Chief Babalawo Adeyela Adelekan, Amulewaye Iledi-Ooni Ile Ife, who served as an Executive Board Member for the National African Religion Congress/NARC World International since 1999.
Chief Adelekan began his training as a Babalawo in 1944 under Oluwo Akoda Akanni the son of the Araba. He also underwent a Western education, unlike many of his predecessors, in order to prepare him for his work as an instructor in Yoruba traditional philosophy outside of Yorubaland. It is on record that Chief Adelekan was born with a green leaf wrapped around a sixth finger on his left hand, which was a sign that he was the reincarnation of his grandfather, Araba Akanni.
Chief Adelekan held four titles: first, ”Amulewaye” (he who seizes earth upon entering the world), a title which was conferred by the Council of Elders in Ife, the Ogboni; secondly, the title of ”Alatunse Awo” in which capacity Chief Adelekan acts as a moderator of all Babalawos worldwide — this is an office conferred by the present Araba and the council of Babalawos in Ife; thirdly, the title of ”Orisa Tunwase” (the Emissary of Obatala) bestowed by the elders of the Obatala temple headed by Chief Obalesu; lastly, the title of ”Olumesin Oduduwa” (the Promoter of the Religion) – this title was conferred by the Council of the Oduduwa Temple headed by Chief Obadio.
Chief Adelekan was a sixteenth-generation Babalawo, who traveled widely outside of Ife for the purpose of instruction and healing, and is celebrated for his knowledge of roots and herbs and his tireless work in healing and in promoting understanding Yoruba religion. He was the founder and patron of Egbe Isese Esin Yoruba (The Root of Yoruba Religion, Science and Cosmology), a society based in London which is a focus for the practice of Yoruba tradition.