cropped-WGA-22.jpgThe WAAQEFFANNAA ASSOCIATION IN VICTORIA ASSOCIATION (WAVA) is a non- profit religious organisation established in Victoria by interested Oromo immigrants in the year 2014. The establishment of the Waaqeffannaa Association in Victoria Australia is just to introduce the knowledge and wisdom of the Waaqeffannaa religion to world so that it provides a solution to the spiritual, personal and social needs through religious practices.
The Oromo people, who had long ago recognized Waaqaa as the only Supreme Reality, the Creator of everything, could be one among the earliest peoples of the world, not only in Africa, to develop the doctrine of monotheism. Thenceforth, Waaqeffannaa as a religion, as a religious thought, and as a religious practice of the Gadaa-organized Oromo people, sprung out of the Oromo concept of Waaqaa. As a public affair, Waaqeffannaa is manifested by Oromummaa as part of the cultural domain of the Gadaa Oromo Society.
The Oromos are the largest single ethnic nation in Eastern Africa , constituting at least 40% of the Ethiopian population. They speak Afaan Oromo, the language of the Oromos, which belongs to the Eastern Kushitic family of Afro-Asiatic phylum. They have had vast and rich religious and cultural traditions in which the social, economical, political, philosophical, and spiritual lives have been organized under a holistic institution known as the Gadaa System. Under the Gadaa system, Oromos have developed monotheism, a belief in Waaqa, the Creator, (Uuma) of the universe as the only Supreme Being. Thus, in order to revitalise and advance Oromo people’s ancient religion of Kushitic origin, it is pre-eminent to start from a clear understanding of its old age reality.
Religiously and spiritually, the Oromos have been following one of the longest religions in the history of mankind which predates the modern world religions of Christianity and Islam. Thenceforth, the Oromos have basically remained being a monotheist society of nation who believe and worship the Supreme Being Waaqa, the Creator (Uuma) of the universe. Thence, from Waaqa, the Oromo indigenous concept of Waaqeffannaa has emerged as a religious doctrine of the entire nation. Politically and socially, the structure of the Oromo society is an egalitarian one, in which a republican form of governance has been practised, based on the regulative social mechanism of the Gada System .
Before the expansion of Islam and Christianity, the Kushitic Oromo people, all in all, had been following Waaqeffannaa of African traditional religion. However, owing to their influential socio-political movement in the land historically known to them as “Biyya Oromoo”, in its modern version, Oromia, and partly due to foreign religious oppressions, the Oromos have been halted from advancing Waaqeffannaa to the front. Waaqeffataa Oromos have been ‘forced’ to accept the newly introduced religions, notably Christianity and Islam. Nonetheless, Oromos’ acceptance of Christianity or Islam cannot be viewed as a sole structural base of their religious life even among those Oromos who are following Christianity and Islam today. The new religions are superstructurally ‘accepted’ as an ideological weapon, for example, by the Oromos of Wallo, Ituu and Arsii.
In most places of Oromia, like among the southern Oromos of Boorana, Gabraa, Gujii and Arsii, particularly in Warqaa and Kokkossa areas, among the Eastern Matcha, like Jibaat in Showa and Guduruu in Wallagga areas, among the Tulama of central Oromia, like Karrayyu, Galaan, Jillee, Siibaa, Aabbu, Goona, Sooddo and others, the Gadaa System and Waaqeffannaa religion are still significantly practised by millions of Oromos.
When the Oromos believe in Waaqa as a Supreme Being, they do not also nullify to acknowledge the existence of many spirits known as Ayyaana. In the views of Waaqeffataa Oromos, the Ayyaana exists in everybody’s area of domicile. According to Oromos’ belief, Waaqa creates and regulates the existence of the spirits, animate and inanimate, material and non-material creatures and places them in a well-balanced cosmic order. As an extension of this phenomenon, Waaqeffannaa believes that society collapses unless a balance is struck between female and male, young and old, spiritual and physical power in the cosmic order of Waaqaa’s wisdom. The interdependence of the dominant and the luminal is considered a precondition for peace and prosperity in both metaphysical and practical sense.
There are many other acts of worship that are commended in Waaqeffannaa’s creed, such as offering personal prayers and supplications, respecting the handiwork of Waaqaa, participating in Irreechaa, thanksgiving rituals, volunteering in service of the community, etc., besides which everything a person does with the intention of pleasing Waaqaa is considered an solemn worship.
In contrast, there are things that Waaqaa has prohibited because of the harm they engender to individuals and to a society at large. These include lying, stealing, cheating betraying, dishonesty to one’s parents and to one’s fellow human beings, drugs, alcoholism, gambling, exhibition of unethical and immoral behaviours against the prescribe social norms etc. The guidelines for these commands and prohibitions are found in the Waaqeffannaa creed known as “Seemaa”, divine law. The Seemaa is unique in that it provides guidance not only on ‘religious matters,’ but addresses every aspect of life, including issues of social justice, politics, trade, international relations, family life, domestic and wild animals’ rights, ecosystem.
Since the emergence of Waaqeffannaa as a public religious affair, the Waaqeffattootaa have been organizing Irreeffannaa, “Thanksgiving Ceremony”, near a body of water (lake, spring, crater, or stream) or at the Galma of the Qaalluu every year. The ceremony is conducted by offering thanks and greeneries to Waaqaa, Who helped them, pass through the ‘dark’ rainy winter season to the bright sunny season, which begins to shine in the month of Fulbaanaa, September, the time crops and plants are furnishing colourful flowers.
In spite of problems confronting the Oromos in course of their history, interaction with other peoples, voluntary or involuntary conversion to the ´written´ religions of the Muslim and Christian worlds, Waaqeffannaa continues to offer pertinent answers to its adherents. Waaqeffannaa has made remarkable contributions in conflict resolutions, in making peace, in maintaining social harmony, in defending the Gadaa-based moral qualities of the Oromo families, in shaping the behavioral system of the Oromos (from blessing ceremonials to etiquette of socializing), and in bestowing socially meaningful names upon the newly born Oromo children.
Therefore, the establishment of WAAQEFFANNAA ASSOCIATION IN VICTORIA ASSOCIATION (WAVA) is to serve the true Waaqeffannaa religion based on the Will and the Laws of Waaqeffannaa knowledge and wisdom, moral judgments and human compassion by respecting and deeply exploring the values of the indigenous religions, cultures and ethic for the religions of the indigenous peoples of African origin to satisfy their needs. WAVA has also an objective of promoting the teachings of Waaqeffannaa creeds, based on the Rules and the Principles of Waaqeffannaa, the Right Path to Gaarummaa, and the Avenue of Peace to the rest of the world. Thus, the rationale behind the establishment of WAVA by taking into account the beneficial role of an indigenous religion is to re-cultivate and promote the positive roles of Waaqeffannaa and Gadaa in protecting Namummaa (Humanity) throughout the worlds.