The story angle that the ancestors of the Yorubas were Coptic christians from Egypt sends shock waves through the spines of those who read it especially because it was written by one of Nigeria’s foremost evangelists, scholars and historians – Samuel John (1846-1901).
Furthermore, the argument that some West African states originated from Kemet (EGYPT) has also been historically backed by Samuel Johnson, a Nigerian scholar.
According to Samuel in his Manuscript “The history of the Yorubas from the earliest times to the beginning of the British protectorate”, Samuel argued that some Yoruba historians have led the Yoruba people to believe they originated from Mecca instead of Egypt in North-east Africa.
More so, both places (Mecca and Egypt) share similar beliefs – especially the concept of God (ALMIGHTY) and the concept of gods and Idols for those don’t don’t believe in the ABSOLUTE SUPREMACY OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD.
Johnson argues that past historians, including Yoruba oral historians, say that the Yorubas originate from the east and he agrees with these statements as their culture proves.
However, Johnson expounded that the east, according to the understanding of Yoruba historians did not literally mean Mecca as it was popularly advanced but Egypt in North-East Africa.
He believed Sultan Mohammed Bello – one of the earliest writers of Nigerian history – whose writings apparently influenced the Yorubas to think that they originated in Mecca instead of Egypt (Johnson 1921:1:5-6).
He maintains that the ancestors of the Yorubas were Coptic Christians from Egypt (Johnson 1921:6-7)
Archdeacon J. Olumide Lucas – a former Pastor of St. Paul’s Church, Breadfruit in Lagos, Nigeria theorised that the various forms of spirits, gods and ancestors worshipped by the Yorubas were worshipped in Ancient Egypt.
Furthermore, Lucas asserts that ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, emblems, symbols and formulae have survived in West Africa.
He postulated that some of the survivals are traced back to different periods of ancient Egyptian history: firstly the predynastic period; secondly, the dynastic period as well as the Greek and Roman times.
Lucas indicated that the survivals are still in use especially in the form of a metaphysical outlook on life, notably amongst the Ashanti, in Togoland, Yorubaland and Ekoiland (Lucas 1970:iii).
However, Geoffrey Parrinder said caution needs to be exercised simply because there is little or no archaeological evidence showing that the Egyptians migrated to Yorubaland except by assumption, otherwise the subject should be left open for further debate (Parrinder 1951:198).
He notes that if there were any contact between the Egyptians and the Yorubas, then such contact might have taken place during the Egyptian predynastic and dynastic periods only. Parrinder admits to a possible Egyptian influence on the Yorubas but he believes that the Arab world made more cultural impact on the Yorubas than Egypt did. (Parrinder 1951:205-209).
Another opponent of the Egyptian theory of the Yoruba origin is Leo Frobenius who was a trained anthropologist and explorer. Frobenius believed that the civilisation or culture of the Yorubas is not of Egyptian origin but Etruscan which was centred in North Africa. He calls this culture or theory the ‘Atlantic theory’. By implication, Frobenius is of the opinion that the Yorubas are not of Egyptian origin and hence the Egyptians did not migrate to Yorubaland (cf. Frobenius 1913:336).
Even today, Yoruba history is still meshed in controversy. Some disagree they are Oduduwa descendants since Oduduwa migrated to Yorubaland and met people in the land.
However, one thing is sure: Yorubas have connection with the East and their primary source of SPIRITUALITY is THE ALMIGHTY GOD. They turned to idolatry, syncretism, superstitious beliefs and worship of demons and objects when they left THE ALMIGHTY – their MAJOR AND ONLY SOURCE.
“The ‘Yoruba’ people are some of the most spiritual people on Earth, (if not the most spiritual).
Researches revealed that many years of perverted spirituality, which has been handed down from generation to generation led to what they now call Traditional Religion — which is worship of God through ‘ungodly gods’, men and dark sources.
Erroneously, many Yorubas believe Christianity and Islam are foreign religions – that traditional religion – the perverted and dark ways they inherited is their true religion.
History noted, especially through the Bible that the Egyptians followed other ‘dark gods’ and incurred the wrath of God.