Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya

Volume 6, Issue 2, December 2014

Balogun Babalola Joseph
Pages 55-73

Ibi: An Examination of the Yoruba Traditional-Existentialist Conception of Evil

The problem of evil is of universal concern to humankind. Various attempts have been made to account for it in Western philosophy as well as in world religions such as Christianity, Islam and African traditional religion. This article examines the Yoruba existentialist attitude to the problem of evil. Using the Yoruba oral tradition, it posits that for the Yoruba evil is the creation of each individual, so that God cannot be blamed for its existence. I conclude the article with my own personal view that given the individual as a carrier of evil seed, the best existential outlook is to be ready to face, with stoic courage, whatever life brings one’s way.