Aboru Aboye: Pastors weigh in on Tope Alabi’s use of traditional religious greetings in song


Some Nigerian pastors have expressed mixed reactions on whether the use of ‘Aboru Aboye’ in the viral song by popular gospel singer, Tope Alabi, is proper in a gospel song.

While some of the pastors who spoke with our correspondent saw nothing wrong with Alabi’s choice of lyrics in the viral song, others disagreed, arguing that the singer should not incorporate traditional terminologies into gospel music.

Alabi made headlines last Friday following the release of a song where she was heard singing the words ‘Aboru Aboye,’ terms mostly used by Ifa worshippers when greeting initiates, sometimes referred to as ‘Babalawo’.

Alabi, in the viral video, could be heard singing the lyrics; ‘Emi ni aboru, aboye… abiye ni mi, Oruko mi ni yen. Mo de bo, mo ru, mo ye,” (I am a sacrifice, that’s my name. I am a sacrifice accepted by God, that’s my name).

Her lyrical choices have since gotten many tongues wagging on and off social media.

However, reacting to the viral video, Pastor Lanre Kayode, Senior Pastor of the Christ Apostolic Church, Shibiri branch, Lagos, said the controversy trailing the video could be blamed on the poor understanding of the Yoruba language by some of her critics.

Pastor Kayode said, “It’s a language thing. I see nothing wrong with what she said. She was simply praising God.”

song today, I am a sacrifice…” similar words to Alabi’s but conveyed in a different language.

”Why are people not complaining about that? Is it because he sang in English?

“Why do people not have issues with this? Is it because Tope sang in Yoruba?” Pastor Kayode asked.

He stressed that there is nothing wrong with Tope Alabi’s choice of words. “It’s simply a language thing. Not many people understand Yoruba that well and that’s why they are criticising the song,” he said.

Also speaking with our correspondent, Pastor Tunde Afolabi of the Christ Redemption Church, Ogba, Lagos, kicked against the criticism of Tope Alabi over the Aboru Aboye song saying people probably misinterpreted Alabi’s stance on the use of the ‘Aboru Aboye’ and believed it is and can only be used by traditionists.

He said, ”People believe she is referring to Ifa but I feel she is worshipping her God the best way she knows how. We all have the best ways to worship God.”