Yoruba and Igbo cultures seem to have clashed when two veteran Igbo actors, Pete Edochie and Kanayo O. Kanayo, shook hands with the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi – the most respected Yoruba monarch – without prostrating or genuflecting.
Although the Ooni did not object to the act, Yoruba people, even celebrities, would not do that as they would prostrate before the royal highness.
Kanayo shared the scene on his Facebook page thus “Last night was awesome @peteedochie @babarex0 @chidimokeme and the very outstanding His Royal Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Enitan, Ooni of Ife.”
The act is, however, attracting divergent views.
One Maxwell onted on Facebook, “The blame is on the Ooni of Ife for going to that kind of place and for also accepting a handshake from people. I’m not against the Nollywood stars but they are supposed to bow before the stool of the king of Ife. if it was the former Ooni of Ife who could try this and even give him a handshake?”
Another user, Yinka Poyigi, said, “I visited different palaces in the east during the course or a project I was working on, and each time I want to greet the Igwe, I will ask to prostrate like an Omoluabi. Surprisingly, the Igwes always decline because it is not their tradition. The chiefs will gently ask me to stand up and greet, introduce myself and sit down.
“What a culture shock! But that’s their tradition, so before you walk with your heads instead of your legs, ask yourself certain questions. 1. Was Ooni in his palace sitting on his stool when this happened? 2. Are the people in question from the same culture? 3. Is Idobale (Porstrate) always a sign of genuine respect? 4. Is Ooni a king of the two veteran Actors? 5. Was this event in Ife? I understand that Ooni is a king to some kings in Yoruba land and even a recognised first-class king in Yoruba land and if I meet him anywhere…my chest will be on the floor.
“I don’t expect my Ibo brothers to do the same except when in his palace. When we travel around and experience different cultures, our exposure and ways of thinking will change,” he added.
Another user, Iamflappys, wrote, “If you don’t respect yourself, no one will. If the real and former king is on the seat, this nonsense will not happen. I respect the work and talent of the legend but if the king starts respecting the throne and acts like a king, this madness will not happen. If anything remove your cap.
In his opinion, a user, Noel Enomheonse, opined, “It looks like this king doesn’t know what his culture expects of him. I’m still thinking of that man in Nigeria who shake hands with the great Oba of Benin in that manner. Even the president and other world leaders bow before him. Sorry to say! Pete Edochie just disrespected the king.”