PHOTO BY SOLHOTOLZ
Ekiti as an entity is one of the thirty six states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Having completed the geographical, physical, material and financial requirements of attaining statehood, its prayer was granted, and Late General Sanni Abacha carved Ekiti State out of the old Ondo State on the 1st October 1996. Ekiti state started out with twelve Local Government Areas (LGAs), but it increased to sixteen, which is what we have today.
The hilly geographical terrain of Ekiti has distinguished it and remains a remarkable symbol of its uniqueness and one of its numerous prides. In addition to its reputation as top class in the league of states in Nigeria, Ekiti State has singlehandedly produced more than 500 Professors, making it the state with the highest number of Professors in Nigeria. Indeed Ekiti people are intellectuals. Not only does it boast of intellectuals, Ekiti also boasts of pioneers in several fields across the region, the nation, the continent and the world at large.
The dominance of hills and uplands across the state triggered its height to over two hundred and fifty meters above sea level. Etymologically, Ekiti is derived from Ile Olokiti meaning the land of hills. Ile Olokiti eventually blended into Ekiti as we have it today. As usual of Yoruba towns, there are several histories of them, Ekiti is not exempted. But it is of popular note that several towns under the current day Ekiti State originated from Ile Ife the ancestral home of all Yoruba’s. It is also known that the first prophet sent by Eledumare to the world, who happened to be Orunmila Agbonniregun the wise man without bones in his body also known as Eleri Ipin, Ibikeji Eledumare, and a host of other names resided in Ado Ekiti the state capital. Two of his descendants Alara and Ajero still reside in Ekiti till today. Alara founded Aramoko Ekiti, and Ajero founded Ijero Ekiti. No wonder the Ifa mythology says “Alara lo logbon, Ajero loni imoran.” This implies that Alara symbolises wisdom and his sibling the Ajero depicts knowledge. It should be noted that Orunmila is the Yoruba god of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. His role in the formation of basic Yoruba cultures and norms cannot be undermined. “Ado ni ile Ifa.” is a saying that implies Ado Ekiti is the home of Ifa. This came to being as a result of Orunmila’s heroics in the Yoruba kingdom. It is indeed an honour for the soil, rocks and people of Ekiti to have housed such a sage.
Ekiti is indeed a state rich in cultural values, virtues, wisdom, intellectualism, vegetation and farm lands, rocks and hills, people and community, mineral resources, unity and a host of others. It is indeed a pride to be an indigene of Ekiti. The Ekiti stance on unity is unshaken as every town in Ekiti is suffixed by the word “Ekiti” implying that come rain, come sunshine we Ekiti indigenes remain one and in the same vein we share a common sense of origin and belonging. This is in fact an enviable feat that Ekiti has achieved.
The hills which surround the whole of Ekiti are unarguably tourist attractions. One begins to wonder on the sight of a hill why it looks like an apple, and then you see two rocks atop each other. Funny enough, that is their natural state. The whole of Ekiti is beautified by rocks and hills. Then we remember Ikogosi Warm Springs located at Ikogosi Ekiti, the only place in the whole of Nigeria where hot and cold water are amalgamated by nature and the result is a warm spring that has not ceased to amaze the whole of mankind. Ekiti also boasts of the Arinta Water Falls at Ipole Iloro Ekiti, the Fajuyi Memorial Park where the legendary and heroic first Military Governor of Western Nigeria Late General Adekunle Fajuyi was buried. Ogun Onire the Yoruba god of war is also an Ekiti man. Ogun hails from Ire Ekiti, and his historical relic remains in Ire Ekiti, another source of tourist attraction. The whole of Ekiti has been beautifully carved by the creator to serve as a source of amusement to human beings and Ekiti people should be proud of this honour bestowed upon us by The Supreme Being Himself.
The trademark of Ekiti is its hills, but the trademark of Ekiti indigenes is their zeal, power, strength and ability in their respective fields, honesty, sincerity, straightforwardness, intellectual strength and capability, their love for pounded yam, obe efo and eran igbe and most importantly their agidi. An ideal Ekiti man has the Ekitikete perspective of himself and carries this tag around him everywhere he goes. The contents of the tag are the features stated above.
Sadly, there’s a misconception by several non Ekiti indigenes and even some Ekiti indigenes that Ekiti people are predominantly farmers and bunch of illiterates who are still primitive and local. Ekiti people are naturally creative, full of innovations and ideas, humorous and possess a high level of educational (both formal and informal) and moral standards. Ekiti people naturally put their mind in all they do and they are natural goal getters. Omo Ekiti O ki n se ole. (Ekiti indigenes are not lazy).
But truth be told, in this ever changing world of ours, the outside world seems to be adapting fast and if Ekiti refuses to catch up, where will our pride lay? The development of several strategies around the globe has birthed the relegation of our dear and beloved state to the background. Judging by the intellectual capability of Ekiti State, it is obvious that the narrative can be changed and that innovative ability has birthed a new idea called EKITIHUB.
Ekitihub is a media outfit established to advance the socio cultural cause of Ekiti as an entity and that of its indigenes at large. The basic goal is to make Ekiti accessible to the global world and the global world accessible to Ekiti in return.
We at Ekitihub aim to avail several programmes and ideas to the general public that will enlighten, educate, inform and bolster the conception of Ekiti across the world. It is our aim to create ideas that will particularly benefit the Ekiti man/woman in all his endeavours. Ekitihub shall serve as a watchdog of Ekiti indigenes and the whole of Ekiti in general. Ekitihub shall support Ekiti indigenes in every little way we can such as creating awareness about their respective situations, and help with probable solutions to any problem at hand, advertising goods and services targeted at an Ekiti audience or belonging to Ekiti indigenes and most importantly promoting them and showing them to the world by showcasing Ekiti and its people on all media platforms which Ekiti exists.
A lot of things about Ekiti are homogenous, ranging from its dialect, to its people, culture inclusive and even the political and social life of its people, Ekitihub aims to export the cultural wealth of Ekiti to the world. Ekiti is a state massively rich in culture and traditions and these cultural deeds which form the basis of every Ekiti society needs to be appreciated not by Ekiti indigenes alone, but by the world at large. It is our dream to blend culture and tradition with technology and make the culture a worthwhile element that should be appreciated and not detested. Culture is a way of life; we should remember that even the Oyinbo man has his own cultural heritage that he values so much and in this vein we should not forget to remember our own cultural heritage.