sure that I have a good vocabulary and that I am well educated. For example: Tuesday, June 26, 2018, I went out with my father. On the way my father decided to stop at the store. When my father parked the car, I notice there was a young couple sitting next outside playing the guitar. I took pity, I wanted to give them a few cents, but I did not have any money. Quickly, I saw my father go out and give some money to this young couple. I was instantly filled wit happiness.

At that moment, I had an idea, an idea that will change the lives of the homeless. When I grow up, I will build an organization that will be called, Sense of Life. This organization will aim to help homeless, give them a second chance and show them that with a little effort we can achieve success. The organization will help them go back to school, receive their diploma and get another chance at life.

I can imagine myself grown today and being done with my studies. I will go to the city hall and see the Mayor and other organizations to get funding for my project. I will come to they Mayor and find myself with another candidate who isn’t a graduate but would like also the same funding as me. My conversations will be, for example, “Good Afternoon Mr. Mayor, I would like to ask if you could please help me fund my project, which will help homeless people.” The other person asks, “Mr. John, I would need you to give me money for my organization that will help children around the world.” In your opinion, who will the Mayor help? The answer is obvious, the Mayor will choose the most polite person who speaks respectfully, knowing that by providing his help, he will see positive results. All of this is to say that being well educated will pay off in the end. I encourage all young people to improve their vocabulary and learn more because it can take us very far in life.

Let’s Talk About our Words

Do you know that the tongue is part of our bodies components, but if you don’t pay close attention, it can be like a sharp sword? The scriptures say it has the power to bless or curse. Therefore, we must not take lightly the words that come out of our mouths because they have a real power that puts us in front of our responsibilities.

Our words impact our thoughts and our way of thinking and is also related to our way of speaking. Our words have strong effects and we often see them when we look at historical characters who made impacts with their: words, quotes and proverbs. If they had not opened their mouths or written their thoughts, we would not recognize them today.

Let us have a look at some examples of famous quotes:

To become the shepherd of his life, stop being the sheep of others. – Marina Bougaieff

When you let another steal your joy, you give them power over you. Don’t let anyone steal your smile. – Mrs. Tammy Marie Johnson
The most influential person talking to you all day is you. So, you must be very careful about what you say to yourself. – Zig Ziglar
Everyday, burn thoughts and words in your mind that align with who you are, make you feel good, and move in the direction of what you want in your heart. – Melki Rish
Never let the opinion of some stop you on your abilities. Be yourself. Dream, plan, realize! – Dr. Steve Maraboli

There are those we meet, who are hardly known, who tell you a word, a sentence, give you a minute, a half hour, and change the course of your life. – Victor Hugo

To keep control of our words, we can choose to shut up or think before speaking. If we don’t want people to remember our words, it’s easy; just don’t talk about them. When we say anything, it’s as if we dilute wine in water, it loses its taste, its flavor. If we speak just because we want to, our words lose impact. Fortunately, on the other hand, the more our words agree with what we are, the more it has strength. Many arguments or misunderstandings can disappear, and the stress level of our life can be greatly diminished, if only we had the wisdom to know when to remain silent.

To help us determine what we need to say, when we need to talk, and who to talk to, here are some tips to follow:
• Be aware of the power of our word
• Think and know how to weigh your words before pronouncing them
• Avoid offensive words
• Control or calm your anger before talking
• If necessary, let’s keep silence.

When we can put these tips into practice, our words will have a positive impact. People will want to approach us and also share their experiences with us. That’s the power of the word, to be a model, a reference point for others.

How Spoken Words Reflect an Omoluabi

What does Omoluabi mean? Omoluabi is from the Western region of Nigeria, which is an African Country. It is a word used to describe an individual with great and awesome character. Omoluabi in context is a person of great integrity and great respect to everyone, so most times Yorubas tend to draw conclusions about your upbringing from your spoken words and character with the term Omoluabi. It is believed and traced to your manner soft spoken approaches, respectful and truthful characters. He or she would never disrespect elders in words or character. 

Omoluabi uses words of wisdom and encouragement when speaking. You can never hear an omoluabi curse, insult , backbite or lie. Though an omoluabi will be blunt and truthful but not in a spiteful manner. He or she is always polite and truthful even when confronted. He/she will never raise his voice against anyone for any reason. Ọmọlúàbí even when angry, will never speak evil word out of his/her mouth. In summary, Ọmọlúàbí can be known by the words coming out of his/ her mouth, you can pretend to be one in character but your words will definitely give you away.

My Canadian Experience in Words

Moving somewhere new is never easy to do. Hearing stories and rumors plus the fear of the unknown made my heart pitter-patter and at times I felt all alone. But then I arrived in this great City of Windsor. I did not see what others saw, of all the stories and rumors I heard, I never felt the hate. Yes, I was different, my wardrobe may have not been the same but people accepted me just the way I am and called me by my name.

Now its 8 years I’ve been here and I’ve seen a few things. I’m thankful for all my experience and the joys they bring. Windsor is a great place, no matter what ethnicity you are. You have an opportunity to just be yourself, an opportunity to reach for the stars. Yes, my skin is dark and I dress to respect both my cultural and religion, but I’ve never been treated any different. I’m still full of dreams and have great desires. Although I was not born in this country, their hospitality was grand. And here I am, 18 years old and not treated any different, just another Canadian!

Spoken Word and Rhyme

I define spoken word as using words to rhyme into different meaning. Spoken word is similar to rapping, a comedy or singing, in that words are used in an artistic way to tell a story. Our ancestors used spoken word to tell the stories of the voyage to America and to secretly share the African culture and traditions without the slave owners knowing. Spoken word has been handed down from generation to generation among African descendants, and is in use today through rap, hip-hop, poetry, and African music. An example of an artist using spoken word to encourage and support is Kendrick Lamar. I enjoy using rhyming words, to make up jokes with my friends or make up a rap song. Here is an example of me using spoken words to make up a rap about my name, it goes like this:

My name is Joel
And I live in a hole.
I have a pet mole,
That will bite a hole,
Through your soul,
If you are mean to Joel!

Another is:

Joel always gets cold
From the person in
The North pole.
Person in the North pole!
And not blow it on my mole!

Power of the Tongue

Words are not simply sounds. They are not the mere result of air passing through our larynx, triggered by certain movements of our tongue through the mouth. Words have real power. The engine of the mouth is the heart. The mouth would say nothing without the heart.

FrankOutlaw said:
Watch your thoughts, they become words;
Watch your words, they become actions;
Watch your actions, they become habit
Watch your habit, they become character
Watch your character, it become your destiny.

Do you know that your spoken words can cause great damage to others? Omoluabi uses words that affirm, uplift, empower and encourage when needed. Omoluabi seeks to resolve conflict and speaks in ways that add value. Omoluabi do not use words that tear down, dismantle or otherwise harm relationships. Omoluabi do not use language that belittles, shames, or embarrasses others. Omoluabi do not speak in ways that assert power and authority that make it clear he/she is the one in charge.

Omoluabi knows that no man ever gets better than his words. That life is the expression, the manifestation, and reflection of your words. It does not take long to know exactly who you are. All you must do is talk for a few minutes. Your words locate you, they reveal where you are in life.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:35 “A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him. An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it.” (The Living Bible) An Omoluabi would be described as “good hearted” because of the choice of words he uses when he speaks.
How man communicates with each other reveals their character and mental health. The words we speak are major clues to what a man is really like. Omoluabi speaks to others with respect, love and dignity. The spoken words are a test of our character and the state of our mental health.
Omoluabi’s refuse to engage in negative conversations about others. They avoid making negative, unflattering comments about other people. We can all benefit from thinking before we speak and exercising restraint when needed. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “You brood of snakes, how could evil like you speak what is good and right? For a man’s heart determines his speech.” (The Living Bible)

Friends, it matters how you speak. It matters how you express yourself, and this has nothing to do with your religion. You will always get better results if you speak nicely to others even when you disagree with them totally. This is what an Omoluabi stands for.

Spoken Words

Spoken words are words that have been said and have important meanings. Spoken words are also things like keeping your word if you make a promise. Those words, promises, pledges and quotes all have important meanings. Some of them can make a decision for you, some might change the way you think, and some will make you change.

Let’s talk about these words; Let’s start with promises. Promises are things you keep. You keep your word. That is what it means to keep a promise. If you don’t; people will stop trusting you. Here is an example: You promise your friend to hang out, but you know you can’t that day. The next day your friend is mad and says that you lied, and they can’t trust you anymore. Try to avoid situations like that. When you can’t keep your spoken words, don’t say them.

The second one is pledges. A pledge is almost like a promise, but when you pledge something you use specific words to say it. For example: you want to become a permanent resident of Canada. You have to go down to a hall where someone makes you pledge your loyalty to the Queen and the Country. You also make a pledge when you join the army. You cannot take a pledge back. That is what it means to make a pledge.

The third and final one is quotes. Quotes are words people capture that someone said. They can mean a lot. For example, Albert Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work”. They are words someone well known said and people remember it. People like Nelson Mandela, John Wood have notable quotes. Here are a few below:

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart”. -Helen Keller

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best” – St. Jerome

“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power” – Unknown

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” – Albert Einstein

This is what spoken words mean to me. Pledges, promises and quotes. These are important spoken words. They mean and say a lot about a person.

Thank you for reading and until next time.

Official Launch of the Omoluabi Newspaper!

People from all over the greater Windsor-Essex community came together to support the official launch of the Omoluabi Newspaper on July 25th 2018. Serving as a Violence Prevention Campaign Initiative funded by the Ontario Government, Omoluabi aims to educate and positively influence the African Canadian youth in Southwestern Ontario.

The event was held at Windsor’s Water World and gave attendees a premiere viewing of the maiden issue. Distributed for no cost and published in both English and French, each issue touches on a different Omoluabi characteristic and also includes coverage of events around the community.

With hopes that the paper will serve as a guide to character building, handling conflict and what to do in different social settings, the newspaper speaks directly to the youth.

Mrs. Funke Sabageh, who is on the Board of Directors for the Nigerian Canadians for Cultural Educational and Economic Progress (NCCEEP), expressed the importance of having an outlet for adolescents, “The youth need to be able to express themselves, if they can’t express themselves, what will they [the youth] turn to? Encourage the youth to put their thoughts down.”

The launch included a performance by the Omoluabi Dancers who entertained the crowd with a well-coordinated, colorful African dance routine in addition to a skit about what an Omoluabi represents.

Crowd favourite, Terrance Travis, recited a poem and invited a captivated audience to clap together in unison to a common beat, creating a mindfulness of the very moment we were in. His spoken word was engaging and made overcoming barriers and creating something collectively the thoughts that percolated through the mind of the audience. A truly transcendent performance and perfect sentiment for the night.

Advantages of an Omoluabi

Being an Omoluabi (child of character) can bring about many benefits. By being an Omoluabi, in the industry you will be liked, and you will look like you are doing well and influencing others to also have a good character. However, if your character is flawed, your potential to lead and influence won’t really ever take off, since your intentions will not be trusted, limiting your leadership abilities. Also, by having a good character, you will be more confident of the choices you make in your everyday life, rather than either following others or making unpleasant decisions to outperform others at work. By having a good character, by being an Omoluabi, one will be more successful in the many endeavor they will partake.

Furthermore, people with good character sleep well at night. They take great pride in knowing that their intentions and actions are honorable. People with character also stay true to their beliefs, do right by others, and always take the high ground. They also have less baggage. They’re comfortable within their own skin, and they accept responsibility for their actions. They never have to play games, waste precious time keeping their stories straight, or invent excuses to cover their behind. Having a good character allows one to have doors opened for themselves, their outlook on life is much brighter than one who doesn’t. Also, those who have good characters, once they are confronted by obstacles or difficult situations, they are able to properly adjust and adapt to those situations and make the most out of them.
By being an Omoluabi, we can prevent violent events such as the shootings, fights, stealing, etc. Being an Omoluabi is what we should all strive to be and what we should all try to uphold. I hope that after reading this article, after understanding the advantages of being an Omoluabi, the readers strive to follow even in the most basic manner the main pillars of an Omoluabi such as to be well spoken, respectful, good willed, truthful, brave, hard working, intelligent, and full of character, because as long as one is choosing to follow these characteristics, they are choosing the path of an Omoluabi and making our community better.