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Why I Converted From A Prophetess To An Olokun Priestess – Yeye LARA FASHOLA-FANIMOKUN

Yeye Lara Fashola-Fanimokun is a grounded sustainer of the Yoruba cultural heritage.  She is a prominent daughter of Lagos who has her origin rooted in Benin and Ile-Ife.

Yeye Lara holds the title of Oluase Olokun Worldwide, an Obabirin Olokun Olosa and the high priestess Olokun. Asides from standing firm in her path of propagating the Yoruba culture, Yeye Lara is also a Lawyer, Activist, Businesswoman and Community Leader.

On Saturday 6th August 2022, Yeye Lara as the Convener of the Olokun Festival located at Lekki, Lagos held a Press Conference. As expected, the event was enriched with every spark of the Yoruba culture and tradition. At the event, Reporter, DAMILOLA AKANDE had an interview with Yeye Lara Fashola where she revealed her transitioning from Christianity to being an Olokun Priestess.

She revealed the peace she felt after her life-changing switch in religion. Read excerpts below.


There are a lot of stories told of various indigenous dieties, what is the Olokun diety like?

Olokun is the head of all the water bodies. She is in fact the head because if you look at all of the Atlantic Ocean, you cannot compare any other water to her. Osun is a river and we have lakes, lagoons and the like but no water can be likened to the Atlantic Ocean. She is the one in charge of wealth. Looking at it, everything found in the water always turns into money. When the fishermen go on the water to fish and they go to sell in the market, they will be making money. Like Sea Food, it is so expensive. The fresh water pearls that women wear use to adorn themselves is also gotten from the sea,

Everything found in the sea is money and if you look at it the world economy is controlled by the sea because one vessel moves from one point to the other carrying goods on water. So Olokun makes it possible for us to be able to do these. So she is diety of wealth and economic growth.

Can you tell us about the Olokun festival?

The festival started centuries ago during the time of our ancestors but, like we say history is important that is why we have decided to continue on that path by remembering our “Orisa” and who we are.

The festival is not just to celebrate the diety but to also remind ourselves of who we are as a people. On the day of the festival on the 27th of August at Monarch Event Centre, we will network, eat, drink and dance irrespective of our status in life with displays from cultural groups from all over the world. We also have a guest artist who will be performing that day, so, it is a platform to get to know each other better.

How did the calling of becoming an Olokun priestess start for you?

I was actually born into a Muslim family and I attended a Quranic school. Early in life, as early as 7 years old, I started seeing things that I could not really explain and it got to a point when, if I see these things they always come to happen. So I would tell my mum and dad what I saw and it will definitely happen so my parents spoke to people and they felt that I could thrive in the church. They felt that I was a prophetess so they took me to church and I worked as a prophetess for 25 years. But I thank Olodumare that I am back home to where the call really is and since that time, I have been promoting our culture, the “Orisa” and language. This goes beyond the “Orisa”, this is to talk about who we are as Africans and the Yoruba people and I think this was what earned me the position of Ambassador at the African Union. This is the fact that my bloodline is filled with royalty from my maternal and paternal sides.

“E le ri omo Oba ki e ma ri dansaki”. If you read the history of Ooni Ademuluyi you will see that he was a powerful warrior and a brave man. So if you have that type of blood in you then you should know that “omo ti ekun ba bi, oun ni ekun jo”. Truly when I was younger we were not trained with the traditions but blood is thicker. I just noticed that when they take me to the cinema to watch a movie, I would want to watch some Masquerade dance or cultural troops performance. It was all about tradition for me. It was a calling and I have not regretted it since I  took that call as a child of the Olokun diety.

Is there any move towards generating a proper calender for culture and tourism?

Recently, the stakeholders in the culture and tourism sector met and one of the things we are looking at is to come out with a calender for our activities. Though, some have already started like Osun State where Sterling Bank sponsored the launching of the road map 2 years ago.

Now, Lagos State has started, by the natural level, the director of Domestic Tourism recently also talked about coming up with a standard calender as it will help us a lot. Now people know that on August 26, they should be in Lagos to attend the Olokun festival. So we will come up with a calender soon.

Tell us about your growing years as a Princess.

When we were young, we did not really know what it meant to be from a royal family but as I grew older and understood what my call was it made me understand that my journey must have something to do with the kind of families that I come from. If you come from a royal family it means your family are embedded in the tradition of the people. So no wonder I am interested in the culture and tradition of the people.


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