Born November 17, 1924. Became an Ancestor November 26, 2009
Babalọlá Adébóyè Ifátóògùn was a Babaláwo, Lecturer and Research Fellow at Ọbáfẹ́mi Awólọ́wọ̀ University, Nigeria; and, University of Ìbàdàn, Nigeria. Ifátóògùn maintained that Ifá provides a public service for the enrichment of intellectual and cultural life.
Prince Babalọlá Adébóyè Ifátóògùn was born in Ìlobùú, Ọ̀ṣun State, Nigeria on the 17th of November 1924. His father, Ọmọ Ọba Adébóyè and mother, Morọ́mọkẹ́ Àkíkẹ́, were practitioners of Ifá and Ẹrinlẹ̀.
Babalọlá Adébóyè Ifátóògùn was renowned worldwide for his unique memory, knowledge and his understanding of the philosophical and historical foundations of the Ifá Literary Corpus.
Ifátóògùn began his studies in Ifá at a very young age, studying, first from his father in Ìlobùú, and then across various Yorùbá cities, notably: Ìlobùú, Ìwó, Ilé-Ifẹ̀, and across various Ẹ̀gbá cities in Ògun State, Nigeria.
Although Babalọlá Ifátóògùn never studied at any Western educational institution, by the age of fifteen he had taught himself how to read and write in Yorùbá. By the age of eighteen, he had acquired an excellent understanding of the English Language, and he could write the English Language in his own self-created Yorùbá-based orthography for the English language.
Ifá is a body of knowledge with numerous academic disciplines which include: Ifá dídá (Ifá divination), Ifá Kíkì (the chanting of Ifá), Ìtàn (History), Àròjinlẹ̀ (Philosophy), Ètùtù (Offerings), and Ifá (herbal medicine). Ifátóògùn was a world-renowned expert in Àròjinlẹ̀ (Philosophy), Ìtàn (History), and Ètùtù (herbal medicine). He had an encyclopedic and photographic memory. For example, if Ifátóògùn were asked to chant Ifá poems on the theme of “morality” (or any other concept), he would chant up to 200 poems on this theme at will. Moreover, if Ifátóògùn were given just one line from any poem, he would instantly recall the whole poem, and identify the Odù to which it belonged. Ifátóògùn was one of the very few Ifá priests who could chant and recite over one hundred poems from each of the 256 Odù of the Ifá literary corpus.
Awo Ifátóògùn collaborated with over five hundred professors and scholars on Ifá and Yorùbá culture. Notable amongst his collaborators are:
Babalọlá Ifátóògùn trained numerous pupils in the study of Ifá in Nigeria, the United States, and Brazil. These include Dr. Kola Abimbola, Kolapo Fasina, Kolawole Ifatoyo, Babalola Awoniyi, and a group of Ifá priests and priestesses in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Hundreds of other diviners (senior and young diviners alike) regularly consulted Babalọlá Ifátóògùn for his extensive and detailed understanding of the Ifá literary corpus.