Everyone hears Yoruba and automatically assume the speaker is from Nigeria. You couldn’t be wronger. Most Yoruba people are from Nigeria, but there are estimated to be about 47 million Yoruba people worldwide.
1. Benin Republic
Yup. Our quiet French-speaking neighbors to the West have a large Yoruba population. Of Benin’s 11.5 million people, 1.7 million of them share the Yoruba heritage.
Yeah. The guys you’re always fighting over jollof. There an estimated 500,000 Yoruba people in Ghana’s 30million-strong population.
3. Sierra Leone
The Oku people, with an estimated population of 25,000, are an ethnic group in Sierra Leone and the Gambia primarily the descendants of educated, liberated Yoruba Muslims from Southwest Nigeria, who were released from slave ships and resettled in Sierra Leone as liberated Africans or came as settlers in the mid-19th century.
The Atakpame people of Togo speak Ife, known by scholars as Ife Togo, which traces it roots to Ile-Ife, Nigeria. The ancestors of the Atakpame people were Yoruba people who fled inter-tribal wars in the 17th Century.
5. Ivory Coast
There are about 120,000 Yoruba speakers in Cote d’Ivoire, despite being 2000 kilometres away.
6. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Brazil, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago
No thanks to the trans-Atlantic slave trade which saw millions of slaves taken from the Western coasts of Nigeria to islands all over the Americas and the carribeans, there’s a thriving Yoruba culture in these countries.
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