It’s my pleasure to bring to your viewing this series in episodes I choose to title “Who is a friend?”It’s a journey that I hope will not only be revealing but bring you humour,insight and much more..Please leave a comment after viewing,it’d be great interacting with you here.Besides, your views matter to me.
‘Kere o….kere o…l’omode, l’agba,l’okunrin, l’obinrin,onile, alejo…”, on and on, the town cryer hollered and beckoned .It had been a while since the village had been so alerted, this particular village had been known for its respite in the past number of years; howbeit, it must be some good news or some urgency from the palace ,some reasoned while another hunter hastened to the market square with fresh game sprawled lifeless on his shoulder…”ahn-yin! It- must- be-news-about-tribute-payment- for-the-fast approaching -harvesssst”,saying the last word with a drawl as he chatted along with some other pals in his heavily accented ,staccato-ed English.
Women and children scurried along, everyone gathering and some snugging together in the early morning chill.
Muted conversation continued as the elderly ones called for decorum.
Abobafoun, the town cryer started his announcement at the converging of the villagers…they listened with rapt attention as the news came to them as a shock. Mothers looked down at their little ones, checking for any telling signs, fathers frowned, turning around in wonder and confusion to one another, strangers and visitors blinked back in dismay as their hearts sank, wondering what their fate would be from then on.
Since that fateful morning at Abobafoun’s warning and the king’s promise to anyone that finds or help identify who the impostor was. Some were a bit relaxed to know that Oluwatedo village alone was not affected. In fact, some overheard from reliable sources that this same un-identified impostor had been to several other neighboring villages and had subtly wrought some havoc .One thing was recognizable though in his or her ways,as they were yet to determine the impostor’s gender; it had been said that most of his or her victims had become un-recognizable and left with no deep sense of self nor were they able to differentiate their right from wrong, neither did they have anymore any sense of loyalty for their roots nor memories of morals imbibed at the feet of their parents or predecessors.
Gbadegeshin, the king of Oluwatedo turned on his side on his royal mat and the images filled his vision once again…
It was difficult to tell who or what it was . In all his years as a warrior and with his wealth of experience as king, he was yet to meet or see a creature or maybe…an image such as the one before him. For now, he thought it safe to regard “this” as “it”. Strange as it seem, he realized that he was drawn to it.
He was mesmerized by the sheer beauty as it changed colors and form, its movement was as with rhythm to a melodious sound, but then, suddenly! As light speed, he saw his daughter and son approach.
Taken aback ,he looked around, dusting himself from the floor…’ah..ah! Oriade – my son, Ewadunni, what are you both doing here? I almost thought I was the only one enjoying this view’ cheering with a broad smile.
However, he was dumbfounded at the realization that they couldn’t hear him. They seem lost to their environment, they both started dancing to the sound from that image, to which he was momentarily oblivious at the sight of his children .
Alas! They were dancing; but to what music? Gbadegeshin wondered. The creasing furrows on his forehead deepened as he tried to make sense of the scene playing out before him. Suddenly, he felt like a third party and almost broke out in hysteria when the “madness” began, at least that was the only word he could think of at the time to describe the occurrence that ensued subsequently.
Ewadunni tore off her royal apparel with a vengeance as though she had been clad in rags ,like that was not enough, without prior warning snatched off the royal beads from her neck. Gbadegeshin gasped and was about running to her side when he noticed he felt rooted to the spot. His precious daughter was stripping herself naked and he felt helpless about it. Turning to Oriade, hoping to find some consolation, he noticed that he likewise was as good as naked as the tempo of their dance increased.
The king was visibly shaken, he felt a great sense of apprehension and was certain by now his children were under a horrible spell.
It would take a while and a louder voice for anyone to hear him now even if he screamed at the top of his voice.
“God of my ancestors, please help me”, he muttered. How did they get to this lone path in the first place? He looked around and couldn’t recognize that path…apparently, it looked like a well treaded path. He was king for heaven’s sake! He could have been more discerning.. now the sanity of his children were at stake! He kept on venting and fuming, so lost in thought was he that he didn’t see the person or image approach but this time with two others, just as striking but quite not as intense. They offered the dancing duo some strange raiment, the king observed, they appeared attractive but could never compare with their native woven “danshiki”,they got some laced chains with a lot of blings but it had no significance whatsoever to royalty, his daughter’s hair was cut or trimmed or….he couldn’t even tell but it was obvious to him that the color, length and style had changed. Alas! Like those were not enough, as his daughter sought to embrace that image, it seemed to elude her which got her a bit confused initially or so it seemed and made her even desire to alter her looks the more. Like taking a cue from her complaint and grumpiness, Gbadegeshin observed in bewilderment as the second image offered some other items, he wasn’t sure what they were but he saw his daughter collect them and practically became unidentifiable right in front of his very eyes. She had been suddenly transformed into a more voluptuous woman…her breasts were fuller, hips wider and rounder, her hairline was altered too, nails and lashes longer, her skin color more lightened than he could have imagined.
He turned around to see that Oriade, his son was not left in the show.. he had refused to wear some underlings, he wore the new trousers resting only on the lower part of his buttocks, he paraded himself in the new outfit, walking like an hunched man, his gait hilariously altered. Gbadegeshin roared in laughter; first at the irony before him because though they were supposed to be covered and perhaps appealing ; now from afar, he realized he had never seen his children so broken and vulnerable inside and secondly, at his own state of mind….they needed help! This was getting too much to bear, he was afraid he was loosing it…this had to be some horrible night mare, his heart beat doubled, his chest tightened up and almost thought it’d explode, he groped and turned, yelling at the top of his voice for help…“Help! Help me, help my children!”