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Iyawo Oba 6

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Abeni knew that this child would not back down

She knew that she would have to try too

To provide a suitable answer

Because you know

There comes a time

A time when the child

Lost in the jeers of youth

Needs to find itself.

**

Baba paused his fable

And suddenly started dancing in one direction

The whole village knew who it was

 

‘Temilade

Omo Omolola

The whose beauty mirrors beauty

The one whose feet kings will kiss

And lay claim to

*The drummers stopped abruptly*

You have been chosen

*The drumming continues*

 

Temilade stepped out in style

And danced towards the royal family

She knelt down on one knee

Bowed her head  low

And said

‘Kabiyesi O

I have been deemed worthy

May his name be praised

Kabiyesi OOO’

The kind smiled wryly.

The queen began to sweat.

She called for water.

All of a sudden she became uncomfortable.

As she tried to drink water,

The cup fell

Slipped from her fingers

She looked up and saw Omolola

Smiling at her

No one seemed to notice

The queen seemed agitated

But Omolola did.

It was her job to notice.

 

Baba continued his dance

And fable**

 

“So Abeni looked upon her child

Pitifully

‘She doesn’t know what she’s asking of me

Oh she doesn’t” Abeni said to herself

Abeni’s insides were in conflict

Revealing the identity of the girl’s father

Brought with it great tragedy

To them both

Abeni had to be wise about it

Omo mi

My child, she said

Your father is king of a great kingdom

He has  great riches

He is wealthy beyond measure

But he is dead

The daughter would not have it

‘Surely Surely’ She said

‘if my father was as rich as you say

He would have left behind something

Something worth fighting for’

Abeni smiled

The child continued

‘Why do you talk like he’s alive though you say he’s dead?

Can one be alive and dead, both at the same time?’

Her daughter was not sated

But she understood one thing

That her mother was not answering any more questions.

The child needed to know more.

The child was done.

Baba Danced on in another direction.

The people looked on.

Baba paused his fable.

 

“Atinuke

Omo Oluwapelumi

Oko Olufunmi

*The drumming stopped abruptly*

You have been chosen

*The drumming resumed*

 

The queen’s face grew darker

The prince smiled

Baba had listened

Atinuke danced forward

It was time

The die has been cast long before

Now all could see it.

She danced forward

Went down on one knee

And said

‘Kabiyesi O

I have been deemed worthy

My his name be praised

Kabiyesi OOO’

But this time

The king did not smile

He face was blank

Expressionless.

 

Written by Akinbobola Adeyemo

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