The Yoruba and other Canaanite/Hebrew Israelites of Nigeria

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The Yorubas and other Canaanite/Israelites of Nigeria

By Jide Uwechia

Ancient Canaanite King

Yorubas and the neighbouring nationalities located in Nigeria have this oral tradition of an origin extraneous to West Africa.

Hugh Clapperton in 1820s reported a work by Sultan Bello, the Caliph of the Sokoto Caliphate, where he asserted that the Yorubas were descended from Canaanite tribe from Palestine.

Around the 1880s Samuel Johnson a Yoruba christian also wrote a book that made similar claims for Yoruba origins as Sultan Bello’s. In 1880, Johson naively sent this work to the Church Missionary Society in England for review and publication.

The Church Missionary Society suppressed the manuscript upon realizing the explosive information it contained. The Society declared the book lost. It was not until 1923 that Johson’s brother was able to publish an edited copy of this work. Johnson’s thesis was that the Yorubas were descended from Lamurudu (Nimrod) the first King of Mesopotamia. Johnson died in 1901.

1955 S.O. Obiaku, a Nigerian historian and scholar claimed a Meroite origin (Sudan/ancient Ethiopia-Kush) for the Yorubas. Emmanuel Uguhulu another respected Nigerian scholar claimed a Hebrew origin for the Esan tribe. Esan is part of the greater Edo nation, which is related to the Yoruba nation of Nigeria.

Efik traditions claim that the Efiks originated in Palestine, crossed the Sahara and arrived Nigeria via Sudan. The Efiks are located in the south-eastern corner of Nigeria.

Iberian Jews of Yoruba Nationality

The Bnai Ephraim (“Children of Ephraim”) from Nigeria, live among the Yoruba nationalities. Their oral history tells that the Bnai Ephraim people came from Morocco after the Jews were banished from the Iberian Pennisula sometime after 1492.

They speak a dialect that is a mixture of Moroccan Arabic, Yoruba, and Aramaic. They are known by the Yoruba people as the “Emo Yo Quaim”, or “strange people”. Unlike other African Israelite communities in Nigeria, the Bnai Ephraim have the Torah, portions of which they keep in their sanctuaries.

The name Lagos borne by the former capital of Nigeria is a Portugese/Iberian name meaning the lake. Lagos is an Island carved up by lagoons, swamps and lakes. Its traditional Nigerian name is Eko.

Thousands of black refugee Jews of Iberia re-settled in the environs of Lagos and Porto Novo (as well as in Cape Verde, Guinea Buissa, and in Sao Tome either as slaves or outlaws). Some groups eventually made it deeper inland and became assimilated into one nationality or the other.

The Bnai Ephraim provides a living and irrefutable proof of this barely known history of mass Jewish re-settlement in West Africa, between 1492 and 1692, a 200 year non-stop return of Jews to Africa. This set of Moorish refugees are not to be confused with more ancient Hebrew and Canaanite tribes that had been living in Nigeria and other African countries for thousands of years. The Black Jew series on Rasta Livewire deals with the relatively more ancient Hebrews of Africa.

The Bnai Ephraim did not settle with the Yorubas by accident or chance. They recalled that a body of their people had depart Canaan in the ancient times and had settled in the present day Yoruba areas of Nigeria, just like their own group – Bnai Ephraim – had settled in Iberia (Spain and Portugal).

So, when it happened they had to leave Iberia in a hurry to protect their lives and freedom, those Moorish Iberian Jews sailed on their network of ships to Nigeria Africa, near Lagos amongst the Yorubas, their relation by blood, their greater nationality.

Other series on this website will continue to explore the foot-tracks of the Hebrew Israelites of Africa whose stories barely get told. Now, they shall not only be heard, they shall also be seen.

Awake ye ancient Moorish Hebrews of Africa, awake! You have nothing to lose but your ignorance and weakness. The earth is your inheritance and rightful legacy. The truth lies in your history, hidden until these times…

Jide Uwechia
September 1, 2009


Tudor Parfitt: “The Construction of Jewish Identities in Africa” in the book “Jews of Ethiopia” Edited by Tudor Parfitt and Emanuela Trevisan Semi. Routledge.

Abderrahman ben-Abdall es-Sadi, “Tarikh es Soudan, Paris, 1900,” (trad. O. Houdas)

Rick Gold , “The Jews of Timbuktu,” Washington Jewish Week, December 30, 1999,

Joseph J. Williams S.J., “Hebrewism of West Africa: From Nile to the Niger with the Jews”

Remy Ilona, “Igbos, Jews in Africa?,” (Volume 1), Mega Press Limited, Abuja, Nigeria, 2004,

Northern Tribes of Nigeria, Volume 1, Oxford, page 66, by C.K. Meek

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64 thoughts on “The Yoruba and other Canaanite/Hebrew Israelites of Nigeria”

  1. Been hearing this for some while now,am an Ijebu man but i would need further proofs that we Yorubas are the biblical Jebusites.

    1. It’s just the similarity in the name, don’t pay these numbskulls attention, does the name Edo make Edo people Edomites? No. Igbos are know to fabricate any and everything even products of people . Their Hebrew Israelite claim started when the internet came about, majority of their Hebrew Israelite claim has been debunked even by their igbo historians . Just kick back and enjoy their fuckery. Yorubas are true Hebre Israelites, it can be traced through the Eves our blood relations.

  2. In 1995 under the direction of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin the Israeli government sent delegates to Nigeria seeking Hebraic traits. On March 28th, 1996 Israeli ambassador to Nigeria acknowledged the Igbo’s were among the lost tribes of Israel.

  3. Mr. Eugene Akannam’s book, Before the Covenant, which is a documented account of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria having Hebrew roots is no longer available on Amazon. The “Chosen people of the Caucasus mountain” as noted in Iceman Inheritance by Michael Bradley, go throw great lengths to hide the truth. Iceman Inheritance by Bradley (white man) is about white aggression, white racism and white sexism.

  4. God has already blessed you for the good work, but this is the beginning of the work, Jesus Christ said,:Go ye not to the gentiles but to the lost tribe of Isreal. for more information about how the Yoruba and the Hausa got to West Africa, please read Dierk Lang,: ANTHROPOS, Origing of the Yoruba and the lost tribe of Israel, May God grant you the strenght to touch the mind of your brothers and sister that are lost because in waking up is their salvation .

    1. From what I learned from white men’s history books, I was taught that SAMARIA/SAMARI, is the Capital of the ten lost tribes. I was taught that an israelite king wrote two letters to Egypt(letters of El Amarna): This king was the King of an israelite kingdom named “RUBUTU” :meaning scriptures in Hausa.
      Samaria is a hausa word meaning”Youth”.
      Also talking about Arewa Kingdom,now in Niger Republic, Harris, sokoto caliphate gazetteer, 1938, Said that their leader Damuzu was leader of
      people called BaGAZAwa(people of Gaza). These Bagazawa came at the time of fair-skinned people(perhaps when whites invaded Mesopotamia).He said that they came from east and built
      wells everywhere.
      Many words are identical between hausa and true hebrew language not Askhenazi “tricks”.
      Some few examples:
      Harwa(priest diviner/divination),
      kora- shaved hair,
      Sharia- gabage,
      Dan- son of…, etc
      without talking about numerous words their shared together with arabic.
      Yoruba are among the 14 hausa states.They are close cousins to Gobir(a hausa group).

    2. Hausa are not from hivites because hivites didn’t practice circumcision.Hausa people, even those practicing ancient Azna tradition, circumsized their children within the seventh year.
      Notice that in the seven “legitimate” hausa states and the seven “illegitimate” hausa states there are still the “kona” conferation within the mundang, and konawa(people of Kona) within various hausa groups.
      This “Kona” might derived from canaan..

      1. If what you claim is true then how come our DNA haplogroup is different from that of the Hausas? Yorubas carry the E1b1a Y DNA haplogroup found in the remains of the ancient Levitical priests, Igbos carry same DNA same as the Hebrews in Ghana, Togo, Benin etc. Hausas DNA market is E1b1b which makes us two different entites. I’m not trying to have any ties with igbos , and I’m happy as a Yoruba man, but for you to think we are of the same origin as Hausas is pure falsehood. So stop falsifying stuffs like Igbos do.

        1. Yes Hausas are completely diffrent from yoruba and igbo, their language and culture are completely diffrent, their haphlogroups are diffrent. But on the other hand igbo have more in common with yoruba even their language family is thesame. But the Hausas are Afroasiatics who have more in common with north africa part of east africa and the so called middle east and even western europeans who are of R1b1 haphlogroup. The Hausas and even a significant amount of other northern nigerians from other tribes are a chadic people with the R1b1 haphlogroup. Their origins are in northeastern africa or the so called middle east. Their legends narrate that they came from the lands of canaan and the presence of R1b1 confirms that this even was a real event that happened not just some myth.

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