Ìyálórisa Oyawunmi Ifawemida Awosade Osunnike Ojeyemi Egbebunmi Àjàlá was introduced to Yoruba culture and religion in Cleveland, Ohio where she studied with Ìyánífá Ifalola Ifasope Osuntokun.

 

Long before that, Oyawunmi’s grandmother introduced her to Hoodoo, having her gather plants for "work". At sixteen, her stepmother blessed her with her first Usui Reiki attunement, and she is now a Level II practitioner.

 

Early adulthood found Oyawunmi studying New Age spirituality and astrology. Her work in a Cleveland herbal store enhanced her knowledge of holistic health as she simultaneously earned her cosmetology license. In 2008, she received her Certified Holistic Health Practitioner (CHHP) certification with Dr. Llaila Afrika and Acudetox and Auricular Acupuncture certifications with Dr. Kokayi Paterson.

 

Oyawunmi initiated to Oya in 2006. Two years later, she boldly moved to Maryland to immerse herself in a community of Òrìsà practitioners. When her next teacher, Ìyálórisa Sangotope Aduke, fell ill, she was adopted by Ìyánífá Ifadoyin Aduke, training for seven years before opening her own ile: Ile Àṣẹ Oya Gbera.

 

In 2012, Oyawunmi initiated into the rites of Egungun and IFA in Oyo. In 2017, she initiated to Osun ìn Osogbo. Finally, she initiated to Egbe in 2018, also in Osogbo. Each step in her journey has empowered her work as an advocate for Yoruba culture in Nigeria and the diaspora.

 

Iyalorisa Oyawunmi married into the Àjàlá family in 2013. With her husband,  Babalawo Sàngówale Àjàlá, she continues to teach about traditional Nigerian culture and the importance of cultural liberation.  

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