#BounceExclusive: My Pastor Supports My Traditional Medicine – Iya Alabi
Felicia Adesina has been into traditional medicine for 20 years, even though she is still a middle-aged woman.
One would assume she started early. No, she did not.
Her dream as a young lady was to build a successful career in fashion but after completing her training and setting up her business, things just did not work.
Frustrated, she abandoned her fashion business and decided to start selling groceries but again, no one seemed to like her face, let alone buy from her.
Always broke and needy, she was fast becoming a liability to her family and they sought solutions from a spiritualist or perhaps an astrologer.
They were told the gods predestined Felicia to be a traditional medicine woman!
Not an attractive line of business but perhaps because her father was in the business as an Islamic cleric in Ibadan, the family did not oppose their daughter becoming an Iya Alagbo.
That was the beginning of her journey into the world of traditional medicine.
Along the line she also found a new religion – Christianity, which explains why her name is Felicia.
Twenty years down the line, she has become a guru of some sort.
Now popularly called Iya Alabi Alagbo, across Isheri town in Lagos state, you will marvel at her understanding of different diseases and their cures.
Her passion for helping pregnant women, nursing mothers and their babies is almost contagious.
With a lot of success stories to tell, she reminds everyone she is ordained to do this.
How do you reconcile the general belief that women in herbal medicine are usually fetish? Iya Alabi would not dismiss this but was quick to remember her bible.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are saved,” she quickly quoted, explaining that she had only been able to survive in the business with fasting and prayers.
“The God I serve in my church has been merciful to me. Sometimes when I am fed up, I go to my shepherd who always encourages me to keep going.”
In addition to her faith, she has also learnt to respect the people she met in the business whether they share her religious views or not.
She must have come across the statement; “Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar” somewhere in her bible.
“We have a lot of older men and women in the traditional medicine business in this town. I respect them as my fathers and mothers,” she said.
She says describing her and others as being fetish is ignorance and it is also one major reason traditional medicine has not grown bigger than it is.
Felicia believes more lives would have been saved if people are aware of God-sent people like her who possess the special gift of using herbs.
Has she now made plenty money from traditional medicine since she followed her destiny? No, but she says she has found peace and fulfillment.
She hopes that someday, her special concoctions would be packaged in bottles and sold in supermarkets and pharmacies.
Perhaps her dream will become a reality.