Tribalism: We’re tired of these 5 common stereotypes about the Yoruba people
Being promiscuous, loving parties a little too much and many other allegations.
Nigeria is one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries. With that distinction comes the inevitable stereotypes about different tribes.
As we’ve mentioned in the recent past, most of these stereotypes exist to enable us to consider and respect cultural and tribal sensitivities. Yet, sometimes they are excessively simplistic, and they fail to offer a full view of a tribe’s origins, practices and biases, cultural and otherwise.
Perhaps no tribe is more affected than this than the Yoruba.
ALSO READ: Five popular stereotypes about Igbo people
Among the many you must have heard, here are 5 popular stereotypes about the Yoruba people.
1. Yoruba women are loud and rude:
The conventional view of a Yoruba woman is that of a plump female, dressed in colourful iro and Buba fashioned out of Dutch wax prints aka Ankara, sitting in front of her compound and doing real-time reviews of just about anyone or thing that passes by.
As with most popular stereotypes, this perception has been helped by the depiction of Yoruba women in pop culture, particularly in television and Nollywood. In the inverse, however, what is interpreted as loudness is actually a readiness to express themselves as necessary.
This is so because, unlike many excessively patriarchal societies, Yoruba women in older times would command power and influence.
And while they could not attain certain privileges and role, their voices were often heard, from the home to the seat of power where the Iyalode commands a fair amount of respect.
2. Yoruba people are dirty:
No one knows the origin of this stereotype but for some reason, some believe that being Yoruba comes with a factory installed lack of hygiene.
I’ll stick my neck out and say much of it is down to the one place the most Nigerians associate with the Yoruba; Lagos. As a commercial hub and an overcrowded megacity, Lagos is fairly dirty and has struggled with the problem of waste disposal for decades.
Most residents, individuals and families often face the inevitable shrapnel from living in such a city, a reality that is heightened by the absence of basic amenities.
3. Nobody parties like a Yoruba man:
To be fair, until quite recently, it was not unusual to come across a Lagos street blocked off by a row of canopies with the music of King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall blaring in the background.
The trend still continues outside the city of excellence. To be fair, the Yoruba love merriment and that comes from a history of elaborate celebrations from older times.
In this regard, they love a good time no more than any other tribe out there. What is different is that why the Hausa/Fulani enjoy celebrations like Durbars and the Igbo have ceremonies heavy with traditional rites, it is the Yoruba man’s party that most closely fits the typical celebration of a party.
4. The Yoruba are miserly:
I want to blame Ijebu people for this, but how do you question a person for an opinion that is not true but has spread so much that even people within the tribe would swear that Ijebus are stingy.
For one, this stereotype contradicts the belief that Yoruba people love parties because if I’m stingy, you can be certain we’ll celebrate every event with Whatsapp broadcast messages and love and kindness.
When a person doesn’t give, it is usually they don’t have or they don’t want to, not because they’re Yoruba.
5. Yoruba Men are Promiscuous:
Terms like “Yoruba Demon” have crystallised what many believed about the sexual habits of Yoruba men.
Many are of the opinion that men from the South-West of Nigeria are naturally licentious, and often have relationships on the side, within or outside wedlock.
As proof, people often refer to individuals who fit the Yoruba demon tag such as musicians like Wizkid and Davido. Yet, to say promiscuity is a tribal trait is very hypocritical. Who doesn’t cheat? Or do women prefer to cheat with the Yorubas?
Find out answers to these and more tomorrow on another episode of “Drop your stereotype in the dustbin on your way out”.