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The Inception of Yorùbáizm

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Yorùbáizm was started by two sisters who grew up in the UK in a Yorùbá household. Living in London, a real melting pot of cultures, we have always been surrounded by a large, visible Yorùbá community. It was easy not to feel too far removed from the culture despite being miles away from West Africa where Yorùbá people originate. At home, we enjoyed Yorùbá food, Yorùbá music and films and Yorùbá and English were spoken interchangeably by all household members. 

Outside the home, however, it was a different story. Amongst Black brits in the UK, the Caribbean culture was dominant and being African wasn’t ‘cool’. The lighter your skin was and the more anglicised or racially ambiguous you and your name were, the better. It didn’t help that the images portrayed of Africa were predominantly the starving Save the Children/Oxfam style images that we all know so well. 

But we visited Nigeria frequently, and though we could not deny that there was poverty where we came from, there was so much colour, beauty and a rich complexity to our heritage, language and customs. We knew and witnessed first hand that there was more than this poverty stricken, destitute depiction of Africa we were often shown. And so much of our traditions we did not know or were being misinformed about.

Fast forward a decade, and perceptions of Africa and Africans are changing. Afrobeats blasts from mainstream radio, fashion trends are being inspired by African garments and materials and certain stars of African origin are becoming household names globally. 

The continent is suddenly being afforded the chance at a new narrative. But how do we as Africans tell a story we don’t even really know? 

It is not uncommon to hear young Africans say that they can understand but not speak their indigenous language. Many Africans no longer bear a first name from their country of origin.  And many of our customs are being done away with, largely due to their cultural significance not being known or well-understood. 

That being said, we have noted that there is a groundswell of interest in African youths, both on the continent and in the Diaspora, to become more acquainted with issues around their culture and tradition.

Yorùbáizm was born out of our desire to provide detailed awareness and education on African culture with particular emphasis on Yorùbá race - given that Yorùbá is what we live, know and love. 

We hope for this platform to be interactive to allow our audience to enquire and engage in their quest for knowledge!


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