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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Yoruba culture against men wearing earrings -Brass Oracle

By DamilolaAkinmolayan

Taiwo Owaniyi also known as Brass Oracle is a musician and a graduate of music from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.

In this interview with Friday Extravaganza, the Ife born entertainer said it’s only God that can give someone fame that will stand the test of time,adding that such comes with no sorrow. Excerpts:

Most artistes believe, they are not complete without putting on earrings. So, why are you not putting on one?

To begin with, what makes each and everyone of us “complete” like you said varies. To some people, ornaments, fashion and earrings are the definition of “completeness”. But for me, what makes me complete can be found in the book of Colossians 2:10. It’s says, “10…and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

So, what makes me complete is not material things but Christ that is within me. The book of Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in me, the hope of glory.” So, in Christ, I am fully complete. Ornaments will not make me complete. In Christ alone, I am complete. I am not putting on earring because it does not, and will not make me complete.

Also, I am a Yoruba boy. I was born and nurtured in Ile-Ife. So, I understand the ways and the culture of my tribe that is, Yoruba. While growing up, we knew it, felt it and also, understood the fact that earring is an ornament strictly for ladies. So, our culture has also pointed out to us the right thing. So, I will not use earring in as much as I am still a man.

In your response, you did mention, that Yoruba culture negates or forbids the wearing of earrings.

I know some Yoruba artistes whose dressings aren’t complete without earrings.

Would you say such people lack knowledge of Yoruba culture?

Well, it will be wrong of me to say they lack knowledge. Like I said before I am a Yoruba boy and I grew up in the Western part of the country amongst the Yoruba tribe. Using of earring is meant for female child. So, if there is a Yoruba artiste using earring, it’s either because of acculturation or simply for a personal reason best known to him.

Earring to many, is not just a fashion but a passion. In general, ear piercing and use of earrings are practiced for personal and cultural reasons.  In ancient Rome, for instance, earrings were worn only by slaves whereas in ancient Greece they were the ornament of prostitutes. In addition, wealthy Greek and Roman women wore earrings set with pearls to exhibit their social status. It is interesting to note that earrings are worn not only by females but also by their male counterparts. As noted among ancient Israelites, earrings were  worn by women and children of both sexes. In their journey through the wilderness, it was reported that an idol was carved with earrings collected from women, male and female children. This suggests that earrings were worn not only by women or  female children but also by male children. Indeed, in ancient times, earrings were a predominantly male ornament. This practice may have rolled over into the modern day society.

Some entertainers believe in fetish means to become famous, do you share this view?

I am not involved in fetish means to get fame and I will never do such. God is the one that can bring me fame andwill add no sorrow to it. Fame is secondary, while the presence of God remains the greatest asset for life. The book of Joshua chapter 6 vs 27 says, “So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame  spread throughout all the country.” What made Joshua famous was not diabolical rather, the presence of God. The Bible says, “there’s time for everything under the sun”. So, only Yahweh (God) gives fame without adding sorrow to it. With patience, hardwork and trust in God, I am certain that He will give me fame at the right time.

If you are made the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), what innovations would you bring into the entertainment industry?

Has it ever crossed my mind to become the president of PMAN? Howbeit, if I am made the president of PMAN, one major innovation I will bring is creating avenue for beginners in the industry to meet top celebrities (musicians) in order to ask them questions and have the chance to interact. For example, I have always been eager to meet someone like Frank Edward, Cobhams Asuqwo etc. This at least will give most of the beginners ray of hope and a platform to excel.

Why do you think Nigerians embrace secular music more than gospel?

Well, I may not totally accede to the fact that Nigerians embrace secular music more than gospel songs because we do not have any evidence to validate this assertion. I’ll assume Nigerians embrace secular music more than the gospel songs because there are lots of contributory factors to why they do so. Firstly, most of them see gospel songs as extremely boring, most of them also through time developed affinity with most of these secular artistes, so, they would want to hear their songs. While some feel they need something they can dance to at parties.

How can the entertainment industry boost the nation’s economy?

We’ve seen how gospel musicians like Sinach, Frank Edward are making us proud internationally. Also, secular musicians like Burna Boy, Wizkid brought honour to our country through the Grammy they received. This is indeed a great honour to our country Nigeria. If we can have more of this in the entertainment industry, it will give the country the privilege of connecting with different countries of the world which will indirectly influence the economy of Nigeria positively.

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