A war kind of story

Excerpts from the biography of late Dr. Tie-ti-ta by poet and witch, Je’le’osinmi

Isonu is an autonomous village in the southern part of Mon Jaiye town. Je’le’osinmi is the granddaughter of Akinkanju, the old village warrior. Every child in Isonu knew her grandfather and has been told of how he stood up to the erstwhile king of Mon Jaiye town, oba Mafejo Pami the first when he was alive. As Iya Agba will say under the cursed fruitless used-to-be mango tree, under the moon, at night, “Akinkanju feared no one and he helped us gain independence.” No one ever spoke about what sacrifices he had to do to get independence as Akinkanju had cursed anyone who ever mentions the story of how his pregnant daughter died during childbirth, using the mango tree as his witness. When Je’le’osinmi turned 18 and was ripe for university and marriage, her grandfather wanted to fulfill his daughter’s wish for her to go to school and wanted to fulfill his wish of seeing her married. Luckily, the tall, lanky and handsome ‘dokita ara Ibadan’ as he was referred to, that she aspires to be like was willing to marry her.

He told his intention of sending her to school after marriage to an enlightened grandfather. He agreed and asked for the marriage to be as soon as possible. He told the Dr that he had to wrestle him and put his back on the ground before he could be sure that he was worthy of his granddaughter. The whole village was excited as they would get to see their favourite warrior fight one more time. The day came, drums were ready, the entire village was present, and the king who rarely came out graced the occasion. The Dr sneaked into the room where Akinkanju was dressing and opened a note to read to the old warrior, “Dear old foe, I did not kill your daughter – she died a natural death. I know you’ll accuse me falsely and come to kill me so I’ve left instructions with my son that lives in Ibadan. There’s no end to war until there’s revenge. You’ll be remembered as a warrior whose daughter died at childbirth and one who died on the day his granddaughter is getting married. See you in heaven, or hell. Mo ti wa fi ejo pa e – Oba Mafejo Pami the first.” The Dr continued, “standing before you is Dr. Tie-ti-ta Mafejo Pami.” The wedding went on without the wrestle and the warrior because Akinkanju was sick but gave his blessings. Before the Tie-ti-ta brought out the blood-stained white cloth, two ti lo. All that Iya Agba knew and told as the story was that, he died a peaceful death.

Tomide Abdul

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