The Ojuelegba became famous in the 1970s thanks to Fela’s Shrine, a party hub, but it has even deeper historical roots.
Wizkid famously sang, “Ni Ojuelegba o, they know my story,” but what distinguishes Ojuelegba?
In Lagos State, Nigeria, Ojuelegba is in a unique location. It links Apapa Wharf to Ikorodu and Agege as well as Surulere, Yaba, and Mushin.
In the past, people worshipped Eshu Elegbua or Legba in the forest and shrine that is now known as Ojuelegba. Cubans, Haitians, and the Fon people of the Benin Republic also worship this deity.
Papa Legba is the Haitian name for the Legba deity. He is a paternal figure that opens the human world for the soul to enter. Cubans call it Echu-Elegua, while Fon people call it Legba.
Under the Ojuelegba span, the Aworis venerated the Esu diety known as Láàlu ogiri òkò – a god responsible for organization and a master of regulations.
It had a red earth and stone shrine that was covered in cowries. The god’s eyes and mouth were marked with these cowries, and daily sacrifices were made to it.
The sanctuary actually exists today, not too far off at the south of the Ojuelegba indirect with the engraving, ‘Oju-Ibo Elegba’ which has now been abbreviated to Ojuelegba – apparently the way that the region got its name