International Journal of History and Philosophical Research (IJHPHR)

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Suicide in Yoruba Ontology


Suicide is generally regarded as all cases of death resulting from action taken by the victim themselves, and with the intention and prospect of killing oneself. The cause is frequently attributed to psychological disorders, substance abuse, shame, guilty, rejection, loss, loneliness, death of a loved one, emotional trauma, serious physical illness, and unemployment or money problems. In this paper, the researcher studies the problem of suicide from Yoruba perspective. Yoruba is a language and the name of an ethnic group or tribe in Nigeria. The paper interrogates Yoruba concept of death, the quality of death through suicide and suicide among the Yoruba. For the Yoruba, when it comes to the issue of autonomy and competence as regards deciding on suicide, they would metaphorically claim that ‘bose wuni lase imole eni’ (one determines one’s faith the way one deems fit) drawing from the cultural construct of the Yoruba worldview that celebrate suicide in avoidance of shame- iku ya j’esin- a principle of dignity in dying. This understanding of suicide from an Yoruba perspective is believed will help enhance the value of human life and thus save the world from being plunged into a silent crisis of the value of life

Keywords: Africa, Autonomy, Honor, Ontology, Suicide, Victim, Yoruba, ignominy

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